TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Internet
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:8
Column Tag:Useful Resources

Internet And The Macintosh Programmer

Find some of the best surfing with this handy guide

By Kevin M. Savetz, internet world traveler

It’s four in the morning - you’re at wits end because of six lines of C code that should work, but don’t. Or perhaps you’ve got a question for someone - anyone - who knows more about memory management than you do. Or maybe you’re looking for some public domain code to draw the Mandlebrot set. Where can you turn? Turn to the Internet.

Every day, some 25 million people in 200 countries access the Internet to exchange electronic mail, information and files. This article will show you where to find some of the best resources for Mac software developers. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hacking the Mac since the beginning or are just getting past programs that print “Hello, World!” on the screen - on the Internet you can find expert advice, source code and ready-to-run applications, even at four in the morning.

This article isn’t intended to be an Internet primer or tell you how to get connected. Whole books have been written about these topics (something I too am guilty of.) If you’re interested in getting on the ‘net, trudge to your bookstore or library and pick up one of the books listed in the “Internet Books for Beginners” sidebar.

On The Usenet

The Usenet is world’s largest distributed bulletin board system, shared by millions of people swimming the seas of the Internet. Folks on the Usenet talk about everything - everything! - you can think of, from square dancing to motorcycle maintenance and from the Swedish Chef to Ronald Reagan. The Usenet is simply the largest, most active, and most varied discussion forum in the world. At last count, there were over 8,000 Usenet “newsgroups,” or discussion topics, covering every subject imaginable.

As you might expect, there are a lot of forums on the Usenet for programmers: definitely hundreds, possibly zillions. Here you can find public domain source code, ask questions about programming (and answer some) and find deliciously useful FAQs - lists of frequently asked questions and their answers.

Below is a list of newsgroups of interest to programmers. Most of their names are self-explanatory - for instance, comp.sys.mac.hypercard is a forum for discussing Hypercard on the Mac. Most groups are places for discussion - questions and answers, arguments and conversations abound on those newsgroups. Others (usually with the word “source” in the name) are dedicated to source code postings. Still others (those with “binaries” in the name) contain only ready-to-run (well, after you deBinHex and uncompress them) programs.

Here are the best and brightest Usenet groups for those interested in Mac programming:

comp.sys.mac.programmer - this is the most active forum for talking about Mac programming in general

comp.sys.newton.programmer - for Newton programmers

comp.sys.mac.hypercard - about Hypercard and Hypertalk.

comp.sys.powerpc - about the PowerPC chip and computers.

comp.programming - general discussion about programming.

rec.games.programmer - for folks interested in programming games on any platform.

comp.sys.mac.oop.misc - for general discussion about object-oriented programming

comp.sys.mac.oop.macapp3 - discussion about MacAPP3

comp.sys.mac.oop.tcl - for discussion about TCL.

comp.binaries.mac - the place for ready-to-run applications

You may find the comp.lang newsgroups useful, too (see Figure 1). On these groups you can discuss any language you can imagine, from Ada to Verilog. Most aren’t specific to the programming on the Macintosh, and some are dedicated to talk about programming on other platforms.

A variety of newsgroups are dedicated to source code and discussion about it. Here’s a list of some source-oriented newsgroups you might find interesting:

Figure 1

Example of what’s on a Usenet group

comp.sys.mac.programmer          680 articles

a Arthur Cinader    5  Mac System Seven Questions
  Robert Rosenberg
  Peter Castine
  Jump Long
  Arthur Cinader
b Ken Long          3  >Creator Codes
  Svlad Cjelli
  Ken Long
d Mystery Man       1  Q: Think C 6.01 & the source server
e Stephen Jonke     1  Wanted: Example of Apple Scripting Excel charts
f Paul Hyman        2  >why update event won’t go away?
  Chris Athanas
g Howard Free       1  DSP libraries in C
i Ed Lai            1  >AppleScript: string as script command?
j Scott Lindsey     1  >TC 7.0 BUG in “register coloring”?!?!?!
l Paul Westbrook    1  Linked text file
o Bobby Thomale     2  Help please? Mac High Level Events
  Warren Leach
r fd                5  Are there any Disassemblers for Mac?
  Ray Fischer
  Ken Long
  Vampire
  Michael Peirce
s Paul DuBois       3  PenPat((ConstPatternParamgray - why illegal cast?
  John W. Baxter
  S Asgeirsson
t Marc Liyanage     1  How to update from Think C 5.0.3 to latest release?
u Juan Ingles       2  Q: Internal malloc abort?
  Ron Hunsinger
v Larry Himes       1  ARA 2.0 Security APIs
w David M Costello  1  Writing to Serial Port Example
x David Henry       2  determining playing length of ‘snd ‘

