INFO-MAC Digest V3 #50

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Oct 26, 1985, 3:09:45 AM10/26/85
From: Moderator Richard M. Alderson <>

INFO-MAC Digest Saturday, 26 Oct 1985 Volume 3 : Issue 50

Today's Topics:
Alan Kay - "When Will Computers Disappear"
be careful where you put your disks
Copy-screen-to-clipboard utility
fan suggestion
Macintosh - test instrument
Any Mac user training course for writting Mac Applications ?
MacXL problem
Terminal Program Suggestion
macterminal [query]
MacTerminal and missing ImageWriter file
New Font/DA Mover files [query]
MacWrite 4.5 to 2.2 [query]
Query: Limits to DA size?
Spelling Checker Recommendations?
Hyperdrive upgrade [query]
Wanted: Used Apple Macintosh


Date: 18 Oct 85 (Fri) 21:06:28 EDT
From: Dan Winkler <daw%brown...@CSNET-RELAY.ARPA>
Subject: Alan Kay - "When Will Computers Disappear"

Alan Kay gave a talk here today entitled "When Will Computers Disappear."
By that he did not mean when will we stop using them, but rather when will
they become so commonplace that they lose their high visibility and blend
in like telephones. Here is some of the interesting things I remember from
his talk. This done from memory, but is correct to the best of my

He said that mice had been used at Xerox "over our dead bodies." They
wanted to use a graphics tablet as their pointing device, but it was much
too expensive.

He said that the reason gray levels had not been used on the Xerox machines
was that they wanted to see how it would eventually look on a liquid
crystal display in a (dyna) book-sized computer. In a machine with a CRT
like the Mac, he saw no justification for not using gray levels.

He said that Apple should never have sold a 128K Mac, comparing it to a
flashy car with a tiny gas tank. He had high praise for the LaserWriter
though. He had made some nice slides with it, including one large
octagonal warning sign which read "Warning! IBM Jokes Ahead." He did have
some wonderful IBM jokes, but it would be inappropriate to repeat them
here. There was an IBM executive present who took them in very good humor.

When asked what was going on at Apple these days, Kay said he didn't know
but that he was having a good time.

Kay criticized the approach of asking users what they want because they
usually think they want more of basically what they've got, except cheaper
and better. Thus, people can get to like even lousy ideas, like function
keys, if they spend a long time learning to use them.

Kay thinks that one of the best books on systems programming is the
Federalist Papers because it describes the control program for an
enormously complicated system that has run for 200 years without breaking
down. Other books he recommends are: "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Tim
Gallwey which discusses how to use the subconscious mind more effectively,
"Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field" by Adamard which
surveys the techniques of the top 100 mathematicians at the time, including
Einstein who said he had a physical, muscular, tactile approach to abstract
problems which let him "feel" the spaces he was working with, and
"Molecular Biology of the Cell" by Alberts et. al., which Kay says assumes
no prior knowledge and can be read like a novel but which describes every
known mechanism of the cell. I guess that came up because he gave an
estimate of the number of bits of information in an E. Coli cell. I don't
remember what it was exactly, but it was large, on the order of hundreds of
megabytes, and he noted that the E. Coli cell itself was much smaller than
a mammalian cell. Kay also recommended his Sept 1977 article in Sci Am
which has now been reprinted in a book called "Microelectronics" published
by Freeman.

On the topic of subconscious versus concious thought, Kay identified three
styles of thought which he labelled "Doing", "Images", and "Symbols". As
an example, he described how children of various ages write logo programs
to draw circles. A five year old, when asked to close his eyes and walk in
a circle, observes that he walks a little and turns a little, over and
over. This translates into a very nice logo program to draw a circle. A
ten year old, might know a little more about the definition of a circle and
might observe that all points are the same distance from the center. He
would write a program that repeatedly moved a certain distance from the
center, drew a dot, returned to the center, turned, moved the same
distance, and so on. This works too, but not as well. A fifteen year old
would be lost however because he knows too much--he knows that r^2 = x^2 +
y^2 and he'll get completely lost trying to program it.

