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Apr 86 Mousehole
Volume Number:2
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:Mousehole Report


By Rusty Hodge, Mousehole BBS

Mac Plus excitement is building as upgrades finally become available. There have been rumors about a RAM-based version of the 128k ROM. This will make the 1-Meg and up Macs really fly without an expensive upgrade. We've also heard of high-density SIM boards available in Japan that are fully plug compatible with Mac's. Imagine 4-mb in your Mac for $500-$800!

Add this to the abundance of SCSI hard drves coming out onto the market place. At last Mac will be able to compete price-wise with all the PC-compatible type hard drives! I've already seen 20mb Mac-SCSI drives listing under $1200. And they are so fast!

Before we get onto the goodies for the month, I want to remind you that you can still get a password for MouseHole by sending a SASE to us at Post Office Box 2323, Orange, CA 92669.

Rusty Hodge

Mac Plus Keyboard


Yes, the Macintosh Plus keyboard will work on a standard 512K Mac. In Excel, both arrow keys and number pad function fine. In word, the numbers on the pad didn't work, but the cursor arrows do. It won't fit into your carrying case ( misses by about 3 inches ) Keyboards are optional upgrades and do not come with the logic board upgrade, so you can continue to use your old Mac keyboard on your upgraded Mac+. If you do buy the new keyboard ($139), you get to keep your old one, so it may be more convienient to travel with your old keyboard packed in the case.

HFS Open


For those of you who don't yet know aout it, it is a patch to the System that forces the GetFile and (occasionlly) PutFile routines to do a directory tree search when passed a VolumeName:FileName reference. If the FileName is not in the root direcory, then Andy's patch keeps looking in directories until it finds it. The calling program never knows the difference!

This works fine with Edit, TML Pascal, most of MDS (the transfer menus now work properly), the Sidekick editor, and even BASIC programs like Communique, which must rely on BASIC to handle disk I/O chores. The only drawback seems to be a bit of a delay as the search is taking place. Thanks a lot, Andy!

(Also: Don mentions "Has anyone realized that the version of Edit shipped with the Consulair Utilities package works with HFS perfectly WITHOUT Andy's wonderful HFSOpen program?" [This is version 1.53 of Edit, shipping with version 4.53 Mac C packages. TML is also shipping version 2.0d1 of Edit from Apple with their 1.1 Pascal, which is dated a few weeks earlier than the Consulair version. My guess is that since Bill wrote the silly thing, the Consulair version 1.53 is more solid than the Apple beta release 2.0d1 despite the version numbers. Does anyone really know? -Ed] )

Amber screen


I am the proud owner of engineering sample #4 of the new SCS "Orange Drop" amber screens. Some of you may recall my complaints of eyestrain and "dynamic blind spots" in front of my eyes. Well, no more. I am sure that it's not so much the color as the near elimination of flicker. I had determined that the worst case was when I was in my fluorescent-lit office looking at the Mac. I could see the flicker clearly out of the corner of my eye. No more. The amber screen is more restful, but more importantly, undetectable flicker. It's really quite wonderful.

New Fast Eddie


I've been using the "new" version of Fast Eddie [Edit alternative] and it seems to be an improvement over the previous version. It still is a bit slow when it comes to doing a lot of cutting and text manipulation (i.e.- preparing MouseHole columns for MacTutor!) but really isn't any slower than Word. The switchable word-wrap is a nice feature.

Fast Eddie 2 seems to be bug free, I've been using it instead of MDS Edit on my Tecmar (If it will crash anywhere, it will crash on a Tecmar... heehee). As Toolsmith said a while back, "when the bugs are out it'll be good". Well, seems like the bugs are out. It is nice to see several good editors available finally (Fast Eddie, QUED, and MDS), giving us a nice range of choice.

Oh, almost forgot. A feature of Eddie I haven't goten to play with yet, "FastUser()"... this allows you to add Cmd-Option or even additional menu commands to the program, which can call any Fast Eddie or Mac routine and even be linked to your own Megamax C routines. Quite a novel idea!

Disk Cache


To use the disk cache on the Mac+, you have to set the cache bit on the programs (and maybe documents) you want cached. The only way I know of to do this is with Fedit version 3.5 (maybe 3.21 will do it too, but I'm not sure). Apple will have to come out with something for this soon. Of course you also have to set the cache memory with the new control panel.


I believe you can change the cache bit (among other bits) by using ResEdit 1.0D5. Just select the file you want to change, hit command-I and select the appropriate bits to change.



Since it will become available in about a month [or as you are reading this -RH], and has several interesting features, I thought some would be interested in the specifics of the Microsoft Flight Simulator. I've been testing the current, near finished version for about 2 weeks. First, you have your choice of 3 simulations... Cessna 182, Lear 25g, or a WW1 battle scene. All the planes have terrific digital sound! You can have up to three views at once. Besides direction out the window, you can plant a chase plane, follow your progress from the tower, etc. The refresh times are not that of Fokker of course, but they are not too bad. In return you get shading and all the rest. The sensitivity of the controls is quite realistic and completely adjustable. You can also simulate frequency of breakdowns, superb cloud and weather conditions, and a so many other new features they couldn't get them into the already complete manual. IFR....Absolutely complete instrumentation, including DME and ILS. The simulation area covers 10,000 x 10,000 square miles, 118 airports...the US, parts of Canada, Mexico, Carribean, etc. The simulation includes fairly accurate buldings (try to fly the Lear between the Towers!). And they're still adding more features up til deadline. It is fairly solid already.

