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Jun 85 Letters
Volume Number:1
Issue Number:7
Column Tag:Letters


Neon Wanted

Your publication is the best investment I have ever made. I’m a sucker for good deals, so please send me back issues 1-3 and source code disk #1. Please consider covering Kriya Systems NEON programming language. Also, please consider allowing me access to the MOUSEHOLE. Actually, I’m a hardware man (having successfully installed the programmer’s switch), but I’m getting there, wherever that may be.

-Edward Jung

Seattle, WA.

[Look for NEON starting next month ]

Mac Lisp vs Symbolics

In reply to the Terminator’s remarks about ExperLisp in the April 85 issue, I agree that Lisp on the Mac will be a delight. Although I find it’s $500 price tage a bit steep myself, ExperLisp will offer more than any other available Microcomputer Lisp (mainly compilation of code). However, I find it questionable that ExperLisp code will be upward compatible with Symbolics’ ZetaLisp. In fact, ExperLisp will not support FLAVORS, the abstract data objects upon which most of the Symbolics operating system is built. About the magazine: it’s a hacker’s delight! It’s refreshing to read a magazine with an abundance of useable information. I do hope, however, that you are planning to produce the magzine on the LaserWriter soon. [YES, if ours ever arrives!]

-Rick Munoz, SF, CA.

Help, Steve, with Serial I/O

What is the MDS Equate File, SysEquate.Txt referred to in Mr. Brecher’s Advanced Mac’ing Column? I have a desperate need to program the baud rate of the Z8530 to something other than the standards available. Can you help?

-Mark Wardas

La Jolla, CA.

[The MDS equate file SysEquates.Txt is the System Equates file described in Inside Macintosh that has the addresses of the SCC chip. Get Inside Mac or buy the Apple Assembler, or Software Supplement.]

Animation Techniques

My method of animation is based on an off-screen copy of the GrafPort; all desired changes are accumulated in the off-screen bitmap and then copied onto the screen. This method depends on the CopyBits routine, which in turn, requires a source and destination rectangles that must be properly aligned (same width and height) to prevent Quickdraw from scaling the image it copies. (1) Copy the screen GrafPort after creating the background, to the off-screen GrafPort. (2) Copy the bitmap under each icon to be added to the screen into seperate off-screen bitmaps. (3) For each icon, use CopyBits twice to place the mask icon in the bitmap of the off-screen GrafPort, and then again to place the icon image itself directly on top of the mask. Use mode srcBic for the first copy and mode srcOr for the second. (4) Use CopyBits again, to copy the entire off-screen GrafPort bitmap into its on-screen counterpart. (5) Update the new postions of the icons in the off-screen GrafPort and repeat at step 3.

-Roger Webster

Mainstay Assembler & UCSD MacAdvantage

For those that are considering programming in 68000 assembly, you might give consideration to purchasing Mac ASM by Mainstay. Not only do you get a well designed editor/assembler, but also you can buy Inside Macintosh from Mainstay for $20. [Phone book version?] Those that like programming in Pascal should give UCSD MacAdvantage Pascal more than a passing glance. If you can get over the fact of having programs that use the p-machine interpretor then interesting possibilities begin to appear, including logical restructuring of event processing and print spooling using UCSD’s concurrent processing capability.

-Roger D. Voss

College Station, TX

Write a Do Nothing Program

I enjoy your publication and only wish each issue were bigger (or that the magazine were biweekly!) One request I have, in any of the compiled langauges, is for an application which does absolutely nothing but return to the Finder! Such an application would be useful for designating the startup disk. [How about a desk accessory that simply changes the default drive? Anybody want to submit some source code for that?]

- Andy Gottlieb

Middletown, CT

Pattern Editor in Basic

I have written a Pattern Editor and a Cursor Editor in Basic and would like to know if you would be interested in these programs for a tutorial on creating cursors in MS Basic? Finally, I would like to suggest that MacTutor be published twice a month, even for twice the subscription price.

-Russell Feldman

[We would love to publish your Basic programs in such an article. Our editorial fees are typically $100 for a one-time submission. Format is MacWrite which can be mailed on disk or sent over the phone. Please include source code in a seperate runnable file, as well as in the MacWrite article.]

Mac Tutor On-Line?

I think you are doing a great job on MacTutor! I can see already that I will be referring to back issues and that finding a particular item may become a problem. Would you consider using one of the Data Base programs to distribute technical information of MacTutor on-line?

-Bob Thomas

[Too busy digging info for the next issue to take the time to re-format last month’s stuff! Ain’t easy being creative to a schedule.]

512K Power Supply Problems?

Thanks for a very useful publication! I’m a 512K user who has had 4 analog boards, 3 CRT’s and 2 logic boards installed over a five-month period. I have heard that other 512K users are having similar display and power supply problems. I would be happy to share my experiences with others.

-Lloyd Tribley

Elmira, NY

[By all means, please do! Send us a full accounting of your toil for publication.]

Paint File Formats?

Could you recommend code for opening a MacPaint file from assembly and displaying it in a port on the screen?

