Previous Issue | Search TidBITS | TidBITS Home Page | Next Issue
This issue ranges widely, from a warning about our recently published ATM hack to a look at a pending lawsuit against Microsoft for thoroughly unpleasant behavior. Also check out reviews of four Internet books, the free Macintosh Hardware System Update and a MODE32-like Enabler, an upgrade to AppleShare 3.0.1, CE's Test Drive program for user groups, humorous notes from Macworld SF, and an open letter concerning Apple's questionable policy on repair parts.
Copyright 1993 TidBITS Electronic Publishing. All rights reserved.
Information: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Comments: <email@example.com>
The TidBITS LISTSERV has been running for about a year now, and as a result, those of you who have been on the list for a year will receive renewal notices from it in the next few weeks. This automatic LISTSERV procedure asks subscribers to confirm that they are still at that address and still wish to receive TidBITS. By asking people to renew, we avoid wasting network bandwidth by distributing TidBITS to unused accounts. If you don't renew within seven days, the LISTSERV will automatically delete your address and you'll have to subscribe again by sending it a "SUBSCRIBE TIDBITS your full name" command. Think of it as spring cleaning.
When you receive notification from the LISTSERV, send email back to the LISTSERV (NOT to me or to the address from which you receive the TidBITS issues). If you don't receive a notice from the LISTSERV (most local redistribution lists won't), don't worry.
To renew your subscription to our mailing list when you receive the notice, send email to:
with this line in the body of the mailfile:
To make it easier for you, the message the LISTSERV sends is specially formatted. In most cases, you can FORWARD that message back to LISTSERV@RICEVM1.RICE.EDU (or on BITNET, LISTSERV@RICEVM1.BITNET) to renew. Replying to the message will not automatically work (because of quoting the old message), but if you do reply, type the CONFIRM TIDBITS command at the beginning of the first line.
by Matt Deatherage -- firstname.lastname@example.org
In TidBITS-162, there's a second part of a hack started in TidBITS-157 to make ATM 2.0.2, 2.0.3, and 2.0.4 work under System 7.1. The hack in TidBITS-157 involves replacing the Folder Manager identifier 'extn' with 'font', so ATM looks in the Fonts folder instead of the Extensions folder when seeking Type 1 fonts to render. Of course, System 7.0 and System 7.0.1 don't have the 'font' selector for the Fonts folder, so you can't take this hacked version of ATM back to those older systems and expect it to work.
The second part of the hack adds the 'font' selector to these earlier systems by modifying the 'fld#' resource in your system file - this makes the Folder Manager create and subsequently use whatever folder name in the System Folder you add to the 'fld#' resource with the selector 'font'. Now, since you've hacked ATM to use the 'font' selector to FindFolder (instead of 'extn') and since you've added that selector to your 'fld#' resource, ATM will look in the folder you specified for your Type 1 fonts.
(Editing the 'fld#' resource does change how FindFolder works, but the next time you install something it could get rewritten, and Apple doesn't guarantee any of this.)
Unfortunately, the LaserWriter driver won't do the same thing - it will still look in the Extensions folder while ATM is looking in this new folder, so you could wind up with ATM working but printing broken. Only LaserWriter driver 7.1.2 (which comes with System 7.1) or later (like version 7.2, which comes with the LaserWriter Pro) will use the 'font' selector to find fonts, so you either have to use those drivers or hack the LaserWriter driver to make it look in your new folder (can you detect an increasing chain here?).
Also, the hack is of limited use - since you have to have 7.1 (or a LaserWriter Pro, or more hacking nerve) to have a LaserWriter driver that will find your fonts in the same place that your hacked ATM will, you probably won't need one copy of ATM that works under both 7.0 and 7.1 (unless you revert to 7.0 often from 7.1). It just seems easier to take advantage of Adobe's upgrade offer to ATM 3.0 unless you really like this kind of two-bit surgery.
