TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacWorld 91
Volume Number:7
Issue Number:10
Column Tag:Show Review

Boston MacWorld '91

By Kirk Chase, Editor

MacWorld ’91 in Boston was an interesting experience. Many “System 7 savvy” balloons could be found, but fewer “System 7 savvy” products. Multimedia products were in full swing, including QuickTime (off the convention floor). There wasn’t very many surprises for developers. Even Apple’s booth looked boring. Here is a quick rundown on some of the highlights.

Products in View

MacWorld was itching with promise for the developer community. Most products being shown were still in beta form, but they included System 7.0 savvy features. There were a few shipping products, however among the soon to be released ones. Here is a sampling of both.

THINK Pascal 4.0; THINK C 5.0; THINK Reference

Symantec Corporation

10201 Torre Ave.

Cupertino, CA 95014-2132

408-253-9600

Symantec came out with not just one release, but three product releases, two new and one about a month old. Symantec went and extensively rewrote THINK C 5.0 as well as updating THINK Pascal to version 4. THINK C has added a multi-pass, optimizing compiler, and the debugger now remembers data and break points between runs. They have included System 7 support in both languages, and both run in 24/3-bit modes with or without virtual memory. The THINK Class library was updated as well. Users can upgrade for $89 (C) and $69 (Pascal).

THINK Reference is a beautifully implemented product. It is a developer reference application which contains the calls, technotes, and miscellaneous information corresponding with Inside Macintosh Vols. I-V. Meant to run under MultiFinder, this application (256K with a database of around 2M bytes) will shrink down when not needed, allows for bookmarks and dozens of ways to search the information. Unfortunately, due to the hyperlinks, this product is not easily updatable, which will be needed to add volume VI. An excellent product that makes SpInside Macintosh and other online manuals look like a snails in comparison.

MacDSP MB/A

Spectral Innovations, Inc.

4633 Old Ironsides Dr., Suite 401

Santa Clara, CA 95054

408-727-1314

I imagine the people at Spectral Innovations have not been sleeping lately. They have been busy integrating their digital signal processing technology into many environments. For example, they have teamed up with Letraset to create Lightning Effects for ColorStudio 1.5; these annexes take advantage of Spectral Innovations’ DSP accelerator hardware to get 20-40x speed improvements over Mac II’s without the board. MATLAB is being bundled with MacDSP to provide high performance number crunching.

Spectral Innovations was also showing the MacDSP MB/A. This NuBus board has a 60 MHz AT&T WE® DSP32C digital signal processor capable of performing 30 MFLOPS. An on-board 68000 performs all NuBus transfers, and the board supports A/ROSE. This board is packed with features, so I recommend you getting in touch with them if you’re doing large numeric computations such as those used in multimedia and other DSP projects.

AppMaker

Bowers Development

PO Box 9

Lincoln Center, MA 01773

506-369-8175

Bowers Development will soon be coming out with a new release of AppMaker. This new version will be a significant improvement on the limitations of current version. System 7 support, like Apple Events and Stationary Aware, will be added to make your life a little easier. Text styles and better code generation will also be there. And, very soon in the future, you can look for simulation with AppMaker documents.

SpaceMaker; Programmer’s Assistants

Aladdin Systems, Inc.

Deer Park Center, Suite 23A-171

Aptos, CA 95003-4723

408-685-9175

Aladdin Systems has been busy also. Their next versions of Programmer’s Assistants (version 2) will be 7.0 compatible and even make some of their functions behave better. While offering the usual bug fixes, the assistants now offer online help. These little tools help make debugging a little easier.

A new product that is in the works is SpaceMaker. Like SuperDisk from Alysis, SpaceMaker will automatically compress/decompress files on-the-fly giving you the extra hard disk space you need while not taking up time for its conversions. It is fast, and it does compact. You get rapid speeds with about 50% savings on disk space. As an added feature, you can automatically create StuffIt archives and self-extracting archives by appending “.sit” and “.sea”, respectively. Compression is coming of age.

CAUSE

CYMA

1400 East Southern Ave.

Tempe, AZ 85282

800-932-2873

Hobbyists, in-house developers, and the like, there is now cause to rejoice. CYMA has taken up production of CAUSE. This simple environment allows database applications to be created with just a little effort. CAUSE is a graphical development environment that makes programming an ease. Although you may not want to use it for power-house database applications, CAUSE contains many features to let you develop quickly.

Prograph

TGS Systems

2745 Dutch Village Rd., Suite 200

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3L 4G7

800-565-1978

TGS Systems has come out with a MAJOR upgrade to Prograph that has really got me excited. Version 2.5 is packed with new features. There is support for high-level System 7 events and IAC. There is a database application generator which will handle just about any object type as well as support for SQL databases. A code compactor is added to shrink methods to 25% of their original size. And there is a suite of add-on products for linking Pascal, C, and FORTRAN libraries. Tthere are more features than I have space to write here. Look for a review of Prograph 2.5 soon.

