TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Video Screen Anim
Volume Number:2
Issue Number:6
Column Tag:Pascal Procedures

Alternate Video Screen Animation

By Mike Morton, Lotus Corp.


This article discusses using the Mac's alternate hardware screen to get smooth, flicker-free animation. We'll use the “vertical retrace manager” to synchronize screen-switching with the hardware screen refresh. The subroutine package presented does this synchronizing and helps the calling program ensure that it's drawing animation frames at the desired speed. It also tells the program how much “slack” time it has after drawing each frame. The source for a simple bouncing square demo program which uses the subroutines is included here. Another program, “Vanlandingham”, uses the same package to mimic Amiga's famous bouncing ball demo, but its source is too convoluted to publish. Both applications are distributed on MacTutor's source code disk #9.

Hidden Gotcha

Warning: These programs use the alternate screen buffer, an area of memory that is also used by the Mac Plus RAM cache. As a result, when the program exits, Finder information previously in the cache will be lost causing a system crash. To prevent this, turn off your RAM cache with the control panel. It's possible to design an interface to let the system know your application is using the alternate video buffer, forcing the Mac to configure the cache somewhere else. We invite readers to investigate how this might be done. For similar reasons, this program doesn't work with all software or hardware. It may not like RAM disks, debuggers, or some hard disks. As with any application which doesn't have a QA group to test it, you should back up your files and take other precautions before trying it.

The animation package uses two slightly obscure features of the Mac, one in hardware and one in software. The hardware feature is the alternate screen, a second bitmap in RAM which can be displayed instead of the default one. The software feature is the vertical retrace manager, which calls subroutines periodically, in sync with the “vertical retrace interrupt”, a sort of hardware heartbeat in the Macintosh. Both of these are covered only briefly here, since they're documented elsewhere.

Quick review #1: The alternate screen

The Mac hardware redraws the screen 60 times a second, repeatedly reading the screen from RAM and interpreting bits as black or white pixels. By default, it reads from a hardwired address, available from the base address of Quickdraw's “screenBits” bitmap. The hardware can also read from a second address, 32K lower than the default, and software can request that this alternate screen (sometimes called the alternate video “page”) be used.

Fig. 1 Bouncing Ball from the “Vanlandingham” Program

A simple animation program without the second screen just repeatedly erases and redraws images. The problem with this is that the hardware “strobes” the image in RAM at unpredictable times. The bitmap may be strobed between animation frames and the software can get caught with its pants down. The result is flicker.

A better solution is to use two screens. The hardware displays one screen while the next animation frame is drawn on the other. Software can detect when the current screen refresh is complete, and ask that the next refresh be drawn from the newly drawn bitmap. Then while that bitmap is showing, the original bitmap can be erased and filled with another frame. This way, drawing and display always use different screens. The result is much less flicker.

Apple didn't make it easy to use the alternate screen. The decision to configure the alternate screen is usually made by the program which launches you; the Finder won't ever do it, though. You can't reserve the second screen through traditional memory management after launch, because you can't specify the area to allocate. The generally accepted method of getting the second screen is to check whether it's available at startup and, if it's not, to re-launch oneself with a request for the second screen. (Of course, if the request ever fails for any reason, such a program will loop forever )

There are some problems to keep in mind when using the alternate screen:

•future Macintosh models may not support it (the May 1985 software supplement warned about this)

•cursor handling seems to assume that the default screen is in use; do a HideCursor call before switching

•you should switch to the main screen before exiting to the Finder

•Debuggers, RAM disks, and other things which survive across launches may occupy the memory where the alternate screen is; this is hard to detect and avoid

For more on the alternate screen, see Tom Taylor's article on the subject in the August 1985 issue of MacTutor. For a detailed description of the hardware, I recommend The IM Underground. The latter has some ideas on allocating the screen.

Quick review #2: Vertical retrace tasks

The Mac operating system lets you leave “wake-up calls” for subroutines, allowing you to specify the delay (in 60ths of a second) before the subroutine is called. This is handy for a lot of things, including screen switching.

