Yay! I finally upgraded to System 7 golden a few days ago. I’d been messing around with one of the beta versions for a while, but that ended when I destroyed my hard disk briefly trying to recover some space from a partition using a version of Silverlining that didn’t support System 7 disks. It wasn’t pleasant, but I had backups of everything other than the System 7 partition. QuicKeys 2.1, the second of two necessary upgrades, finally came, and that was the last thing standing in my way. First, I had to get Silverlining 5.3 since 5.22 was the culprit in whomping on my disk. That came a week or so ago. Then I needed QuicKeys 2.1 because although it seems vaguely foolish to depend on a macro program, I have all of my mail programs set to connect in the middle of the night and QuicKeys coordinates them.
QuicKeys 2.1 includes a few nifty special features that I hadn’t heard about before, but which will help in System 7. They are enclosed in a single QuicKeys extension (that’s an extension to QuicKeys, not what used to be called an INIT) called System 7 Specials. You can define QuicKeys for turning Balloon Help on and off and toggling it, for cycling to the next or previous application (many people were irritated by the new MultiFinder menu that replaced the old click-to-cycle MultiFinder icon), and for starting and stopping file sharing. Of course, if you’re in a frugal mode, shareware alternatives exist. You can get Help Meister to turn your balloons on and off, and Just Click will turn the MultiFinder menu back into a icon cycler, if that’s the correct term. Both should be available at your local purveyor of fine shareware.
The Microlytics Word Finder thesaurus DA has been one of the most notable programs that conflicts with System 7 because it comes with Word 4.0 to make up for Word’s lack of a thesaurus. Unfortunately it’s keyed to Word so, in theory, you cannot use it while in any program other than Word. In System 7, since Apple changed the way the system handles DAs, Word Finder no longer works, complaining constantly that you aren’t using it in Word. If I remember correctly, WriteNow includes a similar thesaurus DA with a similar protection scheme, although I don’t know if it’s the same one or if it has the same problem. The solution? Get the latest version of ResEdit or the Font/DA Mover and install Word Finder into a copy of Word. You can do this in ResEdit 2.1 by copying all the Word Finder resources into Word. In the Font/DA Mover (I think the latest version is 4.1, supposedly available only online – try ftp.apple.com), just hold down the option key when clicking Open… to open the Word application. I suppose if you don’t have ResEdit and can’t find the latest Font/DA Mover, you can boot under System 6 and use the older Font/DA Mover.
A related solution that will not work in this particular instance, but which may work for other DA conflicts is a tiny little application called Extra DAs, which I just submitted to sumex and comp.binaries.mac. All it does is provide an application shell that can hold desk accessories. When you run the application, those DAs appear in the Apple menu when that application is in the forefront. I suppose it could be handy for keeping a set of DAs available on demand as well. Add DAs to Extra DAs with ResEdit or the Font/DA Mover in the same as discussed above. Extra DAs was programmed by Glenn Chappell based on Ian Chai’s idea and is free.