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

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Baseball Battle Review
Baseball Battle Review By Jennifer Allen on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLE HITTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple and cute, Baseball Battle is a fairly fun baseball game for those looking for something... | Read more »
Checkmark 2.1 Update Released, and it’s...
Checkmark 2.1 Update Released, and it’s on Sale for a Limited Time Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Labor Day Weekend MacBook Pro sale; 15-inch m...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Labor Day Weekend iPad mini sale; $50 to $100...
Best Buy has the iPad mini with Retina Display (WiFi models) on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store for Labor Day Weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $899,...
Adorama has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
It’s Official: Apple Issues Invitations To Se...
Apple has issued one of its characteristically cryptic press invitations for a special event to be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in hometown Cupertino on Sept. 9, 2014 at 10:00 am... Read more
Tablet Shipments To See First On-year Decline...
TrendForce analyst Caroline Chen notes that when the iPad launched in 2010, it was an instant hit and spurred a tablet PC revolution, with tablets so popular that that notebook PC sales stagnated and... Read more
SOBERLINK Releases Apple iOS Compatible Handh...
Cypress, California based SOBERLINK, Inc., creator of the first handheld Breathalyzer designed to improve recovery outcomes, continues to show prominence in the mobile alcohol monitoring space with... Read more
New 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale again for $999, s...
Best Buy has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pick up. Price is for online orders only, in-... Read more
Smartphone Outlook Remains Strong for 2014, U...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014,... Read more
Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.