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Oct 90 Letters
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:10
Column Tag:Letters

Join The AppleCorps

By Kirk Chase, Editor, MacTutor

AppleCorps Program To Send American Mac Experts to AppleCenters in Japan

Dianne Hofner

Cupertino, CA

Tokyo and Cupertino, August 13, 1990 ... Apple Japan has launched a campaign to link Macintosh experts in the U.S. with AppleCenter owners in Japan in its commitment to deliver the best possible support to end-users and dealers in Japan.

The AppleCorps program will identify and screen Macintosh experts in the U.S. and introduce approved applicants to owners of AppleCenters in Japan. Assignments in Japan will be for a minimum period of one year.

“We have a rich natural resource here in the U.S. that our Japanese resellers are anxious to import to Japan. That resource is enthusiastic Mac-literate people who speak some Japanese”, says Ginger Tulley, manager of the project and a Channel Development Specialist in Apple Pacific. “The AppleCorps program provides Apple with an unprecedented opportunity to support our resellers, serve our end-users, and contribute to our global community, all at the same time.”

“Our dealers will profit from increased technical expertise. End-users will gain technical resources that respond to their needs. The Japanese business community will benefit from more thorough exposure to and support of Macintosh systems and peripherals. Two years hence, the Japanese and American business communities in Japan will have available a pool of internationally experienced, cross-culturally capable, bilingual technicians. At the same time, the AppleCorps technical advisors will gain valuable international business experience, develop and strengthen industry contacts, and improve their Japanese language skills. And Japanese participants in the program will gain expertise working in a multicultural environment.”

The AppleCorps program is coordinated by Nipporica Associates, a group of professionals dedicated to enabling people of diverse cultural backgrounds to work together productively. Nipporica will screen applicants on technical as well as cross-cultural and language expertise, and provide AppleCenter owners in Japan with profiles and assessments of the candidates. With its aims of enhancing international cooperation as well as providing dealer and end-user support, the AppleCorps program will include training to increase advisors’ cross-cultural effectiveness in such key skills as presentation, explanation, needs analysis, and customer service. Technical training will also be included. Dealers will also have the opportunity to participate in programs to enhance their cross-cultural managerial expertise.

“The success of American business abroad depends upon the caliber of our people. The AppleCorps program provides a much-needed opportunity for Americans to gain international professional experience,” states Dianne Hofner, Director of Nipporica Associates. “We also have many Japanese clients, and their continued success abroad depends on the ability of their people to appropriately manage a diverse workforce.”

Those interested in applying can download the file “AppleCorps Application”, or contact Dianne Hofner at U.S. (415) 571 - 8019, AppleLink address X2319.

MacsBug Internal History

David Craig

David Craig wanted to point out a few things. The first is the first 512 bytes of the data fork of all version 5+ MacsBug debuggers. You can read it by changing the file type from “APPL” to “TEXT”. Version 5.4 says:

“MacsBug Debugger for Macintosh. Copyright Apple Computer1982-1986. Originally by Motorola. Adapted to Lisa/Mac by Rich Page 1/25/1982. Enhanced by Steve Capps 11/1/1984. Version IV+ by Ken Krugler 5/13/1985. Disassembler by Ira Reuben 11/21/1986. Version 5.4 by Dan Allen 6/15/1987. For Mac 512K, Plus, SE, Mac II; 68000, 68020, 68030, 68851, 68881, 512K to 8M of RAM, and any ROMs.”

Another item David Craig pointed out was that SE ROMs contain pictures of the development team. Just enter MacsBug and type “G $0041D89A” to see the images.

A third point he brought out was Dan Allen’s new book On Macintosh Programming is a fascinating book.

Virus Bitten

Charles Dyer

Jamaica, West Indies

The reason that I’m writing you this is that I just got bitten by a virus, and the July issue just arrived, and I saw Steve Seaquist’s letter. I caught the WDEF B and a variant of the nVir viruses, neither one of the more virulent ones, but enough to inspire true paranoia just the same. This was reinforced when a friend of mine who mostly uses DOS machines also got nailed; he’d been having problems, suspected a virus, dug a shareware anti-virus application off of a bulletin board and discovered that his systems were infected with not one but seven different viruses, including two really vicious ones. The COMMAND.COM file on one hard disk was infected 17 times. As he does a lot of repair work and some systems work, he usually has several different machines and lots of people with floppies in and out of the building all the time, so he has no idea who brought what in when or how. Almost all of the floppies were infected with at least one virus. It took us more than three days to do a proper job of cleaning up. You wouldn’t believe how upset some of his customers got about the delay.

