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Quadra Impressions

I have been salivating over the idea of a 68040 Macintosh for nearly two years. I’ve saved my nickels and dimes and must have been good because "Christmas" arrived yesterday in the form of a Quadra 700 with 4 MB and a 160 MB hard drive! The local stores don’t even have demo models yet, so somebody up there must like me.

I have one immediate gripe (not with the Quadra, it is marvelous!). Apple’s HD SC Setup won’t let me create more than one Macintosh OS partition 🙁 I’d prefer two 80 (well 78.5) MB partitions. Not only do two partitions match up with 88 MB SyQuest cartridges (I’m not gonna back 160 MB up to floppies!), but I understand that smaller partitions yield better disk performance than one huge partition.

OK, so I do have the Alliance Power Tools that came with the SyQuest. That created two partitions, but now I can’t use virtual memory (it just disappears from the Memory Control Panel). Naturally, Apple’s HD SC Setup won’t update the driver for either partition. I plan to order 4 MB more RAM tomorrow morning and have it installed as quickly as I can schedule my dealer to do so, but gee whiz Apple – one 160 MB partition??? :-(( Am I glad I couldn’t afford the 400 MB drive!

OK, how about some good news! More software really works than reading the trade magazines would lead you to believe. You may have read about compatibility problems with the 68040 processor caches. Apple sends along a list of 100 applications known to be compatible with the Quadra’s caches. As is the case with the infamous Compatibility Checker for System 7 the list should be taken with some skepticism since many common programs simply aren’t mentioned, and more works than you might expect.

The System software ships with a control panel for turning the caches off and on. One immediate piece of software that turns out to be not compatible with the caches is the aforementioned Alliance Power Tools; so I tried turning the cache off almost immediately. After I got set up, I ran Speedometer with the cache on and off. With the caches on, the Quadra runs about twice as fast as a IIci; with the caches off the speed is about half as fast as a IIci (sort of either smoke a IIfx or have an expensive IIsi). Speedometer runs lots of tests and they indicate that a four to one speed difference is more or less across the board (the color video speed with the cache on has to be seen to be believed). Believe me, you do not need any software to indicate that the processor caches are off (even though the Quadra says so with every restart).

Alas, it is necessary to restart in order to change the processor caches setting. Naturally, the idea is to run with the caches on!! I’m rather pleased at the number of things (old and new) that work fine with the caches on. The only applications I’ve tried which aren’t 68040 processor caches compatible are:

Alliance Power Tools (version 2.0.7), TinCan (version 5.0) and ][ in a Mac (which won’t work with the caches off either). The Remember DA ( also crashes when the caches are on (the INIT however works fine).

I haven’t had time to try everything yet, but Kermit 0.98(63), GIFConverter 2.2.9, Giffer 1.1.2, ImageCatalog 1.0b3, Image 1.41, Compact Pro 1.32, StuffIt Classic 1.6 (among the shareware things I’ve tried), and SPSS 4.0.2, Vantage 1.6, MacTools Deluxe 1.2, and Norton Utilities 1.1 of the commercial applications which aren’t listed do work. 🙂

More to the point is the surprisingly long list of extensions and cdev’s that also work. Only a few things that I’ve tried don’t.

Greg’s buttons (version 1.3) is in trouble again. The buttons don’t work even with the cache turned off. The Grouch (version 2.5B1) loads okay but crashes Finder when it tries to actually empty the trash whether or not the cache is on (the free standing application does run). SndControl (version 1.1.2b3), see below, does work, but the ‘restart’ sound causes a Finder Error 41 requiring a click on a ‘restart’ button to continue (I haven’t tried a shutdown sound yet).

The Disk Doubler (version 3.7) INIT crashes (segment loader error) on boot up if the processor caches are on, the INIT works with the caches off. The Disk Doubler application, however, works with the caches on.

The really interesting thing is the number and variety of extensions and control panels that do work with processor caches on. All of the following extensions work fine on the Quadra, which also means they are System 7.0.1 compatible, just in case you were curious.

 (From Norton's Disk Doctor)
 The active Control Panels on this disk are:
     After Dark   (version 2.0v)
     ApplicationMenu   (Desk Accessories)
     AutoMenus   (version 5.01)
     Cache Switch   (version 7.0.1)
     Color   (version 7.0)
     CursorAnimator 1.2   (version 1.2)
     Escapade   (version 1.3.2)
     File Sharing Monitor   (version 7.0)
     Finder Commands 1.0.1   (version 1.0.1)
     General Controls   (version 7.0)
     Helium 2.0   (version 2.0)
     Keyboard   (version 7.0)
     Labels   (version 7.0)
     MacLights   (version 1.0a1)
     Magic Menu   (version 2.0.2 b9)
     Map   (version 7.0)
     MemINIT 2.0   (version 2.0)
     Memory   (version 7.0.1)
     Mirror   (version 1.2)
     Monitors   (version 7.0)
     MountImage   (version 1.2'1)
     Mouse   (version 7.0)
     Power Tools Assistant 1.0   (version 1.0)
     Scroll2 v2.1   (version Scroll2 v 2.1b5)
     SCSIProbe 3.2   (version 3.2)
     Sharing Setup   (version 7.0)
     Shortcut   (version 1.5)
     SndControl   (version 1.1.2b3)
     Sound   (version 7.0)
     Startup Disk   (version 7.0)
     SuperClock!  (version 3.9.1)
     TrashAlias   (version 1.1)
     Turbo Mouse   (version 1.0)
     Users & Groups   (version 7.0)
     Views   (version 7.0)
     ZoomBar   (version 2.0)
     ~AccessPC   (version 1.1)
     Extensions Manager   (version 1.6)

 The active System Extensions on this disk are:
     !DeskPict 1.1
     Apollo   (version 0.5b1)
     Caps Lock   (version 7.0.1)
     CommentKeeper   (version 1.0)
     CPS TagFix
     MICN   (version 1.0)
     PwrSwitcher 1.0a2   (version 1.0a2)
     Randomizer   (version 1.1.2b13)
     Real DRAG
     Remember? Extension   (version
     SparedDisk   (version 1.0b1)
     EM Extension   (version 1.6)

 The active Control Panels and Extensions in your System Folder:
     Sigma Compression INIT   (version 1.0)
     Suitcase II   (version 1.2.11)
     Disinfectant INIT   (version 2.5.1)

Information from:
Murph Sewall — [email protected]

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