We'll use this field later with group totals when we just want to know how many records conform to a particular rule. The current date should be entered, and if you're going to be creating a bank deposit slip, set Dep to 1. The date, deposit number, and any other standard values should be checked and updated at the start of every session.
After entering the standard values, press ESC. A word of warning: If you go to the Set Standard Values screen in the middle of enter- ing data in a record, AppleWorks may lose some of the data in that record. If you use OA- V after making entries, go back to the last record you were working on and make sure that the entries or changes are still there.
It's another good argument for only updating the standard values only at the start of each ses- sion. Be consistent, and you'll save editing time and confusion later. Items like "VIP," which are essentially "yes or no" categories, can be treated in a number of ways. You could enter an "X" when the cate- gory is true and leave it blank when it's not, or enter a "Y" or "N" for yes and no, or even use "0" and "1.
Using a num- ber is my favorite way to go, because it makes it easy to generate a count when you need one. First, save your file OA-S. Next, press OA-P to get to the Report Menu, and choose option 2, Create a new "tables" format" Any fields which are not needed for this report can be deleted by putting the cursor on them and pressing OA-D. This does not per- manently delete the category from the data base; it only keeps it from being printed on the report. If you accidentally delete a category you need, you can bring it back by pressing OA-I for Insert.
To change the width of a field, again hold down the OA key and press the left or right arrow key. Of course you'll want a total amount for the deposit. Put the cursor on the field to be totalled — Paid — and press OA-T. You'll see a lot of 9's, but these are just place-holders to show you what the column of figures will look like.
Be sure you make it wide enough for your eventual total — your entries may all be in the hundreds, but your total might be in the tens of thousands. And be sure the ABA field is at least eight spaces wide — the size of these num- bers varies considerably. The bank will want to know how many checks are in your deposit. To generate this figure, total the "count" column, just like you did with the "Paid" column, using OA-T.
Now enter a heading for your report. To do this, press OA-N. Unless you want to change the name of the report, press RETURN, and the cursor will move to a blank line just above the report format. You can enter your account information here. For example, people who have made pledges but have not yet paid them should not be listed.
To narrow down the group of records which will be included, press OA-R. The record selection feature is sophisticated, but easy to use. In this case, we want records which are part of deposit slip number 1. The word "and" will be highlighted, but since we don't need any further narrowing of the selection, you can press Escape to complete the process. This is one of the very few situations where using the Escape key completes a process, rather than canceling it!
Actually, what you are canceling is the continuation of the rule, which can be made much longer by adding the "and" and "or" options. The rules which you have creat- ed will appear at the top of the screen, and will remain part of this report format until you change them by pressing OA-R again. There are a couple more things you can do to make your report format a litde more read- able. First, change the left margin which defaults to zero to one inch.
Press OA-0 for options. All of the available options will be listed at the top of the screen. You might also want to double-space the report by entering DS while you're at the Options Menu. If you want to arrange your report in some way, do it now. For example, you might want to alphabetize the contributors by last name, or group the checks in ascending order by amount. Whatever you choose, place the cur- sor on the column to be arranged, and press OA-A, then choose from the available options, such as ascending or descending order.
A reminder: Arranging the data base's records from this or any other screen, re- arranges the entire file — even the records which are not part of a particular report. The newly-arranged order of the records will only be saved if you save the file to disk. The records will not be arranged automatically each time you print a report, even if you arranged them when you printed it before, and new records are not automatically added in sequence.
So it pays to use OA-A just before you print any report. At this point, you're probably ready to print the report. You may want to print to the screen first to see what it will look like. AppleWorks lets you enter a date to be printed on the report. Actual- ly, you can type almost anything you want there, like "First Draft," or "Prepared by Joe," although the number of characters you can type is limited. Press Return, and you're on your way to printing a deposit slip.
For example, suppose you wanted a report listing how many people are seated at each table. Take a look at Figure 6. This report will print a list of only those contribu- tors who have ordered tickets, because of the Record Selection OA-R , in which I've cho- sen "Tickets is greater than 0" as my rule. I arranged the data base by table number and turned on group totals for the Tickets field. The number of tickets assigned to each table will be subtotaled, and a grand total will also be printed at the bottom of the report.
A little explanation is in order. To group similar items together almost always for the purpose of counting something , put the cursor on the column to be grouped, and press OA-G. AppleWorks will ask you if you want to "Print group totals only," to which you would say Yes if you only needed totals, but not individ- ual names.
If will also offer you the opportu- nity to "Go to a new page after each total? The key to making a group report work is that the item to be grouped must be arranged in some meaningful way. If you do not arrange the field, either alphabetically or numerically, the report will be meaningless. It's a good idea to print the report to the screen first, to avoid wasting valuable paper on useless out- put.
Remember, arrangement of records is not done automatically when a report is printed. Addition: An AppleWorks data base report can also do some limited arithmetic on your data, including addition, subtraction, multipli- cation, and division. To use this feature, create what's called a "calculated column" in your report format. In my case, the charity event, I needed to know the total of money pledged, money received, and money collected earlier.
