An Update on 8
Mac OS 8 is well on its way to making its mid-July ship date. The few
remaining bugs are being ironed out, and as I write this, the current
version is f5 (Final Candidate 5). Final Candidate 5 is expected to become
the GM (Golden Master) and therefore go to the production departments for printing to floppies and CDs.
System stability keeps improving and memory requirements have decreased a little in the last build. No major changes to report, although a few icon problems have been cleaned up, as well as a problem in the Extensions Manager About Box. The Launcher is now version 3.1, with a few minor functionality improvements including better drag-and-drop integration. The Keyboard control panel has also been redesigned and is now version 8.0.
Mac OS 8 Pricing
Mac OS 8 will cost $99.95, $69.95 for owners of Mac OS 7.6, and $9.95 if you buy Mac OS 7.6 between June 1st and August 31st. I have already ordered my upgrade direct from Claris (800-293-0617) for $69.95, but in order to get the upgrade for $69.95, you will need to fax a copy of your Mac OS 7.6 CD or owners manual cover to Claris.
Truth Petition Success
It looks as though the Truth Petition has worked, as Mac OS 8 Product Manager Peter Lowe responded to the petition to resurrect Espy as the system font in OS 8. He says that at present, Espy is not a “completed” font, making it unsuitable. He also states that completing the font would have put Apple behind schedule. But, never fear, Apple has listened to its customers, and users will almost surely have the option of using it as the System font in a future (likely maintenance) release of Mac OS 8. You can read the full letter at http://www.ultranet.ca/futursmith/letter.html
Kaleidoscope Now Compatible
Meanwhile, Greg Landweber has released Kaleidoscope 1.7, which is fully compatible with Mac OS 8. This means that die-hard users of the Espy System font won’t have to put up with Charcoal (formerly known as Truth), the System font in Mac OS 8.
StuffIt Deluxe 4.5
Many of you may know by now that parts of StuffIt Deluxe 4.0 are incompatible with Mac OS 8, namely the StuffIt Browser, StuffIt SpaceSaver, and Magic Menu. Files also lose their type resource, and the True Finder Integration (TFI) control panel doesn’t load up at all. StuffIt Deluxe 4.5 will fix all Mac OS 8 compatibility issues, as well as be significantly faster and multithreaded to match the Finder, meaning that you can perform other tasks while stuffing/unstuffing. (I would upgrade just for the multithreaded part. It’s about time!) No release date or price has been set.
Speed Doubler Upgrade
Connectix is well on its way to delivering a new version of Speed Doubler (rumored to be 2.5), which will allow users of Mac OS 8 to again accelerate their systems to the limit through software. This new version will deliver a few more speed improvements, and reduce RAM requirements by removing the multi-copy/delete feature of Speed Copy, which is now integrated in the Finder.
Adam Karneboge (email@example.com)