Hints and Tips

by Rohit Khare
The lowdown on the upgrade. To up-grade from NeXTSTEP 2.x to 3.0, quit all other applications, log in as root and run UpgradePrep from the floppy disk. This upgrades the Mach kernel and the PostScript interpreter. Then power down the computer, place the CD-ROM upgrade in its caddy, and position the caddy in the CD-ROM drive. Connect the drive to the computer as specified in your manual and power it up. Now power up the computer.

From this point on, do not eject the CD-ROM for any reason. During the reboot, the computer should recognize the new drive, and when you log back in as root, the CD-ROM should appear in the root directory ("/") after a minute or so. Now launch the The computer will take about 15 minutes reading the contents of your current start-up disk and the CD-ROM.

You will now have two choices: Edit Plan or Upgrade. If you go ahead and click Upgrade, you will lose one item from the 2.x standard release (/usr/bin/jot) and several items from 2.x Extended (many demos and several examples, all in /NextDeveloper; TranScript configuration databases; and several DSP utilities in /usr/ bin/dsp*). If you wish to save these files or are just curious, click Edit Plan. You can now select All Files from the pop-up list and see, on a file-by-file basis, what will be upgraded and what will be lost. You only need to worry about the files with dashes in front of their names all of your other files will be copied into the directory /UpdatedFiles.

Once you're satisfied, make sure all other apps have been shut down and click Upgrade. The process will now take two to three hours for a full upgrade. Do not disturb while it is running.

DataPhile 1.0
Graphic envelopes. Want your envelopes to sport your logo? Your mug shot? Just drag the file over the envelope and drop. Or draw it yourself using DataPhile's built-in graphics tools. Enter Design Mode, edit the Envelope Report generator, and choose Tools Pal-ette from the Tools menu. To edit the characteristics of selected graphics, bring up the Inspector panel.

Another pair of handy tips for graphics in both DataPhile and Create: Pressing a Command key while dragging will override any grid constraints you may have set, and pressing an Alternate key while dragging a control handle ensures that the graphic scales with the original proportions.

Incrementing records. To create a field that increments every time you add a new record to the database, just create a text field that has a "+" (plus sign) at the end of its default text. Simply enter the Design Mode, select the field you want to automatically increment, click the Options button, and type your default text. Every new record you create will have successive values of this serial pattern.

Diagram 1.1
Using palettes. Do you keep dragging items off the palette and have to reset their attributes every time? Just command-click the object in the palette, and you can inspect and manipulate the object itself. The next time you drag that item off the palette, it will have the attributes you set.

Appsoft WriteNow 2.0
Compressing .wn files. Press Alternate-Command-s instead of Command-s, and WriteNow will remove unreferenced graphics and the backup file it keeps inside your .wn document. Note that the Revert to Backup menu choice is dimmed afterward. This option also ensures that text you delete is also wiped clean from the disk.

Rewriting the date. Not satisfied with the "Thu Jul 02 1992" provided by Insert Date? If you would prefer a "Thursday, July 02, 1992" format, type the following into a Terminal window: dwrite GLOBAL NXDate "%A, %B %d, %Y"

WordPerfect 1.0.1
Instant Improv tables. If you miss the Tables feature available in WordPerfect 5.1 on other platforms, there's an easy workaround for Improv users. Just select your table in Improv, choose Copy as Graphic, and paste it into WordPerfect. A caveat: You won't be able to edit the table once you paste it in, so be sure to keep your original handy.

Controlling word spacing. When you force text to be justified, WordPerfect adds or subtracts small spaces between words to even up the ends of lines. If you notice that words are getting jammed too close together, or that you could drive a truck between your prepositional phrases, it's time to get out the Align Options panel from the Align menu. If spacing is too tight, raise Compression from its default of 60 percent to 100 percent; now WordPerfect won't try to move your words any closer together than normal. Similarly, slash Expand from 400 percent (four spaces) to about 130 percent.

Rohit Khare is a 17-year-old sophomore in computer science at the California Institute of Technology.