TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Unannounced Calls
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:On the Lighter Side

New Unannounced System Calls
from the WWDC

By Gar, DataPak Software

You may have missed one or more of the several “secret” meetings in Room K of the San Jose Convention Center during the World Wide Developers Conference. Our sneak reporter was on the scene and has obtained exclusive information, leaked, regarding some of the new unannounced system extensions planned for the Macintosh operating system. Details are still sketchy, but we managed to obtained this exclusive reportage on the following new System Managers.

Features Manager

PROCEDURE SetReviewerMode (resID:resource; MicrosoftClone, 
ClarisClone, AldusClone:ProcPtr);

This is used to instantly add features demanded by trade journal reviewers. The resID is a resource of menus that add the features reviewers look for. MicrosoftClone is a procedure you can call which enables your software to look and act just like some Microsoft product. For example, in word processing your ProcPtr would point to an MSWord() procedure and spreadsheet to a MSExcel() procedure. ClarisClone and AldusClone may also be used for the same purposes. However, if all three ProcPtr parameters = NIL, the default procedure, “MeToo” is used by the system software.

Note: This procedure originally had an array of ProcPtrs to refer to any given number of product look alikes. However general usage has dictated that this be reduced to these three.

Support Manager

FUNCTION GenerateComplaint (address:Str255;
key_words:LONGINT; vast_threat:Boolean):TEHandle;

This function generates a complaint to any software vendor of your choosing, writing the complaint and/or threatening letter for you.

The address string should contain the mailing address for the letter; if the string is empty, the last address used for a complaint will be used again.

The key_words parameter is an array of bits defining the key words and phrases to include in the letter, as follows:

Bit Key Word/Phrase Generated

1 “You people...” is inserted wherever possible.

2 “Your product...” is used, otherwise “my product” is inserted.

3 “Dr.” is appended to your name (e.g., “Dr. Donald Trump,” and so on. However, if this bit is not set, “Ph.D.” is appended by default.

4 “... very disconcerting” is used frequently.

5 Sweeping, vague generalities are randomly generated. Examples: “Your product is buggy,” and “... everyone dislikes your product,” etc.

If the vast_threat parameter = TRUE, a threat to complain about the vendor on all e-mail services and trade journals is included in the letter.

GenerateComplaint will mercifully truncate the resulting letter to 32K by returning a TEHandle as the result.

System 7: Two Secret Functions

FUNCTION TransVol6 (chap:Integer):Handle;

This function returns a Handle of text which simplifies and explains a specific chapter in Inside Mac, volume 6. Generally, the chapter in vol 6 will make no sense as-is unless this function is used to return a layman’s translation.

Although TransVol6 could prove useful to developers, it remains undocumented because the text answers require an additional CD which isn’t shipped with the freebies; if this special CD is not on-line, the function returns NIL.

PROCEDURE FillAll (Var complaint:Str255);

This forces all available memory in the machine to be used even if the application doesn’t need it quite yet; even if the application doesn’t call this function, portions of it are still used by System 7 itself.

FillAll is used by most of the major Mac developers; although it is accessible to anyone, small developers generally don’t use it since their situation demands their programs run on smaller, less expensive machines.

The complaint parameter will return a special Applelink address in which you can contact Apple and beg for bigger machines than ever.

FillAll is particularly useful if you are shipping an expensive product that does very little - research has shown that a user feels more secure with a product in which they are forced to upgrade their memory to use it.

The Undocumented Mac ROM Routines

As we were rummaging through some pre-1984 archives, we came across a top-secret document of ROM traps that have never been publically documented!

PROCEDURE MacWait (diskGrind:Boolean);

Causes the processor to delay, usually because the application is running too fast. MacWait is called repeatedly by most of the popular Macintosh programs, and is called most frequently from applications that are greater than 500K and/or cost more than $500.

If diskGrind = TRUE, the internal drive will spin a few times before this function returns.

MacWait can be used by programmers who want to annoy the user for fairly good reasons (such as forcing him or her to type slower or to use the mouse instead of command keys).

PROCEDURE GhostSwap (name:Str255; random:Boolean);

Presents a disk-swap icon of a floppy disk that the user hasn’t seen in hours or hasn’t seen before at all. The basic purpose of GhostSwap is to ensure that the user is on their toes and to check the integrity of the floppy drive at random intervals.

