TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Editors, QUED/M
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Kelly's Corner

QUED/M, Preditor, and Mactivator

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Editorial Board

QUED/M™ vs. Preditor™

Back in the “good old days” when the Macintosh was still a newborn 128K baby, a good editor was hard to come by. Actually, the “good old days” weren’t as good as it is today. The “programmer’s” text editor in those days was EDIT. Today, there are several editors that can be helpful to you as a software developer, especially if you don’t like the editor that came with your language system.

Last month I mentioned a few words about Freditor, an editor for FORTRAN programmers. This month, let’s check out two other text editors that are very similar. Comparing QUED/M (pronounced “kwed-em”) and Preditor has been a difficult task because each has its advantages. I hope some of my comments here will help to sort out the differences.

Some of you are probably asking “What do I need another word processor for?”. First, please understand that these text editors are not designed to support fancy formatting of text and graphics for “desktop publishing”. They were written to provide a fast and easy way to work with text. You can still transfer the text to another word processor for final formatting. The additional features that are offered provide advantages over word processors. Their strong point is the ability to use powerful Macros and regular expression matching features. These features allow you to store, manipulate and retrieve large amounts of information quickly without restrictions imposed by structured data base or other programs. QUED/M is the descendant of QUED. Macro capability and other improvements were added to QUED when QUED/M was released. Preditor is the new kid on the block. Both provide many of the same features with some differences that I will discuss here.

I’ve created a comparison table to review some capabilities provided in QUED/M and Preditor. I’d like to preface this chart with one observation. Both programs are flexible and macros can be created in one application to perform some tasks that would be considered built in features in the other application. I don’t want to receive cards and letters telling me that by writing a macro, the features can be accomplished. I’ve tried to include that in my chart, but in case I missed any sorry about that. Creation of the chart was not that easy anyway. Preditor has a very organized manual with the features organized into logical sections. The QUED/M manual puts more emphasis on macros and so the features are explained throughout the manual. The index didn’t really help either. Section 11 covers all the menus in QUED/M so it was possible to round up most everything for the chart. I’m sure glad that QUED/M is more intuitive than its manual.

The comparison chart shows that QUED/M and Preditor are very similar in many ways. Both applications have “Open Window” dialogs for opening, but only Preditor has filter controls for extensions on file names. Automatic file saving is an option for saving the file automatically when a set number of keystrokes have been pressed. Preditor also can do an autosave after a specified number of minutes.

Text editing features are basic to both programs, but there are some minor differences. Preditor provides rectangular editing. Rectangular editing allows you to select a rectangle of text to cut and paste. This is more useful if you are doing tables of data. Overstrike typing allows you to replace text instead of insert text when editing. In Preditor the editing modes are selected through a Format menu that displays a format dialog. This sets the format for the entire document.

Preditor has a command called “Reformat text” that will format the text between a left and right column settings. The formatting can be set to break at word boundaries or at the column settings. Reformatting text inserts a return character at the right boundary giving you the appearance of wrapped text. QUED/M on the other hand lets you set the line length and the paragraphs wrap automatically at the end of the line without modifying your text. There is currently a bug with the Undo of Preditor’s “Reformat Text” command. All “editing” operations (all operations that affect the text) in Preditor ARE undoable. This includes tab conversion, change all, remove all impossibles, etc. Currently there is a simple patch (a 2 byte change) to fix the problem (this same problem exists with undo of tab conversion operations as well), and the patch fixes both. I haven’t seen the patch yet, but I expect that it fixes the problem satisfactorily. The chart indicates that Reformat Text is undoable, but that was without the patch. In QUED/M it is very conspicuous that every action is undoable. In Preditor, most actions are undoable, but without the bug patches mentioned, QUED/M’s Undo/Redo works better.

Preditor has a complete and easy to use on line help system (in case you can’t find your manual). A nice touch is that you can keep the help window open and switch to another window for editing. Some help systems I’ve seen, you must quit a modal type dialog before the help system relinquishes control. Preditor also supports collapsing text and a function called “Twiddle” that swaps the character before the selected text with the character after the selected text. I’m not sure what you would use this one for.

Preditor supports tags. Tags are an extremely powerful feature for people programming in C, Pascal and Fortran. It allows you to highlight any function or type name, and have Preditor immediately open the file that contains the definition and scroll the definition into view. The Tags feature also supports the standard MPW Commando interface. This brings us to another related area that is supported by Preditor. Preditor can read “language modules”, which are produced by the LDC (Language Definition Compiler) that comes with Preditor. Any language modules that are placed in the “Preditor Folder” will be available within Preditor. Preditor uses the language modules to obtain information about a particular programming language. This includes bracket and comment delimiters, reserved words, language syntax, file extensions, and more. Commonly used code can be set up as a template that may be “pasted” into your text. These language capabilities together with the tags capability make Preditor very attractive for programmers. Keep in mind that by using Macros in QUED/M could provide some features of the language modules, although these features would have to be developed before they could be used. Preditor has these features already.