Take a look at Figure 8, and be sure to look at the bottom line. To create a calculated column, put the cur- sor where you want the new column to appear, and press OA-K. First you name the column, then create the arithmetic formula for it. Calcula- tions are done from left to right, and must be based on columns to the left of the calculated column. Parentheses are permitted, but be sure check the results of anything complex to make sure that AppleWorks is doing the math the way you want it done.
A calculated column can be edited by using OA-K once again, and you can also use group totals on it. You can define as many calculated columns as you need. To remedy this, go to the Options screen OA-O , and choose a narrower font. The default is 10 char- acters-per-inch CPI ; try 12, 17, or even If you have entered a left margin greater than zero, change it back to zero. You may also want to abbreviate your field names, by going back to the main body of the data base; press- ing OA-N, Return, and Return; and editing any field name which is wider than the data con- tained in the field.
Press Escape to exit the process. AppleWorks has plenty of printer options listed right there on the Print Format screen. I suggest you experiment with all of them, because they're all useful in one situation or another. Be sure to make a backup copy of your entire data base file on a separate disk.
It's a good idea to date your backups so you can go back and see what your data base looked like at a specific point in time, if this should become necessary. Just change the data base's name slightly before saving it to the backup disk. For example, you might name it "Dinner Mar 12" if that's the date on which you're backing it up. To change the file name, press OA-N. Databases can take up a significant amount of disk space, so it may be necessary to delete older versions of the file from time to time to make room for the new backup, or to use multiple backup disks.
Just make sure you always know version of the file is the most current! In reali- ty, these features are designed to make your work easier. With a better understanding of AppleWorks' data base, you're well on your way to organizing your home, your life, and the whole world. Record: All the data that goes together about one person or thing. For example, in a customer address data base, each cus- tomer would have one record. Field: The individual categories that make up every record: name, address, phone number, and so forth. Sort: To arrange a data base based on the value of one or more fields for example, alphabetically by last name.
Group totals: Used on a sorted data base to generate subtotals of records belonging to particular groups. For example, if you arrange a seating data base by table num- ber, and each record has a field containing the number of tickets purchased by each guest, you can use the Group Total feature to count the number of people sitting at each table. Count field: A count field should always contain the value 1. It can be used with the Group Total feature to count how many records are in each group as opposed to counting some other value, like the number of tickets that guest has purchased.
Calculated column: A field which isn't a part of the actual data base but is calculat- ed for report printing from the values of other fields. An example Is a dollar total of the amount pledged and the amount actual- ly paid. You can use totals and group totals on calculated fields as well. Tables format: A report which lists one record on each line, with the fields arranged in columns. Labels format, in contrast, allows you to use more than one line for a record. Standard values: The default value for each of the fields in your data base.
If you have fields which always or almost always contain the same value, Apple- Works can fill them In for you automatical- ly. This article is your first step to becoming a true Platinum Paint power user — even if you can't draw! This is a pretty "user- friendly" way to lay out the screen, but it's def- initely not the most efficient, since painting on the whole document requires lots of screen scrolling.
A faster way to work is to hide the tool palette and use the info bar instead. To do this, first press OA-Space. This "explodes" your paint document to full-screen. Now press OA-Escape to turn off the menu bar don't worry, it's easy to get back. Finally, press the letter "I" to activate the Info Bar. The Info Bar appears at the top of the screen, dis- playing the icon of the tool you're using along with the current background, border, and fill colors. The Info Bar can also display the coor- dinates of the Platinum Paint cursor — press the " " key Shift-3 to turn this feature on and off.
When painting in this configuration, you'll be using both hands. Assuming you're right- handed, you'll paint move the mouse with your right hand, and change tools and issue commands using the keyboard with your left hand. If you're left-handed, this arrangement will obviously be reversed. This is what we mean by "two-fisted painting. The Info Bar contains pull-down menus for tools and colors.
Just click and hold the mouse button while pointing at the tool icon on the info bar for tools, or while pointing at the appropriate color background, border, or fill in the color sample "swatch. You can think of OA-Escape as a toggle between the info bar and the menu bar. Since the scroll bars aren't available in full screen mode, you'll need to use the Hand to paint other parts of your document.
But since you can see more of your document at once, you probably won't need to scroll as often. Just press H to activate the Hand or select it from the tool menu on the Info Bar. Platinum Paint has keyboard equivalents for every tool and command, and once you master them, your painting speed will increase by a factor of ten. But you don't have to learn them all, and you certainly don't need to learn them all at once.
Consult the "Key Command Refer- ence" in the back of your Platinum Paint man- ual and begin by learning the keys for the tools themselves. Also notice that the six shape tools box, oval, etc. When you're working with multiple documents, you'll quickly get used to using OA-1 through OA-4 to choose the desired picture.
Also check out the keys which call up frequently-used dialogs; these can save you trips to the menu bar. Some of those keys may be a bit of a stretch one-handed if your hands are small; the Easy Access program, included with System 6, pro- vides a "Sticky Keys" capability which may help. Press the Shift key five times to activate Sticky Keys.
