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October 1997

by Louis Bookbinder


save the mac



This month's Free Sample Shareware is no longer available. See the current month for the available free sample.


SMUG October '97 Disk of the Month

Disk 1:

Dave's Kaleidoscope xtras 1.6 - is a set of four original color schemes and other goodies for Kaleidoscope version 1.5 and above.
Shareware Fee $5

Dialog View 2.3 - is a control panel that allows you to change the appearance of directory dialogs (Open and Save dialogs). You can control what kind of icons are used, increase the height and width of the file list, and set the font for the file list. It requires System 7 or later. Certain critical routines are accelerated for PowerPC.
Shareware Fee $10

Extension List - lists each extension by name as your computer starts up, so that you can identify the extensions by name rather than by a cryptic icon as they load. All extensions and control panels that load after "Extension List" are displayed. "Extension List" should be especially useful to users whose macs are heavily loaded with extensions, by minimizing the startup screen clutter caused by ten's of extension icons.
Shareware Fee $11

Flush It! 2.0.1 - With the advent of System 7, Apple incorporated mandatory disk-caching into system software. A disk cache is an area of RAM set aside to act as a high-speed buffer between the file system and the actual physical drives attached to your computers. Data from recently-read disk files is stored in the cache. If multiple accesses are made to data in a file, and the file's data resides in the disk cache, the file system will use the data in the cache (and access it at the speed of RAM), instead of rereading the data from disk (and accessing it at the much slower speed of disk I/O).

Conversely, data that is to be written to disk is written to the cache (again, at the speed of RAM), thereby increasing the apparent performance of the file system. Data written to the cache resides there until the cache is flushed (i.e., its contents are written to disk). The disk cache will be flushed periodically in the normal course of file system operation, or, it can be flushed explicitly by making a call to FlushVol from within an application.
Shareware Fee $3

Kaleidoscope 1.7.2 - is a control panel that completely overhauls your Mac's user interface using plug in Color Scheme files. Instead of me trying to describe what it does, you should really just install it and see for yourself. Mac OS 8 compatible.
Shareware fee $10

Techno Folders - 35 eye catching tie-dyed folder icons and desktop patterns

Disk 2

Disinfectant 2.7.1 - Latest update to the popular and easy to use Virus Protection software for the Macintosh.

MagicalKeys 1.3.4 - With MagicalKeys, you can "magically" open up to four often-used Finder items: applications, documents, control panels, desk accessories etc., by quickly pressing down 2 or 3 times the modifier key (Command, Option, Shift, Control) they are associated with.

As a "bonus" feature, assigning a modifier key to the Finder file located in the active System Folder allows you to switch to it automatically (normally, double-clicking on the Finder icon brings an error message dialog, telling you the file cannot be opened because it is used by the system software).

MagicalKeys works under System 7.0 or later, and is distributed as freeware.

PopChar Pro - is the successor of the famous Macintosh control panel PopChar (now PopChar Lite) by Günther Blaschek. PopChar Pro is not just a minor improvement over PopChar Lite. It is a completely new product with lots of new features. Here is what PopChar Pro will have to offer:

Snitch 2.5 - is a System 7.x Finder enhancement that extends the Get Info command allowing you to view and edit a variety of different information about a file, alias, folder, or disk. Snitch itself is also extendible, allowing other software developers to create new uses for Snitch.

Snitch will run on any Macintosh, 68K or PowerPC, that is capable of running at least System 7.0 although System 7.5 or better is preferred, and that has at least a 68020 processor. Snitch is fully native on Power Macintoshes.
Shareware Fee $20

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More MacOS 8 glitches:

TechTool 1.1.4 is incompatible. Though it may APPEAR to rebuild the desktop correctly, you will begin to lose icons (not replaced by generic icons, GONE!). To fix this, rebuild the old-fashioned way - Command-Option during bootup. See 1.1.5 announcement below.

See MacFixit for reports of persistent problems with Drive Setup, all versions, with all Mac OSs, especially with IDE drives. It also reports boot problems on Performa 5400/6400 and PowerMac 6500 systems. And it reports that RAM Doubler 2.0.2, to fix MacOS 8 bugs, now has Netscape bugs.

ARA 3.0 (see below) causes major problems with Global Village modems. Stick with ARA 2.1 until Global Village can provide new modem drivers.

