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Nov 88 Mousehole
Volume Number:4
Issue Number:11
Column Tag:Mousehole Report

Customer Service Problems

By Rusty Hodgee, Mousehole BBS

MouseHole is currently taking new members. There is no charge for MacTutor subscribers. (MouseHole DownLoad, which is a separate system, has a $10 annual charge.)

At this time, we have four 2400 baud modem ports. We have access to Usenet newsfeeds, including “comp.sys.mac” and many other Mac-related topics. MouseHole can send mail to the UUCP world, and gateway to ARPA and BITNET.

The main 2400 baud number for MouseHole is: (714) 921-2252, and there are 4 lines on this number. We also have a Telebit PEP high-speed modem on (714) 998-1199. Once you connect, hit return once or twice until you get the “login:” prompt. At this point, type hole. At the ‘hole’ login, type none to get a password. In the future, type your assigned username here.

On other notes, Orange County is a PC Pursuit area (currently 1200 baud only). This should make calling MouseHole much more affordable. The node is ‘SAN’ for our part of the 714 area code. Also, if you can email to an UUCP address, you can mail posts in to MouseHole. The following mail gateway addresses are valid:

{anywhere}!crash.cts.com!pnet06!chatter

Assorted Mac Topics

{anywhere}!crash.cts.com!pnet06!rumors

Hot Mac Gossip

{anywhere}!crash.cts.com!pnet06!pascal

Pascal Programmers

{anywhere}!crash.cts.com!pnet06!c

C Programmers

MouseHole DownLoad has 2 lines and supports 2400 baud. It can be reached at (714) 533-6112. You can use your Visa/MC and sign up online, or browse (and upload of course) for free. The MouseHole Download Sysop is Larry Nedry.

From: robert (Rob Anthony)

Subject: PC Pursuit

I finally reached someone at PC Pursuit who would give me the straight dope:apparently (they say) 714 area code is reachable, but the link there is in beta testing, so they don’t usually tell anyone about it. They refused to speculate when it might be “up” on a regular basis. I think I’ll take my chances.

From: bhall (Brian Hall, Houston, TX)

I’ve been using the San Jose (CASAN) outdial for a week or two, and it seems to work fine. Unfortunately, I suppose it’s only 1200 baud; I haven’t bothered to try 2400...

From: rusty (Mr. Rusty Hodge, Orange, CA)

You mean Santa Ana, I hope, if you are calling MouseHole. San Jose is about 400 miles away.

From: rdclark (Richard Clark, Tustin, CA)

Subject: LightSpeed C Updates

For the rest of you who are waiting for LSC upgrades (and myself), here’s the scoop:

I spoke with Symantec’s “Customer Service” (sic) department this morning.They are currently backordered, and out of stock on the product. (Currently, they are waiting for manuals to come from the printer.) The lady on the phone swore that all back-orders will be filled by September 15. Rumor has it that the upgrade packages are different than the “real” LSC 3.0 which is currently shipping. Care to bet that the upgrade costs them less to manufacture (although the $70 upgrade cost must be pretty close to the wholesale cost, considering that the mail-order houses have it for $95.)

If your time is worth more than $1.00 a day, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to stop payment on your checks and get the product from an honest distributor.

From:davidw (David Whiteman,La Jolla, CA)

I would stop payment on my check, but Symantec cashed the check 5 weeks ago. What makes me even madder is that three weeks ago I called to ask whether LSP 2.0 would support MacApp; at that time they said it would, now they say they are writing their own version of MacApp which will be available sometime in the future. Of course they already cashed my check for the LSP upgrade as well.

From:emmayche(Mark Hartman,Fullerton)

Subject: Re: LightSpeed C Updates

I have already received my LSC update, and it is a FULL package, with new manuals and disks. Word of warning - keep your old manuals. If you’re like me and sometimes need to look up how a particular argument should be passed, you’ll need the V2 book - the V3 book has nothing comparable.

