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May 89 Mousehole
Volume Number:5
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Mousehole Report

Mousehole Report

By Rusty Hodge & Larry Nedry, Mousehole BBS

From: sstaton (Steven R. Staton, Dallas, TX)

Subject: Mac SE to ‘030 SE Upgrade

Is there any validity to the rumor concerning the possible (or should I say alleged) Mac SE to Mac SE 030 upgrade via a new motherboard? My guess is that it will not be available before late ’89, and will cost about $500 more than Apple would charge for a new SE 030 minus the cost of a new SE. Any takers? [The upgrade is available now for $1600. No word on developer pricing, if any. -Ed]

From: kblack (Kersey Black, Claremont, CA)

Subject: 2400 baud modems

I am soon going to buy a 2400 baud modem to replace my troubled Apple 1200 baud box, and am looking for suggestions. I am for the moment considering the relative merits of a Zoom modem (incidentally this is on special for $139 with some barebones software) and those of the SupraModem (available for about $140 mail order). Does anyone have direct experience with either of these? If so would you comment. I need help soon, as I need a new box fast. If you have other ideas, I am open to suggestions. More expensive is okay if it can be justified. Thanks.

From: cliffh (Cliff Harris, Anaheim, CA)

Subject: Re: 2400 baud modems

I have been using the Zoom 2400 baud modem for about a month. So far it has been ok for downloading and reading messages. I replaced a Priority One Zipper 1200 with this modem, which was much better as far as features go. For example, the Zipper would beep on power-up to signify passing its self-test, which the Zoom does not do. Also the Zoom seems to fail to communicate properly with the computer (Mac 512Ke with Red Ryder 10.3). If it gets a busy signal it hangs up and Red Ryder stops. With the Zipper 1200, Red Ryder would retry 10 times to make a connection. The speaker in the Zoom is worthless as far as I am concerned. If the volume is adjusted to make the dial tone tolerable (it seems to resonate very loudly at this frequency), then you can’t hear the call progress tones (ringing, busy, etc.). Also the Zoom is very susceptible to line noise, but that is to be expected with 2400 baud, as the phone company will not guarantee anything over 1200 baud on a non-dedicated data line. I also have trouble logging onto Mousehole at 2400 baud. It drops down to 1200 baud about half the time, though I don’t have this problem with other boards. Hope all this helps.

From: billd (Bill Dugan, Huntington Beach, CA)

Subject: Re: 2400 baud modems

I ordered a Supra Modem 2400 from MacWarehouse and it doesn’t work. Turn it on and ... well, it buzzes your ear off the phone line. The dude at MacWarehouse said it was the first Supra modem he’d heard do that (Yeah, suuuure!) and I haven’t mailed it back yet. It sits in its box...for $149....

From: rustyt (Rusty Tucker, Irvine, CA)

Subject: File Comments

I’m trying to devise a way to implement “File commenting” ala the Finder.One of my requirements is that the comment is accessible even if the Finder is running and has control of the Desktop file, it is not necessary (although desirable) that the Finder display this comment in it’s “Get Info” Dialog.

An approach that I’m currently considering is to create a “FCMT” resource and add it to the file’s resource fork ( both APPL and doc ). One of the benefits of this strategy is that the comment would be passed along when the file was copied or transferred via Modem.

My questions are:

Will this crash any of the existing Applications out there?

Will the Finder recognize this RSRC when it updates the Desktop file?Is this completely immoral?

From: alex (Alex Curylo, Ottawa, ON)

Subject: Re: File Comments

I think I’ve heard that messing around with an application’s resource file just isn’t a cool sort of thing to do.

F’rinstance, any application that’s had ‘JumpStart’ move its resource map to the beginning of the resource fork will go belly up after you do this FCMT thing with it. Anybody in general who expects their resource map not to change will be in trouble. I don’t know any specific applications that brain-dead, but I’m sure you’ll find them for us.

From: rustyt (Rusty Tucker, Irvine, CA)

Subject: Re File Comments

Alex, I was thinking about your comment about “Jump Started” App’s crashing after having their RSRC fork modified. My original reaction was very similar. Somehow it just doesn’t seem Kosher to modify a file that you don’t “own”.

