The twelfth chapter of the book “The complete book of Lisa,”
Every computer system, from the largest mainframe computer to the smallest portable,
has a control program that enables you to operate the printer, load other programs,
look at the names of files stored on disk, and perform myriad other useful tasks.
This program, called the “operating system,” is the hub around which
all other software revolves. Some operating systems have become so well known that
their names are part of the standard jargon of computer users and programmers –
names such as UNIX (developed at Bell Laboratories), VM (for large IBM machines),
CP/M (used with many home computers), and MS-DOS (for the IBM PC and compatibles).
On most systems, the manner in which you use the operating system commands and,
in fact, even the structure of the commands themselves, differs significantly from the
way you use the various application programs (the word processing package, the
spreadsheet tool, and data base management system, for example). The reasons
for this lamentable situation are partly historical (it’s always been that way)
and partly cultural (the programmers who traditionally design operating systems
have not been the same programmers who design application software). Regardless
of the reason, you, the user, bear the brunt of this inconsistency. Consequently, using
operating systems often is one of the more frustrating tasks the typical computer user
must tackle. Or it was, until Lisa.
Lisa’s operating system, the Desktop Manager, is a program that closely
resembles the other Lisa programs in ease of use and user interface. In
fact, many Lisa users who have never before used a computer aren’t even aware
that they’re using an operating system because it is so transparent and
so much like the rest of Lisa’s operation.
Lisa’s Desktop Manager performs many functions that you don’t
really think about – or even have to know about. Consider, for example,
the job of finding a particular LisaWrite document on Lisa’s internal
hard disk. That disk holds about 10 million characters. Even assuming that
you’re looking for a 200-page document, it would take up less than 1 percent
of the disk’s capacity. Why isn’t lost in all that space?
When you open a LisaCalc spreadsheet, the LisaCalc menu titles –
not the LisaProject or LisaGraph titles – automatically appear
in the menu title bar. What keeps the right ones in place? How does Lisa know
how to store information on a micro diskette? Surely it must be different from
writing on the hard disk or on the Profile?
The Desktop Manager performs all of these tasks. You needn’t worry
about any of them.
In addition to these invisible tasks, the Desktop Manager performs many
actions you need to know about in order to operate Lisa smoothly, to back
up your files, and to use the utilities provided by the Desktop Manager.
Conventions and components
There aren’t very many new conventions to learn about when using the
Desktop Manager because its user interface is so well integrated with
the other Lisa programs. It has some new components, however, not used by any
of the other programs, though many of these already have been mentioned in
previous chapters. To use the Desktop Manager effectively, you need only
learn about an icon’s properties, then explore the functional icons present
on the desktop.
The icons you control on the desktop – folder icons and the various kinds
of document icons (LisaWrite documents, LisaList documents, etc.) –
have several properties you must understand to simplify operation of the
Desktop Manager. This isn’t difficult, because most of these properties
are things you probably already associate with a document, whether it’s an
electronic document or an ordinary paper one. Beginning with the properties
easiest to understand and progressing to the more complex ones, these properties are:
Name. All icons have a name. This name is centered immediately below the
icon when the icon is on the screen. In many cases, the name is actually wider
than the icon itself. This poses no problem; the name still is centered under
the icon. This name can consist of any sequence of characters available on Lisa as
long as the sequence is less than sixty-three characters in length, and doesn’t
contain any special formatting characters, such as tabs or carriage returns. So,
if you want to name an icon “£ Quotations” or “β
results from experiment,” you can do so.
How do you name an icon? Simply select the icon and start typing. The letters you
type become the name. (Actually, this is, in a way, completely consistent with
the manner in which any text is entered into any Lisa program. When an icon
is selected, its name is highlighted. As in any other program, if you type
when text is currently selected, the typed text completely replaces the selected
text.) The name of an icon can be edited just like any piece of text. Note that
when the mouse-controlled cursor passes over the name of a selected icon, it
automatically changes from the standard pointing arrow cursor to the text cursor.