Kay feels that window technology will soon be obsolete because the amount
of information that people can comprehend by direct browsing is much
smaller than the amount available through networking. He described the
need for semi-intelligent agents (processes) and mentioned a system he
built where agents would scan various electronic news services at night and
build a custom newspaper for you based on its knowledge of what you would
be interested in. Thus the headline might be that U.S. planes are bombing
in El Salvador (they are) or it could just as well be that your afternoon
appointment was cancelled (which the agent learned by reading your
electronic mail), based on what would be of interest to you. The system
even had a videodisk of faces of famous people and maps of famous places
which it would use to illustrate your newspaper.

Kay described a system built at Atari where people would wear a device like
a watch (it did indeed tell time) that would allow a computer to track them
as they moved through the building using a cellular telephone like system.
When they entered a room, it would already have their speech recognizer all
loaded and ready and since it could also tell where in 3-space the watch
was, you could point at something and say "turn on that light."

Well, that's all I remember at the moment. Maybe someone else who was also
there could supplement, correct, and clarify this summary. Kay is at MIT
during fall semesters; if you're at any institution in the New England area
I would highly recommend him as a speaker.


[This message is archived as [SUMEX]<INFO-MAC>ALAN-KAY.REPORT. --RMA]


Date: Thu, 24 Oct 85 11:42:45 EDT
From: "Carl D. Howe" <c...@BBN-LABS-B.ARPA>
Subject: be careful where you put your disks

Someone here at BBN pointed out something potentially dangerous regarding
Imagewriters. Unbeknownst to the uninitiated, the cover of an Imagewriter
I (the buff colored ones that match the Mac color) contains a permanent
magnet over on the left hand side. The purpose of this permanent magnet is
to keep the plastic cover seated and secure.

A side effect of this permanent magnet is to render floppy disks that you
place on top of your Imagewriter unreadable.

Moral: Never put your floppy disks on top of your Imagewriter, even



Date: Wed, 23 Oct 85 13:10 PST
From: Dave Platt <Dave-Platt%LA...@CISL-SERVICE-MULTICS.ARPA>
Subject: Copy-screen-to-clipboard utility

Here's a useful little hack that I found on the MacQueue BBS (the person
who posted and documented it there isn't sure of its origin). It can be
used to copy a selected portion of your current screen image directly onto
the Mac's clipboard by entering command-shift-9, positioning the cursor to
the upper-left corner of the area you want to copy, dragging the cursor
down to to lower-right corner, and releasing the mousekey. It's similar in
spirit to command-shift-3, but the screen image is moved to the clipboard
rather than into a MacPaint document on disk; the resulting rectangle can
be pasted into the scrapbook, or what have you.

This posting is a BinHex (.HQX) conversion of a PackIt document; once
unpacked, you'll have a document file containing the FKEY resource itself,
and a text file containing complete installation and use instructions.

BEWARE - not following the instructions-for-use can result in a crashed



Date: Thu, 24 Oct 85 01:47:09 EDT
From: "Michael C. Adler" <MAD...@MIT-MC.ARPA>
Subject: fan suggestion

A hint for fan problems (if you are not having problems with fan noise,
ignore this): I found that the primary cause of noise produced by my fan
was due to compression of the fan's casing. The fan is actually mounted
inside the computer with pressure and some nasty metal points that stick
into the shell of the Macintosh's case. I remounted my fan with mounting
tape (double sided, very sticky, styrofoam (sp?) tape). I have had no
problems in over two months. Of course, you should be very careful and
make sure that the fan is secure before trusting it. Having it fall on the
drive would not be amusing. Because pressure is no longer exerted on the
side of the fan, it runs both quietly and more efficiently (i.e. it
actually blows air).



Date: 17 Oct 85 10:19:11 EDT
From: Kevin.Dowling@CMU-RI-ROVER
Subject: Macintosh - test instrument

I received some literature yesterday that might be of some interest. I
haven't used this device and would like to hear from those who have.

MacADIOS (Macintosh Analog/Digital Input/Output System)

4 Analog voltage outputs, 12 bit 4.8828 mv increments -10 to +9.995V
8 Analog voltage inputs, 12 bit
16 Digital inputs and 16 Digital outputs.
20,833 value/second max sampling rate.
Timer (1 Mhz) and programmable clock.

