Sent: 1/18/97; 12:32:10 PM
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andy G Ihnatko)
Hey, when you were at Expo did you get a chance to see a product called ADB I/O? I wrote about it on MacUser's website...it's a relatively inexpensive ($199) little ADB box which has up to eight switching channels (eg, eight little screw terminals which can either act as switches or detect whether a switches connected thereto are on or off). The primary means of controlling this box is AppleScript.
Now, the odd thing is, it's only with the arrival is this gizmo that I've begun to really get into scripting in a major way. For instance. My preferred software for accessing Compuserve is a simple telnet app. The only thing I miss about the CIS client app is a basic text editor for composing messages. It only took me ten minutes to script it into BBEdit, but why did it take me so many months before I bothered?
But no. I plugged ADB I/O into my ADB bus, installed the software, and in the past week I think I've written more scripts (quantity-wise) than I did the entire year before. Nothing else has truly brought home the power of AppleScript and AppleEvents. Things I've built, thanks to AppleScript, ADB I/O, and a big closet full of junk parts:
o A big, angry red steel "Emergency STOP" button (of the sort which is used to shut down a factory when someone's arm is caught in the machinery) which shuts down the Mac when slammed
o A whirling emergency light which comes on when CallerID detects an incoming call from someone I would rather not speak to
o A Macintosh interface to my Darth Vader Lights, Sounds, & Motion bank. See, this is a way-cool bank which has sort of an animatronic Darth Vader on it. I don't know what I'll use this interface for, frankly, but the fact remains that my Macintosh (or any AppleScriptable app therein) can now make Darth Vader step forward and draw his lightsaber while making eery breathing sounds. Oh, if only there were a System Extension to let one define a BeepScript to be executed alongside a BeepSound!
All of this has led me to one inevitable conclusion: that often, it's not the mere _power_ to do something which will sell someone on a technology...it's the power to do something egregiously stupid on a mere whim. Lessons for the future of the Macintosh, methinks.
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