-Mike Pell

Tucson, Az.

[See the Pascal Column this month.]

Mac Pascal Book Out

I was just down at South Coast Plaza last night and picked up a tutorial /reference book on Mac Pascal published by Computer Science Press, written by Lowell A. Carmony and Robert L. Holliday. Get this, it was all set in geneva 12 point and reduced for the book!

-The Dumacker

Future Hughes Radar from XperLisp?

A friend and I are starting a small IR & D effort with Xperlisp on our own. The Mac stuff in Xper make it very nice for us. The program will be Maclike interactive and will utilize nice graphics. That will definately be handy since the project will simulate a situation radar display.


HyperDrive I/O

4.1 is the released Finder. I was disappointed to note that HyperDrive I/O is ALL programmed; no DMA nor even interrupt-driven seeks. No point in doing asynch I/O requests to it. The Drawers Desk Accessory was written in Consulair C. For info about the auther: after Drawers is in the menu bar, re-select it again from the Apple menu twice in rapid succession.

-Steve Brecher

Tecmar and the Network?

I’ve got the 2.0 software from Tecmar. I’m working on getting beta software that lets the Tecmar hard disk ride the bus. Right now, it seems it isn’t compatible with a laserWriter...


Davong Belly-up?

There was a small article in one of the trade rags this week (I think it was CSN) that Davong (Mac Hard Disk) has filed chapter-11; gone belly up.


MacLine IS Belly-up!

Remember the four-color fluff that Apple sent out to all the software developers, called MacLine? Well, MacLine is no more. Our subscription money was returned today with a note that they were out of business. So much for Apple’s coattails!-Dave Smith

Local Users Groups

AMUC meets every third Wed. at 7 pm in the Fullerton Library. The Wabash Group meets every first and third Tues. at 7 pm at Wabash Computers on Kattela in Orange.


Best Mac Modem

Muchas Gracias to everyone that recommended the Prometheus Promodem 1200. Got it yesterday, and am I one satisfied’s got my vote as THE modem for the Mac.

-Davy Jones

Microsoft Basic 2.1

Last I checked a week or so ago, the customer service people didn’t know anything about it (or were not telling). The first one that finds out that 2.1 is released, please post!

-Dave Kelly

Switcher 2.0 Bugs

I’ve found two problems so far. File doesn’t want to quit from Switcher. File, of course, manages documents diff- erently from most applications; it doesn’t have a Save option. When quitting, it writes to the disk for some time, then hangs...

Also, if you are saving the 22K screen for each application, 2.0 doesn’t error trap an install for the fourth application. You will only have about 70K of RAM after saving 3 screen maps. When loading the last application, you get a very nice special effects...-Gary Voth

Switcher 2.0 and Modula-2 Bombs

When Modula-2 is done compiling, it bombs [under Switcher 2.0]. Shift-cntrl-opt-period (Isn’t that how you reset an IBM???) sometimes recovers it but not always. It doesn’t matter if M2 is the only application in switcher, or even if I give it more than 128K. Since I know everyone out there is feverishly programming in Modula-2, does anyone know a way around this problem?

-Burrill Smith

Finder 4.0* Works Great!

I put six games on a disk with Finder 4.0*, set start-up to one of the games, installed all six on the mini-finder, and trashcanned the finder. It works perfectly. It boots to the startup game, exits all games to the minifinder. Only thing is, if I set startup to Finder (then delete the Finder), it will not boot the mini-finder. It seems that for startup to be the finder, even if the mini-finder is active, the finder must be on the disk. Oh, one of the games is copy protected, and that presented no problems.

-Mike Steiner

Switcher and Clipboards

When I have two applications loaded, Multiplan and Chart, I cannot carry the clipboard from one program to another. I am using the ‘always convert clipboard’ option from the options menu, but it still does not work. -Jeff Goza

I tried Multiplan and Chart with switcher 2.0 too. I get the same problem, the clipboard doesn’t convert.


I have Multiplan and Chart running under switcher and have no problem transferring the clipboard. I set the ‘always convert clipboard’ option OFF and when I want to transfer the clipboard, I press the option key when switching applications.

-Mike Steiner

Finder 4.0* Installer Problems

Every start-up disk I insert [to be upgraded to Finder 4.0* stuff] is judged with a “Cannot Upgrade the current Startup Disk” error message??

-Dennis Runkle

To get around the problem of disks that are rejected: 1. Boot with a different disk. 2. Change the Finder on the “BAD” disk to version 1.1g. This has worked fine in all cases. It seems to me most the disks I’ve had rejected had Finder 3.3X on them.

-Louis M.

By the way, after installing Finder 4.0*, check 50% reduction under page setup and then run the print catalog. This makes for a very nice label.

-Louis M.

Stop MacsBug Disk Spin

To stop the disk from spinning under MacsBug, type: DM DFFIFF

-Bob Denny

Upgrade Power Supply Problems?

