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Connectix Does It Again

by Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor -- mha@baka.ithaca.ny.us

Connectix seems to continually fix something in the Macintosh system software that Apple should have done right in the first place. Virtual was the first (see TidBITS-160 for details of the latest version), and Connectix has filled Apple's potholes with MODE32 and CPU as well. Late last month, Connectix did it again, releasing a patch for a bug in Apple's System Enabler files that come with System 7.1.

According to Connectix, the System Enabler files released along with the new Macintosh models last October, which allow these Macs to work with System 7.1, contain a bug that can potentially cause a system error. Affected machines include the PowerBook 160 and 180, PowerBook Duo 210 and 230, Macintosh IIvx and IIvi, and, we assume, the Performa 600.

Connectix says the bug has caused problems for users of AppleTalk version 58 and Suitcase 2.1 under System 7.1. Specifically, any software making a "GetIndResource" system call with an index out of bounds will cause two low memory globals to be set incorrectly. This could cause a crash at a later time.

Apple engineers have verified the bug and have said that Connectix's patch appears to produce the desired results with no side effects. Apple has fixed the problem within their System Enablers, but corrected versions will not be available immediately. Most likely they will be distributed with the next release of the System software, so users should be able to discard the Connectix patch when they update to any version later than 7.1 of the System software.

Connectix suggests that all users of 7.1 whose Macs require these System Enablers should use the Enabler Patch. It will do nothing if the buggy software is not present, or if a bug fix is already provided via a newer System version.

The patch should be available from most popular online services and Internet FTP archives by the time you read this, and may be distributed free of charge as long as the Read Me document is kept with the software. Publishers interested in including the patch with commercial products should contact Connectix first.

Connectix -- 800/950-5880 -- 415/571-5100

Information from:
Connectix propaganda -- connectix.ts@applelink.apple.com
Matthew Strange -- Matthew_Strange@baka.ithaca.ny.us