Preditor also provides a glossary function for quick lookup/substitution of words or phrases. QUED/M will sort lines and compare differences between documents. Both programs have excellent search capability including searches for mismatched parenthesis or brackets. I like the way QUED/M displays the bracket pairs in the upper right corner of the document window’s title bar. This way gives you a visual feedback of the number of open brackets. Preditor also does what they call an incremental search. Incremental searching allows Preditor to search continuously as you enter text in the “Find What” text box. For example, if you type in the word “Hello”; after you type the ‘H’ Preditor will find the first ‘H’, then after you type the ‘e’, Preditor will find the first occurrence of “He”, and so on.

With all I haven’t said much about macro capability. In general, any feature that can be done manually, also can be done in a macro. QUED/M is very strong in the macro area, while Preditor is strong in its language support. The result of this is that both are good text editors and will do the job, but each has its own advantages.

QUED/M is available from:

Paragon Concepts, Inc.

990 Highland Drive, Suite 312

Solana Beach, CA. 92075

(619) 481-1477 or

(800) 922-2993 outside California

Price: $119.00

Preditor is available from:

Evatac Software

P. O. Box 219093

Portland, OR. 97225

(503) 297-6175 or

AppleLink: D3852

Delphi: CARSTENSEN

Compuserve: 73627,2762

GEnie: T.CARSTENSEN

Requires System 3.2 or later and 512K RAM minimum.

Price: $90.00

Mactivator

I hate copy protection. This subject has been beat to death so many times that it is pathetic. But lately, I’ve been seeing some ads on hardware copy protection schemes that turns my stomach to think about it. One ad shows a device connected to the ADB port. I don’t have any information about the ADB device so I can’t say much about it. Another scheme has shown up from Software Security, Inc. called The Mactivator that plugs into the SCSI port. I recently received a demo version of the Mactivator.

Before continuing I must say, copying software illegally is wrong, there’s no question about that. But setting all that aside, let’s take a look at The Mactivator.

The Mactivator plugs into the SCSI port of any Macintosh. It does not require power and doesn’t use up a SCSI address. Several Mactivator units may be plugged in at once (they say as many as 10 may be daisy chained). What? Doesn’t this interfere with normal SCSI operations? Before answering this question lets take a look at how it works.

The key to the Mactivator is a custom ASIC chip. A series of bytes is sent to the chip via the SCSI port. These byte increment and/or decrement a set of counters on the device. When the counters reach a factory-programmed Product ID value, the Mactivator sends out an acknowledge response which can be tested for. If no signal is received, it is assumed that the device is not present and the application program can take necessary action (like erasing your hard disk just kidding).

The counters are divided into two sections. The Product ID side is programmed at your factory with your unique code. There are over 250 thousand possible codes. The other selection is the Custom ID side, that contains selectors or filters. These values can be programmed by Software Security, Inc. to your specifications, or you can use an optional field programming unit to program the filters yourself. Both sides of the device may be accessed incrementally, decrementally, and in an AND/OR mode. By combining these modes and other features, the device can be set up to respond differently to every interrogation.

You don’t have to perform the entire interrogation at one time. Since the device has so many ways to be programmed it is nearly impossible to duplicate the device. The device can be used for serialization, multiple modules, and multiple package protection.

Does the device interfere with normal SCSI operations? Answer: It shouldn’t. The device is counting on the fact that it is unlikely that any normal SCSI operations would send the apparently random series of bytes the Mactivator is programmed to respond to. This scares me. When I tried out the demo that Software Security sent me, my 80 Meg. CMS internal hard hung up when I used the demo software. A telephone call soon told me that a fix was on its way to me since there was a known problem when CMS drives were used. As a developer can I afford to risk the reputation of my software on a device like this? What if there is some other peripheral that comes along in the future which isn’t compatible? Hopefully the response will be as quick when that happens as it was for the CMS fix.

OK, I admit that if copy protection must be used that a device like this one would be a good way to do it. There are a few side effects which come with any device like this. One of the biggest legitimate complaints about software copy protection is the way that the protection always seems to get in the way of everyday operation of the software. The need for a master (or key) disk and not being able to copy the application for backups or convenience are two of many complaints. If your software will always be run only at one location then a device like Mactivator would like not give the user any grief.

A problem that I have faced since I work for a big company is that sometimes I do work at home. I have favorite software which I have purchased, but the company has not. I still have a legal right to use my copy on any one computer at a time, but it isn’t the same computer each time. I often use my legal copy while at work. A device like Mactivator would be an added burden that I wouldn’t want.