Each time a screen refresh is completed, the Macintosh gets a “vertical retrace interrupt”. At this time, the system may perform several housekeeping tasks: updating the cursor position, bumping the tick count, and so forth. It also checks the list of subroutines which have left wake-up calls, seeing if it's time to call any of them.

Vertical retrace tasks, as these dozing subroutines are called, are pretty simple. The chapter of Inside Macintosh which describes the vertical retrace manager is just a few pages. Ignoring a few fields, the essential parts of the “queue block” for the task are (1) the address of the routine and (2) the time left until it should be called.

The exact time at which these routines are called is perfect for switching screens. It happens between screen refreshes, so the switch doesn't occur halfway down the screen (giving you a fleeting split image). [It is possible for many time-consuming retrace tasks to be called, and for the switch to be delayed until after the refresh has started. This is very unlikely.]

Some problems crop up in calling routines this way. The most insidious appears randomly when someone alters A5. This is legal as long as they don't call anyone who expects A5 to be correct. If an interrupt comes in while A5 is changed, the system will call the retrace tasks with the wrong value of A5. It's up to each task to either load the correct value from “CurrentA5” in low memory or not use A5 at all. Recent versions of Inside Macintosh describe the OS Utilities “SetUpA5” and “RestoreA5” which can be used to avoid this problem in Pascal. Note that even if your application doesn't mess with A5, desk accessories and the ROM still may. Be paranoid.

Lesser problems with vertical retrace tasks include:

•you should make sure that your task is gone from the queue before leaving the application; otherwise someone else's code (such as the Finder's) will be loaded over the task's old address and the vertical retrace manager will call that address with horrifying results

•your task can't perform any memory management, since the state of the heap may not be consistent; in general, you must be careful about any operations on global data structures

•the task must set its “alarm” each time it's called, or it won't be called again

Inside Macintosh covers the vertical retrace manager pretty well. Robert Denny's article in the August 1985 MacTutor gives a good example of using these tasks.

Fig. 2 Our bouncing square demo program

Putting it all together

Here's a package to synchronize screen switching. It has three subroutines:

getaltscreen -- This should be the first thing your application calls. It checks whether the alternate screen is configured and, if not, relaunches the application to include the screen.

This routine is independent of the other two.

vidstart -- This installs a vertical retrace task which runs at the frequency you choose. The caller and these subroutines share a structure used to pass information both ways.

To switch screens, the application stores a request in the shared information block. The video task wakes up, finds the request, switches the screen as appropriate, and flags that there's no longer a request pending.

There are four states for the request field:

0: request for alternate screen is pending

1: request for default screen is pending

2: request to stop the task is pending

3: no request is pending

Ideally, the task wakes up at the end of each cycle, finds a pending request and performs it. But what if there isn't a request pending? That's fine -- the task just sets an alarm to re-examine the request one tick from now (not one whole cycle, which could be many ticks) and tries again. This way, even if the next frame isn't ready on time, it'll be displayed at the first possible retrace interrupt after it becomes ready.

When the task discovers this situation (an animation cycle has elapsed but no request was stored), it means the main program didn't draw its next frame in time. The programmer needs to know that this happens, so these events are kept track of in the “delays” field in the information block. The program doesn't have to examine the counter, but you may want to print it periodically while you're developing the program, to make sure the animation rate is what you expect.

vidwait -- Suppose a program finishes drawing a frame on the alternate screen and stores a request to show that screen. The next thing it wants to do is draw the next frame on the default screen. But it can't yet -- it has to wait for the switch so that the default screen is no longer being displayed. This is easy: when it sees the request flag is in the “no request pending” state then it knows the task has done the switch. The vidwait routine waits for this to happen. You should always call it before drawing a new frame.

As mentioned above, the task notices whether your drawing code is fast enough to keep up with the screen switching task. But suppose you try a new drawing method to see if it's faster. You run both methods, and both keep pace with the task. Can you measure the speed of the tasks more finely? Yes: vidwait does it by counting how many times it loops while waiting for the request to be done and returning the count. A larger count means more slack time between the drawing and the screen switch, which means the drawing code is faster. This kind of fine tuning helped in getting the bouncing ball to run at 60 Hz.