Mark H. Anbinder, our ever-vigilant Contributing Editor, reported on CE Software's innovative Test Drive program in TidBITS-161. The program recompenses dealers for sales lost to mail order vendors and direct sales. Under the program, dealers demo QuicKeys to users, then give them a crippled version of QuicKeys that works temporarily. At the end of that time, if the user orders the full version directly from CE, CE compensates the dealer who generated the sale by tracking the serial number on the Test Drive disk. We asked if the same program would apply to user groups, and although it didn't at the time, CE has now instituted a similar program for user groups.
A recognized user group can contact CE (in the person of Michele Eddie, CE's User Group Coordinator) and request a Test Drive disk coded for that user group. The user group then distributes the disk to members, and when the users purchase the full version of QuicKeys from CE, the user group receives a bonus for generating that sale. Jim Sheldon-Dean, QuicKeys Product Manager, said, "We are including the user groups in recognition of the fact that they play an important role in the education and support of users. CE has always been a friend of user groups, and we hope that their involvement in Test Drive will help repay them for their support in the past."
We're pleased to see CE's support of user groups and hope the Test Drive program will introduce more people to QuicKeys (which we rely on heavily) and generate much-needed revenue for user groups.
CE Software, Michele Eddie -- 515/224-1995 -- 515/224-4534 (fax)
CE.PR on AppleLink
CESOFTWARE on America Online, GEnie, and MCI Mail
Jim Sheldon-Dean, QuicKeys Product Manager
by Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor -- email@example.com
Technical Support Coordinator, BAKA Computers Inc.
In addition to introducing its new LaserWriter Select printers, Apple announced last week that the basic LaserWriter Pro 600 model will now ship with 8 MB of RAM as a standard feature. This will enable LaserWriter Pro 600 owners to take advantage of the printer's 600 dot-per-inch resolution and PhotoGrade capability without having to purchase a memory expansion.
Apple originally offered the memory expansion free of charge as an "introductory offer," and has apparently decided to make it a permanent change. This makes sense, as it will allow the LaserWriter Pro 600 to offer 600 dpi printing right out of the box.
The LaserWriter Pro 630 still differs from the 600 model in that it offers an EtherTalk port in addition to the LocalTalk, serial, and parallel ports that are common to both printers, as well as two SCSI ports (one external HDI-30 connector and one internal connector) to allow the use of an internal or external hard disk for font storage.
by Fred Condo -- CONDOF@CGSVAX.CLAREMONT.EDU
Recently, my Apple CD-ROM drive's eject mechanism failed. The warranty had expired. I took it to my authorized Apple dealer for service. The technician there identified a gear, whose cost he estimated to be $5, as the faulty part.
Apple, however, absolutely refuses to sell its dealers anything but the entire drive mechanism (that is everything except the power supply and case), whose cost is approximately $500. This cost is borne by the customer.
A call to 800/SOS-APPL, Apple's hotline, put me in touch with Scott, a polite young man who confirmed that Apple would not sell parts, but only the entire "module," which in this case is virtually the whole unit. Scott cited a corporate concern Apple had about complex inventories as its corporate reason for this policy.
Scott politely took a formal complaint from me to be forwarded to Apple management.
The Macintosh is a great product. It deserves to be backed by a fair and reasonable service parts policy.
Meanwhile, my friendly local Apple service technician is scouring the Earth for someone who will break the conspiracy and sell him the contraband $5 gear. If I sound a little bitter, I suppose I am, as any consumer would be in the face of a bald-faced corporate scam by a company he used to respect. For the $500 Apple wants me to pay for a $5 gear, I could easily buy a new CD-ROM drive. [Admittedly, at least you could get a better drive for the money, not that that's any consolation. -Adam]
I will even concede that Apple's "modules-only" policy may make sense for purely electronic modules such as motherboards. It does not make sense, however, for mechanical devices such as CD-ROM drives, as their mechanical components are subject to higher failure rates, by their very nature, than are electronics with no moving parts.
