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On this page, News items from: December 1997 -- 44 news items

December 1997

SAM 4.5.1 conflicts with PC Compatibility 1.6.4. 12/31/97 -- An item from Paul Jacoby in the MacDOSCard mailing list reports an extension conflict between Symantec Anti-Virus for Macintosh (SAM) 4.5.1 and version 1.6.4 of Apple's PC Compatibility Card software. The conflict causes the Mac to crash during startup. (SAM 4.5.1 is a patch required for Mac OS 8.) Jacoby says that making SAM Intercept extension load later in the startup process works around this problem. He said that Symantec suggests moving SAM Intercept from the Extensions folder to the root level of System folder, which will make it load last.

Helios to show Rhapsody servers at MacWorld Expo. 12/31/97 -- Helios Software GmbH, a vendor of Unix/RISC-based network and prepress/OPI server software, will ship Rhapsody versions of all of its software server products when Apple releases Rhapsody. Helios will demo the Rhapsody servers at MacWorld Expo San Francisco next week at its booth (North Hall #3780) and at Apple's Rhapsody Developer's Pavilion (North Hall #3080).

Rhapsody Yellow Box for Windows 95 runs in a Mac w/PC processor card, though slowly. 12/31/97 -- Software engineer Randall Venhola installed Rhapsody Yellow Box for Windows 95 DR1 on a Mac with a 100 Reply (now Radius) MHz Mac-in-DOS card. He said that performance on the DOS card is very slow, but he was able to get the Bourne Shell (which runs at the DOS prompt) to do advanced UNIX commands directly on the Windows 95 file system. Venhola also thinks the Yellow Box interface builder, which he learned in a few hours of working with it, was better than the Borland C++ Builder.

Venhola, of Fraser Valley Distributed Computing Systems in B.C., Canada, builds custom Mac and Windows software engineering tools and applications for vision systems and image analysis. Venhola first posted a notice on the MacDOSCard mailing list.

It's official--DAVE 2.0 to ship next week. 12/30/97 -- Thursby Software Systems yesterday released a press release announcing that Dave 2.0 will ship next week. (See MacWindows News item of 12/22/97 below.) DAVE 2.0 gives Macintosh users the ability to access files on Windows NT and other Macintosh users over TCP/IP instead of AppleTalk. Windows NT and Windows 95 can access the Macintosh resources using standard Windows network protocols SMB and CIFS.

NT DHCP Server now supports BootP. 12/30/97 -- Microsoft's Service Pac 3 for NT Server includes a DHCP Server that can dynamically assign IP addresses to clients using BootP, an option popular with Macintosh users, among others. You can scan the Service Pack 3 Readme file (located in MacWindows Tips), thanks to frequent MacWindows contributor Richard Birchall. He also sent in step-by-step instructions on how to setup IP address reservations in Windows NT, (located in MacWindows Tutorials), which is currently required.

Looking for a Mac NFS client? 12/30/97 -- Several readers have suggested the use of TCP/IP-based file transfer, such as FTP and NFS as a solution to cross-platform file sharing on LAN intranets. Unfortunate there are no longer any Mac NFS (Network File Sharing) clients. Apple's Evangelist email list recently had a posting from John Sommantino, a consultant who is looking for large organizations that would be willing to buy a site licenses for a Mac client to NFS--TCP/IP-based . Sommantino has a client that needs a Mac NFS client, and has found a vendor to produce a robust, low-cost client IF they can get enough customers.

If you are interested, let Sommantino know at john@wombo.com. He also wants to know how much you think a Mac NFS client would be worth (individually and per site license), and how many copies you might need. An email to Sommantino is not a product order or a commitment.

Gemulator 98 for Windows 95/NT emulates decade-old Macs. 12/29/97 -- Gemulator 98, from Emulators Inc., emulates the Macs with 68000 processor (the Mac 512k and the Mac Plus) by using an ISA card to hold Mac ROMs--you have to supply your own Mac ROMs. However, Emulators Inc. says that running Mac in emulation on a Pentium 200 is 20 times faster than a Mac Classic. Gemulator 98 ($139.95) also emulates Atari. A 68040 version is due next month.

