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MailBITS/15-Jul-91

In late breaking news (I just heard this morning from Mark H. Anbinder and others) it appears that Borland, one of the main PC developers, has purchased Ashton-Tate, makers of dBASE IV, FullWrite, and Full Impact. I don't know the details yet, but I gather some incredible amount of money was involved - along the lines of $500 million. My guess is that Borland wanted to use some of the dBASE technology in its Paradox database, especially since I seem to remember something about a dBASE-compatible database language Borland was working on. I doubt Borland's purchase will significantly affect the Macintosh market for the moment, but it does point toward fewer, larger companies and lots of strategic mergers. Interesting, if you consider that almost no great products have come from a strategic agreement between two well-known companies. More next week.

Mark also writes, "Did you get a mailing from Beagle Bros recently? I just got a great one:"

Sure. We could tell you. But then we would have to kill you.

Everyone knows Beagle Bros wouldn't hurt a fly. So, even if you're dying to know, we can't tell you. Not yet, anyway. When you do find out, we think you'll agree. It was worth the wait. This August, we'll introduce a Macintosh product with unprecedented functionality. A technology breakthrough that will change how you create and process information on your Mac. In addition to the power, you'll like its flexibility and ease of use. Be one of the first to witness the unveiling of this exciting new product. Be sure to bring this flier to Booth #1844 at Macworld Boston to receive a special gift. Then discover this revolutionary new program for yourself. The fact is, we wish we could tell you more. But we can't. Although, we can say one thing for sure. The way you use your Macintosh is about to change.

[Revolutionary, eh? I don't think I've seen anything revolutionary in a long time. Maybe they've come up with MacGuillotine. Nah, Beagle Bros is a good company and has been producing good stuff since the early days of the Apple II. But I do want to know what it is, so Mark had better let us know in a future issue of TidBITS.]

As I just said above, Mark will write and edit TidBITS for approximately a month during our move to Seattle. His first issue will be 29-Jul-91 and we hope to pick it up again for 26-Aug-91. If you can help out with an article or two during this time, Mark will appreciate it greatly. Like the rest of the human race, Mark is very busy and TidBITS can take some time to do, especially if you haven't done it a lot, which he hasn't. So try to pitch in if you can (we already have a couple of people helping out with Macworld Expo coverage), and please be understanding if there are a few more glitches than usual. Creating an issue is fairly complex and I don't know if I've remembered to tell Mark how to do everything.

Poor John Norstad. Just after he finds some bugs in Disinfectant 2.5 and fixes them in 2.5.1, it turns out to be incompatible with Speed Beep 2.0 (and 2.0.5). He writes, "I have verified that my Disinfectant 2.5.1 INIT and Speed Beep 2.0 are incompatible. You can use one or the other, but not both together. There is no workaround. According to the Speed Beep documentation, Speed Beep 2.0 refuses to work if some later INIT also patches the SysBeep trap. The Disinfectant 2.5.1 INIT patches this trap. Do not try to fix this by making Speed Beep load after the Disinfectant INIT - if you try to do this, the Disinfectant INIT will no longer detect some viruses properly! There is nothing I can do in Disinfectant to fix this problem. My patch is very small, perfectly legal, and necessary to properly detect one of the viruses. The only possible solution to the problem would be a change to Speed Beep."

Beagle Bros, Inc. -- 619/452-5500

Information from:
Mark H. Anbinder -- mha@baka.uucp
Beagle Bros propaganda -- D0086@applelink.apple.com
John Norstad -- j-norstad@nwu.edu