TweetFollow Us on Twitter

May 93 Tips, Tidbits
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Related Info: Quickdraw Color Quickdraw

Tips & Tidbits

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

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.

MacTech Magazine will pay $25 for every tip used, and $50 for the Tip of the Month. Or you can take your award in orders or subscriptions.

To submit a tip, send in a letter to the magazine. E-mail is our preferred method, but feel free to send something via the US Mail. See page two for all addresses. 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.

Tip of the Month

DebugFStr and DebugFsStr are C macros that enable developers to drop into a low-level debugger, such as MacsBug or TMON, and display the contents of variables in a formatted manner. One example would be to display a long in hex, decimal or octal notation. Better yet, several variables can be shown together on the same message line that is displayed by a debugger. These macros can be used by both Think C and MPW C. Here's how to use 'em (Think C users):

Add the DebugFStr or DebugFsStr macro to your code. To use either macro, include the ANSI (or ANSI-small) and the MacTraps libraries in your project. You must also include the "stdio.h" header file in any source file in which you intend to use these macros. Don't forget to define 'AND' because it is necessary for the syntax of both macros. Macro definitions:

/* 1 */
#define DebugFStr(x,y,z)  sprintf((char *)x,(char *)y,z);      
 c2pstr((char *)x);\
#define DebugFsStr(x,y) { Str255 a_temporary_string = "\0";    
 sprintf((char *)a_temporary_string,(char *)x,y);\
 c2pstr((char *)a_temporary_string); \
#define AND ,

Place DebugFStr or DebugFsStr calls throughout your code in places where you want to drop into your low-level debugger and view the contents of variables. The syntax for using each macro is:

/* 2 */

DebugFStr((char *)resultString,(const char *)formatString,var1 AND var2 
AND varN)
DebugFsStr((const char *)formatString,var1 AND var2 AND   varN)

When using DebugFStr, you must declare and pass a string variable that will be used by the macro to hold the resulting formatted string. This string is a Str255.

FormatString should be a C string constant, enclosed in double-quotes, and can contain formatting information that is identical to the formatting information used for ANSI C's sprintf function.

The variables var1 through varN must be separated by the word AND and the variables must be ordered to correspond directly to the order of the variables defined in the formatString. See the Think C Standard Libraries Reference guide for more information about the sprintf function.

NOTE: The combined length of the formatString and the formatted variables cannot exceed 255 characters, because both macros call DebugStr which requires a Pascal-style string.

NOTE: Notice in the syntax for both macros that neither is delimited by a semicolon.

The only real difference between DebugFStr and DebugFsStr is that the DebugFsStr macro creates a temporary string variable for the formatted string result and DebugFStr requires you to supply a string which will be used by the macro to store the formatted string result.

Following is a function that demonstrates the use of DebugFStr.

/* 3 */

static void MyFunc(short dummy)
 long    tempL1 = 1000;
 long    tempL2 = 20;
 Str255  result;

 DebugFStr((char *)result,"In HEX, tempL1 is %#lX and tempL2 is %#lX.",
 tempL1 AND tempL2)
 tempL1 += tempL2;
 DebugFStr((char *)result,"In decimal, tempL1 is %ld.",templL1) }

In the sample function shown above, MyFunc would drop into your debugger two times. On the first drop, your debugger would display the message: In Hex, tempL1 is 0X3E8 and tempL2 is 0X14. On the second drop, your debugger would display the message: In decimal, tempL1 is 1020.

- Jerry Panagrossi

Int'l Biotech via AppleLink

Adding Touch to MPW

If you work much with makefiles, you may sometimes want an easy way to touch a file's modification date. MPW doesn't include a touch command, but it's easy to add one. Type this command into the MPW Worksheet and press Enter:

 Alias Touch "Setfile -m . "

With this alias, you can touch the last modification date of files by entering commands like "touch filename" (updates just the one filename) or "touch .f" (all files in current folder with names ending in ".f").

After you've tried this and decided it's something you'd like as a permanent feature in MPW, copy the above Alias command to your UserStartup file. That way it will be executed each time you launch MPW.

- Lee D. Rimar

Rochester Hills, MI

Subtle QuickDraw Change

If you are writing code that bypasses QuickDraw and writes directly to the screen, and your code is running under 32-bit QuickDraw, only mask off the upper two bits of the screen’s rowbytes value. Previous to 32-bit QuickDraw, the maximum value for rowbytes was $1FFE (bits 13-15 reserved for flags), but with 32-bit QuickDraw, the maximum restriction has been raised to $3FFE (only bits 14 & 15 are reserved).

In most situations, an application that does its own blits to the screen would not encounter any problems masking off bit 13 BUT the time has arrived where bit 13 is being used. For example, a screen of 2048 32-bit pixels requires a rowbytes value of $2000. Applications that mask off bit 13 will produce a rowbytes value of zero, and will wind up drawing only to the top line of the screen.

By the way, if you did overlook this subtle change to the pixmap structure in Inside Mac IV (Chapter 17, page 5), don't feel left out, as I've found popular commercial applications making the same mistake as well.