Thereafter, all the modifier keys Shift, Control, Option, and OA "latch" on, so you can type 0A-; as OA followed by ";" instead of having to hit both keys together. Use the keyboard when it saves you time. If you don't use a particular tool very frequendy, you won't remember its key, and it'd take more time to look it up than to simply select the desired function from the menu.
On the other hand, if you find yourself using a particu- lar function frequently, look up its key equiva- lent in the manual or on the menu and make a mental note of it. After a while, you'll natural- ly learn the key equivalents of the functions you use the most. Since a Platinum Paint document can only have sixteen colors, and since you started out with sixteen shades of gray in the scanned image, you had to throw away some of those shades of gray before you could begin to colorize the image.
Instructions for doing this can be found in the Platinum Paint 2. This procedure, however, can reduce the detail of the image and result in some "posterization. The Quickie hand-held scanner outputs only eleven shades of gray thirteen with the version 3. To find these colors, call up the Palette dialog OA-E , then hold down the Option key while you point at each color in the document's palette.
Those which don't cause part of the image to flash are not used in the document and can be reused for other purposes. Be sure to check the entire image before deciding that a color isn't used. If you need more colors, or if you're starting with an image that really does use 16 shades of gray, try Seven Hills Software's SuperConvert.
Among the hundreds of graphics conversions it does, SuperConvert can change a sixteen-color image to use only nine or fourteen colors, leav- ing seven or two colors for your own use. Dur- ing a remap operation. Platinum Paint merely "throws away" the deleted colors and "repaints" the pixels in the closest remaining color.
But SuperConvert will dither the image so that adjacent pairs of pixels yield approxi- mately the same level of gray. The end result is reduced-palette grayscale images that look almost as good as the original gray image. If you need lots of spare colors, SuperConvert can even reduce the picture to a dithered black and white image — rather severe, but occasion- ally useful, especiafly as a special effect. Here's the procedure.
First, load the original image into SuperConvert. The image remapping dialog will appear. Under Graphic Mode, make sure that " x , 16 colors" is selected. Under Palette To Use, click the "Get other" button and select either "Cal- culate 14," "Calculate 9," or "Black and white only," depending on the number of colors you need to have available. If you plan to use one or two spot colors for text or highlights in the grayscale image, con- vert the picture to 14 grays. If you plan to actu- ally colorize parts of the image, convert it to nine grays. The seven "left over" colors can be used to create one, two, or even three ranges of colors appropriate for a wash.
Home On The Rancpe We've mentioned ranges in connection with the Wash feature, but since ranges are one of the most useful yet least understood features of Platinum Paint, we thought we'd step back and take a more generic look at them. A range is a subset of the document palette — a sub-palette. For example, if you had three shades of red in a document and wanted to create a gradient fill using these three colors, you would put those three colors into a range. Platinum Paint documents can contain four ranges at once; however, once you have laid down some paint involving the colors in a range for example, using the "Wash" brush method or creating a gradient fill , that paint is there permanently.
Changing the range after performing one of these operations won't change what you already painted. The only exception to this rule is Platinum Paint's color cycling animation feature, which we won't dis- cuss here. To create a range, you tell Platinum Paint which colors from the main palette you want to use in the sub-palette. Select the range you want to edit with the radio buttons at the top of the dialog.
Click the Clear button to erase any colors that may already be in the range assuming they're colors you don't want anymore , then simply click the colors you want to place in the range. Platinum Paint copies the colors from the main palette the top color bar to the range the bottom color bar. You may find the "Sort" button useful; it arranges the range in order from darkest to lightest. You can also arrange the range manu- ally by dragging colors around within the bot- tom color bar, and remove colors from the range by dragging them off the bar. See page 76 of the Platinum Paint 2. Platinum Paint is quite happy to let you put the colors into a range in any order, and you can even put the same color into more than one range, or into a single range more than once.
The latter approach is useful for making one color wider than the others in a gradient fill, or for creating a gradient that goes from one color, to a second, and then back to the first. However, for the task at hand colorizing a grayscale image using the "Wash" brush method , the range should go from darker col- ors to lighter colors. So, with this information at hand, we decide to colorize one of our gray-scale scans.
We've already run it through SuperConvert, so we know it has only nine gray levels, leaving us seven colors. We decide to break these seven colors into three ranges, one brown with three colors and the other two pink and light green with two colors. We'll be using them basically as "spot" or highlight colors, leaving the overall image gray.
In this case, we'll color in the hair, eyes, and mouth of a hypothetical scan of the author. We'll use a trick to add another color to these ranges. Since any really dark color looks black, we won't bother creating dark shades of any of these colors. Instead, using the Palette dialog OA-E we'll create a medium-dark value of each color, then create additional col- ors with increasing brightness.
