TweetFollow Us on Twitter

December 94 - LETTERS

LETTERS

PENMODE NOT FOR TEXT
In the Macintosh Q & A section of develop Issue 18, I noticed the suggestion to use PenMode(srcBic) for drawing white text on a black background. This is wrong; the desired result will be achieved by TextMode(srcBic). Hope this helps.
-- David Surovell

Thanks for the correction. Say, don't I recognize your name from an article in Issue 19? -- Caroline Rose

SLIME: IS IT SAFE?
As I was reading develop Issue 18, I came across the green slime question in Macintosh Q & A. A friend of mine has been looking for just this recipe, to help keep her preschool-aged daughter amused. However, after reading the recipe, I'm not going to forward it to my friend, because one of the ingredients, borax, is poisonous.

Now, I'm not a toxicologist, nor do I play one on TV, so I don't know exactly how toxic borax is. But I don't want to find out by letting anyone's children play with it (not even the nasty little feral children down the street). And what about people who screw up the recipe? Or decide to experiment with it? You didn't even tell them that straight borax is poisonous. And it's not like there's a big "Mr. Yuk" sticker on the box of Twenty-Mule Team, just those friendly-looking equines.

You and your staff do a fine job of technical presentation, and you have a process for technical review. You might consider a "toxicity review" before you publish any more recipes for nifty stuff that's not inherently edible. Ya never know.
-- Greg Guerin

I volunteer at the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, and we've been handing out this slime for months to any kid who wants it. The recipe was acquired from a grade-school teacher and is used in schools all over the country.

A chemist at the Exploratorium told me that borax is toxic to about the same degree as soap: if you eat enough of it, you'll probably get a belly ache. Any kid who's old enough to have figured out that soap is yucky to eat is plenty old enough, in my opinion. It's my sincere hope and belief that most develop readers have already reached that stage of maturity.

To be absolutely sure, I called the Poison Control center, and they said that to have any toxic effect at all someone would have to eat an awful lot of it. They even told me I didn't need to bother to wash my hands after handling it. I asked if the soap analogy was a good one, and they said it was accurate.

You might recommend corn starch and cold water to your friend. In the right proportions (just enough water to get it all wet) it makes a very satisfying goop (usually called "oobleck" by teachers, after Dr. Seuss) that's probably more appropriate for very young children.
-- Dave Johnson

DOGCOW IN THINK REFERENCE
I really enjoyed reading Mark Harlan's history of the dogcow in Issues 17 and 18 of develop . He states that Technical Note #31 has not been available for quite a while. That may be so, but something like this Tech Note is hiding inside the THINK Reference databases. Just do a search for "DogCow" and you'll find it.
-- Robert Grimm

Thanks for pointing out the dogcow lore in THINK Reference; I didn't know about that. I especially like the part about how, since the dogcow is two-dimensional, she can face a predator head-on to avoid being seen. Although that defensive maneuver sounds likely enough, keep in mind that the dogcow information in THINK Reference is unauthorized and has nothing to do with the Tech Note. The Tech Note gives lots more information, and we're glad it remains as mysterious as ever.
-- Caroline Rose

PUZZLING OVER THE PUZZLE PAGE
After reading Issue 17 of develop , I have a question. I'm not sure what the purpose is in calling KON & BAL's page a Puzzle Page if it requires that you have access to certain obscure beta ROMs in order to solve the puzzle. Perhaps this is just sour grapes because I've never scored above 5? Sure, it still demonstrates various debugging techniques (although I'm not sure that iterative debugging with a reboot after each test is a very useful technique, and this seems quite common in the puzzle pages). But is it really a puzzle?
-- Peter Lewis

KON & BAL chose the Puzzle Page format because they thought it was a fun way to give people debugging tips. They don't expect readers to take the puzzle aspect of it seriously; in fact, you're the first one we've ever heard from who has scored anything besides 0.

None of us were thrilled with Issue 17's puzzle, but, in KON's words, "There was a lot of great stuff about how the Resource Manager works, locking down handles, and other really useful advice. We try to demonstrate efficient and good debugging techniques."

Want a better Puzzle Page? Why not write one yourself? We now accept "guest puzzlers," as you may have noticed. If you've got a good idea for a Puzzle Page, please send it to us at AppleLink DEVELOP.
-- Caroline Rose

SAVED BY THE PUZZLE PAGE
I've enjoyed reading develop since the first issue was published. I find that the articles contain a lot of useful technical information.

Normally I try to read each issue when it arrives, but when Issue 16 arrived, it sat for two months while I was finishing a product. About two weeks after the application shipped, a bug was reported where the application would randomly crash with a trashed stack on the PowerBook 180c. We spent a very frustrating Friday trying to reproduce and isolate the bug, but the behavior was inconsistent.

Over the weekend, in an effort to catch up on my reading, I picked up develop Issue 16 and read through it. About an hour after I finished, I thought back on KON & BAL's Puzzle Page, picked the magazine up again, and reread it. Something struck me about the problem they were puzzling over. Their result sounded similar to the problem we were encountering.

On Monday, we ran a series of tests in which we were able to prove that the bug was in Sound Manager 2.0 and disappeared under Sound Manager 3.0. If it hadn't been for the timely coincidence of reading develop and seeing a different manifestation of our bug described, we might have spent a lot longer tracking down the problem. develop saved us a lot of time and frustration.

Thanks for the magazine.

-- Bruce D. Rosenblum

IT PAINS US WHEN YOU DON'T WRITE 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., One Infinite Loop, M/S 303-4DP, Cupertino, CA 95014 (AppleLink CROSE or JOHNSON.DK). All letters should include 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). *

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more
Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Music, Business Operations - Apple (...
**Job Summary** This role in Apple Music and in iTunes is working with…the songs that we all enjoy listening to in Apple Music. Your job will be to work wit Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Engineering Project Manager - *Apple* TV -...
**Job Summary** The iTunes Apps project management team oversees iTunes, Apple TV, DRM and iOS Applications. We are looking for a project manager to help manage and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail Online Store: Customer Insigh...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail (Online Store) is seeking an experienced e-commerce analytics professional to join the Customer Insights Team. The Web e-Commerce Analyst Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.