FTP Sites

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a tool that allows you to copy files between computers on the Internet. You can move your own files between computers, or - more commonly, use “anonymous FTP” to access huge online software libraries. Thousands of sites provide anonymous FTP service, allowing you to download everything from electronic books and magazines, to satellite pictures of the weather, to public-domain utilities and games for your personal computer. Here are a few interesting sites for Mac programmers:

ftp.apple.com (130.43.2.3): This is Apple’s semi-official repository for system software, developer tools, source code, Macintosh technical notes, and other things that come more or less straight from Apple’s mouth. Unfortunately, the materials at this site are arranged pretty badly, but you can unearth some true Apple treasures. You can get System 7, Tune-ups, QuickTime and much more. (Start by perusing the /pub/dts directory.)

mac.archive.umich.edu (141.211.32.2): This is my favorite archive site for Macintosh stuff, complete with games, utilities, developer’s tools, virus programs and anything else your heart could desire. Look in the directories /mac/development/source for ready-to-compile program source and /mac/development/source/snippets for code fragments.

sumex-aim.stanford.edu (36.44.0.6): This is one of the finest collections of Macintosh software, housed at Stanford University. Sumex is home to hundreds of megabytes of Macintosh freeware, shareware and demonstrations of commercial software. Hundreds of programs and source code snippets are available in the directories /info-mac/dev and /info-mac/dev/src. (While you’re there, pick up the latest edition of the comp.sys.mac.programmer digest - containing all the good stuff posted to the Usenet newsgroup of the same name. You’ll find it in the directory /info-mac/per/csmp.)

nic.switch.ch (130.59.1.40): This site contains a plethora of source of all kinds, and is perhaps the most comprehensive Macintosh source code archive. It contains source for lots of Unix-ported utilities as well as lots of original mac source code. Look in the directory /software/mac/src.

ftpbio.bgsu.edu (129.1.252.66): This site carries archives of the material posted to the Usenet newsgroup alt.sources.mac. The good stuff in in the directory /pub/alt.sources.mac.

ftp.cc.umanitoba.ca (130.179.16.24): This site is home of the develop magazine mailing list, also has lots of random stuff you can’t find elsewhere. It’s worth a look: look in the directory /Mac-Develop/Source.

MacTech Magazine: Yes, indeed, this very magazine has its own little spot in Cyberspace. At this FTP site, you can find source code from these pages, press releases of interest to developers and a few useful utilities, too. You can get there by FTPing to netcom.com (192.100.81.100) and looking in the /pub/xplain directory.

General information about FTP

Many FTP sites are overworked. To prevent overcrowding, many systems only allow a certain number of FTP users at any given time. If you attempt to connect to an overloaded site, you’ll see a message telling you to try again later. If you have access to Gopher, trying connecting to the site with Gopher rather than FTP. Gopher sessions are connected for much shorter periods than FTP connections, so many systems have more lenient Gopher connection limits. For instance, to access Stanford’s InfoMac archives, gopher to sumex-aim.stanford.edu.

If you don’t have access to FTP or Gopher, all is not lost. You can also peruse FTP sites and get files via electronic mail. For information on accessing FTP sites through e-mail, send mail to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu and include the words “send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources” in the message body.

Other Interesting Stuff

Alright, so perhaps “Other Interesting Stuff” isn’t the clearest way to group information, but I’ve found that a whole lot of the good stuff on the Internet falls very neatly in that category. I also admit that not all of this is only for Mac programmers, but we hope you’ll find them useful anyway...

Apple product information: For the latest Apple press releases and product information, gopher to info.hed.apple.com

Example of that Gopher site:

 ->   1.   READ ME FIRST.
      2.  Apple Library Users Group/
      3.  Apple Press Releases/
      4.  Apple Support Area/
      5.  Apple Technologies/
      6.  Computing in Higher Ed Academics/
      7.  Higher Ed Marketing Info/
      8.  Macintosh Freeware and Shareware/
      9.  Power Macintosh/
      10. Product Information/
      11. Publications/
      12. USA Regional Market Information/

Scout Report newsletter: The Scout Report is a weekly publication offered by InterNIC Information Services as a fast, convenient way to stay informed about network activities. Its purpose is to combine in one place the highlights of new and newly-discovered online resources. To receive the Scout Report via electronic mail once a week, join the scout-report mailing list. Send e-mail to majordomo@is.internic.net with the words “subscribe scout-report” in the message body.

PowerPC News: You can read the full text of an independent electronic magazine published every two weeks for developers and end users who want the latest news about the PowerPC microprocessor family. Use your favorite WorldWideWeb browser to connect to: “http://power.globalnews.com/”.

Edupage: An excellent thrice-a-week newsletter summarizing of news items on information technology, Edupage is sort of like a miniature MacWeek - only you don’t have to lie through your teeth to get a free subscription. To add your name to the Edupage distribution list, send e-mail to listproc@educom.edu. In the body of the message type “sub edupage <your name>”.

