TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Easy Life
Volume Number:7
Issue Number:2
Column Tag:Tools of the Trade

The "Easy" Life

By Dave Kelly, Editorial Board

Programmer’s Utilities Make Life Easier

In 1984 the Macintosh was revolutionary. It was unique. It was fun. But MacWrite just wasn’t enough power. MacPaint 1.0 seemed to do a lot, but is a wimp by todays standards. That’s innovation. No matter how good software or hardware gets, it won’t be good enough, ever. There will always be bugs in software, even the software that comes from the big companies (sometimes especially the software that comes from big companies) have bugs. Otherwise you wouldn’t see version 1.02 around anywhere.

Every year new software updates and hardware upgrades are released. It seems that there are more updates and upgrades than new product releases. The more software you own, the more software updates you’ll be forced to buy. I hate buggy software. When I know there is a bug fix available I want it.

The updates are not what I want to talk about in this article. We need them and can’t live without them. Instead, let’s talk about a few ways that we can extend the capabilities of the software we already have while we are waiting for innovation to catch up to our wants. I’m referring to the ways we can make our existing systems do more.

First I refer you to THINK Pascal’s pop up menus. THINK Pascal gives you a quick way to move to any procedure, function, or method in your source code file. With the source code file open, hold down the Command key and click in the title bar of the Edit window. THINK Pascal will display a pop-up menu of the routines defined in the file. When you select on of the procedure or function names from the pop up menu, the insertion point moves to the beginning of the routine. This is a great time saver that was not part of version 1.0.

Symantec also publishes what I feel is the most popular C compiler around, THINK C. The THINK C editor is somewhat different from the THINK Pascal editor. If you hold down the Option or command key as you click the title bar of a THINK C source file’s edit window, you get a pop up menu listing all the #include files that are called out in the source file. Wouldn’t it be advantageous to be able to find functions or routines like you can in THINK Pascal?

This is exactly how PopUpFuncs 2.0 from SciComp Software was born. Eric Slosser, the author of PopUpFuncs, had just finished a major contract using THINK Pascal. He had grown to love the pop up function list feature, and sorely missed it when using THINK C. Eric stated, “I couldn’t break the habit of holding down the command key and clicking on the title bar to get that menu, and I was frustrated every time it didn’t appear. I was sitting in a BMUG programmer’s meeting. The topic was the forthcoming version of THINK C (back when 4.0 was about to come out). I asked if my favorite feature was included”.

“Someone said that it was in one of the early beta-versions, but was yanked in the later ones, and wasn’t going to be in the release. Since THINK revs its products at a quick pace, I knew it would be a long time (if ever) before I saw the feature. I asked, “how hard could it be?” That was the end of my spare time for the next month. The MPW version was produced with Apple’s blessing, and the aid of an engineer on the MPW project.”

PopUpFuncs 2.0 (PUF) adds a pop up menu to THINK C, MPW C (3.0 or later), Pascal and Rez file windows. PUF installs a small icon on each end of the window title bar. Clicking on the icon activates the pop up menu. The PopUpFuncs menu lists functions, typedef, and locations that are marked with “#pragma mark”. #pragma is ignored by the compiler and PUF makes use of it to mark a location. With Pascal, the menu has indentation that mirrors the nesting of the subroutines. The Rez parser makes it much easier to get around in those long files (the text listing of your resources). A ‘feature’ of PUF that really wasn’t planned is that it parses all three languages, even inside THINK C. (good when viewing converting sample code from Pascal to c). Parsing takes place when you click the button on the control in the title bar.

If the pop up menu of functions isn’t enough, PopUpFuncs also supports external functions. PUF can change text in a file. There are many different text altering utilities that can (and should) be written or integrated into the PUF environment. Examples are block commenting, comment wrapping, pretty-printing, C-style prototypes, list of routines. A unique resource of type xPop carries the code for the extension to PUF. One xPop comes with PopUpFuncs (including C source code and xPop specifications) for commenting/uncommenting lines. This is similar to the Block Comment FKEY that comes with THINK Pascal. You can access the external functions through the pop up menu by using Command-Click. You’ll have to write your own extensions though; the comment xPop is the only one available now. Future xpops written by users will be distributed (with their permission) in future versions.

Using PUF is simple, just run an installer program to install or un-install PUF. You wouldn’t know it was simple by its documentation though. The scarce documentation is limited to the About window and a Read-me file, not enough to go on without a little bit of intuition. Experienced programmers with intuition should have no trouble making excellent use of PUF, but some people would be just a little lost initially. The Read-me file is primarily a list of bug fixes from previous versions and some instructions on how to install PUF.

