Last week's issue of TidBITS contained an article about the astronauts on board the space shuttle Atlantis planning to use AppleLink from space to communicate with ground personnel. I commented that, "Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the astronauts and their sanity, the shuttle's AppleLink address is being kept confidential." A couple of readers have written to say that they've discovered that the address is "Atlantis." I'll say this... I feel sorry for the real owner of the AppleLink address "Atlantis," because it's not NASA! Yes, the address exists, but it has been there for a while. No doubt these poor people have been deluged with messages. Please don't contribute to the problem by writing to them yourself!
TidBITS will have a few roving reporters in Boston this week to report on the Macworld Expo. I'd love to meet some other TidBITS readers (after all, most of the time I'm a reader myself), so if you're going to be at the Expo, please feel free to leave a message for "Mark H. Anbinder" in the convention center's message system (you can leave out the "H." if it'll confuse the people at the message desk).
Don't forget to look for next week's Macworld Expo issue, containing lots of info about what was hot at the show.
Below is some material that Adam sent me for inclusion in this week's MailBITS.
Just before packing up my Mac for Seattle, I received email from Henry Norr of MacWEEK, who was upset with the way I related his comment on the new ROMs issue. Contrary to what I said (due to my misunderstanding his original note), Henry said that he didn't feel the issue warranted another story at that point, not that he felt the issue was dead. My apologies to Henry and to all of you for muddying the article behind incorrect information. That's one of the problems with email - short messages with little context are easy to misconstrue. Henry also said in his recent note that not only did he not feel that the issue was dead, but that MacWEEK has continued to pay attention to the matter (by printing a recent letter to the editor) and will continue to do as warranted. Thanks, Henry! I hope that continued attention from TidBITS and MacWEEK will help jolt Apple management into making a policy statement on the issue, as we politely requested in the letter sent to them. See below for another bit on the subject.
In the near future TidBITS will have a new home on America Online. Thanks to Chris Ferino (AFL Ferino) for setting up a TidBITS file area in the Hardware file libraries (keyword: mhw). All new issues will show up there and eventually we'll have all the older issues there as well. As an added bonus, Chris has agreed to give anyone who writes an entire TidBITS issue a free hour of time on America Online, so send your submissions in to Mark and us (after we're set up again) if you wish to get that free hour on AOL. If you aren't sure about how to go about writing an issue, just ask Mark for our basic guidelines - they're easy to follow.
One of our readers contributes the following about Apple's clean ROM saga:
Apple published "Macintosh IIci Computer Training" in its Quick Reference Booklet series. The copyright is 1989. On page 23 of this booklet is the beginning of a section titled "User Questions". The second user question listed on that page is: "Is the new ROM universal? That is, will it be incorporated into all Macintosh CPUs?" The answer stated by Apple on that same page: "No. The ROM will be available only on the Macintosh IIci. The features incorporated into the Macintosh IIci ROM, especially including 32-bit addressing, will be made available to the installed base of Macintosh IIx, IIcx, II, SE and SE/30 owners at a later date."
Now what I get from this is that Apple will make the ROM available to the installed base, not that Apple will produce new machines which the installed base can purchase. Also note the listing of the Mac SE - which has never been discussed in the AOL forums as one of the machines that would receive the new ROM. While MODE32 could be construed as making the 512K ROM features available, it does not fulfill making it available to the Mac SE! The 1989 date also shows that Apple knew full well in 1989 that the ROMs were dirty in the pre-Mac IIci CPUs.
You should be able to get the actual booklet at one of the Apple dealers in your area - they probably have it put away some where in a back room or threw it away. A lot of these booklets were produced for the IIci so one should be available. I have two of them - one without the two disks that comes with the booklet.
My statements were made as a lawyer, which I remain, but because I like the Mac so much I no longer have the legal profession as my primary profession.
Mark H. Anbinder -- email@example.com
Adam C. Engst