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Oct 92 Tips
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:6
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Tips & Tidbits

By Neil Ticktin, Editor

This column is your opportunity to spread the word about little bits of information that you find out about. These tidbits can be programming related or they can be user tips that are particularly useful to programmers.

MacTutor will credit, in subscriptions or orders, $25 for every tip used, and $50 for the Tip of the Month. To submit a tip, send in a letter to the magazine.

Remember, AppleLink is our preferred communication method, but feel free to send something via America Online, GEnie or US Mail. If you do send snail mail, enclose a printed copy and a disk copy of the letter so that it does not have to be retyped.

Let us know what you think. Remember, this is your magazine. Try ‘em out and let us know...

Note: Files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.


This is a comprehensive collection of Finder patches. All apply to Finder version 7.0 (including international versions), part of System 7.0 and 7.0.1. Patches have been carefuly tested, but of course you are on your own.

Apply patches with ResEdit 2.1.1 on a copy of the Finder. It's OK to let ResEdit expand the compressed resources. Especialy for patches #1 and #2, use a fresh copy of the Finder, as patches may conflict with other patches that others have previously developed. After closing ResEdit, put the modified Finder in the System Folder (move the previous Finder to another folder) and restart.

Always keep an original Finder and a startup diskette around, just in case something gets messed up.

1) To have the Finder use more memory for file copies, resulting in faster operation and less disk swaps when working with ejectable disks. at offset $668 in 'CODE' 173 change:

 $00019000   # 100KB
to $00200000   #   2MB

A value larger than approximatly 2MB less than the physical RAM available can actualy slow down things when virtual memory is running.

2) Lower the number of display updates and task swaps during files copies, resulting in significantlty faster operation, especialy when patch #1 is made. We have observed speedups of two or more, 30% is typical. To make the change, look at offset $40C in 'CODE' 166:

        change   $2A2C00242C05
        to       $2C2C0024E78C

This lowers updates and task swap by a factor of 8; change the last word of the patch for other factors:

 $E38C gives a division by 2
 $E58C gives a division by 4,
 $E98C gives a division by 16
 $EB8C gives a division by 32
 $ED8C gives a division by 64
 $EF8C gives a division by 128
 $E18C gives a division by 256

The drawbacks of a high division factor are that other applications running in the background get less time during file copies, and the delay to cancel a copy operation is longer. Above 16, the speedup is insignificant.

3) Suppress zoom effects - useful on machines that draw slowly.

        at offset  $4A4 in 'CODE' 5
        change   $4E56
        to       $4E75

4) Lower the pause before edition of files and volume names is allowed.

        at offset $A28 in 'CODE' 11
        change $E388
        to     $2048   # pause lowered by a factor of 2
        or to  $E288   # pause lowered by a factor of 4

NB: the pause is also affected by the double-click time set-up in the General control panel.

5) Change the default horizontal spacing in small icons view at offset $6 in 'fvew' 3100

        change $0058 # 88 pixels
        to     $0078 # 120 pixels or what you feel is useful

It may be necessary to trash the Finder Preference file, found in the Preferences forlder, for this patch to take effect. Of course, it's also necessary to do someting as ‘clean-up window’.

6) Suppress trash warnings no patch is needed; just do ‘get info’ on the trash, dumb !!

7) Allocate more memory to the Finder in 'SIZE' -1. Beef up the Size field; I use 327680.

8) Tell the Finder how to open documents for which it can't find applications. Edit 'fmap' 17010. It contains a series of eight bytes records. The first four bytes are a document Type, the last four are the Creator of the application to use to open this kind of document. The last record is all zeroes. For example, to open 'GIFf' files with PhotoShop, which has Creator '8BIM', insert GIFf8BIM (ascii) at beginning of 'fmap' 17010.

9) Add/change menu key equivalents Add the 'fmnu' template in the Finder or ResEdit itself; edit Cmd Key fields in 'fmnu' resources 1251 to 1256. [See the MacTutor source code disk for this template. -Ed.]

10) Add a 'Quit' item to the File menu This is useful to get more CPU time and a cleaner desktop while playing games. Also, one can edit the Finder directly into the System Folder. get a working 'fmnu' template (see #8), open 'fmnu' 1252 in the second field of the fmnu, change the Item Count from 17 to 19; scroll to the end, select last *****, do ‘insert new fields’ twice, then edit these new fields: in item 17 put AppleEvent xxx0, Item Text - in item 18 put AppleEvent quit, Flags $8100, Item Text Quit

An application to automate these patches would make a useful free/share-ware.

- François Grieu

from AppleLink postings

Databasing Code for Reuse

Code reuse can really save a lot of time but it’s often hard to keep track of what routines we’ve written that are generic enough to be recyclable. I use a database to store the code, along with relevent keywords and language identification. This lets me search for likely words in order to find code I’ve already written. If you’re using MultiFinder or System 7 you can use any database but for ease of use and convenience, or if you’re using Finder, the DA Databases such as DeskFile from Zedcor or DAtabase are hard to beat.

- Tom Trinko

Databasing Code for Reuse

This is a “Tips and Tidbits” for System 7.0 only. If you hold the shift key depressed when Mac starts there are no extensions loaded. But only and only if it found a resource type 'dbex' ID=-16385 in the System file.

- Daniel Mueller

Chavannes, Switzerland


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