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Steve Wood's
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Home Page Lives!
November 3, 1999



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I'm writing this column under duress. I'm writing while conducting a conflict test. I'm also kicking myself for not doing this test before I dropped my excellent editor and publisher, Dan Knight, a note this week saying that Home Page appears to break with OS 9. Both Dan and I are avid Home Page (and Em@iler) users. Dan then posted a warning on Low-End Mac based on my report.

Upon seeing my observation in print, I was immediately embarrassed. What I should have said is, "Home Page crashes under OS 9 when you access the spell checker with exactly the extension load on exactly the same machinery that I run!"

Edit MenuOkay. Here's the problem. With my extension set on my machine, I get a crash in Home Page when I try to use the spell checker. There, that's the problem in a nutshell. Home Page, or at least its spell checker, is dead with OS 9. But...isn't there always a but?

With extensions off the problem wasn't reproducible. With Mac OS 9 Base (under Conflict Catcher 8.0.6) the problem wasn't reproducible. Umm. I'm getting worried! And, with Mac OS 9 All (again under Conflict Catcher 8.0.6), nooo problem. Now I know I'm definitely in deep do-do.

Time to start a real conflict test.

First, turn on my "Mac OS 9 Standard Set" again and crash my Mac (Arrrrh, I hate doing this part.) to make sure there really was a problem. The problem occurs when I select either "Check Spelling" or "Check Selection" under the Edit menu's Spelling item.

Restart 1: Problem not reproducible (Spell checker caught my misspelling of reproducible!).

OTUtilityLibWith restarts 2-4, I couldn't open Home Page (or Sherlock 2) because the app couldn't find ">>OTUtilityLib>>." Once the story was over, I never did find the file, either visible or invisible with Sherlock 2 or Norton's Fast Find.

Restarts 5, 6, 7, & 8 (I kept telling CC the problem existed...after fruitlessly hunting for the missing extension.): Whammo, again.

Around restart 6, after lots of app quits and full system lockups, it occurs to me that while I have a jim-dandy backup of my 8.6 setup, I'm naked when it comes to OS 9! Repeated crashes aren't something that exactly enhances your chances of escaping disk corruption.

Restarts 9 & 10: I'm holding my breath as we're down to just three possible culprits. Conflict Catcher says the Acrobat PDF Writer, the Emulator Update Extension for MacsBug, or MacsBug itself is the culprit. I pick Mrs. White in the dining room with the lead pipe! Whammo. I think Mr. Green just got me in the back with the revolver in the computer room.

I'm thanking Charles W. Moore right now for this week's excellent column, MacsBug 6.6: Apple's Free "Crash" Utility, which has made this test considerably easier...providing I actually get an answer.

Conflict Catcher zaps MacsBug on restart 11 and...voilà...the problem is gone. I go on with the conflict test to make sure MacsBug is the culprit. Conflict Catcher informs me MacsBug is definitely the culprit and asks if I want to disable the offending member. I agree and go through the restart process.

But, believe me, I NEED MacsBug! I also suspect I want Home Page more. Or, is it: I want MacsBug but need Home Page. Either way, for now I'm going to have to do without one or the other.

The really good news, though, is that I can use OS 9 while using Home Page. Wouldn't it be great if Apple would revise MacsBug, or even better, if FileMaker would put out an upgrade for Home Page?

I can wish, can't I?

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©1999 Steven L. Wood

reposted 5/12/2000