When we create our range, we'll start with the black we already have in the palette, thereby "stretching" the colors in each of our ranges by one. The "Wash" brush mode works by taking the color of each pixel the brush passes over, ignoring the color information retaining only the brightness , and choosing a color from the current range that has approximately the same brightness, in effect replacing one color with another without affecting the underlying image. You can also wash an area by select- ing it with the marquee or lasso tools and selecting "Wash" from the Color Effects sub- menu of the Edit menu.
You can make your washes look more real- istic by varying the hue of the colors in the range slightly. After washing the colors over the desired areas of the picture, go into the Palette dialog and tweak those colors, making darker colors more intense increasing their saturation or giving one of the colors a slight- ly "off warmer or cooler hue.
Light colors used for highlights should tend toward white regardless of their original color. There's also no reason why all the colors in a range should be simply different shades of one color; try using completely different colors for psyche- delic effects! Don't underestimate the artistic impact of colorizing the grays by adjusting the palette after you're all done — drop one unit of red from each of the gray shades for an aqua cast, drop a unit of green for a magenta cast, or drop a unit of blue for a yellow cast. Or drop a unit from red and green for a blue cast, a unit from red and blue for a green cast, or a unit from blue and green for a pink almost sepia cast.
With a little experimentation, you'll discov- er exactly your own personal tricks to give your image a real personality instead of look- ing like just another colorized scan. Painting in iViode As you may be aware, the Apple IIGS has two "super high resolution" graphics modes, referred to as " mode" and " mode. In fact, one of the main reasons you'd want to create a mode picture is for use in HyperCard or HyperStudio the latter also accepts mode graphics, but prefers mode for best results.
Platinum Paint starts up in mode, so this mode may be more familiar to you. In mode, you have sixteen colors in your palette. Each of these sixteen colors may be assigned any of the 4, colors the IIGS can display. In other words, the IIGS can display 4, dis- tinct colors, but you can use only sixteen of these colors in a Platinum Paint document. Any of the 1 6 colors you have chosen can be used anywhere in the document.
Since there are twice the usual number of pixels, you might expect that a mode document requires twice the amount of memory as a mode document. But while mode has twice the number of pixels, it has half the color depth — it supports only four colors, instead of sixteen. Thus, mode has the reputation of being "less colorful" than mode. But all is not quite as it seems. Due to the way the Apple's video circuitry works com- bined with some characteristics of video moni- tors and the human optical system , the mode also supports "dithered" colors.
That is, two different-colored pixels right next to each other will seem to "blend. Since there are four colors, there are 4 x 4 or 1 6 possible color combina- tions. So, while you can only direcdy specify four colors, the IIGS creates additional colors, which are dependent on the original colors, via this dithering scheme — for a total of sixteen.
A discussion of dithering as it relates to the palette is on pages of the v2. Remember that computer colors including Platinum Paint's are additive, like light — not subtractive like paints. Putting a red pixel next to a green one will yield a yellow color, not a muddy brown as it would if you were mixing pigments. To further complicate things, mode actually uses two separate "mini-palettes" of four colors, one for even pixels and one for odd pixels. The result is that if you have a color — say, red — in the even mini-palette but not in the odd mini-palette, you can't draw a true red on the screen.
It will necessarily be dithered with some color from the odd palette. Because the dithered colors are mixes of two other colors instead of being pure colors, they usually don't look as "clean" as the pure colors. For example, if you have a purple that's a dithered mixture of red and blue, single- pixel-wide vertical lines will come out either red or blue — you must paint two pixels wide to get the purple.
Similarly, the edges of shapes you draw may display a red or blue fringe. There's a partial remedy for this. Decide what the most single most important color in your document is, and set up that color in both the even and odd palettes. This will allow you to use that color on any pixel in the document, even or odd, and will give you a "pure" ver- sion of the color in the main palette since the color is present in both the even and odd palettes.
While it does reduce the number of colors in the overall palette since you now have dithered versions of the two identical col- ors with both black and white , it can greatly improve the picture's appearance. For example, suppose you decide that blue is the most important color in your image. Leaving black and white alone since you'll need them for shading , enter the Palette dialog OA-E and copy the blue color to the yellow square click the yellow square, then the "Copy" button, then the blue square.
Now check the dithered palette — you now have not only a true shade of blue, which looks just like the one you created in the mini-palette, but also dark mixed with black and light mixed with white shades of this blue. Of course, you also have mixtures of green with blue aqua- marine , red with blue magenta , and red with green yellow , along with light and dark shades of red and green, plus a couple of grays.
All in all a much more useful selection of col- ors for actually creating art than what we start- ed with. If you're feeling adventurous, try changing one of the blue squares to a darker shade — say half its current value. While the two shades of blue dithered together are no longer a "true" color, they're close enough for most purposes, and you now have two additional shades of blue generated by dithering black and white with this darker blue hue.
While you can change the black and white squares to different colors. Platinum Paint automatically changes those two colors in both the even and odd mini-palettes at once. It works that way primarily for the benefit of dis- playing text, which is usually black on white and therefore requires black and white in both mini-palettes to avoid weird color fringing.
