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Editors’ Notes/10-Sep-90

Before anything else, I want to mention that the most recent issue (September) of BYTE magazine is mostly devoted to the discussions of many of the notable figures in the computer and electronics industries. The subject is the past, present, and future, with an emphasis on the future. If you are at all interested in these industries as more than a casual user of their products, I highly recommend that you check out this issue.

Here’s a bit from Michael Kessler on the HUMANIST discussion list that shows the perils of computer use. Nasty colloquial Find/Replace feature there… 🙂

"A correction from the pages of the Fresno Bee: "An item in Thursday’s Nation Digest about the Massachusetts budget crisis made reference to new taxes that will help put Massachusetts ‘back in the African-American.’ The item should have said ‘back in the black.’""

A few things have changed in this issue of TidBITS, most notably the display font. We used to use Bookman 12 point, because it is a good, readable font. However, it is a tad large, which results in not much text being displayed on the screen at once. From now on, we’ll be using New York 10 point instead, although you are perfectly welcome to change it for each issue you get. We’ve known about this problem for some time now and had planned to fix it relatively quickly in TidBITS II. Unfortunately TidBITS II will use some of the new features advertised for HyperCard 2.0, which is obviously why you haven’t seen TidBITS II. We’ve also been very busy with other projects. So changing the font is a bit like sitting down to read a good book before people are arriving to visit you – they will come all the sooner so you can’t read much. Perhaps by changing the font, HyperCard 2.0 will appear immediately to allow us to start working on TidBITS II. And if HyperCard’s release date continues slip, we offer the top ten excuses direct from the HyperCard 2.0 development team.

Speaking of TidBITS II, there are some interesting ideas we’re playing with. Potential enhancements include the ability to import and export subtly-tagged text files so the distribution files will be human-readable. We’ll also try to build in filters so popular types of online text, such as the Info-Mac digests and clippings from Usenet, can easily be archived for future reference. To do this, we hope to utilize techniques in HyperCard that should increase performance greatly in large archives. The idea is to turn TidBITS into a general-purpose text archiver and reader so we as an electronic community can store and retrieve our textual information quickly and easily. Just think, wouldn’t it be nice to have all those "readme" files in one place, easily located and searched even if you don’t have the right word processor handy?

We always appreciate comments and always respond if electronically possible. Now even more than before, we would like suggestions for future enhancements. We’ve saved all the suggestions you’ve sent already sent us, so those comments will be taken into account. So please send mail with your thoughts.

Information from:
Adam C. Engst — TidBITS Editor
Michael Kessler — [email protected]

Related articles:
BYTE — Sep-90

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