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We have the last of the news from Macworld Expo this week, with information on PageMaker 5.0. We also have an article about new products for Wallpaper from Thought I Could, useful System 7.1 enabler information, upgrade information for Canadians who want System 7.1, news of new low-end LaserWriters, yet another ATM hack, and finally, a long-awaited table of benchmarks from BYTE Labs and Tom Thompson.

Adam Engst No comments


A friend writes, "As of 10-Feb-93, Apple will remove the Mac IIci line from all price lists. The IIci is still considered to be a mainstream business solution although Apple will no longer be able to support the growing demands that have accumulated over the past few weeks."

Adam Engst No comments

Correction/LC III

Correction/LC III — Oops, we said last week that the LC III could take a single NuBus card. Wrong – we mixed that information up with the Centris 610, which can take a single NuBus card as long as it’s short enough. The LC III is limited to an LC-style PDS slot.

Adam Engst No comments


Disclaimer — As some of you may have noticed, I now write the Beating the System column for MacUser. I don’t know what to disclaim, but since I’m identified as the editor of TidBITS at the end of those columns, it seems only right to mention it here. Writing for MacUser is different in that I have an approximately four month deadline for MacUser and a one hour deadline for TidBITS. That said, check it out and see what you think of my writing when I have a word limit and a professional editor.

Adam Engst No comments

StyleWriter II driver

StyleWriter II driver — Dieder Bylsma wrote to tell us that he tried the head cleaning option from the StyleWriter II driver on his StyleWriter I, and although the printer itself seems OK, the process ruined the ink cartridge. This is probably why Apple isn’t making the new StyleWriter II driver readily available and doesn’t recommend that you use it with the StyleWriter I.

Information from:
Dieder A. Bylsma — [email protected]

Adam Engst No comments

New Enablers

Apple has released new versions of the System 7.1 Enablers for the IIvx and the PowerBook 160 and 180. They’re available on AppleLink, so your dealer should be able to snag them for you. You can also call Apple directly, or possibly get them from your user group. The bug fixes seem to be primarily in the area of high speed communications and support for the Apple Express Modem.

Here is a current list of the various Enablers, and please, read the next article for important enabling information.

     Macintosh            System Enabler Used   Current Version
     IIvx                 System Enabler 001          1.0.1
     PowerBook Duo 210    System Enabler 201          1.0
     PowerBook Duo 230    System Enabler 201          1.0
     PowerBook 160        System Enabler 111          1.0.1
     PowerBook 180        System Enabler 111          1.0.1

Finally, rumors say that Apple will soon release a Tune-Up-like extension to fix problems with System 7.1, and also sometime soon, a 32-bit System Enabler that will clean up those dirty ROMs under System 7.1 for those of us (Mac II, IIcx, IIx, and SE/30) who depend on MODE32 under System 7.

Apple — 800/767-2775

Information from:

Mark H. Anbinder No comments

Connectix Does It Again

Connectix seems to continually fix something in the Macintosh system software that Apple should have done right in the first place. Virtual was the first (see TidBITS-160 for details of the latest version), and Connectix has filled Apple’s potholes with MODE32 and CPU as well. Late last month, Connectix did it again, releasing a patch for a bug in Apple’s System Enabler files that come with System 7.1.

According to Connectix, the System Enabler files released along with the new Macintosh models last October, which allow these Macs to work with System 7.1, contain a bug that can potentially cause a system error. Affected machines include the PowerBook 160 and 180, PowerBook Duo 210 and 230, Macintosh IIvx and IIvi, and, we assume, the Performa 600.

Connectix says the bug has caused problems for users of AppleTalk version 58 and Suitcase 2.1 under System 7.1. Specifically, any software making a "GetIndResource" system call with an index out of bounds will cause two low memory globals to be set incorrectly. This could cause a crash at a later time.

Apple engineers have verified the bug and have said that Connectix’s patch appears to produce the desired results with no side effects. Apple has fixed the problem within their System Enablers, but corrected versions will not be available immediately. Most likely they will be distributed with the next release of the System software, so users should be able to discard the Connectix patch when they update to any version later than 7.1 of the System software.