I'm using a Quickstick with it, and much prefer it over the mouse, though the mouse is OK, it's is not as effective as on Fokker. But the simulation is far more realistic the Fokker. Worth buying for sure.

Crashing the HD-20


I managed to crash my HD 20 no less than three times in the last week - not hardware crashes, but system software stuff. I thought I'd pass along my experiences to the rest of you.

First, if you manage to trash your system file or the Finder, simply boot the system with the HD 20 Startup disk while holding down the mouse button. This forces the floppy to become the startup volume. You'll then have to do surgery on your System file on the hard disk. Safest is to simply copy over a backup of the System file to replace the damaged one. Same goes for the Finder.

Secondly, if you find you have trashed your desktop file, you may not be able to rebuild it by holding down the Command & Option keys on startup unless YOU HAVE THE 5.0 VERSION OF THE FINDER installed on the HD 20. Yes, I know we've gone over this before, and someone mentioned problems with system crashes when trying to rebuild the desktop file. It seems that an incompatiblity exists between Finder 5.1 and the HD 20 OS patches that causes this problem. I have had no problem when using the older 5.0 Finder.

Finder 5.O and up Bug!

From: DON

While working on a DA for MacTutor, I discovered a rather bizzare bug with the new Finders (5.0 an above it seems). The bug goes something like this:

If a call to GetMenu is made during the operation of a DA, and the MENU resource being called is already on the heap, the Mac will crash -- BUT ONLY ON THE OLD 64K ROMS while using Finders 5.0 and above!

The reason is not simple, and took over 4 hours of tracing through the ROMs with TMON to discover. Apparently the new Finders jump directly in and out of the ROM at absolute locations, because during the errant call to GetMenu, Get Item is also called and on exit does a JSR (A0) to a location above the 64K ROM image -- apparently into a not existant 128K ROM routine.

Although I cannot confirm this, the new Finders also seem to be doing strange things to the trap dispatcher, as well as patching other ROM routines -- especially in the Resource Manager.

HD 20 Backup/Restore


Oh the pain...The agony...

My HD 20 just got a case of Creeping Folder Leprosy. One by one, folders became inaccessable. The Finder complained that there was not enough memory to open the folder and the file open dialog box in applications refused (without any comment or error) to open these diseased folders. Trying to rebuild the DESKTOP won me a "Can't complete this operation because of disk errors"!!!

After rescuing a couple of newly created files I turned the HD 20 Diagnostic loose in DESTRUCTIVE testing mode (no errors found!) and rebuilt the disk.

Things look fine now but... Having worked with large systems for most of my life I now feel very very uncomfortable using a system with no backup/restore utility.

SCSI HD-20 [ie new Apple product...]


It is 2" thick compared to 3" for present HD-20. No fan. It's quiet. Uses a Rodime 20 meg 3 1/2 drive with SCSI controller built in. Also, no upgrade planned for present HD-20. Going to be 2 different models. Keep this a secret, OK? [Sure...]

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors


Here is some more info for you guys. Apple will not ship any upgrade kits until the Mac+ stops selling so well. Apple makes tremendous profit from the Mac+ and almost nothing on the upgrades. Sculley is hard-nosed about putting all the ROM's into the Mac+. Forget about the people dying for upgrades! He wants the stock up!

The current ROM's in the Mac+ are not the final version. Supposedly, the ones being produced right now ARE the final version. I don't know how to tell, or if you will be able to swap.

Finally:: Hosiden Electronics in Japan got an order from Apple for 100,000 circle-8 connectors (which we call DIn plugs). Nobody makes them anymore, including Hosiden. March 1st they had sent Apple 4,000 connectors to date. February 20th, Apple has increased their order from 100,000 to 1,000,000. Exactly 10-fold. I think this might be half the reason the upgrades are so slow in coming out. Hosiden doesn't care much for them because they are not making much money on them as compared to the color LCD flat screens they are making for commercial airliners as TV's. (and maybe a few computer companies?)

HFS & Microsoft


It appears that when using Microsoft Word, Multiplan, or Chart with HFS, the invisible protected files cannot be in a folder. Even with Andy's HFS fix, they still have to be out of the folders.


I was able to put the invisble files into a folder as long as they were in the same folder as the application they 'protect'. The problem I had was making the file invisible and protected AFTER it was in the folder. The way I finally did it was to open the HFS volume (in this case, an Apple HD20), with FEdit, and modify the bits directly. This is a little bit tricky because the directory arrangement isn't the same as MFS.

SCSI notes


I had wondered why apple had a 25 pin connector for their SCSI port until this weekend when we finally got our SCSI cables. They externally convert to a 50 pin differential connector to become compatible with the rest of the world. And here I thought Apple was trying to start a new standard. Apple???

UniDisk on the Mac+


To hook up a UniDisk 3.5" for an Apple //, just take the external drive cable from your 400k drive, and plug it into the MECHANICAL ASSEMBLY of your UniDisk drive. You MUST bypass the analog card inside the UniDisk to use the drive on a Mac. You kinda have to take a lot of the UniDisk apart to get at the connector on the mech. assy. This disables the eject button on the UniDisk, as well as the LED "in use" light.


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