TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jul 93 Tips, Tidbits
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:7
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Related Info: Menu Manager

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

Ever wonder how to have menus without having to give up space to the menubar? Here's how:

{1}

var
 theMenuRect: Rect;
 theMenuRgn: RgnHandle;
 
begin
 SetRect(theMenuRect,0,0,screenBits.bounds.right,GetMBarHeight);
 theMenuRgn:= NewRgn;
 RectRgn (theMenuRgn,theMenuRect);
 UnionRgn(GetGrayRgn,theMenuRgn,GetGrayRgn);
 ...
 ...  {You can now draw over the menubar if you have a valid port there}
 ...  {If the user clicks in the invisible menubar, it will still pop 
up}
 ...
 XorRgn(GetGrayRgn,theMenuRgn,GetGrayRgn);
 DisposeRgn(theMenuRgn);
end.

This can be great for games where you could really use the extra space sometimes. You just have to make sure you don't call DrawMenuBar. What happens is the menubar is re-drawn. Therefore, make sure you set up the menus before you do the above or, if you have to call DrawMenuBar, make sure you draw over the entire menubar during the update event.

Make sure you call XorRgn at the end as this step restores the GrayRgn to what it was before. It is extremely discourteous not to do so. It would also be a good idea to do this when your application goes into the backgound, however, when it comes to games, it's not likely you'll be redrawing menubars and switching back and forth between apps too much.

- Narayan Sainaney

SNR Enterprises., sainaney@unixg.ubc.ca

Booleans are Booleans are Booleans

This tip was inspired by the Tip of the Month in the April issue. If you recall, the code contained the statement

if (theMode != 0)
 return (true);
else
 return (false);

This can be written much more simply (borrowing from another tip in the April issue) as:

/* 2*/

return
 theMode != 0;

This equivalence of booleans applies in other contexts as well. For example, I have seen people write something like

If Count = 0 then
 NoMore := true
else
 NoMore := false

when they can of course write:

/* 3 */

NoMore := Count = 0
Remember: Booleans are values too!

- Lawrence D’Oliveiro, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

See also Apr 93 Tips, Tidbits

C and Pascal Strings

The Mac toolbox calls EqualString and UprString perform some useful string-functions (see Inside Macintosh Volume II, p. 377). However they accept only pascal-style strings. A possible coding would be:

 { char *s = "this is a Π" ;
   CtoPstr (s) ;
   UprString (s, false) ;
   PtoCstr (s) ;
 }

Causing the overhead of converting a C-string to Pascal and back. However, the assembly trap macro only needs a pointer to the string and the length:

/* 4 */

{ shortsLen ;
  char *s = "this is a Π" ;

  sLen = strlen (s) ;
  asm {
    move.l s,  A0
    move.w sLen,   D0
    _UprString
  }
}

It’s so much faster! Especially if you already have the length of the string, instead of having to do the strlen.

- Jan Bruyndonckx

Speedier Conditioning

There is a small speed advantage to writing nested IF-THEN conditions over one IF-THEN condition that contains the AND or the & operators. The condition:

IF x=5 THEN 
IF X=6 THEN

executes faster and generates more compact code than the condition:

IF (x=5) and (y=6) then 

and much faster than the condition:

IF (x=5) & (y=6)

The above conditions are semantically identical!

- Marek Hajek,

Hajek’s Solutions, Reno, Nevada

Duo Space Bar problems?

Having problems with your space bar on your Duo? Ray Jackson from Personal Support Computers in West Los Angeles tells me that many times it is simply a case of the screw (on the bottom of the Duo) being too tight. It seems that Apple didn't think through their mounting concepts well enough and sometimes the space bar suffers.

[Ray, my Duo works much better now. Thanks. - Ed.]

- Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

Timing MPW Commands

Have you ever wanted to know how long an MPW command needs to execute? Some tools and scripts provide timing functions, but many don't.

For a generic "Time" command, put this script in your :MPW: Scripts: folder:

/* 5 */

Set _started_ `date -n`
{Parameters}
Set _finished_ `date -n`
Echo -n "n# Execution time in seconds: "
Evaluate {_finished_}-{_started_}
Unset _started_, _finished_

Then, enter this in the MPW Worksheet:

Time commandName

where commandName is the name of the script or tool you want to time.