Connectix suggests that all users of 7.1 whose Macs require these System Enablers should use the Enabler Patch. It will do nothing if the buggy software is not present, or if a bug fix is already provided via a newer System version.

The patch should be available from most popular online services and Internet FTP archives by the time you read this, and may be distributed free of charge as long as the Read Me document is kept with the software. Publishers interested in including the patch with commercial products should contact Connectix first.

Connectix — 800/950-5880 — 415/571-5100

Information from:
Connectix propaganda — [email protected]
Matthew Strange — [email protected]

Adam Engst No comments

Canadian System 7.1 Upgrade

Macintosh users were outraged when not only did Apple charge for System 7.1 upgrades, but also they offered upgrades in the United States only. Users in other countries had to buy the System 7.1 Personal Upgrade Kit, which retailed for $99 in the US. I’ve heard stories of inflated prices in other countries, with the kit costing about US$200 in France, for instance.

No good news for most non-US users, but Canadian users will be pleased to hear that they can buy the System 7.1 Update Kit for $49 direct from Apple Canada. Call Apple Canada at 800/665-2775 ext. 700 to order. Members of registered user groups in Canada can save an additional $10 until 26-Mar-92, but they must go through more ringamarole. Either procure a form from your local group, or request a from at this address:

Patricia Johnson
Apple Canada Inc.
7495 Birchmount Road,
Markham, Ontario
L3R 5G2

Apparently this deal only apples to the English version of System 7.1, but a similar offer for the French version should come this month.

Apple Canada — 800/665-2775 ext. 700

Information from:
Robert A. Szarek — [email protected]
Les Ferch — [email protected]

Adam Engst No comments

ATM Hack, Part 2

Jonathan Jacobs writes:

In TidBITS-157 Jim Burmeister reposted the hack that you can perform on ATM 2.0.2, 2.0.3, and 2.0.4 to make it work correctly with System 7.1. At the end of the article he says that the hacked version of ATM won’t work under System 7.0 anymore. I managed to make that hack work with 7.0. It is a simple bit of ResEdit work, and remember the usual Surgeon General’s warnings about working only on a copy of the file.

Open a copy of the System file, and then open the fld# resource. Add another entry to the end of the list of these "special" folders (extensions, Print Monitor Documents, Control Panels, etc.). Call the folder "Fonts" (or whatever you want) and give it the four-letter abbreviation "font" (just as you did in the ATM driver). Save, quit, restart with the copy and you’re done. The System will create that special Fonts folder automatically on restarting. From now on you MUST put all your PostScript fonts in this folder. Keep in mind that you MUST use the hacked version of ATM for this to work, and the Fonts folder we’ve created will NOT work like System 7.1’s Fonts folder.

Information from:
Jonathan Jacobs — [email protected]

Adam Engst No comments

New LaserWriters

You’ve heard about the new LaserWriter Pro 610 and 630, and the latest news is that Apple will ship the 610 with 8 MB of RAM all the time, which allows the 610 to print at 600 dpi. Check this before you buy one, though, just in case. The 610 and 630 expand Apple’s printer offerings on the high end; Apple’s new LaserWriter Select 300 and the LaserWriter Select 310 fit into the low-end of Apple’s printer offerings.

LaserWriter Select 300 — This serially-connected 300 dpi LaserWriter replaces the LaserWriter LS. Unlike previous LaserWriters, it uses a Fuji Xerox engine that prints at five pages per minute, and it holds three optional paper trays for a grand total of 800 sheets. The LaserWriter Select 300 includes FinePrint and GrayShare and can be upgraded to PostScript and PhotoGrade, but its main feature is its dirt-cheap price – $819. This might be a good printer in a limited number of specific cases, but we still feel that it makes more sense to either buy a cheaper inkjet printer or to ante up the dollars for a more versatile, normally networkable, PostScript printer.

LaserWriter Select 310 — The main difference between the 300 and 310 is that the 310 includes PostScript and a parallel interface. It uses an AMD RISC processor and comes with 1.5 MB RAM (expandable to 5.5 MB). The 310 comes with the basic 13 fonts – Courier, Symbol, Times, and Helvetica – and it should be quite affordable at $1,079. This printer looks like a new funky entry, and since it will be utterly different in terms of driver and engine and connection, we won’t be in the slightest bit surprised if some printing problems crop up early on.