Notes on the subroutines

The information block, which is defined by the main program and passed to the subroutines, includes a task block for the vertical retrace task. It also has the request field, the period (number of ticks between screen switches), and the counter used to keep track of delays.

The problem of whether A5 is valid is bypassed by making the information block contiguous to the VBL task -- the system passes a pointer to the task block when it calls the routine, so the information block is easy for the task to find.

When the task sees a request to stop (probably because the application is quitting) it doesn't call VRemove; tasks shouldn't dequeue themselves. Instead, it clears the “count” field of the task block, telling the system not to leave it in the queue.

Notes on the sample application

The application which demonstrates these routines is pretty dull. It bounces a square around the screen until it detects a key press or mouse click.

The constant “tickrate”, the number of ticks per frame, is set to 1, so the animation rate is 60 Hz. I was surprised that 30 Hz didn't look smooth. (Perhaps 30 Hz would look better if the image was more complex and distracting to viewers.)

You can play with the animation rate and the block should move at the same speed -- the velocity (in real time) should be independent of the animation rate.

The program must keep track of where the block was last drawn in the default and alternate screens. The rectangles “deflast” and “altlast” are used for this, so that the code knows what area to erase before drawing the next block.

I've commented out the statistics code used to keep track of whether the animation is at the desired rate. It may need changes if you're not using Lisa Pascal (as I was before this was translated to TML Pascal). [The statistics procedure is here, but printing code is left to the user to implement. -Ed]

Printing statistics was a problem: each time I printed a line, it caused some delays, which the program reported the next time. This is like physics: observing affects the thing being observed! I couldn't stop the interference, so I made the printing occur with exponentially decreasing frequency: it's done after 256 frames, 512 frames, 1024 frames, etc. (Check out the code that checks for a power of 2!) The average number of delays per sample will approach zero if the delays are only an artifact of the debugging.

Before stopping, the program makes sure the task is stopped. The request to stop makes the task deactivate and also returns to the default screen to keep the Finder happy. (Remember, a RAM cache on a Mac Plus will not be happy, since some vital Finder info will be destroyed by the use of the alternate screen buffer.)

You may want to vary the size of the block, to see how large you can make it before the drawing takes too long and delays start getting recorded. This may vary slightly between Pascal compilers, but isn't a very exact benchmark. For those advanced programmers, try to come up with a technique so that even the RAM cache will be spared.

Program Compilation

[To implement the source code listed here, use either the MDS assembler or Consulair C 4.53 to edit and assemble the assembly language subroutines into a ".REL" file. Then compile the Pascal source code for the bouncing square demo using TML Pascal 1.11 or later. The link file shown here can be used with either the TML Linker or the Consulair Linker. Both linkers can apparently recognize and open object files created by the other. As reported previously, we have been using the Consulair C as an assembler until Apple updates the MDS system to work correctly on a Mac Plus. The link file will link the assembly subroutines with the Pascal source to create the final application. Three system files from the Pascal system are required. These are the Pas$Library package, and the OSTraps and ToolTraps ".REL" files. Once you figure out how to satisfy everybody's interpretation of how to construct a path name to the include and system files, the compilation and linking are easy.

We must remark that Apple apparently forgot that some programs, like development systems, must have a way to find specific files without a user dialog. The HFS system makes every folder an independent directory with no provision for searching everything for a certain file. In fact, even if such provision were made, you would have problems because files can now have the same name if in different directories (folders), so how would you know you got the right file? This omission is causing fits for language system developers trying to figure out the best way to tell their compiler where to find a run time package, include file or ".REL" file. The result is everyone is making up their own solution to this problem, destroying the standardization of the Mac interface. Give Apple a slap on the wrist for over-looking this problem.-Ed]


The alternate hardware screen can help create rapid animation; switching screens at the right time can avoid flicker. A regular task called in sync with the screen refresh can make switching between screens very easy.

An animation program under development needs to keep track of whether its animation is running at the desired rate and how much spare processing time remains in each animation cycle. Both of these are easy to record, although sometimes hard to report.