From: jhowarth

(Jack W. Howarth, Houston, TX)

I have had my upgrade for about a month and the manuals I received were soft bound like any other software publisher might use. No problem there. The only thing you don’t get is the box with the smiling programmer’s face!

From: rdclark (Richard Clark, Tustin, CA)

Well, after calling them 3 times today (the first 2 times, I was placed on hold for 10 minutes each time, hung up, and called back), I spoke with the manager of Customer service. (Note: the phone number is now 415/964-4440) She was not certain when my order (sent August 9) was scheduled to go out, and wasn’t certain if they were waiting for the disks or the manuals. However, she just called me back, and claimed that the order is going out tomorrow. I’ll let you all know if they keep their promise.

Was the sudden improvement in my order status accidental? Probably not. If you’ve been waiting the better part of forever for your LSC upgrade, call Symantec and express your extreme displeasure at the way you’re being treated. DO NOT LET THEM PLACE YOU ON HOLD, and ask to speak to the manager of customer service (Alice) directly. Let’s hope they do better with the LightSpeed Pascal upgrade that they’ve been advertising. I’m looking into the Mail Fraud regulations, just in case.

From: rdclark (Richard Clark, Tustin, CA)

Okay, so they lied again. I called Symantec again today, and they claimed that the order is going out “sometime this week”. The manager of Customer Service was unavailable for comment, so I learned this from the girl who answered the phone. (By the way, if you DO call them, be prepared to wait. First, they take a while answering the phone. Then they disconnect you. Then you call back, and go on hold. Maybe you’ll get connected; maybe you’ll get dropped. I’m not exaggerating.) Whoever else is tired of waiting for them to get their act together, let me know. If several of us complain, maybe we’ll get action. (BTW -- the Postal Inspector’s office is sending me a complaint form. I may even get to use it -- now wouldn’t that be fun?)

From: davidw

(David Whiteman, La Jolla, CA)

Well here are my experiences with Symantec: the Friday before Labor Day they told me that the order shipped “yesterday” since I paid extra for 2 day shipping I should receive the order the Tuesday after Labor Day. It did not arrive. Wednesday I called again and was told it was really shipped out Tuesday, the day before. Nothing arrived again on Thursday. On Friday, I called back again -- now they are really clever -- They did not answer the phone all day Friday. Monday they have an answering machine answer the phone. The message says “If you are calling about a software update please call our update center at 408-446-9994; calling this number I get a message from the phone company that this number is disconnected the new number is 415-964-4440 which is the original number I have been calling all week. Furthermore they still tell people that the LightSpeed Pascal 2.0 is fully compatible with, and can compile without changes, MPW Mac App. This is not true -- Think is planning on selling another version of MacApp.

From: billd

(Bill Dugan, Huntington Beach, CA)

Compuserve’s LVTFORUM (Symantec territory) is up to its armpits in customer complaints. Everyone’s complaining to the poor representatives, and all they can do is forward the letters to people ‘higher up’. Customers have claimed they’ll do everything from filing a complaint of mail fraud to placing a medium-sized bomb in the corporate board room. The sad part is that you can call MacConnection (where I got mine) and get guaranteed shipment the next day, or you can send in for an upgrade from 2.xx and wait for a month. Sumthin’s wrong out there....

From: davidw

(David Whiteman, La Jolla, CA)

Well yesterday September 13, I received LSC 3.0. The UPS label said it was shipped on the 9/12, six days after they said they shipped it. I must compliment UPS they shipped a 2nd day Air package in one day. A friend of mine in LA received his copy earlier today, as did another friend of mine who lives in Poway (a suburb of San Diego, even though he would kill me if I used Poway and San Diego in the same sentence.) All of us could not use the update because we would all get “Read Errors” copying the files from floppies to our hard disks. Furthermore the binding on the User’s Manual on my LA’s friend documentation was not glued on -- all the pages came apart. My Poway friend tried calling Symantec today. Operator “151” (they don’t use names there anymore) said that the warranty only covered the original LightSpeed purchase, not the upgrade; so we would have to get an RMA #, ship the packages back, and pay a service fee to get good copies of the floppies. I think what will happen is that we will just find friends who have working copies, and my LA friend will just use some Elmer’s glue. I will say that I have two other friends that got their upgrade without any problems. I hope everyone else has better luck.

