A Visionary MindSet for the Mac

Oct. 13, 1991
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NEWLN: Computer Comment (700)NEWLN: JOE FASBINDER United Press International

One thing that differentiates Mac people from those of the IBM- compatible world is their mind-set -- the way they view things.

People who use Macintosh products tend to be visually oriented, like their computers. You find a lot of design people and graphics types using Macs -- the kind of folks who would likely call themselves artists.

IBM-compatible folks, for the large part, are more likely to be your stereootypical computer nerd or business type -- number crunchers with an eye for the bottom line who buy computer software site licenses for 100 or more users.

You get the idea. It's a visual thing for Mac people. It's a command thing for people who use IBM-compatibles.

So what kind of platform wouldbe the likely target of Visionary Software of Portland, Ore.? You would be right if you assumed it was the Mac.

The company recently introduced MindSet, and released it far in advance of COMDEX/Fall '91 -- the big computer industry trade show.

That's significant. People looking to sell a lot of software introduce it at COMDEX in the flashiest way possible.

But not Visionary Software. MindSet is sort of a Zen product that hardly lends itself to flashing Las Vegas lights and dancing showgirls.

The company bills MindSet as 'software that lets the user reprogram his/her subconscious mind while getting computer work done. MindSet combines the power of personal computer technology with what modern psychology has discovered about the power of self-directed self-talk.'

Sounds Visionary, huh? If this product had been produced for IBM- compatible machines, it probably would have been billed as a pop-up reminder program that runs as a TSR (Terminate Stay Resident program).

MindSet automatically pops up user-selected messages over the menu bar of any program that runs on a Macintosh, without affecting normal operations. When MindSet is running and the mouse pointer comes near the menu bar, the message being displayed by MindSet automatically disappears and the appropriate menu reappears.

TSR programs that run on Intel-based platforms are notorious for running head-on into application programs, locking up screens and munching important data.

That's not the case in the 'Mac Universe,' says Visionary spokesman Paul O'Brien.

Instead of TSRs, Macintosh programs run as INITs -- initialization programs. They execute pretty much the same way as TSRs, going into memory before an application like a word processor or spreadsheet and sitting in the background until needed.

'This is precisely why we don't make MindSet for the DOS platform because it's a jungle. Memory managment is much more evolved on the Mac and software engineers understand the rules,' O'Brien said. 'If they don't play by the rules, they get clobbered.'

Enough about how it operates. What it does is what's important.

'MindSet involves repetition of auto-suggestions -- personal reprogramming phrases, or affirmations, which condition the user's subconscious mind to facilitate the manifestation of specific desires and/or goals.'

To put this in a more command-oriented phraseology: It puts a message at the top of your screen. It could be something innocuous like 'you're doing a great job' or 'keep that sales quota in mind' or something more Big Brotherish like 'produce more' or 'fingers on the keyboard, nerd.'

The 27 files that come with MindSet include thousands of one-liners of the soft-sell type Visonary says are 'designed to motivate, uplift or simply entertain the user while he/she is getting work done. These sayings files can only be set to appear less frequently than the auto- suggestions and range from famous quotes and proverbs, including files of Eastern wisdom and biblical verses, to humorous one-liners.'

The program is completely System 6 and System 7 compatible.

The frequency and duration of all messages is controllable through the MindSet desk accessory. The user can also set up a command sequence for bringing up the next saying, proverb or joke at will.

And you can always set it up to tell you 'fingers on the keyboard, nerd,' if you so choose, at any time at all.NEWLN:

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