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Oct 85 Letters
Volume Number:1
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Letters

Letters

Likes the New look

Daniel Dyckman

Somerville, MA

The new LaserWriter image and the dull surface paper are perfect!

Needs Source Code Sooner

David Duchamp

Kalamazoo, MI

It would be nice to be able to obtain a computer readable copy of the source code which appears in MacTutor when each issue comes out...any plans?

[We release a source code disk as soon as it is nearly full so the readers get their money's worth. However, the increased size of MacTutor now requires a source disk every two issues, so your wish may not be far off! -Ed.]

Up with MacAsm

Randell R. Ayling

Vellejo, CA

I just picked up Vol. 1 No. 9 of MacTutor. It's the first time I've seen your publication and it's great! Within a half an hour your journal gave me answers to Inside Macintosh questions that I had had since September '84. Since I program using MacAsm, the "PrLink Source" in Vol. 1 No. 9 was very useful. I like Mainstay's assembler. If they had an Apple compatible linker and handled tab characters the same as Apple's MDS, it would make using MacAsm easier and more useful for their customers.

I wish I had sucscribed to your publication when I first saw it advertised in MacWord last year; it would have saved me a lot of grief. I've been an IBM mainframe systems programmer for 8 years and I thought their documentation was bad, but Apple's is terrible. Your articles really open up the toolbox and the operating system on the Mac. Keep up the good work!

[ MacTutor is sponsoring a drive to make the MDS ".REL" file format a standard for relocatable object code files so that programs compiled or assembled under a variety of Mac programming languages may all be linked together under one linker. We encourage Mainstay and others to adapt an MDS style object code file format option for their development systems so that the goal of a single linker for a variety of tools may be realized. More in future issues. -Ed.]

No Frills!

William Kerr

Davis, CA.

Congratulations on a well-written, no-frills magazine. Please start my subscription as soon as possible and send me all the back issues, nos. 1-7.

Mac Programming for Fun

Vasilis E. Riginos

Washington, DC

I have been recieving your Journal since Vol. 1 #6. I would like to congratulate you on the superb job that you are doing. Although I do a lot of programming professionally, I program the Mac for fun. MacTutor is an endless source of information and enjoyment.

Megamax C Fan

George Larson

Bend, OR.

MacTutor seems to be the only magazine currently in print for the Mac with any real substance. I have just purchased a Mac and plan to program it in C with the Megamax compiler which I am going to order soon. Please start my subscription with the current issue.

Pascal Compiler looks good

G.C. Chirichigno

Cheltenham, GLOS

England

I have just finished reading the first eight issues of MacTutor and I must congratulate you and your editorial staff for a sensible editorial policy and fine article submissions. I am particularly impressed with both the C workshop by Bob Denny, and the Assembly Lab by yourself. I commend Bob Denny for his clear and thorough presentation of the way in which windows can be created and updated. I also find Chris Derossi's submissions to be very helpful and eagerly await his next submission. [So do I! -Ed.] The only recomendation that I would like to make is that the editors get together and share each other's article submissions so that more interaction can be developed between the workshops.

I was messing around with creating windows under MacPascal and I discovered a curious aspect of the system. I created a document window (type 0) without a go-away box. When I halted the program before disposing the window, I noticed that the window that I created was transformed into a document window with a go away box, control bars, etc. Does MacPascal get 'fooled' into thinking that the 'rogue' window is part of the linked list of observation, drawing and edit windows?

While I have been playing around with MacPascal, I have been looking for a native code pascal compiler. I have just ordered the MacLanguage Series Pascal from TML systems for $49.95 (P.O. Box 361626, Melbourne, FL. 23936) which includes a native code compiler, multi-window editor (Apple?), linker and resource compiler. It has direct access to the toolbox, operating system and low level drivers. It compiles to relocatable object code and requires no licensing fee and is not copy protected. [It also is MDS compatible in the object code file, so says our Alan Wootton, who is very excited about it. -Ed.]

Finally, I have trouble changing fonts in MacWrite 4.5 on my 128K Mac. I keep getting a "Memory almost full" error. [The problem in MacWrite is that it really does not work on a 128K Mac anymore. Version 4.5 should be considered a 512K version only. -Ed.]

Mousehole Access?

Charlie Reiman

Lombard, IL.

MacTutor is great! It's about time someone gave me the inside poop on my Mac. Sign me up for one year. By the way, how do I get on the mousehole BBS? You don't list a phone number or password or anything (not even an area code, but I'll bet it's in California like everything else).

[The Mousehole is a closed BBS system, but access may be granted by writing the Sys. Op, Rusty Hodge, at the address given in the Mousehole column masthead. Rusty is supposed to be issuing passwords to MacTutor readers who write him. If you have trouble getting a response, please let me know. -Ed.]

C Notes

David Dunham

Goleta, CA.

Hi, it's me again. First let me express some amusement at the article "C Glue Routines for Filter Procs." [September issue] The easiest solution to this problem is of course to get a good C compiler such as Aztec C, where you can use the pascal keyword:

pascal void scrlup(chdl, code) ControlHandle chdl; 
word code; {
 scroll(chdl, code, inUpButton);
}

This automatically handles arguments in the right order, and takes care of cleaning up the stack. Perhaps I'm biased, but I sometimes wonder why people like Mac C so much.

I know you don't really print reviews, but I'd like to see reviews of general purpose programming tools such as the HeapShow product you are advertising. (You did after all print a quasi-review of TMON...which would have been substantially improved with some kind of screen photo). [Agreed. We are trying to bring new programming products to our reader's attention without getting stuck in the fluff quicksand. -Ed.]

As for a mini-review of my own, all C programmers should avoid Tardis Software's C-Leaner. At least if you're a serious developer with Aztec C and a hard disk. C-Leaner has real problems with #includes. C-Leaner claims to work just like the compiler. But then it goes on to say that all ' "" ' files must be on the same disk as the program, and that all ' <> ' files must be in the internal drive. I don't use the internal drive. Aztec C has what's in effect a default prefix for searching the ' <> ' #includes, as well as a different one for the ' "" ' files. I'm not encouraged by a product that claims to work just like my compiler, then insists I edit my source code so it's less protable. I'm also not impressed by their quality control - the first copy I got didn't have any documentation on disk as it was supposed to.

There's a, um, bug in the little program on page 30. [September issue] Icons are 32 bits wide, thus the assignments should be right:=42; bottom:=42; so no bit multiplication has to be performed. [On the contrary, the assignments chosen made a most pleasing display. Other values shrink or stretch the screen image of the icon accordingly. -Ed.]

 
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