From: rusty (Mr. Rusty Hodge, Orange, CA)

Symantec is becoming an embarrassment to the Mac community. They bought out several excellent companies (in terms of support) - Think and Living Videotex, and are now establishing a horrendous reputation.

From: bhall (Brian Hall, Houston, TX)

I had the same problem with my LSC 3.0 update; one of the 68881 files was bad. I’m still waiting for a friend with a purchased original 3.0 to bring me the file. I’ve had my upgrade for about a month; I think it only took 3 weeks or so from the time I mailed the check.

From: rick

(Rick Boarman, Claris Corporation)

Subject: MacDraw II PICT2 Spec

The file format spec for MacDraw II is now available!! To get a copy of it all you need to do is write a letter letting us know why you want it and what you’re planning. We’ll approve all reasonable requests. Send the letter to:

Claris

440 Clyde

Mountain View, CA 94043

Attn: MacDrawII Product Manager

From: emmayche

(Mark Hartman, Fullerton, CA)

Subject: System 6.0.1

Well, the unofficial distribution is finally here - and seems to be OK. None of the color problems we had with 6.0, and fixes to some we had in 4..2. I’ll let everybody know if we run into any problems.

I’ll be making the rounds of the user group meetings in Orange County for redistribution purposes (and promotional purposes - Photon Paint is now at your local dealer).

Get System 6.02, NOT 6.01!

From: rdclark (Richard Clark, Tustin, CA)

Is NOT the last word in Systems. (Just read your AppleLink, Mr. Developer) Apple just warned all of the Certified Developers NOT to ship 6.0.1 with their products, but to get System 6.0.2, which is due out shortly (this week?)[Richard is right. System 6.01 is buggy. The OFFICIAL release of system 6 is 6.02. -Ed]

From: billd

(Bill Dugan, Huntington Beach, CA)

Developer friend got 6.0.1 FEDEXXED to him. Apple musta thought, “It is absolutely critical that we get the latest system to this developer!” Despite the fact he hasn’t done any Mac programming for about 2 years.

When is Apple going to tighten up on their developer status? There must be thousands and thousands of developers out there, and the bill for Federal Express must be huge, not to mention the free disks they send them -- a dozen a year? That’s about right, including the GS disks. Eventually even the developers’ prices will go up to pay for it.

From: bhall (Brian Hall, Houston, TX)

I received my copy Monday, promptly installed it, then removed it an hour later...

From: rguerra (Rich Guerra, Iowa City, IA)

Subject: MultiFinder Magic

It seems the humorous About box in MultiFinder 6.0 was hidden a bit better than in the first release. If left alone for about 1 hour, the ‘About MultiFinder’ dialog will flash a funny message. But for those of you who don’t want to spend an hour staring at your screens, you might try this: Using a file editing program like FEdit, SUM, or even ResEdit search for the hex string 034BC0 and change to 0000C0. There are two occurrences of this string, so change both. If you’re using ResEdit, open the CODE resource 1 (“Main”) and use the Hex search function. This applies to MultiFinder in System Release 6.0. I don’t know if this will work on the new 6.01 or higher. After this patch, the about dialog will alternate between the standard text and the funny message. Remember, DO THIS ON A COPY!!!!

