Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the TidBITS Content Network for Apple consultants.


This falls into the category of maybe-news for many of you, but this week CE and Claris both shipped their long-awaited programs, Tiles and ClarisWorks respectively. I've written a little bit about both programs in the past, so suffice it to say that Tiles is a unique organizing utility and ClarisWorks is Claris's entry into the integrated software market. Sue Nail of CE promised to send me a copy of Tiles when CE announced it months ago, so I hope to report on it more fully in the future. Also shipping this week is the Macintosh version of The Far Side Computer Calendar from Amaze. See below for a more detailed look at what it could be. On to the definite-news!

JR Wolf from AOL sends along this extremely useful bit of information.

The cache control panel on the Quadra does not require you to restart. The catch is you must hold down the option key [presumably when turning the cache control on or off]. The change takes place immediately with no restart required. The string in the STR# resource that follows the string that says you must restart for changes to take effect is "Wink, wink," which kinda led me to believe that all was not as they tell. I found all this out on my own, no need to give anyone else credit, wink, wink... By the by, I hacked the cache control panel for the Quadra, they do indeed kill both the copyback cache and the Data/Instruction caches. I modified it to turn of just one or the other, but it doesn't seem to help any programs. Speedometer 3.0 does confirm the speed difference though.

Processor Test:

2.4 - Caches off
5.96 - Hmm, can't remember the cache combination.
12.34 - Copyback cache off
14.11 - Caches on

Our ever-helpful Mark H. Anbinder writes, "For those who are curious, here is information from Apple on the possible memory configurations of the new LaserWriter IIf and IIg printers. The LaserWriter IIg and IIf have 8 SIMM sockets configured as 2 banks (4 SIMMs each). When using a bank, it must be completely filled. The printers can use 256K, 1 MB, and 4 MB SIMMs. The SIMMs are 80ns (same as Mac IIci, which is a relief after the special - and expensive - Mac IIfx SIMMs that the IINT and IINTX used). The IIf supports from 2 to 32 MB. The IIg supports from 5 to 32 MB."

And for an encore, Mark writes, "Some people have had an experience where their Macintosh Portables are no longer working. They had let them sit for a month or longer, at which point the battery sulfated. When this happens, the battery is rendered useless. Sulfation exhibits the same symptoms as the cracked cell problem, but it has a different cause. Because the batteries are sealed lead batteries, they cannot be stored in a discharged state. Generally, if the unit has been in storage for about a month without use and without either (a) the power adapter plugged in, (b) the mylar sheet installed or (c) the battery removed, the battery will sulfate and will no longer be re-chargeable. In general, you must charge the battery within a few days of discharging it. The only fix is to replace the battery and learn how to store the Portable correctly. The old Macintosh Portable and the PowerBook 100 both use sealed lead batteries and can suffer from sulfation. The PowerBook 140 and 170 use nicad batteries so sulfation is not an issue for them. Hope this clears up the sulfation issue."

Murph Sewall expands on the troubles he reported earlier with his new Quadra. "Someone sent me a message that there is an option in Alliance Power Tools which will permit volumes to be used for virtual. I called APS and found out that, yes, hidden within the Volumes item is a Configure option and checking "Disable Finder Eject" will enable the volume for virtual (even if it's a cartridge - I may have to put the virtual file on an otherwise unused cartridge just to see how often there's virtual i/o by watching the light). The really good news is the change can be made with a click which does not delete any files on the volume (tah, dah, no need to reformat or repartition). It only took a couple of seconds and now I am running 4 MB built in and 6 MB total with virtual! Also, I mentioned that the PowerTools 2.0.7 which shipped with the cartridge drive only two weeks ago isn't compatible with the Quadra's cache mode, and was told there's a new version (2.3) which will be mailed to me forthwith (fifthwith, even :-) I'll report on it when it shows up. [See Compression Corrections below for information on the latest version of DiskDoubler, which also caused trouble for Murph temporarily.]

This note appeared in our electronic mailbox from vita@sunny.dab.ge.com, who we'll call "Anonymouse" for lack of a better name.

Like many others in netland, I have been anxiously waiting for the "free" version of ATM to be posted either to ftp.apple.com or to one of the binaries groups (mainly because I don't want to wait 6 to 8 weeks!). I had previously sent mail to Mark Johnson at Apple, and he said that he'd be perfectly willing to make ATM available on ftp.apple.com once the appropriate product manager made it available to him.

So I called Adobe's Customer Service Center and spoke to a gentleman who sounded very interested in the idea. I explained to him what the Internet was and about Apple's FTP site. He said that he was in fact working on something very similar, although he wouldn't elaborate. I can only assume he was referring to electronic distribution on something like CompuServe In fact, when I was explaining the Internet to him, he asked if it was anything like CompuServe. Overall, he sounded very positive about the idea, and thanked me for bringing it to his attention. However, he also said that even if the decision was made to go ahead with the electronic distribution, it would take several weeks to implement, maybe taking until January! He said that things just move slowly in a large company. [Unfortunately, he's right.]

Anyway, before hanging up I asked for his name so I could follow up with him sometime later, and he said his name was Christopher Warnock. Hmm, "Warnock". Why does that last name sound so familiar? :-) Perhaps Mr. Warnock has a good deal of influence over what goes on at Adobe. [For those who don't know, John Warnock is the founder of and head honcho at Adobe.]

Anyway, the bottom line seems to be that even if ATM gets posted to ftp.apple.com, it will probably be a while. Though maybe if some other interested parties would express their interest in the idea to Adobe's Customer Service Center (800/833-6687, option 5), the process might be expedited. I personally can't see how it can take so long to accomplish something so simple! [You've obviously never tried to get a driver's license. A 20 question test, a couple of forms, and an instantly developed and laminated card should not take 3 hours. Sheesh. :-)]

Information from:
JR Wolf on AOL
Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor -- mha@baka.ithaca.ny.us
Anonymouse -- vita@sunny.dab.ge.com


TextExpander: Communicate smarter. Accuracy and consistency
wherever you type. Insert “snippets” of text from a repository of
boilerplate, emails and other text. Seamless sharing between you
and your team on Mac, Windows, and iOS <http://smle.us/newte-tb>