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Christmas Graphics
Volume Number:1
Issue Number:13
Column Tag:Pascal Procedures

Christmas Graphics

By Alan Wootton, President, Top-Notch Productions, MacTutor Contributing Editor

Last month I promised to complete my discussion on desk accessories. I still plan to do that, but this month is Christmas so we will take it easy and do some more lighthearted things. We will take an overview of the types of programming one might do on the Macintosh. I have two short programs demonstrating how to write code in resources, and a short program that draws a Christmas tree.

Resources as code

Unless you are writing code for a dedicated appliance controller, or something similar, the programs you write will be started by another program, usually the operating system. Your program, when finished, will return control to that 'other' program. In the case of a Macintosh Application, the program is started by another Application (usually the Finder) using the Toolbox procedure Launch (see Segment Loader chapter of Inside Mac). When the program is finished it returns to the Finder by calling ExitToShell (or Launch!), or by just reaching the end of the main procedure, in which case ExitToShell is called for you. If you have been following this column you will know that there are other kinds of programs besides just Applications. Desk Accessories are called repeatedly by the toolbox when the resident Application calls SystemTask. In addition to these two there are many other ways to get your piece of code executed.

One of the features of native code compilers (for the 68000) is that the code they produce is position independent. This means that it does not matter what address the program occupies -- it always runs properly. So, potentially any portion of memory could be loaded with code and run. In the case of an application, the Segment Loader handles this chore. In the case of DAs, the Device Manager loads resources of type DRVR and passes control to the code within. The Window Manager, the Menu Manager, the Control Manager, and others will load and run pieces of code. There is no reason why we cannot do it, too.

The compilers normal output (actually produced by the linker) is a single piece of code that is stored in the resource CODE #1. The structure of this code is illustrated in figure 1.

Note that the code is produced in the same order as the procedures occur. A jump is used to transfer control to the main procedure. Further, note that the main procedure does not begin and end like the others. It does not return control to the caller at all. Rather, it exits to the finder. The link and unlink are used to reserve space on the stack for the vars declared for that procedure.

An important thing to notice is the existence of phantom procedures past the end of the program. These are known as library routines and have the purpose of providing functions that are needed by the program. String functions and Operating System traps are examples. You can even make your own library procedures and, by declaring them, cause the linker to include that code.

There is a problem with the MDS linker. It is not as efficient as it should be. When you refer to a .rel file in a link directive file (link directive files are produced automatically by TML Pascal, although you may make your own), the whole .rel file is linked onto the end of your code, whether it is used or not. If you need more control you can make your own library files that only have those routines actually needed in them (requiring much work in assembly language). Another way is the get the Optimizing Linker and Librarian from Consulair Corp. (Portola Valley, CA). Consulair normally sells a C compiler but, since that compiler is MDS compatible, you may use their products in conjunction with the TML Pascal Compiler. TML may be able to sell you that linker also.

There is another oddity about the main procedure that is not shown in the diagram. All variables declared in the main procedure are accessed in a special way. These variables are not created temporarily like in the other procedures. The variables for the main procedure are created by the segment loader above the beginning of the stack and the register A5 is reserved for the sole purpose of accessing those variables. This means that, except for application code, procedures in resources absolutely must not access any global variables. This was mentioned in regard to DAs last month and is applicable here, too.

Before we lose our way in all this technical mush, let us remember that our goal is to use a resource as a procedure. In order to do this we have one final hurdle to overcome.