PC Exchange chokes on non-English languages. 12/29/97-- The PC Exchange control panel can't read locked PC floppies that contain non-U.S. English characters. Vegard Brenna reports that if either the disk name or file names contain characters above the ASCII value X'7F', which are used in most European languages, the Finder presents an error message "This action could not be completed because the file could not be found." Brenna says that all European languages except English and Italian have alphabets of more than 26 characters. Brenna tested on Norwegian version of System 7.6.1, and said the problem occurs within SoftWindows as well as in the Finder.

The problem is that when non-U.S. characters are used in file, folder, or diskette names, PC Exchange builds an invisible Finder.dat, Desktop and Trash files and folders on the PC floppy , even just to read the names. With a locked floppy, these files can't be written. Unlocking the floppy allows you to read mount the diskette--unless the floppy is full , with no empty space. Brenna reports that Software Architects' DOS Mounter also has this problem but Insignia's Access PC (discontinued July 1, 1996) didn't have this problem. (This item has been added to MacWindows Tips.)

This problem is related to another problem reported here on 12/19/97 (see below), which I've updated slightly and added to the Tips section.

Madge Token Ring and Mac OS 8. 12/29/97 -- Madge systems has posted a note on its web site that says it's PCI token ring card and Mac driver do work with Mac OS 8. Madge doesn't support the Mac driver, but does offer it free at its web site. The note says "some testing has been done on MAC OS versions 7.5, 7.5.5, 7.6, 7.6.1, and 8.0, and with version 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, or 1.2 of Open Transport on Apple PCI based Macintosh machines, and no problems have been seen." The note contains a list of Macs tested.Thanks to Wynand Bodewes of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam for alerting us.

MacWindows News to break until December 29. 12/24/97 -- Though the MacWindows server will continue operate, will be taking a break from posting new information on MacWindows until next Monday. Happy Holidays!

Result graphs of all 13 tests now online. 12/24/97 -- Yesterday, only 4 of the results graphs were online. We have all 13 online online now.

Special Report: Windows on Mac. G3 not enough for emulators--hardware solution still significantly faster. 12/23/97 -- Our report on SoftWindows 95, Virtual PC, and Orange Micro's coprocessor board is now online. Orange Micro's lower-end OrangePC 536 card ( $846) with only 16 MB RAM ran Windows 95 nearly twice as fast as the emulators running on G3 chips with up to 40 MB of memory. This study varied processors and RAM, and found that for emulators, the speed of the processor is a more important factor than the amount of RAM assigned to the emulator.

Faster, cleaner Java engine for Mac OS 8. 12/23/97 -- Apple has released a new Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ) 2.0 available on the Internet free to anyone. MRJ's new features include "just-in-time compilers" for PowerPC and 68040 which Apple says can provide speed up the performance of Java applets and applications. MRJ 2.0 also sports a new interface that works more like Mac OS 8, which is required for the new version. Apple plans to have MRJ run on Mac OS 7.6.1 in early 1998.

Mac OS Runtime for Java 2.0 implements the Sun's Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.1.3 and has passed the Java Compatibility Kit (JCK) tests. Apple says that MRJ 2.0 is completely JDK-compliant, and includes support for Java Beans, Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), Remote Method Invocation (RMI), and Java Native Interface (JNI).

Thursby's DAVE 2.0 beta 4 now open to everyone. 12/22/97 -- After numerous requests from the public, Thursby Systems has now made the final Beta version of it's cross-platform networking software DAVE 2.0, available to the general public. While earlier betas of DAVE 2.0 were publically available at Thursby's site, the company had made the final Beta 4 available only to owners of DAVE 1.0. (See MacWindows news of 12/17/97 below.) Final shipping of the finished product is still scheduled for next month.