TidBits newsletter: We’ve saved the best for last. TidBits is a wonderful online newsletter for Macintosh people. This weekly newsletter, published by Adam Engst (author of The Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh) includes lively features, hot news and roundups of all the hardware and software reviews in every other major Mac publication. For information on how to subscribe to TidBits and where to find back issues send e-mail to info@tidbits.com.

Here’s an example of Edupage:

TOP STORIES
        Commodore Calls It Quits
        Bell Atlantic Chooses Multimedia Partners
        Novell Files Lawsuit
        TCI-Liberty Merger Approved
        Computer Viruses Rampant In Asia

ALSO
        Government Support For Commercial Technology
        A Long Shot? ... U.S. Behind on Flat Panel Technology
        Interactive Advertising’s Not For Everyone
        Systems Failure Delays Computer-Controlled Airport
        Apple Speaks Out For Speech
        Who Will Control The Info Highway In Canada?
        Wireless E-Mail
        Canadian Provinces Have No Telecom Jurisdiction
        On-Line Media List
        EMF Alert
        No More Futzing Around ... Software To Block Game-Playing

COMMODORE CALLS IT QUITS
        Commodore, a PC industry pioneer, is going out of business and
liquidating its assets for the benefit of its creditors. (Atlanta
Journal-Constitution 4/30/94 B3)

BELL ATLANTIC CHOOSES MULTIMEDIA PARTNERS
        Out of more than 14 bidders, Bell Atlantic chose AT&T Network
Systems and a team comprising General Instrument and DSC Communications 
to
build its $11 billion multimedia network. Bell Atlantic hopes to reach
eight million homes by the end of the decade, offering advanced voice, 
data
and video services. (Wall Street Journal 4/29/94 A4)

NOVELL FILES LAWSUIT
        Novell Inc. has filed federal lawsuits against Aqua Systems Inc.
and Digital Soft, alleging they illegally upgraded and sold versions 
of its
NetWare software. Novell maintains the companies reused serial numbers 
from
original software to obtain upgrades, and then sold the upgrades at a 
large
profit. (Wall Street Journal 4/29/94 A9)

TCI-LIBERTY MERGER APPROVED
        Tele-Communications Inc. and Liberty Media Corp. won federal
approval to go ahead with their planned merger after agreeing to a
settlement prohibiting anti-competitive discrimination against rivals.
(Multichannel News 5/2/94)
 
AAPL
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... 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
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: April 14-18, 2014
Spring Into Our App Reviews   | Read more »
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sa...
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sale Right Now, and You Should Check it Out Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek has released quite a few great iOS ports of board and card games over the years, and now most of them... | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
David. Review
David. Review By Cata Modorcea on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINIMALISTIC IN A DIFFERENT WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad David is a minimalistic game wrapped inside of a soothing atmosphere in which the hero... | Read more »
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service Th...
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service That Allows Users to Share Media Across Personal Devices Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair...
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY ADVENTURINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Treading a safe path, Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair is a... | Read more »
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced E...
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced Editing Features and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to...
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to Learn about the Human Body 1.1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.00 (iTunes) Description: Wouldn’t it be cool to look inside yourself and see what was going on... | Read more »
Trials Frontier Review
Trials Frontier Review By Carter Dotson on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A ROUGH LANDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal Alert! 13-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $200 off MSRP. Price is valid... Read more
Free HopTo 2.2 Helps Enhance Your Productivit...
The HopTo app helps you do more on your iPad by providing more and easier adaccess to files and documents. Version 2.2 adds Egnyte and HopTo’s Mac OSX File Connector. If you already have the hopTo... Read more
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:...
As the country recognizes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint is reminding wireless consumers to focus on driving while behind the wheel, to not text or email while driving, and to... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
Abt has the 13″ 2.4GHz 128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $1229 including free shipping. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP this we...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
iPad Airs on sale this weekend for up to $100...
Best Buy has WiFi iPad Airs on sale for $50 off MSRP and WiFi + Cellular iPad Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time, with prices now starting at $449. Choose free... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Hyundai Brings Apple CarPlay To The 2015 Sona...
Hyundai Motor America has announced it will bring Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2015 Sonata. CarPlay is pitched as a smarter, safer and easier way to use iPhone in the car and gives iPhone users... Read more
Updated iPads Coming Sooner Than We Had Thoug...
MacRumors, cites KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, well-respected as an Apple product prognisticator, saying that Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini in 2014/Q3, meaning the... Read more
Toshiba Unveils New High And Low End Laptop M...
Toshiba has announced new laptop models covering both the high-end and low-end of the notebook computer spectrum. Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Laptop Toshiba’s new Satellite P55t features one of the world’s... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Inc. Research Data Specialist - Appl...
…of Worldwide Market Research & Intelligence. The team is responsible for conducting Apple branded consumer market research. It is also responsible for analyzing data Read more
*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer…and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.