Author: from AppleLink
Date: October , 1987
Keywords: hardware laserwriter imagewriter interleave macwrite SE trivia hints tips
Text: Editor's Note: Tech Tidbits has been downloaded from AppleLink by SMUG for your information. It is published weekly by East Coast Tech Support of Apple Computer. The following is a compilation of questions and facts from the past six issues. Comments, suggestions and contributions can be directed to AppleLink (just leave me a note) or you can write Apple direct: Apple Computer, Inc., 4130 Parkway Plaza Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28224. Attn: Sue Goodin, Tech Support. Kaaren Buffington, editor * * * DISK DRIVES * * * Q: Will operating the HD20 on a slanted surface have any adverse effects on the unit or its functioning? A: In current hard drive technology, the read/write heads actually float on a cushion of air. Theoretically, you should be able to operate the unit in any position. However, we do not recommend running any hard disk on an inclined surface for any length of time. Apple hard disk units have four feet on the bottom and assume a "level" surface. Q: How can I lock Apple Hard Drive heads? A: Apple's Hard Drives have no provision for "locking" the heads. During a power off, the heads are "parked" on an unused section of the platter, however no physical locking is possible. Q: Is there any way to optimize an Apple SCSI hard disk? By optimize I mean to clean up empty spaces on the hard disk that are presently not being used. A: Fragmentation occurs on any hard drive, it's the result of adding and deleting files. One effective way to "optimize" is to backup the drive, reformat, and then restore your data. The quickest method of accomplishing this is to use a Tape Backup or another hard drive. Q: What is "Interleave? I keep hearing about it with respect to HD's. A: Interleave is the ratio of consecutive sectors to which a CPU can read or write. Your SCSI hard drive spins at a steady rate. Depending on what computer you have it hooked up to, the CPU may not be able to read or write to each sector, but only to every 2nd or 3rd sector, and this is where interleave comes in. For example, if you think of your hard drive as a Merry-go-round which never stops, and the data from the CPU as the customers trying to get aboard, you have a fair analogy. One Merry-go-round concession may have a slow ticket seller, and customers get through the line slowly, hopping up on the ride so that every third horse is taken. This would be a 3-1 interleave. The next concession has a faster ticket agent, and the people can get though fast enough to occupy every second horse: This is a 2-1 interleave. You should always initialize from the type of Mac the drive will be connected to. If you will be using the drive with several Macs, initialize the hard disk for the slowest system. Listed below are the Interleaves for the Mac Plus, SE and II, and Apple II. Computer Interleave "Speed" Macintosh II 1:1 "Fast" Macintosh SE 2:1 "Medium" Macintosh Plus 3:1 "Slow" Apple II 3:1 "Slow" Q: Is there a way to erase the count of the pages printed on a LaserWriter and reset it to 0? A: No. We know of no way to set the count on the LaserWriter to zero. Resetting the counter, in any event, is illegal in most states, if not all. * * * PRINTERS * * * Q: Is there a way to access the built-in Near Letter Quality font of the ImageWriter // from the Macintosh? A: Yes, you set the front panel switch to NLQ mode, both lights on, and then indicate that you want to print in DRAFT from the Print Dialog Box. Q: Why does "Faster" mode no longer print bi-directionally on an ImageWriter II? A: This is a function of the new ImageWriter II print driver. Uni-directional passes of the printhead line up much more accurately than bi-directional passes. This provides much more precise printouts. Q: We can't obtain a full line across the page in a header for MacWrite when printing to a LaserWriter or LaserWriter Plus. The same line extends all the way across when printed on an ImageWriter. What's the problem? A: Characters on a Macintosh screen, especially the space bar, display differently when printed on a LaserWriter. Use a mono-spaced font to obtain properly spaced printing in this situation. Open a new header, select "Courier" as the font. Choose "underline" in the style menu, press and hold the space bar. After a few spaces have been typed, you should see the line start to move across the page. When the line nears the right side, release the space bar, then add individual keypresses until the underline touches the right margin. This line should now print properly on both the LaserWriter and ImageWriter. Q: Recently, I have been seeing strange problems with ImageWriter II's. I have had several complaints that occasionally the output of the printer is a hexadecimal code dump. This problem seems to happen with several different types of software and has happened not only on the