After all that work and trouble to get 576 signatures on our letter to Apple, Connectix announced a software patch called MODE32 which lessens the need for new ROMs for the II, IIx, IIcx, and SE/30. MODE32 provides 32-bit compatibility (and thus access to 128 MB of memory) under System 7 for the Macs that have 24-bit ROMs. To answer Henry Norr’s query in the MacWEEK article on MODE32, no, the announcement did not quiet the campaign for new ROMs. We still feel that Apple advertised these Mac’s ability to address large amounts of RAM without providing it. Apple blundered and Apple should make up for it. In the meantime, kudos to Connectix for releasing a product that should make our lives easier until Apple gets its act together. MODE32 lists for $169, and for $179 you can get MC73, a kit that includes a 68851 PMMU, a grounding strap, and installation instructions for the Mac II.
Of course, you couldn’t put all that much memory in a Mac until recently, because no Macs have more than eight SIMM slots. Luckily for us, Newer Technology just introduced 8 MB and 16 MB SIMMs so the IIfx, IIci, and IIsi can now access up to 128 MB of RAM. Only the IIfx can use the 8 MB SIMMs, but the IIci and IIsi can use the 16 MB SIMMs. Newer Technology bundles Connectix’s Optima/128 utility so that you can get at the memory using System 6, should you still be using System 6 with that much memory around. Since Apple doesn’t recommend using too much virtual memory for speed reasons, the large SIMMs will be welcome. I believe the recommendation is that if you have 8 MB of RAM installed, for instance, you should only define up to 8 MB of virtual memory as well, or else you’ll experience a speed hit.
In the graphics arena, three programs will be offering System 7 support in the coming months. In June, Letraset’s ColorStudio will get some basic enhancements like new effects, new filters, a scripting language for writing new filters, plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, and some new import and export features. ColorStudio will support standard System 7 features like TrueType, publish and subscribe, Apple Events, and the soon-to-become-obnoxious balloon help. Later in the summer, Specular will release a new version of Infini-D that is System 7-friendly. Specular has added the ability to create 3-D TrueType fonts. Infini-D will also metamorphose a 3-D object created from a TrueType font into another 3-D object based on a 3-D TrueType font. Hopefully Specular will also provide some of the other System 7 features, like publish and subscribe so that these creations can be easily used in other programs as well. Finally, this fall a new version of Ray Dream Designer will use Apple Events to send a 3-D image across a network to a faster Mac for rendering, essentially performing a form of distributed network processing. Apple hasn’t much advertised this ability of Apple Events, so it will be extremely interesting to see how Ray Dream implements it and if others can do the same.
Finally, here’s a good tip from Timothy Allen on Usenet. He had trouble getting the WordMaster Thesaurus DA to work with WriteNow 2.2 and System 7.0, so he installed it directly into the WriteNow application, which you can do with either ResEdit, or by holding down the option key when clicking Open… in the Font/DA Mover. When WordMaster was in WriteNow, it only appeared if WriteNow was in the foreground, but that’s a minor problem. I’d suggest that some enterprising programmer write a dummy application that would only hold DAs. That way you could install your flaky DAs into this DAdummy and get to them all at once by bringing that application to the foreground. Anyone want to write a DAdummy? It can’t be too hard, though you could make it harder by having it be able to import DAs into itself.
Connectix — 800/950-5880 — 415/324-0727
Newer Technology — 800/678-3726 — 316/685-4904
Letraset — 201/845-6100
Specular International — 413/549-7600
Ray Dream — 415/960-0765
Newer Technology propaganda
Timothy Allen — [email protected]
MacWEEK — 14-May-91, Vol. 5, #19, pg. 28