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Apr 95 Tips
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:4
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.


Doing Passwords the Simple Way

A common problem for people writing multi-user software for the Mac is the need to have a username/password dialog which allows the user to type the password without actually printing the real characters. Apple’s inimitable Tim Dierks released a snippet appropriately entitled “Password” which shows how to accomplish this in a variety of ways, most of which involve keeping one buffer which holds what the user actually types and another which contains the ‘display’ text (usually a line of bullets).

The following snippet shows how to accomplish this by replacing the QuickDraw bottlenecks. The beauty of this approach is that there is no messy buffer-update code needed for handling Cut/Copy/Paste, and text selection with the mouse is handled correctly. You may, however, want to prevent people from cutting or copying text to the clipboard, since if that text is pasted into any other TextEdit area it will display the password in normal text.

#ifdef __cplusplus
extern "C" { 

        void    PasswordDrawProc (void)
                Ptr textBuff;
                short byteOff;
                short byteCnt, i;

                // load the correct parameters
                asm     {       move.l  A0, textBuff
                                move.w  D0, byteOff
                                move.w  D1, byteCnt
                for (i = 1; i <= byteCnt; i++)
                  DrawChar ('•');
        void    PasswordMeasureProc (void)
                short   textLen, offset;
                Ptr     textBuffer;
                short   width;
                // load the correct parameters
                asm     {       move.w  D0, textLen
                                move.w  D1, offset
                                move.l  A0, textBuffer
                width = CharWidth('•') * textLen;
                // return the width of the text
                asm     {       move.w  width, D1       }

        TEHandle MakePasswordTextBox (void)
                Rect     viewRect, destRect;
                TEHandle textBlock = NULL;
                SetRect (&viewRect, 15, 15, 165, 31);
                SetRect (&destRect, 15, 15, 165, 31);
                textBlock = TENew (&destRect, &viewRect);
                if (textBlock)
                   TECustomHook (intDrawHook,
                     (ProcPtr)PasswordDrawProc, textBlock);
                   TECustomHook (intWidthHook, 
                     (ProcPtr)PasswordMeasureProc, textBlock);
                return textBlock;
#ifdef __cplusplus 

- Eric Rosé,

SyncWait No More!

Sometimes when you’re AppleTalking or modeming and something goes wrong (like you switch the modem off while data is being sent to it), the computer will hang. The mouse will still move, but clicking will have no effect. Here’s the solution: Drop into MacsBug. You should see the routine name “_vSyncWait” plus something as the current location. If you don’t, you probably hit the system while it was doing something else. Hit Command-G to get back out of MacsBug, and try again. After a few tries you should find _vSyncWait.

_vSyncWait is the routine that the system uses to wait for some input from a serial port. If you can read assembly code, you’ll see that it’s pretty simple. Here’s the dump of the significant part:

+0000  4080BB8C   MOVE.W $0010(A0),D0              | 3028 0010      +0004 
 4080BB90   BGT.S  _vSyncWait   ; 4080BB8C   | 6EFA

Register A0 is pointing to a system data structure, in which a word will be cleared when the awaited input arrives. The MOVE.W instruction grabs this word and puts it into register D0. The BGT.S instruction then Branches back to the MOVE.W if the byte it just fetched is Greater Than zero (hence BGT). So it happens that this byte is never going to arrive for whatever reason, but the computer is going to wait for eternity. The secret to fixing this is to use Command-T to go step along until the MOVE.W instruction is displayed as the current instruction. Now use the “sw” command to set “@(a0+10)” to zero: sw @(a0+10) 0

Then hit Command-T twice more. The MOVE.W instruction will take the zero you just set into memory and put it in D0, so the D0 display on the right of the screen should have its right four digits all zeros. Then when you execute the BGT.S instruction, it should not go back to the MOVE.W since zero is not greater than zero.

Hit Command-G to go. If this was the only byte the software was waiting for, then it should continue running, although it may go a little crazy because it’s been suddenly disconnected from whatever peripheral it was talking to. Quit the program, fix your hardware, and try again.

- Macneil Shonle and Dustin Mitchell and

So Easy To Forget These Things

I asked the question recently, “When debugging using Think C, after hitting the programmer’s switch and landing in MacsBug, how do I get back up to Think C’s source level debugger?”

The answer, while less than what I was looking for, was nonetheless useful. Think C’s debugger polls for Option-Command-Shift-Period. Use that instead of the programmer’s switch and you will be able to break into the debugger as long as the program is stuck in your own code, and not in the operating system somewhere.

- Jeffrey A. Lomicka, Marlboro MA,

What’ll They Call The Next One? Post-Modern Memory Manager?

So you’re trying to figure out whether a zone is a Modern Memory Manager zone? Why? Oh, never mind, you’ve certainly got a good reason (you do, don’t you?), so here’s how:

#define IsNewStyleZone(z)        \
              ((z)->heapType & 0x02)

if (IsNewStyleZone(LMGetSysZone()) {

- Dave Falkenburg, Apple


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