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May 86 Mousehole
Volume Number:2
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Mousehole Report

Mousehole Report

By Rusty Hodge, MacTutorContributing Editor, Mousehole BBS

Who gets the file (STD)

From: TIM HEWITT

I am proposing a standard way to deal with program owned data files under HFS. I am talking about files not specifically opened and closed by a user, (Red Ryder's 'Stuff' file for example). Here it is: On your distribution disk, place the files in your suggested folder hierarchy. When you open that file in your application, specify the pathname you set up in the first place. If you do not find the file where you expect it to be, put up SFGetfile's dialog (prompted of course with the file name you're looking for) and have the user find it for you. Now save this pathname as the current location. Next time you need this file, look here first, if not found put up SFGetfile... (there is a pattern here folks). The user will soon get the message and not move the files around unnecessarily. This eliminates the need to have support files in the 'Blessed' folder or the root volume, and does not require you to force a certain desktop arrangement. Further it keeps you from having to search the entire hard disk for the file in question, (is the first one you find the right one to use?). Any comments ?

I have implimented this and it seems to work very well. I would like to propose this as an extension to the standard. What do you think? The code to do this will be published in an upcoming MacTutor article. (Dave Smith permitting. Where is my Authors Kit anyway?)

Finding Files

From: JIM REEKES

I will be so bold to recommend that all DA's should AT LEAST presume that their supporting files are located in the System Folder. This should cure al ot of the DA problems with HFS. The DA shouldn't have to look through every folder on the hard disk. It should only have to check the System Folder.

Also, has anyone seen a version of the ImageWriter // driver thats works in standard mode? Everyone I've tried has problems. If you think you've got one that works, then try this test:

A) Go into MacWrite, and type a page full of "H"s.

B) Now print it in Standard mode on the ImageWriter //.

C) This should have printed in Bi-Directional mode.

Notice the bad alignment? Apple recommends using the ImageWriter / driver till they fix it.

Consulair news

From: DON

Just talked to Jay Friedland of Consulair Corp. this morning. For those of you writing DAs in Mac C, there is good news. A linker option is coming that will create a DRVR resource and header, and include a library of glue routines to the C open, close and control functions. Until that time (probably early Summer, but I didn't get a firm date) Consulair will continue to ship DeskMaker. However, they will also be shipping my DA header and macro source, shown in the April issue of MacTutor, as an alternative. They might also ship some other glue routines written by a few other folks. I think they'll put this stuff on one of the examples disks, but I'm not sure. If you're interested in a particular implementation of DA glue routines, now is the time to write Consulair and tell them. But don't worry too much, whatever they finally wind up using will be provided in source form for re-compilation. For application programmers tired of writting all those glue routines for packages and Pascal calls, Bill Duvall is working on the finishing touches of a library which will cover ALL the functions now missing in Mac C. Bill is actually working from a variation of the library compiled and written by the B.M.U.G developers group. The source to this library is already available on MH DownLoad. I'll be testing these new products, so I'll let you all know what's going on as soon as I can.

Warp Nine

From: ISOEMAC

Beware of Warp Nine Engineering. They are selling a 800K disk drive for the Macintosh. I ordered one these drives on 4/2/86. The salesman, Paul Hendrickson told me that they would ship the drive on 4/4/86 or no later than 4/7/86 second day UPS. I called Warp Nine on 4/7/86 to confirm shipment. My drive did not come today(4/9/86). I called Warp Nine once again, this time they told me the drive was not shipped and that they were "backlogged." Warp Nine also demonstrated other poor business practices that I cannot describe. If you choose to deal with these folks...caveat emptor!

Publishing Show

From: MACOWACO

Just got back from the show at the LA Convention Center. Apple had a big booth with displays of some real nifty stuff.

1. MacServe. Yeow. We are buying it. It looked great. After an hour of hacking away with opening volumns closing volumns playing eith the security stuff and experimenting to the sales persons' delight I'm sold. I should get my copy tomorrow FedXd. We will be trying a netwrok with about 10 +s and 3 HD20s all with MacServe. Hot Stuff!