Information from:

Tom Thompson No comments

Benchmarks, Finally

[My apologies for sitting on this for so long, but I wanted to get these numbers out before the new machines come out. As you can see, creating an ASCII table of so many numbers is a major chore, and for that I thank Ian Feldman. As with all benchmarks, take these with a grain of salt because as much as low-level benchmarks can point out things you wouldn’t otherwise notice and show how different systems compare, the speed that matters is the real-world speed that you experience running your programs under your precise environment. -Adam]

A couple of comments before I analyze the numbers. First, these timings were obtained on beta systems shown to me in late July, and are therefore preliminary. However, by the time the iron gets presented to the press, the hardware is pretty stable, so the figures should be within the ballpark. Second, tests were run with the screen in the black-and-white mode (1-bit) so the results could be normalized to the Classic II’s screen. Apple says that for the new systems, screen operations in color should be a tad faster than the same operations run in black-and-white, because QuickDraw has been optimized for a color screen. Fine, we’ll check that out when we have the shipping systems. Again, we have to calibrate the results to a reference Mac that has a black-and-white screen. Finally, check out the notes at the bottom of the spreadsheet; they’re important.

As the results indicate, the Mac IIvx just barely out-guns the Mac IIci. Note that the Mac IIci used in these tests doesn’t have a cache board. That’s because the IIci at BYTE was purchased long before Apple began shipping them with 5 MB of RAM and a cache board as standard equipment. It’s a safe bet that a IIci with a cache board will probably out-perform a IIvx.

The Performa 600 falls in the vicinity of the 20 MHz Mac IIsi in performance, while the Mac IIvi hangs out with the 16 MHz Mac SE/30 performance-wise. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the reason for the IIvx/Performa 600’s less-than-expected results is because although the CPU and FPU are clocked at 32 MHz, the bus operates only at 16 MHz. A glance at the 8-, 16-, and 32-bit memory moves of these computers compared to memory operations on the IIci confirm this finding.

Why was the slower bus used? First, to take advantage of readily available 80 ns DRAM. Second, Apple squeezed three computers out of a single design. A prototype system I examined could be a Mac IIvx, Performa 600, or Mac IIvi, depending upon the CPU board that plugged into the main logic board. I’m speculating here, but probably the only way to accomplish this easily was to lock in the bus clock at one speed. This would simplify the overall design, which in turn eliminates additional parts, and in turn lowers costs.

I had hoped the IIvx would fill the void in mid-range performance between the 25 MHz Mac IIci and 40 MHz IIfx. Instead, it looks like it’s up to the PowerBook 180 and PowerBook Duo 230 to plug that particular hole.

(The following Macintosh benchmarks table is 71 lines long and with little luck may therefore be printed on one sheet of paper, but do use a monospaced font!).

