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May 94 Newsbits
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Newsbits


By Scott T Boyd, Editor

Stand out, fit in - Apple says

Apple has outlined its strategy for future development of its operating system for Macintosh. When they say “standing out” they mean extensions to the user interface, including active assistance, advanced graphics, multimedia technologies, speech recognition, text to speech, and collaboration services. When they say “fitting in” they mean support for Windows and DOS software, TCP/IP and Novell NetWare IPX support, and interoperability with other mail and messaging systems, as well as lots of file formats.

OpenDoc landed in both the standing out and fitting in categories. Later this year, they’re promising System 7.5 to users, and, even later this year, OpenDoc to developers.

Promised in the next two years are two system releases. The first will incorporate OpenDoc and active assistance. It will also have improvements in multitasking, memory protection, and data i/o. The second system will offer intelligent assistance, a fully exploited microkernel, and something significant in graphics.

Symantec C++ 7.0

Symantec has announced a new version of their popular C++ development environment. Key features include an integrated “Visual Architect”, a newly reworked TCL, Bedrock exception handling, support for AppleEvents, scriptability, and an inspector.

Visual architect lets you create the user interface and then generates C++ code to create a running application. They have a scheme to allow you to modify an interface element without losing the ability to modify it with the visual tools.

The new TCL is fully implemented in C++ using multiple inheritance, templates, and constructors. It is implemented using universal headers, and it’s been fully factored.

The inspector lets you view and modify instances of any object while your application is running.

They also have a prerelease set of tools for porting applications to the PowerPC. These include a cross-compiler and the Apple linker and debugger, all working with the C++ 7.0 environment.

Symantec C++ 7.0 has a suggested retail price (US)of $499, with an upgrade for 6.0 users at an SRPof $149.95. A “crossgrade” for registered users of THINK C or THINKPascal is available at an SRP of $199.95, and the cross-development tool kit is $100.

For more information, call 800/441-7234 or 408/252-3570.

MCN 12th Conference

The Macintosh Consultants Network announced its Twelfth International Consultants Conference at the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara, CA, May 5 through 8, 1994. This conference will center on newly-emerging technologies, and will include companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony, General Magic, Global Village, SuperMac, Dayna, APS, FWB, and others.

For more info, call 800/729-4MCN.

Common Ground 1.1

New features include JPEGcompression, a Windows miniviewer, AOCE and Easy Open support, and an FKEYto select the Common Ground printer driver. $189.95. For more info, call 415/802-5800 or 800/598-3821 or

Butler SQLServer Goes Native

EveryWare has announced a significant rewrite of their SQLserver which runs on the PowerMacintosh. They also plan to add support later this summer for Microsoft’s Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC) and Apple’s AOCE. For more info, call 905/819-1173, or link EVERYWARE.

Retro-technology pda

Computer Fun announced a breakthrough in PDA technology. The first retro-tech item is Fig™, a pocket-sized calendar/appointment/phone directory, with capabilities similar to Apple’s Newton MessagePad. Fig is a Futuristic Intelligent Guide. It requires no special training and has gone beyond the need for expensive batteries. It features built-in handwriting recognition, including print, cursive, graphics, or any mixture. It’s all-digital, and pages can be turned whenever you have your fingers with you. Fig is available directly from Computer Fun at $9.95 each.

For more info, call 800/521-8484 or 619/271-9090.

Going Native

C-Index Pro, a high-performance database engine, from Trio Systems Europe, is available and running native on the Power Macintosh. It’s sold as a universal source code package, and both PowerPC and 68K versions are included. It’s compatible with Windows, OS/2, UNIX, MS-DOS, and others, and there are no changes required from their 4.0 version. List price is $495, and the developer’s bundle list price is $749. Registered users will receive free upgrades.

For more info, call Trio Systems Europe at +31 (0)20 638-6507

On does software metering

ONTechnology has announced SofTrack, a well-regarded license metering package. It supports all the major desktop operating systems and requires no modification to a users’ environment. SofTrack, written by John T. McCann, is a Novell NetWare Loadable Module (NLM), and it controls how many copies of a software product are in use on a corporate-wide Novell network.

Users who have to wait for an available license get automatically notified when one becomes free. SofTrack has the ability to meter the same applications for different platforms under the same license count.

Group tracking lets SofTrack meter different groups independently for the same piece of software. Other management tools include customized graphs and reports, and the ability to automatically notify someone when a license is approaching a critical point.

For more information, call ONTechnology at 617/374-1400.

CompuServe opens an on ramp

CompuServe members will be able to access CompuServe directly from the Internet using the telnet protocol. Members may access using the CompuServe Information Manager (CIM) user interface or any general communications software. Telnet access will eliminate the need for a separate modem connection and, for some members, the need to dial long distance to reach the CompuServe network. CompuServe will provide free online membership sign-up for non-members who access via telnet.

Rates for accessing CompuServe through telnet will be the same as dial-up rates via the CompuServe network. CompuServe members pay $8.95 per month for unlimited connect-time access to more than 60 basic services. Rates to access extended (hourly-priced) services are $4.80/hour at 1200 or 2400 bits per second, and $9.60/hour at 9.6 or 14.4 kilobits per second.

Through the rest of 1994, CompuServe will introduce access to a variety of Internet resources, including the popular Internet USENET Newsgroups, remote log-in to Internet hosts and file transfer from Internet archive sites. Rates have yet to be determined, and CompuServe is developing an easy-to-use interface for CompuServe members who are not Internet experts.

For information, call 800/621-1253 (outside the U.S., call 614/529-1349).

Making it talk

Jeff Iverson, a developer of educational software and tools for developers announces his latest tool, SpeechManager XCMD. SpeechManager XCMD is an external command (XCMD) that gives HyperCard (and other programs that use externals) access to Apple Computer's PlainTalk Text To Speech (Macintalk Pro) or Speech Manager Extension (Macintalk II) technology. With SpeechManager, developers and users alike can add the power of speech to their Macintosh.

SpeechManager allows the user to work with multiple speech channels, voices, and control them all independently. Control is provided for pitch and rate. The limit of text to be spoken is limited only by the amount of RAM available.

The cost of the package is $30.00 (US), and licenses are available to developers of commercial products to use the external in their own products.

Orders may be sent to Jeff Iverson, 2800 Selkirk Dr., C-104, Burnsville MN 55337-5662, or purchase orders may be faxed to (612) 890-8166. For more information, Jeff can be reached via e-mail at

Object Master and CodeWarrior team up

ACIUS, Inc. and Metrowerks Inc. have announced mutual support for each other’s development tools. This support provides uses of Metrowerks’ CodeWarrior development environment a seamless integration with the Object Master programming environment. At the same time, users of Object Master can access the CodeWarrior compilation system.

Object Master assists developers while they design and write code by providing navigational tools coupled with a scriptable, language-aware source code editor. Changes made in the Object Master environment are immediately displayed - no compilation is required. Once code has been written, compiling is accomplished by an integrated third-party compilation system such as Code Warrior.

Metrowerks C, C++, and Pascal are high-speed compilers accessed through the CodeWarrior development environment. PowerPlant is an object-oriented applications framework which uses a modular mix-in architecture and allows the mixing of standard C and C++ binaries without the drawbacks of traditional application frameworks.

For more info, call ACIUS at 408/252-4444, or Metrowerks at 514/747-5999.


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