2. InBox (Emial) My first imprressions during the sales pitch were initially more favorable then MacServe. Narrowcasting as well as Broadcasting of messages was easy. One can even send a message to a predetermined group of nodes. A paperclip function lets the sender send a memo with a file or an unprotected app. The server holds the stuff till the user signs on. Received message indication across the menu bar and more. I was about to say WE WANT IT when I noticed a Mac at the end of the line which had a strange dark display up. I asked the lady what was on it and she said... Oh.... thats the Mac which is the dedicated MMail holder. You guessed it the damn thing needs it's own Mac and HD!!! I walked away. There was also a giant size Laser printer (nonApple) which ran Postcript. Pagemaker was printing from it full newspaper sized pages with a much higher resolution.

The AST Drive was also there 70 Megs and all and hooked up to the SCSI. I found it when I asked the guy why the Mac I was playing Macserve on was loading stuff so fast off its own volumn. It was hooked to the AST which had a MacServe manager on it. Funny the crowd around the Apple booth was at least comperable if not larger then the crowd at Xerox. All the others were as good as empty! That is except for Interleaf. They had the largest crowd.

LaserWriter Incompatibility Blues

From: LASER DOLPHIN

LaserWriter and LaserPrep 3.0 are NOT COMPATIBLE with many popular applications. These include, by my own experience, Microsoft Word and Excel. I have not tried but have heard that the same problem (described below) occurs with Apple's own MacWrite and MacDraw. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU STAY WITH LASERWRITER DRIVERS VERSION 1.1, even if your friendly tech gives you 3.0 along with System 3.1.1. I am now running all my applications with System 3.1.1 and Laser drivers 1.1. I have a 512K Mac with the new ROMs. The problem is very simple and completely intractable. It also makes the 3.0 laser drivers totally useless. What it does is this: it ALWAYS calls for the Mac to send a bitmap of the font -- EVEN IF THE FONT IS A LASER FONT. The results are singularly ugly, jaggie-ridded Times, for example. [Note: I haven't had this problem running Laser drivers 3.0 on a Mac Plus with system file 3.1.1. See next note. -Ed]

From: JIM REEKES

I just spoke with the tech support staff at Apple. They tell me that your problem with the laser is the font file. Strip all of the fonts out of your system. MAKE SURE YOU'RE USING F/DA MOVER 3.1!!! Then get the latest version of the laser fonts and re-install them.

Seems that there is a new format for laser fonts. FONT FAMILIES.(?) One font (ie TIMES) comes in all sizes, but there is only one family. Some weird things happen if you have the old set of fonts on your disk, or if you try to install just one new size for a given font. But anyway.... strip all of the fonts out, then install them. Make sure that you do use F/Da Mover 3.1, this is the ONLY version that can handle fonts properly. I've tried to duplicate the problem with our Mac, but couldn't. So it must work.

Red Ryder

From: GARY VOTH

[There has been an ongoing discussion of terminal software on MouseHole. With the latest update to Red Ryder, it of course sets itself for being picked on this month. Some of the discussion is presented here for the sake of anyone about to dive into the wide world of telecommunications. - Rusty]

We have now established that Red Ryder is:

a) The most wonderful program ever written,

b) A worthless piece of garage software,

c) May work OK but is damn ugly.

For those of us who fall into the 'c' category, I can say that we can agree to disagree. Since RR is not a commercial application, I have no real reason to complain about it. If you want slick packaging and program design, you should probably expect to pay for it. If RR fits your needs, then fine. It just doesn't seem in the spirit of the Macintosh, which had graphic design people among the software and hardware development team from the begining.

The original Mac application and document icons are good examples of this: spartan and elegantly representative of their purpose. Since then icons have become prolific and ugly. (FKEY Sampler is my favorite.) The whole idea was to have a few standard graphic sybols that would be immediately recognizable as to their intended purpose, not junk to clutter up a menu bar.

By the way, if you are interested in seeing a truly nice user interface on a terminal program, go into your authorized Apple dealer and ask to look at AppleLink in action. Apple has licensed this whole system to GE Information Services Corp (or some such) to be marketed as BusinessTalk. The whole package was contracted by some guy up in the valley. Can't remember his name. If anyone knows, post it.

From: LASER DOLPHIN

Red Ryder is homely, but it works. I haven't compared the xmodem transfer speed with other applications, but if it's slow, SW should hear about it until he fixes his algorithm. As for the misplaced filing menu items, he's already heard about that from me on CompuServe. I hope everyone yells at him about that.

Scott seems to have all the business sense of the average sea slug. He preaches at the converted and threatens the rest. He doesn't seem able to keep a simple mailing list of his valuable shellers-out of $40; some people got no 8.0 notice, while others seem to have gotten 2, 3, or even 4 identical notices.

