Welcome To Signal!

You are reading the first issue of Signal, a publication designed for "Lisa users and developers". Lisa, of course, is the new computer system officially shipped for the first time this month by Apple Computer. Lisa users are the end-users who have purchased Lisas (typically from a dealer or perhaps through Apple's National Accounts Program) in order to automate their offices and to solve day-to-day business problems. Lisa developers are a group consisting of: (1) vendors developing hardware and/or software products for sale to Lisa end-users, (2) dealers, such as retail computer stores, and (3) original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who incorporate Lisa products and technology in their own products for resale to users.

As Lisa grows in popularity and stature, certain needs will become apparent to Lisa users and developers: the need for information about systems and applications software and hardware, the need for exposure to other users and vendors, the need for a forum for the exchange of ideas, the need for timely data on new products and developments. Signal is here to help fulfill those needs. We hope you will join us.

Why 7 x 9?

The 7 inch by 9 inch format of Signal is no mere accident. All of your copies of Signal will fit quite nicely inside the standard binders that come with a Lisa. The Accessory Binder (that's the one with no title printed on the spine, Apple part number 620-6151) will probably have the most room for your Signal issues, since that binder usually only contains miscellaneous hardware manuals. And don't worry about an index. Future issues of Signal are being planned which will contain complete indices to past issues.

Where To Put That Profile

A strict interpretation of the Profile Owner's Manual may cause one to believe that "flat" means "level", and that a Profile disk should only sit on a nice, firm tabletop. Don't worry, just stack it on top of your Lisa. (The system documentation never actually says to do it, but it's hard to find a picture of a Lisa that isn't sitting under a Profile.) And even though the Owner's Manual may sound like only the Rock of Gibraltar can be an acceptably solid foundation for your Profile, Semaphore has found the unit to be quite good at ignoring bumps and vibrations, even while sitting atop a wobbly desk that begins shaking the moment any large truck comes within a two block radius. However, we do follow the Owner's Manual recommendation to leave the Profile powered on at all times, even when the Lisa is turned off.

Pointers To Pascal

Lisa software developers looking for significant Pascal programs that are in the public domain should consider reading back issues of Pascal News, the newsletter which for a number of years now has been devoted to the Pascal cause. The set of back issues 9 through 21 can be ordered for $32.50 from Andy Mickel (a former editor) at 106 SE Arthur Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55414. Apparently issue #25 is the most recent at this time. Other issues and new subscriptions can be purchased from Charles Gafney (the current owner) at 2903 Huntington Rd., Cleveland, OH 44120. Four issues are currently $15, but the rumor is that the price will go up in July.

A Lisa Bug (Or Feature?)

Heavy-handed typists will be disappointed to discover that LisaWrite and the other Lisa programs all seem to ignore the backspace key if one's pinkie is holding down the shift key.

The Topology Of Lisa Disks

Among the various innovations introduced by Apple in its Lisa product is yet another style of floppy disk. You won't yet find this particular disk on the shelves of many computer stores. The only name we've found for it so far is 687-8001 (the packing list entry for a box of five blank disks). The manuals don't say, but a source from Apple assures us that the edge notch not on the corner is the one for write protecting the disk.