The most general method will be to use the beginning of the resource as the beginnning of the program. A glance at figure 1 shows that this does not work on the program in its CODE 1 form. Since we will have to use the Rmaker to convert from type CODE to another type, (here we use PROC) we could use Rmaker to convert from the program form to the procedure form. Rmaker does not make this an easy task. There is a Rmaker type that will trim off the first two words (created by the segment loader) of the CODE 1 resource (refer to your Rmaker documentation). Unfortunately, we need to also avoid the jump to the main procedure. If we tell the compiler to put our procedure into a CODE 2 resource then there is no jump, but Rmaker will not trim any other than CODE 1. After much thought I came upon what seems to be the best solution. Use the GNRL type directive to place the word $6008 at the front of the destination resource and then copy the CODE 1 resource after that. $6008 is the 68000 code to branch over the next 8 bytes. This effectively skips the two segment loader bytes and the jump. For CODE types other than number 1 there will not be a jump, so use $6004 to skip only the first two words. See the Rmaker input file below for an example.

Prompt_For_String

The procedure I present to illustrate the use of procedures in resources is a compiled version of the Dialog box example presented here in July (Vol.1 No. 8). Its purpose is to open a dialog box, request a string from the user, and then go away, returning the string to the calling program. To compile this first compile Pr_for_Str.pas, link Pr_for_Str.link (this file is created by the compiler), and then use Rmaker with Pr_for_String.R. The resulting file is Pr_for_Str.PROC which contains the resources PROC 567, which is our procedure, and also the DLOG and DITL for the dialog box.

The most interesting part of the example is the third part, the program Pr_for_Str.Mpas. This is a short (except for the declarations) MacPascal program that shows how you could use an external and compiled procedure from within MacPascal.

Inline again

All the action in Pr_for_Str.Mpas (below) takes place in the main procedure. For readability of those eleven lines I have declared the Toolbox routines as procedures, rather than just using inlines in the code. This is the simplest use of inline, once you get the definitions correct it is difficult to call the Toolbox traps incorrectly. Following the example below it is easy to type in Toolbox routines using Inside Mac as a guide.

The exceptions are register based traps. For these I use Generic (see Advanced Mac'ing in MacTutor Vol.1 No. 5). When Inside Mac says (using Hlock as an example):

PROCEDURE Hlock(h:handle);
  On entry       A0: h (handle)
    On exit            D0: result code (integer)

You set regs.a[0] to the handle and call Generic with $A029 (look up the trap number in a cross reference). The record regs is read by Generic and the trap is called. Note that later you can check loword(regs.d[0]) for an error.

This is not the end of the the ugliness. In order to call an external procedure it is necessary to abuse inline. Instead of a trap number we use the word $4E75 which will transfer execution to the address corresponding to the last argument to inline. The last argument is @jsr[0] which is the address of an array of 4 words which has been set to a short routine to shuffle some registers and then call the address that is next to last in the arguments. In this case it is the address of the resource PROC 567. For more info on jsr see my column in MacTutor Vol.1 No.9. The printing example uses jsr and the 68000 code is given.

Once you become comfortable with the inline kludges required, you can make arbitrarily complex MacPascal programs. Simply work on your program until it becomes too large (or too slow), then compile those procedures that are in a relatively finished state. When the compiled procs are replaced by the code to call them externally your program will then be much shorter, and you can add to it until it is time to repeat the cycle. Eventually, all that is left is a core with the bulk of the program compiled. At that point you move the last of the program to the compiler and you have a completed program!

Skip over the Pr_for_Str stuff (3 files) now and we will do something much more fun.

TML Pascal code
Program Pr_For_Str;{ file Pr_For_Str.pas }
{ by Alan Wootton 10/85 }
{ written for TML Pascal }

{ $I means include these interface files }
(*$I MemTypes.ipas  *)
(*$I QuickDraw.ipas *)
(*$I OSIntf.ipas    *)
(*$I ToolIntf.ipas  *)

{ We will convert this code with Rmaker in
  such a way as to cause execution to begin
  with the FIRST PROCEDURE, and not in the
  main procedure.    }

{ This procedure expects the resource
  DLOG 12345 to be available.  It opens a
  dialog box and returns a string in result.
  If no string is input by the user then
  the string '' is returned.      }
 