Easy control from MS Basic.
Mac based instrumentation: Oscilloscope, Spectrum Analyzer, XY Recorder
Waveform oriented, general purpose data aqusition program.

- The pictures of the mac screens with the instrumentation were really
slick. On the scope you use the mouse to adjust scales, pull down menus
allow selection of the spectrum analyzer, sonogram, spectrogram, or eight
channel voltmeter. You can change gain values to convert these input
voltages into something meaningfull like temperature, pressure, etc.

- From the literature it seems that the mac interface is used very well.
They use the modem port for communication. Calls are made from Basic to
about 40 different routines that make it pretty easy to set up these
instruments on the screen.

- There is a Manager program that can coordinate data aquisition, waveform
synthesis, data presentation and storage etc. It allows waveform editing
(mark, unmark, cut, copy, paste, drawing w/ mouse, amplify, and offset by
given values). You can perform FFT or the inverse, calculate min and
average values, convolve two waveforms, output waveform to speaker, save
and load configurations. Printing is also supported.

This is definitely a neat looking product and seems to link well laboratory
test equipment and computer. Although some the Mac/GPIB products I
mentioned in a previous post may do as well.

Price for hardware and software is $2500

GW Instruments
3 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 577-1524

Aka : Kevin Dowling Bell: (412) 578-8830
Arpa: nivek@cmu-ri-rover Mail: Robotics Institute
Schenley Park
Pgh, PA 15213


Subject: Any Mac user training course for writting Mac Applications ?
Date: 17 Oct 85 14:12:16 EDT (Thu)
From: Gurudatta Parulkar <paru...@dewey.udel.EDU>

Educational Technology Lab(ETL) at University Of Delaware is planning to
send few Mac users to some training course to help them learn how to write
Mac Applications. We have got the details of Apple's training courses for
the developers, but they seem to be expensive ($900 per person for 3 days,
which does not include Dinner and Room). Is there somebody aware of some
other training courses which are more cost effective and are conducted in
Delaware area?

Thanks in advance.

Gurudatta M. Parulkar
University of Delaware
Department of Computer and Information Sciences
Newark, DE 19716

ARPA: parulkar@udel-dewey
CSNET: parulkar%udel-dewey@csnet-relay
UUCP: ...!harvard!parulkar@udel-dewey


Date: Sat, 19 Oct 85 22:59:58 edt
From: ANDERER <anderer%vax1.acs...@louie.udel.EDU>
Subject: MacXL problem

I've got a problem which is driving me nuts. All suggestions appreciated:

I'm running a MacXL, under MacWorks 3.0. The hard disk was replaced about
the same time I upgraded to 3.0. About once a week, I "loose" the hard
disk. When I try to boot from the hard disk, I get a sad Mac, with ID code

I can boot from a floppy. When I do, the hard disk isn't recognized. If I
try to PBMount the hard disk, I get a -60 returned ("Master directory block
is bad; must reinitialize volume").

I've inspected the disk (with MacTools)--the boot blocks, volume informa-
tion table, allocation table, and directory all look fine.
It's been suggested that what I'm seeing is really just a problem with the
desktop--it's not. Removing/renaming DeskTop doesn't help.

I've tried brute force--zeroing the directory, zeroing the allocation
table, and appropriately initializing the volume information table to a
"clean volume" state. No good--still a -60 on the mount.

I've tried reinstalling MacWorks on the disk--it installs fine, but the
disk still won't mount.

The ONLY thing I've found that works is reinitializing the disk with Hard
Disk Install.

So, besides frustration, I have some questions:

Does anyone have any good arguments for this being either hardware or
software? I don't see any other disk problems, but that's not conclusive.

Are there any "known" problems with MacWorks 3.0 that might account for
this? I've heard very faint rumors, but nothing I put great faith in.

What specifically does PBMountVol check during a mount? What test(s) is
the disk failing to return the -60?


Date: 20 Oct 85 (Sun) 22:25:11 EDT
From: Dan Winkler <daw%brown...@CSNET-RELAY.ARPA>
Subject: Terminal Program Suggestion

I like the way MacTerminal and Versaterm will translate mouse clicks into
vi motion commands. I would like to see a terminal program that will
translate clicks in the scroll bar into vi scrolling commands.