From: cfuller (Clayton Fuller, San Dimas, CA)

Subject: Little Beige Toasters

Anyone catch Neil Shapiro’s Sept column in MacUser? He nostalgically looks back to the good ‘ol days when Mac-ing around was much simpler. This of course was because our tools were much simpler, a constraint imposed by limited hardware resources and developer’s lack of experience with the machine. I’m not sure exactly what he’s trying to say, but it almost sounds like ‘keep it simple, stupid!’ philosophy. He thinks we’re making a mistake by letting Steve Jobs computer-as-a-toaster concept fall by the wayside. (‘Virtual’ slots, Ha!) To this, I politely reply, Phplaaattthhhhccckkk!!!!

I have no idea who really made the Mac great, if it was one group of people. I suspect that a large portion of the pioneers were already familiar with PC-DOS, but like me they welcomed the improvement in the technology. Hey, I’m not trying to brag, but I can configure mutually incompatible hardware and software into PC’s with the best of them. The truth is, I hate to do it, so it was nice to have a machine I could take out of the box and have running in a few minutes. I could even add new desk accessories without having them tromp all over each other. It’s been two years since I’ve done serious work with PC’s, and I don’t miss it a bit.

The people who want Macintosh toasters can still be easily satisfied. MacPaint & MacWrite are still very intuitive and even if you add the HyperCard manual before you drop them next to your computer the noise would hardly scare a real mouse. Contrast this with the developer’s kit for OS/2, which from what I’m told requires piano movers for delivery. Even ‘power-users’, whoever they are, are much better off. Sure, the Mac II has slots, but generally speaking you don’t have to go wading through technical manuals and bit-editing drivers to add new hardware. Neil speaks of sitting in front of his 5 meg, 2 monitor Mac II and admiring the power, but he doesn’t seem to appreciate the ease with which he obtained that power. Even Jerry Pournelle, who’s far from being a Mac-o-phile, admitted that setting up his Mac II was about the least painless process he’d ever been through.

Here’s my opinion... (fanfare please) Be reasonable. Don’t lobotomize your programs to achieve ease of use, but bury that power under a thin veneer of simplicity. People like to be able to run a program and do something useful with it the first time. This goes for the people who want to eventually learn all the features your program offers also. If someone wants to fire up FullWrite Professional just to knock out an inter-office memo, more power to them. Perhaps my ideal is the software equivalent of my Minolta Maxxum camera. When I need it, it’s nice to know I can take full control of every variable in my photograph. But 99% of the time it’s automatic everything approach ‘for the rest of us’ saves my time, frustration, and prevents stupid mistakes.

From: jhowarth

(Jack W. Howarth, Houston, TX)

Yes, Pournelle is definitely the definitive twit. Look, here’s a fellow claiming to give intelligent opinions on microcomputers who in several columns unknowingly admitted he was too dim to figure out how to use Chooser to setup his printer until years after he had a Mac! I suppose Mac users read BYTE for the same reason people watch mass-murders on the evening news...to see how deranged some minds can get!!!!!

From: dsa (Dave Stine, Saugus, CA)

As far as this “keep it simple stupid” philosophy goes, it is great for the uninitiated novice, but wears quickly on the patience of those who *know* what they want and are not afraid to do some reading of manuals to get it. (Now isn’t that a novel thought... a Mac user actually reading the doc!) As for my two cents, I quit listening to the gripes of the “I want it simple but powerful” crowd years ago. Maybe the best quote I have heard on this is: “We don’t need more user-friendly systems. What we need is more system-friendly users.” [You've got to be kidding! I'm afraid I really have to take issue with that opinion. Today's Macintosh programs have only scratched the surface of user-friendly AND powerful software. Ed]

From: miket

(Michael Twitty, Los Angeles, CA)

Subject: Apple Price Increases

There seems to be something I don’t understand about this price increase. If their justification is the current high RAM prices, why did they raise the price of their monitors? Trust me, I looked inside...no RAM! [The price increases across the board are considerable. Since the Macintosh was already overpriced to begin with, this just makes it worse. We welcome predictions on the market effect of this move. -Ed.]

