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1,221 words

12K on disk

July 1986


Finder Customizer
This application allows you to easily adjust the way the Finder
displays the desktop. The font and size of the text drawn on the
desktop can be changed, as can the icon spacing and many
other parameters.

Your custom display specifications are saved within the Finder
itself and from then on they will be used whenever that Finder
is in control.

Please scroll to see more information.


Allows you to select the Finder file you wish to modify.

When the application starts up, it automatically opens the Finder
in the current System Folder. If it can’t find a Finder, it prompts
you to use the Open command to select a Finder.

If you have made changes to a previously opened Finder, you
are first asked if you want to save those changes.

Old Finders do not have the ability to be customized. If you
try to open an old Finder you will get a message to this effect.


Writes out any changes you made to the Finder so they are
permanently saved.


This command forgets any changes you have made, and restores
the settings which were last saved in this Finder. It is useful
when you want to undo all changes since the last Save or since
the application was started if you haven’t done a Save yet.


This command forgets any changes you have made, and
restores the standard default settings of a “normal” Finder,
which may or may not be different from the settings last saved
in the currently open Finder. The command is useful if you want
to undo all the changes you ever made to this Finder and return
it to normal.

This command changes all the settings. Many settings can be
changed to the standard defaults individually. For example,
you can restore the standard Small Icon spacing by double-
clicking on the grey icon in the Small Icon View window.


This command exits the program. If you made any changes, it
gives you a chance to save them first.

The Edit menu is only active when a desk accessory is being used.

Small Icon View

Selecting this command displays a grid of icons in the “by Small
Icon” format. By dragging the gray icon, you can set the hori-
zontal and vertical spacing of the grid. This spacing will be used
by the Finder whenever you issue a “Clean Up” command, when
a new icon is created, and when a “gridded drag” takes place in
a “by Small Icon” format window (see the “Always Grid Drags”
command below).

Icon View

This command is automatically in effect when the application
starts up. It displays a grid of icons in the usual “by Icon”
format. You can adjust the grid spacing by dragging the light
gray icon, and the grid offset by dragging the dark gray icon.
The grid offset vertically staggers the icons, allowing you to
space the icons a bit closer together and still read the document
titles. The grid you specify will be used when you do a “Clean
Up”, gridded drag, or when a new icon is created in a “by Icon”
format window.

Text Views

This command allows you to adjust parameters that control
the windows displayed in the “by Name”, “by Size”, “by Date”
and “by Kind” formats, as well as the printed output generated
by the “Print Catalog” command in the Finder.

When you adjust the column spacing by dragging a dotted line,
that line and those to its right are shifted over. The Finder
truncates any text which is too wide for the column (an effect
which is not simulated here), so make sure the Size, Date, Time
and other columns are wide enough. You cannot change the
ordering of the columns or eliminate any of them.

Each column can be left or right justified, and the format of the
date can be set to short (12/25/86), medium (Thu, Dec 25, 1986)
or long (Thursday, December 25, 1986). The date cycles through
the three formats when you double-click in the date column.

Default Window

This command displays a window which controls the position
and size of new windows created by the Finder. The radio
buttons in the window let you specify the kind of view given
to windows of newly initialized disks (windows of new folders
are given the same view that the “parent” window has regard-
less of the setting of the radio buttons).


When this menu item is checked, the adjustments you make to
the icon spacing in the “Small Icon View” and “Icon View” are
snapped to an invisible grid. To make fine adjustments to the
spacing, remove the checkmark. This command is not related
to the “Always Grid Drags” command described below.

Use Zoom Rects

This menu item is normally checked, which means that the
usual zooming effect will take place when the Finder opens
a window or an application. If you remove the checkmark,
the Finder will not use the zooming effect.

Always Grid Drags

This item is normally not checked, which means you can position
icons freely on the desktop. If you check this item, whenever
you drag an icon, it will snap into position on the grid
automatically without having to do a “Clean Up”.

Skip Trash Warnings

checkmark on this item, the Finder will skip the usual warning
that is given whenever you throw an application or System file
into the trash.

The Font Menu

By selecting a font name from this menu, you will change the
font of most text displayed by the Finder. This includes the
icon titles, the window top margin text, all the text in the
Text Views, and the printed text generated by “Print Catalog”.
A check is placed next to the font the Finder will use, unless
that font is not in the current System file.

The font names displayed are those which are installed in the
current System. If you later change the System fonts or use
the Finder with a different System file, the font you specified
may be missing. In that case the default font will be used.

The Size Menu

This menu displays the various sizes you can set the text to.
Font sizes which are installed in the current System file for
the checked name in the Font menu are hilighted. If you later
use the Finder with a different or modified System, the size
may not be available and a scaled font will be used.


This software is provided free of charge. Unmodified copies may
be passed on to others by any commercial or noncommercial
means of distribution. Please give away copies to your friends.

Are you interested in the APL language? MacAPL by Leptonic
Systems is the only APL designed expressly for the Macintosh.
It provides multiple open workspaces, access to ROM, online
help, a freely distributable runtime version, SANE numerics,
clipboard support, a full User Guide, free update subscription,
and many other features at a very low cost.

