TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Unannounced Calls
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:On the Lighter Side

New Unannounced System Calls
from the WWDC

By Gar, DataPak Software

You may have missed one or more of the several “secret” meetings in Room K of the San Jose Convention Center during the World Wide Developers Conference. Our sneak reporter was on the scene and has obtained exclusive information, leaked, regarding some of the new unannounced system extensions planned for the Macintosh operating system. Details are still sketchy, but we managed to obtained this exclusive reportage on the following new System Managers.

Features Manager

PROCEDURE SetReviewerMode (resID:resource; MicrosoftClone, 
ClarisClone, AldusClone:ProcPtr);

This is used to instantly add features demanded by trade journal reviewers. The resID is a resource of menus that add the features reviewers look for. MicrosoftClone is a procedure you can call which enables your software to look and act just like some Microsoft product. For example, in word processing your ProcPtr would point to an MSWord() procedure and spreadsheet to a MSExcel() procedure. ClarisClone and AldusClone may also be used for the same purposes. However, if all three ProcPtr parameters = NIL, the default procedure, “MeToo” is used by the system software.

Note: This procedure originally had an array of ProcPtrs to refer to any given number of product look alikes. However general usage has dictated that this be reduced to these three.

Support Manager

FUNCTION GenerateComplaint (address:Str255;
key_words:LONGINT; vast_threat:Boolean):TEHandle;

This function generates a complaint to any software vendor of your choosing, writing the complaint and/or threatening letter for you.

The address string should contain the mailing address for the letter; if the string is empty, the last address used for a complaint will be used again.

The key_words parameter is an array of bits defining the key words and phrases to include in the letter, as follows:

Bit Key Word/Phrase Generated

1 “You people...” is inserted wherever possible.

2 “Your product...” is used, otherwise “my product” is inserted.

3 “Dr.” is appended to your name (e.g., “Dr. Donald Trump,” and so on. However, if this bit is not set, “Ph.D.” is appended by default.

4 “... very disconcerting” is used frequently.

5 Sweeping, vague generalities are randomly generated. Examples: “Your product is buggy,” and “... everyone dislikes your product,” etc.

If the vast_threat parameter = TRUE, a threat to complain about the vendor on all e-mail services and trade journals is included in the letter.

GenerateComplaint will mercifully truncate the resulting letter to 32K by returning a TEHandle as the result.

System 7: Two Secret Functions

FUNCTION TransVol6 (chap:Integer):Handle;

This function returns a Handle of text which simplifies and explains a specific chapter in Inside Mac, volume 6. Generally, the chapter in vol 6 will make no sense as-is unless this function is used to return a layman’s translation.

Although TransVol6 could prove useful to developers, it remains undocumented because the text answers require an additional CD which isn’t shipped with the freebies; if this special CD is not on-line, the function returns NIL.

PROCEDURE FillAll (Var complaint:Str255);

This forces all available memory in the machine to be used even if the application doesn’t need it quite yet; even if the application doesn’t call this function, portions of it are still used by System 7 itself.

FillAll is used by most of the major Mac developers; although it is accessible to anyone, small developers generally don’t use it since their situation demands their programs run on smaller, less expensive machines.

The complaint parameter will return a special Applelink address in which you can contact Apple and beg for bigger machines than ever.

FillAll is particularly useful if you are shipping an expensive product that does very little - research has shown that a user feels more secure with a product in which they are forced to upgrade their memory to use it.

The Undocumented Mac ROM Routines

As we were rummaging through some pre-1984 archives, we came across a top-secret document of ROM traps that have never been publically documented!

PROCEDURE MacWait (diskGrind:Boolean);

Causes the processor to delay, usually because the application is running too fast. MacWait is called repeatedly by most of the popular Macintosh programs, and is called most frequently from applications that are greater than 500K and/or cost more than $500.

If diskGrind = TRUE, the internal drive will spin a few times before this function returns.