In most cases, you'll want to leave black and white alone, since the shades created by mix- ing them with the other colors in the palette are useful. When Dither Lock is on. Platinum Paint forces the tools to always draw lines that are a multiple of two pixels wide. While this eliminates the fringing effect we mentioned earlier, it also reduces your document's horizontal resolution to an effective pixels.
Thus, when painting in black, white, or your "pure color," you should turn Dither Lock off to use the mode's full res- olution. Turn Dither Lock on when painting with a dithered color, or when using the Fatbits or Fill tools. When Dither Lock is off, the Fill tool will see any color with white in it as hav- ing lots of holes in it and will fill right "through" a line or an area drawn in such a color. In Conclusion This article doesn't have a real end — it's only the beginning of what you can do with Platinum Paint. Send us your Platinum Paint creations or even those created with other paint programs on a disk — starting with the next issue, we'll run an "Art Gallery" featuring your best Apple II art!
With a Q-Modem , you can access bulletin boards and computers close to home, across the country, and around the world. You'll find airline schedules, business news, free soft- ware, gardening tips, technical help, plus everything in between! The Q-Modem is Hayes compat- ible and works with virtually any computer. All these features let you use the Q-Modem to connect with most modems being used today. The Q-Modem is very easy to use. You've got it all hooked up, you've configured the software and the serial card or port, and you've snagged the number of a BBS you can call.
It's just about time for your first onhne session. Before we get to that, though, there are a few other knowledge nuggets we should impart. Remember, it's better to be forewarned than four-armed. Or something like that. Your telecommunications software's main job is displaying the information that arrives at the computer's serial port on the screen and sending whatever you type back out through the serial port.
A program which per- forms only this task is called a dumb terminal, because it provides only the bare minimum functionality. There's actually a dumb termi- nal program built into the firmware of the lie, the IIGS, and the Super Serial card, which technically will allow you to get online even if you don't have telecommunications software, although it isn't very much fun. Your telecommunications software, like any computer program, has its own set of com- mands and options. Most telecomm programs use the Open- Apple key in conjunction with a letter or a number to activate the program's various features some also permit the use of a mouse, if you have one.
This scheme allows the program to distinguish between commands you are issuing to the telecomm software itself and keystrokes that should be sent to your modem. For now, you can ignore virtually all your telcomm software's features except for the ones which allow you to set the serial port's communication parameters baud rate, data bits, parity, stop bits, etc. Most telecomm software has a "phone book" feature which keeps track of the phone number and serial parameters of each BBS you call.
You may be worried about baud rate, parity, data bits, duplex, and other arcana. All you really need to know, however, is the baud rate of the modem you're calling and the magic incantation 8-N-l. Set your telecomm pro- gram's baud rate to the highest baud rate that your modem and the modem you are calling have in common. Those are the most common data bit, parity, and stop bit settings in the world of telecommunications, and not coincidentally, they're also the default settings for these para- meters in most telecomm programs.
For Duplex is equally simple. The major exception to this rule is the GEnie infor- mation service. If, when you get online, the keys you press are not visible on your screen, switch to half duplex. Some programs offer one or more additional duplex modes, but you'll probably never use them. Full duplex is also sometimes called "host echo" or "local echo off. The computer you're calling is known as the remote machine, or the host.
The final item which may cause you some consternation is which terminal emulation you should use. Simply click the Save button to accept them. While terminal emulations have their uses, we'll leave a complete discussion of their applications for another day.
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You don't have any control over the other computer's modem, but you do have quite a bit of control over your own. As we mentioned in the last installment of this column, Hayes-compatible modems speak a language in which every word begins with the letters AT, short for "attention. However, it's smart to learn a little Hayesian yourself so you understand what's going on. The most frequently used modem command is, without a doubt, ATD.
The "AT" is of course for "attention," and the D means "dial. If the line is busy, you'll get a BUSY message. How do you send such a command to your modem? Simply put your communications software into a state where everything you type is sent directly to the modem. Some telecomm software is always in this state; others, like ProTERM, require you to specifically instruct the program to make this connection.
Then, assuming your modem isn't already online with another modem, just type the command and press Return. In case you hadn't guessed, this is exactly what your communications soft- ware does for you when you tell it to dial a number. Once you have -"connected with anoth- er modem, your modem stops listening to com- mands entirely and begins passing everything you type through the phone line.
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This presents a small dilemma: how do you send your modem a command when you're online? Why would you want to? To tell the modem to hang up, for one thing! Your modem says OK and is ready to accept a command, but is still connected to the other modem. If you type ATH and press Return, you'll end the connection with the other modem. This is considered rather rude, generally, and is only used when you can't end the call cleanly using the BBS's "Hang Up" command. The three plus signs you hit, by the way, do get transmitted through the phone line, and may show up on your screen when you go back online.
When your modem is ready to receive com- mands, it is said to be in the "command state. While modern telecommunications software virtually eliminates the need to memorize Hayes commands, a basic knowledge of how your modem works leads to a greater under- standing of what is going on "behind the scenes" when you're online, and that will help you immeasurably in the long run. Your modem probably came with a reference manu- al which explains all the AT commands in great detail; it makes great light reading for those summer beach outings.