A demonstration version of MacAPL can be downloaded from
bulletin board systems around the nation. It contains all of
MacAPL except for the Save command. Please try it!

Leptonic Systems Design Co.
405 Tarrytown Road #145
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 682-0377


1,431 words

14K on disk

May 1986


Graphics Program


With the introduction of the Macintosh Plus in January 1986, Apple de-bundled MacPaint from its newer, more-capable and higher-priced computer offering. This created a natural opportunity for third-party vendors to write programs that more fully exploited the potential of the Plus’s high RAM and storage capabilities — and didn’t have to compete with free. Ann Arbor Softworks sprung into the market gap with FullPaint in May 1986, and the influential computer aesthetics journal Verbum declared that “[t]he second wave of personal computer graphics tools came in with a resounding crash when FullPaint was released.”

A full review arrived in September 1986, with Macworld’s Robert C. Eckhardt declaring Ann Arbor Softwork’s program to be the first fully-featured competitor to MacPaint — and a “significant improvement” to it. A feature as simple as multiple windows was enough to expose potential hiding in the idea of MacPaint, which was still limited to one, non-resizable canvas. But FullPaint went beyond implementing the by-now-expected multiple window feature, and implemented an idea still present today in Photoshop: a three-stage toggle for traditional windows, fullscreen-with-menubar/palettes, and completely fullscreen modes. FullPaint’s Perspective and Skew features are another aspect called out in the 1986 MacWorld review that will resonate to users of Photoshop.

About the only complaint MacWorld had with the program was its RAM requirements, which placed limitations on its use with 512k Macs. The review concluded by making the point that FullPaint was an obvious buy to new purchasers of the Mac Plus who did not inherit a free copy of MacPaint from earlier hardware ownership — and who wanted software to put their new machine through its paces. By December of 86 the painting program had reached the Macworld best-seller list , where it would remain for seven months.

In the first Macworld issue of 1987, Adrian Mello was able to collect five programs to vie for the title of “MacPaint’s Successors” , comparing FullPaint along with CheapPaint, MacBillboard, GraphicWorks and SuperPaint. Mello saw FullPaint as the most direct descendent of the Mac’s original painting program, saying it “might just as well have been labeled MacPaint version 5.0”. (Interestingly, the version Mello tested in January of 1987 was labeled “1.0 Enhanced”, the main change in which was the removal of copy protection and the addition of a color printing utility.)

MacWorld September 1986

Indeed, in an issue where Macworld reviewed several large-screen monitors, FullPaint had already become part of the standard testing suite to determine how a paint program with multiple, resizable windows worked on emerging big-screen hardware. In addition, mentions of FullPaint in other companies’ advertisements also increased steadily. From ThunderScan to color-separation utilities to clip-art collections, many ads named FullPaint as an expected part of users’ workflows as an option alongside MacPaint. And when editor Jerry Borrell previewed the Macintosh SE in April, FullPaint was among the first programs he loaded to test how compatible the new machine was.

The idea of an upsell from the Mac’s bundled graphics program was enticing to mail-order vendors. “If you like MacPaint, you’ll love FullPaint” wrote The Icon Review in the April 1986 issue of MacWorld. “This stand-alone painting program is 100% upwardly compatible with MacPaint yet offers a host of exciting new features.” Ann Arbor Softworks itself worked to develop the notion of their product as the natural evolution of MacPaint, asking cheekily “When is a two-year-old an antique?” in an advertisement. “The program that was the star of the industry only two years ago is now the highlight of the history books.”

MacWorld July 1986

The writers of Macworld named Fullpaint an Editor’s Choice that same issue, and by August FullPaint had hit the rental software listings for $11.11. (See this piece by Blake Patterson for more on the oddball, time-limited niche of the “software rental” industry.

Yet the monochrome focus of FullPaint caused problems once the Mac II finally began shipping by the middle of 1987. Although the program apparently worked fine with third-party hardware vendor’s proprietary extensions to enable big-screen support, it was not re-written to support the emerging world of NuBus video cards. Left off the official Apple list of Mac II compatibility, the president of Ann Arbor Softworks himself confirmed that the program would only use the original 9″ screen size — and that his company had “no immediate plans” to offer a fix.

And by the end of 1986, SuperPaint had shipped — Silicon Beach Software’s ground-breaking app which fused object-oriented (MacDraw) and bit-mapped (MacPaint) illustration models into one program. MacWeek’s survey of graphics program during the first week of July 1987 showed FullPaint slightly behind SuperPaint in terms of percentage who owned a copy, but much less often used than SuperPaint (roughly 15% versus 5%.)

By the middle of July infamous rumor-monger Mac the Knife made note of the fading fortunes of Ann Arbor’s cash cow: “with SuperPaint on the market and Pixel Paint and maybe even MacPaint 2.0 on the horizon, the cow may be running dry.” In August, FullPaint dropped off the Macworld Best-Seller list for the first time in six months — with SuperPaint taking its place. By November of 1987 overviews of graphics software had placed FullPaint in a humble, if respected, niche as a “basic enhancement to MacPaint.”

