Stories by Stephan Somogyi

Double Vision

There are a few things we Mac users take for granted. As sure as two plus two equals four, new Power Macs from Apple Computer Inc. will come with faster processors and (if we're really lucky) entirely new processor designs.

Disk-Management Utilities Go Beyond Apple

No matter which applications you run on your Mac, a disk driver is always aiding and abetting them. Invisible to those not technically inclined, the disk driver mediates between the operating system and the disk hardware. You're probably using the stock Apple Computer Inc. driver that came preinstalled on your Mac, but there are alternatives to Drive Setup. FWB Software LLC's Hard Disk Toolkit (HDT) 4.0, Intech Software Corp.'s Hard Disk SpeedTools (HDST) 3.0, and Prosoft Engineering Inc.'s Radialogic 1.8.1 provide formatting and partitioning features, as well as drivers for various needs.

Mac OS Mail Server Does the Job

Its name conjures up a serious piece of software running on a Unix box, but Qualcomm Inc.'s Eudora Internet Mail Server (EIMS) is a standard Mac application that does everything a mail server should do: it's a POP3, ESMTP, Ph, LDAP, and ACAP server (the latter is Eudora's own autoconfiguration protocol). Version 3.0 also adds IMAP4 capability and processes mail more quickly than version 2.2.2. Unfortunately, this version doesn't rectify all of version 2.2.2's shortcomings, most notably alias support. If you want mail for multiple accounts to wind up in one mailbox, you must create each account separately and then forward each account's mail to its final destination.

CD-ROM Toolkit, CD-ROM SpeedTools

Like hard-disk drivers, software drivers for CD-ROM devices are typically neither seen nor heard-yet these crucial bits of software allow the Mac OS to retrieve data from your drive. If you bought a Mac with a preinstalled CD-ROM drive, you're most likely using the Apple Computer Inc. CD-ROM driver included in the Mac OS. But Apple's driver won't support most external drives and won't let you use CD-R or CD-RW burners to read discs. In addition, you can't use the Apple CD software with the drives in most Mac clones. FWB Software LLC's CD-ROM ToolKit 4.0.1 and Intech Software Corp.'s CD-ROM SpeedTools 4.1 let your Mac work with devices that Apple's stock drivers don't support.

Norton AntiVirus 6.0

Vendor-induced paranoia aside, the reality of today's Net-connected world is that every networked computer - Mac and PC alike - is susceptible to viruses. Even careful computer users may have sloppy friends who unwittingly propagate malicious wares. Consequently, antiviral software is a necessity. For most Mac users, this means Symantec Corp.'s Norton AntiVirus (NAV), currently the only credible antivirus software for the Mac.