{ Execution begins here } 
Procedure Prompt_for_Str(var Prompt:str255;
                  var Sample:str255;
                   var Result:str255);
  const
       OKbutton      =1;{ items in DLOG box }
       CANCELbutton  =2;
       RESULTtext    =3;
       PROMPTtext    =4;
  var
       DlogPtr : DialogPtr;
       TempHand: handle;
       itype, itemHit : integer;
       R : rect;
       itemH : Handle;
begin
     TempHand:=GetResource('DLOG',12345);
      if TempHand<>nil then
          begin
               DlogPtr:=GetNewDialog(12345,nil,pointer(-1));
    
               GetDItem(DlogPtr,PROMPTtext,itype,itemH,R);
                if length(Prompt)<>0 then
           SetItext( itemH, Prompt);
    
               GetDItem(DlogPtr,RESULTtext,itype,itemH,R);
                if length(Sample)<>0 then
           SetItext( itemH, Sample);
               { Note that itemH is now handle to result }
               { text item and will be used later. }
    
               ModalDialog( nil, itemHit);
    
               if itemHit=CANCELbutton then
           result := ''
                else
           GetIText( itemH, result);
  
               DisposDialog( DlogPtr);
          end;
   end;{ of procedure }

begin{ main }
   { ¡¡¡¡ main not used !!!! }
end.

                  Rmaker code
;;                                     
;;  file Pr_For_Str.R
;; 
;;  Feeding this to Rmaker is the last
;;  step when compiling Pr_For_Str
;; 
;;  The CODE 1 resource is read from 
;;  Pr_For_Str, the link output, and 
;;  is written to the resource PROC 567
;;  in Pr_For_Str.PROC
;;  
;;  A branch is added to the front of
;;  the code to skip the segment header 
;;  (4 bytes), and in this case, to also
;;  skip the instruction to jump to the 
;;  main procedure (4 bytes, for 8 total).
;;  Use 6004 for bra.s *+4.
;;                                     
Pr_For_Str.PROC;;;  destination file name 
????????;;  type and creator 
;;                                     

type PROC = GNRL
Prompt_For_Str,567
.H 
6008;;  bra.s *+8 
.R
Pr_For_Str CODE 1

;;****************************************
;;**  Definition of a Dialog Manager    **
;;**  window.                           **
;;****************************************
;;  global coordinates !!

type DLOG
box,12345
;;notitle
96 128 148 384 ;; top left bottom right 
visible goaway
1              ;; window type = dBoxProc 
0              ;; refcon
12345          ;; ID of DITL associated
               ;; with this DLOG

;;****************************************
;;**  Next is a list of 'items' to go   **
;;**  in the window.                    **
;;****************************************

type DITL       ;; see Dialog Manager
items,12345
4               ;; four items 

Button
4 120 24 180    ;;  local coordinates !!
OK;;

Button
4 188 24 248
Cancel;;

EditText Disabled  
32 8 48 248        
;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;text added later 

StaticText Disabled  
4 8 20 120           
Type a String;; prompt, modified later

;;                                     
;;  end of file Pr_For_Str.R
;;                                     

               MacPascal code

program Pr_For_Str_Test;{ by Alan Wootton 10/85 }
{ This program exercises an external procedure }
{ that presents a dialog box requesting the user }
{ to input a string. }
 type
     ptr = ^char;
     handle = ^ptr;
     ResType = longint;
 var
     ResRefNum : integer;{ resource file ref num }
     str : str255;
     regs : record { for generic }
          A : array[0..4] of longint;
          D : array[0..7] of longint;
      end;

