TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 93 Letters
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:Dialogue Box

Dialogue Box

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

I Like humor, Too

I am writting in response to a comment in the "dialog box" of the January issue regarding the lighter side. - the writer said to drop it.

I think that you should keep it. Humor is a good thing.

Also, what are the odds of you maintaining your own BBS for developers? This would be highly useful to allow subscribers to call up and ask questions or download specific code fragments from various issues (the cd-rom would be cheaper if you wanted everything). I would enjoy being able to contact other developers and ask questions that are not being responded to on Developer Talk in AppleLink.

Thanks for the great magazine.

- Robert J. Sanford, Jr.

Future Soft Engineering

[Robert, we will not be running our own BBS for now. We are setting up areas on CompuServe, AOL and AppleLink. Those areas should all be up and running by the time you read this. If you have problems, e-mail us for more information. Our most current e-mail addresses are on page two of this issue. - Ed.]

C or Pascal

I know you've been wanting input from readers, and I've been meaning to write, but it took Dave Mark's September column to prompt me to do it.

I probably should have realized that, with a title like "C or Pascal, Which is the Best Language?", I shouldn't have read any further. But curiosity got the better of me. You see, I have wondered for many years just what causes fanatic C fans to be fanatic.

Mark gives us the same tired, religious, non-sense that every one of the fanatics uses. C offers notational flexibility. C is compact. C is powerful. Pascal is a Volvo?! C will really let you fly! Give me a break!

I defy Mark to show me THINK C code that performs some powerful action that THINK Pascal code cannot (and in a more user/programmer-friendly fashion, that's why we use Macs isn't it?). Where is the power in a language used for an annual contest to see who can write the most convoluted code (BYTE Magazine)?

The point behind programming is to produce correct software. The fastest, most powerful, flexible, compact code is useless if it's not correct. Computer Science has spent more than 3 decades moving further away from the computer by adding layers of abstraction which increase programmer accuracy and efficiency. That's why we don't program using ones and zeros, despite the fact that there is unlimited power there. That's why the U.S. Government and military, as well as the commercial aviation industry, have moved in the opposite direction, by standardizing on Ada (which is based on Pascal syntax).

If support is what you want, you should be using and programming MS-DOS. Does support or popularity make something the right tool for the job? Isn't the best language the right one for the job? Don't programmers deserve the same ease of use we provide for our users?

I want my compiler to spot my mistakes as soon as I make them, not after I spend three hours tracing through the code. THINK Pascal does that. And despite the latest improvements, the THINK Pascal environment is still superior to THINK C in terms of editing, debugging, and navigating through your source code.

All of this is irrelevant, though, because the best language is the one that gets the job done for you. And Dave, I really did enjoy the rest of your article, particularly the stuff on data representations and parameter passing in C and Pascal. And congratulations on your new addition to the family.

Getting off my soapbox, I'm glad to have MacTutor back and, apparently, growing again. While I agree that spending 1/4 the magazine on a LISP example is probably too much, my vote is not to reduce your coverage of FORTRAN, Lisp, BASIC, <insert your favorite way to teach your computer here>, what-have-you. I would hate to see such a great programming resource turn into some kind of clique for the gang with the most popular language.

- Michael Gibbs, Surpise, Arizona

[We have no intention of making MT a single language journal. As far as C vs. Pascal, the best language is the one that gets the job done for you. The industry is standardizing on C, but that doesn't mean that you have to. Anyone have any other comments for Michael? - Ed.]