The Mactivator could be moved from one machine to another, but sometimes this is awkward depending on what other equipment is also installed. And the Mactivator uses the system SCSI connector which means that it must connect to the CPU although a change in connector would make it possible to mate to other SCSI peripherals. This means that SCSI peripherals connected to a CPU must be disconnected to allow the Mactivator to be installed.

I have mixed feelings about this kind of device. If you must have copy protection then I definitely recommend using something like this, but I still feel that copy protection should be avoided wherever and whenever possible.

The Mactivator is available from:

Software Security, Inc.

1011 High Ridge Road

Stamford, CT. 06905

1-800-333-0407

In CT: 203-329-8870

FAX 203-329-7428

 
AAPL
$94.72
Apple Inc.
+0.78
MSFT
$44.83
Microsoft Corpora
-0.01
GOOG
$594.74
Google Inc.
+5.27

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airmail 1.4 - Powerful, minimal email cl...
Airmail is a powerful, minimal mail client.It was designed to retain the same experience with a single or multiple accounts and provide a quick, modern and easy-to-use user experience. Airmail... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.1.12 - Monitor and co...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.37 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.9 - Fo...
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. This update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected and fixes a rare issue... Read more
FileZilla 3.9.0.1 - Fast and reliable FT...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.Version 3.9.0.1: MSW: Fix installation issue with locked DLLs... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP4 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.6 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
SpiderOak 5.1.7 - Secure cloud backup, s...
SpiderOak is a multi-platform secure online backup, storage, access, and sharing solution engineered for the consumer and small businesses. You must first sign up to use SpiderOak. Running natively... Read more
Espionage 3.6 - Simple, state of the art...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
calibre 1.45.0 - Complete e-library mana...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat L...
Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat Learning Library Sale Posted by Ellis Spice on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
MyTaskList Review
MyTaskList Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EFFECTIVE IF PLAINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s not the most stylish of task management apps, but MyTaskList has all the features you could... | Read more »
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRICKY FLYINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A tough game of careful thrusting and navigation, FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines... | Read more »
MTN Review
MTN Review By Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ADORABLE, SERENE, AND AMUSINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad MTN is an adorable, talking pet mountain that is less game and more zen garden.   | Read more »
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available o...
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available on the App Store Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Bio Inc. Review
Bio Inc. Review By Nadia Oxford on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SICKENING - IN A COMPELLING WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Bio Inc is about orchestrating the medical destruction of a single person. If that doesn’... | Read more »
HELMUT Review
HELMUT Review By Andrew Fisher on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRUNDLE SIMULATOR 2014Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HELMUT is a fun, fleeting time-sink that offers a momentary distraction and nothing else.   | Read more »
Walkr Review
Walkr Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORIGINAL WALKINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Walking is a bit more exciting thanks to this planet building/discovering sim reliant... | Read more »
Zombie Commando Review
Zombie Commando Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINDLESS SLAUGHTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Briefly fun but ultimately forgettable, Zombie Commando will scratch an itch then be... | Read more »
Swords & Poker Adventures Review
Swords & Poker Adventures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOULLESS POKER PLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swords & Poker Adventures is a mishmash of Poker and RPGing, but it lacks... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Twelve South HiRise For MacBook – Height-Adju...
If you use your MacBook as a workhorse desktop substitute, as many of us do, a laptop stand combined with an external keyboard and pointing device are pretty much obligatory if you want to avoid... Read more
Why The Mac Was Not Included In The Apple/IBM...
TUAW’s Yoni Heisler cites Fredrick Paul of Network World whoi blogged last week that the Mac’s conspicuous absence from Apple and IBM’s landmark partnership agreement represents a huge squandered... Read more
Save $100 on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros, plu...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1199 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Blurr it 2.3 for iOS – Quickly Blurs Selected...
Hyderabad, India based TouchLabs has announced a new update of Blurr it 2.3, their photography app for iOS users. Blurr it allows you to blur part of the image to hide potentially sensitive or... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only... Read more
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited...
Amazon.com has introduced Kindle Unlimited — a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to... Read more
New Linksys Wireless Range Extenders Boost Wi...
Linksys has announced its new lineup of Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extenders. Consumers often experience a weak wireless signal in some parts of their house or apartment caused by blocking elements such as... Read more
MacBook Airs available starting at $719
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 & 2012 MacBook Airs in stock today starting at $719. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: 2013... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr *Apple* Engineer - IT - Requisition #: -...
For more information about TIAA-CREF, visit our website . The Apple Engineer will provide engineering and third-level incident support for 300- 500 MacOS desktop/laptop Read more
*Apple* Systems Administrator - DISH (United...
…satellite service provider, and Dish is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Systems Administrator. Apple systems administrator will be responsible for Read more
*Apple* Systems Administrator - DISH (United...
…satellite service provider, and Dish is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Systems Administrator. Apple systems administrator will be responsible for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.