If you disagree with Apple's policy, I hope you call their 800 number or write them to let them know (politely, of course) that their policy is wrong. I also suggest avoiding the purchase of Apple peripherals with moving parts until their blatantly unfair and rapacious repair policy is rescinded. If this policy has caused you substantial, unfair costs, I hope you will join me in reporting it to your local consumer protection authority (in California, the Department of Consumer Affairs). Please also report your experience as I have on the net. Perhaps public embarrassment over a patently anti-customer policy will sway them to alter it.
The $1,199 AppleShare Server 3.0.1 is now shipping. Enhancements include minor bug fixes in the file and print servers, the ability to run on System 7.1, improved compatibility with CE Software's QuickMail 2.5, increased client performance during file duplication, and improved compatibility with Dantz's Retrospect Remote.
If you bought version 3.0 from an authorized Apple reseller between 01-Jan-92 and 01-Apr-93 you can upgrade for free until 01-Apr-93. Your dealer may have upgrade coupons, or they can be found on AppleLink in AppleLink -> Apple Sales & Mktg -> Apple Programs -> AppleShare Server 3.0.1 Upgrade Program. Fill out the coupon and mail it in with the original, dated, itemized, folded, spindled, mutilated, and notarized-in-blood sales invoice or your original AppleShare Server 3.0 File Server disk for each upgrade requested. Expect delivery in two or three weeks.
Mail coupon and proof of purchase to:
AppleShare Server 3.0.1 Upgrade Offer
Apple Computer, Inc.
P.O. Box 1584
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1584
I thought you might enjoy these quotes and notes from Macworld San Francisco. Nothing serious here, or is there?
"Steve Jobs is like herpes. He's never going to go away." -Guy Kawasaki, speaking about NeXT.
"The difference between Sculley and me is that I know I don't have vision." -Guy Kawasaki, when asked about his opinion of John Sculley.
"The first time is science; the second time is engineering, and I'm a scientist." -paraphrased from the inimitable Cliff Stoll, when talking about catching hackers.
And finally, though not exactly a quote, we'd like to acknowledge MacWEEK's cleverly and ambidextrously presented awards. One hand gave Microsoft Word 5.1 the 1992 Diamond award for word processing, saying that "Microsoft has [...] made the program easier to use and more powerful." With its other hand, MacWEEK presented Microsoft with a 1992 Dubious Achievement award. This one was the "The Easy Way Award," which went to Word 5.1, "the only 'ease-of-use' upgrade that managed to make an already difficult program even harder to use. What do those icons mean anyway?" Hmm...
MacWEEK -- 14-Dec-92, Vol. 6, #44, pg. 72
MacWEEK -- 04-Jan-93, Vol. 7, #1, pg. 34
by Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Support Coordinator, BAKA Computers Inc.
Last Friday Apple announced a set of software enhancements that improve the performance of a variety of Macintoshes using System 7.1. In addition, Apple released the long-awaited System Enabler that replaces MODE32 for users of System 7.1.
The Macintosh Hardware System Update should interest a wide segment of the Macintosh population - though Apple says they do not expect most people to require this update. This "set of software enhancements" (the Installer installs only the parts of the update that your Mac needs) improves high-speed serial communications reliability, system clock precision, reliability of floppy ejects on shutdown, and low-memory performance on specific Macs. We suspect Apple has underestimated the number of users who will value this update
MODE32, created by Connectix and licensed by Apple a little over a year ago, allows users of the Macintosh II, IIx, IIcx, and SE/30 to utilize 32-bit memory addressing under System 7. This allowed these Macs to address more than 8 MB of physical RAM, or more than 13 MB of virtual memory. Using 32-bit addressing, Macintosh II users can access up to 68 MB of physical memory when a PMMU (paged memory management unit) is installed, and users of the other three machines may access up to 128 MB of physical memory. All of the machines will be able to address up to one gigabyte of virtual memory. MODE32 wasn't fully compatible with System 7.1, but Apple did not have a replacement ready until now.
