Signal 6, November 1983

The Avoided Environment

If the Workshop is installed, but the Office System is the default environment, how can a powered off Lisa be made to go directly to the Environments window when turned on?

Section 1.2 of the preliminary Workshop documentation says to press any key while the Lisa is starting up. If this is tried before the double click is emitted by the speaker, the Startup menu shown on page G2 of the Lisa Owner's Guide is displayed (just as troubleshooting Procedure N on page G23 says), but the Environments window is still never reached. Page I18 says hit any key after the double click, but that doesn't seem to have any effect. Page G26 says to press the Apple and Shift keys after the double click, but the Office System is still reached when this is tried, and from then on, clicking on the mouse fails to work properly!

This problem had even the Hotline people stumped. To reach the Environments window, it seems the Office System has to be started, and then holding down the Apple key while powering off finally does the trick.

1.4 Release Fixes LisaCalc

A number of Signal readers have mentioned hearing rumors about the unreliability of using the Apple-period combination to abort operations. We were also surprised to see a 1.4 version operating system mentioned in a letter from a dealer discussing his experiences using LisaCalc.

A quick check with the Lisa hotline explained everything: yes, there is a problem with using Apple-period (documents can be damaged), but only in LisaCalc, which also has a bug that occasionally causes "long" (on the order of one or two hour) saves when putting a document away.

We've learned that users who have been bothered by these two bugs can turn in their LisaCalc master disk, along with their Office System I and II master disks, and receive a corrected LisaCalc and new Office System (called version 1.4) in exchange. Wouldn't it be great if Apple follows this exchange policy for every new release of the Lisa software?

Why Didn't We Think Of That?

William F. Conde, Jr. of Edina, Minnesota wrote to remind us that using the Shift-Option-0 "privacy feature" (see page C8 of the Owner's Guide) is a nice way to momentarily stop the printer, and is probably a lot more convenient than collaring the mouse with a rubber band, as we explained under Rubber Band Freezes DMP in Signal #5.

A Big Retail Discount

We opened the pages of a local newspaper's business section this week, to find ads announcing that Quest Computers (with offices in Dallas, Houston, Detroit and San Francisco) is advertising the standard bundled Lisa hardware and software for $8,490 "with an additional $1,000 off for the first twenty Lisa buyers!" Outta my way, I'm going to Quest...

More Reader Responses

Our Signal #1 item titled Where To Put That Profile, which mentioned leaving the disk on, even when the Lisa is powered off, prompted a call from Terry Wetterman of LT Consultants (a management consulting firm that specializes in working with disk drive manufacturers). Terry claims the Profile is a Seagate unit with a 10,000 hour mean time between failure rate, which means that leaving the disk on constantly averages out to only a little over a year before it needs its first repair. Terry was also the first to mention that double clicking the mouse before closing a region nicely solves the Shading A Rounded Region problem in Signal #2. (The double click method of prematurely ending a polygon was also pointed out to us by Bill Krause of Island Park, NY, and is briefly mentioned on page C34 of the LisaDraw manual.) Note that our original method would still have to be used for a shape such as the outline for a hotdog, with two parallel lines joining semicircles at each end. In that case, the two arcs on each end are attached by two line segments that can't define a region, so an additional white line rectangle has to shade the middle of the hotdog from behind.


that many special characters can be typed by holding down Option.