There are a variety of pitfalls in the alternate screen and the vertical retrace manager. Probably the most significant one for serious applications is that the alternate screen may disappear in future Macintoshes. Still, if you're doing animation more for fun than for profit, it's worth the extra effort to get smooth animation.

; vid -- Routines to synchronize switching between the two
; hardware screens in sync with the screen refresh, allowing
; smooth animation.   mike morton, June 1986.

; function  vidwait    (VAR block: vidinfo): longint;external;
; procedure vidstart   
 (VAR block: vidinfo; period: integer);  external;
; procedure getaltscreen; external;

; MDS or Consulair Assembler Version.
; Converted by David E. Smith for MacTutor.

 xdef vidwait
 xdef vidstart
 xdef getaltscreen
 Include QuickEqu.D; MDS toolbox equates and traps
 Include SysEqu.D
 Include ToolEqu.D
 Include MacTraps.D

 MACRO .equ = equ| ; convert Lisa stuff to MDS Mac
 MACRO _hidecurs = _HideCursor|
 MACRO _showcurs = _ShowCursor|
; definition of state information record. 
; Also defined on Pascal side. 

vblsize .equ     vblphase+2      ; size of VBL block
ivbl    .equ     0          ; VBL task information
ireq    .equ      ivbl+vblsize     ; (int) request: 
iperiod .equ     ireq+2          ; (int) period in ticks
idelays .equ      iperiod+2        ; (longint) number of times 
 ;we had to delay for a tick
isize   .equ     idelays+4         ; size of “info” block

viabase .equ$1D4 ; VIA base address global 
CurPage .equ$936 ; alt screen page global 

; request definitions: the high level code saves these for us 
; *** note: the code at “vbl” depends on these values. ***

reqalt  .equ    0; request switch to alternate screen
reqdef  .equ    1; request switch to default screen
reqstop .equ    2; stop on default screen
reqnone .equ    3; nothing requested

; ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
; function vidwait (block: ptr): longint; external;
; this routine is called when the next animation frame is ready
; to be shown and the main program has made a request to
; display that frame.  it waits until the new frame is being 
; shown, then returns.  it also returns the
; approximate time it had to wait, in arbitrary units.  this helps
; you find out how much slack you have between the time the 
;frame is ready and the time it's actually used.

        move.l   (SP)+,A1          ; pop return
        move.l    (SP)+,A0         ; pop block pointer
        moveq    #-1,D0   ; will be 0 if we exit right away

 addq.l   #1,D0  ; bump spinning counter
        cmp.w    #reqnone,ireq(A0)       ; is nothing waiting?
        bne.s    vidw2    ; something pending: 
 ; don't return yet
        move.l   D0,(SP)  ; return “time” waited
        jmp      (A1)         ; return

; ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

; procedure vidstart (block: ptr; period: integer); external;

        move.l   6(SP),A0         ; point to VBL block 
        move.w   4(SP),D0         ; pick up desired period

        move.w   #reqnone,ireq(A0) ; initialize req info “none”
        move.w   D0,iperiod(A0)    ; save period
        clr.l     idelays(A0) ; no delays seen yet

        move.w   #vType,vblType(A0)      ; set type of queue elem
        lea      vbl,A1   ; point to VBL routine to call
        move.l   A1,vblAddr(A0)  ; save address of routine
        move.w    D0,vblCount(A0)  ; set time to wait 
        clr.w    vblPhase(A0)          ; zero phase

        _vInstall; install the vertical retrace task
        tst.w    D0; good status?
        bne.s    death  ; no: bag it

@1  move.l  (SP)+,A0 ; pop return
        addq.l   #4+2,SP  ; ding one long, one integer param
        jmp      (A0); and return with the task queued
; ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
; this is our entry point from the vertical retrace manager.
; entered by: A0 points to VBL block; our state information 
; follows this.
; - if no request has been made by the time we're called, the
;   main program didn't have a frame to be drawn in time; in this
;   case, we increment the “delays” counter and set the alarm 
;   to wake us up one tick from now.
; - if a request is there, we do it and set the alarm for one full 
;   period.

