[ Below are highlights of an online conference conducted recently in MAUG,
the Apple users section over on CompuServe. Special guests were Cary Clark,
Guy Kawasaki and Dan Cochran, three key Apple managers involved in Macintosh
software development and technical support. They answered questions on
writing commercial software for the Mac, on upcoming Apple products and on
other topics of interest to Mac software developers. The conference took
place on 9/9/84, the day prior to the introduction of the 512K Macintosh. The
questions were asked by various MA UG members.]
Q: Many user groups have purchased " Inside Macintosh" and the Software
Supplement for their members. Can any of the software in those packages be
freely distributed to user group members, in particular the Resource Mover and
A: Those last two are okay for you to informally distribute. We do sell
the Supplement to ensure that everyone receives updates to documentation and
software. It is in your best interest to purchase the Supplement. Also, you
should be forewarned that the Font Editor and Resource Mover have many bugs and
are hard to use. They will both be replaced by the Resource Editor, part of a
future software supplement.
Q: I would like to know what is necessary to get certification for
A: The Apple Certified Developer Program is administered by the Developer
Relations Group. We are looking for a serious commitment to commercial
development of products to enhance the saleability of our hardware. To get an
application, please write to Developer Relations, Apple Computer Inc., 20525
Mariani - MS 23AF, Cuper tino CA 95014.
Q: Is there a license fee for developers to pay to Apple on products?
A: The Finder, desk accessories and system can be licensed for unlimited use
for under $100 per year per product. Such a deal. For licensing, please
contact Toni Tommacci at 408- 996-1010.
Q: What's the holdup on the Lisa 1 upgrades? When will the free one and
the Lisa 2/10 be readily availab le?
A: If you are an Apple certified developer and are having trouble getting a
Lisa 2/5 upgrade, please contact Kathy Schlein at the 20525 address, MS 2T.
The Lisa 2/10 upgrades are not readily available.
Q: I am working on some desk accessories. The problem is that they are too
big, around 16K or more. Is a 512K Mac going to alleviate any problems I am
having with the 'opendeskacc' call NOT preventing a bomb?
A: When you're a desk accessory, you 're a guest in someone else's house so
you gotta be inconspicuous. 16K is toooo big. As a point of reference, the
control panel, which is the largest desk accessory, fits into 6K, with all its
pictures. The 512K really won't help you, since people writing applications
for the 512K Mac will still expect small desk accessories, and there will
still be the large installed base of 128K Macs.
Q: Is floating-point (SANE) stuff going to be transparent in any future
languages? It is a real pain to use it when formulas are complex.
A: Yes, it will be transparent (in-line) in future development languages,
including the Lisa Pascal compiler by the end of the year. SANE is an
insanely great package, IEEE-certified, better than most mainframe pack- ages,
so now we're just making it easier to use. You might say that it's the
numerics package for the rest of us!
Q: I've heard rumors that the Mac ROM has already gone through several
revisions since the Mac started shipping. Any truth to that?
A: The ROM has not been revised since Macintosh shipped. The System Disk
was revised once, on May 7th.
Q: Whatever happened to CoreEdit? "Inside Mac" now says the documen-
tation for it doesn't even exist, and yet I HAVE seen CoreEdit docs in an
earlier version of IM.
A: CoreEdit is only the assembly-language part of MacWrite and has no
system support. It is only a piece of an application. Way back before the
Macintosh was born, CoreEdit was going to be part of the ROM. That's why the
documentation was written back in March of '83. But nothing has been done
since then. The CoreEdit of today would allow you to write only one
application: MacWrite. And that's already been done.
Q: I am a non-certified owner of Inside Mac and the Software Supplement.
But I would really like to know the internal details of the MacWrite file
format. Any way I can get that information?
A: The problem with that is that there are already two formats in exis-
tence, with more to come. If you write any software around it, it will only
work for a limited period of time and will not be compatible with other
programs. MacWrite will continue to change too frequently for you to benefit
from the document format. Instead, you should be compatible with the TEXT
format, which is defined as 'vanilla' text separating paragraphs with
Q: Do you plan to support Macintosh software development on machines other
than the Lisa, like the Apple // or the Mac itself? There's already an
excellent 68000 cross-assembler for the Apple // from S-C Software.
A: Native Macintosh development environments are very important to Apple.
The 68000 Development System will be released in October, and we are working on
a 512K Mac-based native development environment. This environment will
support assembler, Pascal and C in a common support environment. There are
also a lot of third-party native development environments popping up.
Q: Can you tell me what percentage of Macs have gone to Fortune 1000
companies? What would increase penetration of this market for Apple?
A: I'd guess that 5 to 10 percent of Macintosh sales are going to the
Fortune 1000 market. We are expecting to increase our presence in this market
with Macintosh office products such as Applebus, laser printers, file servers,
Q: What is the status of Applebus, in particular the status of an "Apple"
hard disk or networking setup for Macs?
A: You can get the complete specifications for Applebus by mailing $75 to
Apple Computer Inc., 476 Saratoga Ave. - Suite 621, San Jose CA 95129. Please
mention that you want "Inside Applebus". To get a 10-page quicky summary, mail
a note to Apple Comput er Inc., 10455 Bandley Drive - MS 2T, Cupertino CA
95014, Attention: Steve Hoyt.
Q: Several questions. First, is there any possibility of a multi-tasking
version of the Finder? Second, when can we expect 15-inch Imagewriter support?
And finally, how far along is Lotus's product and will it be available when
512K Macs are?
A: Several answers. The Finder will run the calculator, the clock and the
control panel at the same time right now. Really, it is not a Finder
restriction, it is a ROM restriction . 15-inch Imagewriter support is in
beta-test and should show up by the end of September. Lotus will be available
in the mid-1st quarter of 1985.
Q: Is there going to be a double-sided drive?
A: The current ROM supports double-sided drives. Sony engineers are
working on it.
Q: Can you tell us what support MacBasic and MacPascal will have for ROM
A: MacPascal will support all of QuickDraw and a few of the most useful ROM
routines. A future version will support the entire ROM. MacBasic will support
about 250 of the ROM routines.
Q: Why the delay with MacTerminal?
A: MacTerminal is now in production, thanks to its authors, Mike Boich and
Martin Haeberli. Did you know that Certified Developers can license the
source codes for $2500 if they add value or customize it?
Q: What are some of the reasons you're hearing from software developers for
the delays in release of their programs? Are many waiting for the 512K Macs?
A: In general, software developers are not waiting for the 512K release.
Only Lotus is specifically targeting that version of the Mac. The delays are
caused by the "learning hump" for writing Macintosh applications. There's
just a lot to learn about Macintosh, so the second application is much easier
and faster to write. Ask Bob Hardy of Penguin or Bert "BugBuster" Porter of
Blue Chip. On the other hand, look at Filevision and Dollars & Sense. They
wrote those applications in a relatively short period of time and they are in
Q: What are the chances of Apple using the new Motorola 68020 micro-
processor in future versions of the Mac?
A: The 68020 is a neat chip. The Macintosh architecture is processor-
Q: I get the impression that there is a whole family of Macs or other
permutations in the wings. Can you comment on what versions are on the drawing
boards or even possibly on the assembly lines?
A: The next permutation of Macintosh will be the 512K version. We really
cannot comment on future versions except to say that we are totally committed
to the Macintosh a rchitecture.
Q: What's the bozo bit?
A: The bozo bit is a crude form of copy protection, hence its name.
Q: What would Apple prefer to see concerning software copy protection and
software pricing by outside developers?
A: Copy protection should be invisible to the end-user. As for pricing, be
sure your prices exceed your fully allocated costs.