I have, however, found Scott to be receptive of criticism and dedicated to improving this product. Why should I buy Microphone for $80 when $40 gets me Red Ryder. Yes, I paid for revision 7, and I got one and exactly one 8.0 notice.

From: THE DJIN

Opinion: Red Ryder is powerful but like all users I have complaints. Obviously time has been spent incorporating features for the most users and a splendid job has been done. If only the size could be cut down. Slowly my disks have become inpractical as all his message screens are added to the program. Is it possible to remove these easily? The transfer is one of the lower in bullet proof. I must switch out of it most of the time and run old faithful Telescape to receive what I want. (It is the best transfer system I have come across to date.) And last I must agree with the majority it is by far the ugliest display I have seen on a communications package to date.

PageMaker/HFS/LaserWriter (not +) incompatibility.

From: LASER DOLPHIN

If you use PageMaker 1.1 with HFS (say on a 512K Mac with a ROM/drive upgrade), it will fail to find a LaserWriter on the network. It will display a dialog that says that it is now defaulting to an ImageWriter print. This dialog LIES. What it is actually going to do is to try to print to a LaserWriter named "LASERWRITER" -- yes, that's right, ALL CAPS. Someone at Aldus must program on an Apple ][+. Now, I like to call my LaserWriter "Creideiki," and hardcoded names for namable devices tend to tick me off. I suppose the rules weren't good enough for Aldus, so now they have an incompatibility in a $495 program. Arrogant twits. [The new 1.2 version supposedly fixes all these HFS related ills, although I have not been able to confirm this yet. -Ed.]

Pagemake Update

From: MIKE STEINER

Pagemaker 1.2 is out as a free upgrade for registered pagemaker owners. It works with the lazerwriter +. The plus upgrade is only a collection of fonts. But, there are 512K worth of those fonts. As for whether it is worth the $800, that is up to you. If you have a need for them, it is worth it, and if you don't, it ain't. The local newspaper here that bought two lazerwriters thought that the new fonts were worth it, and they bought two upgrades. One reason for the cost is the royalties on the copyrights for the fonts. Apple has to pay those royalties for every upgrade sold.

HFS Bug?

From: DON

I just received my HD20 yesterday and discovered a bug with ResEdit or perhaps the HD20 Startup System ... I'm not sure. I've been using HFS for over a month now. I've had no problems on my Mac512 and 800K external drive with ResEdit, but hooking up the HD20 gives it fits. ResEdit on the HD20 will not correctly open files in any directories except the root and System Folder. If files in any other folders are opened they will appear empty, and an empty file of the same name will be created in the root directory. This file wiil only become visible after exiting to the Finder. Does anyone on the Hole know if this problem occurs on the Mac+? Also, Psion Chess will not work with the HD20, however it works fine on an HFS 800K disk. Any clues?

-- Confused but with a lot of storage, Don

[I have ResEdit 1.0d7 on the MacPlus and it works fine. I don't have an HD-20 however. Note: We have recieved several reports of problems with the HD-20 crashing and requiring re-formatting. Until the software settles, beware. -Ed.]

Naming Resources

From: ANT KILLER

In the March MacTutor Jan Eugenides asks how to name a resource with RMaker, its like this: type DLOG PutTheNameHere,-15999

Just put it right before the ID#. That's it.

HyperDrives Status

From: GEORGE

All HyperDrives as of the 18th are HFS/Mac Plus compatable ( in fact General Computer used Finder 5.2 to test their software ). The LIST price of a 10mb Hyper is now $1,395 and a 20 is $1,695. Installed Hypers can upgrade to HFS ROMs and up their 10 to a 20 now also.

Hyper 2000 is also shipping : 12mhz 68000 with no wait states, 68881 math coprocessor ( Consolair C & Microsoft Excel are being recompiled to go to the 68881 ) and an additional 1 1/2 meg RAM. (on a Mac+ that means 2 1/2 megabytes).

SkipFinder6.0

From: ISOEMAC

There is a bug in SkipFinder6.0 while using it with MFS. If you select "Other..." for an application that has no documents, the "Print" button will flicker and the mouse button becomes inactive. I have discovered a solution that will return you to the main SkipFinder window. Simply hold down the option key and the mouse button becomes active again. Oddly enough, this problem only occurs when I am using MFS. This bug has not occured during the use of HFS.

 
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