Stack Enhancers

Cheshire Grin Productions LTD

2145 Sherobee Road, Suite 43

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5A 3G8

416-896-8077

Stack Enhancers is a unique set of tools for HyperCard 2.0. There are many attractive packages which can be installed and removed by simple installers that come with the product. No knowledge of scripting is needed for the novice, but it has features even a developer would like.

For example, the Bookmark System allows users to place visual bookmarks on individual cards; navigating back to that card is as easy as clicking on the bookmark. For more navigation as well card information, there is the Browser Palette. And installation of the Progress Gauge gives stacks a scroll bar. This remarkable collection has items you would see in professional stacks, aids in stack creation, and is very simple to use.

Conferences in View

The developer’s track at MacWorld Expo in Boston contained a number of old and new sessions. Here are just some of the highlights.

IAC Issues and Answers

Now that System 7 is out, Inter-Application Communication is becoming a reality, although there are very few applications that take advantage of being scriptable. This session looked at some of the products now being developed for creating and running scripts. The creators of Frontier, Control Tower, and QuickKeys were there to share their insights into IAC.

One thought brought up was the Object Model vs. the user-terminology resources. Basically, Apple’s object model of verb-noun was viewed as perhaps too broad and, although quite powerful, was geared toward object oriented programming. The three IAC champions pushed for user-terminology resources; this means putting the vocabulary that you understand as a set of resources that any application or user may be able to read and understand how to use.

Another issue brought up was the passing of functionality rather than data. For example, a spell checker has to deal with thousands of words. To pass these words back and forth from the word processor to the spell checker application involves heavy traffic especially if run across a network. Passing functionality would involve passing the spell check engine across the network instead of the words to be checked.

As to all the complexities of IAC, the big guys know how hard it is. Frontier will be out in October, just now going into beta, and Michael Odawa is shipping a developer’s version of Control Tower. These will be needed for testing your IAC products. And as Don Brown said, “A little IAC is better than none.”

Keeping the Bugs Out

This session was on debugging. A number of helpful suggestions on how to go about trouble shooting your code and how to keep your code from being shot down were discussed. A number of products are out or being released to help in this area. EvenBetterBusError is an INIT for tracking down those NIL pointers and handles. The Leaks dcmd as well as the ZapHandles dcmd are useful in tracking memory allocation/deallocation problems. Their were also a couple of demos of TMON Professional and Jasik’s Debugger.

Best of MacHack

This session was much improved over its last session in San Francisco. Unfortunately all the testing on the INITs and hacks were done on machines other than the IIfx they were being demonstrated on, and so there were a number of crashes, and the winning hack never did make it up and running. However, there were a number of interesting hacks that kept everyone on their seats.

One System 7 hack was DTPrinter; just drag what you wanted printed over to this icon, drop, and DTPrinter would launch the documents to their respective applications for printing. Another System 7 hack was Alias This; By dropping and object on this icon in the Finder, an alias would be made and placed in the Apple Menu folder to appear in the Apple Menu. Related to this was droppleMenu which did the same if the icon was dragged and dropped on the Apple Menu. Cool LW was an interesting hack by Byron Han that allowed Chooser selection of printers in the Print Dialog. The Grouch INIT was finally made a standalone application; it seems kids were throwing away all sorts of things to see the Grouch. And finally for the practical joker, DOSsHELL brought up an ugly DOS screen when the Mac was turned on, but only stayed until a mouseclick occurred.

MacHack has been around now for six years. It is like summer camp. It allows you to talk to a number of industry famous people about your ideas. Many of the ideas discussed at the World Wide Developer’s Conference are discussed. The next one will be June 16-20, 1992 in Ann Arbor, MI. You can get more information from ExpoTech at 313-882-1824.

The In’s and Out’s of INITs

This vetran session has always been a wealth of information and guidelines for writing these simple, yet powerful pieces of code, and this session was no different. INITs are very dangerous pieces of code, and Chris Derrossi of Apple said that soon an Apple document, perhaps in the form of a technote, would be out to make your INITs more robust. Another major point brought out was that INITs should check for only those features that they need and not for specific system versions; it was hinted that there might be future versions of System 7 which may not include all the features that are on the current version (a scaled-down , single-floppy version perhaps).

Brought out in the session was InitInfo stack by Baseline Publishing (1770 Moriah Woods Blvd., Ste 14, Memphis, TN 38117-7118). This stack has detailed descriptions of practically every INIT in existence. This is a must for every person who would like to know more about the INITs in his system and how they operate. This might save a lot of headaches later when you come across an INIT conflict.

MacTutor Live!