These products are available free of charge from a number of online services and US readers can also order it starting 24-Feb-93 from one of Apple's handy-dandy fulfillment houses for a $10 shipping and handling charge. Readers with access to AppleLink may peek in Software Sampler -> Apple SW Updates -> Macintosh -> Supplemental System Software.
Apple -- 800/892-4649
John Bittner writes:
I just saw a demo of DOS 6.0 at the Infomart in Dallas Texas. It has many new features such as built-in backup software, undelete, move, transparent hard disk compression, hard disk defragmentation, memory management improvement, and built-in anti-virus software.
The file compression will work with floppy disks which should double their capacities. I asked the rep if Apple File Exchange would be able to read a compressed floppy. He did not know. I doubt it will. DOS 5.0 will not be able to read compressed floppies either. Will they have to rewrite Apple File Exchange (AFE) to read them? Will Mac users need a new floppy drive to use AFE on the compressed floppies?
[We don't expect Macintosh users will need new floppy drives to read compressed disks, but we doubt that AFE will function correctly with DOS 6.0 compressed disks. Apple may not update AFE but might instead update the commercial Macintosh PC Exchange to handle those compressed disks. Third-parties such as DataViz will probably sell solutions relatively quickly. -Adam & Tonya]
John Bittner -- email@example.com
Microsoft and Stac -- Stac Electronics, compression software leader in the PC world and soon to be a compression contender in the Mac arena with its driver-level compression utility Stacker, claims that the compression capabilities in DOS 6.0, called DoubleSpace, infringe on two of Stac's compression patents. Here's an abbreviated version of the story from Stac's lawsuit.
As Stacker for DOS became popular, Mr. Bill became interested in the technology and asked the president of Stac to contact Microsoft about including it in DOS. Keep in mind that DOS's main competitor, DR-DOS from Novell, already includes compression capabilities. Stac and Microsoft negotiated licensing issues, and Microsoft refused to pay any royalty to Stac for the license, making it clear that if they didn't use Stac's technology, they would use someone else's, and even at one point showing Stac a spreadsheet outlining the adverse impact on Stacker's sales if this happened. As negotiations continued, it became clear that Microsoft wanted Stac's technology but didn't want to pay for it. Irritated, Stac broke off the talks. Finally, Microsoft called Stac again, because they determined that their own compression code infringed on at least one of Stac's patents. Microsoft promised to send Stac a licensing proposal and a beta of DOS 6.0. A month or so later, in January of 1993, Microsoft sent the beta, but included a note saying essentially "Don't worry about the patent stuff. We are just going to keep our changed code which does not infringe."
All fine and nice, but when Stac examined the beta, they determined that it infringed on two of Stac's patents. That's not the end of the story though. Microsoft sent Stac a preliminary press release that Microsoft plans to license, for free, the compression code in DoubleSpace, to all comers to create an opportunity for third parties to enhance DOS 6.0's compression features with add-on boards, chips, and software. Needless to say, Stac was not pleased, and brought in the legal howitzers.
Interestingly, although Stac seems like the poor, downtrodden underdog in this case, their white hat is a bit soiled. Remember the DoubleUp compression board from Sigma Designs that used Salient's DiskDoubler as an interface? Well, that board used a chip from Stac, and after Stac received a patent on their algorithms, licensing talks with Salient bogged down even though Salient only needed to license the expansion code since the Stac chip on the DoubleUp board handled compression. Although no one specifically identified any malice on Stac's part, we do wonder if Stac's forthcoming Stacker for Macintosh might have played a role in the talks falling apart.
It's a nasty world out there - I'm amazed at how pleasant most people on the Internet are in comparison to what goes on in real life.
by Ellen Hoffman, Merit/NSFNET Information Services
[This review reprinted with permission from Link Letter, Vol. 5, #3, Nov-92. Link Letter is published by Merit/NSFNET Information Services. To subscribe send email to: <NSFNETfirstname.lastname@example.org>.]