 move.w   ireq(A0),D0       ; pick up the request
        move.w   #reqnone,ireq(A0) ; cancel pending request
        move.l   viabase,A1 ; point to base of VIA stuff

        dbra     D0,vbl1          ; skip if not zero
        bclr     #6,$1E00(A1)         ; alternate screen: clear bit
        move.w    iperiod(A0),vblCount(A0) 
 ; ask for next wake-up at usual time
        rts          ; exit

 dbra     D0,vbl2        ; wasn't zero; skip if not one
        bset     #6,$1E00(A1)         ; default screen: set the bit
        move.w   iperiod(A0),vblCount(A0) 
 ; ask for next wake-up at usual time
        rts          ; ta da

 dbra     D0,vbl3; wasn't zero or one; skip if not two
        clr.w    vblCount(A0) ; stop: don't want to run again
        bset     #6,$1E00(A1) ; default screen 
        rts          ; home for the last time

 dbra     D0,death         ; wasn't 0,1, or 2; die if not three
        move.w   #1,vblCount(A0) ; no request: re-run
        add.l    #1,idelays(A0)              ; keep stats on how often 

        rts          ; and return

death:  DC.L     $60FE  ; execute a loop - stall
; ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
; procedure getaltscreen; external;
; this should be the VERY first thing your application calls.
; - if the alternate video screen IS configured, we return and do
;    nothing. 
; - if the screen isn't there, we find out the
; application's name from the application parameters and 
; relaunch ourselves, correctly configured.

        tst.l    CurPage  ; pick up current screen configuration
        bpl.s    relaunch ; negative means we got alt. screen
        rts ; all's well; return

relaunch:          ; here when we have to restart
        sub.l    #32+4+2,SP ; for Name, RefNum, Param
        move.l   SP,A0  ; point to base of this stuff
        pea      4+2(A0)  ; push arg1: VAR pointer to apName
        pea      4(A0)  ; push arg2: VAR ptr to apRefNum
        pea      0(A0)  ; push arg3: VAR pointer to apParam
        _GetAppParms ; fill in name, other junk; pop params

        ; Now apParam, apRefNum and (importantly) apName are 
 ; in stack temps.

        lea      4+2(SP),A0 ; point to the name we just got
        move.l   #-1,-(SP)  ; -1 asks for alternate screen...
        move.l   A0,-(SP) ; ...and point to name to launch
        move.l   SP,A0  ; point to name ptr and flags with A0
        _launch  ; launch ourselves, with alt screen
        bra.s    death  ; shouldn't reach here!

{ viddemo -- A simple program to demonstrate the “vid”
routines, which allow switching between the default and 
alternate video screens in sync with the screen refresh, 
allowing flicker-free animation. mike morton, may 1986}

program viddemo; { demonstrate screen-switching }

{$i MemTypes.ipas  } {TML Pascal include files}
{$i QuickDraw.ipas }
{$i OSIntf.ipas    }
{$i ToolIntf.ipas  }

 tickrate = 1; { ticks between animation frames }
 width = 120;  { size of the moving square }
        { Parameters for the “vidinfo.request” field. }
 reqalt = 0;{ request switch to alternate screen }
 reqdef = 1;{ request switch to default screen }
 reqstop = 2;  { request default screen; stop task }

      screentype = (default, alternate);  { current screen? }
 vidinfo = record       { data structure “vid” routines }
        v: VBLTask;{ the vertical retrace task block }
        request: integer; { current request:                   
 alt/def/stop/none }
        period: integer;  { ticks between frames }
        delays: longint;  { number of delays observed }

    myPort: grafPort;{ our graphics environment }
    vh, vv: integer; { velocity: h and v components }
    blockrect: rect; { rectangle for bouncing block }
    boundsrect:  rect;    { rect in which block bounces }
    anevent:   eventrecord; { for awaiting keystroke or click }
    theinfo:   vidinfo;   { info shared with vid routines }
    altbits:bitmap;{ bitmap for alternate screen }
    whichscr:  screentype;{ on alternate/default screen? }
    deflast, altlast: rect; { rectangle we last drew in }
    zot:  longint; { throwaway result, functions }
    totfreetime: longint; { statistics: accumulated free time }
    samples: longint;{ statistics: number of samples }

