This is it, my last issue for a few weeks. Remember, send all TidBITS related mail to Mark H. Anbinder ([email protected] or [email protected]). My mail will be collected and forwarded eventually, but there’s no telling what could go wrong. I hope to be back online as soon as possible.
Occasionally a client wants me to take a look at a strange program they’ve been given or had around forever. Often these programs come with minimal contact information, which leaves me to figure out what’s happening. Although I enjoy that process, it can be nice to know how to reach the original company. In addition to the usual methods of ferreting out information, I’ve discovered a new one, the National Software Database. It’s a long distance, 2400 bips call to a computer that has a huge database of commercial products. It probably isn’t all inclusive, because I gather vendors have to pay $20 per year to be listed, but searching on the term "spreadsheet" turned up 77 responses of spreadsheet products for all sorts of computer systems, each with full contact information. If you want to give it a try, the number is 704/255-8259 (8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, prefers VT100 emulation with auto line-feed) and the voice number (which you have to call to be listed, I assume) is 704/253-0270. Enjoy.
Mark H. Anbinder passes on more product news from Apple. Apparently it’s almost impossible to purchase an Apple Scanner due to an incredible backlog. If you want one now, too bad, but if you can wait until fall, Apple will come out with a "new and innovative scanning product." If you have an order in, you can opt for the new scanner instead or just cancel your order. Mark also mentions that as of 15-Aug-91, Apple will discontinue the Macintosh Display Card 48 and will drop the list price of the Macintosh Display Card 824 to $699, which is only about $50 more than the old 48 card was. It sounds like Apple sees little point in producing two cards that do not have greatly different prices, especially since most people wanted the 824 anyway. All existing orders will be filled, however.
Jack Lawson writes,
Just thought you might be interested in another potential use for those old Mac CPU’s! This text briefly describes the Block II controller which controls the operation of each engine on the space shuttle. Note the cost (!) and the brand of CPU!
Subject: New Main engine controller…
Shake Hands with Mister Controller: An Introduction to the BLOCK II Space Shuttle Main Engine Controller
The new "Block II" controllers (the old one is the Block I) sit on each engine and monitor and control each engine through ascent.
Block II controllers average cost $3 million in 1989 to 1994 dollars. All parts are "Space" class. It is based on the Motorola 68000 CPU, 4 per controller. The timing on the chips is so critical that each set is taken off of the same die.
Now if only I could get $3 million for 4 Mac Plus CPUs 🙂 Makes buying an Apple machine seem like a BARGAIN !! :-)"
Someone on Usenet asked if there was a way to print a screen shot in System 7. Jim Reekes of Apple replied, saying "Easy question. Type Shift-Cmd-3. Open the picture file just created at the root of your hard disk. Open it (it’s a Teach Text file) and then choose Print from the menu. By the way, that FKEY plays a camera click sound when you invoke it and it’s a recording of my camera." [I noticed that it took a picture that included both of my screens, and the color monitor came out in color. Way to improve the built-in utilities, Apple!]
Steve Holden comments on our Ambulatory Computing article, "In your July 15th issue you mentioned dial-up AppleTalk – over the 4th of July weekend I spent some time with the development team that is working on this. According to them it is up and running (with some bugs) but it is pretty neat. They said they thought it would be available with the new AppleShare that is due out in the Fall. Keep up the great work and don’t have to much fun moving across the country. [Thanks, Steve, we’ll try to avoid having too much fun – just what is too much fun, anyway?]