This is the final issue of 1994, since we plan to take the next two weeks off in order to enjoy the holiday season with friends and relatives. As the year ends, we'd like to thank you for participating in the spread of knowledge and ideas throughout the global Internet community. May all your wishes come true. -Adam and Tonya
IBM Halts Pentium Shipments -- IBM said Monday that they are halting shipments of Pentium-based PCs because the risk of floating point division errors in Intel's chips was "worse than previously described." Intel has asserted in press releases and public announcements that the bug's probability of occurring is only once in every 27,000 years of typical use and that the majority of off-the-shelf software would not be affected. IBM, however, said their tests indicate that common spreadsheet programs could generate the error as frequently as once every 24 days when recalculating for only 15 minutes a day. Further, IBM joined Hewlett-Packard in offering to replace flawed Pentium chips at no cost to customers. However, Intel is not expected to supply corrected chips to manufacturers until the first quarter of 1995. [GD]
Our FTP site at <ftp.tidbits.com> (also called <ftp.halcyon.com> because it's one of Northwest Nexus's public machines) reeled under the load placed on it as users requested the updater for MacTCP last week. Unfortunately it seems that the machine claimed "user anonymous unknown" when it meant there were too many simultaneous users logged in. Other users experienced "file table overflow" errors that we haven't figured out yet. Don't worry if you receive one of these errors; simply trying again a few times usually works, and you can retrieve the file from the /comm directory of any Info-Mac mirror site.
In addition, Apple's Communications Products & Technologies group recently upgraded the home site for the MacTCP upgrade, <seeding.apple.com> (a Quadra 700 running FTPd 2.3 and AppleShare 3.0), to handle 25 simultaneous users. [ACE]
Got those MacTCP 2.0.6 Updater Blues? Many MacTCP 2.0.4 users have had bad experiences trying to use the MacTCP 2.0.6 updater (see TidBITS-255). Specifically, the updater application often refuses to update the existing version of MacTCP because the driver resource ".ipp" doesn't match what the updater expects.
The updater works properly on a "clean" copy of MacTCP 2.0.x that's never been installed; however, if you're absolutely stuck without a "clean" copy, this particular problem may be fixed with ResEdit (but no guarantees):
1) Make a copy of the MacTCP 2.0.x control panel.
2) Using ResEdit 2.1.1 or higher, open your copy of the MacTCP control panel.
3) Locate the DRVR resource and open it. You should see only one resource, ID 22, called Driver: ".ipp".
4) Select the driver resource and choose Get Resource Info from the Resource menu.
5) At the bottom of the resource info window are six checkboxes: uncheck the System Heap checkbox.
6) Save your changes and quit ResEdit.
7) Run the appropriate MacTCP updater on your modified copy of the MacTCP control panel.
8) Swap the updated MacTCP and the old MacTCP in your Control Panels folder and restart.
Note that updates to MacTCP 2.0.4 or 2.0.6 cannot be performed on versions 1.x of MacTCP. [GD]
Apple propaganda is now available on the Internet via a mailing list. Thanks to Robert Winston <email@example.com> for alerting us to this list. Send email to <firstname.lastname@example.org> with "sub pressrel Your Name" in the body of the message. You can also put the command "help" or "lists" on a line by itself to get more information or a list of lists on Apple's ListProcessor machine. [ACE]
Pythaeus writes: A computer movie is being shot right now under the name of "The Net" and stars Sandra Bullock (of "Speed" fame). Interestingly, the final scene is a chase scene, and it will be based upon and take place at this year's Macworld San Francisco. The production company is setting up a "real" booth across from the eWorld booth that will be part of the movie. From what I have heard, they are actually supposed to be filming at Macworld.
Santa Claus is online again this year, and will answer email sent to <email@example.com>, thanks to North Pole Productions, a division of the Canadian firm Internet Access, Inc. North Pole Productions has also created a Web site for kids to browse. [ACE]
Multiple Santas -- The Internet Multicasting Service has also set up a Christmas-oriented Web site, complete with a <firstname.lastname@example.org> address and a number of interesting Web pages. This Web site has a Cyberspace Christmas Campaign, in which several corporations, including Sun Microsystems, have agreed to donate thousands of dollars to charities of their choice. The catch is that the donations come in dime-sized increments, one for each time someone on the Internet browses the Web pages associated with those charities. So, for instance, to receive the full $25,000 promised by Sun, the Second Harvest Food Bank pages must be viewed 250,000 times; otherwise Sun gets the unused portion of their money back in early January. Browse early and often. [ACE]