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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »
The best cooking apps (just in time for...
It’s that time of year again, where you’ll be gathering around the dinner table with your family and a huge feast in front of you. [Read more] | Read more »
Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »
Snowboard Party 2 (Games)
Snowboard Party 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crowned the best snowboarding game available on the market, Snowboard Party is back to fulfill all your adrenaline needs in... | Read more »
One Button Travel (Games)
One Button Travel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: “To cut a long story short, If you like interactive fiction, just go buy this one.” - “Oozes the polish that... | Read more »
Light Apprentice Volume 1 (Games)
Light Apprentice Volume 1 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Light Apprentice Volume 1 includes Chapters 1 to 4, all gathered in a new exclusive game. When life in the world of... | Read more »
The best games like Animal Crossing on m...
Animal Crossing amiibo Festival is out right now for the Wii U, reminding us of just how much fun that world can be. Or at least to go back and check in on our villages once in a while. [Read more] | Read more »
Between 2 Taps - Tap for Tap interview M...
Hello, and welcome back to Between 2 Taps, Tap for Tap’s Indie Dev interview series. [Read more] | Read more »
Facility 47 (Games)
Facility 47 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: You wake up alone and freezing in an icy cell. You try the cell door but it’s locked, it seems that you are stuck with no... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Black Friday deals on the Apple Watch and App...
Apple resellers are offering discounts and bundles with the purchase of an Apple Watch this Black Friday weekend. Below is a roundup of the deals being offered by authorized Watch resellers: Apple... Read more
Early Black Friday sale at B&H Photo, up...
B&H Photo has all new Macs on sale for up to $500 off MSRP as part of their early Black Friday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699 $300 off... Read more
NewerTech/OWC/MacSales Black Friday Deals 201... • Free Shipping available on nearly EVERYTHING on orders $35.00 & up within USA + • International Delivery Specials from $2.99+ Special Purolator... Read more
Walmart Black Friday deals: $100 off select i...
Walmart has released their Black Friday deals for 2015, now available online. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - 16GB iPad Air 2: $399, $100 off MSRP - 16GB iPad Air: $... Read more
Photo Cleaner 1.0 Reclaims iPhone Storage Spa...
Seoul, Korea based mix1009 has announced the release and immediate availability of Photo Cleaner 1.0, their handy iPhone app that deletes the video portion of Live Photos, in order to reclaim space... Read more
Black Friday and Holiday sales on our price t...
Scan our Mac Price Trackers for the latest Black Friday and Holiday season information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the... Read more
Best Buy Black Friday deals: Up to $200 off M...
Best Buy has posted their Black Friday sale prices for 2015. Save on MacBook Pros, MacBooks, MacBook Airs, iMacs, iPads, and Apple Watches. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Save $30-$40 on new Apple TVs after rebate
Adorama has new Apple TVs on sale for up to $40 off MSRP after mail-in rebate, good through December 15th. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 32GB Apple TV: $119.99... Read more
13-Inch Haswell MacBook Air At Two Years – Th...
The 13-inch mid-2013 “Haswell” MacBook Air I ordered in Apple’s November 2013 Black Friday sale was my first new Mac in four and a half years — the longest interval I’ve gone between system upgrades... Read more
Target Black Friday Early Access deals: $100...
Target is offering early access to their Black Friday deals on Apple products on their online store for today, the 25th, only. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available): - Apple... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Enterprise / Government Professional...
# Apple Enterprise / Gove ment Professional Services Engineer Job Number: 42292976 Reston, Virginia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
iOS Wallet & *Apple* Pay Engineer - App...
# iOS Wallet & Apple Pay Engineer Job Number: 40586801 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The iOS Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Clock Fa...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch - Clock Face Team Job Number: 44368761 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 14, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Read more
Administrative Assistant, *Apple* Online St...
# Administrative Assistant, Apple Online Store Job Number: 43992352 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 9, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.