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Eek A Bug! [Picture of Bug]

By "Cajun" David Richard
For this section of our newsletter, we will be reporting on the most common, and the most exotic bugs that we have encountered over the past two months. Keep in mind that these bugs will not be around forever, so enjoy them while you can, especially this issue's Most Unusual.

This issue, we will look at a couple of idiosyncrasies of Maelstrom and our new screen capture program Snapz. Please keep these in mind. From reading this you will be familiar with the situation before it happens, so that if it ever happens to you, you won't freak!

Most Common:

This is not really common, but the situation can be. Many people are working on networks these days. And with the Mac's file sharing system, it's real easy to hook your brand new PowerBook 540c up to your souped up 8100/100 (if you happen to have these things) and transfer files. But, we have discovered a conflict between Snapz and the File Sharing extension. When file sharing is turned on, there is a delay in the action when you hit the hot key for Snapz. Usually, you won't capture the screen you want, and the resulting screen captures are usually corrupted in some way. You will be able to open the screen captures, but they will probably not look like what you were trying to capture.

Work Around:

If you know that you will be taking screen captures, check to make sure that file sharing is turned off. Then go about your business capturing screens. If you need to take a screen capture in an emergency, or do not realize that file sharing is on, try it anyway. We have not narrowed down this problem, and have only noticed it with our games. It may have something to do with apps that write directly to the screen in combination with the delay caused from file sharing. The jury is still out.

Most Unusual:

Imagine being on a quest. You are very determined. Your best friend just beat your high score in Maelstrom and it's there, on your screen, glaring at you. You are no longer the top dog. So you quest out, on a mission to overcome that worthless score. And you play, and play, and play, trying ever so hard to reach that plateau. And then, one day, you are having a great game (or maybe a bad one, it doesn't really matter), and at the end of one of your waves right after you blow up the last rock, nothing happens...

Work Around:

Folks, this is the one bug in Maelstrom that got away. I'm sorry to say this, but there is really nothing that can be done in this instance (except to fly around a lot). We are not to sure what is happening here, but my guess is that Maelstrom is floating a rock around out there, somewhere, and you can never shoot it! This is what we call an infinite loop (sort of). There is really no exit short of aborting the game. The reason that we have not been able to fix this is that it's occurrence is very rare, and it has never happened to us! Go figure.

On that note, I hope everyone had a nice holiday season. Happy '95!

"Cajun" David Richard
Technical Services Manager
Ambrosia Software, Inc.

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