- John C. Signa

SuperMac Technology


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Markly 1.5.3 - Create measurement and de...
Markly is a measurement and design-spec plugin/extension for Photoshop and Sketch. It is made for modern Web designers and app front-end developers. You can add specification marks simply by clicking... Read more
Suitcase Fusion 6 17.3.0 - Font manageme...
Suitcase Fusion 6 is the creative professional's font manager. Every professional font manager should deliver the basics: spectacular previews, powerful search tools, and efficient font organization... Read more
Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.2 - Multilingual wo...
Nisus Writer Pro is a powerful multilingual word processor, similar to its entry level products, but brings new features such as table of contents, indexing, bookmarks, widow and orphan control,... Read more
calibre 2.40.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Vivaldi - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
OmniPlan 3.0 - Robust project management...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Yummy FTP 1.11 - FTP/SFTP/FTPS client fo...
Yummy FTP is an FTP + SFTP + FTPS file transfer client which focuses on speed, reliability and productivity. Whether you need to transfer a few files or a few thousand, schedule automatic backups, or... Read more
Tweetbot 2.1 - Popular Twitter client. (...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
MacPilot 8.0 - Enable over 1,200 hidden...
MacPilot gives you the power of UNIX and the simplicity of Macintosh, which means a phenomenal amount of untapped power in your hands! Use MacPilot to unlock over 1,200 features, and access them all... Read more
Typinator 6.7 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more

Balloony Land offers a fresh twist on th...
Balloony Land by Palringo offers a fresh twist on the match three genre and is out now on iOS and Android. First-off, you'll be popping balloons instead of crushing candy and the balloons will float up and fill the empty spaces instead of dropping... | Read more »
Graphic - vector illustration and design...
Graphic - vector illustration and design 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Autodesk Graphic is a powerful full-featured vector drawing and illustration application right in... | Read more »
Sago Mini Babies (Education)
Sago Mini Babies 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Introducing the Sago Mini babies. Boys and girls love caring for these adorable characters. Feed Robin her favorite mush... | Read more »
PAUSE - Relaxation at your fingertip (H...
PAUSE - Relaxation at your fingertip 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Super Sharp (Games)
Super Sharp 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Your finger has never been so sharp! Cut with skill to complete the 120 ingenious physics levels of Super Sharp and become a cut... | Read more »
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone...
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Assembly is the easiest most powerful design tool on the App Store. Create anything you can... | Read more »
Dub Dash (Games)
Dub Dash 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ARE YOU READY FOR THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE? UNIQUE SYMBIOSIS OF MUSIC AND GRAPHICS | Read more »
Leave Me Alone (Games)
Leave Me Alone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 33% off launch sale!!! Somewhere between the 1980s and 1990s there exists a world that never was. A world of skatepunks,... | Read more »
YAMGUN (Games)
YAMGUN 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The invasion has begun! Protect the walls of the citadel against waves of enemies! But watch out, you will soon run out of ammo...... | Read more »
Chesh (Games)
Chesh 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It’s like chess, only not at all. ***40% off for a limited time to celebrate our launch!*** Chesh is a game of skill, strategy, luck,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

TP-LINK Next-Gen Routers Support a Large Numb...
TP-LINK, specialists in consumer and business networking products, have announced the availability of Archer C2600, the company’s next-generation router featuring wireless AC, multi-user MIMO, and 4-... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Save up to $350 with Apple refurbished iMacs
Apple has Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $1949 $350 off MSRP - 27... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2818.99, $181 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3699... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, fre...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149, $150 off MSRP... Read more
Twelve South Redesigns BookArc For Today’s Sm...
Twelve South has announced a redesigned version of their very first product, BookArc for MacBook. Tailored specifically for the newest generation of MacBooks, BookArc holds the new, smaller Apple... Read more
Phone 6s Tips & Tricks – Tips Book For iP...
Poole, United Kingdom based Tap Guides Ltd. has announced the release and immediate availability of iPhone 6s Tips & Tricks, an in-depth eBook available in the iBookstore that’s priced just $2.99... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $994,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $994.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $105 off MSRP. Price valid... Read more
Is The iPad Pro Really A Serious Laptop Repla...
Probably not, at least for productive professionals and other power users. Steve Jobs declared that we’d entered the “post-PC Era” with the advent of the original iPad in 2010, a phrase we don’t hear... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…work with some of the brightest engineers. Job Description Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Points:Depth of Read more
*Apple* Retail Online, Customer Experience R...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail's Online Store sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such Read more
Frameworks Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple...
**Job Summary** Join the team that is shaping the future of software development for Apple Watch! As a software engineer on the Apple Watch Frameworks team you will Read more
Senior Manager, Global Direct Marketing *App...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail is looking for an experienced Direct Marketing Leader to join its Marketing team. This position will take a leadership role in creating Read more
*Apple* Online Store Expansion - Apple (Unit...
**Job Summary** The Online Apple Store is seeking a person to lead its expansion into new countries. Based in Cupertino, CA, this person will develop and maintain an Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.