I got my Mac upgraded just barely after the one bad batch of upgrades (1 in 3 failures) came out. Boy was I paranoid. But, in the interim, I have had my Mac on for periods up to 48 hours or so. Not a hitch, not a quiver, not a flake. I’d say it depends on the RAM (is it up to spec on power consumption), not the power supply. Also, the bad boards caused power supply failures in the first 24-48 hours of operation, so if you’ve run your 512K Mac without a problem for more than that, I wouldn’t worry...

-Fred Condo

For a Mac Bottom, Call Mac Butt

Yes folks, it’s true, the people at Mac Bottom have a 800 number that spells Mac-Butt. I just called them and they were very nice and quite helpful. Supposed to be faster than the Hyperdrive and it lists for only $1595. Try 515-472-9613. [There is a rumor that Apple bought them out...]

-Tim Celeski

CRT GLICHES & Hyper’s Loose Nuts

Remember my moaning about my Mac’s CRT display? Well, it finally got to where the screen was glitching about once a minute so I opened it up and found a COLD!!! solder joint on the horiz. seep ramp generator cap!! It’s fixed now.

That reminds me, those of you who got HyperDrives in Jan. or Feb., open’ em up now and make sure your shock mount screws are tight. Mine backed out completely from vibration after 2 months. The drive was flopping around in the can. I called GCC and they said “Yeah, you probably got one of the last drives that wasen’t glued in!” Put Loc-Tite on the screws to be sure.

-Bob Denny

Muniched Lisp Disk

Well guys, I have finally gotten Experlisp and in only two short hours, I managed to much one of the two master diskettes that are sent. When I copied all of the visable files over to the Mac XL, upon booting the program, it would ask for the master disk for verification. This must be done every time the program is used. So I cleaverly tried to copy over to the hard disk, an invisible file, and it just wouldn’t copy, thereby munching the disk inoperative now. So I called these guys, and just like Macowaco said, they have more copy protection stuff in mind for version 2.0. Aside from the crazy copy protection scheme, it is pretty decent package and will be a lot of fun to use. (I can say that since I paid over 500 big ones for it!)

-The Terminator

Megamax C Praised

Well, my vote for best C compiler is Megamax C!! The Megamax C also is much smarter in that it knows what header files to use if you forget to include them. It also happens to be a couple of hundred bucks cheaper than Manx C. I love it!

-Mac Scotty

Copy II Mac Ver. 3.0

Copy II Mac version 3.01 is’s got a status matrix that shows which tracks didn’t copy in sector mode. And it copies Mac Pascal just fine.

Death of the Mac XL?

Well, I guess Steve Job’s wish will come true. The Mac XL is going to be wiped off the face of the earth. My dealer told me that there is only a two month supply of XL’s and after they are gone, there won’t be any more.


Yes, version 4.1 is the offical Finder. Other releases due from Apple are:

MacWrite 4.5

MacPaint 1.45

MacDraw 1.7

-The Terminator

Apple Sitting on it’s Mac-Butt?

I heard today that on Monday Apple will officially drop the Mac XL [they did !] and at the same time announce their 10 meg hard drive that sits under the Mac. Another story is that Apple bought out a company called Mac Bottom [see previous post ] that displayed the hard disk at Mac Expo ’85. I guess we will see, won’t we?


MDS System Released?

You can now walk into your friendly neighborhood Apple dealer and for the paultry sum of $195, order product number M0534, The Apple MDS development system, with Phone Book IM docs to boot.

-Don. L.

Lisp Bugs

XperLisp 1.0 has some bugs. It crashes when I am using an iterate function with a bunny. Also, using CARs and CDRs to take a list apart returns lists in lower case: (CDDR ‘(A B C D F)) returns ;(C D f), which is a bug. For $500, one would expect a bug-free product!


Mac XL Death Leaves Buyer in cold

I heard about the death of the XL last friday and hated it. That very morning before I heard the “news” I delivered an XL to a guy at Hughes who thought he was buying a machine that Apple would stand behind. I’m really pissed! Months ago I thought they were going to kill it so I always pushed 512 Mac, or a 128K if a person was financially short. A “nameless” Rep pushed us on the fact that Apple would not kill the XL. Trust away and now I’ll most likely have a customer that would like his money back. I hope that an exchange for a 512K and a second drive will appeal to him. Probable cause for death:

Too expensive to manufacture

Low consumer demand.

Not truely compatible.

Good looking, but large foot print

Not portable, 55lbs.

Not really supported by Apple, Where is the screen fix @*%! it? The real XL



The Mac that Wasn’t (a Mac)

The Mac XL was a lie from the beginning; a marketing ploy to dump unloved Lisa’s on the public by doing a name plate change to fool people into thinking they were getting a Mac, when in reality it was the unwanted Lisa. I’m sure that kind of IBM-like tactic didn’t sit well with Job’s. It was a very uncharacteristic snow job on Apple’s part, that I for one, resented because it implied something that wasn’t true. They tried to do in marketing what they had failed to do in engineering. People are very sensitive these days to being taken advantage of by computer companies that leave them holding the bag; look at Bloom County! A sorry end to the whole sordid Lisa affair.

-David Smith


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