Caveats:

1) The resolution of the "Time" script is one second, and the overhead of the script itself may be up to one second on slower machines. In other words, don't bother timing commands if they take only a few seconds to execute, or if you need very precise timings.

2) This won't work for stand-alone applications. If you're using MultiFinder or System 7, the script won't wait for the application to finish its run. In Finder 6 or earlier, MPW has to shut down completely when it launches an application, and the script cannot resume when MPW reloads.

- Lee David Rimar, Oak Park, Michigan

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Four apps to help improve your Super Bow...
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, and whether you’re a Panthers or a Broncos fan you’re no doubt gearing up for it. [Read more] | Read more »
LooperSonic (Music)
LooperSonic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LooperSonic is a multi-track audio looper and recorder that will take your loops to the next level. Use it like a loop pedal to... | Read more »
Space Grunts guide - How to survive
Space Grunts is a fast-paced roguelike from popular iOS developer, Orange Pixel. While it taps into many of the typical roguelike sensibilities, you might still find yourself caught out by a few things. We delved further to find you some helpful... | Read more »
Dreii guide - How to play well with othe...
Dreii is a rather stylish and wonderful puzzle game that’s reminiscent of cooperative games like Journey. If that sounds immensely appealing, then you should immediately get cracking and give it a whirl. We can offer you some tips and tricks on... | Read more »
Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
You already know how to hop around like Mario, but do you know how to defeat him? Those are your marching orders in Kill the Plumber, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to get you started. This is not a seasoned platform... | Read more »
Planar Conquest (Games)
Planar Conquest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $12.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: IMPORTANT: Planar Conquest is compatible only with iPad 3 & newer devices, iPhone 5 & newer. It’s NOT compatible with... | Read more »
We talk to Cheetah Mobile about its plan...
Piano Tiles 2 is a fast-paced rhythm action high score chaser out now on iOS and Android. You have to tap a series of black tiles that appear on the screen in time to the music, being careful not to accidentally hit anywhere else. Do that and it's... | Read more »
Ultimate Briefcase guide - How to dodge...
Ultimate Briefcase is a simple but tricky game that’s highly dependent on how fast you can react. We can still offer you a few tips and tricks on how to survive though. Guess what? That’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Take it easy [Read more... | Read more »
SoundPrism Link Edition (Music)
SoundPrism Link Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Introductory price for a the first few days after launch - if you're reading this, get it while it's fresh out of... | Read more »
Pre-register now for hack and slasher An...
Fincon, which won Facebook's Studio to Watch award in 2015, has announced that pre-registration is now open for the massive 3.0 update for its award-winning hack and slasher Angel Stone. Angel Stone is a post-apocalyptic action RPG in which the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

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
Macs available for up to $300 off MSRP, $20 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
Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Apple now offering full line of Certified Ref...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
Free GUI Speedometer – The Ultimate Digital D...
Miami, Florida based RMKapps has announced the official release of GUI Speedometer 1.0, their digital dashboard display developed for iOS devices. GUI Speedometer allows users to track their precise... Read more
FutureCalc: Ergonomic iOS Calculator App For...
London, United Kingdom based Independent software developer and entrepreneur, Hovik Melikyan has announced the release and immediate availability of FutureCalc 1.0, his new ergonomic calculator app... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Subject Matter Expert - Experis (Uni...
This position is for an Apple Subject Matter Expert to assist in developing the architecture, support and services for integration of Apple devices into the domain. Read more
*Apple* Macintosh OSX - Net2Source Inc. (Uni...
…: * Work Authorization : * Contact Number(Best time to reach you) : Skills : Apple Macintosh OSX Location : New York, New York. Duartion : 6+ Months The associate would Read more
Computer Operations Technician ll - *Apple*...
# Web Announcement** Apple Technical Liaison**The George Mason University, Information Technology Services (ITS), Technology Support Services, Desktop Support Read more
Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and 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.