Macintosh family but the II family as well. A: Actually, this is a "feature" of the ImageWriter II printer and is very helpful for programmers. Hex printing occurs when the ImageWriter II is turned on while the select button is accidentally depressed. This can accidentally happen due to the proximity of the select button to the power switch. If this occurs, power down, then turn the printer back on, making sure that only the power switch is depressed. Q: I need information regarding the 32K buffer for the ImageWriter II. Is the 32K buffer supported by most Mac software? A: You won't realize a significant increase in productivity using the 32KBuffer in conjunction with a Macintosh and standard printing functions. Fonts and graphics consume large quantities of RAM and 32K is not sufficient for most Macintosh print activities. The most effective way to take advantage of the buffer is to set the front panel switches to Near Letter Quality and select "Draft" from the print dialog box. Q: Where can I find printer drivers for third-party printers? A: There are several sources for third-party printer solutions for the Macintosh. You will find two sources listed below: GDT Softworks, Inc. SoftStyle, Inc. 2800 Douglas Road 7192 Kalanianaole Highway Suite D Suite. 205 Burnaby, B.C. Canada Y5C 5BY Honolulu, Hawaii 96825 (800) 663-MACC (800) 367-5600 Custom Mac and Third-Party Printer Drivers: DataPak has a program available "Interface For the Macintosh" for developing custom interfaces between the Macintosh and many different third-party printers. DataPak * 14011 Ventura Blvd * Suite 401 * Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 Q: I understand that the LaserWriter is not a frequency independent device. However, there is a need for a power supply for the LaserWriter that will allow it to be operated at both 220V/50Hz and 110V/60 Hz. Can you recommend a solution? A: Because several components (fan, main drive motor, power supply, etc.) need to be changed to allow conversion from 50 Hz to 60 Hz operation, this cannot be done with a single product. There is no way to have a universal LaserWriter at the present time.
LaserWriter Page Counter Setting: A brand new, "out of the box" LaserWriter can have readings ranging from 28 pages up to as high as 200 pages, depending on the number of hours of testing time and the number of pages per hour during testing. Q: Is there a maximum shelf life for the toner cartridges for the LaserWriter? A: The shelf life of the toner cartridge is 2.5 years from production date. The production date is stamped on the toner cartridge in the form of 3 or 4 letters and numbers. LaserWriter & Color: We have received several requests for LaserWriter Cartridges in alternate colors. Listed below are several vendors who advertise various solutions. Michlin Computer Consultants (313) 663-9800 Laser Express(tm) Inc. (800) 553-8111 Toner Technologies (801) 544-3090 Q: I have an ImageWriter I. At one time I set the DIP switches to print in condensed mode. Recently I changed the switches to print in PICA mode and do not remember how to change back to condensed. Using software, the printer will print in condensed mode. Please advise. A: Below are the possible character pitches available through DIP Switch settings on the ImageWriter I, as found on Page 41 of the Owner's guide. Switch 1-6 Switch 1-7 Character Pitch ---------- ---------- --------------- Open Open Pica (10 characters per inch) CLOSED OPEN Elite (12 characters per inch) Open Closed UltraCondensed (17 characters per inch) Closed Closed Elite Proportional If after setting the DIP switches properly, you still cannot print in condensed mode, you may have a defective DIP switch and should take your printer in for repair. * * * GENERAL MAC INFO * * *
Reliable Connections: Kensington Microware markets inexpensive "clips" that provide significant reliability improvement over standard AppleTalk connections. For more information contact: Kensington Microware at (212)475-5200. Q: What is the maximum distance possible between a Macintosh and LaserWriter hooked up via AppleTalk? A: The determining factor in this is not distance between Mac and LaserWriter, but rather the maximum network cable length under AppleTalk. Page 15 of the AppleTalk Personal Network manual states that the maximum network cable length is 300 meters, or about 1000 feet. This, is the maximum distance between a Macintosh and a LaserWriter. Q: How do I reset Parameter RAM in a Macintosh SE? A: To zero Parameter RAM in the Macintosh SE, hold down the Shift, Option, and Control keys while selecting the Control Panel. A dialog box will be displayed asking if you want to zero Parameter RAM. Indicate Yes, and Restart the SE. Parameter RAM will be zero-ed. It is necessary to Restart the SE using known good System Software after this procedure. FYI: The access speed for all SCSI drives connected to the Macintosh SE, internal or external, is 660 Kb/Sec.