  _________________ LOW-LEVEL BENCHMARKS in seconds unless noted _____
         __________ CPU:____________  FPU: +-------------------- Sieve
         32bit move ---------------+       |     +-------------- Sort
         16bit move ---------+     |       |     |      +------- Math
          8bit move ---+     |     |       |     |      |     +- Sin(x)
             Matrix    |     |     |       |     |      |     |     e^x
  ==========     v     v     v     v       v     v      v     v      v
  Classic II   24.2  98.7  54    41.2    36.4  45.4  189.5  97    106.1
       LC II   24    92.1  52.7  39.6    37    43.3  186.4  95.3  103.4
        IIvi   18.4  86.6  46.2  26.4    33.1  34.2  156    80.5   87.5
       SE/30   16.4  82.2  42.1  22.8    31.3  29.8  143.6  70.6   94.5
  Perf:a 600   14.1  65.5  39.3  26.2    19.6  25.1  136.6  66.5   71.7
        IIsi   13.4  64.1  33.5  18.2    25.1  24.4   37.5  12.8   12.9
        IIvx    8.3  52.5  26.3  13.1    15.9  14.5   30.1   9.4    9.7
        IIci   10.7  51.1  26.7  14.5    19.9  19.9   29.8   9.9   10.2
      PB 140   16.7  83.3  42.9  21.2    32    30.2  189.7 102.2  110.3
      PB 145   11.1  52.8  27.8  15.5    20.4  20.3  135.6  70.2   76
      PB 160   11.2  53.4  27.9  15.6    20.4  20.4  119.5  61.4   61.1
      PB 170   11.1  52.8  27.8  15.5    20.4  20.5   35.4  11.6   11.9
      PB 180    8.3  39.6  20.8  11.6    15.1  15.4   25.2   8.1    8.5
     Duo 210   10.6  51.1  26.7  14.5    19.9  19.3  105.1  54.2   59
     Duo 230    7.9  38.7  20.2  11      15.5  15     85.5  44.4   48
  ========== ----------------------------------------------------------
             _____ DISK:_______________  FILE I/O:  VIDEO:____________
             Write -------------------+  1 MB write  +-------- TextEdit
              Read --------------+    |    |         |    +- DrawString
              Seek --------+     |    |    |  1 MB   |    |    Graphics
  LLseek/32 blocks ---+    |     |    |    |  read   |    |    Slow  QD
  LLseek/ 1 blocks    |    |     |    |    |    |    |    |     |    |
  ==========    v     v    v     v    v    v    v    v    v     v    v
  Classic II  1103  2165  0.2  18.2  9.8  4.1  4.8  5    2    47.8  0.4
       LC II   974  2008  0.2  13.2  8.7  3.6  4.8  4.9  1.9  44.9  0.4
        IIvi   735  1559  0.2   9.4  6.2  3.1  1.6  4.3  1.5  38.8  0.3
       SE/30   921   874  0.1  22.4  9    4.6  5    4.6  2.3  26.6  0.3
  Perf:a 600   720  1296  0.1  10.6  6.1  3    1.4  3.5  1.3  32.3  0.2
        IIsi   883  1799  0.1  14.7  8.3  3.4  2.4  3.2  1.1  27.9  0.2
        IIvx   720  1257  0.1  10.7  6.2  3    1.4  2.4  0.8  19.7  0.2
        IIci   847  1551  0.1  16.5  8.9  4    3.1  3    1.3  19.6  0.2
      PB 140  1086  2384  0.2  15.9  8.8  3.8  2.7  5.5  2.6  37.5  0.3
      PB 145   754  1475  0.2  12.7  7.9  3.8  2.1  4.3  2.2  16.1  0.2
      PB 160  1029  2157  0    19.2  6.1  3.3  2.6  3.7  1.4  24.7  0.2
      PB 170  1219  2116  0.1  16.8  9.4  4    2.4  4.4  2.2  26.2  0.2
      PB 180   771  1458  0.1  10.5  3.3  2.8  1.9  2.6  1.2  17.9  0.2
     Duo 210   798  1591  0.1  12.6  7.5  3.5  4.4  3.2  1.3  22.8  0.2
     Duo 230   676  1206  0    12.5  7.5  3.1  2.2  2.6  1.2  17.9  0.2
  ========== ----------------------------------------------------------
             ____ _________ INDEXES: +----------------------- CPU index
  68020 Dhrystone --------------+    |     +----------------- FPU index
  68000 Dhrystone --------+     |    |     |     +---------- Disk index
    68020 Linpack --+     |     |    |     |     |     +--- Video index
    68000 Linpack   |     |     |    |     |     |     |      Dhrystone
  ==========   v    v     v     v    v     v     v     v      v
  Classic II  933  n/a  2000  2238  1     1     1     1     2000
       LC II  883  n/a  2000  2309  1.03  1.02  1.12  1.07  2000
        IIvi  678  n/a  2631   n/a  1.14  1.21  1.57  1.25  2631
       SE/30  581  233  3125  3699  1.39  1.27  1.24  1.23  3125
  Perf:a 600  568  n/a  3125   n/a  1.54  1.44  1.74  1.55  3125
        IIsi  508  936  3571  2309  1.74  6.79  1.45  1.7   3571
        IIvx  319  n/a  5000   n/a  2.26  8.91  1.81  2.31  5000
        IIci  399  154  4545  5802  2.17  8.66  1.29  1.94  4545
      PB 140  592  n/a  2941  3605  1.39  0.97  1.15  1.02  2941
      PB 145  417  n/a  4166  5253  2.09  1.39  1.44  1.52  (missing)
      PB 160  414  n/a  4545   n/a  2.08  1.63  1.56  1.67  4545
      PB 170  415  155  4166  5244  2.09  7.37  1.27  1.37  4166
      PB 180  309  n/a  7142   n/a  2.79 10.41  1.93  2.18  7142
     Duo 210  399  n/a  5000   n/a  2.18  1.8   1.41  1.78  5000
     Duo 230  304  n/a  6250   n/a  2.56  2.2   1.94  2.21  6250
  ========== ----------------------------------------------------------
  Measurements by Tom Thompson, BYTE; ASCII table design by Ian Feldman