  function  vidwait    (VAR block: vidinfo): longint; external;
  procedure vidstart   (VAR block: vidinfo; period: integer);  
  procedure getaltscreen; external;

procedure init;  { initialize everything }
InitGraf(@thePort);  { fire up quickdraw }
OpenPort(@myPort); { get a drawing environment }
InitFonts;         { for writelns }
InitCursor; { set the arrow cursor }
HideCursor; { but we don't want it }
boundsrect := screenbits.bounds;  
 { display rectangle is full screen  }
InsetRect (boundsrect, 15, 15);   {  inset a bit }

SetRect (blockrect, 0, 0 , width, width); 
 { make up rect for square }
OffsetRect (blockrect, 15, 15);   
 { start it in the bounds rectangle }
altlast := blockrect;   { init “old” positions }
deflast := blockrect; 
altbits := screenbits;  { alt. screen is the usual, but  }
with altbits do  { [anything to fit in 80 columns!] }
 baseaddr := qdptr (longint(baseaddr) - 32768); 
 { base is 32K less }

EraseRect (thePort^.portbits.bounds); 
 { erase the usual screen }
FillRect (boundsrect, gray);      
 { draw the boundary we bounce in }
CopyBits (screenbits, altbits, screenbits.bounds,        altbits.bounds, 
srcCopy, NIL);
whichscr := default; { start out on the default page }
vh := 5 * tickrate; 
vv := 3 * tickrate;  { pick any old speed  }
samples := 0; 
totfreetime := 0;    { initialize statistics }
vidstart (theinfo, tickrate);     
 { start screen-switch task running }
end;    { of procedure init }

{ showstats -- Print statistics in whatever way you like. 
I don't print them until there are a fair number of samples
accumulated.  Also, the code below prints stats only when 
the number of samples is a power of two, so the frequency 
of debugging output decreases exponentially. }
procedure showstats (samples, totfree, delays: longint);
if samples > 200 
then begin; { don't print for a while }
 { The odd “if” below makes us print only 
 when “samples” is a power of 2. }
 if BitAnd (samples, -samples) = samples 
 then begin ;
 {print routines go here}
end;            { procedure showstats }

{ animate -- Prepare and display the next frame of animation.
Compute the new position of the block, including bouncing
off the walls.  Wait for the video switcher to finish displaying 
one page so we can draw in it.  Set Quickdraw to drawing in it; 
erase the last block drawn and draw the new one.  Tell the 
video switcher we're ready to have this newscreen shown.}
procedure animate;         { draw the next position }
var freetime: longint;          { delay before switch is done }
OffsetRect (blockrect, vh, vv);     { move to the next position }

{ These four “if”s  all check if the block has gone outside the
 bounds rectangle.  If so, the block is adjusted in the
 appropriate direction (v or h), and a velocity component 
 (vv or vh) is negated. }

if blockrect.bottom > boundsrect.bottom     { bounce off the bottom? 
then begin;
 OffsetRect (blockrect, 0, 2 * (boundsrect.bottom-blockrect.bottom));
 vv := - vv;

 if <         { bounce off the top? }
then begin;
 OffsetRect (blockrect, 0, 2 * (;
 vv := - vv;

if blockrect.left < boundsrect.left        { bounce off the left? }
then begin;
 OffsetRect (blockrect, 2 * (boundsrect.left-blockrect.left), 0);
 vh := -vh;

if blockrect.right > boundsrect.right       { bounce off the right? }
then begin;
 OffsetRect (blockrect, 2 * (boundsrect.right-blockrect.right), 0);
 vh := -vh;

freetime := vidwait (theinfo);   { wait for page to switch }
totfreetime := totfreetime + freetime; { keep track of total wait  }
samples := samples + 1;          {  and number of samples in average 
showstats (samples, totfreetime, theinfo.delays);

