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MacEdition Pro News : April 29, 2002: Condolences, freeware foot soldiers and covering your tracks

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This ProNews update begins upon quite a sombre note. Chase Cringely, son of the well-known and widely respected IT columnist, Robert X. Cringely, passed away last week. Chase was only 74 days old, another victim of Sudden Infant Death Sydndrome (SIDS). The fact that Chase died, despite Robert doing his level best to prevent it from happening, illustrates what a silent killer this syndrome is.

All the staff at MacEdition extend our deepest sympathies to Robert and his family. But more than that, we’re here to promote the message Robert put in his own column:

... It is my plan to devote much of my resources and a good portion of the rest of my life to combating SIDS. I can’t cure it, but I think I can help babies to evade it. The trick is to first develop a very cheap, very accurate, recording medical sensor.


It can be done, and once it is done, we can reprogram those same monitors into devices that actually can predict SIDS and help to prevent it, either through detecting babies most at risk or by literally predicting the onset of SIDS in time to evade it.

That’s my plan, but I can’t do it by myself. I need your help. I need hardware engineers, software engineers, I need people experienced with biomedical sensors and sifting mountains of data. I need folks who make tiny processors and RAM chips. I need people who know more about this stuff than I do. Yet they must also be people who are willing to believe that there is an answer, since the medical establishment seems to have given up.

If you think you can help – you may be an enterprising “shareware soldier” (see the section below) with a good idea, who knows – Robert wants you to contact him to discuss ideas for combating SIDS.

What’s better than shareware?

Freeware, of course! We’ve recently been a bit absorbed in the philosophical nuances of "What is Shareware, exactly?" So much so that we almost overlooked the note Colin Foster dropped us a while back. It was in response to our initial call for shareware developers to hawk their wares. Colin is responsible for Frozen Heads Software, which specialises in small but specific utilities for addressing numerous system software annoyances. A few examples are:

As we said, very small but very specific utilities. There are more at his site. Did we mention they’re free? Oh – well, they are, but as Colin said in his note:

(Of course if folks would like to PayPal me a couple of dollars to help keep the site running, they are welcome to!)

And (once more with feeling) – keep the ProNews shareware announcements coming! Want even more exposure? A modest investment in our (shamelessly promoted) shareware initiative might be just the thing!

Covering your tracks

Erase the Trial is an application the folks at Andersen would probably appreciate – if they used Macs, that is. Erase the Trail, from Mallet and Bare, is a utility that lets you see into the deepest darkest nether regions of your computer’s file system. So what does Erase the Trail promise? Well, to wave goodbye to unwanted pesky hidden files and much more. Here’s the skinny from the developer’s press release:

Walkersville, MD – April 23, 2002 – Mallet and Bare, developers of productivity and utility software for the Macintosh and Windows platform, today announced an update to their award-winning application, Erase The Trail.

Erase the Trail is the file and hard drive management tool used by many. This application has been compared to applications such as, “Macintosh Explorer,” “Ghost Hunter,” and “File Buddy,” with more features that you need and at half the cost. You can batch change creator codes, you can delete, create, and view invisible files, and you can even completely back up your hard drive on to some storage device, with the click of a button. View information that you did not even know existed. Edit Mac OS X long file names without booting into Mac OS X. One user says, “I have never seen an application that deletes the invisibles so easily.”

Erase the Trail 2.0 has many new features, such as:

  • Preview Feature
  • Full Mac OS X Support
  • Redesigned Interface
  • Speed Enhancements
  • New Preferences
  • Shortcut and Favorite Toolbars

...and much more!

Erase the Trail 2.0 is shareware, available for purchase from the Mallet and Bare Pricing is $10.00 US.


To download the full application, Apple Help System, and plug-ins, go to (Classic and Mac OS X hybrid installer). To download one or more of the items, go to

For product information and online purchasing, visit http://homepage. Be sure you download Version 2.0.1, not Version 2.0. If you’ve got the latter, a bug patch is available.

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