Giving Back to the Net -- We're pleased to welcome our latest sponsor, America Online, the largest of the commercial online services. We've razzed AOL on occasion for blitzing us with AOL software disks, but as the commercial online services go, AOL has been the most forward-thinking. They offered a free Internet email gateway when that was unusual and were the first commercial online service to provide access to Gopher and WAIS databases. The AOL software now supports FTP includes a Web browser.
I think AOL's best move in regard to the Internet has been their Give Back to the Net program, which has funded a number of Internet projects and has established an FTP site that helps spread the load for mirror networks like Info-Mac and UMich. As part of the Give Back to the Net program, America Online will be sponsoring TidBITS for the next year.
It's great to see AOL being a good Internet citizen in this fashion. As the commercial online services added features that enabled their users to access the Internet, one concern was that the influx of users would place a significant drain on free Internet resources. Commercial online services can easily take from the Internet without giving anything back; AOL's Give Back to the Net program elegantly avoids this problem. Here's hoping that the other online services follow suit and find similar methods of supporting the Internet community. [ACE]
"Day Of Protest" Against Net Censorship -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation - in conjunction with the ACLU, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and a host of other groups - is organizing a national day of protest on 12-Dec-95 in an effort to derail legislation before the U.S. Congress regarding the regulation of content on the Internet. If passed, the legislation would hold online service providers criminally liable for material passing through their sites that is deemed "indecent" - a notably (and historically) vague term. Though widely believed to place unconstitutional restrictions on free speech, the legislation could significantly alter the nature of Internet access and use in the United States. [GD]
Important News for Speed Doubler Users -- Late last week, Connectix released Speed Doubler 1.1 to correct a serious problem with the Speed Access component of Speed Doubler. Speed Access 1.1 corrects a problem whereby an uncommon combination of file system calls could cause a disk directory error. Other changes in the update include better performance for high speed serial transfers and improved compatibility with Excel 4.0, Apple PowerPC Upgrade cards, and future System updates. Connectix recommends all Speed Doubler users update to Speed Access 1.1, and though Connectix has announced plans to mail a floppy disk update to all registered users, I recommend you download the update and apply it today - why take chances?
Kudos to Connectix for making an effort to publicize and correct the problem. Not every company has the integrity to ship free update disks to some 50,000 registered users. [TJE]
Connectix -- 800/839-3632 -- 415/571-5100 -- 415/571-5195 (fax) --
800/395-2043 (special Speed Doubler 1.1 number) -- <email@example.com>
ClarisWorks 4 Updater Update -- Unfortunately, the new ClarisWorks 4 updater (see TidBITS-306) only works with the U.S. version of ClarisWorks. Dieder Bylsma <firstname.lastname@example.org >was the first to point this out: "People with international versions will not be able to update their system until later on this month when Claris releases an updater for them." My apologies to anyone who downloaded the updater and then found that it didn't work. [TJE]
Norton Disk Doctor 3.2.1 -- Symantec has released a patch for Norton Disk Doctor 3.2 to address an incompatibility with the Custom Partitioning feature in FWB's Hard Disk Toolkit. Apparently Norton Disk Doctor 3.2 will incorrectly diagnose problems on disks with certain custom partition sizes, then attempt to repair those problems. Only users of the Custom Partitioning feature in any version of Hard Disk ToolKit are affected; if you don't use that feature (or use a different disk formatting package from Apple or another vendor) you don't need this update. Please note that Symantec has apparently moved its Web server in the last few days; if the first URL doesn't work, try the one with the raw IP number. Symantec has posted the updater in MacBinary format. [GD]
Drive Setup 1.0.3 -- Apple has released version 1.0.3 of Drive Setup, a program used to format, partition, and test Apple SCSI and IDE hard disks. Version 1.0.3 makes no changes to the SCSI driver (so many people won't need it), but the new IDE driver fixes cache-flushing problems on machines with IDE hard disks (including 580 and 630-series Macs) plus corrects a crashing problem that may occur while waking up a PowerBook 190, 2300, or 5300. Drive Setup 1.0.3 only works with System 7.5 or later; see the update's ReadMe file for additional information, including using the update with Processor Upgrade cards. [GD]
Truncated Uploads with Fetch -- Several people have reported a bug with Fetch 3.0 truncating uploads on PCI Power Macs using Open Transport via a SLIP or PPP connection. Jim Matthews is aware of the problem, but hasn't had a chance to investigate it yet. However, he offers a workaround that might help: using ResEdit, add a resource of type 'NoOT', ID# 256 to Fetch. That resource forces Fetch to use MacTCP calls rather than its Open Transport code and should avoid the problem. Jim also mentioned that there's a known incompatibility with Fetch and 68000 Macs (the Plus, SE, Classic, and PowerBook 100) related to a bug in CodeWarrior 7. He plans to fix this bug and a few others in the forthcoming Fetch 3.0.1. [ACE]