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Aug 95 Newsbits
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:8
Column Tag:Newsbits


By John Kawakami, MacTech Magazine Editorial Assistant

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

UserLand Frontier is Free!

Most of you should know by now that UserLand Software has made Frontier 4 free. No retail price. No license fees. Free. It’s all part of Dave Winer’s plan to increase Frontier usage, especially to automate tasks on the world wide web, and as the preferred platform for Macintosh scripting.

Most interesting is the improved interface between Netscape and Frontier. Now, it’s possible for a URL to contain a Frontier script that is executed on the user’s machine. As if by magic, the webmaster can gain greater control of the Macintosh user interface, performing tasks which were previously impossible.

Frontier, in current and previous version, has always made it’s rich collection of verbs available to people using other scripting systems such as AppleScript. So the many AppleScripters will gain a great deal from Frontier’s new “free” distribution. Everyone should check out the first URL below; the site is often busy, so you may have to make several attempts, but it’s worth the effort. Frontier is also described in TidBITS 279.

Welcome, Comp.lang.pascal.mac

The following was recently spotted on the Usenet.

Date:  Tue, Jun 13, 1995 11:12 AM PST
From: (Scott A. Moore)

=======  WELCOME NEW USERS =======


It is my privilege to officially open this group for posting. This group 
was created by your votes on June 12, 1995.


This is the group for discussion on Macintosh Pascals, including Apple 
Pascal, THINK Pascal, CodeWarrior Pascal and others. All aspects of Pascal 
on the Macintosh are discussed.

SOS Corporation Releases Internet Firewall Freeware

SOS Corporation announces the release of Freestone (TM), a freeware, firewall construction software suite. The Freestone suite of self-contained programs and utilities is used to create an application gateway, bastion-host firewall for TCP/IP networks. It is designed to provide user-level security for LANs connecting to public networks, such as the Internet. Freestone is an ideal solution for any organization which has the resources to build and maintain a firewall, with a need for a dedicated Internet link.

Freestone offers fine-grained control over both ingoing and outgoing network traffic on a per-user basis. This robust access control is unsurpassed by any freeware firewall currently available. Freestone provides user access control based upon source and/or destination address, source and/or destination port, time of day, day of the week, date of the month, month of the year, and system-defined holidays.

SOS Corporation, which develops and markets several commercial computer network security products, including the popular Brimstone application gateway firewall, is making Freestone available via the Internet. To download the package, users may FTP to one of the following Internet sites: (the preferred site) or

Users may download and install the firewall software free of cost and without license, provided that they do not repackage, sell, license, or in any way use the suite for commercial purposes. Building and installing a firewall with Freestone requires a solid understanding of UNIX and network services, such as DNS, TELNET and FTP. The suite contains documentation, as well as files with integration advice and pointers to Internet and public domain resources.

To subscribe to the Freestone mailing list, send e-mail to, and include the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.

SOS Corporation: (212) 686-5700, e-mail

Free Updates to LS FORTRAN for the PowerMac

Language Systems offers free patches and upgrades to their products on their ftp server. The latest patch currently available for LS FORTRAN is version 1.1a6. It is based on LS FORTRAN.PPC version 1.0. The major upgrade v1.1 will be mailed to all registered 1.0 users.

Electronic updates are now available from the anonymous ftp site,, directory pub/langsys.

Language Systems: (703) 478-0181, email

Allegiant Offers Internet XCMD,
Also Free Multimedia Tools With SuperCard

Allegiant Technologies, Inc. previewed their new Internet connectivity program, code-named BlackHole, during WWDC. BlackHole allows the rapid creation of completely customized interfaces that automate and simplify Internet tasks. The product is expected to ship in the Third Quarter, 1995 at a price of $249.

BlackHole gives the Internet a scriptable interface, allowing people familiar with scripting languages on the Macintosh to build custom TCP/IP client and server applications. They will be able to create these applications in any authoring environment that supports both inter-application communication and the standard external command (XCMD) interface, most notably Allegiant SuperCard 2.0 and Apple’s HyperCard.

BlackHole provides a familiar high-level interface to the standard Internet protocols that include standard e-mail (SMTP/POP3), file transfer (FTP), newsgroup (NNTP), HTTP/CGI and Gopher. The program ships as a system extension that utilizes Apples Thread Manager for smooth background operations. An external code module, optimized for standalone performance and delivery within SuperCard-based applications, will also be included in the package. BlackHoles Task Manager manages the completion of lengthy operations either while the user works or deferred until a pre-designated time.

BlackHole will allow corporate MIS directors, researchers, educators, Internet service providers and net-surfers to create a wide variety of specialized applications. Examples of these custom applications include simplified, automated Web page creation and maintenance; utilities for corporate in-house or field personnel; workgroup E-mail distribution; off-line newsgroup reading; easy mailing list management; automatic web link verification utilities; collaborative tools, and much more.

BlackHole is expected to ship early in the Third Quarter, 1995 at a price of $249. A demo version of the system extension will be available from Allegiants home page when the product ships. Exact pricing for commercial licenses to distribute the extension or the code module will be made available at a later date.

Allegiant also announced a new retail bundle, the Multimedia Graphics Production bundle. Until August 31, 1995, SuperCard 2.0 will include the latest versions of award-winning Ray Dream Designer, Kai’s Power Tools SE from HSC Software, and Micro Frontier’s Color It! Designer is a 3D modelling and rendering program, Kai’s Power Tools SE is a 15 filter version of KPT’s popular image processing filters, and Color It! is a image processing program. The suggested retail pricing of SuperCard 2.0 is $695, with typical street pricing of $399. Upgrades for current users is $149.

Allegiant: (619) 587-0500, email

Apple Developer University Offers QD3D Course

Apple Developer University is offering a 3-day course in using Apple’s exciting new QuickDraw 3D graphics library. This course teaches you the basics of creating, manipulating and rendering three-dimensional objects in your applications. You will also learn about the new 3D human interface guidelines and Apple’s new metafile format for reading and writing 3D objects. The course consists of a series of hands-on labs (using C), as well as lectures.

Developer University offers training and educational material covering Macintosh and MacOS programming.

Developer University: (408) 974-4897,

Also, QD3D additions to the Toolbox Assistant are available from:


Zinc Software has released version 4.1 of Zinc Application Framework, its award-winning C++ class library and visual development tool. Version 4.0 gained critical acclaim, receiving two key industry awards: The “Analyst’s Choice” Award from PCWeek LABS (January 30th, 1995), and InfoWorld’s “Best Portability” rating (February 6, 1995).

Zinc 4.1 allows software developers to create globally-enabled, object-oriented, cross-platform applications with one set of source code. The numerous additions and enhancements in version 4.1 include:

• a new IMAGE object, allowing the display of large bitmaps from native file formats.

• a new FILE object, allowing Zinc applications to read and write portable binary files on any operating system.

• new CTL3D support for Windows, improving the look of Windows applications.

• an improved Help display, with ease-of-use enhancements and a facelift.

• support for dot-matrix printers in MS-DOS applications.

• easier function names, designed to reduce developer learning curves.

Version 4.1 also introduces Zinc’s new Customer Assurance Plan (CAP), an annually-renewable membership plan combining Zinc’s excellent technical support and product maintenance programs.

Zinc, North America: (801) 785-8900, email

CompuServe: GO ZINC

Zinc, Europe (UK): +44 (0)181-855-9918, email

Zinc, Asia (Japan): +81 (052) 733-4301, email


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