But isn’t that what a large number of people do with ResEdit etc. ? Modify resource forks to customize an application? Isn’t that part of the greater purpose of the Resource Manager?

As a little background, the FCMT resource is the STR resource type used by the Finder to manage the info string in the get info comment. It looks as if it takes the File number created by the File system and uses it as the res ID #. I’ll test that this week and let you know.

Anyway I got to thinking about the other resources modified by the Finder and started poking around in my Desktop file for a SIZE resource that would correspond to one I modified in an APPL through the “Get Info” dialog. No SIZE RSRC’s in the desktop file. Hmm, I looked in my APPL file and found a SIZE RSRC=0 put there by the Finder.

Maybe somebody from Apple could tell us if the SIZE resource is a special case, or if it’s OK to add resources to files not owned by that Application.

From: rdclark (Richard Clark, Tustin, CA)

Subject: HyperCard errors

I may be proven wrong, but the only mention I’ve ever seen of the errors is in Goodman’s Developer’s Guide, and he waves them off with the comment “one of HyperCard’s many internal consistency checks failed” and proceeds to note that your stack is now damaged beyond repair. No explanations. No hope of recovery. (almost makes one want to take up knitting instead.)

From: jfischer (Jeff Fischer, Carbon Canyon, CA)

Subject: Hypercard errors

Yeah, I’ve got that book. Big help, right? Why couldn’t he have supplied them in an appendix with some sort of “at your own risk” caveat? Geez, I’ve got a 4.5 MEGABYTE stack that I’d do anything to recover, if only I could figure out what error 5544 is trying to tell me! Is the structure of a stack published? I mean, how it’s all linked together internally? I have a PD program called “Stack Detective” that lists all the parts and how much room they occupy, I wonder where he got his info? Oh, well...I’ll stop rambling--anyone out there with the low-down on the HyperCard error meanings and/or stack structure documentation PLEASE come forward!

From: ms (Mike Steiner, Sierra Vista, AZ)

Subject: Re: Hypercard errors

With that large a stack, this might not be workable, but... If you change the file type to TEXT, you can then read the entire document with a word processor. All the scripts and the text that appear in fields (but not graphics text) will be recoverable. I think that object names will be identified, but that probably won’t be of much help though.

From: jfischer (Jeff Fischer, Carbon Canyon, CA)

Subject: Re: Hypercard errors

Thanks, Mike. You’re right, this stack is too large for that solution. It is built largely of imported text, and I can rebuild it that way (since I saved the source), but I was trying for an even easier way out. I’ve been through the stack pretty thoroughly with FEdit, and discovered some pretty interesting things, but couldn’t quite get enough of a handle on it to completely recover it.

I now have in my possession Apple’s tech notes on HyperCard (all 3!). The one titled “HyperCard File Format” says “HyperCard’s file format is proprietary and will not be documented.” Sigh. Oh, well, back to the quest!

From: ms (Mike Steiner, Sierra Vista, AZ)

Subject: Re: Hypercard errors

Well, Jeff, maybe as a side effect of your problems, you could put together those pretty interesting things you discovered about HC and publish an article in MacTutor (at least you would get a few $$ for your troubles).

From: jfischer (Jeff Fischer, Carbon Canyon, CA)

Subject: Re: Hypercard errors

Hmmm. Now there’s an idea. Maybe I’ll try to wake up the guy that wrote Stack Detective (he hasn’t cashed my shareware check in two months--a bad sign). Now THERE’s a guy who knows the guts of HC. I wonder where he got his info?

From: alex (Alex Curylo, Ottawa, ON)

Subject: DeskHook

Has anyone out there ever used the global ‘DeskHook’?

It looks like you could do some neat things with it, but the Multifinder programming docs say it’s not supported anymore. Comments, anyone?

From: emmayche (Mark Hartman, Fullerton, CA)

Subject: INITs and DRVRs

I’m hoping that I can get some help here from all you folks who have been doing MacStuff longer than I.

I am writing some protocol-translation device drivers which layer on top of the serial driver. The associated INIT resource will load a different driver depending upon the protocol selected; however, this must be transparent to the user/user’s program, so the INIT tries to install the driver into memory and rename the memory copy of the selected protocol driver to a common name.

