Signal 7, December 1983

What Will 1984 Bring?

As usual, rumors about Apple's forthcoming products are a dime a dozen. Here's a small collection of the ones we keep hearing and which may therefore have a grain of truth:

* Better cutting and pasting, especially between LisaDraw and LisaWrite and between LisaList and LisaWrite, has been a high development priority over the past year and will appear in a new, considerably faster version of the software next month.

* The Profile will be superseded by a 10 megabyte or larger disk mounted inside the Lisa. A very large disk option (around 70 megabytes) will also be available.

* The "twiggy" floppies will be superseded by 3.5 inch Sony floppies.

Lisa could stand a bigger disk, but does it have to also remain tied to floppy technology? Why not offer a 1/4-inch tape cartridge peripheral to allow quick and easy backups? Many engineers seem to feel every microcomputer needs floppies, if only for software distribution, but couldn't short, cheap, disposable tape cartridges be used for that?

Free Report On LisaProject

Papers for the 15th Annual Seminar-Symposium of the Project Management Institute include a 10,000 word report that describes and evaluates LisaProject.

A free copy of the paper, which features comparisons of Lisa with other project management systems, can be obtained by writing author James Halcomb at Halcomb Associates Inc., 510 E. Maude Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086.

An abstract of the report begins by stating that Apple has "accomplished a breakthrough of great historical significance in the field of management by developing its Lisa personal computer system and integrated LisaProject software". A brief article on page 32 of InfoWorld volume 5 issue 48 also describes how Halcomb has joined Lisa with a Hughes 700 graphics projector for generating large displays during meetings and conferences, thereby turning a personal computer into a "conference computer".

How To Lose A Document

Imagine that it is December 1st and you have done a full backup of your Profile to floppies. Each night from then on, you do a "changes only" backup. Around December 5th, someone else in the office hands you a floppy containing a document for you to keep. The document was created October 1st, and hasn't been changed since that date. Say you mount the floppy and move (not copy) the October 1st document from the floppy to your Profile. Note that because you are moving and not copying, the document's creation and modification dates (visible by selecting a non-pictorial view) will not change. Now continue doing "changes only" backups each night. The October document won't be backed up! If you have to restore your system from your backup disks before the next full backup, the October document will be lost.

A Self-Service Gotcha

When our first Lisa was still under warranty, we began having problems with the upper floppy. We removed the complete disk module as shown in the documentation, and then removed the six screws holding in the top floppy and sent just that unit in for repair. Imagine our surprise when the replacement arrived and we found it mounts from the bottom by four screws instead of from the sides by six. Turns out the upper floppy sits on a plate which then mounts to the disk cage. Without noticing, we had removed the disk and plate and sent both in. We had to wait weeks before the plate was recovered and we could finally install the new floppy.

Our Christmas Wish List

We wish a document could be printed by simply duplicating it and then moving the copy to a printer icon, without having to open the document itself.

We wish the repair operation would create a list showing which documents were changed because they needed repairing.

We wish the labels on floppy disks had more room for writing. If you invent a floppy sealed in a white jacket that can be written on (instead of a useless black crinkled finish), please remember you read it here first.

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!