With this text cursor, you can edit the icon’s name as if it were any
text string, cutting and pasting as much as desired, with only the two
restrictions noted above regarding length and formatting characters.
Even micro diskette icons can be named. These names are recorded on the diskette
itself and can help you keep track of which disk is inserted in Lisa’s
diskette drive. This icon name is conceptually different from the name you write
on the plastic case of the diskette, although most people will use the
same name in each place.
Size. A document or folder icon, regardless of type, represents a file on a
disk (either a diskette or one of Lisa’s hard disks). That file and icon
have a certain size. You can find out an icon’s current size in several
ways, each of which will be discussed later in this chapter. Regardless of which
method you use, the icon’s size is given as the number of blocks it
occupies. (A “block” represents about 500 characters, whether on a hard
disk or floppy disk.) You should pay attention to the size of an icon because
icons of more than about 700 blocks won’t fit conveniently on one
diskette. The amount of free space you must have on your hard disk also depends
on the size of your icons. (Realistically, this will not be a problem for
single-document icons, but it is very easy for a folder icon – whose size
is the sum of the sizes of the icons it contains, to reach these limits.)
Password. Lisa has no notion of “logging on” or of the
identification of the person using it. It does, however, provide password protection
for individual documents in case more than one person uses a single Lisa. When
a password is required for access to a document (how to do this is explained
later), you must type the correct password in a special Dialog Box before the
document will open. A word of caution, however, to those who want to
password-protect every document: If you forget the password to a file, the
only way to recover the file is to send it to Apple headquarters in
California, where special password-breaking programs exist – assuming that
they have the time and inclination to help you, that is. Don’t overuse the
password-protection scheme to the extent that you risk forgetting passwords. In fact,
it probably is better to use passwords only when they’re absolutely required.
Home. Every icon has a “home” – in a folder, on
a diskette, or on a hard disk. When you activate the Save and Put Away
command, the icon will be put away in its home. Locating it again can be
somewhat tricky, especially if you store something in a folder named “Useful
Stuff,” which is inside a folder named “Miscellaneous,” which
is inside a folder named “Save This Folder,” which is on the
second of three Profiles you have. An icon’s first home depends on the
manner in which it is created, and each of the several cases will be outlined
in this chapter when they occur. The most important thing to remember is
that merely positioning the icon on the desktop will not change its home.
An icon whose home is on a diskette will still have its home on diskette after
you move it to the desktop. You can change an icon’s home only by moving
it to a new home – another disk or folder. You can become quite confused by
certain actions on the desktop, if you don’t understand the notion of an
Reference. On Lisa’s desktop you can arrange the icons you’ll
be working with spatially. This may help you remember that one icon is different
from another icon because they are in different places, even if they have the
same name. The Desktop Manager, however, must have a set of unique names
for all icons. This name is called the icon’s “reference.” You
may need to manipulate this reference to use some non-Apple software. How to
do this is explained later in this chapter.
Many icons graphically represent certain Desktop Manager tasks. These
include stationery pads, the trash can, preferences (the Lisa icon), the
clock/calendar, the clipboard, and the calculator (Figure 12-1).
|Figure 12-1: The Desktop Manager function icons representing stationery pads, trash can, “Preferences,” clock, clipboard, calculator, and hard-disk.|
Stationery pads. Stationery pads, which exist for folders as well as
for every type of Lisa paper, represent the command to create a new file. On
Lisa, however, this command is reduced to the notion of tearing off a piece of
paper from a pad. When activated (in one of two manners, to be discussed
shortly), a stationery pad will generate a new document or folder and place this
new desktop citizen slightly to the left and slightly above the pad from
which it was torn. If the name of the pad is “LisaWrite Paper”
for example, the name of the generated document will be the name of the pad
with the current date appended – “LisaWrite Paper 11/21.”
You should not be restricted to thinking that stationery pads and the
documents they generate must be blank documents. Nothing could be further from the
truth. As you will soon see, any document can be made into a stationery pad.