What is happening is that (a) the on-disk copy of the DRVR resource is renamed to the common name and (b) the system hangs in a tight (2-instruction) loop just before the main desktop begins to display; I surmise that it is hanging at the end of the INIT 31 resource code.

Has anyone else out there tried to do this or any part of it? I would certainly appreciate finding out what you did and what happened.

My phone number is available thru WHOIS, and I’ll check back here often (I’m one of those lucky people for whom this is a local call).

From: chally (Mark Chally, West Covina, CA)

Subject: DeskHook

Yeah...I used to use it--until I was told it would break..it was great. Using it, you could send the address of a routine that polls the serial port and sends checksums in response, etc...just as long as it doesn’t draw on the screen or change the menu items. There was also a dialogHook. I use neither anymore because I’m told they’ll break. I will instead attempt to do a VBL task to do what I need to do 100% of the time instead of “patching it in” as I’ve described.

From: ericlim (Eric Lim, Flushing, NY)

Subject: MPW Resume Function

MPW Users:

Add the following lines around your DirectoryMenu and BuildMenu code in the UserStartup file:

##################################################
if ‘exists -f “{ShellDirectory}MPW.SuspendState”‘
 ‘“{ShellDirectory}Resume”‘
else
 # place your regular DirectoryMenu and
 # BuildMenu code here
 DirectoryMenu ‘(Files -d -i “{MPW}”~Examples~ 6
 || Set Status 0) 3 Dev:Null‘ ‘Directory‘
 BuildMenu
end
##################################################
NOTE: Substitute the ‘~’ with Option-X.
Append the following line to the Quit file:
##################################################
 “{ShellDirectory}”suspend
##################################################

Now you have a real ‘Resume’ function not only when you launch an application, but also when you ‘Quit’ from MPW. If you want to start with a clean desktop, just trash the MPW.SuspendState file and launch MPW Shell. Enjoy!

From: kdc (Kevin Connery, Bellflower, CA)

Subject: Novice questions re: C

I realize this is probably pretty basic for most of you, but everywhere else I asked it was too advanced, so please bear with me.

I’m just starting to program on the Mac, have decided that C is the language to use [don’t ask me why!], and have discovered a number of obstacles in the path of smooth coding....

Are there any good books available on using the toolbox with C? I’d prefer a recommendation from someone who’s using one, but barring that, ANY titles/authors would be appreciated.

And recommendations as to development systems also. I’ve heard good things about LSC, MPW, and AztecC, and have a fairly limited C background, with even more limited Mac coding background [none]. Suggestions? My goal is NOT to make the next PageMaker-level application, but I want to be able to effectively use the power the machine is capable of. Current system is a 1 meg Mac II, so anything which works here is possible...Many thanks in advance!

From: thecloud (Ken Mcleod, La Habra, CA)

Subject: Re: Novice questions re: C

Kevin, you can’t go wrong with LSC... less than $100 mail-order, and worth every penny. Since you’re “not going to be making the next PageMaker,” you can probably even use the source-level debugger on your 1 meg machine! (There’s a trick to it, but it’s not difficult.) Even without the source- level debugger, LSC is far and away the best C environment for the novice programmer (in much the same way that Lightspeed Pascal used to be the best Pascal environment). As for books on using the Mac toolbox with C, get your hands on “Using the Macintosh Toolbox with C” by Huxham, Burnard, and Takatsuka; published by Sybex. The original edition used ‘Mac C’ in examples, but I’ve heard there’s an updated version in which all the examples are now in LightspeedC. Better yet, download all the sample C source code you can, and play with it... ‘c’ how it works. Good luck. [Buy the back issues of MacTutor, published in our yearly Complete MacTutor books. -Ed]

From: tycho (Donald Tycholis, Westminster, CA)