{--------------------------------------------------------------------}
{--Toolbox interface routines we will be using----------}
{--------------------------------------------------------------------}
 function OpenResFile (filename : str255) : integer;
 begin
     OpenResFile := WinlineF($A997, @filename);
 end;
 procedure CloseResFile (refNum : integer);
 begin
     inlineP($A99A, refnum);
 end;
 function HomeResFile (TheResource : Handle) : integer;
 begin
     HomeResFile := WinlineF($A9A4, TheResource);
 end;
 function GetResource (TheType : ResType; TheID : integer) : Handle;
 begin
     GetResource := pointer(LinlineF($A9A0, TheType, TheID));
 end;
 procedure DetachResource (TheResource : Handle);
 begin
     inlineP($A992, TheResource);
 end;
{ The Hlock that is predefined does not work!!! }
 procedure Hlock (H : Handle);
 begin
     regs.a[0] := ord(h);
     Generic($A029, regs);
 end;
{ convert a Str255 to ResType }
 function StrToType (str : str255) : ResType;
  var
      TheType : ResType;
 begin
     BlockMove(@str[1], @TheType, 4);
     StrToType := TheType;
 end;
{--end of interface routines-------------------------------}
{------------------------------------------------------------------}

{------------------------------------------------------------------}
{--Routine to call  PROC 567 resource  ----------------}
{------------------------------------------------------------------}
 procedure Prompt_for_String (Pr : str255;
                                                                Sa : 
str255;
                                                       var Re : str255);
  var
      Hand : handle;
      jsr : array[0..3] of integer;
 begin
     stuffHex(@jsr, '5488225F2F084ED1');
       { code to jsr to top of stack }
     Hand := GetResource( StrToType ('PROC'), 567);
     if Hand <> nil then
         begin
             Hlock(Hand);
             inlineP($4E75, @Pr, @Sa, @Re, Hand^, @jsr);
{            $4E75 is rts to code in @jsr which calls Hand^ }
{            normally you might unlock Hand now }
         end
        else
            writeln('PROC 567 not found');
    end;

begin     {   main, test prompt for string }
    ResRefNum := OpenResFile('Pr_For_Str.PROC');
    if ResRefNum > 0 then
        begin
            Prompt_For_String('Str Please', 'example str', str);
            writeln('The str returned is ', str);
            CloseResFile(ResRefNum)
        end
    else
        writeln('OpenResFile failed');
end.

Christmas graphics

For those who like short MacPascal programs that make intricate drawings I present the program X_Tree (below) that makes the picture-of-many-needles (above). The way this works is that it loops, while drawing branches (needles) proportional to the remaining length, until the remaining length is short. To draw the branches the same routine is called again (an example of recursion), so that the branches look like smaller versions of the whole tree. This would be a simple program except that in order to project a line of a particular length (Length), in a particular direction (Direction) one must use the trigonometric functions Sin and Cos. These functions, when multiplied by a length, give the horizontal (Cos) and vertical (Sin) component of a line in the given direction. It wouldn't be so bad, but the direction given to Sin and Cos is not in degrees! It is in radians. Radians are a mathematical unit for angles used by SANE and scientists everywhere. To use radians note that 180° is the same as Π radians (see how the variable pi is set to the value of Π below). This means that 60° (or 180°/3) is the same as pi/3.

To make the drawing above I pasted the DrawSomething procedure into the program Pict_to_Clip (October MacTutor, Vol.1 No.11) and ran it. I then quit MacPascal and started MacDraw and did a paste. After that I added the text next to it and cut everything onto the clipboard. I then pasted the result into MacWrite for this article. [The Pict_to_Clip utility referred to above is a marvelous little program that writes a user defined function to a pict resource and moves the pict resource into the clipboard where it can be pasted into other applications that support laser printing, like Mac Draw. In this way, it makes the Macintosh into a plotter! Available on our source code disks or as a back issue (October 1985) through the MacTutor mail order store. -Ed.]

program X_Tree;
   uses
       SANE;

 procedure DrawSomething;
     const
           NeedleMin = 5;{ cutoff size for Needles }
     var
          pi, Direction, X, Y : extended;