PopUpFuncs 2.0 About Dialog

PopUpFuncs is a convenience that is worth the expense. If you’re not sure, SciComp Software promises: “We’re pretty sure that you’ll soon find it an indispensable part of your programming environment. We’re so sure that you’ll like it, we guarantee it. If you find in the next 30 days that you can live without it, let us know and we’ll refund your money”.

INITs Galore

The Macintosh system is still evolving as I said at the beginning of this article. System 7.0 is coming just around the corner and for those of us who have seen it know that there are some marvelous new bells and whistles. Many of these functions are already available without waiting for System 7.0. The problem is that adding these capabilities usually means adding INITs. Adding INITs often causes the system to slow down and sometimes even crash (especially when INITs conflict with one another).

There are some INITs that can be an asset to any Mac user and without really trying can help improve working conditions. Software developers should want to improve their working conditions too.

Utilities Every Programmer Will Use NOW!

Now you can get a powerful collection of system enhancement utilities in one package. Now Utilities™ from Now Software has 12 great extensions. For several months since the release of Now Utilities I have received advertising literature about Now Utilities. From the advertising I thought it looked interesting, but I didn’t get too excited because some of these utilities had previously been seen as Public Domain or Shareware versions. That’s true but the Shareware/PD versions were not nearly as powerful as the current version.

Since MacTutor’s primary concern is in the ways that the programmer’s life can be made easier, I’ll focus on the ways that Now Utilities can help you as a programmer to both be more productive and enjoy the Macintosh too. Since any or all the utilities can be installed each one works independently of the others. Yet, each complements and supports the others.

Now Utilities 2.0 includes (alphabetically):

• AlarmsClock™: This INIT puts an alarm clock in the menu bar. The best part about this alarm clock is that multiple alarms can be set to remind you of important events. I use it to remind me when to quit what I’m working on and get some sleep. I tend to stay up too late working if I don’t remind myself. The clock display can be configured in any font and whatever size is available for the selected font.

• Customizer™: As many of you know, there are attributes of the Finder that can be modified to change the display of icons, text, color, and window location. The Customizer is an application that modifies these Finder attributes. The equivalent of this application is built into System 7.0.

• DeskPicture™: The pre-commercial version of this bombed on the newer Macintoshes. This INIT lets you set up a PICT as the background of the screen. This new version also lets you select a folder for the INIT randomly to select the PICT to be used. I like this since it adds variety and I don’t have to look at the same background every time I use my Macintosh. Since DeskPicture also works on large monitors, a provision has been added to keep the PICT files on disk instead of in memory. This could reduce that amount of RAM used for a 19” 32 bit monitor from 3 megabytes to 84 kilobytes.

• FinderKeys™: Converts to the Mac who miss being able to type commands at the keyboard will love this one. The way it works is that the first letter you type will automatically select all the files/folders that begin with that letter. As you enter more letters, only the files starting with the letters you have typed will remain selected. If you press return the folder or file selected will be opened. FinderKeys also provides a way to copy or move documents from inactive windows by selecting a combination of Command, option, and shift keys.

• MultiMaster™: This INIT provides an instant pop up or pull down menu to launch files and applications. A pull down menu (similar to On-Que™) can be configured so you don’t have to search through multi-levels of folders to find files or applications that you use frequently. You can use the Memory Sizer option to edit an application’s default memory size. This is quicker than opening up “Get Info” window to change each application. Since memory size is usually something that is set only once or only occasionally, the Memory Sizer won’t be that important.

Programmers will like MultiMaster’s Memory view option, a memory map for optimizing your memory use under MultiFinder. The memory map shows memory usage for each application and the System Heap and shows which portions are free blocks, non-relocatable, and relocatable. For the casual user, the memory map is helpful to visualize where free memory is available and which applications must be closed to free up memory for another application.

MultiMaster also gives you the “set aside” feature similar to “set aside” in System 7.0. If the “Set aside” option is selected windows of a foreground application will be hidden as it switches to a newly selected application when using MultiFinder. This feature will help relieve the window clutter that sometimes occurs when several applications are open.

• NowMenus™: Now you can open CDEVs and Chooser documents directly from the Apple Menu. Submenus are created for these and any DA that has a menu. You can now change printers in one quick click of the mouse or open the SmartScrap™ table of contents directly from the Apple Menu. In addition, an option can be selected to cause NowMenus to display a pop up menu whenever you click on the desktop, or anywhere when selected modifier keys are pressed. From this pop up menu you can select any running application and any item in the menu bar. You see, the menu bar items are duplicated in the pull down menu.

• Print Previewer™: Print Previewer is a Chooser extension that lets you view your document on the screen before printing. An FKEY is also provided to switch automatically between the Previewer and whatever printer you have selected.