From: rusty (Mr. Rusty Hodge, Orange, CA)

Apple Corporate is getting fat, lazy, and inefficient. Look at the System 6.0 fiasco. Why did they FedEx 6.0.1 to developers telling them that it was still buggy and to wait for 6.0.2? Apple is gloating in their success. They are convinced that they can do no wrong. They spend their money making their headquarters fun to work in for their employees. They keep the employee refrigerators stocked with beer and wine coolers.

It seems that most of the talent is gone from Apple. A few bright, hard working people are making all the progress for an otherwise stale company. Face it. These price increases are unfounded. They are just another creative/strange marketing idea: If they raise the price, more people will buy the machines fearing that the price will increase again! [That only works for cars and other necessities. -Ed]

From: bhall (Brian Hall, Houston, TX)

Well, I didn’t get my update FedEx; it came normal U.S. Snail Mail. As for the price increases, they’re even very inconsistent; compare some of the changes in memory prices to changes in CPU prices (like the 2MB kit, the base Mac II, and the 4/40 Mac II). Doesn’t say good things for Apple. At least they could get their act together on price increases, unfounded though they are.

From: emmayche

(Mark Hartman, Fullerton, CA)

Subject: Playing snd 2 resources

Here’s a message to MACDTS from one of the other programmers here. Any ideas, anyone?

I’ve been through the IM-V chapter on the Sound Manager with a fine-toothed comb, and my supposedly simple quest to have my Mac II play a sound that’s been digitized and is in a ‘snd ‘ type 2 resource has me stumped.

Here’s some code (Think-C) that doesn’t work:

        #include       “SoundMgr.h”
      #define nil     0L
 main()
        {
         Handle effect;
         SndChannelPtr channel;
         SndCommand sound;
         effect = GetResource(‘snd ‘, 10000);
         if (effect == nil)
                panic(“can’t GetResource”);
         HLock(effect);
         channel = nil;
         if (SndNewChannel(&channel, 5, initSRate22k, nil) != noErr)
                 panic(“can’t SndNewChannel”);
          if (SndPlay(channel, effect, TRUE) != noErr)
                 panic(“can’t SndPlay”);
          sound.cmd = noteCmd;
          sound.param1 = 1000;
          sound.param2 = 0xFF000037;
          if (SndDoCommand(channel, &sound, TRUE) != noErr)
                  panic(“can’t SndDoCommand”);
          if (SndDisposeChannel(channel, FALSE) != noErr)
                  panic(“can’t SndDisposeChannel”);

          HUnlock(effect);
          ReleaseResource(effect);
        }

Now, my interpretation of IM-V is that I have the sound digitized in a snd-2 resource, and that I load it with SndPlay and then I play a note to get it to come out at whatever frequency and duration. However, it never gets that far. I always get a “can’t SndPlay” output, with the error code of “badFormat” returned. I’ve single-stepped through the SndPlay trap, and what it “looks” like happens is that SndPlay looks at the ‘snd’ resource type and won’t play anything but snd-1 resources. So, what’s the story? How do I play a digitized sound, if I’m not supposed to use SndPlay?

I have a bunch of other Sound Manager questions that I’ll defer for the moment. If anyone would like to volunteer as a Sound Manager expert, I’d appreciate the help. If anyone can send me some code that works with the Sound Manager, I’d appreciate looking at that as well. At this point I’m frustrated enough by all of the things that I *have* tried that I’ll appreciate *anything*.

From: mkg (Marsh Gosnell, Montclair, NJ)

The following code plays both type 1 and type 2 snd resources.

        theHandle = GetResource(‘snd ‘, id);
      LoadResource(theHandle);
      HNoPurge(theHandle);
      SndPlay(0, theHandle, false);

It works fine on my Mac II and Mac + both running 6.0

From: retzes

(Steven Retzlaff, La Mesa, CA)

I had a similar question in the programming/pascal topic, One problem seems to be the earlier system release: a bug in format-2 SndPlay was fixed in System 6.0.