{ The variables above are global to the proc "Tree". }
{ X, and Y, are the pen position in floating point form. }
{ Direction is an angle pointing in the direction the }
{ "tree" is. Direction is in radians, ie. -pi/2 is up, }
{  pi/2 is down, 0 is to the right, pi is to the left. }

  procedure Tree (Length : extended);
{ Given a length and a direction, this proc will }
{ draw a line of the given length and, size permitting, }
{ will draw a series of "subtrees", or "needles", of }
{ decreasing size alongside the "tree" line. }
    var
        OldDir, Needle, PrevX, PrevY : extended;
  begin
      PrevX := X;
      PrevY := Y;{ Save direction and position. }
      OldDir := Direction;
      Needle := Length / 3;{ Length of first "needle". }

      while Length > 1 do
          begin { Subdivide "tree" }

              if Needle > NeedleMin then
                  begin { Draw left, then right, needle. }
                      Direction := OldDir - pi / 3;{ 60 degrees }
                      Tree(Needle);
                      Direction := OldDir + pi / 3;
                     Tree(Needle);
                  end
              else { else make line remaining length }
                  Needle := Length * 3;

              { Draw portion of tree between successive needles }
              Direction := OldDir;
              MoveTo(num2integer(X), num2integer(Y));
              X := X + (Cos(Direction) * Needle / 3);
              Y := Y + (Sin(Direction) * Needle / 3);
              LineTo(num2integer(X), num2integer(Y));

              Length := Length - Needle / 3;{ shorten length }
              Needle := Needle * (1 - 1 / 9);{ shorten needle }
          end;

         X := PrevX;
         Y := PrevY;{ restore position and direction }
         Direction := OldDir;
     end;

 begin { procedure DrawSomething }
     pi := arctan(1) * 4;{ 3.14159... }
     Direction := -pi / 2;{ -90 degrees = up }
     X := 200;
     Y := 240;{ tree base at 200,240 }
     Tree(200);{ 200 = size of tree }
 end;


begin { main program }
    ShowDrawing;
    DrawSomething;
end.

More Resources as code

A more technical example of writing code for resources is now presented for advanced programmers. The VBLExample (below) is an INIT resource that installs a Vertical Retrace routine at system startup.

Vertical Retrace routines are short pieces of code that are executed periodically by the system. They are not for general use, however, since they are executed during an interrupt. This means that you cannot use any Toolbox traps that use the memory manager. This includes Quickdraw. Bob Denny (C Workshop, MacTutor Vol.1 No.9) gives a good description of the Vertical Retrace Manager so I won't do it here. All the example does is increment the first longint in the screen buffer. This makes a tiny binary counter in the upper left of the screen.

To put a task into the Vertical Retrace queue you must fill out a short record and pass it to Vinstall. Notice that I break all the rules and put this record in the same resource with the code! The procedure dummy is declared to make some unused space and GetGlobalData is called to get a pointer to our permanent storage record (remember, only the application can have permanent global variables).

Inlines again! The TML Pascal compiler has a type of inline that you can use (carefully). It is not the same as the MacPascal inlines. The syntax is a procedure declaration, followed immediately by "inline", and then by an integer. When the procedure is called the word is excuted in the place of the normal jsr. In the program VBLExample I create a procedure that will set register A0 and another that will invoke the trap _Vinstall. By using these two it is possible to alleviate the need for any libraries at all (no other Toolbox calls or procedures require library support in the example).

Bob Denny also gives a good description of how INIT resources work, so I won't repeat it. Debugging is another story. The code in INIT resources is called during startup and at that time it is just about impossible to use a debugger! This can make INIT resources very hard to trace. To make it easy I wrote the MacPascal program Run_INIT (below). This program does to an INIT resource the same thing the system does at startup. It is also a good description of how the system treats INIT resouces. Note that since no parameters are passed you can use Generic to call the external procedure instead of @jsr like it did in Pr_for_Str.Mpas. Otherwise these two have much in common.