• Profiler™: This one is helpful if you are responsible for maintaining the configuration of several Macintoshes. The profile analyzes all system version information, memory status, hardware attributes, and Startup documents. Profiler also lists all applications on any locally mounted storage drives. Too bad, but Profiler won’t list applications on Tops or Appleshare volumes. An option to do that would be useful to system operators.

• Screen Locker™: This INIT provides password protection for your Macintosh. In addition, a screen saver function is provided which displays a message or a picture when the screen blanks out. The screen saver is not as versatile as After Dark or Pyro. The screen locking function can be used without starting screen saving so that other screen savers can be used with it.

• StartUp Manager™: This INIT alone is worth the price of Now Utilities. The StartUp Manager keeps track of all INITs, CDEVs, and Chooser documents. They can be turned on or off so that the INITs you don’t use always can be bypassed. There are other INIT manager type programs available such as INIT Picker and Aask from CE Software. The difference is in the way that they keep track of the Startup documents. StartUp Manager detects a system crash after it has already happened and gone through the standard Macintosh system error handler. INIT Picker on the other hand, hacks in into several low-memory globals and exception vectors to catch the error that would cause a system crash. Because of this, their crash protection doesn’t work as well as the StartUp Manager, and in particular, it’s annoying for programmers using MacsBug, who would prefer to have a chance to catch the problem before their machine reboots. You see, if an INIT crashes with MacsBugs and StartUp Manager loaded, you end at MacsBug with a chance to correct the problem If an INIT crashes with MacsBug and INIT Picker loaded, the machine immediately re-boots or bombs without a chance to look at the problem. For programmers writing INITs, this is extraordinarily annoying. When restarting after an INIT crashes, StartUp Manager turns off the offending INIT and warns you that it did so. The offending INIT may not be the cause of the problem, but the StartUp Manager helps track down the INIT conflicts as they happen.

Another feature that StartUp Manager includes is the ability to set up selected groups of INITs to be loaded. These groups of INITs can be selected when starting up by holding down a Startup dialog key. I have one set that I usually use (day to day) and another when I connect to an AppleShare network remotely. Any number of groups can be set up.

Besides selecting INITs, the StartUp Manager preference options let you adjust the size of the system heap before the INITs are loaded. This helps eliminate crashes at startup due to low memory constraints caused from poorly written INITs.

• Super Boomerang™: This is the commercial big brother of the popular Boomerang INIT written by Hiroaki Yamamoto. Boomerang received a 5 mouse rating from MacUser and Super Boomerang is a big improvement on that. Instead of a pop up menu (in Boomerang), Super Boomerang has pull down menus which appear at the top of the Open and Save (SFGetFile, SFPutFile) dialog boxes. In addition, Super Boomerang attaches a Hierarchical menu to the open command of your application, showing your previously opened files.

You can find files quickly from the Open and Save dialogs. SuperBoomerang’s Find function has been rewritten to search a 600 MB CD Rom in 15 seconds and a 100 MB hard disk in 3 seconds. The edit files option lets you rename, duplicate, or delete files. You can create a new folder with the New Folder option. Applications and desk accessories can share up to 5 common “groups” of files and folders which you can define. If you like Boomerang, you’ll really like Super Boomerang.

• WYSIWYG Menus™: This INIT is for the user that can never remember what each font looks like and spends forever switching fonts to find the right one. I prefer the regular font menus without WYSIWYG every time I pull down the menu. I can disable it with the command key, but I prefer the option to enable it with the command key, an option not available with this INIT. (SuitCase II gives you this option!)

Now Utilities has something for everyone. Programmers will especially like the Startup Manager, MultiMaster and Super Boomerang. I have no doubts that you’ll like it.

PopUpFuncs is available from:

SciComp Software

2912 Claremont Ave #21

Berkeley CA, 94705

To order: 800 522-5939. 8AM-6PM PST

Tech Support: 415 649-8525 9AM-9PM, with the possibility that you may have to leave a message and be called back.

COMPUSERVE 73517,207

MCI-MAIL eslosser

AMERICA ONLINE eslosser

Price: $45 + $3 shipping & handling; quantity discounts and site licenses are available.

Requires: Any Macintosh with THINK C or MPW C.

No copy protection

Now Utilities™ is available from:

Now Software, Inc.

