Apple is a little late with presents this year, but I suppose in the Macintosh world many presents must wait until Macworld San Francisco. I know Tonya's 2 MB upgrade for her Classic will wait until then, at which point she'll actually be able to run, no that's a bad word - let's say push, Word 5 along on the little Classic. Apple has three gifts that you might not have heard about: an extension that fixes some bugs and minor problems in System 7, some new Classic models with more memory, and some new printer drivers. On to the unwrapping!
I personally liked the other names I've heard for this, 7-Up and ElectroGlide, though I suppose the first is taken and the second sounds like aftershave lotion. The main use of the Tune-Up extension, introduced today, is to fix problems you may have experienced in low memory situations. The "Application prefers more memory" dialog box has gone to the great bit bucket in the sky, which will come as a relief to anyone who's replied, "Of course it prefers more memory - we all do!" If there's not enough memory to launch an application, Tune-Up will supposedly quit other applications that aren't in use, though I'm curious as to how it will work. I run about ten programs at once, and I want to specify which one quits when I need more memory. If you run out of memory using background printing, Tune-Up will automatically switch to foreground printing so you don't have to swear at the Mac and quit your application to free up memory. Finally with memory, if you're not using AppleTalk (and the information we have does not specify using it in what way), you'll free up between 125K and 200K of additional system memory.
Tune-Up speeds up lots of things related to System 7, including Chooser operation on large networks and printing on the LaserWriter and StyleWriter (I suspect that fixes to the TrueType imaging code is partly responsible for this, so it may not help much with complex PostScript documents). In addition, Finder file copying is up to 20% faster for large files if you use Tune-Up. Finally, Tune-Up fixes a couple of known bugs with File Sharing and PrintMonitor becoming corrupted. I've run into strange crashes when files are saved to my hard drive over the network, and I've seen cases where the PrintMonitor file grows to the same size as the LaserWriter driver, so I'm hoping that these are the weirdnesses Tune-Up fixes.
Everyone using System 7.0 and 7.0.1 should get the System 7 Tune-Up and install it immediately, if not sooner. Apple will ship it with all new Macs as of the new year, and it will be available free from dealers and user groups, although I think that resellers are not required to give it to you. Licensed electronic services and bulletin boards will have it, which I assume means that ftp.apple.com should get it soon. If you're the sort who wants everything yesterday, you can call Apple after January 13th and order it for $10. I'd wait for the free version.
One thing to keep in mind is that Tune-Up is not a new set of system software. It took Apple so long to get System 7 out the door that they've decided to add functionality through system extensions like Tune-Up and QuickTime. It's easier for everyone involved
Apple -- 800/947-5176
Mark H. Anbinder -- email@example.com