TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 93 Editorial
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:10
Column Tag:The Editor's Page

What time is it kids?

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

It’s Macworld time, of course! Yes, it’s true Macworld Expo/Boston has come and gone once again. This year’s Macintosh fiesta was held at the usual World Trade Center and Bayside Expo on August 3-6th.

Overall, the show was fairly “normal,” but there were a few notable things. First and foremost was Newton - the “buzz” of the show. With our MacTech Magazine booth being across from Apple’s Newton display, we can attest to the crowding in the aisles for a glimpse at Newton - but more on that in a minute.

On the developer tool front, there was not a lot going on. But there was the usual cast of tools folks showing their latest wares. In general, the tools market looks like it is getting stronger. Expect to see a lot of new tools starting at the end of this year, and a bunch of new releases in the first half of 1994. In addition, Apple is continuing on its new technology craze - AOCE, QuickDraw GX, AppleScript, and PlainTalk to name a few.

Newton

By now, you’ve all heard about Newton. With a little cooperation from Apple, you’ll be hearing a bunch more Newton information from us. Specifically, we hope to be covering the Newton Toolkit (or NTK for short) in the next couple of months.

There are a lot of people who are comparing the Newton MessagePad (the first Newton product) to the Macintosh 128K. In many respects they’re probably right - the MessagePad lacks software, reportedly is a little buggy, and needs more power and memory. But Newton has one thing the 128K lacked - good developer tools. Everything that we heard at the show indicated that the underlying Newton OS, NewtonScript and the development tools are quite rich. This is especially true when you consider that this is version 1.0 of those tools/software (and in some cases only 1.0 beta versions).

Once Apple sends our review unit, we’ll get you a review of Newton from the developer’s point of view. This will include the NTK. What we want to know from you is, how much would you like MacTech to cover on Newton? Send me an e-mail and let me know. See page 2 for contact information.

AppleScript

This was the first Macworld at which AppleScript was shipping. Unfortunately, AppleScript really didn’t get a chance to “strut its stuff” at Macworld. First, it was given a small area in the Apple booth, where it was greatly overshadowed by Newton.

Second, and more importantly, most of the major vendors that support AppleScript well either weren’t at Macworld or didn’t have a lot to say about it. For example, probably the most important companies are Symantec, Quark and Aldus. They’ve created very scriptable versions of their applications. But neither Symantec nor Quark had booths at Macworld. Aldus, who was there, seemed to be concentrating more on their personal products division. UserLand Software (who makes the Frontier scripting system) also didn’t have a booth at the show. However, Dave Winer, Frontier Creator and UserLand President, did make a great presentation at our MacTech Magazine LIVE! conference on scripting THINK C with Frontier.

The scripting model needs to be accepted by the developer and user communities. Most of the “hot” technologies that Apple will be developing have some tie to scripting. Those applications which aren’t fitted to handle AppleEvents (the communication method behind scripting) will not be able to take advantage of technologies to come. For those of you interested in better supporting AppleEvents, you might want to take a look at the May, 1993 issue of MacTech Magazine, or see some of the materials that UserLand has prepared to help you make the transition. UserLand has an area on CompuServe (GO USERLAND). In Library 7 of that forum, is a file called “AppleEvents 101.sit” that will help you out. In addition, you can contact UserLand for more information about “wiring” your application for AppleEvents.

AOCE

Apple spent some of their time showing off the latest beta version of the Apple Open Collaborative Environment (AOCE) in private briefing rooms near the Expo. AOCE has been a very misunderstood technology. Some people (including myself at one time) think that it is for integrating all of your e-mail into one mailbox. While it’s true that AOCE can do this, that’s not what AOCE is about.

AOCE is designed to aid collaboration between people, groups, and applications on the Macintosh. In today’s environment, people generally are part of several different groups. As a result, the person acts as the glue between these different groups’ methodologies and protocols. AOCE puts System 7 (with AOCE installed) in the middle and lets it be the glue instead.

It is very difficult to describe the benefits of AOCE. It provides three things well - integration, transparency and authentication. Yes, today through QuickMail, I get all of my mail - Inter-office, CompuServe, Internet, AppleLink and GEnie - in one mailbox on my machine. But AOCE does a much better job of integrating these all into one user interface, and can also handle things like incoming voice mail in the same in-box.