If you design an invoice for your company using LisaDraw, for example, you
can make that document into a stationery pad and tear off a “sheet”
when you need to generate an invoice.
Trash Can. On many systems, the command to delete files is a slightly
scary command. Incorrectly typing a letter or two can result in
the destruction of one or more files you had no intention of deleting. This can
never happen on Lisa, for two reasons. The first reason has to do with the way
you indicate to the Desktop Manager that a file should be deleted. You
don’t designate a file indirectly by typing its name. Rather, you (in
effect) pick up that file directly and deposit it into the Trash Can icon.
There is no typing of file names – with resulting errors that inadvertently
delete a file. The second reason is that even if you put the wrong icon into
the Trash Can (an extremely rare occurrence), you can always reach into the
Trash Can and pull it back out.
Now, you needn’t move every file separately to the Trash Can. You can
move whole folders of icons at once. Or, you can make an extended selection
of icons in essentially the same manner you do an extended selection in LisaDraw,
and move the extended selection to the Trash Can. You can select several icons
at once by holding down the Shift key while selecting the icons with the mouse,
or by drawing a selection rectangle on the screen. (To do this, hold the
mouse button in an area of the desktop that is empty. If you now move the mouse
while continuing to press the button, you can draw a selection box on the screen.
All icons that are completely inside this box when you release the mouse button will
be selected.) Once a set of icons is selected, to discard them, you need only
depress the mouse button on any part of the set and, keeping the mouse button
pressed, move the cursor to the Trash Can. As you move the cursor, outlines
of all the selected icons will follow.
One really great feature about the Trash Can deserves special mention. You can
open the Trash Can (by double-clicking the mouse on the Trash Can icon – the
same way you open any icon) and pull out any document contained in there. What
will reside in the Trash Can is the last set of icons you dumped in there.
Whenever you dump something else in the Trash Can, whether it is a single icon
or a set of icons, whatever was already in the Trash Can is deleted. You
can retrieve anything from the very last set of icons you dumped into the Trash
Can, but nothing from any previous set.
Preferences. Many things about your Lisa are different from anyone
else’s Lisa. You may want Lisa’s “beep” (or “joyful
noise”) to be very loud. You may have both an internal 10MB disk and an
external Profile. You may want the repeating keys on the keyboard to react
really fast. These and many other things describe your preferences for
configuring your Lisa. On many computers, setting these individual preferences
involves a rather detailed knowledge of the operating system and sometimes even the
need to take the machine apart to modify its internals. Not on Lisa.
|Figure 12-2: The Convenience Settings... Dialog Box. This lets you customize many of Lisa’s characteristics to suit your personal tastes.|
Lisa’s Desktop Manager provides these sorts of functions through the
icon that looks like Lisa itself, the icon labeled “Preferences.” Opening
this icon presents you with a Dialog Box with five choices: Set Conveniences,
Select Defaults, Connect Device Software, Install Device Software, and
Remove Device Software. Checking any of these results in the display
of several more choices.
The choices in Figure 12-2 are the convenience settings. These allow you
to set various display and typing parameters to your personal preferences (hence the
The Select Defaults option on the Preferences window allows you to pick which
of the several disks on Lisa is to be used when Lisa is first turned on. Any
disks on the system will be presented to you as choices, including the micro
diskette and however many hard disks are on the system. This option also enables
you to choose between a thorough memory test that lasts about 60 seconds whenever
Lisa is turned on, or a brief memory test that lasts about 30 seconds.