520 SW Harrison, Suite 435

Portland, Oregon 97201

Telephone: 503-274-2800

Facsimile: 503-274-0670

Price: $129

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

SyncTwoFolders 2.0.9b1 - Syncs two user-...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
VueScan 9.5.09 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Airmail 2.1 - Powerful, minimal email cl...
Airmail 2 is a new mail client designed for OS X 10.10 Yosemite with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.... Read more
Logitech Control Center 3.9.2 - Keyboard...
Logitech Control Center (LCC) is designed to support OS X and allows you to take full advantage of your Logitech keyboard, mouse, or trackball. With the LCC you can: Browse the Internet using... Read more
Adobe Acrobat Pro 15.007.20033 - Powerfu...
Acrobat Pro DC is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, and can only be installed and/or updated through Adobe's Creative Cloud app. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC with Adobe Document Cloud... Read more
CleanMyMac 3.0.1 - Delete files that was...
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused files... Read more
Evernote 6.0.10 - Create searchable note...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
CleanApp 5.0.1 - Application deinstaller...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Quicken 2015 2.5.0 - Complete personal f...
Quicken 2015 helps you manage all your personal finances in one place, so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Quicken automatically categorizes your financial transactions,... Read more
Tonality Pro 1.1.4 - Professional-grade...
Tonality Pro gives you the power to create stunning and dramatic black & white images. This is a complete monochrome image editor with more than 150 one-click style presets, totally unique... Read more

This Week at 148Apps: April 27-May 1, 20...
May Merriment at 148Apps 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 above... | Read more »
The Ensign, Prequel to A Dark Room, is C...
Amirali Rajan's The Ensign is the prequel to the text-based adventure A Dark Room, and it's gone free for a couple of days. [Read more] | Read more »
Streamline - calendar (Productivity)
Streamline - calendar 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do you dare to break conventions? Streamline is the first real evolution from the paper diary. It is a patented and... | Read more »
Plants vs. Zombies Celebrates its Sixth...
It's pretty wild to think that the  Plants vs. Zombies  series has been around for six years already. To celebrate this mildly unconventional milestone, Popcap is giving players some free stuff in Plants vs. Zombies 2. Because they got the whole "... | Read more »
Dropbox Adds MS Office Documents and Mor...
Dropbox, the popular file storage solution, has announced an update that adds three new features for you to enjoy. [Read more] | Read more »
The All-Consuming Snake is Back and Hung...
Taneli Armanto, the designer of Nokia 6110 Snake, is back to work. Together with Rumilus Design, he's working on a new Snake game titled Snake Rewind. [Read more] | Read more »
WAVE Personal Calendar Now Connects You...
WAVE Calendar, by e-sites, has added an interesting new feature: real life personal assistants. The e-sites webpage has been redesigned so personal assistants can apply to work directly with WAVE. [Read more] | Read more »
Find Your Vacation Home With Dwellable
Dwellable is a new travel app that helps you to find rental homes for your vacation, allowing you to swipe your way through listings from over 15,000 destinations worldwide. [Read more] | Read more »
Play Endless Golf in Flick Golf Free...
Full Fat has released a new update for Flick Golf! Free. The ‘Eliminator’ update brings a whole new way to play with its endless round. [Read more] | Read more »
The Enchanted Cave 2 (Games)
The Enchanted Cave 2 2.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 2.1 (iTunes) Description: Delve into a strange cave with a seemingly endless supply of treasure, strategically choosing your battles to gather as... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Millennials’ Social Networking Habits Pose T...
Research indicates young people may be threat to corporate information-security, says tech expert Karl Volkmann, Chief Technical Officer of Chicago-based SRV Network, Inc. From Facebook to Twitter,... Read more
BuyVia Releases Apple Watch Shopping App
San Mateo, California-based BuyVia (http://www.buyvia.com), the first website and mobile app that combines in-store and online shopping across smart phones, tablets and laptops to help shoppers get... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $2119 $... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
New 2015 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $80 o...
Save up to $80 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ or 11″ 1.6GHz MacBook Air at the following resellers. Shipping is free with each model: 11" 128GB MSRP $899 11" 256GB... Read more
Save up to $300 on a new Mac, $30 on an iPad,...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
iPad-Based iLynn Program Provides A Private U...
Lynn University of Boca Raton, Florida has announced that its innovative iPad-powered online bachelor’s degree program will be called iLynn. Beginning in fall 2015, Lynn U. says the new program will... Read more
iPad mini 4 Rumors Begin To Gel
First, I’ve been really hoping there will even be an iPad mini 4 at all. The smallest iPad has reportedly been hit pretty hard by iPhone 6 Plus cannibalization, along with getting caught in the... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $260 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3719.99... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... 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
Senior Identity Architect - *Apple* Pay - A...
Changing the world is all in a day039s work at Apple . If you love innovation, here039s your chance to make a career of it. You039ll work hard. But the job comes with Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
Changing the world is all in a day039s work at Apple . If you love innovation, here039s your chance to make a career of it. You039ll work hard. But the job comes with Read more
Senior Identity Architect - *Apple* Pay - A...
Changing the world is all in a day039s work at Apple . If you love innovation, here039s your chance to make a career of it. You039ll work hard. But the job comes with Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.