There is one point on which I disagree with Mr. Seaquist. We should not “shine a light” on those who create viruses. Rather, we should see to it that they contract heavy-metal poisoning. Then again bullets cost money and can only be used once while rope is cheap and reusable, and gravity is free. Or, if you want to be elaborate, once you catch one of our little vermin creators, you tattoo “My name is Salman Rushdie” on his forehead in Farsi and parachute him into Theran. I’m sure that the Iranians can take it from there. Doing it that way should make a more permanent impression on the vandals who write those things. It may not deter anyone else from screwing up my hard disk, but it’ll sure ‘nuff deter anyone I catch. If I sound the least bit upset, it’s because I just came back from spending ten straight hours up to my elbows in DOS while trying to straighten out the mess left by one of those fun-loving little twerps, and whoever wrote those viruses can count themselves lucky that I don’t know who they are. If there are no virus-makers, there’ll be no viruses.

Quasi-virus

Steve Seaquist

Temple Hills, MD

This is to thank you and your readers for the warm, enthusiastic response to my July letter, to update the part about the need for anti-viral programmer cooperation, and to report a “quasi-virus”. First things first: thank you.

Mike Scanlin wrote and told me that there is now covert cooperation among some of the major anti-virus product manufacturers. It’s a private electronic conference, somewhat smaller and more secretive than the powerhouse I had envisioned, but if many of its members feel the same way, it will undoubtedly grow and become as strong as we all hope it can be.

As for the quasi-virus, I received a phone call from a Washington Apple Pi member who reported seeing some scary symptoms. He was more into public domain applications and BBSs than I am, so I had to rely heavily on what he reported seeing in programs I did not have: Basically, he suddenly started seeing garbage, weirdness and profanity appearing in the Version field of Finder Get Info’s all over his system. For example, if you look at the Get Info of Red Ryder, you see “_ Nobody home here asshole! .!”. This insulting tone is similar to hostile messages that have been known to appear before PC viruses wipe out hard disks. Also ominous was the fact that many programs had the exact same message, suggesting a common source. For example, Hearts 1.6 (but not all copies of Hearts 1.6), MacALoan, MessageMaker, Number and Wave15 all said “JUNK”; Megaroids and WordSearch both had “Test string”. Even more alarming was the fact that he could search an application for the message (with FEdit) and change it to something else, but it wouldn’t go away. This suggested immediate reinfection. To corroborate the evidence for immediate reinfection, CalendarMaker and IconMover’s Version messages were missing their first letter and contained trailing garbage that changed every time you look at them.

But this is a quasi-virus, and quasi means “looks like”, that is to say “isn’t”. Although this problem affects everyday non-programmer users, I found the answer hidden far from their eyes in the Final Note at the end of Tech Note #189. The signature resources of applications used to be invisible. Programmers used to not care what they put there. Sometimes they didn’t even make sure it was a Pascal string (i.e.: with leading length byte). Some programmers probably even figured that anyone who saw it was an intruder fiddling around with their program and deserved to be insulted. Many years of not-ready-for-prime-time version data is now being displayed to users. And because it’s copied from applications into the Desktop, and because the Finder has no user mechanism for purging what it accumulates there, and because the Finder prefers to copy bundles from Desktop to Desktop, we’re liable to see this sort of thing for a long time to come.

With recent concern about destructive viruses, it’s great to see that users are looking for suspicious conditions and picked this up. Doctors routinely have to reassure some patients that their particular lumps are not cancerous. We too have to catalog suspicious conditions that are actually normal, and develop tests to verify that they are, in fact, normal. That means keeping track of quasi-viruses too.

Steve Seaquist, President

U-1100 Systems & Applications, Inc.

3126 Brinkley Road, #204

Temple Hills, MD 20748-6308

KNET Library

Konexsys Corporation

3825 Academy Parkway South, NE

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109

(505) 344-8891

Konexsys Corporation, a software development company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has introduced the KNET (Knowledge Network) library 1.0, which is a set of over 250 C routines used to create, maintain, and query an advanced semantic data base. This object-oriented data environment is embedded in a structure of meaning which allows many of the routines in the library to exploit inferencing and inheritance. These features facilitate creation of applications where speed, data base flexibility, and query power/simplicity are important. The KNET Library was designed anticipating the continued expansion and cost effectiveness of RAM, allowing multi-dimensionally linked knowledge to be added, deleted, and queried instantaneously.

The KNET Library can be currently purchased for the Macintosh, Sun, Apollo, or the HP computer. The single developer’s license is $995, which includes 5 hours of phone support, and a free upgrade to version 1.1. Konexsys will port to other appropriate operating environments as requested. Applications of the KNET Library are not recommended for systems with less than 4Mb of RAM.

 
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