Transparency features like the key chain (one password logs you into everything) are simple but very useful - especially for folks in advanced small networks, or medium to large size networks. These networks have lots of services, and it’s really nice to handle them all in one shot.

Finally, authentication (an electronic signature on a document) is particularly useful for companies that have work routing procedures and want to increase their responsiveness. Initially, this will be more helpful to large companies, but eventually with developed solutions, small and medium business should also benefit.

AOCE doesn’t do anything new or technically amazing. That’s not its benefit. Its benefit comes from an amazing amount of integration and thought towards seamlessness and ease of use. In short, if developers support AOCE, we will have Macintosh type communications and collaboration - instead of PC style efforts with a Macintosh user interface.

Developers will need to add AOCE support for their products. According to Apple, this is not that difficult. The example given was that WordPerfect added mailer support in just a few days. It wasn’t fully complete, but they could demonstrate it. We’ll be looking to give you more information on AOCE in future issues.

OpenDoc (aka Amber)

Some of you may remember something called Amber from the WWDC report we did a few months ago. Apple has renamed this technology OpenDoc. For those of you who don’t remember, OpenDoc is the technology behind “plug and play documents.” In an OpenDoc document, one would be able to have several different types of rich contents all contained in one document. The parts would each be manipulated, created, and handled by a part editor (kind of a mini-application). The technology handles such things as overlapping objects, linking, scripting, editing in place, multiple drafts, etc

OpenDoc is a technology that takes a different business approach than other Apple technologies or Microsoft’s OLE (a competing technology). It is managed by an industry neutral association to maintain the code. All the source code will be available. To date, Apple has gotten “enthusiastic response” from a number of major vendors. Apple has even gotten some cooperation out of Microsoft who publishes OLE. Since OLE will be (at least initially) a force in the industry, Apple has said that if you support OpenDoc, “you’ll get OLE support for free.” With this approach, developers will be in a no-lose situation.

The driving force behind OpenDoc is to get away from the “monolithic” applications of today. Instead, developers will be able to create some very targeted applications. Further, systems integrators (or publishers) will be able to package together a suite of targeted solutions that really fit the users’ needs. In some ways, this can be looked upon as an interim approach to Taligent. If nothing else, it helps to prepare developers for what might be ahead.

QuickDraw GX

For some time now, Apple has been releasing information on QuickDraw GX - their next generation imaging model. GX is meant to deal with many of the features that people have wanted, as well as fixing some problems that people have had. Apple says that GX will provide new “color, graphics, text and printing functionality for Macintosh.” While this task is already non-trivial, Apple says that they are “committed to retaining backward compatibility, to protect users’ investments in fonts, applications, and hardware.”

With some help from Apple, MacTech Magazine will be covering the details once GX becomes available. But to give you a taste now, GX will enhance graphics, color matching, type and layout technologies, and printing. There are going to be different levels of support for GX that developers will need to embrace. The most of important of which will be the easiest to implement. QuickDraw GX is on schedule to be released by the end of 1993.

Conclusion

Newton was definitely the “hot item” at the show. But Macworld demonstrated that we are pretty much in the “on hold” stage - partly due to the economy and Apple’s situation. In my opinion, 1994 is going to be great for Macintosh - PowerPC, some great technologies, and some great new programming tools will all be coming our way. Better get that vacation time in now!

sick of your customers having drive problems?

We recently received two floppy drive diagnostic products: Accurite Technologies’ MacDrive Probe and MicroMat’s DriveTech. Since we’ve had a bit of trouble with a couple drives, we jumped on both of them. Each has its own advantages. DriveTech has a slick interface with a fancy animated drive mechanism graphic. It comes with a standard 3M head cleaning floppy kit (the one that Apple endorses), but adds a dedicated 30 second thorough cleaning cycle utility. In addition it has a write test that uses a blank floppy, and a read test that uses a special calibrated test disk. The tests are basically pass/fail.

MacDrive Probe also runs blank floppy and calibrated floppy tests, but it is more a “service-tech” product. It doesn't have the fancy GUI. Its strong points are that it provides actual drive results in micro inches, RPMs and degrees, it has many adjustable parameters, and it interfaces with another product of theirs for performing adjustments with oscilloscopes and screwdrivers. It doesn’t come with a cleaner, nor does it have “cleaning cycle” software, but you can buy the 3M cleaner separately.