From: willcox (Dave Willcox, Chicago, IL)

Subject: multifinder and clipboard

I am having a clipboard programming problem under Multifinder. Various programs (4th dimension, LabView, etc) allow for the creation of “external procedures” in Pascal, etc. I have written a procedure to put TEXT onto the clipboard so that it could be pasted into other programs under Multifinder. First, this is necessary because programs like 4D can have the user put a given field on the clipboard, but can not combine fields, etc into a single clipboard entity. The procedure is a simple two line program: ZeroScrap, and PutScrap. However, the following happens under Multifinder (5.0, 6.0, take your pick). First, my program works as evidenced by a “Show Clipboard” while still in 4D. However, after a context switch, the clipboard in, lets say, WriteNow is empty. If I copy something in WriteNow, it shows up in the 4D clipboard. Strangely, I can copy my stuff onto the ScrapBook under Multifinder, and then do a context switch into WriteNow, and copy it again out of the Scrapbook. However, this is a two step process for the user, which should be simpler.

I am convinced that this has to do with MultiFinder’s use of the Scrap. Each application has its own scrap, which must be converted when a suspend event is received. However, 4D does not do this because it has no private scrap, so it thinks that it doesn’t need to do a conversion. I have tried to change the MultiFinder flags in the SIZE resource, but 4D currently says that it does not accept suspend/resume events anyway.

From: kevink (Kevin Killion, Chicago, IL)

Don’t know if it’s related, but I’m wrestling with a nasty scrap problem also. In my app, if more than about 10K of material (TEXT, PICT or whatever) is placed on the scrap, there will be a crash when the program is Quit. It can be as simple as copying a largish item from the Scrapbook and then Quitting. As you said, it’s a simple matter of ZeroScrap, PutScrap so it’s hard to see what could go wrong. The crash only happens on a Mac II, and only if the scrap has more than 10K or so. According to TMON, the crash occurs at $AD92, which TMON labels as GetNewPalette.

From: retzes

(Steven Retzlaff, La Mesa, CA)

Subject: Writing a Serial Driver

I am interested in writing a specialized Serial Driver to get more direct control over interrupts and the 8530-SCC registers. What I am wondering is how to deactivate and/or redirect certain system resources that interfere with serial communications such as: 1: The Existing ROM Serial Driver which the call to RAMSDOpen presumably closes. 2: The Disk-Driver feature which automatically transfers characters from the serial port to the system Serial-DRVR while interrupts are disabled during disk access(IM Volume 2: About the Disk Driver). I would appreciate any comments or suggestions, or any others regarding writing a serial driver.

From: rdclark (Richard Clark, Tustin, CA)

Unless you REALLY need that much control, writing your own serial driver isn’t such a hot idea, since when Apple changes the HW, you’ll probably break. [See the December and January 1988 issues of MacTutor for an example of a printing driver and be prepared for a lot of work. -Ed]

From: dsa (Dave Stine, Saugus, CA)

Are you sure that you want to invest the time & heartache necessary in writing a Macintosh driver? Mac device drivers, especially those intended to run under MultiFinder are not for the faint of heart. If you wish to supplant the serial driver that is called when your application performs a PBOpen() on .Ain, what you might consider doing is putting your DCtlEntry in the UnitTable where the DCtlEntries for the old .Ain and .AOut are. This way, all the Mac ROM calls to the supplied serial driver will now call your driver. As for how the .Sony driver grabs interrupts intended for the serial driver and makes the characters appear in the serial driver’s buffers when the .Sony driver re-enables interrupts, I would suggest that you disassemble the .Sony driver and the serial driver. The interrupt conflict in the .Sony driver with the serial driver would most cleanly be solved by the use of DMA in reading the disks, but I guess Apple hasn’t invented DMA yet.

 

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…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Towson...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
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