PC Exchange 2.1.1 can't read, corrupts some PC floppy disks. 12/19/97 -- Apple reports that the PC Exchange 2.1.1 control panel that shipped with Mac OS 7.6 and 8.0 has problems reading certain DOS-formatted floppies, and can, in some cases, corrupt the data on the disk. The problem causes part of files to appear garbled. The problem occures with floppies formated with FAT16 (File Allocation Table 16) written to their boot records, but which actually contain FAT12 directories. This only occurs on disks formatted on some Windows PCs. PC Exchange 2.1.1 reads and checks the FAT field, determines it is a FAT 16 format, and reads the data incorrectly from the clusters on the disk.

The corruption of all the data on the disk can occur when PC Exchange 2.1.1 writes anything to a disk that contains a FAT12 format, but thinks it's a FAT16 format. Apple reports that merely inserting and browsing the contents of an unlocked DOS formatted disk can corrupt the DOS disk. The Finder can create or updates a FINDER.DAT file on an unlocked floppy disk, even when you're just reading the disk.

Apple offers two work-arounds:

  1. Use PC Exchange 2.0.7 and earlier versions, which ignore the field in the boot record, or
  2. Reformat the PC disk as a Macintosh disk, then reformat the disk as a PC disk.

Dana Emery suggests another workaround to prevent loss of data -- set the write-lock tab on PC floppies before inserting them into strange Macs.

New version of SoftWindows 95 emulator to sport 25% speed boost. 12/18/97 -- Insignia Solutions will demonstrate SoftWindows 95 5.0 at Macworld Expo in San Francisco next month. According to Insignia, SoftWindows 95 5.0 will run Windows software 25 percent faster than version 4.0.1. The new version also incorporates some of the technologies used in RealPC (Insignia's Pentium emulator that comes with DOS, including multimedia and game drivers for Windows 95. However, the emulation engine of SoftWindows 95 5.0 is different than that of RealPC. The new version of the Windows emulation software for Macs will ship sometime early in the first quarter of 1998. Insignia expects the price of SoftWindows 95 to remain at $199. Current owners of SoftWindows 95 will be offered an upgrade at a price that is still undetermined.

Special Report: Macintosh access of Microsoft Proxy Server on Windows NT. 12/17/97 -- MacWindows Tips now contains a special report on connecting Macs to Microsoft Proxy Server, an NT-based server that provides a firewall and gives a local network of computers access to Internet services. Unfortunately, Macs have problems connecting to it, particularly with email. The report contains a list of SOCKS-compliant Mac client software that can connect to MS Proxy Server 2.0. If anyone else knows of any more SOCKS-compliant Mac applications, please let us know.

Thursby's DAVE 2.0 networking gets close to shipping with beta 4. 12/17/97 -- Thursby has made available it's final pre-lease beta of Dave 2.0 before shipping the finished product next month. Registered users of DAVE 1.0 can now download the Beta 4 version of Dave 2.0. DAVE 2.0 provides Macintoshes with a NETBIOS driver over TCP/IP and client software to allow Mac users to access Microsoft networks. DAVE 2.0 adds a server portion that allows Windows machines to access Macintosh shared folders. If you're not a user of DAVE 1.0 and want to take a peek at what's in DAVE 2.0, you can download the final manual for DAVE 2.0.

Thursby warns users of DAVE v2.0 beta 3 that to prevent the Mac from crashing during the installion of beta 4, they need to boot with extensions off before installing DAVE v2.0 beta 4.

Apple reports Windows ODI networking problem with Mac G3 and PC Compatibility Card. 12/16/97 -- A new Apple Technical Info Library note says that an Apple PC Compatibility Card in a Power Mac G3 has problems using the Windows ODI driver (MACODI.COM). Apple says to use the NDIS driver (MACNDIS.DOS) for networking instead of ODI. Power Macintosh G3 users with PC Compatibility Card should also run PC Setup 1.6.4 (See MacWindows news item of 11/20/97).

Windows NT version of Miramar MacLAN to ship next week. -- 12/13/97. Miramar Systems will ship a new Windows NT version of it's AppleTalk-based file sharing and printing software, PC MACLAN for Windows NT ($249), on 12/19 in North America. European distribution will probably be in the first or second week in January. Like the Windows 95 version, PC MACLAN for Win NT will enable Macs to access PC drives via the Chooser, and will enable Win NT users to access Mac files and AppleShare file servers using the Network Neighborhood. Like the Win 95 version, the new NT version includes file and print servers, file and print clients, and the AppleTalk stack. Miramar says that PC MACLAN for Windows NT will run on Windows NT 4.0 Server and Workstation. (See MacWindows Solutions for a summary of the MacLAN line.)

