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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

 
 

Fax Modems & Power Macs

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Director of Technical Services, Baka Industries Inc.

Global Village Communication, developers of the TelePort and PowerPort modem series, have told us that the GlobalFax software that accompanies their modems is incompatible with the new Power Macs. Even version 2.08a of the GlobalFax software, which was released to provide compatibility with Apple's 660AV and 840AV computers, is incompatible. Some users have been able to send but not receive faxes, while others can do neither.

According to a source at the company, a software-based fix is now in testing and should be released within the next few weeks. The updated GlobalFax software will be available on Global Village's FirstClass support BBS at 415/390-8334, and on the commercial online services that Global Village supports, including America Online, AppleLink, CompuServe, and eWorld, or on the Internet via FTP and the Web at:

ftp://globalvillag.com/pub/software/
http://info.globalvillag.com/welcome.html

When the AV Macs were introduced, little third-party fax software was compatible with the new machines and their new GeoPort serial port, even when a third-party modem was being used, rather than Apple's GeoPort Adapter. A similar problem has arisen now, but even some software that has been fixed to support AV Macs still won't work on the Power Macs.

For example, according to an internal memo distributed at Supra Corporation, the FAXstf software they distribute with their modems is currently incompatible with the Power Macs. FAXstf version 2.2.3, which Supra bundled with its modems until a few weeks ago, is incompatible with both the AV Macs and Power Macs. Version 2.6, now shipping with the Supra modems, is AV compatible but not Power Mac compatible. According to STF Technologies, version 3.0 is indeed Power Mac compatible, and is available to those who have received bundled versions of FAXstf for a $39 upgrade fee. (The upgrade is available directly from STF, or from MacWarehouse or MacConnection.) Supra will be testing version 3.0 with their modems, and may begin shipping that or offering upgrades to users.

Cypress Research Corporation, publisher of FaxPro network fax server software, says that, although its server software is not yet Power Mac compatible (a compatible version is planned within a few months), the client software works fine on a Power Mac. (Why not make your old Mac a fax server? That sounds better than "doorstop" on your tax return.) CommFORCE L.C., the Iowa company that sells 4-Sight Fax (see TidBITS #215), reports that their fax server software is also incompatible with the Power Macs.

Ideally, Power Macintosh computers shouldn't be used as network resource servers anyway. Since the AppleTalk protocol stack hasn't yet been rewritten in native PowerPC code, most network activity tends to be slowed, rather than accelerated, on a Power Mac.

Although I've never been a FAXstf fan (their user interface never impressed me) they deserve congratulations for having software that's already compatible with the Power Macintosh. If the Power Mac compatibility is a coincidence that stems from their work on AV compatibility, that's fine; it shows they did it right. If your fax modem came with FAXstf, by all means upgrade to the latest version. If it didn't, and you don't want to wait for your modem maker to catch up, call STF to see if their software supports your hardware.

Global Village has been fairly quick to provide software upgrades to take care of newly unearthed hardware incompatibilities, so I don't expect their new update will take long. All of these developers have reported frustration in their attempts to obtain pre-release Power Macs for testing and development, so we shouldn't be too surprised at the scarcity of software that's ready. Global Village also says that users who need the upgrade may send in their name, address, and modem serial number, and will be put on a list to receive the GlobalFax upgrade once it's available.

CommFORCE, L.C. -- 515/224-0211 -- 800/448-3299 (fax)
commforce@aol.com
Cypress Research Corp. -- 408/752-2700 -- 408/752-2735 (fax)
cypress@applelink.apple.com
Global Village Communication Technical Support -- 800/736-4821
415/390-8300 -- 415/390-8282 (fax) -- 415/390-8334 (BBS)
techsupport@globalvillag.com
STF Technologies -- 800/880-1922 -- 816/463-7972
816/463-7958 (fax) -- 816/463-1131 (BBS)
Supra Corporation -- 800/727-8772 -- 503/967-2410
supratech@supra.com

 

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