MacWait can be used by programmers who want to annoy the user for fairly good reasons (such as forcing him or her to type slower or to use the mouse instead of command keys).

PROCEDURE GhostSwap (name:Str255; random:Boolean);

Presents a disk-swap icon of a floppy disk that the user hasn’t seen in hours or hasn’t seen before at all. The basic purpose of GhostSwap is to ensure that the user is on their toes and to check the integrity of the floppy drive at random intervals.

Although applications generally don’t call GhostSwap, it is still used frequently by the Mac OS and Finder. GhostSwap is called the most often after the floppy drive has remained dormant for several weeks but wakes up from, say, doing a backup.

The name of the floppy is given in the name parameter, or if random = TRUE, the OS makes up a name. Although technical superstitition would dictate otherwise, there is no foundation to the belief that GhostSwap gets called most often when the OS senses you are in a hurry to finish an important job.

FUNCTION ChoosePrice(k:LongInt; glossies:Integer;suf95:Boolean; 
quality:Boolean):LongInt;

Returns the recommended suggested retail price for any new Macintosh software program. ChoosePrice a is highly proprietory function and is only used by the very largest companies either before or during the launch of a new release.

The price suggestion is computed as follows: k is the size of the application in kilobytes (if you are guessing at k during pre-development, multiply 150K times the number of people making design decisions).

The k parameter is the most critical since ChoosePrice will roughly compute $100 per k.

The glossies parameter is the second most critical number; it indicates the number of double-page glossy ads that will appear in the next six months. However, if the first six months of glossies will appear before the first version is shipping, you should add a little extra to the function to recoup your financial losses.

The suf95 parameter indicates what the price should end with: if the suf95 = TRUE, then the last two digits of the price will end with “95.” otherwise the price will end with “99” (the default).

The quality parameter is basically ignored in all the latest ROM versions, but is in the definition for compatibility purposes (originally, this parameter indicated the quality and usefullness of the software to determine the suggested price but was later discarded on the realization this factor had no bearing on this decision).

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Backup and Sync 3.46 - File backup and s...
Backup and Sync (was Google Drive) is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a... Read more
iClock 5.5 - Customizable menu bar clock...
iClock replaces the old Apple's default menu bar clock with more features, customization and increases your productivity. Features: Have your Apple or Google calendar instantly available from the... Read more
Garmin Express 6.18.0.0 - Manage your Ga...
Garmin Express is your essential tool for managing your Garmin devices. Update maps, golf courses and device software. You can even register your device. Update maps Update software Register your... Read more
MarsEdit 4.3.5 - Quick and convenient bl...
MarsEdit is a blog editor for OS X that makes editing your blog like writing email, with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support. It works with with most blog services... Read more
Xcode 11.0 - Integrated development envi...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
DaisyDisk 4.8 - $9.99
DaisyDisk allows you to visualize your disk usage and free up disk space by quickly finding and deleting big unused files. The program scans your disk and displays its content as a sector diagram... Read more
VMware Fusion 11.5.0 - Run Windows apps...
VMware Fusion and Fusion Pro - virtualization software for running Windows, Linux, and other systems on a Mac without rebooting. The latest version includes full support for Windows 10, macOS Mojave... Read more
Apple Configurator 2.10 - Configure and...
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
Spotify 1.1.15.448. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
MenuMeters 1.9.8 - CPU, memory, disk, an...
MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for Mac OS X. Although there are numerous other programs which do the same thing, none had quite the feature set I was looking... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Marvel Strike Force is adding Agent Coul...
Marvel Strike Force, the popular squad-based RPG, is set to receive a bunch of new content over the next few weeks. [Read more] | Read more »
Lots of premium games are going free (so...
You may have seen over the past couple weeks a that a bunch of premium games have suddenly become free. This isn’t a mistake, nor is it some last hurrah before Apple Arcade hits, and it’s important to know that these games aren’t actually becoming... | Read more »
Yoozoo Games launches Saint Seiya Awaken...
If you’re into your anime, you’ve probably seen or heard of Saint Seiya. Based on a shonen manga by Masami Kurumada, the series was massively popular in the 1980s – especially in its native Japan. Since then, it’s grown into a franchise of all... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special...
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to... | Read more »
Rush Rally 3's new live events are...
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat... | Read more »
Why your free-to-play racer sucks
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re... | Read more »
Steam Link Spotlight - The Banner Saga 3
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience... | Read more »
Combo Quest (Games)
Combo Quest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Combo Quest is an epic, time tap role-playing adventure. In this unique masterpiece, you are a knight on a heroic quest to retrieve... | Read more »
Hero Emblems (Games)
Hero Emblems 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** 25% OFF for a limited time to celebrate the release ** ** Note for iPhone 6 user: If it doesn't run fullscreen on your device... | Read more »
Puzzle Blitz (Games)
Puzzle Blitz 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Puzzle Blitz is a frantic puzzle solving race against the clock! Solve as many puzzles as you can, before time runs out! You have... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

