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Published in TidBITS 91.
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SevenBITS/04-Nov-91

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With Finder 7, Apple changed a number of interface elements to make it easier to use, or at least that's their story. For instance, I'm sure you've noticed the rename delay that prevents you from accidently renaming items on your desktop. It also allows you to launch a file by double clicking on the name, which didn't work before because the Mac assumed you wanted to edit the name instead. In the process, Apple changed the internal workings of the Finder, a decision which makes it more difficult for people to add command keys with ResEdit. Finally, the Finder can now map one file type to another, which is why the Finder now offers to open TEXT and PICT files with TeachText even if TeachText didn't create the file. An enterprising young hacker named Adam Stein has released a trio of shareware products that allow you to modify the rename delay (or even shut it off), add command keys to the Finder's File, Edit, and Special menus, and add more program links akin to those built in for TeachText. None of these programs does anything that you can't do with ResEdit and the proper knowledge, but they do make it quite a bit easier. Each utility is $14.95 shareware, but the entire System 7 Pack is $29.95. The programs are a tad rough when it comes to the interface, but are easily figured out and do work as advertised. If you do want to customize your Finder but don't want to mess with ResEdit, it's worth looking for these programs at your local shareware site. Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole thing is that Adam Stein is a high school student hoping to help finance his college education in entrepreneurial management with the money he receives from registered users. Hmm, perhaps it should be called collegeware... :-)

Murph Sewall recently complained about problems dropping files onto certain aliases on his new Quadra 700 running 7.0.1. It seems that if the file to be dropped didn't have the correct creator for the program alias being dropped on, it simply wouldn't work. At first, Murph thought the problem was related to 7.0.1, but quickly figured out the true cause. He was using AliasMaker to create those aliases, and apparently creating the aliases in that way doesn't work completely. Creating the aliases using the Make Alias command from the Finder allowed the drag & drop procedure to work again. This problem is not inherently related to System 7.0.1 because I ran into the same problem with the shareware TrashMan under System 7 when I created the alias using AliasThis, another alias-creating utility. I tested this with both TrashMan and Downline, and it seems that aliases created with AliasThis on my system don't work for drag & drop. However, sometimes you have to rebuild the desktop to get drag & drop to work, and Dan Walkowski, TrashMan's author, said he had seen an instance where a TrashMan alias didn't work until Norton Disk Doctor fixed the disk. So there are definitely several forces at work here, but the safe fix is to create drag & droppable aliases from the Finder.

Some time ago I purchased Full Impact 2.0 because of a special deal at Macworld. That version has some problems under System 7, most notably that the bottom half of the File menu disappears. Since I use Full Impact infrequently (I'm a word person... but not a Word person :-)), this doesn't particularly bother me. I just use MacsBug to quit when I was done, since the Quit command was the main one I miss. Despite Ashton-Tate's acquisition by Borland and the shaky future of the Full-products (Full Impact, FullWrite, FullPaint), John Thoo writes, "Okay, you can get the System 7-compatible upgrade of Full Impact, version 2.0.3s, by calling 800/227-4866. The upgrade costs about $10 if you purchased Full Impact 2.0 or earlier (worth every penny) and free if you purchased Full Impact 2.0s.

Ric Bretschneider adds,

In the meantime, you can fix the quitting bug by writing a macro with the "Quit" command in it. Save the macro as a Global macro so it can be used at the end of each session, and assign the Command-Q keystroke to it. This should fix the major problem until you get the update from A-T/Borland support. I've seen a 2.0.4s. It doesn't make any technical changes, but just makes a cosmetic change to the hidden About box. To see the hidden about box in any >2.0 version:

CapsLock "Up"
Option-Choose "About..."
CapsLock "Down"
Shift-Command-Click A-T logo.

Don't click or touch anything until all the animation stops or it will stop early and you'll miss Godzilla.

Information from:
Adam Stein -- AdamStein on AOL -- 71140.2051@compuserve.com
Murph Sewall -- SEWALL@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU
John Thoo -- jbthoo@ucdavis.edu
Ric Bretschneider -- ric@netcom.com

 

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