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Duet - Use your iPad as an exter...
Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Note: This app requires a $14.99 iOS companion app. Version Read more
Apple iTunes 12.5.2 - Play Apple Music a...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and stream Apple Music, download and watch video and listen to Podcasts. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and... Read more
Pinegrow Web Designer 2.95 - Mockup and...
Pinegrow Web Designer is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation, Angular JS, and... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.6 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
jAlbum 13.6 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results - Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
TextMate 2.0-beta.12.26 - Code/markup ed...
TextMate is a versatile plain text editor with a unique and innovative feature set which caused it to win an Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Developer Tool in August 2006. A rapidly growing... Read more
VMware Fusion 8.5.1 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion 8 and Fusion 8 Pro--the latest versions of its virtualization software for running Windows on a Mac without rebooting--include full support for Windows 10, OS X El Capitan, and the... Read more
Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.3 - Professiona...
Apple Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing solution.Completely redesigned from the ground up, Final Cut Pro adds extraordinary speed, quality, and flexibility to every part of the post-... Read more
Civilization VI 1.0.0 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
Paperless 2.3.7 - $49.95
Paperless is a digital documents manager. Remember when everyone talked about how we would soon be a paperless society? Now it seems like we use paper more than ever. Let's face it - we need and we... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Roofbot: Puzzler On The Roof (Games)
Roofbot: Puzzler On The Roof 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Guide Roofie through gorgeous, meditative rooftops and try to get the right color energy balls into the... | Read more »
The 4 best food delivery apps
As the temperatures continue to drop, so does the motivation to venture outside. Sometimes you still want to eat a nice meal from that sushi place down the road though. Thankfully in these trying times, there are a number of fine food delivery... | Read more »
Toca Life: Farm (Education)
Toca Life: Farm 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Work and play the farmer's way! Milk your cow, gather eggs from your hens and raise your crops. Have a picnic, play the... | Read more »
The Lost Shield (Games)
The Lost Shield 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The Lost shield is a brick break/adventure game. You play as a hero who must return a powerful but dangerous magic shield... | Read more »
The Forgotten Room (Games)
The Forgotten Room 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Play as paranormal investigator John “Buster of Ghosts” Murr as he explores yet another mysteriously creepy house. This... | Read more »
5 Halloween mobile games for wimps
If you're anything like me, horror games are a great way to have nightly nightmares for the next decade or three. They're off limits, but perhaps you want to get in on the Halloween celebrations in some way. Fortunately not all Halloween themed... | Read more »
The 5 scariest mobile games
It's the most wonderful time of the year for people who enjoy scaring themselves silly with haunted houses, movies, video games, and what have you. Mobile might not be the first platform you'd turn to for quality scares, but rest assured there are... | Read more »
Lifeline: Flatline (Games)
Lifeline: Flatline 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The Lifeline series takes a terrifying turn in this interactive horror experience. Every decision you make could help... | Read more »
Game of Dice is now available on Faceboo...
After celebrating its anniversary in style with a brand new update, there’s even more excitement in store for Game of Dice has after just being launched on Facebook Gameroom. A relatively new platform, Facebook Gameroom has been designed for PC... | Read more »
4 addictive clicker games like Best Fien...
Clickers are passive games that take advantage of basic human psychology to suck you in, and they're totally unashamed of that. As long as you're aware that this game has been created to take hold of your brain and leave you perfectly content to... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple Unveils Redesigned MacBook Pro With Tou...
October 27, 2016 – Apple today introduced the thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro yet, along with a new interface innovation that replaces the traditional row of function keys with a Retina-quality... Read more
Apple Unveils New TV App for Apple TV, iPhone...
October 27, 2016 – Apple today introduced a new TV app, offering a unified experience for discovering and accessing TV shows and movies from multiple apps on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad. The TV app... Read more
Price drops on select refurbished 2015 13″ Re...
Apple dropped prices on select Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros by as much as $90. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple reveals new next-generation 15″ and 13″...
Apple today revealed their next-generation 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros. The new models are thinner and lighter than before with a new aluminum design featuring an enhanced keyboard with retina, multi-... Read more
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Up 1.0% Year o...
According to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 362.9 million smartphones worldwide in the third... Read more
TuneBand Arm Band For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Rel...
Grantwood Technology has added the TuneBand for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to its smartphone armband series. The TuneBand provides a lightweight and comfortable way to wear the iPhone while running,... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Adorama has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini (Apple sku# MGEM2LL/A): $449 $50 off MSRP To purchase a mini at... Read more
21-inch 1.6GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
B&H has the 21″ 1.6GHz Apple iMac on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Macs’ Superior Enterprise Deployment Cost Eco...
IBM’s debunking of conventional wisdom and popular mythology about the relative cost of using Apple Mac computers as opposed to PCs running Microsoft Windows at the sixth annual Jamf Nation User... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for $50-...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP -... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Software Engineering Intern: UI Applications...
Job Summary Apple is currently seeking enthusiastic interns who can work full-time for a minimum of 12-weeks between Fall 2015 and Summer 2016. Our software Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 52812872 Houston, Texas, United States Posted: Oct. 18, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.