Subject: Re: Novice questions re: C

I have been using C on the Mac for the last 4 years, and am still somewhat of a novice with respect to the Mac Toolbox. I have used Manx Aztec C (currently with the new source level debugger) for 4 years, MPW C for 2 years, and LCS 3.0 for about 2 months. LSC is the winner for ease of use, speed of compilation/link time, and ease of debugging. In short, it is the most productive tool for me. Of course I had to upgrade to 2 MB and MultiFinder to run the debugger, but I have made more progress on my “project” in the last two months that I have had LSC 3.0 than I did in the last two years using Manx and MPW. Of course, both of the other compilers have their strengths; they are better suited to larger, professional programming projects (especially MPW). I just program on the weekends and on an occasional holiday while the family is downstairs chatting around the turkey in the oven so I probably qualify as a bonafide amateur MacHacker. LSC is the best as far as I’m concerned, and for the first time the Mac has a C compiler which is better than MicroSoft C 5.0 on the PC (which I use at work)! (Actually, MPW and SADE may be better in some ways. I’ll never know because I cannot justify buying a MAC IIx + 4 MB RAM just to get the same capabilities that LSC 3.0 provides). The latest rumor is that LSC will also support Object C soon and C++ later, so I am content with LSC at present.

As far as toolbox programming, I recommend “Using the Macintosh TOOLBOX with C” by Takatsuka, Huxham, Burnard ( Sybex). For getting an understanding of The Mac internal concepts and debugging, I highly recommend both of Scott Knaster’s books (How to Write Macintosh Software is the first and I don’t remember the second since I just browsed it at B Dalton’s).

From: ms (Mike Steiner, Sierra Vista, AZ)

Subject: Re: Novice questions re: C

Ken, what is the secret for using LSC with the debugger in 1 Meg of RAM? I’m taking advanced C at college and would like to use the debugger. Also, what has replaced LSP as the best Pascal environment (for people who aren’t into it for a living)? [LSP 2.0 is an excellent professional compiler. The code size and speed are as good or better than MPW Pascal and it supports objects although it does not yet support MacApp. We highly recommend LS Pascal as an ideal development environment and it's source level debugging and built-in 'Nosy' like debugging window can't be beat. -Ed]

From: thecloud (Ken Mcleod, La Habra, CA)

Subject: Re: Novice questions re: C

(I’m not into programming for a living...yet)

The ‘secret’ involves reclaiming as much memory as possible. The Finder eats up 160K or so, even though you don’t need it around when in LSC. So, you’ll need to “kill” the Finder. There are two ways to go about this: run a ‘Finder-substitute’, like MultiLaunch, which will take less memory... or use an FKEY to “Quit” the Finder (something you normally can’t do under MultiFinder). You can make this FKEY in ResEdit...just create a new resource of type ‘FKEY’, and type in “A9F4” (the ExitToShell trap number). Then paste this FKEY into the Finder. Voila! Next, you’ll want to make sure that the THINK_C and THINK C Debugger applications are “cut down” to the minimum possible memory size. You can change the default size by doing a “Get Info” on each under the Finder, and typing in a new number. I believe Lightspeed is set around 700K; take it down to 500. The debugger can function (depending, of course, on the size and number of files you’re going to be debugging) in around 180K, perhaps less. Once you’re actually running LSC under MultiFinder, you can open up the Finder’s “About” box to see how much memory each is actually using, and adjust these values accordingly. You’ll also want to make sure that your project’s partition is no larger than it needs to be (the default size is 384K!). Many small projects need less than 128K, so you can reclaim a lot of K here. Finally, when everything is minimized and ready, launch LSC under MultiFinder. Then, switch to the Finder and hit your ‘ExitToShell FKEY’, which will close up the Finder and leave you with just LSC running. With “Use Debugger” checked in the Project menu (and 1 or more source files selected to debug), run your program!

Hope that helps...

From: ms (Mike Steiner, Sierra Vista, AZ)

Subject: Re: Novice questions re: C

Thanks, Ken. That is exactly what I need. I’m getting a really late start in all this; I’ve had a Mac since the 128K days, but have not really programmed much on it (and mostly in BASIC when I did, although I did switch to LSP a year or so ago). Now, I’m taking advanced C and advanced Pascal (in the same semester!) to fill in the holes that developed when I taught myself both languages (holes in my knowledge, that is). One of these days, if I ever get the time... In the meantime, I’m writing a database application for a college whose basketball team is in the top 10, and getting very good money for that effort.

 

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