The Connect Device Software Dialog Box (Figure 12-3) provides you with
an unbelievably easy-to-use method for installing new hardware and for establishing
which software is used to connect a new device with Lisa. You would use
this Dialog Box, for example, to tell Lisa that your recently purchased laser
printer is installed in one of the serial ports. You would use the next option,
Install Device Software, to install the software that would enable Lisa
to communicate correctly with this new device. This is one of the truly
sophisticated portions of the Desktop Manager. It is designed so that
when new devices are manufactured they can be packaged together with a micro
diskette containing the software that enables Lisa to use them. This
means that major revisions of the Desktop Manager need not occur just
because a new product is announced, making it easy for other hardware
manufacturers to produce products that work with Lisa – an excellent idea
for everyone, especially you, the Lisa user.
|Figure 12-3: The Connect Device... Dialog Box. This provides you with the means to install new hardware on Lisa. To install a modem from one of two serial ports, for example, you would check the box corresponding to the serial port you will use and check the “Modem A” option.|
The last option in the Preferences window enables you to remove software that is
no longer needed.
Clock/Calendar. The Desktop Manager keeps the time and date using
the Clock/Calendar icon. This icon enables the Desktop Manager to label documents
with their date and time of creation as well as date and time of the last
modification. This is extremely useful in keeping track of different versions of
large, multipart documents. Figure 12-4 shows the clock window. To set
the clock (if Lisa has been unplugged for more than 10 hours or so, or you
need to switch to or from daylight savings time), type the correct time and/or date
on top of the time or date shown in the clock window.
|Figure 12-4: The clock/calendar window.|
Other than that, there isn’t too much you can do with the clock icon. I
typically put it away (in the “Tools” folder with LisaWrite, LisaProject,
and other programs). It seems to take up more space on the desktop than it is worth.
Clipboard. The clipboard is a temporary storage location for any of
the types of information that can be manipulated on Lisa. When you use the
Cut, Copy, or Paste commands on any Edit menus, you really are
using the clipboard. Material that is cut or copied is placed on the clipboard;
pasted material is copied from the clipboard.
If you are ever unsure what is currently on the clipboard, you can open it
to double-check. However, once it’s opened, you can do nothing else with
the clipboard contents. You cannot edit the material stored there in any way.
If it were up to me, I would put my clipboard in the “Tools” folder
along with the clock/calendar. On those rare occasions when I need to open
it, I would go and get it. Unfortunately, it isn’t up to me, or to you,
for that matter. The Clipboard icon is one of several permanent desktop
residents. The Clipboard, Preferences, Trash Can, and hard-disk icons (the
internal 10-megabyte hard disk and the Profile) cannot be removed from the desktop.
Calculator. One of the nicest utilities the Desktop Manager provides
is a calculator. Figure 12-5 shows one of the three types of calculators
provided on Lisa, the four-function calculator. In addition to this
calculator, there also is a “reverse-Polish” calculator and an
“adding machine.” You use any of these by “pressing”
the keys with the mouse-controlled cursor. The results show on both the
calculator’s display and the optional “tape” to the right
of the calculator. A special set of menus associated with the calculator
enables you to select which type of calculator you want to use, show or
hide the tape, set the format for the numbers to be displayed, and cut
and paste information from the calculator to the clipboard, and vice versa.
In Figure 12-6, the calculator window has the tape showing, in the
middle of a long calculation.
|Figure 12-5: The calculator window. This shows the four-function calculator, one of three calculator styles available.|
One interesting characteristic of the calculator is that it “remembers”
the calculations after you close the window. You may be in the middle
of a calculation, have to stop for some reason that requires that you close
the window, then open it later and continue the calculation as if nothing had
interrupted you; you need not write down intermediate results on a scrap
of paper if you are interrupted. In addition, with the cutting and pasting that
is possible, you can attach “adding machine tapes” to a report showing
your calculations, backing up the results in the report. If you don’t
need to save the intermediate results, you can erase the calculator and tape.
Hard disk. Two hard-disk icons correspond, respectively, to the
internal 10-megabyte hard disk and the external 5-megabyte Profile. These icons
look different, but act exactly the same. When one is opened, you are presented
with a list (in one of three formats, explained below) of the contents of
that hard disk. Note that you can have at most one 10-megabyte icon because
you can have at most one 10-megabyte disk drive, but you can have multiple Profile
icons. All of these icons reside permanently on the desktop.
|Figure 12-6: The four-function calculator with the “tape” showing. Note the entries on the tape and the lines for totals.|
Commands and menus
To be as consistent as possible with other Lisa programs, the Desktop Manager has
a customized set of pull-down menus. The titles of these menus are displayed
along the menu title bar whenever there is no active window on the screen.
