Well, I’m back, more or less. I won’t completely take over until I get my network connections to the rest of the civilized (read: electronic) world up and running (note that the address below may not work, and I should have a better one soon), and it’s taking a long time for even the snail mail to return to normal. Until then, I hope Mark can continue the wonderful job he’s doing with TidBITS. I’ll try to help out by writing about what I can, although until my network connections come back up I feel as though I’m treading water in an empty sea of information. Pathetic, isn’t it, what happens to an info-junkie deprived of his daily fix? In the meantime, I’m handling mundane details, working on a new business card, whipping up a "We’ve Moved" postcard to send to the companies with whom I correspond, trying to get in shape for a run/bike biathlon, and generally goofing off. I hope to write a review issue or two for some of the programs I’ve been working with (such as Storyspace from Eastgate Systems, Timeslips III from Timeslips, uAccess from ICE Engineering, and ShortCut 1.5 from Aladdin [actually I’m waiting to see Super Boomerang 3.0, at which point I’ll compare the two]).
Mark here, again. Adam has done the lion’s share of the writing for this Labor Day issue, which gives me the chance to "sit back and relax," at least relatively speaking. 🙂 While I’ve still got this handy soapbox under my feet, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those of you who’ve helped me with TidBITS over the last several weeks. You writers, reporters, advisors, proofreaders, and commentators (a polite word for kibbitzers) know who you are!
Recent reports from various sources, while we’re on the subject of kibbitzers, have said that despite the rumoured supply of 32-bit clean ROMs sitting unused in cardboard cases at Apple, the company has no plans to do a simple 32-bit clean ROM release. Any potential ROM upgrade, it’s been decided, would have to include far more in the way of improved functionality or performance. What might that entail? Well, network startup functionality like that found in prototype form on the Classic’s ROM would be a good bet, allowing Macs to start up from a network file server without a local floppy disk or hard disk. We could also expect to see more of the Macintosh Toolbox included, especially the new parts of the toolbox that arrived with System 7. This would mean vastly improved performance in these parts of the operating system that are otherwise doomed always to execute from disk rather than from firmware. In the meantime, Apple may release memory management software that, like MODE32 from Connectix, would patch the unclean parts of the existing ROMs.
Reader Andrew Lewis wasn’t quite finished with his comments on the menu-bar clock issue. He adds, "Small clocks leave a sticky buildup. If you are going to take that route, you might as well try mounting a larger clock near that line of sight behind your computer. SuperClock is just too useful, more so than many menu bar menus!"