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View the documentCompression II Details
View the documentDiskDoubler
View the documentSuperDisk!
View the documentWhere They Differ
View the documentProgram Speed
View the documentSpeed Tables
View the documentFoot Notes

SuperDisk!

Installing SuperDisk! is equally as easy as installing DiskDoubler. If you're running System 6.0.x, simply drag the SuperDisk! Control Panel into your System Folder. For 7.0 users, just drag the Control Panel onto your System Folder and it will install SuperDisk! in the Control Panels folder. Reboot, and you're ready to go.

Unlike DiskDoubler, all you have to do to compress a file or folder is to rename it. Simply append a ".s" to the end of any file or folder from the Finder or when saving documents from any application, and SuperDisk! will compress it automatically. In System 7, Apple built in a rename delay to make it harder for small children to accidentally start renaming files by selecting them and hitting the space bar. Since I personally have no small children around and my cats aren't obnoxious about the keyboard, I turned off the rename delay. You can do this with ResEdit or with a shareware application called Rename Delay Editor from Adam Stein. If you use SuperDisk! a lot, you'll grow to hate that rename delay in System 7, so do yourself a favor and turn it off, or get in the habit of hitting return to begin the renaming process.

You configure SuperDisk! from a Control Panel, but the defaults are in many cases the best settings to work with anyway, so you may not need to mess with the controls much at all. The Control Panel sports an unusual interface with three large, graphical buttons going down the left side. Clicking on one will move it to the top of the column and show its controls. The right side of the panel displays online help which explains what the selected option does and gives you information about why you might want to use certain settings. At the bottom of the column of buttons is another button labeled More Options, which swaps you between the general settings (Alerts, do you want them on or off, Auto X, the self-extracting archive utility, and Security, which lets you assign a password to a compressed file) and the compression settings. The compression options are fun to play with, although they can be a tad confusing since they all change the same options. A running rabbit indicates the speed option (Fast, Faster, Fastest - the rabbit hops faster or slower depending on the choice), a cola can indicates the compression option (Off, Tight, Tighter - the can crushes more or less to indicate the level of compression), and an elephant indicates the amount of memory required (Use None, A Little, A Lot - and the elephant grows or shrinks depending on the choice). At first glance, one might assume that there are nine different settings when there are actually only two, not including "off." The reason these options are a tad confusing is that setting the rabbit to Fast automatically turns compression to Tightest (so the cola can crushes down the most) and memory to A Lot (making the elephant bloat right out). Once you realize that you don't have to change each option, it's kind of fun to play with the controls. The funky controls are in a pseudo-3-D style which you can see slightly more clearly with the aid of some el-cheapo 3-D glasses Alysis includes in the package (at least for one of us - Ken didn't get glasses in his package).