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Old 12-23-2007, 11:03 AM   #1
fhaber
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 160
Default IIci: Out of the Closet

Pardon the antiquarian bent of this, but it amuses me. I never owned a Mac in the IIci days, and yet I now own two IIcis.

That's right, they're not in the closet, they're working. They're basically toys, because I like old stuff, but they do do duty from time to time on film sets, as working antiques. Once a year someone brings over a Mac floppy or a Bernoulli to read.

I've learned a lot in a couple of dozen hours of fiddling, so let's start with that.

They're both 20MB machines, both with low-end Radius 24x cards, which I run in 800x600xthousands on multisync CRT monitors. With
this help, the machines are actually pleasant wordprocessors, with the site-licensed Word 5.1a that's on them. (I think it's
half legal, since I still know the guy in the NYC ad agency who gave the boxes to me.) Excel 4 is there, and also Quark 3.11,
which I haven't the faintest idea of how to use. The rest is a forest of freeware and shareware utils - some from the old
DTPFORum, some from the web (and lots paid for when I first got the machines in 1996.) Both have 10MB net cards and cache cards.

The hard disks were kinda full, and the SCSI busses are cranky. Recently, a friend gave me a box-full of narrow 1-2G HDs for
the cost of shipping, and I could finally do the free upgrade from Sys 7.1 to 7.5.5. I now can experience the magic of Open
Transport, and actually stay on the web for a whole half hour without crashing, if I watch where I go. I enabled the soupcon of
virtual memory, and the whole machine suddenly got a lot smoother and less crash-prone (although closing a program takes much
longer). Whoopeee, and all that. So now I have two appallingly slow antiques that take up half my life, right? Yes, but bear with me - it's the holidays.

Where I'm totally lost is in the world of PS and TT fonts. These questions may seem very basic to a Machead, but
remember, I'm a PC guy with just an iBook 12 to keep me warm, and I'm more techie than I am a classic Apple-user or design pro.
So, suddenly it's 1996-7, and here are my questions:

o White papers on the Apple site have taught me about early TT, Apple flavor, and something about Type 1. The fonts folder
contains some suitcases, and some fonts that I owned in Mac format, but some of the suitcases appear to contain only
bitmaps/screenfonts.

o There's a program in the Apple menu that bills itself as "Suitcase 2.10p3," with an Apple copyright. I gather this is an
ancestor of the Extensis program? I can make "sets" of fonts with it, but I can't see any effect on the font folder when I do.
Am I missing part of the program?

o There's a Control Panel called "ATM 3.83," but again I can't see any action in the font folder when I fiddle with it. Am I
missing a secret half of this, too? It looks like the stripper version of ATM, and Hypercard won't run without it. But
Hypercard complains about a "corrupt ATM database," and ATM won't create a new database. It also apparently doesn't pre-load
printer fonts to the printer, if that's what it's supposed to do. The database I do have is dated 1992(!), well before I got
the machines. And the free ATM 4 needs PPC. Hints?

o The only sort-of-PS printer in the house is a Brother laser AIO, which is equipped with duplexing and "BR-Script 3,"
supposedly a PS 3 clone. Yeah, right. It has built-in, weirdly-named equivalents to the standard 13, or 35 (some people count
faces, some variants, apparently?). I have no screen fonts for these. The Brother has 32MB of memory, which is far more than
the usual Laserwriter had, right, without a hard disk? Yet I get out-of-mem errors when I try to send fonts to the Brother with
either Adobe's or a shareware manual downloader. OTOH, Word manages just fine with its clone Arial and TimesNR TTs. They load
on the fly, and print reasonably in (two weights +ital), with OK letterspacing. All this, BTW, is using the stock Laserwriter 8 driver that comes with System 7.5, most of it as a "IINTX," since that was the jazziest printer model I remembered (g).

o Now, communicating with these old Macs is not easy. Apple dropped the Appletalk version that the IIci speaks. No USB, so
I'm forced to use FTP. I own the core 13 in PC variants, but these are PFB/PFM. There used to be AFMs on CompuServe, and I used
to understand this stuff, but it's been too long. Friends shower me with pirated font CDS. I wince, but my natural inclination
not to pirate is reinforced - they're all on pirated HFS+ CDs that an old Mac can't read, and by the time I ftp them over from
the iBook (because Apple dropped the Appletalk version that the IIci speaks), they have the wrong type and creator. I have no
idea how to create the info/naming/hinting stuff in a Mac flavor. That all used to be in the magic Suitcase itself, right?
It's not just a container, or a magic folder, but a sort-of data fork?

I was hoping, perhaps vainly, for a leg up from someone who understands this. And no, I can't even play with the clone PS on
the printer from the commandline. BR-3 is apparently not an interpreter, at least over a network cable. That lets out most of
the diagnostics I have, and using UNIX PSfonts (ASCII format).

Even the non-techies can help, just by explaining what they saw on a properly configured 68k Mac, these many years ago. And happy holidays!
-Frank

Last edited by fhaber; 12-23-2007 at 11:20 AM.
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