Macintosh SE Installer Program:
FYI: We have noticed a "feature" when you select any of the Installer Scripts on the new SE System Tools disk. All of the Scripts seem to automatically update your printer drivers at the same time they update your System files. Even if you didn't intend on updating the print drivers. Just another time saver from Apple's software wizards. Another note, the Installer will not transfer the drivers to the target disk if they are not present at the time of the update. Macintosh II & Guided Tour: If you experience an error message that indicates you need more memory to run the Guided Tour, ensure that your RAM CACHE is turned off. Check the Control Panel and make sure that you are set to either two or four Bits/Pixel. A sixteen Bits/Pixel setting will cause the error also. Q: Typing the Option-Return to send a break using MacTerminal does not generate a sufficiently long break to be recognized. What can we do? A: Shift-Return on MacTerminal 2.1 will produce a long break. Macintosh SE & II Guided Tour: The new Guided Tours for the Macintosh II and SE use "Garamond" font to display text in dialogs. If you start the Guided Tour Engine after booting from a hard drive or other system disk, your dialog text will be distorted. To ensure proper operation, either boot directly from the Tour Disk or use the Font/DA Mover to install the Garamond font in your System file.
Macintosh II Trivia: The Macintosh II with its 68020 microprocessor and 32-bit data bus can open and close applications and files, access data, execute graphics and calculations up to four times faster than the Macintosh Plus. The 68881 floating-point co-processor works with the 68020 to perform operations such as multiplication, division, sine and cosine calculations. When used, the 68881 enables the Macintosh II to perform these operations 40 to 200 times faster than the 68020 alone. Q: With previous versions of the system software, you could keep different system files in folders with separate applications. Running a particular application would launch its own system. This doesn't seem to be the case with 4.1/5.5. Is there some trick we can use to allow automatic system switching? A: You should avoid, at all costs, the temptation to have more than one System and Finder on the same disk! A large percentage of Technical Support Links and phone calls deals with very unusual and serious compatability problems that result from having multiple System and Finders on a hard drive. Q: Is there any way to put files from different folders into the same MiniFinder? If so, how? A: No, you can only use files from one folder with MiniFinder. There are several "ShareWare" applications that can span folders. "WayStation" and "Oasis"have this capability and can be found on commercial networks such as CompuServe and GEnie. (Editor's Note: These can also be found on the Redwood BBS.) Q: Is there any utility that will let me look at a file created by a word processor that I don't have? A: Yes. Glue is a product which permits a user to save a printed file to disk. A second Glue user can then print the saved file without accessing the application used to create the original file. Glue is also useful for Spreadsheets and DeskTop Publication applications. Q: About three times a week, when I start up our in-house AppleShare server (an SE w/20 mb drive), I get a message that there is a problem with the server volume. I then run the Administration program, and it tells me the volume needs to be prepared for AppleShare. I tell it OK, and then during the preparation I see the message "Repairing access privileges". After that, everything works fine (until the next time). A: The most likely cause for this problem is that you are using the Server volume for other activities. A server volume should not be used for any other task than being a dedicated Server, not even file copying. MacII Monochrome Monitor to Apple Color High Resolution Monitor
