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Do You Feel Enabled?

Life in the Macintosh System Folder used to be simpler. System 7 may be flashy with the System as a suitcase rack, not to mention the Apple Menu Items, Control Panels, Extensions, and Preferences folders, but with Apple’s new System Enablers and new-Mac-of-the-month policy (collect them and trade them with your friends!), support people are running into a snarl of drivers, drovers, Enablers, extenders, suspenders, Tune-ups, tune-outs, and frankly, there’s a rabbit hidden in there too. Keeping track of what version of what does what could keep you busy full time. Since most of us don’t have the time, here’s a handy summary of Apple’s latest Enablers. Tape it to your forehead, laminate it and carry it in your wallet, or commit it to memory and eat the printout. Just remember, it will change approximately 37 seconds after you read this.

System Enablers as of 10-Feb-93:

                                     System          Current
     Macintosh                    Enabler Used       Version    Note
     Macintosh Centris 610        System Enabler 040  1.0
     Macintosh Centris 650        System Enabler 040  1.0
     Macintosh Color Classic      System Enabler 401  1.0.4
     Macintosh IIvx               System Enabler 001  1.0.1
     Macintosh LC III             System Enabler 003  1.0
     Macintosh PowerBook 160      System Enabler 111  1.0.2      A
     Macintosh PowerBook 165c     System Enabler 121  1.0
     Macintosh PowerBook 180      System Enabler 111  1.0.2      A
     Macintosh PowerBook Duo 210  System Enabler 201  1.0.1
     Macintosh PowerBook Duo 230  System Enabler 201  1.0.1
     Macintosh Quadra 800         System Enabler 040  1.0

     A - Included with Express Modem Disk 1.0.1.

System Enabler Changes:

 System Enabler 001
     1.0   - First release.
     1.0.1 - Improved support for high speed serial communications
             and improved system clock accuracy. Addressed a rare
             problem where floppies do not eject properly at

 System Enabler 111
     1.0   - First release.
     1.0.1 - Manufacturing release only.
     1.0.2 - Express Modem support.
     [It appears that the version of this enabler initially posted
     on AppleLink and perhaps was corrupt, unlike the
     version posted on as of 25-Feb-93, and unlike
     the version on the Express Modem disk.]

 System Enabler 201
     1.0   - First release.
     1.0.1 - Addressed a rare problem where a PowerBook Duo may not
             come out of sleep properly when attached to a Duo

You or your local Apple dealer can locate Enablers on AppleLink under the path Software Sampler -> Apple SW Updates -> Macintosh -> Supplemental System Software -> System Enablers. They are also on <> for anonymous FTP in:


Enabler Complaint Department — Hey Apple! How about naming the Enablers after the Macintoshes they enable? This might cause some duplication, but would make things easier from the support standpoint. If it’s not possible to name them after Macs, how about a numbering scheme that makes sense (do you suppose there’s a Satanic message coded in the numbers?).

We wonder about the utility of the Enablers. At first glance, they’re great because they allow Apple to avoid creating a new version of the System for each new machine. That’s good. Unfortunately, aside from the confusion they cause, there is room for serious problems. That’s bad. Apple provides machine-specific Installer scripts that have the potential to give headaches if you want to boot another machine with that machine-specific version of the System. Similarly, if I upgrade a IIvx (Enabler #001) to a Centris 650 (Enabler #040) will it boot until I install the proper Enabler? Unlikely. Will I receive a set of System disks with that Enabler when I upgrade? Unlikely.

Like the Installer scripts, we’d like to see a Universal Enabler that boots any Macintosh. Those of you who never anticipate changing hardware can stick with the machine-specific Enablers – I’ll take a universal one any day. I have heard rumors that Apple is or will be making available a boot disk containing all Enablers, which helps, although it doesn’t simplify the issue.

Information from:
Apple propaganda
Conrad Halling — [email protected]

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