if whichscr = default         { currently showing default screen? }
then begin;          { yes: next frame is on alt screen }
 SetPortBits (altbits);          { make Quickdraw draw on alt. bitmap 
 FillRect (altlast, gray);{ clean up last place we drew }
 altlast := blockrect;           { remember where we're drawing now }
 FillRect (altlast, black);   { and draw new image }
 whichscr := alternate; { remember where latest image is  }
 theinfo.request := reqalt;   {  and ask vid switcher to show it }
end{ end of doing frame on alt screen }
else begin; { no: next frame is on default screen }
 SetPortBits (screenbits);{ point Quickdraw to default screen }
 FillRect (deflast, gray);{ erase last image we drew }
 deflast := blockrect;           { remember where we're putting block 
 FillRect (deflast, black); { put it there }
 whichscr := default;{ remember which screen is displayed }
 theinfo.request := reqdef; { ask video switcher to show default }
end;             { of branching on which screen }
end;             { procedure animate }

begin;  { MAIN PROGRAM }
 getaltscreen; { first, get the alternate screen }
 init;   { now initialize everything else }
 FlushEvents (everyevent, 0);    { ignore old clicks, etc. }

repeat  { loop repeatedly }
 animate; { draw next animation frame }
until GetNextEvent (mDownMask + keyDownMask, anevent);

 theinfo.request := reqstop;{ exit on default page }
 zot := vidwait (theinfo);{ make sure last request done }
end.    { of main program }