These titles are:
The Desk menu
The Desk menu lets you open any icon on the desktop or tear off any
piece of stationery without having to touch the icon directly with the cursor.
Every icon on the desktop is listed in the Desk menu when it is
pulled down, so the exact menu will vary from Lisa to Lisa, and even
from time to time on the same Lisa. An example of one Desk menu (mine) is
shown in Figure 12-7. The most important use of the Desk menu
is to provide you with a means of opening up an icon while your screen is
covered with some other work. Otherwise, you’d have to resize or move many
windows to find specific icons.
|Figure 12-7: A sample Desktop Manager Desk menu. Because the Desk menu varies from Lisa to Lisa, yours won’t necessarily look like this.|
The File/Print menu
The Desktop Manager File/Print menu (Figure 12-8) differs significantly
from the standard File/Print menu discussed in Chapter Three,
because you perform types of filing and printing from the Desktop Manager
different from those of the other programs.
Of the first command set – Set Aside Everything and Set
Aside (Document) – only the former usually is active. As discussed
in Chapter Three, this command closes all open windows and places the icons
of those windows on the desktop. It does not, however, cause the editing
changes made since the last time you saved the document to be recorded
on disk. So, if there were a power failure or if a software problem required you
to turn off Lisa without the normal shutdown procedure, these changes would be
lost. The principal use of Set Aside Everything is to clear off the screen quickly.
The second set of commands, the largest on the File/Print menu, deals
with a variety of tasks concerning the copying and storing of Lisa documents.
As in the general File/Print menu, Save and Put Away saves the
recent changes made to the selected icon and then returns that icon to its
home. Open, of course, opens a window to that document.
|Figure 12-8: The Desktop Manager File/Print menu.|
Duplicate is one of the more powerful commands in the Desktop Manager. It
is used to make a duplicate copy of a document, back up the Profile or
internal 10-megabyte hard disk, or back up one micro diskette to another.
Basically, to use Duplicate, you select the icon you
wish to duplicate (document, folder, diskette, or hard disk), then activate
Duplicate. A blinking duplicate icon of the one you selected appears
slightly lower and to the right of the original. You must then move that blinking
icon to its new home to complete the duplication process. If you move the
blinking icon to a blank spot on the desktop, the duplicate will have the same
home as the original.
The Attributes of... command enables you to find out an icon’s home,
determine the number of blocks it currently occupies, and password-protect
the icon (or change the current password). As with any command ending
in “...,” its activation results in the display of a Dialog
Box (Figure 12-9). The password protection of a document is
the most important purpose of this Dialog Box for documents, and the size
reading is the most important for disks, both micro diskettes and hard
disks. Once protected by a password, a document cannot be opened, duplicated,
or deleted unless the password is entered correctly. Recall that if you forget the
password that protects a file, you can do almost nothing to recover the information.
|Figure 12-9: Attributes... Dialog Boxes. These provide you with useful information about documents, folders, and disks. Of particular importance is the ability to set document passwords and sizes.|
Tear Off Stationery is active whenever the current selection is a stationery
pad. It has exactly the same effect as the other two methods of tearing off
stationery: double-clicking on a stationery pad and activating the name of
a stationery pad in the Desk menu. Make Stationery Pad is active
any time a document is selected. When activated, this command turns the selected
document into a pad. This document can be of any length or size. Once a document
is made into a stationery pad, there is no direct way to change it back into a
regular document. The effect of changing it change back can be accomplished
easily, however, by tearing of a piece of stationery and then throwing away the pad.