New Power Mac G3 Ethernet Driver, Version 2.0.1 -- 12/13/97. Apple has released a new v 2.0.1 Ethernet driver for G3 Macs to fix to fix two problems with 2.0: data corruption over the built-in Ethernet port, especially when the Ethernet network is experiencing heavy traffic, and failure to connect to an auto-sensing 10/100-Mbps Ethernet (Fast Ethernet) hub or switch. You can download the new driver here.

UserLand Software ships first cross-platform version of Frontier. 12/13/97 -- Frontier version 5.0a22 now available for Windows as well as Mac OS free from the Frontier web site. Frontier is a scripting language, a database, an outliner, an editor, and a debugger combined into an integrated work environment. UserLand says you can open Mac Frontier file on Windows and also open a Windows Frontier file on the Mac.

Mac access to NT Proxy Server doesn't look good. 12/12/97 -- A number of people have been asking about how Macs can access the Microsoft Proxy Server on a Windows NT server. I found a report at Apple's Evangelist site. It doesn't sound very encouraging. The author's bottom line is that Macs cannot log into Proxy Server 1.0, but might be able to log into 2.0 if they used an Mac email client software that supported SOCKS authentication. However, the author didn't know of any such apps. If any MacWindows readers have successfully connected Macs to the MS Proxy Server on NT, or know of SOCKS-combatible Mac email clients, please let us know.

Orange Micro claims new board runs 6 time faster than emulators on G3. 12/12/97 -- Orange Micro sent me performance test data concerning it's new OrangePC 550 coprocessor board (see yesterday's news) and two emulators running on a G3 Mac. They ran Ziff Davis' Winstone 98 in Windows 95 , used by PC Magazine and PC Computing to test PCs. Winstone uses a macro to run and time standard Win95 applications. The results (higher is faster:

Connectix Virtual PC 1.0.1 2.27
Insignia SoftWindows 95 4.0.1 3.28
Orange Micro OrangePC 550, Intel Pentium MMX/233 32 MB 13.6

The emulators ran on a Power Mac G3/233 64 MB with Adaptec/Seagate UltraWide SCSI, System 8.1b4 using HFS+ formatted drive and virtual memory turned off. 44 MB memory dedicated to software emulators for 32 MB of PC memory, 2 MB video and maximum performance of delta cache (in SoftWindows).

They used a rather high video resolution, 1024x768x16 (I usually test in 640x480 colors), which would slow the emulators down more than the Orange PC board. Also keep in mind that both Connectix and Insignia claim that Winstone is not an accurate test of their products. My tests of actual Win95 applications showed that Orange Micro's low-end 526/166 card with 16 MB RAM was about twice as fast as Virtual PC and SoftWindows on G3 Macs with 40 MB. I also found the same difference in speed between the two emulators. (My full report will appear here on Dec. 22.)

Orange Micro ships fastest coprocessor board. 12/11/97 -- Running Windows on a Mac will get faster with Orange Micro's new OrangePC 550 coprocessor board, the first PC coprocessor board for Macs to sport 3-D video hardware and 3-D WaveTable sound chips. The 550 also has 4 MB of Video DRAM and 512K of level 2 Pipeline burst cache, along with the standard high speed serial, parallel, game and sound in/out ports. Prices vary with RAM and processor--the fastest is now a 233 MHz AMD K6 MX processor ($1516 with Win 95 and 16 MB RAM). Also new is 32 bit driver support for Win 95, which enables Mac users to view Win 95 CD-ROMs using long file names. Orange Micro says the 550 card will be demonstrated at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, booth 643, and will ship in January.

I will be reviewing this board when it is available, and will post test results here. (See MacWindows solutions for a summary of the competing coprocessor boards.)

