TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 95 Tips
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Tips & Tidbits

Tips & Tidbits

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.


Set Breakpoints In ROM

About a year ago I wrote a little control panel called AV Turbo ROM. What it does is set an undocumented bit in PRAM that the ROMs of Power Macs and AV class machines (840AV and 660AV) check upon restart. If the bit is set, the ROM is copied down into RAM.

While this may or may not speed up things a little (I’ve listened to several people debate this issue), that’s not why I wrote it. I wrote it because now that the ROM code is in RAM, I can set breakpoints in “ROM” code. This is very handy when debugging or for those times when you are wondering, “how does that work?”

There are a few gotchas to be aware of:

1) Now that the ROM is in RAM, RAM Doubler from Connectix and The Debugger from Jasik Designs won’t work because they expect the ROM code to be where it’s supposed to be. Sorry about that, but remember that AV Turbo ROM is simply a tool to be used in special circumstances, and it’s quite reasonable to expect system products of their nature to make certain assumptions about the ROM.

2) Restarting on a PowerMac sometimes doesn’t work. Here’s the workaround - just hit the reset button again; it usually works the second time.

3) Since the ROM can be written to now, errant code could trash things. It’s too bad that The Debugger can’t help out with it’s memory protection technology, but sometimes it’s worth making the tradeoff.

I’ve been running this for a year and haven’t had any problems, just lots of fun walking through the ROMs. AV Turbo ROM is available on most online services. Here’s one place to get it:

Another Quick Tip

Do you use TMON Pro? Do you know about trap record? If not, find out. It’s a very useful debugging tool if you are debugging code other than your own.

- Steve Kiene,

Copy Bits Quicker

If you are using custom color palettes in combination with lots of calls to CopyBits, you can speed up your graphics routines by making sure that the ctSeed of both the source and destination PixMap’s color tables are the same.

If the ctSeed values are different, QuickDraw will map each color in the source color table to colors in the destination color table, slowing down the CopyBits operation. If the ctSeed values are the same, QuickDraw will assume that both PixMaps use the same color table, and it will simply copy the bits directly. This has the disadvantage that if the palettes are completely different, you will end up with the wrong colors in the destination.

- Jeremy Vineyard,

Hey, Finder, Pay Attention!

I have run into several things which change a file’s creator, but the finder doesn’t update the file’s icon right away. The user often has to close and reopen the Finder window to get the proper icons to appear. If your application needs to fiddle with a file’s creator type or other attributes, you can solve the above problem by changing the ioDrMdDat field of your file’s parent directory. This “tricks” the Finder into updating the window.

void ForceFinderToUpdateFileIcon(
 FSSpecPtr theFile) 

if(theFile != 0L)
 tempPB.dirInfo.ioNamePtr = 0L;
 tempPB.dirInfo.ioFDirIndex = -1;
 tempPB.dirInfo.ioDrDirID = theFile->parID;

 if(PBGetCatInfoSync(&tempPB) == noErr) 
 tempPB.dirInfo.ioDrMdDat = LMGetTime();
 tempPB.dirInfo.ioDrDirID = theFile->parID;

- Craig Marciniak

Hot Tip for Hot Keys

One of the things I appreciate in applications is the ability to select buttons with keystrokes (the keyboard shortcut is known as a hotkey). The following code example adds hotkey functionality to alert dialogs and can be easily added to modal dialogs. The next time you use an alert, add AlertKeyProc to the function and you will have instant hotkey functionality. Simply change

 CautionAlert(ALERT_ID, NIL) 


 CautionAlert(SAVE_ALERT_ID, AlertKeyProc)
#include <Dialogs.h>
#define kEnterKey               3
#define kReturnKey              13
#define kEscapeKey              27

pascal Boolean AlertKeyProc(DialogPtr theDialog, 
  EventRecord *e, short *itemHit)
   char         theChar;
   short        num, i, iType;
   Handle       iHandle;
   Rect         iRect;
   Str255       iText;
   long         finalTicks;
   switch( e->what )
      case keyDown:
      case autoKey:
         theChar = (e->message & charCodeMask);
         if(theChar == kReturnKey || theChar == kEnterKey)
            *itemHit = 1;
            return( TRUE );
         else if(theChar == kEscapeKey)
            *itemHit = 2;
            return( TRUE );
            num = CountDITL( theDialog );
            for(i=0; i<num; i++)
               GetDItem(theDialog, i, &iType, &iHandle, &iRect);
               if(iType == ctrlItem + btnCtrl)
               {// If the button is a push button
                  GetCTitle((ControlHandle )iHandle, iText);
                  if(theChar == iText[1] || 
                     theChar == tolower(iText[1]))
                     *itemHit = i;
                     HiliteControl((ControlHandle )iHandle, 1);
                     return( TRUE );
   return( FALSE );