If your customers complain of problem disks, you might suggest these products as a solution. For more information, contact MircoMat at (415) 898-6227 and Accurite at (408) 433-1980.

Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

WhatsApp 0.2.5862 - Desktop client for W...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
WhatsApp 0.2.5862 - Desktop client for W...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
Things 3.1.3 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.292 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Things 3.1.3 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.292 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Bookends 12.8.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Mellel 3.5.5 - The word processor for sc...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
Mellel 3.5.5 - The word processor for sc...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
Bookends 12.8.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more

Super Phantom Cat 2 beginner's guid...
Super Phantom Cat 2 presents a whole new world of fun platforming challenges and perplexing puzzles. It's a well-designed platformer with a bright, neon aesthetic that brings the genre up to date. [Read more] | Read more »
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition (Games)
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ** New story chapter! **** No Ads! **** No energy! ** The best fighting series on mobile has returned and... | Read more »
4 RPGs like Final Fantasy XV that deserv...
Square Enix announced another Final Fantasy XV spin-off today - Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition. This mobile, episodic version of the hit RPG gives the game a chibi-fied makeover. The first episode will be free, followed by 9 more premium episodes... | Read more »
Guild sieges and soul gems in latest upd...
Webzen’s MU Origin hit app stores last year, giving fans of fantasy hack-n-slash MMOs like Diablo a new fix to fixate on. This latest update introduces a competitive guild battle, a fresh dungeon challenge, a mini-game and some elemental gems to... | Read more »
Little Red Lie (Games)
Little Red Lie 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ARE YOU MORE AFRAID OF POVERTY THAN DEATH? Little Red Lie is a narrative-focused, interactive fiction experience that reduces... | Read more »
You can now apply to be Clash of Clans...
Earlier this month, word got out that the Builder, the trusty handiman who tirelessly built every single building inevery singleClash of Clansbase had called it quits. Sick of seeing his work destroyed endless, the Builder has set out for our world... | Read more »
Meshi Quest beginner's guide - how...
Meshi Quest is Square Enix's newest free-to-play release, and it's a real charmer. You start off as the head of a sushi restaurant, upgrading your food and equipment as you serve visitors heaping helpings of your delicious meals. As you progress,... | Read more »
BUST-A-MOVE JOURNEY (Games)
BUST-A-MOVE JOURNEY 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: BUST-A-MOVE Features:- Shoot bubbles and match 3 or more bubbles of the same color to make them pop!- Complete your... | Read more »
The best card combos in Clash Royale
Clash Royale is all about building a deck of units that synergise well. To help you get off to a flying start, we've put together a list of unit combinations that are incredibly effective. Looking for some choice 2v2 combos? Check out our guide. [... | Read more »
The best 2v2 card combos in Clash Royale
2v2 is making it's grand return toClash Royalequite soon. 2v2 has quickly become one of the game's most popular gameplay modes, though they still have yet to make it a permanent fixture in the game. 2v2 is exciting and adds some new flavor to... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pros for $100 of...
B&H Photo has 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXQ2LL... Read more
2016 MacBook Pros, Apple refurbished, availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available starting at $1189. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar Space... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished iPhone 6s...
Apple has Certified Refurbished unlocked iPhone 6s’s and 6s Plus’s available starting at $449. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each phone, and shipping is free: – 16GB iPhone 6s: $449, $... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished Pencils fo...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Apple Pencils available for $85 including free shipping. Their price is $14 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a Pencil. Read more
2016 15-inch 2.6GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro ava...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ 2.6GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $500 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.6GHz Touch... Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
Amazon has the new 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $999.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Free Instant Translator 2.0 App For iOS Relea...
Mobile application development company, Neoappz has announced the release and immediate availability of Instant Translator 2.0 for iOS devices. Instant Translator is a user-friendly application which... Read more
2017 15-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $200 of...
Amazon has 2017 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2199.99, $200 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver: $2296, $103 off MSRP – 15″... Read more
Apple’s 2017 Back to School Promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free. As part... Read more
Clearance 2016 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $1019. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more

Jobs Board

Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary 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
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.