Admittedly, my idea of light reading is a little bizarre. When you come across something you don't under- stand, just skip it for now, and just try to get a feel for the ways in which your modem can be configured and operated via AT commands. You've mind-melded with your modem. You are now ready to go online — more than that, you're psyched. While your communications software and your modem are pretty easy to get your mind around, BBS software can be considerably more difficult. The reason is simple. You're probably always going to be using the same telecomm software and modem, but you may find yourself dealing with different BBS soft- ware every time you call a new system.
And sysops are extremely fond of modifying their systems, so even if a new BBS is running soft- ware you've used before, that's no guarantee you'll find the landscape at all familiar. Nevertheless, there are some things you can expect when calling a BBS for the first time. Read these instructions carefully.
Usually they will tell you what a new user of the BBS, like you, needs to do to get an account on the system — normally typing "new" or "register" at the User ID prompt. When you request a new account, the sys- tem will proceed to ask you for your name, along with usually your address and phone number.
Don't worry; the sysop will keep this information private. The informafion is needed to ensure that you are applying for an account for legitimate reasons. Sysops are occasional- ly plagued with annoying, abusive, and some- times downright evil people, and he naturally wants to keep them off the system.
Some BBSs will also ask you what kind of computer you use, how old you are to determine whether to allow you into any adult areas on the system , how wide and tall your screen is answer 80 and 23, respectively , and a few other questions. You may also be asked to choose an alias. Some sysops prefer that callers use their real names; others allow users to use an assumed name. Unless you like confusion, choose one alias and stick with it. You'll also need a pass- word — choose one that's easy to remember, but not easy to guess, and try to use a different one for each BBS you call.
That seems like a pain now, but most telecomm programs can automate your login, so you won't need to worry yourself with mundane concerns like passwords. If someone else finds out your password, they can log on and read your pri- vate mail, and, worse, make you seem to say all sorts of embarrassing things. So keep your passwords secret. If there's not enough gossip, we make some up! As alwaySy the Rumormonger reserves the right to be dead wrong. Like Sci- entology y this column is for entertain- ment purposes only.
If you take it seriously, you deserve the spectre of L. Ron Hubbard that haunts you! Astronomy is a science; astrology is not. Looks like the Rumormonger was "dead wrong" — and is out twenty bucks. System 6. Standard Apple 3. One also hopes that a driver for the Style Writer II is forthcoming, but our sources haven't said any- thing about it. There will also be a host of bug fixes. There are only two major bugs that directly affect the user in the current System 6 — one in the Eind Eile NDA and one in the Shutdown sound event; the rest will affect mainly programmers.
How many companies would continue releasing new System Software for a machine they recently discontinued? Eor this, at least, Apple deserves some credit.
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They already have techni- cal support via telephone for all of their prod- ucts, including the Apple II. When the Rumor- monger called and told them my dealer didn't even know there was an Apple II without the word Mac in it, they were glad to help, and their answer was even correct!
Combining the pro- grams will allow Renaissance to run integrity checks and perform any necessary repairs before attempting to optimize your drive. Corrupted directories and other "soft errors" can really mess up an optimizer. Furthermore, the new version will be faster and will allow you to interrupt the optimization process and continue it later. Vitesse has hired a new pro- grammer to accelerate the release of the better, stronger, and faster program. Look for it some- time before Their tech support phone number is connected to an answering machine which tells callers to contact their dealer for technical support.
So what are they doing now? Some attendees told the Rumormonger that downtown San Francisco was a bad place to have such an Expo these days for various reasons — another Bay Area site may have been better.
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A radio report we overheard warning people to "stay away from Downtown" on Sunday a parade was scheduled may have also dampened the proceedings. Apple had planned to have a booth but did not, though several Apple employees did show upon their own time. This is the site of the very first AppleFest all those years ago. Traditionally, Boston shows have had fewer exhibitors than San Francisco shows, but have drawn more attendees. What is taster ttian a speeding disk drive? A RAM disk. FlastiBoot lets you automatically set up a super-fast, super-convenient RAM disk.
Ttiis tiandy little book is packed with information to help you upgrade your Apple II. It covers RAM, hard drives, accel- erators, the Finder, and more. Clip Art. We're throwing in over beautiful clip art images, per- fect for desktop publishing or hypermedia applications. Because the IIGS's sound capacity is so great, we're also including over 50 digitized sound files. Some are classics while some are the newest on the market. They go great in HyperStudio and other sound programs, or you can have music play- ing in the background while you work Icons.
Over 50 fun, useful icons, Desk Accessories. Just to give you more to choose from, we're giving you several handy desk acces- sories including: Enhanced Calcu- lator, Scrapbook, Games, and more. Using the same font for everything is very un-cool, so our Bonus Pack includes over 30 dis- play and text fonts. Our 1-hour video takes you from installation of System 6 to moving through the Finder with speed and agility.