- Jeff Beeghly,


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skype - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Bookends 12.6.0 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Apple iBooks Author 2.4 - Create and pub...
Apple iBooks Author helps you create and publish amazing Multi-Touch books for iPad. Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All... Read more
Web Snapper 3.3.9 - Capture entire Web p...
Web Snapper lets you capture Web pages exactly as they appear in your browser. You can send them to a file as images or vector-based, multi-page PDFs. It captures the whole Web page - eliminating the... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6beta10 - GUI for OpenVPN...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
EtreCheck 2.5.1 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is a simple little app to display the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support... Read more
Paragraphs 1.0.4 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Everything in... Read more
Things 2.8 - Elegant personal task manag...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
Coda 2.5.12 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
PCalc 4.3 - Full-featured scientific cal...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more

Camel Up (Games)
Camel Up 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Martian: Bring Him Home (Games)
The Martian: Bring Him Home 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Based on the best selling novel and critically acclaimed film, THE MARTIAN tells the story of Astronaut Mark... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: September 21-30, 2...
Leap Into Fall With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above... | Read more »
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter (Social Networki...
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter 4.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 4.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off for a limited time. *** | Read more »
Mori (Games)
Mori 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Stop, rewind and unwind with Mori. Time is always running, take a moment to take control. Mori is an action puzzle game about infinitely... | Read more »
100 Years' War (Games)
100 Years' War 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Tower in the Sky (Games)
Tower in the Sky 0.0.60 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 0.0.60 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
hocus. (Games)
hocus. 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: New, polished, mind-bending, minimal puzzle game with dozens of levels and extra-ordinary design Features:- Beautifully crafted... | Read more »
Mos Speedrun 2 (Games)
Mos Speedrun 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mos is back, in her biggest and most exciting adventure ever! Wall-jump to victory through 30 mysterious, action packed levels... | Read more »
3D Touch could be a game-changer, but it...
Were you one of the lucky/financially secure enough ones to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus over the weekend? Yup, me too (I’m not convinced I was either of those two things, but let’s go with lucky for now), so I thought I’d delve into just... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

12-inch MacBooks in stock for up to $120 off,...
Adorama has 12″ Retina MacBooks in stock for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. For a limited time, Adorama will include a free Apple USB-C to USB Adapter,... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for... has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (except for Apple’s $1699... Read more
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Feature Improved Durabi...
Upgraded components in the new iPhone 6s Plus cost $16 more than the components in the earlier iPhone 6 Plus according to a preliminary estimate from IHS Inc. The bill of materials (BOM) for an... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199.99 $... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB SSD Retina MacBook Pros available $979, $320 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB... Read more
iOS 9 Reflections Ten Days In – The ‘Book Mys...
I’ve never been much of an early adopter by philosophy or temperament, although I did buy the iPad Air 2 I’m typing this column on last fall only about a month after Apple unveiled it. However, my... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more
OS X El Capitan Available as a Free Update To...
OS X El Capitan, the latest major release of Apple’s desktop operating system, is available today, September 30 as a free update for Mac users. “People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $150-...
B&H Photo has 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1815 $184 off - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Updated For iOS 9, InterConneX Lets You Store...
InterConneX version 1.2 is now a 64-bit app that’s completely compatible with iOS 9. InterConneX is a file storage, file management, and file sharing app for the iPhone or iPad that now takes... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC...
Title: Apple Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC)Location: United States-New York-New York-NYC 200 Park Avenue (22005)Other Locations: United Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Customer Support P...
Job Description:Customer SupportSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
SW QA Engineer - *Apple* TV - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple TV team is looking for experienced Quality Assurance Engineers with a passion for delivering first in class home entertainment solutions. **Key Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.