OrangePC 32-bit Win 95 driver upgrade to be available to owners. 12/11/97 -- The 32-bit Windows 95 driver support shipping with the new OrangePC 550 will be available for owners of OrangePC series 400 and 500 coprocessor boards in the form of a software upgrade. Orange Micro said that customers who bought a board after Dec. 1, 1997 will get a free upgrade to version 3.0 of the Orange PC software. Other owners will be able to get the software upgrade for $39. The upgrade should become available towards the end of January.

Orange Micro offers Easy Install for Window NT. 12/11/97 -- When you order Windows NT with an OrangePC coprocessor card for Mac, you'll now get the same Easy-Install software option that Orange Micro ships when you order Windows 95. The option installs the OrangePC software and Windows all in one step, automatically configuring drivers. I haven't tried the new NT version, but the Win 95 Easy Install is as, well, easy to install as the PC emulators, SoftWindows 95 and Virtual PC.

Mailing list for coprocessor cards users. 12/11/97 -- MacDOScard, a mailing list that provide information about PC coprocessor cards for Mac, is accepting subscribers to this list. Just email a request to anthony@tm.net.my. You can get more info at the MacDOScard home page.

Miramar Supports Win 98 in PCMacLAN Win 95 upgrade. 12/10/95 -- Miramar is shipping version 6.2 of it's AppleTalk/AppleShare peer-to-peer software for Win 95. The new version runs on Win 95 and Windows 98 release OSR2. Enhancements include dynamic reloading of AppleTalk without restarting Windows, and a fix that allows applications with 16-bit calls to access networked drives properly. There have been improvements to the File Client, Print Client, and File Server (click here for a full list of new features). Miramar has also added support for Universal Serial Bus (USB) at a low level, though PCMacLAN can not yet network over USB. Owners of PC MacLAN for Win 95 v 6.1 can download the update for free. Owners of version 6.0 or 6.01 of PC MacLAN for Windows 95 should call (800-862-2526 ) or email Miramar for pricing info.

DataViz reports problem with Mac OS 8 and MacLink Plus. 12/10/97 -- Some Mac OS 8 users are getting a dialog box that says "the demo version of MacLink Plus has expired" or "translator can't be found." DataViz says the problem is that the Mac OS 8 installer sometimes mis-installs MacLink Plus or the translators. DataViz recommends reinstalling using a procedure described on its Web site.

Cross-platform multimedia information. 12/10/97 -- Rich Young has created a Web site with information on taking multiple media across platforms.

IBM denies that OS/2 is dead. 12/7/97 -- MacWindows news of 11/26 (see below) referenced a ZDnet story that said IBM was dropping the OS/2 operating system. IBM General Manager for OS/2 Donn Atkins wrote a letter to ZDnet denying the rumor.

Free Timbuktu upgrade. 12/7/97 -- Netopia (formerly called Farallon) is offering an upgrade to Timbuktu Mac 4.0.2 for owners. The new version of the cross-platform screen sharing and file transfer software fixes a number of small problems, such using less memory to copy files from PCs.

PC Emulators on G3 Macs fly, but still not as fast as the real thing. 12/6/97 -- I've been conducting nearly 1000 tests of SoftWindows 95 and Virtual PC on a variety of processors, from a 601/100 to the new G3/250 (a.k.a. PowerPC 750). The emulators on G3 Macs really fly, but they're still not as fast as an Orange Micro OrangePC board with 166 MHz Cyrix 686 (Pentium clone), even when the emulators have more than twice as much RAM allocated as contained on the board. I'm conducting the tests for an upcoming Computer Currents column and for an expanded MacWindows review which will appear here in a few weeks. (See MacWindows Solutions for a description of these products.)

New PC Emulator said to ship next month. 12/6/97 -- The web site of the mysterious Lismore Systems now says the company's Blue Label PowerEmulator for Macintosh will ship in mid-January. The Lismore site was recently updated after 5 months of inactivity and no response to my Emil inquisitions. The site still claims that the new PC emulator will be faster than current products, and still doesn't list an address or country of origin for Lismore. Thanks to Tom Gillespie for alerting us to the new posting.