Date: Fri 18 Oct 85 17:18:52-PDT
From: Stuart Cracraft <CRAC...@ISI-VAXA.ARPA>
Subject: macterminal [query]

Why does macterminal constantly go back to the disk drive when recording is
turned off? It makes it almost unusable when other things (computer, TIP,
TAC) are slow too.

Please reply to cracraft@isi-vaxa if you know.



Date: Fri, 18 Oct 85 10:17:06 PDT
From: sdcarl!ru...@UCB-VAX.Berkeley.EDU (Rusty Wright)
Subject: MacTerminal and missing ImageWriter file

if you delete the ImageWriter file from your disk that you use for
MacTerminal then whenever you use MacTerminal it pops up an alert box that
complains about there not being an Imagewriter file and makes you click on
an ok box. this is a stupid nuisance. obviously i removed the ImageWriter
file on purpose (so i'll have more disk space for downloading). does
anybody know how i could create a bogus ImageWriter file of the smallest
size that would shut up MacTerminal?


Date: 25 Oct 85 14:24:52 EDT
From: Jamie.Z...@SPICE.CS.CMU.EDU
Subject: New Font/DA Mover files [query]

I saw this asked before, but didn't see any reply... Does anyone know if
there is a program to convert the old DA Mover files to a format readable
by the Font/DA Mover?

Jamie []


Date: Thu, 24 Oct 85 11:27:32 EDT
From: Richard Crane <CRANER%YALEVMX...@UCB-VAX.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: MacWrite 4.5 to 2.2 [query]

We have lots of students using MacWrite 4.5 on 128K Macs and getting into
trouble, even though the Mac labs have *large* signs warning of problems.
Does anyone have a solution to the problem of 'uncompressing' the packed
MacWrite 4.5 format, when we've been able to recover the text form of the
document using SETFILE/FEDIT, etc.?


Richard Crane


Date: 22 Oct 85 10:45 PDT
From: Fisch...@Xerox.ARPA
Subject: Query: Limits to DA size?

I remember reading in "Inside Mac" that there is a "practical limit" to DA
size of about 8k. I have since heard from another source that this is not
a hard limit and that MockWrite, for instance, violates it with impunity.

I have a DA that I believe is going to be about 16k, can I still make a DA
out of it (given all the usual restrictions)?



Date: 24 Oct 1985 13:18:06-EDT
From: Saul.K...@faraday.ECE.CMU.EDU
Subject: Spelling Checker Recommendations?

I am in the market for a good spelling checker which is compatible with
both MacWrite (the latest release) and Word. I would prefer a program
which can be executed without exiting the word processor.

If you have experience using any of the spelling checker programs on the
market, please mail me your recommendations and I will summarize to the


Saul Kravitz


Date: Thu, 24 Oct 85 01:47:09 EDT
From: "Michael C. Adler" <MAD...@MIT-MC.ARPA>
Subject: Hyperdrive upgrade [query]

Does anyone know whether there is any difference between 10 and 20 MB
Hyperdrives other the the drive itself? If there is not, the $895 upgrade
price seems rather steep. What manufacturer/model is the 20MB drive?



Sender: "Sammie Lee.osbunorth"@Xerox.ARPA
Date: 22 Oct 85 19:09:56 PDT (Tuesday)
Subject: Wanted: Used Apple Macintosh
From: SLee.os...@Xerox.ARPA
Reply-to: SLee.os...@Xerox.ARPA

Does anyone know someone or place selling a used Macintosh? A friend of
mine needs one for school work. He has checked the newspapers for used
computers, but has not seen any Macintoshes for sale. If I should find one
for sale,

-- What would be a fair price for a used 128K or 512K Macintosh?

-- How can I find out the age of the Macintosh? Can I tell by just looking
at the serial number?

Thanks in advance,

Sammie Lee


End of INFO-MAC Digest


Oct 26, 1985, 3:13:28 AM10/26/85
From: Moderator Richard M. Alderson <INFO-MAC...@SUMEX-AIM.ARPA>
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