Upgrade: On August 3, 1987 Apple Computer Inc., announced a program that allows customers to exchange their Apple Macintosh II Monochrome Monitors purchased by October 31, 1987 for full credit toward the purchase of an Apple Color High Resolution Monitor purchased during the first quarter of 1988. The monochrome monitor can be returned to an Apple-Authorized Dealer between January 1, l988 and March 31, 1988. The new policy is a response to the greater than anticipated demand and the slower than expected availability of the AppleColor High-Resolution RGB monitors. Q: How can I connect a MacPlus to an IBM for ASCII file transfer? A: To connect a MacPlus to an IBM PC or XT, you will need a null modem cable (Standard RS232) with Transmit and Receive reversed. You will need to use appropriate terminal software on both ends: MacTerminal on the Mac side, and any terminal package on the IBM side capable of transferring ASCII text files. Microsoft Works, Now: As you probably know, Microsoft Works (TM)is not compatible, "out of the box",with the Macintosh II. The good news is that Microsoft (R) has a patch for Works that works! (Editor's Note: Any SMUG users that need this patch, please let me know and I will download it from AppleLink for you. Q: Is there any way that I can see remaining disk space when I choose the option to view files by name? A: Not a direct way. However, you can open up an empty window, set it to view by Icon, and leave it on your desktop. You will then be able to check on available disk space at a glance. Q: Is there such a thing as International AppleCare? Or is AppleCare purchased in the US valid overseas? A: AppleCare purchased in the U.S. is valid only in the U.S., and there is no International AppleCare. Some foreign countries offer an extended warranty, but most do not. You would need to query the dealers in each country individually to determine if they offer AppleCare. For the addresses of the Apple International Service Offices, please refer to your Apple Service Programs Binder under Level II, beginning with page 4.1.4. Apple's limited warranty is valid only in the country of purchase. A defective unit must be returned to the country of purchase if service is desired under warranty. Apple dealers overseas are capable of servicing the equipment designed for their country only. Q: Where can I buy Mac labels in bulk? I am continually getting requests for them, and we're always in short supply. Does anybody make it in rolls for pinfeed? What about a Mac Label Maker/printing program? A: A few of the sources for labels and label maker programs for the
Macintosh include: * MyDiskLabeler, Version 2 supports black and white and color printing. Labels for MyDiskLabeler are available for both the ImageWriter and LaserWriter. W. M. Williams & Macias, P. O. Box 19206, Spokane, WA 99219 [1-800-752-4400]. * MacLabels by DataWiz features rolls of blank Mac labels in 500 or 1,000 labels/roll, featuring wrap around, pin feed and removable adhesive.
Labels are available in six colors: White, Yellow, Pink, Lt. Blue, Lt. Green and Grey. DataWiz, 21115 Devonshire Blvd., Suite 465-B, Chatsworth, CA 91311. LaserWriter ID - Gone With the Wind? A "Tip-of-the Hat" to Jim Leathan of Computer Emporium, Vails Gate, NY for the following: The revision number on the LaserWriter test print (under the first chart) used to be a reliable way to tell if it's a LaserWriter or a LaserWriter Plus you were looking at, but this is only partially true now. The Revision Number - What it really means: 1.0--256K ROMs installed--LaserWriter (No doubt about it) 2.0--512K ROMs installed---May be a newer LaserWriter or a LaserWriter Plus The revision number refers to the ROM revision used. A LaserWriter or LaserWriter Plus using 512K ROMs has 8 ROMs, a LaserWriter using 256K ROMs has 16 ROMs.
Apple Equipment Abroad: Service and Warranty Repair are affected when you take a U.S. Apple overseas. The main piece of advice is: Buy the Apple where you intend to use it. For example, European Macintoshes have power supplies designed to handle Europe's 220 volt, 50 Hertz electricity. Although mice, external drives, digital boards and similar modules are the same as distributed in the U. S., the software and keyboards are different for each country. -- Service: Apple dealers overseas are capable of servicing the equipment designed for their country only. -- Warranty: The warranty is valid only in the country of purchase. A defective unit must be returned to the country of purchase if service is desired under warranty. Buy and use the Apple product well before your departure if you intend to take it with you. Use it extensively before you leave so that any problems that the warranty covers may be detected and corrected under warranty.