Backing up the hard disk. It is very important to back up the contents
of Lisa’s hard disks periodically in case some catastrophic event makes a
disk unusable. (Although such events are rare, they can be very expensive
because of the cost of redoing all the work stored on the disk. The back-up
procedure is easy, making it very cheap insurance.) To back up a Profile or the
10-megabyte internal disk, you need a number of micro diskettes (usually between
four and twenty, depending on which hard disk you have and how full it is). To
start the process, insert the first diskette, then Duplicate the hard-disk
icon and move the blinking duplicate to the diskette icon. The Desktop Manager
automatically prompts you when the diskette is full, at which point you insert
the next diskette. This continues until the entire disk is backed up.
The first time you back up the hard disk, its entire contents will be
copied to the diskettes. Thereafter, you will be given a choice of a full
or incremental back-up. A full back-up copies the entire contents of the
disk; an incremental back-up copies only those documents modified since the last full
or incremental back-up. So, you may need many diskettes for a full back-up, but
only a few for an incremental one.
The back-up procedure has one problem: It clears off the desktop. If y
ou have carefully designed the placement of certain icons around the desktop, the
back-up procedure will return each icon to its respective home. Because
I see no reason why this must occur, I consider it to be a bug. Even if
there is some reason why it must occur during the back-up process, it is a nuisance.
How often should you back up a hard disk? It depends on a number
of variables. If your Lisa is used by several people and if important information
is kept on hard disk, back-up should be done at least weekly and maybe more
frequently. If you are the only person using your Lisa, you may choose to manage
your own back-up process, rather than let the Desktop Manager do it
for you. To manage your own back-up, periodically Duplicate the files
you have been working with to diskettes. This provides you with an extra copy
of your important files. When I use Lisa heavily (more than 5 hours a day),
I back up daily and manage my own back-up. This takes less than 10 minutes,
and the peace of mind it gives is well worth the time it takes.
Regardless of which back-up procedure you use and at what frequency, you
should back up all files. There is an ancient (more than 3 years old) saying
in computer science: “If you don’t have at least two copies of
a document, you don’t really care about losing it.” This expresses
the cumulative wisdom of all those who have accidentally erased files, had
disks become unreadable, or mistakenly modified important files.
Backing up programs. It is a good idea to back up the Lisa programs.
Although you always have the diskettes on which the programs were delivered, diskettes
do wear out or otherwise “go bad.” I have experienced the problem
of reinstalling a program from the original diskette, only to have that
reinstallation procedure fail because the original diskette had become
unreadable. To back up the programs, Duplicate the program, its stationery
pad, and its example folder to a blank diskette. This procedure provides you
with a back-up of the program that can be reinstalled on your Lisa, but on
no other Lisa, because the back-up contains the serial number of your Lisa
and the software is designed not to work on a machine with any other serial number.
Passwords are case-sensitive. The passwords you assign to documents
using Attributes of... are case-sensitive. This means that the word you
choose must be used in exactly the same way each time, including upper- and
lower-case letters. For example, each of the following passwords is considered
to be completely different: “kittypie,” “Kittypie,”
“KittyPie,” and “KITTYPIE.” You must either remember
the exact case of each letter, or always use the same case for all passwords.
The Edit menu
The Edit menu (Figure 12-10) provides you with the ability to cut and
paste text when you use the Desktop Manager. Thanks to Lisa’s
extensive use of menus, that is not a very frequent occurrence, but when
it happens, it is handled just like the text editing in any Lisa program.
(If this seems so natural and reasonable to you that it hardly deserves mention,
you probably haven’t used conventional computers much. Typically, you
must learn two or three different ways to edit text – one way when using
the operating system, another when using the text editor, yet another when
using the spreadsheet, etc. After using Lisa you will wonder why so many people
have put up with such difficult conditions for so long.) The commands Cut,
Copy, and Paste work exactly as you would expect when dealing with
icon names and passwords, the two basic text-editing tasks in the Desktop Manager.
|Figure 12-10: The Desktop Manager Edit menu.|
Three other commands are on the Edit menu: Undo Last Change, Select
All Icons, and Copy Reference. As you’d expect, Undo
Last Change lets you back out of any text editing action on the desktop.