We have seen the operation of two types of code resources, INIT and PROC. These are merely the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps later we'll try MDEF, WDEF, or CDEF (menu, window, and control definintion functions) in addition to our normal projects involving CODE and DRVR (for applications and desks accessories).

Until next month, may the bugs bite you only in obvious places, and Merry Christmas!

program VBLExample;{ file VBLExample.pas }
{  by Alan Wootton 10/85 }
{ written in TML Pascal }

{  $I=Include these interface files }
(*$I MemTypes.ipas  *)
(*$I QuickDraw.ipas *)
(*$I OSIntf.ipas    *)
(*$I ToolIntf.ipas  *)

{ We will convert this code with Rmaker in
  such a way as to cause execution to begin
  with the FIRST PROCEDURE, and not in the
  main procedure.    }

TYPE

  GlobalDataP=^GlobalData;
  GlobalData=record
  vblPart:VBLTask;
  count:longint;
       end;{ 18 bytes long }
    
{ var
     no global variables allowed }
     
{ the following four procs don't generate code now }
Procedure SetA0(a0:longint);inline $205F;{ MOVE.l (SP)+,A0 }
Procedure Vinstall_Trap;inline $A033;{ _Vinstall trap }
Function GetGlobalData : GlobalDataP;FORWARD;
Procedure VBLScreenTask;FORWARD;

{ execution begins here }
{ We install VBLScreenTask in the VBL queue and 
   set up the body of the dummy procedure as our
   data record. }

Procedure InstallVBLTask;{ one time setup routine }
var
     cp : GlobalDataP;
begin
  cp := GetGlobalData;
  cp^.count:=0;
  with cp^.VBLPart do
    begin
        qType:=ord(vType);
 vblAddr:=@VBLScreenTask;
 vblCount:=1;
 vblPhase:=0;
 { This funky double step is my way of calling Vinstall 
    without having to link with another file.  Register A0
    is set and then the trap is called. }
 SetA0(ord(@cp^.VBLPart));
 Vinstall_Trap;
    end;
end;

Procedure Dummy;{ reserve some bytes in the code space }
begin
    Dummy; Dummy; Dummy; Dummy;{ 8 bytes }
    Dummy; Dummy; Dummy; Dummy;{ 8 bytes }
    Dummy;
end;

Function GetGlobalData {: GlobalDataP};
begin
    GetGlobalData := pointer(ord(@Dummy));
end;

{ Reset the VBLCount so we remain in queue and
  utilise $824 (SCRNBASE global) to find address
  of the screen and write the count there.        }

Procedure VBLScreenTask;
   var
       cp : GlobalDataP;
       ScreenP:^longint;
begin
  ScreenP:=pointer($824);
  ScreenP:=pointer(ScreenP^);
  cp:=GetGlobalData;
  with cp^ do 
      begin
         count:=count+1;
  with VBLpart do
      begin
        VBLCount:=1;
        ScreenP^:=count;
      end;
       end;
 end;{ vbltask }
  
begin{ main }
    { ¡¡¡ main procedure not used !!! }
end.


;;----------------------------------------------------
;;  file VBLExample.R
;; 
;;  Feeding this to Rmaker is the last
;;  step when compiling VBLExample.
;; 
;;  The CODE 1 resource is read from 
;;  VBLExample, the link output, and 
;;  is written to the resource INIT 16 
;;  in VBLExample.INIT
;; 
;;  A branch is added to the front of
;;  the code to skip the segment header 
;;  (4 bytes), and in this case, to also
;;  skip the instruction to jump to the 
;;  main procedure (4 bytes, for 8 total).
;;  Use 6004 for bra.s *+4.
;;----------------------------------------------------
VBLExample.INIT;;;  destination file name 
????????;;  type and creator 
;;----------------------------------------------------

type INIT = GNRL
VBLExample,16 (80)
.H 
6008;;  bra.s *+8 
.R
VBLExample CODE 1

;;----------------------------------------------------
;;  end of file VBLExample.R
;;----------------------------------------------------

