I do, of course, use the term "hack" in its original sense. Here are some evil things I've unleased upon the world.

WARNING!!! Most of the things in this directory are hacks, some of them are even dangerous hacks. Please use them with appropriate caution. Also, I provide no support for these hacks. If they don't work for you, let me know, but I'm not going to try to fix them.

PowerBook Key Remapping

I've been a mad PowerBooker ever since the initial release, although in those days I could only afford a PowerBook 100 and even that was outrageously expensive. When I got my PowerBook 100 I discovered that the keyboard layout was really silly, with Escape, `, \ and Enter being the biggest offenders. So I hacked it.

I got so many requests for instructions on how to do this I created them and mail them out to various people. The weird thing is that I started getting questions about my instructions on ftp.apple.com. Hmm, I'd never put them up there! So I took a look and found them there; some enterprising Apple employee obviously decided they need an airing. Since then I've taken that file and made it available for everyone to Share and Enjoy. The instructions are a little out of date but they're still surprisingly relevant.

Hacked WriteNow 4.0.2 Updater

WriteNow is, of course, the world's best word processor. Version 4.0 had a number of bugs that were really annoying me, so I was overjoyed when the 4.0.2 updater came over the net. Alas, when I tried to apply it, it barfed because my version of WriteNow 4.0 was a non-US variant. Hmmm, I wasn't standing for this, so I hacked the upd After receiving a number of requests from other WriteNow fans, I made it available on my site.

ICeTEe Prototype

Late one night, Peter and I sat down and thought of the coolest hack, a patch to TEClick to provide command clicking in any TextEdit application. A few hours later we produced ICeTEe, a tiny hack that did this, and released it to the net. After receiving requests from people who'd seen references to it but had missed the posting on comp.sys.mac.comm, I put it up on Redback.

Since then I've completely rewritten ICeTEe and incorporated it as part of the proper Internet Config distribution. But I've decided to keep the prototype around, just for the historical value.

Quinn's ObiWan Sounds

Help me Obiwan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

ObiWan is, of course, the coolest Macintosh programmer help system around. I honest don't know how anyone can work without it. The original versions had these cool sounds that would (optionally) play when you invoked it. Since Peter was worried about the copyright issue raised by these sounds, he decided to yank them.

But the support lives on! If you get my ObiWan preferences file and put it in your Preferences folder, you too can hear the lost ObiWan sounds.


EatAU is a QuickTime component for importing Sun uLaw sound files. I wrote this because I got sick of uLaw playing programs crashing. It also provided valuable experience in writing components, which came in handy for IC. With the advent of QuickTime 2.1, EatAU is completely obsolete and I recommend that you do not install it if you're running QT 2.1. It's still good sample code for writing components though.

EatAU is Freeware and you can get it from my site.


DuoDepth is a control strip module for changing resolution and depth on the PowerBook Duo 280c. I got very sick of the multistep process required to switch between 640 x 480 (256 colours) and 640 x 400 (thousands of colours) on my Duo and decided to do something about it.

With the release of Apple's official Monitor BitDepth and Monitor Resolution control strip modules, DuoDepth is now officially obsolete and unsupported. If you need this functionality, update your system software.

DuoDepth is Freeware and you can get it from my site.


Grabbug was written because I had a hard time capturing zoom rects. I was writing a web page on some of the more subtle features of the Macintosh human interface and I wanted to grab them in action. Unfortunately neither the Macintosh built-in screen capture utility nor the Flash-It (which I highly recommend by the way) can capture the screen in the middle of a zoom rectangle sequence. I then went searching on the net and found the Snapz utility. This claimed to be able to grab the screen at any time, including in the middle of arcade games that don't give time to other processes. Unfortunately Snapz, while it was most probably capable of grabbing the zoom rects, didn't have the temporal precision to grab something as ephemeral as a zoom rect.

I needed bigger guns!

Grabbug is my resulting effort. It includes a MacsBug dcmd to capture screen images and a small utility to dump them out. With Grabbug you can grab screen shots at any time you can stop in MacsBug, which is pretty much any time.

Grabbug is Freeware and is available from my site.

Mr Prefman

Mr Prefman was written because I got sick of people complaining that Internet Config didn't support multiple users on the same machine. While it is possible to do this with IC, it's not much point if all your applications that aren't IC-aware won't benefit. So anyway, I wrote Mr Prefman, which is a little utility that swaps preferences in and out of your Preferences folder. It has its own web page that contains the full documentation.

IC 2.0 now supports multiple preference sets, so Mr Prefman is no longer my excuse for not implementing that feature. As such, it is no longer being actively maintained by me, so it's slipped into the Hacks category. Oh well.

Mr Prefman is Freeware and is available from my site.


WebDocBuilder is a collection of tools for creating SimpleText and HTML documentation from a ClarisWorks 4 document. It has its own web page that contains the full documentation.

With the advent of good HTML editing applications, WebDocBuilder is no longer particularly useful.

WebDocBuilder is Freeware and is available from my site.


FireStarter is a hack that overwrites the screen memory of a victim Mac just by connecting it to the Mac running FireStarter with a FireWire cable. You don't need to run any software on the target Mac. FireStarter won the Best Hack Contest at MacHack 2002.

FireStarter is available from my site.

Quinn "The Eskimo!"
11 Jan 2009