Macintosh, Apple DOS 3. A completely redesigned Finder — faster, friendlier, and more power- ful than ever before. The Finder can be set to avoid grinding your 5. When the computer asks you to insert a disk it needs, you no longer have to hit Return— the computer detects it automatically.
The screen no longer switches to text mode and back to graphics when launching some Desktop programs. New music tools and applica- tions to allow new programs to sound even better. Media-control toolset and desk accessory to allow easier integration of video with your multi- media presentations. Universal Access fea- tures for physically handicapped users. More tools for pro- grammers to write great programs. Simpler and faster hard drive installation. Great documentation. This wasn't your aver- age forest fire, a few dozen of which spring up throughout the American West every year — this was the forest fire equivalent of a big Cali- fornia earthquake.
Forest fires have, in recent years, been fought aggressively and largely successfully. But forest fires do a lot of useful things, like clearing brush and promoting some kinds or growth, and the fires had a lot of work to catch up on. Realizing this, the powers-that-be decided to let naturally occurring fires burn naturally, as long as they didn't endanger cer- tain things. So when Yellowstone finally burned, it was quite a blaze.
I remember watching the TV news reports, listening to the inevitable fruitcakes on either end of the issue. I guess any issue draws its share of fanatics. The interesting arguments came from the middle, though, just like they usually do. Some of these people pointed out that fires as big as the Yellowstone fire, while uncommon, do occur naturally. These folks even pointed to strong evidence that Yellowstone had actually seen several fires as big as the fire, some relatively recently. Most pictures of forest fires show walls of fire sweeping through the forest or dense smoke rolling across the landscape.
I've seen charred stretches from small forest fires from up close, too, and the blackened remains are pretty awe-inspiring. This particular picture, though, sprang from the arguments about how bad the fire really was. It was a map of the burned area, showing what had really burned. I expected big, solid swaths of scorched earth. Instead, I saw a delicate lacework of unbumed areas peppered through the burned area. I was surprised by that image, but I was even more surprised when I saw the same sort of thing in a book — especially since the book was The Mathematical Tourist.
Here I was, innocently reading about cellular automata, when I stumbled across a small picture of a forest fire. It turns out that a very simple com- puter simulation shows the same lacework pat- tern of a real forest fire.
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Each square is filled with trees, brush, and per- haps a squirrel or two. Then a fire starts in one of the squares. How does it spread? One simple way to model the fire is to pick a probability, say. You do the same thing with the squares to the east, south and west. We'll assume for now that the fire will bum for one unit of time, whatever that happens to be. Once a square is burned, it can't bum again, and only a buming square can ignite another square. We'll also ignore the fact that a real forest fire can leap from place to place via burning debris carried aloft by the thermals from the fire.
We'll sweep all the streams, hills, wind and variafion in the kinds of growth under the mg for now, too. Our forest is a very simple one, with no messy outside influences. It's an idealized, laboratory version of a forest. That tumed out to work pretty well, although the arrays used in the program are rather large. The simu- lation starts with all of the squares green with forest growth, except for the central square, which is red with fire. When it finds one, it looks at the cell to the top, left, right and bottom of the burning cell. If any of them have not been burned, a random number between 0.
The last step is to change the cell that was burning to gray, and record it as scorched earth, so it won't bum again. You can see the program in Listing 1. Pick values for the random number seed and for spread, then run the program, and you get a very good simulation of a forest fire. If the value for spread is high, pretty much every- thing burns, and you get a classic "wall of fire. In one of those surprising quirks of mathematics, the critical probability seems to be 0.
Figure 1 shows a pretty dense fire. You see the fire after iterations. It's still burning very nicely, and looks like it will keep on burning until it runs out of forest. But look in the middle. Even in this dense fire, there are patches of unburned forest all over the place. Those areas aren't going to burn, either — they are surrounded by a natural buffer of burned ground that keeps the fire at bay. In a real forest, these areas will be a major source of seeds for regrowth. Drop the probability to 0.
This fire was still burning after 1 50 iterations, but it moved a lot slower, and only a few sites are burning actively. The pictures are interesting, and maybe even pretty in an abstract way. Running the program gives you a whole different view, though. You can see the actual dynamics of the fire, which are even more interesting than the result depicted here. Those classic walls of fire really do sweep across the landscape, even in this simple simu- lation. When you run the program, you'll see lines of four or five cells suddenly light afire, and sweep across several cells before the wall breaks up into smaller fires.
Imagine being on the ground in front of a wall of fire like that! I also watched relatively small pockets of fire surround a large area of forest, with only a cell or two inside the pocket left burning. Then, completely surrounded, the entire region would would catch fire, devastating anything trapped in the pocket. It reminded me of stories I've heard of trapped firefighters struggling to find a safe area until they could be rescued. But I ignored all sorts of things.
The simulation doesn't deal with wind, temperature drops at night, fire- fighters, streams, hills. But stop and think about how scientists real- ly work. Biologists, in particular, work very hard to find ways to take a complicated system and find out what the effect of one factor is. We've done that. We've shown that the deli- cate lacework of burned and unbumed areas in a real forest fire doesn't depend on wind, rain, streams, firefighters, or anything else. Simple chance explains it all.
