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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

Not So Special fx

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Someone on Usenet with a penchant for the bleeding edge of technology had a number of problems with a IIfx and a Radius Pivot Monitor recently. Among them were incompatibilities with MacsBug 6.1, SuperPaint 2.0, Syserr DA, Cricket Graph 1.3, and MacPaint 2.0. All INITs had been removed, both Finder and MultiFinder had been tried, and the Pivot was set to both grey scale and monochrome with no success. This person originally thought that the Pivot monitor was to blame (not having had a chance to test the software with another monitor), since the Pivot's manual mentioned that there might be problems with the above applications when changing the orientation. The Radius technical support was of little help, but numerous people responded with help and comments about incompatibilities on the IIfx.

Like the IIci, the IIfx has 32-bit QuickDraw built into its ROMs. Previous versions of the Mac required a special INIT for 32-bit QuickDraw. Unfortunately, some older programs do not work with 32-bit QuickDraw and can cause spectacular crashes. The presence of 32-bit QuickDraw, then, should explain the problems with Cricket Graph since 1.3 is an old version. Evidently, SuperPaint 2.0 should be compatible if an option called "Use only QuickDraw for screen rendering" is checked. That option resides on the third screen of Preferences (under the Options menu) and is specifically designed for incompatible hardware. If it is impossible to even run SuperPaint 2.0, running it on another machine, setting the preference, and then copying the SuperPaint Prefs file from the other machine should do the trick. The Syserr DA can also be made to work by changing the WDEF that comes with it to one that works on a color system. Unfortunately, no instructions for doing so were posted. MacsBug 6.1, however, is simply the wrong version. The IIfx requires MacsBug version 6.2the latest update in 6.2 is 6.2d5 and is available on AppleLink (and possibly through APDA).

It seems that the moral of the story is to wait a while before purchasing the just-released machines so your favorite products can be upgraded to work if necessary. Alternately, be prepared to have strange incompatibilities show up at a moment's notice.

Information from:
LALLU@cc.utah.edu
Timothy Dierks -- dierks@ndcvb.cc.nd.edu
Mark Dawson -- marc@Apple.COM
Jon Watte -- d88-jwa@nada.kth.se
Ken Hancock -- isle@eleazar.dartmouth.edu
Michael J Kobb -- mjkobb@media-lab.MEDIA.MIT.EDU

 

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