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Ask Dave
by Dave Hamilton

He from whom all Mac knowledge flows...




ViaVoice Errors, Networking, & Proxy Servers
January 14th, 2000

Good day! Today we explore a very strange error message a reader encountered using ViaVoice, we discuss upgrading to Mac OS 9 with older applications, and we dig into the meanings of proxy servers and SOCKS servers for Mac users, and what that means for accessing nonstandard Internet applications. So, without further ado, here we go!

Michael Urban writes, "I recently installed ViaVoice for Mac and have encountered a problem. I am running a 233 MHz G-3 with 72 Megs RAM and lots of HD space, all under OS 8.6. The problem is that when I try to open ViaVoice I get an error message indicating that "NameRegistryLib" is missing, causing the program to quit. The only place I have ever encountered this library is among the stub libraries provided to developers. I have not found it on either my OS 8.5/8.6 disks nor on OS 9. Furthermore, because the ViaVoice program is on a CD as a VISE archive, I am unable to examine the contents of the program to determine whether or not this extension is included and perhaps not loading. So I have several questions; 1) where does one get "NameRegistryLib", 2) is it an Apple product or a third party (IBM) product, and 3) are there any utilities similar to TomeViewer that allow one to peek into a VISE archive to examine and extract components?

Michael -- This is a strange problem, indeed. Some digging here reveals the following: NameRegistryLib is an Apple product and CAN be found on the Developer's CD. However, the reason it can be found there is that it's compiled IN to applications (from what I can tell). The bottom line is that you don't need a separate Extension in your System folder, it should already be "included" -- either in your System file or inside the Application (that much wasn't clear from the information I found). What was clear (and what makes this even MORE interesting!) is that, according to both an Apple Developer Q&A page and an FAQ I found on Apple System Software, this error only happens when you're on a non-PCI-based Mac. Judging from your description, it sounds as though your machine is very PCI, so this doesn't make sense (or maybe it does? Is your machine an upgraded 8100?).

That said, I'm back to the gut feeling with which I started this little crusade: RAM. Now, the Spec. Page for ViaVoice says you only need 48MB of RAM to run this software. To be honest, I've never run this software on Macs, but I HAVE seen it run on PCs, and I've seen it eat up TONS and TONS of system resources. Anyway, back on topic, I remember many times on my Mac over the years, I've gotten a "Can't locate SomeSortaLib" message when trying to launch an app, only to find that file RIGHT in my Extensions folder. Each and every time, freeing up some RAM (either quitting other apps, rebooting, disabling other extensions, and things of that nature) solved the problem. This happens when an application can grab enough RAM for its partition (the one you reserve with the Finder's Get Info->Memory dialog), but also needs to load things into the System heap and can't due to lack of available RAM left AFTER the application grabs its chunk. So my guess is that, while ViaVoice says you only need 48MB of RAM, YOU need more (perhaps ViaVoice needs 48MB free for itself?). This is either due to the way you have your System configured, extra extensions, a RAM disk, applications running in the background, etc. Try paring down your system to a stock 8.6 configuration and see what happens -- also disable any RAM disks you have and turn down your Disk Cache (both in the Memory Control Panel) to give yourself a running start.

Marci Lee writes, "Help. A miracle happened on my street! I received an iMac (400 mhz/DV) for Christmas. The only trouble is all my software and files are located on my PowerMac 7100/80/AV (you know -- those macs you used to have to mortgage your house to buy). How can I network the 7100 and iMac together to share files and programs? Plus, I have a lot of software but it is all "pre-baby" (i.e. five years old). Will any of it work on the iMac OS 9?"

Marci -- to answer your first question, both computers have Ethernet capability, so you should be able to use that to transfer information back and forth. You will need to invest in two things -- an AAUI->10-BaseT converter for the 7100 (to convert its custom Apple Ethernet port to a "normal" Ethernet port), and a "crossover cable" (I've been told that Radio Shack now knows what these are and stocks them in their stores!). You plug the converter into the 7100, and then plug one end of the crossover cable into that converter, and the other into the jack on the side of your iMac. Enable Appletalk ("via Ethernet") and File Sharing (via their respective Control Panels) and you're good to go.

As far as whether or not your software will work on Mac OS 9, well, that's a good question. With the changes to the API's (the way developers have to "talk" to the operating system) in Mac OS 9, there were a lot of applications that needed to be rewritten to work properly. Version Tracker has kept a very complete list of applications updated for Mac OS 9, so that's the place I would look first if I had a question.

Doug Stuart writes, "The problem I face is I have a new Powerbook G3 333 setup on a Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0 and I cannot use AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo! Chat, Yahoo! Games, or any java applets on Yahoo! Also I cannot download a few types of files, mainly Javascript things. I cannot use QT streaming to watch Steve Jobs presentations (which I have been wanting to do for a while). We are on a high speed T1, and I want to take advantage of that since I don't have it at home (I'm at college). Now, I'm able to access the web because of the HTTP proxy settings I was given. However, Information Services is reluctant to help me when I want some settings for the SOCKS (which is setup on this network, so I'm told), and they put it on my shoulders to figure out (like I have enough time to research this). Okay, so my question is, "Why am I not able to access Javascript or applet applications, and why am I not able to use AOL Instant Messenger or RealPlayerG2?" Also, how would I go about handling SOCKS settings?"

Doug -- I get questions just like this a lot (which seems strange to me!), so I figured it was time to include one of them here. The answer to your first question is explained in your e-mail -- The Proxy server (and natural filtering that occurs because of it) is what's causing you grief with your "nonstandard" applications. For reference, a proxy server essentially acts FOR you on the web (hence the name "proxy"). You pass a request to it (like you did for this web page), it goes out and retrieves the information, then passes it back to you. By limiting the types of information that the Proxy will handle, the network administrators can control the security of the network and ensure that no unauthorized attempts (from the outside world) are able to make it into their network (and to your PowerBook). The Proxy is probably set up to handle nothing more than Web access (and *maybe* e-mail, unless that's handled internally), so you can't access anything else, unless you have a SOCKS server.

SOCKS Servers are a type of proxy server, but they handle many different kinds of requests. So this is probably your best bet. A SOCKS server typically runs on port 1080 of a given machine, but you have to know the domain name or IP address of that machine in order for anything to work! The only place (and the expected place) to receive this information would be from your network administrator. If they can't or won't give you access to this, then you're out of luck, I'm afraid.

That's all for this week, folks. Feel free to discuss this or anything else you have on your mind in the Ask Dave! Forums. Of course, you can e-mail me directly at askdave@macobserver.com, and I'll try and help you out!

P.S. Have a Nice Day.

is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.

Ask Dave is here to answer all the Mac questions you have. Networking, system conflicts, hardware, you ask it, he can answer it. He is the person from whom all Mac knowledge flows....


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