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Jul 94 Newsbits
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:7
Column Tag:Newsbits


By Scott T Boyd, Editor

FORTRAN Subroutines Library

Language Systems announced the latest addition to their suite of FORTRAN programming tools; Math77 version 4.1 is now available at a low introductory price.

Originally developed for NASA, Math77 is a portable library of FORTRAN subroutines that contains 454 user-callable and 136 lower-level subprograms, all compatible with any computer system supporting the FORTRAN 77 standard. Functional coverage of Math77 is broad; the library implements contemporary algorithms for all basic computational processes in science and engineering.

Math77 is supplied as FORTRAN source code and has been tested with the leading Mac, DOS, and Sun compilers. The code comprises 109K portable lines in 375 files for a total of 4.5 MB. Math77 has been successfully implemented on various systems including: MS-DOS, MacOS, HP-UX, Exec 8, VMS, Unicos, and SunOS.

The library includes a 600 page manual with examples and descriptions. Technical support is provided by Language Systems at no charge. Commercial applications may incorporate Math77 routines royalty-free.

The introductory price for Math77 is $89.95. Specify Mac, DOS, or Sun version when placing an order. The price increases to $249 after August 31, 1994. All Language Systems products come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

For more info, contact Language Systems Corp., 100 Carpenter Drive, Sterling, VA 20164. (703) 478-0181. AppleLink: LANGSYS


Creative Digital Systems, publisher of PIE Developers magazine and ViewFrame, a Newton debugger, announced the availability of NewtRTFM, a comprehensive Newton programming reference created by Sandeep Shah of K2 Consultants of Nashua, NH. Containing more than 750 topics, NewtRTFM is a concise electronic summary of the NTK 1.0.1 documentation. A Newton-resident program with navigation, searching and experimentation capabilities, NewtRTFM makes the NTK printed documentation obsolete and speeds Newton prototyping and development.

NewtRTFM lets a programmer browse its database by category, topic, partial string match, or sequentially. For each detailed topic, the program includes a summary, an explanation of each function’s arguments and return value where appropriate, a sample program, and customized developer notes which are integrated with the Newton’s NotePad application and can be stored in user-designated folders. Many of the samples are live NewtonScript examples that can be executed. In addition, a developer can send the sample code to either ViewFrame or the NTK’s Inspector window for further examination or experimentation.

Because NewtRTFM is a Newton program, developers can use it in situations where it’s not practical to carry printed documentation. The live samples and connections to ViewFrame and the NTK’s Inspector window provide an environment for quick experimentation.

NewtRTFM is available from Creative Digital Systems on both Windows and Macintosh-formatted disks. Retail price is $90, $80 for PIE Developers subscribers. Site licenses are available. A demonstration version of the program is available on AppleLink, American Online, CompuServe, and on the ftp site at, or from Creative Digital Systems.

For more info, contact Creative Digital Systems, 293 Corbett Ave, San Francisco, CA 94114. (415) 6210-4252 voice, (415) 621-4922 fax.,,,

Symantec CD Subscription

Symantec announced the Developers’ Advantage, a subscription service for Macintosh and Power Macintosh programmers. The Developers’ Advantage program provides three CDs per year containing the latest versions of all of Symantec’s Macintosh development tools products, toll-free technical support and access to a special priority CompuServe forum for one year. Subscribers to the Developers’ Advantage program will automatically receive updates for Macintosh products as soon as they are available.

The CD will contain the latest versions of Symantec’s Macintosh development tools products, including THINK C, THINK Pascal, Symantec C++ for Macintosh and the Power Macintosh cross development kit. The CD will also include pre-released versions of upcoming products, including Symantec C++ for Power Macintosh. The complete released version of Symantec C++ for Power Macintosh will be included on a later CD. Each CD will also contain special Power Macintosh supplementary support tools from Apple and extensive on-line documentation and comprehensive reference materials, including THINK Reference, chapters from the book Inside Power Macintosh and all THINK and Symantec C++ documentation.

Symantec will provide all subscribers with one year’s worth of toll-free, priority technical support. Customers will be given a special technical support number after they sign up for the Developers’ Advantage. Symantec has also set up a special forum on CompuServe to answer developers’ inquiries. Symantec will monitor the bulletin board and provide answers to its customers’ technical questions and other inquiries. On the forum, customers can ask questions, give input to Symantec and trade information with other Developers’ Advantage subscribers.

Developers’ Advantage is available direct from Symantec for $499 per year. Customers who have already purchased Symantec C++ 7.0 for Macintosh can purchase the Developers’ Advantage for $349 for the first year. Customers who have already purchased Symantec C++ 7.0 for Macintosh and the Power Macintosh cross development can purchase the Developers’ Advantage for $249 for the first year.

For more info, call Symantec at (800) 441-7234 toll free, or (503) 334-6054.

User Testing Service

User Group Connection™ announced a Beta Test Club program, providing a pool of technologically savvy computer enthusiasts to help vendors test new products.

As the User Group Connection expands their services to Apple® Authorized User Groups, vendors can leverage user group member expertise. User Group Connection has developed a database of individual user group members from across the United States and Canada with information about their peripheral equipment, configuration, hours available for testing, years of experience, type of computer and printer.

Vendors can purchase a custom database of names from the Beta Test Club, and can specify the mix of attributes required for an effective testing program. Vendors may also request testimonials and product reviews, or contact interested purchasers upon release. The electronic database format allows flexibility to meet individual vendor needs.

User Group Connection is an independent installed base marketing services firm, responsible for managing the Apple Authorized User Group program. User Group Connection offers a range of ways to reach Apple and PC user groups, including monthly mailings, videos, online services, and custom programs.

For more info, call Sam Decker, manager of vendor programs, at 408-461-5725, or (408) 461-5700. AppleLink: USER.GROUPS, America Online: APPLE UGC.

FileFlex 1.5 db Engine

Component Software Industries Corp. announced a major upgrade for its FileFlex relational database engine. It allows developers to embed a relation database engine in environments like Macromedia Director, Authorware Professional, HyperCard, and others. In addition, FileFlex data files can be read and written by Microsoft FoxPro and other XBase-compatible DOSand Windows databases like dBase and Microsoft Access without conversion.

FileFlex takes up 140K of disk space, and less than 100K of RAM. It is about 10% faster than previous versions. It comes with a 66 page online guide as well as two printed manuals.

Upgrades from earlier versions of FileFlex are available to registered users for $35 plus $3 shipping, or free via CompuServe e-mail (make sure you’ve sent in your registration card, then send an e-mail request to 76004,2162.

Developers can purchase a license to distribute FileFlex 1.5 runtimes for a nominal one-time fee of $100 per product title being distributed. This applies whether it’s for internal distribution, a for-profit consumer product, shareware, or freeware.

Component’s founder David Gewirtz acquired all rights to the product in September, 1993, and spent the past few months rewriting the product from the ground up using new searching, floating point, and compiler technology.

For more info, contact Component at PO Box 201, Rocky Hill, NJ 08553. (609) 497-4501 technical; (800) 633-4252 orders; (609) 497-4008 fax. FileFlex is also distributed by Heizer Software at (510) 943-7667.


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