FILE TRANSFER SOLUTIONS: by George Elmore, ComputerLand Gainesville I am often asked to do file conversion on old systems when my customer buys a Mac. To date I have transferred CP/M, TRS-80 Model 4, IBM DOS and Apple //e files over to the Mac. CP/M and TRS-80 Conversions For CP/M and TRS-80's, the single most useful item in the toolkit is the expensive version of the Smartcable from IQ Technologies. I think it's about $149 retail, and maybe $80 or so dealer cost. It has a bunch of switches and lights to tell you how the serial transfer is going, and it comes with a simple set of instructions which have not failed me yet. With CP/M, you need to get an introductory book on the commands and learn how to use the program called PIP which is the way you can transfer a file out the serial port. On the Mac, you need a copy of a program from Scott Watson called Red Ryder. It's a $40 ShareWare program, and worth every penny. The file transfers I have done from the TRS-80 Mod 4 (8" diskettes) have involved a rudimentary knowledge of Scripsit. It's tedious because you have to transfer every file individually. You can set up the serial port to default to 2400 Baud with 7 data bits, 1 stop bit and even parity. Then you set up Red Ryder on the Mac the same way and put it in the receive mode. For each TRS-80 file you will need to redirect the output to the serial port. What you get on the Mac is a perfectly formatted text file, but with spaces instead of tabs and line feeds instead of form feeds. You can leave the removal of these extraneous characters as an exercise for your customer. IBM to Mac For the IBM to Mac transfer you need MacLink Plus which is about $195 retail and complete with The cable and full instructions, as well as several conversion programs. Although there is a Wordstar to MacWrite program, it converts to old MacWrite which then needs to be reconverted. I prefer to bring it over as a text file and do the conversion with a Public Domain program called UNWS+ 1.53 (file #2852) which you can find on GEnie. Apple to Mac For the Apple to Mac transfer, all you need is the regular ImageWriter II to Apple //GS printer cable, and use the GS for all transfers. You will need Red Ryder here, too as the receiver. For AppleWorks files, set up a custom printer with no control codes and output to port 1 as usual. Then fire up Red Ryder at about 2400 Baud, with the "Remove gremlin characters" option enabled. Don't forget to reconfigure your port on the GS for 2400 Baud also. The transfer has problems faster than that and characters are lost. Additional Information If you can arrange it, have your customer save everything on his old machine as a pure text file rather than as a formatted document. Most formatting in those files is usually pretty unsophisticated anyway, so they won't be losing much. The biggest problem I have is with customers who refuse to use the tab key and do all their formatting with the space bar. Columns of numbers are especially tricky since often there is no decimal tab, and if there was, it wouldn't transfer correctly. In the "For What It's Worth" category, I have found that people mostly want to transfer word processing files. I hardly ever get calls for spreadsheets or databases. Sometimes it's a little easier to do a little pre-formatting on a text file before the transfer, and on the IBM, I have found the Norton Editor (because it's fast) and Word Perfect (because of the macros) to be invaluable. You should also have a program called Macify version 2.1 which is a $10 ShareWare program from a fellow named Eric Celeste (available as a download from GEnie or CompuServe), which allows you to modify carriage returns and "many" spaces on Mac text files. I use Word 3.01 as the final Mac editor because it's fast and easy once you learn it. It also allows you to search out carriage returns and replace them with a space.
To sum up: 1. Run all transfers at 2400 Baud. 2. Try to get all source files already in text only format. 3. Get Red Ryder and Macify. 4. Get a Smart Cable from IQ Technologies. Q: How does one use the function keys on the extended keyboard on a Mac? A: At the current time the Function keys on the new keyboard are not well supported by existing software except by Terminal Emulation programs such as MacTerminal 2.2. Future software products will probably provide support for the function keys in a broader range of applications. Q: Occasionally I get "An Application Can't Be Found" error message, even though the application is on the hard drive. What causes this? A: When you open a document from the Finder, the Mac tries to use the application that created the document. On a hard drive with several directories with several tables of contents, a direct search would be time-consuming. So instead of searching all the directories, the Mac searches a few special directories. If the application can't be found there, it will search by using a table in the desktop file. If that file is damaged, the Mac will be unable to find the application, even though it is on the disk, and issue the error message. When this happens, you will have to rebuild your desktop file. On a hard disk, you do this by rebooting the Mac while holding down the Command and Option keys until a dailog box is displayed asking if you want the desktop rebuilt. Click the OK button to continue. On a floppy disk, eject the disk by dragging its icon to the Trash. Reinsert the disk while holding down the Command and Option keys, and when the dialog box appears, click OK. Reprinted from "Tech Tidbits" with the permission of Apple Computer, Inc., East Coast Technical Support."
Copyright © october , 1987 by from AppleLink