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December 92 - Letters

Letters

LETTERS

LETTERS POSTAL DEVILS EATING CDS?
develop  is the most exciting piece of regular mail I get after Japanese animation laserdiscs. I joyfully received Issue 11 but unfortunately the wolverines in the Postal Service dined on some of the plastic and no CD was to be found! Help!
-- Jim Perry

Would you consider mailing develop  in a nonperforated plastic wrapping? The perforation was two- thirds torn when I received it.
-- Eva Schlesinger

I really enjoy develop , but I have to say that I've enjoyed it less recently. Some time ago the CDs came in a small envelope well protected inside the magazine, and everything was fine. Now, develop  is shipped with the CD in its own holder, which would seem to be a fabulous idea except that you were blind-sided by the U.S. Post Office. Every month since the CD got its own holder, the Post Office has mangled my plastic bag, CD holder, and magazine. Today my develop  issue 11 arrived sans CD. I called the subscription office (1-800-545-9364) and they promise to send me another within four weeks.(!?) Growl.
-- Bob Cent

Most of the mail I get is, unfortunately, on this subject. Our Production Manager, Hartley Lesser, really has been working on it. Even with Issue 11, we took a small step toward solving the problem: since many people thought someone was breaking open the package and stealing the CD, we inserted a thick sheet of paper over the CD so that it wouldn't be visible. But complaints of torn packaging still came in, so clearly the packaging just wasn't sturdy enough. The packaging around Issue 12 and its CD should be about twice as thick as before and have no perforation. If that doesn't work we'll try something else.

Issue 7 was the last one to list the 800 number you used to contact the subscription office (though it stubbornly has still shown up on our renewal notice). The correct number is 1-800-877-5548. The person you spoke to normally doesn't handle calls regarding   develop and didn't know that replacement CDs should be mailed within a day or two of notification of the problem. Sorry for the mixup. We hope you'll never need that service again!
-- Caroline Rose

SCREENWRITING CAVEAT
Your Issue 11 column on drawing to the screen was really useful to me. I had an animation program that wrote directly to the screen and it worked fine. But when I upgraded to a new accelerator card my program kept crashing. I spent months trying to figure out the problem. But your article fixed it straight away. All I needed was the SwapMMUMode calls. I don't know why the previous card didn't require them, but my program works fine now.
-- Tony Cooper

Thanks for your interest in the column. We're glad it was helpful to you. One thing we want to be sure to mention is that writing directly to the screen will break for sure on future Macintosh systems based on RISC technology. And we again want to stress that the only applications that should even consider writing directly to the screen are games and other animation programs.
-- Brigham Stevens and Bill Guschwan

USER-FRIENDLY RENEWING
Recently I received a couple of renewal notices for develop  in the mail. In trying to decipher these notices, I realized that user friendliness is something we should all be aiming for not just in thesoftware we write, but in everything we do. It's interesting how working with the Macintosh makes one aware of human interface issues in everyday life. Anyway, I think there are a few ways in which the develop  renewal notices could be made more user friendly:

  1. Leave a bigger space for writing the credit card number.
  2. Clearly indicate on the renewal notice the date my subscription expires.
  3. Is there any reason why the renewal notices are printed in red ink?

--Tim Hammett

We're in the process of making the changes you suggested to the   develop renewal notice.

  1. We'll leave a bigger space for writing the credit card number.
  2. The notice will indicate when the subscription expires. You can also find this out at any time from your mailing label: the number that appears on a line by itself at the top of the label indicates the last issue you'll receive unless you renew.
  3. The reason for the red ink is so that this little piece of paper doesn't get lost on your desk. But you've inspired us to change it to a more readable, deeper red.
We're also correcting the 800 phone number on the notice, to 1-800-877-5548.

Thanks for your letter. Without it, I would have assumed that the renewal notice (which isn't really in my domain) was in great shape. I appreciate the enlightenment.
--Caroline Rose

REUSED CDS: IS IT ART?
In Issue 10 of develop , Bruce Radford stated that he wasn't sure what to do with his old CDs. He felt that he should recycle them, but he wasn't sure how. Well, I have a suggestion.

Many people forget that reusing something is often even better than straight recycling. My school would have many uses for old issues of the develop  CD. I know a few friends who would love copies, no matter how old; I could use them in a programming class; and other students could cut them up to make jewelry for school fundraisers. I also have many uses for old 256K SIMMs, which seem to be becoming about as useful as pennies now.

So go ahead and send the stuff that you think no one needs to me, or to a school near you.
-- Peter Bierman (age 16)
BS Software
5757 Olentangy Blvd.
Worthington, OH 43085

Thanks for the idea. Day care centers and children's museums have also been mentioned as possible destinations for old CDs. We suggest that before giving away CDs for for art projects, developers put a deep scratch through the data side of the CD if it contains any confidential or licensed data. For some wild and crazy ideas on this from Apple's Developer Support Center, see the Q & A on page 126.
-- Caroline Rose

DEVELOP INTERNET ADDRESS
I'm on the Internet and develop  contains only AppleLink addresses. I'm guessing that crose@applelink.apple.com is your Internet address. develop  really should have an Internet address for academic developers to send e-mail to.
-- Eric Kofoid

Adding "applelink.apple.com" to any AppleLink address converts it to an Internet address. The Internet addresses for me and  develop's Technical Editor Dave Johnson are listed on the last page of every issue.
-- Caroline Rose

BACK ISSUES CONUNDRUM
I noticed that your back issues are listed at $13 in develop  and at $10 in the APDA catalog. Why the discrepancy? Who should I order the back issues from?
-- Michael Tackie

P.S. Great magazine. Very technical. I don't understand everything, but that's good; it forces me to become a better programmer.

You pay a $3 shipping charge when you order from APDA, so it adds up to $13 in the end.
-- Caroline Rose P.S. Thanks!

CORRECTION TO APPLE EVENTS ARTICLE IN ISSUE 10

The "Apple Event Objects and You" article in develop  Issue 10 contains two errors in the printed sample code. The first problem is that five lines were omitted from the end of GetWindowIndex. The code at the top of page 25 should be changed from

    return noErr;
}

to

if ((rawIndex> numWindows)||(rawIndex<= 0)) {
    *index = 0;
    return errAENoSuchObject;
} else
    *index = rawIndex;
    return noErr
}

The second bug is in the routine WriteRectToken (page 30). The following call

BlockMove(*thisRectDesc.dataHandle,
        &tokenPtr->theRect,sizeof(Rect)); 

should be changed to

BlockMove(*thisRectDesc.dataHandle,
        (Ptr)tokenPtr->theRect,sizeof(Rect));

Since theRect is actually a pointer to a rectangle (see the declaration at the top of page 29), the first version would have destroyed the pointer and four bytes of the following long integer.

Thanks to Doug McKenna, the author of Resorcerer, for pointing out these problems.

WHY DON'T YOU WRITE MORE OFTEN?We welcome timely letters to the editors, especially from readers reacting to articles that we publish in develop . Letters should be addressed to Caroline Rose (or, if technical develop -related questions, to Dave Johnson) at Apple Computer, Inc., 20525 Mariani Avenue, M/S 75-2B, Cupertino, CA 95014 (AppleLink CROSE or JOHNSON.DK). All letters shouldinclude your name and company name as well as your address and phone number. Letters may be excerpted or edited for clarity (or to make them say what we wish they did). *

 
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