You cannot, however, undo most other desktop actions, such as putting an
icon in a folder, changing the folder organization (see Housekeeping
menu below), or tearing off stationery. Select All Icons selects all
icons on the desktop, if there is no open folder or active window. If a folder
or disk (either diskette or hard disk) is open and its window is active,
Select All Icons selects only those icons inside the active window.
(Note: It is impossible even to view, let alone activate, the command
Select All Icons if the active window is an open document. When
the active window is a document, only that document’s program menus are
available and none of the programs’ Edit menus displays
Select All Icons.)
Copy Reference is the most unusual of all commands on the
Desktop Manager. If the programs we discussed so far are the only
software you have on your Lisa, this command will be of no use. If, however, you
have additional software that runs on the Lisa desktop, Copy Reference
communicates to that software the name of an icon. Suppose, for example, you had
a program that analyzed LisaWrite documents for grammar mistakes, clarity
of style, verbosity, and so on. When you used this program, you’d need
a way to tell it to analyze a particular document. Merely typing in the name
of the document is not sufficient, because you may have two documents of
the same name on the desktop.
Although unseen by you, there are document names Lisa uses to distinguish the
various documents you have generated. Copy Reference lets you copy this
name to the Clipboard, so that you can then paste it in place in the
special-purpose software. To do this, select the document, then activate
Copy Reference. The Clipboard will then contain this special name. After
you use Copy Reference, however, you can’t open the clipboard to see this
hidden name. What you will see there is a mini-icon representing the icon,
followed by your name for this document, not the special name used internally
Duplicating a micro diskette onto hard disk. To transfer the entire contents
of a diskette to a hard disk, you cannot simply select the diskette icon
and Duplicate it to the hard disk, because this action would back up
the diskette to the hard disk, erasing the hard disk. To copy all of a
diskette’s contents to a hard disk, open the diskette, activate
Select All Icons to select every document on the diskette, then
Duplicate to the hard disk.
The Housekeeping menu
The Housekeeping menu (Figure 12-11) is used to control the diskette and
the trash can, as well as the display format for folders.
|Figure 12-11: The Desktop Manager Housekeeping menu.|
You do not have direct access to the diskette once it is inserted in Lisa’s
disk drive. At most, you can “suggest” to Lisa that it should
be released. This is done with the Eject Micro Diskette command, the
first command of the Housekeeping menu. When you activate this, the Desktop
Manager will ensure that all the documents whose homes are on the diskette
currently in the disk drive will be returned to the diskette, along with any
changes you made to those documents. It is impossible for you to eject
the diskette and forget to update the documents with the changes you made. Knowing
this, it is easy to understand the only case in which Lisa will not follow
your suggestion that the diskette be ejected: when the changes you made exceed
the disk’s storage capacity (approximately 700 blocks, or about 400,000
characters). Luckily, with diskettes of this capacity, this problem is not
The next three commands of the Housekeeping menu enable you to pick the
display format for folders or diskettes. These formats are:
|A pictorial view, where icons appear in approximately the same form as on the desktop.
|An alphabetical list of document names.
|A reverse chronological list.
Figure 12-12 shows these three arrangements for the same folder, obtained
with the Pictorial View, Alphabetical View, and Chronological View
commands, respectively. Once set, this format choice is retained by the
folder or diskette until you change it. If you use the pictorial view and
want the icons lined up straight in the folder or diskette, the last command
in this set, Straighten Up Icons, will accomplish this. Unfortunately, this
command doesn’t take into account the length of the name of an icon
in this straightening process. In documents with long names, the names may overlap
in this straightened view.
|Figure 12-12: A comparison between the various folder and disk window formats, showing the differences among the three possible views of the same folder. “A” represents the pictorial view, “B” the alphabetical view, and “C” the reverse chronological view.|
The next two Housekeeping commands enable you to correct an error in
a micro diskette or erase a diskette completely. From time to time, the
internal structure of a diskette may be damaged. This happens from a
variety of causes, including improper storage and handling, defects in the
disk itself, and normal wear and tear. When damage is detected, Lisa informs
you that there is a problem and suggests that the diskette surface be repaired.