Informative Internet Books Rolling Off The Presses -- The growth of the Internet has created a market for commercial publishers, resulting in a flurry of new books on getting started with the Internet. This trend is a change from the past, when most Internet "how-to" information was produced by unpaid volunteers and available at no cost online. The newest books are hardly mass-market paperbacks, but for those who don't have online access to free sources of information or just like having a one-source reference on their desks, these books are excellent beginning guides to the Internet.
Three books already on the shelves include works by authors who have previously been active in developing online materials. They have their roots in academia, where the Internet has been most widely deployed and have brought their extensive knowledge to these publications.
Zen and the Art of the Internet -- For a short and to-the-point introduction, Brendan P. Kehoe's "Zen and the Art of the Internet" (Prentice Hall, 112 pages, $22.00) is the second edition of a popular online work issued earlier this year. It provides updates to the earlier document and some minor corrections. The primary focus is what resources are out on the Internet, and how to find out more about using them. This work is ideal for individual users who have questions about using the Internet. Kehoe initially developed his publication while a college system administrator who found himself answering the same questions again and again. When he developed this piece to resolve his frustrations, he also wrote an excellent and friendly summary that benefits all beginning users.
The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog -- Ed Krol's 1989 paper, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Internet," was one of the first general introductions to the Internet for the non-technically inclined. He has followed that success with his new book, "The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog" (O'Reilly & Assoc., 376 pages, $24.95). Krol's book goes beyond Internet resources to provide an overview of the network's history, technical foundations, and policies. The book evokes the culture of the Internet to help the network novice get a feel for the network's structure which can be useful background for understanding how to best use the Internet. Like Krol's earlier work, the breezy style makes for pleasant reading on what could have been a very heavy-weight topic. The old-time woodcut illustrations in the catalog resource list at the end contribute to the charm of this work.
The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking -- The third book comes from Tracey LaQuey with Jeanne C. Ryer, "The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking" (Addison-Wesley, 196 pages, $10.95). LaQuey's previous book, "User's Directory of Computer Networks" (Digital Press, 653 pages), has been a primary resource on network providers since its publication two years ago, although rapid changes in networking have dated some of the material - a problem with any book covering this subject. LaQuey brings her knowledge to her newest work and provides a well-researched introduction to Internet resources and uses.
Internet: Getting Started -- Not all guidebooks come from commercial publishers. SRI International has produced an excellent introduction in "Internet: Getting Started" (SRI, 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025, 318 pages, $39). Edited by April Marine, this book has an international flavor, covering not only the US Internet, but also networks throughout the world. It is particularly useful for the beginner who is interested in connecting to the Internet, and provides more technical detail in addition to sections on Internet resources. It has an excellent list of network providers and also other organizations which are important to Internet administration and development.
Additional resources via anonymous FTP -- A number of other books are scheduled for release early next year. Of course, there are still many sources of information that don't cost money if you have a connection to the Internet. Two excellent resource guides developed by the information services staffs at NorthWestNet and CICnet are available by Anonymous FTP, as well as Kehoe's "Zen and the Art of the Internet" (first edition). Both guides can also be purchased in hard-copy format from their publishers.
The "NorthWestNet User Services Internet Resource Guide" online version (1992, 300 pages) is available only in PostScript format. To find out about getting the files, get the file README.nusirg in the directory /nic/nwnet/user-guide from ftphost.nwnet.net.
The "CICNet Resource Guide" is available in both text and PostScript formats. For information on obtaining the Guide online, use Anonymous FTP to access nic.cic.net and get the file README in the directory /pub/resourceguide.
If you are interested in obtaining "Zen" and other free, online introductory information on the Internet, a good source is the document collection found in archives around the Internet called introducing.the.internet. To find out more about accessing these publications, send a message to email@example.com with the first text line: send access.guide.
Non-profit, non-commercial publications and Web sites may reprint or link to articles if full credit is given. Others please contact us. We do not guarantee accuracy of articles. Caveat lector. Publication, product, and company names may be registered trademarks of their companies. TidBITS ISSN 1090-7017.
Previous Issue | Search TidBITS | TidBITS Home Page | Next Issue