  Note 1: IIci had no cache board
  Note 2: IIsi equipped with FPU
  Note 3: PowerBook Duo 210 & 230 docked; had access to FPU

Adam Engst No comments

PageMaker 5.0

Perhaps the most impressive upgrade I saw at Macworld was Aldus PageMaker 5.0. On the whole, PageMaker’s enhancements fall in the category of "It’s about time," but it’s not worth complaining now that they’re here. I’m sure some people will write to tell me that Quark XPress has had such-and-such feature for nigh on 39 years and why is it a big deal that PageMaker has finally caught up. The simple answer is that as far as I know, PageMaker is still the most popular desktop publishing program around.

I’m not going to go through these new features in any order, and similarly, I’m not going to talk about the standard things that haven’t changed. PageMaker has too many features to do that, and some would say that PageMaker has too many features period.

The main new features I noticed in PageMaker 5.0 are its capabilities in moving objects between documents and rotating and skewing text and graphics. PageMaker 5.0 can finally open multiple documents at the same time (welcome to the 1980s, Aldus!), but not content to catch up to programs from the last decade, Aldus added a feature I’ve only seen in a few other programs, the capability to drag an object from one document to another without copying and pasting. The copy-paste metaphor works best in the UniFinder metaphor of the Mac Plus era; in today’s world of multiple megabyte machines, large and multiple screens, and constant MultiFinder, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to drag data between documents, if not applications. I’d like to see this in more applications.

PageMaker 4.2 added the ability to rotate text in 90 degree increments, but this feature was generally greeted with derision – 90 degree rotation is unimpressive. PageMaker 5.0 should silence those criticisms with its free rotation of text and graphics in .01 degree increments. You can skew text and graphics with similar precision. Oh, and by the way, you can edit text or graphics after transforming it, something that wasn’t easy even with 4.2’s limited rotation. This news will be welcome to anyone who does single-page layout of posters and the like.

I appreciate PageMaker’s new capability of printing non-contiguous pages. If you wish to print pages 1, 5, 8, and 23 of a publication, you just type the page numbers into the page range box, separated by commas. Any application that prints should have that feature. Aldus finally implemented grouping, an extremely common command in graphics programs, though only as an Addition. Those were by far the most impressive features I noted, but Aldus has a list of more – I’ll reproduce some of it here.

  • Horizontal and vertical reflection of objects
  • Enhanced Control palette
  • Numerically exact positioning and rotation of any object, from its center or any handle
  • Specific "nudge" amounts for exact positioning
  • Incrementally rotated inline graphics
  • Cropping of rotated graphics
  • Text mode of the palette visible in layout or story editor views
  • Numeric kerning
  • Baseline shift
  • Process-color separations of PageMaker text and graphics, as well as imported CMYK TIFF, DCS, and EPS images – all without leaving PageMaker.
  • Printing scalable up to 1600%
  • Automatic centering of the page on whatever paper you use
  • Overprinting for any spot or process color or tint
  • Spot-to-process conversion at printing
  • Choice of printing individual inks of process-color separations
  • Automatic scaling of the page to the paper size
  • Separate line and fill attributes
  • Choice of transparent or opaque dash lines
  • Support for up to 18 language dictionaries, plus any number of installable hyphenation dictionaries
  • New search-and-replace capabilities for a character’s position and case
  • Sophisticated kerning and track editing

I don’t wish to imply that Aldus fixed everything that might be construed as a problem in PageMaker. For instance, although Aldus completely redesigned the awkward modal print dialogs for the better, I found PageMaker still extremely modal, especially in defining a text rule in a paragraph style. This process can require a ludicrous traverse of as many as four modal dialog boxes. We have the screen space these days – there’s no reason these dialogs must be modal except for design laziness.

