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

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

1Password 5.1 - Powerful password manage...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
GarageSale 6.9.2 - Create outstanding eB...
GarageSale is a slick, full-featured client application for the eBay online auction system. Create and manage your auctions with ease. With GarageSale, you can create, edit, track, and manage... Read more
calibre 2.17 - Complete e-library manage...
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 librarian... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.1.2 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniGraffle 6.1.2 - Create diagrams, flo...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
RoboForm 2.0.2 - Password manager; syncs...
RoboForm is a password manager that offers one-click login, mobile syncing, easy form filling, and reliable security. Password Manager. RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don't have to! Just... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.1 - Live performance t...
Love the sound you got on your recording? MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring all the same instruments and effects to the stage. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.2 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.44 - 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
Stacks 2.6.9 - New way to create pages i...
Stacks is a new way to create pages in RapidWeaver. It's a plugin designed to combine drag-and-drop simplicity with the power of fluid layout. Features: Fluid Layout: Stacks lets you build pages... Read more

This Week at 148Apps: January 19-23, 201...
Warm Your Winter With New Apps!   How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
Eggmaster Review
Eggmaster Review By Jennifer Allen on January 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: BRIEFLY COMPELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tap like crazy to gain eggs, so that you can buy upgrades to gain more eggs, and so on. It... | Read more »
Cloudy Or Dry – Funny Or Die Release a W...
Cloudy Or Dry – Funny Or Die Release a Weather App Posted by Ellis Spice on January 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
Mediocre, the Team Behind Smash Hit, is...
Mediocre, the Team Behind Smash Hit, is Teasing Their Latest Unnamed Project Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 26th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Heroes of Gaia Review
Heroes of Gaia Review By Campbell Bird on January 26th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TIMERS OF MIGHT AND MAGICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This free-to-play rpg looks a lot like Heroes of Might and Magic, but it’s poor... | Read more »
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one... | Read more »
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a...
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a Place for Fans to Take Disney Quizzes Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Hands-On With Cut the Rope Developer Zep...
Marking quite a departure from ZeptoLab’s past successes, namely the Cut The Rope series, King of Thieves is shaping up to be quite promising. Due for release in February, we were lucky enough to have some time with a preview build to see exactly... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Stir Kinetic Desk M1 Standing Or Sitting Desk...
The age of the standing desk is upon us, and according to medical research, it’s arriving none too soon. The World Health Organization (WHO), reports that 60 to 85 percent of people worldwide lead... Read more
Bosch Opens North American eBike Conversion H...
Following its entry into the U.S. eBike market in early 2014, Bosch has established a new headquarters office for Bosch eBike Systems (http://www.bosch-ebike.us) in Southern California, expanding the... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro (Apple refu...
The Apple Store has previous-generation Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pros available for $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.4GHz/... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Adorama has the 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1189.99, $110 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only. Read more
College Student Deals are back, additional $5...
Take an additional $50 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through April 11, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take advantage... Read more
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus GIve Apple Half Of US Mob...
Chicago-based Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) have released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone manufacturers for the calendar quarter that ended December 31,... Read more
Save $100 on MacBook Airs with 256GB of stora...
B&H Photo has 256GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook... Read more
21-inch 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179, save $...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
iPhone Usage Rates by State Correlate With Ed...
Chitika Insights notes that despite iPhones being the largest source of smartphone Internet traffic in North America, their latest study finds a relatively high degree of variation of iPhone usage... Read more
ProGearX Extendable Pole “Pov/Selfie Stick” M...
There’s something inescapably narcissistic about the concept of selfies as they’ve developed as a smartphone-driven social (particularly social media) phenomenon that rubs me the wrong way. However,... Read more

Jobs Board

Detailer *Apple* Ford Body Shop / Collision...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
*Apple* Acura/Subaru Service Technicians - A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
Business Development Manager - *Apple* Pay...
**Job Summary** Apple Pay is seeking an experienced business development manager to support the identification, recruitment, negotiation and ongoing management of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.