More Buster updates coming
Open Transport 1.2 fixes several long-standing bugs I attended the first day of the MacHack developers conference yesterday. Unfortunately, I missed the keynote with Steve Wozniak - as it started at midnight the night before. However, shortly after my arrival in the morning, I had the pleasure to meet and talk with a couple of well-known shareware developers: Greg Landweber (of Kaleidoscope fame) and Jon Gotow (creator of Sleeper). I also managed to attend several sessions over the course of the day. For end user troubleshooting (the focus of MacFixIt after all!), one particularly noteworthy session was Richard Ford's talk on the future of Open Transport. Some of what he said is not all that new, especially for those with access to pre-release versions of Mac OS 8, but it was none-the-less a great summary. Here are the highlights:
a. More Busters Between the release of Mac OS 8 (Tempo) next month and Allegro (some time next year), there will be two smaller updates to the Mac OS. The first is code-named "Bride of Buster," likely to be released this fall. The second is code-named "Buster's Sister" and will likely be released in early 1998. (Who exactly is Buster anyway??)
Update: Scott Travis and Ehren Schwiebert wrote in to tell me that Buster is in fact a nickname for Gil Amelio. (I hope no one is now thinking, "Who exactly is Gil Amelio anyway??")
Several readers contend the name Buster is simply short for "bug buster." However, I am sticking with the Gil nickname theory for now. Btw, Ehren wrote that he learned this tidbit during a Mac trivia contest.
b. More Open Transport Each new Mac OS update will likely contain an updated version of the Open Transport software. In fact, at least 7 updates to Open Transport are planned between now and the year 2000. Open Transport will not run under Rhapsody of course; these are updates planned for the current Mac OS. But clearly Open Transport is far from "dead."
The one downside here is that each update to Open Transport will not be backward compatible with pre-existing versions of the Mac OS. Thus, you will need to upgrade your system software to the latest version in order to use the latest OT version.
The version of Open Transport to ship with Mac OS 8 is version 1.2. According to Richard, there is still some discussion as to whether an exception to this just-stated rule will be made, allowing OT 1.2 to run with Mac OS 7.6. If the exception is not made, it means that OT 1.2 will only be usable by 68040 and PowerPC machines - as they are the only ones that can run Mac OS 8. Mac OS 8 will also include OT/PPP 1.01.
c. Bug fixes There are a slew of bug fixes to be included in Open Transport 1.2. Several of them fix problems that are all too familiar to regular readers of MacFixIt - as they have been mentioned here numerous times.
Here is a partial list of bug fixes for OT 1.2 and for OT/PPP 1.0.1 (more details will be available in the Read Me files that will ship with Mac OS 8):
- OT 1.2 fixes the Ping of Death problem as well as the related Denial of Service problem (sometimes referred to as SYN-attacks).
- It fixes the problem that was patched by the OTSlowLinkTuneUp extension (as found on MacInTouch, where this issue has been discussed in some detail), making the extension unnecessary. This will increase web server speed to clients using a modem. For end users, it will also reduce the incidence of web pages loading without all the graphics on the page loading (due to timing-out). There will be a related fix to how OT caches IP addresses that will eliminate a phenomenon where a web server's performance gets progressively slower over hours of use.
- It fixes a crashing problem that can occur when reconnecting to the Internet if AppleTalk is turned off. This had been addressed by AOL's OpenOT extension, making the extension unnecessary. It similarly eliminates the need for the work-around, previously mentioned here for FreePPP users, of installing the OpenTptRemote file from OT/PPP.
- It fixes the "serial port busy" bug that has been reported with the use of certain Global Village modems. GV has a separate fix for this that has been in beta, but should be released in a final form very soon.
- The OpenTpt Serial Arbitrator file, included as part of OT/PPP, will no longer cause a system crash with extensions that open the serial driver at startup. This was a problem, as covered here before, most often noted with the serial port version of Wacom tablets.
d. The future The next version of OT after 1.2 (to be shipped with Bride of Buster) should include "single link IP multihoming." This means that you will be able to have multiple IP addresses with a single Ethernet link. Also coming later this year is ARA 3.0.