These pseudo-sporadic columns are fun, if only because then I don't have to think of new titles all the time. I'm anticipating a ton of news related to System 7, so this space will collect what's interesting.
First off, Dantz was nice enough to send out a free upgrade of Retrospect a few days ago. Retrospect 1.3 improves an already impressive program (which we will review soon, I hope) with full System 7 compatibility, a maximum archive size of one terabyte, and network updating of the [deg]Remote INIT (which allows you to back up remote volumes without file sharing software like TOPS around). One of the neater additions to Retrospect is that if you drag files, folders, or disks on top of the Retrospect icon, Retrospect launches itself and marks those files to be archived. Features like this will require changes in working habits, because I'd have to search through about five folder levels to find Retrospect now, although I suppose I could create an alias for it in System 7.
Second, the rest of this information comes from Mark H. Anbinder, and it sounds like extremely good advice when upgrading to System 7, which I'm sure many of you will do as soon as you can get your hot little hands on that many disks. Thanks, Mark!
Here are a few hints and tips on the subject of upgrading to System 7. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the issues involved, but it should provide some useful information for you.
You really should use the Compatibility Checker on the Before You Install System 7 diskette before proceeding with your installation. Do so while your current startup drive is active, so it can analyze the contents of your current System Folder. LISTEN to what the Compatibility Checker tells you. If the report it generates says that one of your programs is NOT compatible with System 7, and you MUST have that program working in order to function, DO NOT UPGRADE YOUR SYSTEM to System 7. Contact the developer of the program to get an upgrade to a compatible version of their software. (The Compatibility Checker includes contact phone numbers for a large number of vendors.)
Apple recommends installing System 7 onto your System 6 hard drive without removing the old System Folder. You can now do an installation while running from the target hard drive. You can, but you don't have to, start up from the Install 1 diskette before doing the installation.
DO remove any PRE-RELEASE copies of System 7 before installing the release version. If you have installed an alpha or beta of System 7, remove that System Folder before beginning the installation process.
REMOVE any anti-virus INITs from the active System Folder, and restart, before doing an installation. If you have an anti-virus INIT active during installation, it can create problems that may OR MAY NOT show up immediately. Be sure to replace the anti-virus INITs when you are done, making sure that you have the current versions.
If you have an existing Scrapbook file in your System Folder when you do an installation, the Installer will not replace it with the new file. There are some neat things in the new Scrapbook file, so you will want to combine the two using a utility such as SmartScrap, if you need to keep the contents of the old one.
The color map picture in the System 7 Scrapbook is not just a neat picture. If you Copy it into your Clipboard, and then open the Map control panel and Paste, the color map will replace the old black and white map in the control panel.
You can force the current foreground process (whether it's an application or desk accessory or whatever) to quit by holding down the Command and Option keys, and pressing the Escape key. This can be useful if your computer freezes and you can't seem to recover without restarting. Try a Forced Quit first. After doing this, IMMEDIATELY save all open documents and restart the computer; the system may not be in a stable state.
Several pieces of Apple software need to be upgraded in order to work with System 7. These include the Apple CD-SC software, which drives the CD-ROM drive, and the Apple Scanner software. Updates are available from dealers. You may also need to use the new Apple HD SC Setup utility to update your hard disk's driver software.
Technical support for System 7 is available from your usual support providers. For those who don't have expert dealers, user groups, or consultants nearby, or who prefer a different approach, Apple is providing technical support for System 7. Customers who purchase the official Personal Upgrade Kit or Group Upgrade Kit receive 90 or 180 days, respectively, of free support within the US via a special toll-free 800 number. After that period, or for people who choose to copy the System disks at their local dealer or user group without paying for the full upgrade kit, there is a 900 number that you can call from within the US. You will be billed $2 per minute by your telephone company. The number is 900/535-APPL. In addition, Apple has set up an answering system that will play pre-recorded answers to commonly asked questions about System 7. You can call this at 408/257-7700, and need only pay for the telephone call (it is a long distance call outside the immediate vicinity of Cupertino, California).
Dantz Development -- 415/849-0293
Mark H. Anbinder -- firstname.lastname@example.org