/Globals -4
/OUTPUT video



Fig. 3 Link File


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

GraphicConverter 11.2.2 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
VueScan 9.7.30 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Things 3.12.6 - Elegant personal task ma...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
Skim 1.5.11 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
Navicat Premium Essentials 15.0.20 - Pro...
Navicat Premium Essentials is a compact version of Navicat which provides basic and necessary features you will need to perform simple administration on a database. It supports the latest features... Read more
Affinity Photo 1.8.4 - Digital editing f...
Affinity Photo - redefines the boundaries for professional photo editing software for the Mac. With a meticulous focus on workflow it offers sophisticated tools for enhancing, editing and retouching... Read more
EtreCheck Pro 6.3 - For troubleshooting...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
beaTunes 5.2.11 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Bookends 13.4.4 - 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
Affinity Designer 1.8.4 - Vector graphic...
Affinity Designer is an incredibly accurate vector illustrator that feels fast and at home in the hands of creative professionals. It intuitively combines rock solid and crisp vector art with... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Global Spy is an intriguing 2D spy sim f...
Developer Yuyosoft Innovations' Global Spy launched last month for iOS and Android, though if you missed it at the time, we're here to tell you why it's well worth a go. This one's all about international espionage, tracking down elusive spies,... | Read more »
Distract Yourself With These Great Mobil...
There’s a lot going on right now, and I don’t really feel like trying to write some kind of pithy intro for it. All I’ll say is lots of people have been coming together and helping each other in small ways, and I’m choosing to focus on that as I... | Read more »
Hyena Squad is sci-fi turn-based strateg...
Wave Light Games has just revealed its latest release, Hyena Squad, a turn-based RPG set in a space station infested by gross aliens and the living dead. The announcement was first reported on by Touch Arcade. [Read more] | Read more »
Idle Guardians: Never Die is a pixel art...
SuperPlanet has been fairly prolific with game releases so far this year with both Evil Hunter Tycoon and Lucid Adventure releasing earlier this year. Now, they've released another idle RPG called Idle Guardians: Never Die, which you can download... | Read more »
Ruinverse, Kemco's latest RPG, now...
Kemco's latest RPG endeavour, Ruinverse, initially launched for both iOS and Android earlier this month. It was released as a premium title that also had additional in-app purchases. Now, the developers have decided to release a freemium version... | Read more »
The 5 Best Mobile Platformers
Touch screens and action-oriented gameplay don't typically mix, but over the course of pondering the best platformers on mobile, I found myself having a really hard time picking just five. Quite a few developers have found really creative ways to... | Read more »
Clash Royale: The Road to Legendary Aren...
Supercell recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and their best title, Clash Royale, is as good as it's ever been. Even for lapsed players, returning to the game is as easy as can be. If you want to join us in picking the game back up, we've put... | Read more »
Endless runner Monster Dash will relaunc...
Remember Monster Dash? Well, it's set to return to a mobile device near you after having been pulled from stores in 2017 to meet GDPR compliance. This one first launched all the way back in August of 2010. Over ten years later, it's heading into... | Read more »
Auto Battle Chess is a colourful genre s...
Auto Battle Chess is an interesting hodgepodge of genres that aims to offer the ultimate auto chess experience. That's a pretty tall order, though with the game now out for Android, I suppose we don't have to wait to see if it lives up to its... | Read more »
Tom and Jerry: Chase hits 1 million pre-...
NetEase's 1v4 asymmetrical multiplayer game Tom and Jerry: Chase recently became available to pre-order for both iOS and Android in Southeast Asia. It's clearly proving to be a highly anticipated title too since it has now reached 1 million pre-... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Expercom offers $320 discount on the 6-core 1...
Apple reseller Expercom has the Silver 16″ 6-core MacBook Pro on sale for a limited time for $2079 shipped. Their price is $320 off Apple’s MSRP for this model, and it’s the cheapest price currently... Read more
Apple announces Education pricing for new 202...
Purchase a new 2020 iMac or iMac Pro at Apple using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $400 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution with a .edu email... Read more
Apple reseller Expercom offers $256 discount...
Expercom has Apple’s new 2020 10-core iMac Pro available for order and on sale for $4743 shipped. Their price is $256 off Apple’s MSRP for this new model, and it’s the cheapest price we’ve seen so... Read more
Apple releases refreshed 2020 27″ iMacs with...
Apple today released updated versions of their 27″ iMacs featuring 10th generation Intel processors, SSDs across the board, a better 5K display, and improvements to the camera, speakers, and mic.... Read more
Xfinity Mobile promo: Take $200-$350 off Appl...
New customers can take $200 off the purchase of any new Apple iPhone model at Xfinity Mobile through 8/17/20. Service plan required. Existing customers can purchase an iPhone and receive $200 back in... Read more
B&H now offering $100-$200 discount on Ap...
B&H Photo has new 2020 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100-$200 off Apple’s MSRP, starting at $1649. These are the same MacBook Pros sold by Apple in their retail and online stores, and B... Read more
Apple’s 6-Core Mac mini is on sale at Amazon...
Amazon has Apple’s new 2020 6-Core Mac mini on sale for $926.25 for a limited time. Their price is $173 off Apple’s $1099 MSRP for this model and includes a $48.75 instant discount available on their... Read more
New 2020 11″ iPad Pros on sale for $50-$75 of...
Apple reseller Expercom has new 2020 11″ Apple iPad Pros on sale for $50-$75 off MSRP, with prices starting at $749. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in their retail and online stores: – 11... Read more
Switch to US Cellular and get a new Apple iPh...
US Cellular has Apple’s 2020 iPhone SE on sale for $350 off for new lines of service and a US Cellular unlimited plan. Promotion comes via monthly bill credits over a 30 month period. Their deal... Read more
Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on...
Amazon has Apple’s AirPods with Wireless Charging Case on sale today for only $139.98 shipped. That’s $60 off Apple’s MSRP and the lowest price we’ve ever seen for these AirPods. Sale valid for a... Read more

Jobs Board

Director, Product Management - Lead *Apple*...
…better business results. **Job Title** Director, Product Management - Lead Apple / Token Requestor Services Overview The Mastercard Digital Enablement Services Read more
*Apple* Computing Professional - Store 286 (...
**770445BR** **Job Title:** Apple Computing Professional - Store 286 (Canton) **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store Number or Department:** 000286-Canton-Store Read more
Department Manager- Tech Shop/ *Apple* Stor...
…their parents want, and our faculty needs. As a Department Manager in our Tech Shop/ Apple Store you will spend the majority of your time on the sales floor engaging Read more
*Apple* Graders/Inspectors (Seasonal/Hourly/...
Title: Apple Graders/Inspectors (Seasonal/Hourly/No Benefits) # APPLE Location: US-VA-Winchester Read more
Tier 2 Technical Support Analyst - ( *Apple*...
…Analystiless than/strong>who will analyze and determine user software needs on all Apple devices (first support contact), Windows devices, and support printers in Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.