COPSTALK v2.5 supports AFP over IP. 12/4/97 -- COPS recently release version 2.5 of COPSTALK ($159), its AppleTalk/file sharing client for Windows (see MacWindows Solutions). The new version supports Apple's AFP-over-IP features built into Mac OS and in AppleShare IP 5 server and Open Door Network's ShareWay IP. When the Windows user connects to a local AppleShare IP 5.x server, COPSTalk 2.5 automatically switches to TCP/IP. The AFP-over-IP server shows up in the Windows 95 Network Neighborhood.

NT Server with lots of Mac files eat RAM. 12/4/97 -- Microsoft claims that NT Server can run with 32 MB RAM, but no one takes that seriously. Our informant who runs the 200+ Mac site with NT servers says that he had an NT 3.5 server with 64 MB RAM, dual Pentium/90's, and a 24 GB RAID with a single Mac volume holding about 700,000 files. This caused many problems, including Mac clients that would freeze for several minutes at a time when the volume was mounted. They increased RAM to 128 MB, increased net bandwidth, replaced the processors with dual P150s, and increased the RAID to 36 GB, all to no avail. Finally, they double the server's RAM and to 256 MB. The problems disappeared immediately.

Netopia offers holiday discount for Timbuktu Mac. 12/4/97 -- Netopia (formerly Farallon) is offering a discount for the Mac version of its Mac-to-Windows screen sharing and file transfer software, Timbuktu 4.0. Until December 31, Netopia is offering 2 copies of Timbuktu Pro 4.0 for Mac OS for just $99.95 plus shipping and handling, which is $89 off the regular price. There's an extra $10 discount if you buy it on-line. Unfortunately, the discounts only apply to North American sales, and not to the Windows versions.

Orange Micro discontinues NuBus coprocessor boards. 12/4/97 -- Orange Micro has dropped its OrangePC Series 300 boards for NuBus Macs. The boards contained a 5x86 processor running up to 120 MHz processor with a max of 64 MB on board. Orange Micro's PCI boards start at $349, and can contain Pentium processors and PC ports.

Word 97 converter reported in MacWeek same as MacWindows listing. 12/3/97 --MacWeek readers may notice that last week the magazine reports the availability of Microsoft converters that let Word for Mac 5.x and 6.x open Word Win 97 files. This isn't really new--these are the same files that have been described and linked in MacWindows Solutions for several weeks.

AppleShare IP / SMB clarification. 12/2/97 -- A reader points out that if a future version of AppleShare IP supported SMB (as reported in yesterday's news below), all Windows machines would be able to log into an AppleShare IP server without the need for the AppleShare for Windows client. By the way, I should emphasize that this is a rumor, not an announced feature.

AppleShare IP to support SMB. 12/1/97 -- The Macintouch page (on 11/21) reports a rumor that Apple is planning to support the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol in Microsoft Windows NT protocol in a new version of AppleShare IP due next spring. SMB would allow Windows NT machines to connect. The current 5.x version comes with AppleShare Client for Windows 3.x and Windows 95 only. In addition, the new version of AppleShare mail server is supposed to support IMAP, and the new print server reportedly will TCP/IP printing.

Macintosh-to-Windows, Win CE wireless file transfer. 12/1/97 -- MacWeek reports that ReUDO Corp. of Japan will ship three communications products for moving files between Windows and Macs at the January Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Two of the products, Xin/XoutIII RedEye and R Link DUO, enable infrared communications at 115 kbps over a converter box that plugs into a Mac's serial port. Xin/XoutIII Windows CE uses a cable to connect Windows CE palmtops to Macs. Xin/XoutIII RedEye is meant for Mac communication with Windows 95 laptops with IR ports, and will include some file translators. R Link DUO is for wireless downloading of files from digital cameras. All three products will cost $99.

File transfer for Windows CE Palmtop and Mac. 12/1/97 -- Robbie Sturtz didn't want to wait for ReUDO's Xin/XoutIII Windows CE to move files between Windows CE and Macs, so he created his own method using cables and RealPC. We share it with you in MacWindows Tips.


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