MacTutor Live! covered a number of subjects. Neil Tictin was there to talk about Neuron Data’s Open Look; this cross-platform product is a high-end GUI design and code generation product allowing developers to do their designing for multiple platforms, but like I said, it is a high-end product with a high-end price tag. Tim Cotter of Delta Tao, the Color Mac Cheese people, talked about CopyDeepMask() and all the things you could do with it, along with techniques for anti-aliasing. John May, author and president of Devil Mountain Development, discussed CDEFs and how to debug them with source level debuggers. I myself talked on resources to get you started and finished with your Mac development product. As usual, we also gave a number of prizes away at the end.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

DiskCatalogMaker 7.1.3 - Catalog your di...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast Finder-like intuitive look and feel Super-fast search algorithm Can compress catalog data for... Read more
Together 3.8.7 - Store and organize all...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Together Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-... Read more
Little Snitch 4.0.1 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Sparkle Pro 2.2.1 - $79.99
Sparkle Pro will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
iWatermark Pro 2.0.0fc4 - Easily add wat...
iWatermark Pro is the essential watermarking app for professional, business, and personal use. Easily secure and protect your photos with text, a graphic, a signature, or a QR watermark. Once added... Read more
Amadeus Pro 2.4 - Multitrack sound recor...
Amadeus Pro lets you use your Mac for any audio-related task, such as live audio recording, digitizing tapes and records, converting between a variety of sound formats, etc. Thanks to its outstanding... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.4.2 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
EtreCheck 3.4.2 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.17 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
VueScan 9.5.81 - 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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Eden: Renaissance (Games)
Eden: Renaissance 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Eden: Renaissance is a thrilling turn-based puzzle adventure set in a luxurious world, offering a deep and moving... | Read more »
Glyph Quest Chronicles guide - how to ma...
Glyph Quest returns with a new free-to-play game, Glyph Quest Chronicles. Chronicles offers up more of the light-hearted, good humored fantasy fun that previous games featured, but with a few more refined tricks up its sleeve. It's a clever mix of... | Read more »
Catch yourself a Lugia and Articuno in P...
Pokémon Go Fest may have been a bit of a disaster, with Niantic offering fans full refunds and $100 worth of in-game curency to apologize for the failed event, but that hasn't ruined trainers' chances of catching new legendary Pokémon. Lugia nad... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
There are quite a few truly superb games on sale on the App Store this week. If you haven't played some of these, many of which are true classics, now's the time to jump on the bandwagon. Here are the deals you need to know about. [Read more] | Read more »
Realpolitiks Mobile (Games)
Realpolitiks Mobile 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: PLEASE NOTE: The game might not work properly on discontinued 1GB of RAM devices (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad... | Read more »
Layton’s Mystery Journey (Games)
Layton’s Mystery Journey 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $15.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: THE MUCH-LOVED LAYTON SERIES IS BACK WITH A 10TH ANNIVERSARY INSTALLMENT! Developed by LEVEL-5, LAYTON’S... | Read more »
Full Throttle Remastered (Games)
Full Throttle Remastered 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Originally released by LucasArts in 1995, Full Throttle is a classic graphic adventure game from industry legend Tim... | Read more »
Stunning shooter Morphite gets a new tra...
Morphite is officially landing on iOS in September. The game looks like the space shooter we've been needing on mobile, and we're going to see if it fits the bill quite shortly. The game's a collaborative effort between Blowfish Studios, We're Five... | Read more »
Layton's Mystery Journey arrives to...
As you might recall, Layton's Mystery Journey is headed to iOS and Android -- tomorrow! To celebrate the impending launch, Level-5's released a new trailer, complete with an adorable hamster. [Read more] | Read more »
Sidewords (Games)
Sidewords 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Grab a cup of coffee and relax with Sidewords. Sidewords is part logic puzzle, part word game, all original. No timers. No... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

PHOOZY World’s First Thermal Capsules to Summ...
Summer days spent soaking up the sun can be tough on smartphones, causing higher battery consumption and overheating. To solve this problem, eXclaim IP, LLC has introduced the PHOOZY Thermal Capsule... Read more
2018 Honda Ridgeline with Android Auto and Ap...
The 2018 Honda Ridgeline is arriving in dealerships nationwide with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP1) starting at $29,630. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline was named North American Truck of the... Read more
comScore Ranks Top 15 U.S. Smartphone Apps fo...
comScore, Inc. recently released data from comScore Mobile Metrix, reporting the top smartphone apps in the U.S. by audience reach for June 2017. * “Apple Music,” as it appears in comScore’s monthly... Read more
13-inch 3.1GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 13″ 3.1GHz Space Gray MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY and NJ only: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available startin...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple’s 2017 Back to School Promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free. As part... Read more
Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for up to $220 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Apple Move Away from White Label Event Apps C...
DoubleDutch, Inc., a global provider of Live Engagement Marketing (LEM) solutions, has made a statement in the light of a game-changing announcement from Apple at this year’s WWDC conference.... Read more
70 Year Old Artist Creates Art Tools for the...
New Hampshire-based developer Pirate’s Moon has announced MyArtTools 1.1.3, the update to their precision drawing app, designed by artist Richard Hoeper exclusively for use with the 12.9-inch iPad... Read more
Sale! New 2017 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pros fo...
Amazon has new 2017 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB MacBook Pros on sale today for $150 off MSRP including free shipping. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any reseller: – 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Poole -...
Job Summary The people here at Apple don't just create products - they create the kind of wonder that's revolutionised entire industries. It's the diversity of those Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV - Apple Inc. (United...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
Product Manager - *Apple* Pay on the *Appl...
Job Summary Apple is looking for a talented product manager to drive the expansion of Apple Pay on the Apple Online Store. This position includes a unique Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple...
SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.