This usually can be accomplished by the Repair Disk command. When you
wish to erase a diskette completely, it is better to do so by using
the Erase Disk command than by removing all the disk’s files,
because the erase operation also effects the same type of internal check
of the disk’s structure performed with Repair Disk.
The last command of the Housekeeping menu allows you to control the
actions of the trash can. Recall that the contents of the trash can are really
erased from disk only when you deposit the next set of icons into the trash
can. This has two consequences: The disk storage space of the icons you threw
into the trash can is not immediately recovered when the documents are thrown
away; and the amount of time it takes to throw away a document depends
on what you last threw away, since that older document must be deleted
first. In this situation, you may feel Lisa, not you, is in control. The
Erase Wastebasket command gives control back to you. Activating this
command deletes everything currently in the trash can.
When to use the various folder and disk formats. The folder and disk
formats each have their special strengths and weaknesses. I have found the formats
to be best in the following situations:
|Pictorial View. Best used when small sets of icons are logically arranged
in groups and you don’t want to use folders for groups. You may use this
view when you want complete control over the order and placement of icons in
the view, because the pictorial view can be manipulated spatially, much like
the desktop itself.
|Alphabetical View. Best used for high-capacity disks (the internal
10-megabyte disk or the Profile), because the sheer volume of these disks lets
you store many documents. Finding a particular document is much easier and faster
if the list is alphabetized.
|Chronological View. Best used for diskettes on which you manage your
own back-up process. With this disk organization, you can easily determine
the most recent version of a document that may occur many times on the
diskette. This view also can be used temporarily with the hard disks when you
need to see the documents most recently modified – again, to assist
you in managing your own back-up.
More on the trash can. The explanations of the trash can functions presented
up to now have been correct but incomplete. In determining when the trash can
is really emptied, an additional factor is taken into account: the icon’s
home. An icon (or set of icons) whose home is on Disk A will be erased when the
next icon (or set of icons) whose home is also on Disk A is dumped into the trash
can. This holds true whether Disk A is a Profile, the 10-megabyte internal disk,
or a micro diskette. So, if you dump into the trash can icons whose home is
on a particular diskette to make room on that diskette for other material,
you haven’t really made room on that diskette, even if you then throw
away something else on the hard disk. You can observe this by checking the attributes
of the diskette. The amount of free space will be unchanged until you throw
away someting else on that diskette or until you activate Erase Wastebasket.
The Desktop Manager determines the speed of many operations on Lisa. Such
operations include tearing off a piece of stationery, opening a LisaWrite
document, opening the Profile icon, initializing a diskette, or duplicating,
saving, and putting away a document. Some operations whose speeds are not determined
by the Desktop Manager include printing a document (this is usually determined
by the speed of the printer), moving from the beginning to the end of
a large LisaWrite document, sorting a LisaList list, and recalculating
a LisaCalc spreadsheet.
Some speeds determined by the Desktop Manager include:
|Tearing off a piece of blank stationery: 4 seconds.
|Initializing a diskette: 68 seconds.
|Duplicating a document (for documents smaller than 2,500 characters): 8 seconds.
These times don’t include the most common operation performed with
the Desktop Manager, opening up a window, because those speeds depend
on two other factors: whether a program has been used since the last time
Lisa was turned on, and whether a document has been saved and put away
or simply set aside on the desktop. The following table illustrates these speeds:
Opening Various Windows
(average time in seconds)
|First Use*||A Document|
That Was Saved
and Put Away
* First use of program after Lisa is turned on.
** These desktop items cannot be “Saved and Put Away.”