program Run_INIT;{  by Alan Wootton 10/85 }
{ This MacPascal program is for testing }
{ INIT resources.  It loads the INIT }
{ resource number 16 from the file named below, }
{ and runs it just as the boot code would at system }
{ startup.  The handle is writeln'd and you are given }
{ the opportunity to invoke a debugger, and set }
{ breakpoints, if desired. }
 type
     ptr = ^char;
     handle = ^ptr;
     ResType = longint;
 var
     ResRefNum : integer;{ resource file ref num }
     str : str255;
     hand : handle;{ handle to code }
     longP : ^longint; 
    regs : record { for generic }
          A : array[0..4] of longint;
          D : array[0..7] of longint;
      end;

{--------------------------------------------------------------------}
{--Toolbox interface routines we will be using----------}
{ copy routines from Pr_For_Str_test (above) }

{------------------------------------------------------------------}
{--Routine to call a 68000 proc in memory-------------}
{--note that the handle is not locked,-------------------}
{--and no parameters are passed------------------------}
 procedure RunHandle (Hand : handle);
 begin
     regs.A[0] := ord(hand^);{ set A0 }
     Generic($4E90, regs);{ $4E90 = JSR (A0) }
 end;


begin              {  main,  program starts here }
    ShowText;
    ResRefNum := OpenResFile('VBLExample.INIT');
    if ResRefNum > 0 then
        begin
            hand := GetResource(StrToType('INIT'), 16);
            if hand <> nil then
                begin
                    if HomeResfile(hand) = ResRefNum then
                        begin  
                            writeln('handle is ', ord(hand));
                            writeln('run resource ? (y/n)');
                            readln(str);
                            if str = 'y' then
                                begin
                                    DetachResource(hand);
                                    RunHandle(hand);
                                    longP := hand^;
                                    longP^ := $4E714E71;{ nop nop }
                                end;
                           end
                       else
                           writeln(' resource from wrong file');
                   end
                  else
                      writeln(' resource not loaded ');
              CloseResFile(ResRefNum);
        end
    else
        writeln('OpenResFile failed');
end.


 

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Apple Configurator makes it easy to deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices in your school or business. Use Apple Configurator to quickly configure large numbers of devices connected to... Read more
Bookends 14.1.5 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more

