TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 92 Editorial
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:1
Column Tag:The Editor's Page

XPLAIN CORP Announced MacTutor Version 2.0!

By By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

Xplain Corporation acquired the rights to publish MacTutor Magazine, and since I am president of Xplain, I made myself editor. In response to this burst of ego, my partner, David Williams, made himself publisher. Then, with the really big decisions handled, we sat down to answer the only remaining question - Now what do we do?

Where’s my magazine?

We decided to ask the “what do we do now” question of MacTutor subscribers. Fortunately, all the subscribers who called were unanimous in wanting one thing right away - their magazine, without any missed issues. So, here it is. The last issue of version 1.0 was sent out late last year. This April/May edition is the first of version 2.0. There was nothing in between, so you’re current. Every subscription has been automatically extended to account for the missed issues. Check your mailing label. You should know that although this issue covers two months, MacTutor will remain a monthly periodical.

Who’s Xplain?

The next question subscribers asked was “Who is this?”. We’re Xplain Corporation, a software development and documentation company. We write documentation for software - both end-user and programming tools. We provide development and update services for existing software packages, and we produce original programming tool software. I have been a Macintosh developer since 1985, have been an Apple Partner for about 5 years, and have worked for Apple.


Once we realized the urgency of getting out the first issue, our publisher said that it appeared to him that what needed to be done next was “editorial” in nature and looked like a lot of hard work, so he left to go skiing. I understand the snow is melting fast, which explains (Xplains?) why his column has shown up. While he’s been gone, I’ve started the process of transforming this magazine into what it ought to be. We have tightened the editorial standards, including requiring more quality writing in addition to technical wizardry. We have increased print quality and improved layout and appearance.

Where do we go from here?

I have a lot of ideas for the future direction of the magazine, but I don’t intend to shove any of them down your throats. My ideas are described below. It’s up to you to send in your ideas. We promise to read and consider every idea. There are some ground rules, however:

1. Please tell us everything you want, rather than the few things you don’t.

2. Please reserve judgement of this first issue. We are already implementing changes for the next issue.

3. If you are wondering about past article submissions, all articles are being reviewed and organized. Once that is done, letters will be sent out. This will take some time, so be patient.

What Does the Editor Think?

I would like to see the magazine remain primarily a technical resource, but I would like to broaden its spectrum. For example, in this first issue, you will see a column by Dave Mark called “Getting Started...” which is directed at those new to Macintosh programming. I would like to see a limited number of reviews of programming tools and other products aimed at making developers more efficient, but I do not want this to become a product review magazine. I would like to cut down on the amount of “ancillary code” printed. In other words, the actual code that does whatever trick the author is writing about should be printed, the other 5,000 lines should not.

I would like to use this newly available space as a forum for discussion regarding policy and strategy, including interviews and guest articles by those who decide what we’ll be programming on next. As programmers in this age of Taligent, PowerBooks, and cross-platform libraries, we’ve all got a lot to think about. The question is, what do you want to talk about?

So, Now What?

If you know about a subject, we would like to see articles from you. In the past, many of you have said that you don’t have time to write full length articles. Now you have no excuse - write a short item for our “Tips and Tidbits” column. So where do we go from here? We keep publishing, and you tell us what you want. The sooner, the better. It’s very important that you send your thoughts in ASAP, because our publisher has been suggesting things like nude centerfolds and a swimsuit issue. So, unless you want to see a picture of a Quadra 950 in a G-string, use that modem (or pen) NOW!

Neil Ticktin

The Publisher's Column

a.k.a. Tales of the Computer Idiot

By David Williams, Publisher

Neil made me publish his magazine. It wasn’t my idea. He asked me if I liked computers - I said yes, but knew nothing about them, being sort of a computer idiot. He asked if I liked Macs - I said I’d never really used one but that I had a trackball and Windows on my PC, a 486-33. He threw up, then he made me buy a Quadra 900 with every available gizmo. Looking at the cost, I asked if Quadra meant I was paying for four computers.

Next, he told me I should take over publication of this magazine with him. Again, looking at the cost, I wonder why I ever listen to Neil. All readers should tell everyone they know to subscribe - printing costs make the Quadra look cheap.

Neil said that my new Mac would do absolutely anything my PC could do, better, and asked what was important to me. I’m a tax attorney/CPA, so I said Excel, Word, and Computax. Neil said that for Computax, there were two programs called SoftAT and SoftNode that could make my Quadra behave exactly like a 286. I asked if I could pay more and have it behave like a 486 or some other civilized computer. He said I was being greedy.

It turned out that these programs couldn’t run Computax easily. We called Insignia, the developer, and they patiently listened to our questions and said they would call us right back. They never have, but it doesn’t matter. Knowing nothing about computers in general, I, the computer idiot, reasoned that I’d have to do the same modifications to SoftAT as I did to my real PC to run Computax. Neil and Donny (our technical editor) said that I was naive, and that there was less than a 1% chance of all that working - they tried to tell me you can’t turn a Macintosh into a PC just by using NETBIOS to remove its inate prejudice. Knowing no better, I tried it anyway. It works fine.

