Ramblings, by Doug Corbett

Hi all, here we go again!! I am still having my "writer's block" but I have picked up some information over the holidays that may be of interest to you all.

One thing that I noted in the January 2001, MacWorld is that Epson is having some minor problems with their color inks and printing paper.

Improved inks that are less likely to fade over time are available with the Epson Stylus Photo 870, 875DC, and 1270 models. These inks were introduced just this last summer to address customer complaints of quick-fading digital prints.

On the paper issue, Epson has released a reformulated version of its Premium Glossy paper. This paper's packaging will state that the paper "is intended for stored prints." (Please remember 'stored'.)

If you use or have used the older Premium Glossy Photo Paper for prints that you would like to keep, the best way to preserve them is to put them in picture frames or photo albums. The problem is with the cyan dye and its sensitivity to airborne contaminants. An Epson representative, Kieth Kratzberg, director of photo imaging stated that Epson's Photo Paper (non-gloss) and Epson's Matte Paper Heavyweight are not as susceptible to this quick fading problem.

Call the Epson customer support phone number at: (562)276-1311 for more information.


The other subject: AppleScript and Speech.

I have always been fascinated by computer speech and even more fascinating, is having a computer listen to what you say and then do what you tell it to do!

Macs have spoken to us since the days of the IIgs - Penny even mentioned this to a friend recently, recounting that her IIgs said "I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that!" (from 2001, A Space Odyssey) as an error message!

Many of you will remember the Linda Verde School library computer, a Quadra 650 AV I believe, and the fun we had with spoken commands to it. Well the speech recognition on Penny's new G4 is not all that much better than that on the Quadra.

But it is available again on the G4 (I'm not sure if it is in the G3) and AppleScript is available in all current Macs. These are both built-ins that come free with your computer.

A hint to the power of AppleScript and speech recognition is the following simple script that will check your email in Netscape:

tell application "Netscape Communicator™"
activate
Handle command Show Inbox
Handle command Get new mail
end tell

If you name this script "Get new messages" and put it in the "Speakable items folder" in the "Apple Menu items folder" you can tell the computer to "get new messages" and it will do it (most of the time.)

If you don't have speech recognition, you can use the same script to do a 'one click' check of your mail, just using AppleScript.

All for now... see you Saturday... dc


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