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Alchemy Stars celebrates 1 and a half ye...
It has been one and a half years since Alchemy Stars launched, and Level Infinite is celebrating in style with a host of new content. There will be a new story mission and even a store to explore, and a whole new mode for those budding idol... | Read more »
Fighting Game ‘Art of Fighting 2’ ACA Ne...
Last week, side-scrolling shooter Pulstar hit mobile platforms as the newest ACA NeoGeo series release from Hamster and SNK. Read Shaun’s review of it here. Today, fighting game Art of Fighting 2 has launched on iOS and Android. Art of Fighting 2... | Read more »
‘Genshin Impact’ Version 3.3 Update Now...
HoYoverse recently revealed the next major update for Genshin Impact (Free) in the form of version 3.3 ‘All Senses Clear, All Existence Void’. | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 6th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got three more reviews. Siralim Ultimate, Astronite, and Swordship get evaluated and scored today. All interesting in their own ways,... | Read more »
‘Pulstar ACA NEOGEO’ Review – Kiss Your...
As I’ve said more than a few times in the past, the NEOGEO was generally known for a couple of genres more than anything else. Fighting games, of course. And thanks to Metal Slug and to a lesser extent Shock Troopers, it’s also known for run-and-gun... | Read more »
‘The Witcher: Monster Slayer’ Shutting D...
Location-based AR game The Witcher: Monster Slayer (Free) from CD Projekt Red’s in-house studio Spokko Games has been getting updated quite often following its launch on iOS and Android. These updates include new challenges, monster types, stamps,... | Read more »
Get Your Hands on the Power Cosmic in th...
To me, my board! As discussed in our story about the last update to the excellent card battler Marvel Snap (Free), the latest season of the game is called The Power Cosmic. | Read more »
HoYoverses announces inaugral art exhibi...
If you are lucky enough to be in the Paris area in early January, then you should pop to the Galerie Joseph and enjoy a look at the world of HoYoverses’ global smash hit, Genshin Impact. There will be unreleased concept art and a deep dive into... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 5th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a few reviews for you. Square Enix’s Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered, Forever Entertainment’s Front Mission 1st: Remake,... | Read more »
Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Fire Emblem H...
Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Oh yes, here come the Christmas updates. Quite a lot of the games featured today are doing the holiday thing, with only... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Christmas sale at Verizon: Apple AirPods Pro...
Verizon has first-generation Apple AirPods Pro on sale for $159.99 on their online store as part of their continuing Christmas/Holiday sale. Their price is $90 off Apple’s original MSRP, and it’s the... Read more
New Christmas/New Years promo at Xfinity Mobi...
Switch to Xfinity Mobile and open a new line of service, and take $400 off the price of a new iPhone, no trade-in required, through January 10, 2023. The $400 is applied to your account as credits... Read more
Apple iPad Smart Keyboard Folio prices drop u...
Apple iPad Smart Keyboard Folio prices have dropped up to $60 off MSRP at Amazon and Walmart as part of their Christmas/Holiday sales. These are the cheapest prices currently available for these iPad... Read more
Today is the final day for Xfinity Mobile’s $...
If you switch to Xfinity Mobile and open a new line of service, they will take $500 off the price of a new iPhone, no trade-in required. This is the best no trade-in Cyber Monday Apple iPhone 14 deal... Read more
Amazon restocks 10.2″ 64GB 9th-generation iPa...
Amazon has Apple’s 9th generation 10.2″ 64GB WiFi iPads (Silver) in stock and on sale for $269.99 shipped as part of their Christmas/Holiday Sale. Their price is $60 off Apple’s MSRP. Free delivery... Read more
Week’s Best Apple MacBook Air Christmas Sales...
Apple retailers have posted their most-recent Christmas Holiday sale prices on 13″ MacBook Airs. Take up to $150 off MSRP on M2-powered Airs with these sales with prices starting at only $1049. Free... Read more
Open-box 13″ M2 MacBook Pros available for $3...
QuickShip Electronics has open-box return 13″ M2 MacBook Pros in stock and on sale for $300-$350 off MSRP on their eBay store right now, each with free express delivery. According to QuickShip, “The... Read more
Apple is offering $100 iPad discounts to Educ...
Apple will take $100 off 12″ M2 iPad Pros, $50-$100 off 11″ M2 iPad Pros, $50 off iPad Airs, $50 off 8.3″ iPad minis, & $20-$40 off 10″ iPads for all teachers, students, and staff of any... Read more
Midnight Apple Watch Series 8 (41mm GPS + Cel...
Amazon has the Midnight Apple Watch Series 8 (41mm GPS + Cellular) on sale for $50 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale including free shipping, reducing the price for this Watch to $449.99. Their... Read more
Holiday Sale: Apple Watch Ultra for $50 off M...
Amazon has Apple Watch Ultra models (Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Opean Bans) on sale for $50 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale, each including free shipping, reducing the price for an Ultra to... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Administrator - JAMF - Activ...
…Administration **Duties and Responsibilities** + Configure and maintain the client's Apple Device Management (ADM) solution. The current solution is JAMF supporting Read more
Cashier - *Apple* Blossom Mall - JCPenney (...
Cashier - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Blossom Mall Read more
Omnichannel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mal...
Omnichannel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Sephora Beauty Advisor - *Apple* Blossom Ma...
Sephora Beauty Advisor - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Operations Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mall...
Operations Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
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