My other problem with PageMaker is that even after high-end word processors like Nisus, low-end word processors like WriteNow, and integrated programs like WordPerfect Works (the ex-BeagleWorks) have implemented character styles, PageMaker lags behind. I’m sure it’s partly related to PageMaker’s close relationship with Microsoft Word, another notable laggard, but surely the functionality of character styles is clear – whenever you want to assign a specific style to one or more words, but not an entire paragraph, you can do so on a consistent simple level. Consider the words you might want to do this with, program names, book titles, commands in a manual, and the list goes on. I’ll hop off my interface horse now, but we should praise and condemn Aldus on interface. Overall, I think the praise wins out; PageMaker 5.0 seems like a solid upgrade to a popular program

Aldus — 206/628-2320

Information from:
Aldus propaganda

Adam Engst No comments

New Wallpaper

Like the little train that chugs along as their motto, Thought I Could doesn’t give up. To judge from president Linda Kaplan’s postings on CompuServe, a small company like Thought I Could faces innumerable obstacles in creating a successful mass market utility. But Linda and company have held on to release the first follow-up products for Wallpaper: More Wallpaper, Wallpaper/Zebra edition, and Wallpaper Wraptures Two.

Wallpaper, Thought I Could’s flagship product, offers hundreds of desktop patterns, which can be configured in various ways to dress up your screen. You can also make your own patterns. To judge from some of Thought I Could’s promotional material, Steve Wozniak is perhaps Wallpaper’s most ardent fan, and says he finds it indispensable to his enjoyment of his Mac. Hard to beat Steve for a celebrity endorsement. Now only if he read TidBITS too. 🙂

More Wallpaper, shipping now for $39.99, consists of over 590 patterns from the Subscription One and Bonus disks previously available to existing Wallpaper owners. In other words, if you subscribed to the pattern disk service Thought I Could offers, don’t bother buying More Wallpaper unless you feel like donating money to Thought I Could. Having seen most of those patterns at one time or another, I must say that if you’re a pattern freak, you won’t be able to live without More Wallpaper. I keep Wallpaper in Randomize mode, and even after months of use I see new patterns. I appreciate the way Wallpaper keeps my Mac fresh and occasionally surprising.

Wallpaper/Zebra Edition should ship in March, and it should be welcome when it appears. As you might expect, it contains only black-and-white patterns for people using monochrome monitors on color-capable Macs. Wallpaper/Zebra Edition includes the Wallpaper Control Panel and will retail for $59.99. If you own Wallpaper, you can buy the new black-and-white patterns for $15.

Wallpaper Wraptures Two contains Wallpaper versions of the patterns contained on the Wraptures Two CD-ROM disk. These patterns are originally high-resolution photographic scanned images intended for desktop publishing backgrounds and they are impressive. Wallpaper Wraptures Two concentrates on natural patterns like stone, wood, granite, marble, paper, brick, crystal, glass, ice, and food. Food? As Linda said when I asked, "uh… chocolate icing and jelly beans." I could deal with food on my screen. Wallpaper Wraptures Two sells for $19.95 and is currently shipping, although you must order it direct from Thought I Could at this time.

My only complaint with Wallpaper is that Thought I Could doesn’t provide a way to easily manage the thousands of patterns that you can easily accumulate. Thought I Could makes available online a HyperCard stack called Wallpaper Cataloger that catalogs patterns, but it can’t move files in and out of folders or delete them. With over 1,100 patterns in a single folder for randomizing, the Finder slows to a crawl and may not display all the files. I’d like to see a program that catalogued all patterns in a folder, displayed each one in a relatively large window along with the name, and then let me move or delete that pattern. That would simplify managing patterns and add value to the otherwise excellent randomizing feature. Thought I Could plans to create such a program for the next release, and I’m eagerly awaiting it.

Now if only I could run Wallpaper on these boring white walls in our apartment!

Thought I Could — 212/673-9724

Information from:
Thought I Could propaganda
Linda Kaplan, Thought I Could — [email protected]