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Easy Errors 1.2

by Dave Rubinic
March 19, 1997

The purpose of this application is to allow you to quickly find out about what a particular error means on the Macintosh and the Newton PDA. Simply select the appropriate system, and type the error number in. For Macs, it will display (if available) the result code word, and a longer description. The result code is what you'd see in MacBugs, or the constant that you would use in programming. The description is generally more meaningful. For Newtons, it will display the error type and error description. It will remember the setting between sessions. If the program doesn't seem to recognize any of the error numbers, make sure you have chosen the correct machine. And just so there is no confusion, this is a Macintosh program. It does not run on Newtons.

I have been asked by several people to include possible causes or fixes for the error codes. Yikes! For most of the error messages, I don't even know what they mean. Its bad enough figuring out why I'm getting an error when I know what the code is supposed to be doing. But I can supply some general trouble-shooting tips and guidelines. Stuff like Bus Errors and Address Errors sometimes seem to occur at random & haphazard times. Usually they can be traced to a conflict between programs, inits and/or the system. Your best approach is to boot up with extentions disabled and see if the problem still occurs. If you can get the problem to consistantly occur at a certain point you can often get in contact with the authors to get the problem resolved, or at least make them aware of it. If an error is occuring because of an update or something you added, try to see what exactly it is about the update that may be causing the problem.

The information for Mac errors is stored in the 'Errs' resource, and can be easily added to or modified. The error number is the resource number, and there is a ResEdit template for editing the fields. The result code field should not be any longer than what can fit in the window. However, the description can extend up to 255 characters, or 7 lines, whichever comes first.

The information for Newton errors is a bit more complex. Lets take for example error -48002, "Store format is too old to understand." The error string is broken down into two parts, "80" and "002". The "-4" is ignored for now. It may cause problems later if they start using error codes that begin with something else, but that would have to be a heck of alot of error codes. The "80" is the error type, which would be "Store Errors." This is stored in the 'NHdr' resource. The "002" is the error number which is stored in the 'Newt' resource. Again, templates are provided for both of these.

The program now supports hexadecimal error numbers. Just preceed your number by the dollar sign. You may enter either word or longword values. It will also accept decimal numbers with a dot in front of them, like some debuggers use. And of course it still takes just a plain old decimal number.

The application window will shrink if you click on the "grow" box in the upper right hand corner. This is a result of complaints that with the large text field, the window takes up too much room on smaller monitors. I couldn't make the text field smaller, since some of the error descriptions used all of it. The program will now remember your window positions between launches. If you run into trouble with the window positions, deleting the 'pref' resource will reset them to default.

This is a Fat application, meaning it has code for both 68000 machines and Power Macs. I
realize that the program isn't speed critical, but I thought the native code would help cut down on context switches on the Power Macs. If you really don't want the PPC code, you can just delete the data fork. Please don't give your copy out if you do this, though.

Because of the memory manager that Apple has implemented in newer Systems, the memory requirements for displaying the About Box may have increased. In past releases on some machines, the window would appear blank. I've tried to make the correct settings to that this should no longer occur, but if it does you can simply increase the memory allocation until the box is displayed. If you don't care about seeing the About box, you can set the memory to the minimum and the rest of the program will still run comfortably.

Easy Errors is freeware and may be freely distributed and used, but may not be sold without my consent. Of course I won't turn away any donations either, or send them to your favorite charity in my name. This text file must be included in all distributions. Do not distribute the application with any modifications. The latest version of this and other programs can be found on my web site at

The information for the Macintosh errors was gathered from Apple's SysErr.a file, Inside Macintosh VI, and System Errors 7.01 by "Dr. Pete" Corless. The Newton Errors info was compiled for me by Bill Kearney and Howard Oakley. While I cover many errors in this program, if you have any error codes that are not included, please send them to me so I have them for future releases.

Icon by David Asbell.

I can be reached via E-mail at the following addresses:

America Online: DaveR9

or via US Mail at:

Dave Rubinic
1315 Pieffers Lane
Oberlin, PA 17113-1016

Version History
1.2 - 06/19/97

- Added even more Mac error codes.

- Added prefs file to retain window positions.

1.11 - 03/09/95

- Added a bunch of new Mac error codes.

- Modified shrinking behaviour to use grow box instead.

- Added PPC native code.

- Increased the memory partition so that it works under System 7.5's new memory manager.

1.1 - 01/29/94

- Added options for Newton codes.

- Added the option of entering errors in Hex or Decimal format.

- Fixed an annoying bug that messed up SE's & Plus' running 6.0x w/Multifinder.

- Added the shrinking feature.

1.0 - 03/11/93

- Initial Public Release.

Original file name: Errors Info - converted on Sunday, 21 November 1999, 19:18

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