DarkSide Common DarkSide problems or questions

Q: Do I have to pay for DarkSide?

A: As of 5.0, DarkSide is now shareware. This means that if you continue to use DarkSide, I ask that you become a registered user. It's not expensive, and it supports this web site, which I assure you can be quite expensive to run.


Q: Is DarkSide year 2000 complient?

A: Applications on the Macintosh have to go out of their way to not be year-2000 complient. DarkSide is, as far as I am aware, just fine. One reason I'm fairly sure of this is that DarkSide doesn't actually use dates anywhere within the code.


Q: I'm seeing lots of crashes since downloading (5.0 or 5.0.4)

A: Sorry about that, it's fixed in 5.0.5. Bug showed up when converting to a new development environment.


Q: I just upgraded to 8.5 and the Control Strip doesn't seem to hide.

A: This is a bug in the Control Strip in 8.5, which incorrectly detects when a screensaver is running. However, the new version of DarkSide (5.0.4 and later) works around this problem by directly hiding the Control Strip.


Q: I forgot my password (or, some kid set my password for me)! What do I do?

A: After running DarkSide, just select the Settings panel and clear out or replace the password. Or, before running DarkSide, Trash the DarkSide Preferences file located in the Preferences Folder in your System Folder.


Q: I sent in money to become a registered user, but haven't received a disk. What's up?

A: As of DarkSide 5.0's release, I have chosen to use the web and online registration as DarkSide's distribution method. Now that documentation is readily readable online, and new versions can be downloaded directly from me, I feel that hard distribution (ie, floppies and paper) no longer makes sense. In addition, hard distribution has become too costly, and I would rather direct this cost into providing a web site.

Since starting this web site, I have been able to quickly turn around five releases of DarkSide in response to user requests. Hopefully this will result in more timely updates than the time the elapsed between 4.2 and 5.0.

However, if for some reason you really do need a floppy disk with DarkSide on it, I will send it to you if you email me after becoming a registered user. I hope you understand these changes.


Q: DarkSide seems to work okay, but when it fades automatically it quickly wakes up again.

A: You have most likely adjusted the "unfade volume level" to something other than none. DarkSide listens to sound in the room (or to your CD player, if you have that selected as the sound input device) and when it detects noise, it wakes up. Return the unfade sound volume level to "none", or adjust it to a more appropriate level for your room.

Information about the unfade sound volume control can be found in both Balloon Help, and via the documentation.


Q: I checked the unfade sound level, and DarkSide is still waking up. Are you sure this isn't a bug?

A: Some extensions (such as backup utilities) watch for screensavers and call them to disable or wake them up during backup operations. Try disabling such extensions to see if they are causing DarkSide to wake up. If so, rest assured that once the backup operation is complete, DarkSide will fade your screen once again.


Q: DarkSide doesn't show any faders in the list of faders, what's wrong?

A: Select "Open" from the file menu and choose a fader. Alternately, you can double click that fader from the Finder. DarkSide remembers the folder with the selected fader, and shows you that in the settings window. DarkSide is remembering some older location, or perhaps you have removed and reinstalled DarkSide.


Q: DarkSide shows the faders, but when I try to run them, I get a message that they need to be upgraded. I know I have DarkSide 5.0, how come they don't work?

A: DarkSide is remembering the location of the older faders, perhaps 3.2 or even earlier. In fact, if you look closely at the list you'll notice that there are fader missing. As above, simply select a new fader in the proper location, and all will be well.


Q: DarkSide crashes on my machine. Any ideas?

A: Well, this is pretty difficult to debug without lots of system specific information. However, the most likely cause of problems like this are system extensions that take up RAM within the application heaps. This is a bug in these extensions, and strikes DarkSide particularly hard because of DarkSide's small application size. You can usually correct this problem by adding a small amount to DarkSide's RAM allocation -- 10 or 20k is usually more than enough.

Another common problem with buggy AfterDark modules, so you should try to eliminate them as possibilities, particularlly if you are using the Random fade option. Shareware and freeware modules are especially prone to bugs, but there are several in commercial ones as well.


Q: When I run Word and DarkSide, typing is very slow.

A: Word has a bug on some machines that causes it to run very slow when another process has long queued VBL tasks. The bug is in Word, not DarkSide. Hopefully fixed in Office 98. The strange thing is that this only effects some computers, and then only some of the time.


Q: What machines does DarkSide run on?

A: DarkSide requires system 7.x, and has been tested and run on 7.0.x, 7.1.x, and 7.5.x, 7.6.x, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 8.6, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2 and OS X in Classic. It runs on all Macintosh computers, including PowerMacs.


Q: Is there a version of DarkSide specifically for OS X?

A: Mac OS X comes with a screensaver built in. At this time, there are no plans to convert the various modules of DarkSide into OS X screensaver modules.


Q: Is there a version of DarkSide for system 6?

A: Yes, there is a version of DarkSide with less features for System 6 machines. The last version in that line is 2.5, and may be available from some online services. Barring that, if you become a registered user, I will send you a copy if you ask for it.

It is also available from the DarkSide Home Page.


Q: Can you mail me some version of DarkSide?

A: I'm sorry, but I receive so much mail concerning DarkSide that I can only respond to these types of requests from registered users. I hope you understand.


Q: Why can't I run *some commercial AD module*?

A: The StarTrek, Disney, and some AD 3.0 modules rely upon undocumented callbacks. If you would like DarkSide (or other runner type applications) to be able to use these, you should lobby with Berkeley Systems to have them provide documentation on these callsback, or to stop using them in their modules. Until then, there is nothing that I can do to support these.


Q: When is there going to be a native version of DarkSide?

A: DarkSide really doesn't need to be native, it runs fine on PowerMacs, and does not use any major amount of CPU time, so going native will not speed it up, or reduce the load on your system (there is very little to reduce in the first place).

That having been said, DarkSide 5.0 is native mostly to quiet folks who keep asking.


Q: I'd like to disable some features of DarkSide so that I can use it in a school environment, anything I can do?

A: Yes, DarkSide 5.0 provides some "admin" type features that you can set via ResEdit. This includes the ability to disable the Quit item, to lock the settings, to force a fade upon startup, and to prevent the password from being changed.


Q: What is/How can I get an official release of DarkSide?

A: Please see the DarkSide Home Page for more details.


Q: We'd like to distribute a screensaver that we've developed for a client as part of an advertising campaign. Is there a license to DarkSide?

A: Yes, there is. DarkSide executable only can be licensed for $1000/per year, per product or project. For more information and the restrictions, please contact me via e-mail: darkside@poubelle.com.


Q: What about a Windows version of DarkSide?

A: Nope. One of the many advantages that Macintosh computers have over Windows machines is excellent stable software like DarkSide of the Macintosh. My goal in life is to continue to make Macintosh computers better than Windows. I will do nothing to assist Windows in gaining parity with the Macintosh.


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