11″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale today for up to $2...
Amazon has new 2018 Apple 11″ WiFi iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores. Be sure to select... Read more
Select 12″ iPad Pros on sale for $200 off App...
Amazon has select 2018 Apple 12″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for $200 off Apple’s MSRP. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online stores. Be sure to select Amazon... Read more
Get one of Apple’s new 2019 iPhone 11 models...
Boost Mobile is offering the new 2019 Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max for $100 off MSRP. Their discount reduces the cost of an iPhone 11 to $599 for the 64GB models, $899 for the 64GB... Read more
13″ 1.4GHz Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has new 2019 13″ 1.4GHz 4-Core Touch Bar Silver MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off Apple’s MSRP. Overnight shipping is free to many addresses in the US. These are the same MacBook Pros... Read more
4-core and 6-core 2018 Mac minis available at...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2018 Mac minis available on their online store for $120-$170 off the cost of new models. Each mini comes with a new outer case plus a standard Apple one-year warranty... Read more
$250 prepaid Visa card with any Apple iPhone,...
Xfinity Mobile will include a free $250 prepaid Visa card with the purchase of any new iPhone, new line activation, and transfer of phone number to Xfinity Mobile. Offer is valid through October 27,... Read more
Sprint is offering the 64GB Apple iPhone 11 P...
Sprint has the new 64GB iPhone 11 Pro available for $12.50 per month for new customers with an eligible trade-in in of iPhone 7 or newer. That’s down from their standard monthly lease of $41.67. The... Read more
Final week: Apple’s 2019 Back to School Promo...
Purchase a new Mac 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 address qualify for the discount... Read more
Save $30 on Apple’s AirPods at these reseller...
Amazon is offering discounts on new 2019 Apple AirPods ranging up to $30 off MSRP as part of their Labor Day sale. Shipping is free: – AirPods with Charging Case: $144.95 $15 off MSRP – AirPods with... Read more
Preorder your Apple Watch Series 5 today at A...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 5 GPS models available for preorder and on sale today for $15 off Apple’s MSRP. Shipping is free and starts on September 20th: – 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 GPS: $384.99 $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mobile App Developer - eiWorkflow So...
…eiWorkflow Solutions, LLC is currently looking for a consultant for the following role. Apple Mobile App Developer Tasks the role will be performing: ? Mobile App Read more
Essbase Developer - *Apple* - Theorem, LLC...
Job Summary Apple is seeking an experienced, detail-minded Essbase developer to join our worldwide business development and strategy team. If you are someone who Read more
Student Employment (Blue *Apple* Cafe) Spri...
Student Employment (Blue Apple Cafe) Spring 2019 Penn State University Campus/Location: Penn State Brandywine Campus City: Media, PA Date Announced: 12/20/2018 Date Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**732093BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001441-Beaumont-Store **Job Description:** The Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**733770BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 000376-Benton Harbor-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.