Of course, that doesn't mean that all of these other things aren't important, but this simple model can be beefed up. Make the probability of lighting a cell to the right higher, and the probability of lighting one to the left lower, and you have wind. Let the fire bum longer in a particular cell, and lower the probability that it will light an adjacent cell, and you have smoldering fire. The result would be a system almost as com- plex as the real forest, though, and you would never know what the effect of one factor is on the whole system.
Sure, you can't use something like this to plan a specific campaign against a forest fire. But there's a lot to be learned even from this simple simulation. Or you can just make pretty pictures. That's fun, too. The pro- gram uses two arrays, and each array gobbles up , bytes of memory. You could move this program to other computers, even to an 8- bit Apple II, but converting the program won't be as simple as typing it in. If you're going to work with a computer with less memory, start by combining the two arrays into a single array. You'll need more states, but it will work.
Instead of just living, dead, and burning, you'll need something like wasLiving, wasDead, wasBuming, nowLiving, nowDead and nowBuming.
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Each cell will have to do double-duty, holding both the original state at the start of the iteration and the new state that you are working on. Another tactic is to actually read the color of a point on the screen to get the original state. In any case, it will take a little work, and run slower, but you can cram this simulation into a lot less space if you need to.
This simulation comes from a field of math- ematics called cellular automata. It's an amaz- ingly diverse field, and it's also an area where computers can be used by amateurs to play with and even solve some very interesting problems. It's tempting to think that this simu- lation is somehow unique, and that you'll never run across cellular automation again, but you probably already have. John Conway's classic game of Life — those little spots that spread across your computer screen — is the most famous example of cellular automation in personal computing circles.
But once you start digging, there are plenty more. If you'd like to learn more about this simu- lation. Life, or any of their interesting cousins, I'd suggest starting with the book I found this simulation in. Freeman and Company, One chapter is devoted to forest fire simula- tions, and gives even more references if you find something specific you're interested in. No mMcMne has lasted this long. If the name Morgan Davis isn't exactly a household word yet, it's probably because of the company 's "niche " approach to product development and its reliance on word of mouth and direct mail to promote its wares.
Yet the company continues to prosper, and its customers hold Davis' name synonymous with support. A senior in high school, not very math- minded, I really didn't think I would get along with computers. I spent the next year saving money from odd jobs. Throughout my years in college, it was a strug- gle to concentrate on my school work. Meanwhile, I had a job with a local computer book publisher, CompuSoft.
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I got exposed to plenty of computers, and I was one of the first to get my hands on the original Macintosh in , at a time when they were very difficult to find because of demand. That was the best experience I could ask for. I decided not to return to SDSU for what would have been my final year. Instead, I went to work for Optimum Management Sys- tems for my first real programming job. Plans were made to tailor the software for other major chain stores, like 7- 1 1. But I wasn't savvy in the ways of big busi- ness, and the head of our company wasn't either. A year or two later, the company fold- ed.
A friend who'd worked with me at OMS and I started a little company producing shareware. We named the company Living Legends Software. The name was a kind of joke. We were hoping to make a living; we'd settle for becoming leg- endary later. The most successful titles, it turned out, were my ModemWorks and Pro- Line products. Publications, an astro- nomical project that took a year and a half and weighed in at over 1, pages.
In , my lifelong dream to work for Beagle Bros came true. The company had embarked on an extremely ambitious Macintosh product, code-named Cheetah, to dethrone Microsoft Works. The Cheetah team consisted of Bea- gle's Apple II programmers, none of whom had even worked on a Macintosh, let alone programmed one. Yet we forged ahead in hopes of completing the Works-killQr within the projected eight-month development time.
It's a long, sad, tortuous story that, as we all know, doesn't have a happy ending. I was one of the last Cheetah team members left when I was cut in What made you decide it was time to start your own business? Who, exactly, besides yourself, comprises the "group" of the company's name? The "group" initially was my wife. Dawn, and I, but today it's really just me, myself, and I. MDG has a couple of products that we publish for other programmers, though, so there is a group of sorts behind the name.
Dawn and I decided to give it a try for a few months to see if it would keep us alive. If it did, great. If not, I'd look for work elsewhere. It hasn't been easy, but we made it work. Pascal was never accepted as a standard working environment, and involved gruelling work to create even the most minor features, and also made end-user customization impractical. The fact that I've virtually built a company on an Applesoft-based product is a statement on Applesoft's viability.
Like any programming language, what you produce with it decides whether or not it is viable. Applesoft is not respected today simply because of the innovations we've seen in pro- gramming languages. It's not so much what programmers don't see in Applesoft, it's more like what they see in other languages that they don't see in Applesoft. Sushi was fresh, well made and flavorful. The edamame was the best I have had in a year. The nabeyaki was excellent! I went to dylans the other night and it was amazing. I had a plate of sushi, and I'll never go anywhere else in the metro Detroit area besides Dylan….
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