Although applications generally don’t call GhostSwap, it is still used frequently by the Mac OS and Finder. GhostSwap is called the most often after the floppy drive has remained dormant for several weeks but wakes up from, say, doing a backup.

The name of the floppy is given in the name parameter, or if random = TRUE, the OS makes up a name. Although technical superstitition would dictate otherwise, there is no foundation to the belief that GhostSwap gets called most often when the OS senses you are in a hurry to finish an important job.

FUNCTION ChoosePrice(k:LongInt; glossies:Integer;suf95:Boolean; 
quality:Boolean):LongInt;

Returns the recommended suggested retail price for any new Macintosh software program. ChoosePrice a is highly proprietory function and is only used by the very largest companies either before or during the launch of a new release.

The price suggestion is computed as follows: k is the size of the application in kilobytes (if you are guessing at k during pre-development, multiply 150K times the number of people making design decisions).

The k parameter is the most critical since ChoosePrice will roughly compute $100 per k.

The glossies parameter is the second most critical number; it indicates the number of double-page glossy ads that will appear in the next six months. However, if the first six months of glossies will appear before the first version is shipping, you should add a little extra to the function to recoup your financial losses.

The suf95 parameter indicates what the price should end with: if the suf95 = TRUE, then the last two digits of the price will end with “95.” otherwise the price will end with “99” (the default).

The quality parameter is basically ignored in all the latest ROM versions, but is in the definition for compatibility purposes (originally, this parameter indicated the quality and usefullness of the software to determine the suggested price but was later discarded on the realization this factor had no bearing on this decision).

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Shadow Blade: Reload guide - How to hack...
Shadow Blade: Reload is the kind of action-platformer that would have happily sucked up hours of your time on a console a few years back.Now, you can take it with you wherever you go, and its mobile conversion is not too shabby at all. To help you... | Read more »
Tomb of the Mask guide - How to increase...
Tomb of the Mask is a great endless arcade game from Happymagenta in which quick reflexes and a persistent attitude can go a long way toward earning a top score. Check out these tips to see if you can give yourself an edge on the leaderboards. [... | Read more »
Smooth Operator! (Games)
Smooth Operator! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Smooth Operator is a weird, weird two-player kissing game. Squeeze in for 2 player fun on a single iPad, creating awkward... | Read more »
Sinless: Remastered (Games)
Sinless: Remastered 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
_PRISM Guide - How to solve those puzzle...
_PRISM is a rather delightful puzzle game that’s been tailor made for touch screens. While part of the fun is figuring things out as you go along, we thought we’d offer you a helping hand at getting in the right mindset. Don’t worry about messing... | Read more »
Fractal Space (Games)
Fractal Space 1.3.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.3.1 (iTunes) Description: Live the memorable experience of Fractal Space, a unique first person adventure & puzzle game by Haze Games! Will you... | Read more »
Set off on an adventure through the Cand...
Like match three puzzlers? If so, Jelly Blast, the innovative iOS and Android game which launched last year, is worth a look. Jelly Blast sees you head off on an epic adventure through the Candy Kingdom with your friends Lily, Mr. Hare, and Mr.... | Read more »
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Abzorb (Games)
Abzorb 1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1 (iTunes) Description: Abzorb is a tilt game about consuming orbs by getting as close as you can to them without touching. By tilting your mobile device, collect... | Read more »
A Short Tale (Games)
A Short Tale 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It’s been years since I lost Ben, so long yet it doesn’t seem long enough. I never thought I’d return here, to where everything... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

cb Hardcase – Handmade and Premium Protective...
Baden-Baden, Germany based company cb innovations has introduced the new cb Hardcase for iPhone. Featuring fine Italian Premium leather that makes for a unique look and feel, the cb Hardcase... Read more
Sale! B&H Photo offers 12-inch Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $999 $300 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more

Jobs Board

Lead Engineer *Apple* OSX & Hardware -...
Lead Engineer Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
Job Title Apple Mobile Master **Brand** Best Buy **Job Description** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Best Buy, our mission is to leverage the Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.