It is my hope that this magazine works as well as my Quadra. I would like to welcome all of our new and existing readers to the new magazine, and to express our thanks for waiting while we learned how to produce a readable product. Neil intends to be as responsive as possible to reader suggestions, and I’d like to throw in a cautionary note: If you don’t tell us what you want, we’ll wind up responding only to the other letters (you know, the ones that you don’t agree with) and you’ll wind up unhappy, and thinking that the computer idiot has been put in charge of editorial.

So, here I am, the computer idiot, writing on my new Quadra my first column for our new computer magazine. I have to admit that in Word, it does seem to work almost identically to the PC, better in many respects. I particularly like the “On” switch on the keyboard. So, I’m left with only one problem - How do I turn it off?

Neil? Oh Neil


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Planet Diver guide - How to survive long...
Planet Diver is an endless arcade game about diving through planets while dodging lava, killing bats, and collecting Starstuff. Here are some tips to help you go the distance. [Read more] | Read more »
KORG iDS-10 (Music)
KORG iDS-10 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ** Debut Discount: 50% OFF! Sale Price US$9.99 (Regular price US$19.99). Other all Korg apps are also 50% OFF until Dec 28! **... | Read more »
World of Tanks Generals guide - Tips and...
World of Tanks Generals is a brand new card game by the developer behind the World of Tanks shooter franchise. It plays like a cross between chess and your typical card game. You have to keep in consideration where you place your tanks on the board... | Read more »
TruckSimulation 16 guide: How to succeed...
Remember those strangely enjoyable truck missions in Grand Theft Auto V whereit was a disturbing amount of fun to deliver cargo? TruckSimulation 16 is reminiscent of that, and has you play the role of a truck driver who has to deliver various... | Read more »
The best GIF making apps
Animated GIFs have exploded in popularity recently which is likely thanks to a combination of Tumblr, our shorter attention spans, and the simple fact they’re a lot of fun. [Read more] | Read more »
The best remote desktop apps for iOS
We've been sifting through the App Store to find the best ways to do computer tasks on a tablet. That gave us a thought - what if we could just do computer tasks from our tablets? Here's a list of the best remote desktop apps to help you use your... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

World’s First USB-C Adapter For MacBook Suppo...
Innergie, a brand of Delta Electronics, has announced its official release of the world’s first USB-C adapter supporting four DC output voltages, the PowerGear USB-C 45. This true Type C adapter... Read more
13-inch and 11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $819 $90 off... Read more
13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 o...
Take up to $150 off MSRP on the price of a new 13″ MacBook Pro at B&H Photo today as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only. These prices are currently the... Read more
13-inch 128GB MacBook Air now on sale for $79...
Best Buy has just lowered their price on the 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air to $799.99 on their online store for Cyber Monday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale... Read more
Best Buy lowers 13-inch MacBook Pro prices, n...
Best Buy has lowered prices on select 13″ MacBook Pros this afternoon. Now save up to $200 off MSRP for Cyber Monday on the following models. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple MacBooks on sale for up t...
Apple resellers have MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and MacBooks on sale for up to $250 off MSRP for Cyber Monday 2015. The following is a roundup of the lowest prices available for new models from any... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple Watch on sale for up to $...
B&H Photo has the Apple Watch on sale for Cyber Monday for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - Apple Watch Sport: $50 off - Apple Watch: $50-$100 off B... Read more
Cyber Monday: 15% off Apple products, and sto...
Use code CYBER15 on Cyber Monday only to take 15% on Apple products at Target, and store-wide. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-... Read more
iPad Air 2 And iPad mini Among Top Five Black...
Adobe has released its 2015 online shopping data for Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day. The five best selling electronic products on Black Friday were Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPad Air 2, Microsoft Xbox... Read more
All-in-one PC Shipments Projected To Drop Ove...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that all-in-one (AIO) PC shipments may drop a double-digit percentage on-year in 2015 due to weaker-than-expected demand, although second-largest AIO make... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* New Products Tester Needed - Apple (...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, continues Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple (U...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch Job Number: 33362459 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Jul. 28, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Join the Read more
SW Engineer - *Apple* Music - Apple (United...
# SW Engineer - Apple Music Job Number: 40899104 San Francisco, Califo ia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Join the Android Read more
Sr Software Engineer *Apple* Pay - Apple (U...
# Sr Software Engineer Apple Pay Job Number: 44003019 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 13, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Apple Read more
*Apple* Site Security Manager - Apple (Unite...
# Apple Site Security Manager Job Number: 42975010 Culver City, Califo ia, United States Posted: Oct. 2, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Site Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.