Mark H. Anbinder forwarded us this useful bit of information. Apparently you cannot set up either the Quadra 700 or 900 as a headless file server (i.e. Mac, but no monitor) due to a bug in System 7.0.1. Apple says that the "Macintosh Quadra computer will not operate properly unless a monitor is connected." I don't know what they mean exactly by "not operate properly," but you probably won't want to test this by replacing your main file server. If anyone knows what the problem is, do let us know for a future issue. The problem only affects the Quadras, and Apple is working on a control panel that will allow you to set up a headless file server. That extension should be available sometime toward the end of the year. Stay tuned.
Virtus, the people who do the Virtus WalkThrough 3-D drawing software have come up with the best general use for QuickTime that I've heard so far. This doesn't imply that the people at Virtus are geniuses so much as it does that almost no one is sharing their QuickTime plans. Version 1.1 of Virtus WalkThrough will export walk paths to the QuickTime Movie format. You can create a fancy 3-D picture and make a path through it to display the various cool details that you put in. By exporting that path to the Movie format, any mainstream application that supports QuickTime will be able to display these movies. In a textual description of a floor plan, you could include movies showing how people will walk around pieces of furniture to show that there is enough space. One thing I like a lot about this use QuickTime is that it decreases the amount of printed reports and presentations, since there is no way to print a movie.
Many people who buy the StyleWriter or DeskWriter after having used a PostScript printer and Apple's LaserWriter driver are disappointed that they have fewer options in the Print... dialog box. GDT Softworks, the wizards of third party printing, have come up with BetterWriters, a driver for QuickDraw printers that helps with this problem. BetterWriters supports the Apple ImageWriter I, II, LQ, and StyleWriter, as well as the popular HP DeskWriter. Some of BetterWriters's features include reduction and enlargement from 10% to 400% in 1% increments, larger print area on the DeskWriter, custom paper sizes from one to 100 inches, even/odd printing, front-to-back and back-to-front printing, page flipping and inversion, and cover pages. GDT also claims that BetterWriters will have smoother graphics because it does greyscale pattern matching. Another enhancement includes custom screen fonts to speed up printing. BetterWriters works with the Comm Toolbox in System 6.0.2 or later, and is supposedly System 7-savvy, although GDT doesn't elaborate on that claim. GDT's main difficulty will be persuading people to shell out $69 for a a printer driver when a functional one comes with the printer for free. The main disadvantage I see for the current program is that it doesn't include spooling capabilities. BetterWriters should work fine with SuperLaserSpool, but if you can hold on for a bit, GDT's Steven Gully assured me that the next version of BetterWriters will have spooling built in. Steven also said they're mulling over the possibility of adding AppleTalk support for the AppleTalk ImageWriter and the DeskWriter when attached through AppleTalk rather than a serial cable.
Virtus -- 919/467-9700
GDT Softworks -- 604/291-9121 -- 800/663-6222
Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor
Steven Gully, GDT Softworks -- GDT.MKT@applelink.apple.com
GDT Softworks propaganda