Aladdin Systems discovered a Trojan for Stuffit Deluxe. Named Stuffit Deluxe 4.5 (DR), it deletes files while pretending to build a list. There is no Stuffit Deluxe 4.5.


Tip O' the Month

From Your Shareware Team

These extensions were incorporated into the MacOS 8 System file and can be tossed (if you have MacOS 8):

And these items have been updated recently, but some installers install old versions. Check them out:



Mac basics we sometimes forget

Here's an old one: You turn on your mac and before it finishes building the desktop, it asks for a floppy disk. What is going on here?

This is easy - you have an alias in your Startup Folder in your System Folder to something on a floppy. Just remove the alias, and you won't see it any more. However, THIS CAN BE USEFUL! Suppose you want to decide every startup whether to load startup items. Create an alias to a non-existent app (create the alias, then zap the app) and change the name to space-space-PAUSE (or something which places it before all the others). Now, every time you start up, the mac will pause and tell you it cannot start PAUSE, do you want to abort the startups?

Did you just Zap your PRAM? Sometimes this helps clear up problems. Hold down Command-Option-P-R (yes, all 4 keys at once!) just after the startup chime. Wait for another chime or two. Now, zapping the PRAM will lose some of your settings, specifically, the highlight color (either Color or Appearance cp), the Disk Cache setting in the Memory cp, the connection type in the AppleTalk cp, and the "tell me about it" check in the Trash get-info. If I note others, I will add them here.

Did you have a million folders open when you shut down? Guess what happens when you start up? Yep - those same million folders clutter your desktop. UNLESS you hold down the Option key near the end of the startup process. Then all the windows will open - and promptly close.

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My choices, only, out of hundreds of items every month. Includes commercial products, not just shareware. These do NOT include beta releases. You might check out Version Tracker for more.
® means update to recently released DOM item

APPLEapple icon

5xxx/6xxx Floppy Fix 1.0 - fixes slow floppy mounting & failures copying large files to floppies

ARA 3.0 - client & server - NOTE!: this replaces all functionality of OT/PPP

IAD 1.01 - detects and uses internet addresses in files

OpenDoc 1.2.1 - comes with MacOS 8

Powerbook 3400 Modem Driver update 1.1f2

After Dark 4.03 - updates ANY previous version of the After Dark engine, Mac OS 8 compatible

Netscape Communicator 4.0.3 - all versions, including stand-alone and 128-bit encrypted.

Default Folder 2.7.6 - update to last month's DOM item

DeltaGraph 4.0.4 - update for charting software

File Buddy 4.2.2 - many useful functions for use on files, folders & disks

Adobe FrameMaker 5.5

Guru 2.5.1 - complete GUide to Ram Upgrades (hence the name)

Adobe Illustrator 7.0.1 updater

InformINIT 7.6.1 - detailed descriptions of all Apple control panels, extensions & System-related files. Stand by for version 8.0 in a few weeks.

Kaleidoscope 1.7.2

Blue World Lasso 2.0.3 - revised patch adds further security enhancements

Fog City LetterRip 2.0.1 - mailing list software

MicNotePad Lite 4.1.3®

Netscape Navigator 3.0.3 (and Gold)

Navigator Button Editor 1.3.1

Niji 1.2.1 (was OneStep)® now other schemes - much like Kaleidoscope

Adobe Persuasion 4.0 DISCONTINUED!!!

Program Switcher 4.4.0

ShrinkWrap 3.0 - now commercial from Aladdin

La Cie Silverlining 5.8.1 (and the Lite version) updates

SimpleText Color Menu 3.0 - for MacOS 8

SoundApp 2.4.1 - plays or converts a variety of sound file formats

Casady & Greene Spell Catcher 1.5.8 - spell checker for almost any application

TechTool 1.1.5 - major bugs fixed under MacOS 8

Claris Works 5.0 - for education, and ClarisWorks Office, too.

Yank 2.0.2 - uninstalls applications and files, moves into trash

Iomega Zip and Jazz driver 5.0.3 - the one that ships with MacOS 8 (although it says version 5.0.1)

ZipIt 1.3.8 - zips and unzips archives in a format fully compatible with PKZip for PCs -general info

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©copyright 1998, Louis Bookbinder -
other sources credited where known. Trademark credits, where omitted, remain with their owners  -   updated 18 Jan 98


made on a mac