It was arch-competitor Charlie Jackson, president of Silicon Beach, who would write perhaps the best epitaph:

FullPaint has been out since last May, and it had months of initially strong sales. It had good distribution and was a big step forward when it was released[…] About three months after SuperPaint came out, FullPaint sales began to decline. After about six months it reached its current level of negligible sales[…] SuperPaint has been outselling FullPaint 20 to 1.

On February 9th news broke that PC software giant Ashton-Tate would acquire FullPaint’s owner, Ann Arbor Softworks. But the focus was on the forthcoming FullWrite (Ann Arbor’s long-delayed word processor) and Full Impact, a spreadsheet written by Mac legend Randy Wiggington designed to go head-to-head with Microsoft Excel. Nobody predicted a big re-write for FullPaint, least of all Ashton Tate, who confirmed to Macworld that “the company is not upgrading the product.”

Perhaps the cruelest cut came from Adrian Mello’s review of MacPaint 2.0, where he noted “As offered, MacPaint [2.0] reminds me most of FullPaint, a program introduced two years ago that was quickly discarded by most people in favor of SuperPaint.” That Mello had to explain to his readers what FullPaint was speaks volumes. Pulling together a round-up of graphics programs the next month in the September issue, Mello was even more blunt:

“FullPaint is sorely in need of an update. When it was first introduced, it corrected most of the major deficiencies of the original MacPaint, but now it is showing its age. […] its windows cannot grow larger than the Plus’s or the SE’s screen. In its current form, FullPaint is probably not the best paint program for your needs. FullPaint used to serve as an option for users who weren’t satisfied with MacPaint[…] Well the classic is back[…] MacPaint [2.0] is a much better choice for beginners and users who prefer simplicity in paint software.”

David Pogue, writing a similar roundup in December 1989 but focusing exclusively on black & white bitmap apps, was kinder to FullPaint, calling it “inexpensive” and an heir to the “innocent charm” of the original MacPaint.

FullPaint was listed in mail-order catalogs as late as December 1989, over three and a half years after launched. (This may be also testimony to the way that the 9″ monochrome monitor defined the user experience of most Mac users until the Fall 1990 introduction of the LC.) FullPaint still appears in the ad copy of other companies’ promotions in September 1992 as a commonly-used graphics program. And sometimes the last trace of a program is its removal – DublClick updated a clipart package in June of 1993 to change image format from FullPaint — back to MacPaint.

Deke McClelland’s March 1992 round-up of painting programs — both greyscale and color — may represent the last mention of FullPaint in an editorial context, lumping it in with “programs you may have heard offer that you may even own, that have since fallen by the wayside.”

Sample Artwork

Two full-screen bitmap paintings shipped with FullPaint in 1986:


Alphie’s Bar by Fred Zinn


Bamboo Eyes by Dave Zinn

BMUG Lab in UCB Eshleman Hall

358 words

4K on disk

March 1986

BMUG Lab in UCB Eshleman Hall

The Spring 1986 BMUG Newsletter showcases a plan to build a computer lab in Eshleman Hall, the Student Union on the UC Berkeley campus. I’ll reproduce the layout of the lab below, because I think it’s an interesting snapshot of what people thought a lab of Macs should look like at this early point in the computer’s development.

Some things to note:

1) This is a network-centric facility. Two UNIX machines with Ethernet, and a Kinetics AppleTalk Bridge, showed the importance of connecting the Mac’s own LocalTalk technology to the campus backbone. The author of the article, BMUG co-founder Reese Jones, would go on to start Farallon Networking at least in part on the strength of BMUG’s own PhoneNet technology, which replaced Apple’s expensive proprietary cables with cheap phone cabling.

2) There’s a BMUG Reference Library. Presumably this would contain the user group’s own newsletters, along with product manuals and third-party books. If you had a question about how to do something on a computer in 1986, you usually looked it up in a book.

3) Not only would books be stored in the computer lab, but they’d be produced there, too. BMUG specifies that the forthcoming lab will serve as a “resource center for document preparation.” By 1986, Aldus PageMaker had been out for a year, and Desktop Publishing was driving the Mac’s success. A networked Apple LaserWriter Plus (price: $7,000) was shared among all the computers in the lab, offering users output that would have been prohibitively expensive otherwise.

4) Centram’s TOPS (also a Berkeley company) was the file- and printer-sharing solution — because AppleShare didn’t exist yet. TOPS would be a great topic to cover in a future article — it was sort of like Personal File Sharing, and ran on both the Mac and PC (with a LocalTalk ISA card, as Reese’s Eshleman Hall layout specifies).

I’m not sure if this computer lab was ever built — Eshleman did host the Open Computer Facility for a number of years, but I don’t know if the BMUG lab grew into that. The building itself is slated to be demolished in the next few years.

MacWorld Expo 1986 San Francisco

41 words

0K on disk

January 1986

MacWorld Expo 1986 San Francisco

Dates: January 16-18, 1986
Cost: $
Attendees: ?
Exhibitors: ?


CEO John Sculley introduced the Macintosh Plus together with a minor revision of Apple’s laser printer, the LaserWriter Plus.


Seminar Topics