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December 95 - Letters

LETTERS

PROJECTDRAG IMPRESSES
I've been working with Tim Maroney's ProjectDrag (Issue 23, "MPW Tips and Tricks: Customizing Source Control With SourceServer"), and I'm very impressed. I've never found an adequate way of using a revision control system on the Macintosh (Projector is too clumsy to use when you're developing with CodeWarrior), and I had written off SourceServer completely after I had such a miserable experience with it under Symantec C++ 7.0. But Tim's article and software have given that dog some new tricks. His programs are easy to use and powerful at the same time.

Thank you very much for publishing Tim's work in this issue, and I hope to see more about ProjectDrag in the future.
-- Phil Sulak

Thanks for the feedback; we're happy to know that you find ProjectDrag useful.

There were a few problems with the previous version of ProjectDrag, so on this issue's CD you' ll find a new version with a few bug fixes and enhancements. Also, the previous version was missing the makefile; it's now on the CD.
-- Caroline Rose

QTMA
I read the article on QTMA by David Van Brink in Issue 23, and have a few additional questions. As Director of Audio for Human Code (an Austin multimedia developer), I'm looking for a way to convey an other-worldly quality to the soundscape of a CD-ROM title we're developing.

First, is QTMA supported on the PC platform? If it only works on the Mac OS platform, I'm back to the drawing board.

Also, is it possible to seed a bank of custom-designed samples to be played using standard MIDI files with QTMA? If so, is there a developer 's guide available for programming within QTMA?
-- John Malcolm Smith

First of all, you've probably noticed that there were no changes to the Music Architecture in QuickTime 2.1 after all. These changes have been delayed until the next release of QuickT ime (which should ship by early 1996). The code on this issue's CD has been revised so that it compiles with the 2.0 or 2.1 headers.

On the PC side, QuickTime music tracks are supported, but only inside movies. So, compose your score on the Macintosh, import it into a QuickTime movie using MoviePlayer, and then save it flattened with the "Playable On Non-Apple Computers" box checked. This movie will play through Windows' multimedia extensions, according to its MIDI setup.

As far as adding your own instruments, you should be able to do this in the next QuickTime release in two ways: by dropping a component into the System Folder, to make a sound libr ary available to all applications, or by inserting a sound into the music track of a particular movie.
-- David Van Brink

PUZZLE PAGE DOESN'T STINK
Re Lance Drake's letter in Issue 22 entitled "Puzzle Page Stinks": I strongly disagree. The Puzzle Page is the first article I read. From it I've learned new debugging tactics, and picked up cool MacsBug tricks and how to do more than just "G" from MicroBug. The fact that the "scoring" shouldn't be taken literally is obvious; after all, KON & BAL never get the answer till 10 or less. Don't let one humorless whiner ruin a good thing. Keep up the good work; develop is a great resource.
-- Steve Palmen

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the Puzzle Page. I just graduated and was lucky enough to land a job programming on the Mac. Issue 22 is my first and I've already looked back at all of the previous Puzzles because I enjoy reading about the deepest, darkest Mac knowledge that I hope to stuff into my brain one day. It's refreshing to have a technical journal that's not afraid to crack a joke every couple of pages. I haven't felt offended or mocked by your Puzzle Page.
-- Matt Glazier

I just want to let you know that there are people out here who read and enjoy the Puzzle Page. I try to follow every twist and turn in the logic that leads to the final result. I've tracked down a few bugs in my own code that were complex and obscure enough to end up on the Puzzle Page, and it's nice to see the steps someone else follows.
-- David Shayer

... WELL, MAYBE JUST A LITTLE
The letter from Lance Drake in Issue 22 about the Puzzle Page was, as you wrote, a surprise to you. To me it wasn't. First I would like to state that the Puzzle Page is by far the best column in develop -- technically very interesting and also amusing. This explains the good feedback you receive on it. Yet the "scoring" tables are indeed belittling, elitist, and intellectually arrogant. Even worse, they are off ending. This is a detail, but it fully explains and justifies Mr. Drake's angry letter.
-- Adriaan van Os

Many thanks for all the work you put into d e v e l o p. The production qualities are superb. I have only one complaint: get rid of KON & BAL's Puzzle Page. I always feel depressed after reading it.
-- Andrew Trevorrow

FINGER-CODED BINARY VARIATION
I'd like to comment on Tobias Engler's Finger-Coded Binary column in Issue 21. Although I agree with most of what he said, Tobias's approach, the 10-bit model, is far less natural than it needs to be. I find it much easier (at least more natural) to work with hands flat on the side of a table, using all fingers except thumbs -- this results in the more commonly used 8-bit model. You can then use your thumbs for other things, such as branch prediction, status registers, or even complex instruction execution.

I have one advantage over many people. The fact that I'm missing part of my right thumb enables me to do fractions. No other digital system I know of can do 0, 1/2, and 1 digits.
-- Martin-Gilles Lavoie

There's much more to the 10-bit model than you seem to realize. Have you ever had somebody tell you "You can eat as many Snickers bars as you can count on your hands"? Probably not. You wouldn't want to stop at 256, would you?

Concerning your fractional thumb: Your technological advantage over conventional digital systems will undoubtedly attract many copyists, which may result in a lot of unnecessary bloodshed. My advice to you is go and get a patent!
-- Tobias Engler

IF YOU LIKE US, LET US KNOW What do you like, or not like, about develop (besides the Puzzle Page)? We welcome your letters, especially regarding articles published in develop. Letters should be addressed to Caroline Rose -- or, if technical develop-related questions, to Dave Johnson -- at AppleLink CROSE or JOHNSON.DK. Or you can write to Caroline or Dave at Apple Computer, Inc., 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014. 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). *

 
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