II Something Issue # 10

II Something Magazine

Issue # 10
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, December 31, 1995 – issue 10 – II.Smthg.951231


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • State of the II Something – year end report
  • Will The Editor Have A Life In 1996?
  • Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – NFL Edition
  • Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – more sci-fi
  • Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – cable “provider”
  • Webfind of the Week – Area 51
  • The Wire Service – GS Worldview – before the review
  • The Wire Service – GEnie website – continued
  • The Wire Service – Delphi website – continued
  • The Wire Service – still more about the Delphi workspace
  • Wish List – Favorite Online Service



As you know, Apple Computer, Inc. owns all of the Apple II computer copyrights and trademarks, including their names.

II Something is offered as freeware – copyright by Clark Hugh Stiles. Intact distribution of the entire file is acceptable using online services, including BBSes, or via user group DOMs provided there are no commercial sales. Individual articles may be reprinted in user group publications only, provided the following paragraph (except for the opening and closing quotes) is included at the beginning or end of the reprint:

“This article originally appeared in II Something, a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers, copyright by Clark Hugh Stiles. It has been reprinted by permission. All trademarked names and phrases mentioned belong to their respective owners. Send email to CHStiles@Delphi.Com or C.Stiles3@Genie.Com via the Internet, or newsletters, disks, products for review, gifts, or bribes to Clark Hugh Stiles, Box 46, Comstock Park, MI 49321-0046.”

Editor’s Greeting

Welcome to II Something. It’s New Year’s Eve. I’ve got the January/February 1995 issue of GS+ setting on top of my monitor. Diz mailed it to me as part of my unfulfilled subscription and FAST. In one week II Something begins its second year of publication. That didn’t take long. Neither did this. Auld Lang Syne.

Enjoy this issue, and send some email, even if it isn’t to me.

State of the II Something – year end report

I uploaded the 12/17 and 12/24 issues on their “cover” date. Afterward I did a search for the II Something files on GEnie to check the number of downloads. As you can see, the older issues seem to have reached a plateau, while the newer issues are still being downloaded.

GEnie’s A2.Tony told me in email that he can edit the short and long descriptions, and I think that is the trouble with issue #6 – the short description isn’t up to standards. I’m going to go over the longer descriptions also and add some sort of table of contents to each one that lacks such a thing. I’m guessing that the heavy dropoff from issue #2 to issue #3 is due to my writing style and the content. I’m just not for everyone (heh heh – hard as that may be to believe). The strongest responses since have had the date of issue in the middle, and the issue number on the end, but I may try the format of the first two issues to see if that helps. I want to be downloaded!

The second number from the end of the first line of each listing is the download count – e.g., file #25910 went from 141 to 142 in the course of a week. 53 is the library number. The date of upload is listed year first, and the other number is the size in bytes.

25910 IIS.951029.BXY X C.STILES3 951022 12160 141 53
Desc: II Something Issue 1 10-29-95…
25910 IIS.951029.BXY X C.STILES3 951022 12160 142 53
Desc: II Something Issue 1 10-29-95…
25997 IIS.951105.BXY X C.STILES3 951104 16000 138 53
Desc: II Something Issue 2 11-05-95…
25997 IIS.951105.BXY X C.STILES3 951104 16000 139 53
Desc: II Something Issue 2 11-05-95…
26029 IIS.951112.BXY X C.STILES3 951113 37120 85 53
Desc: II Something 11/12/95 issue 3…
26029 IIS.951112.BXY X C.STILES3 951113 37120 86 53
Desc: II Something 11/12/95 issue 3…
26059 IIS.951119.BXY X C.STILES3 951119 21504 72 53
Desc: II Something #4 11/19/95 issue…
26059 IIS.951119.BXY X C.STILES3 951119 21504 74 53
Desc: II Something #4 11/19/95 issue…
26098 IIS.951126.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 91136 80 53
Desc: II Something Nov 26 1995 Issue 5…
26098 IIS.951126.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 91136 84 53
Desc: II Something Nov 26 1995 Issue 5…
26108 IIS.951203.BXY X C.STILES3 951203 15232 44 53
Desc: Issue 6 - December 3 1995 - plus…
26108 IIS.951203.BXY X C.STILES3 951203 15232 48 53
Desc: Issue 6 - December 3 1995 - plus…
26135 IIS.951210.BXY X C.STILES3 951209 17920 56 53
Desc: II Something Issue 7 12-10-95…
26135 IIS.951210.BXY X C.STILES3 951209 17920 63 53
Desc: II Something Issue 7 12-10-95…
26167 IIS.951217.BXY X C.STILES3 951217 20736 52 53
Desc: II Something Dec 17 1995 Issue 8…
(this is the 12/24 figure, obviously)
26099 IIS.YNOPSIS.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 3712 43 53
Desc: II Something - Contents Issues 1-5
26099 IIS.YNOPSIS.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 3712 45 53
Desc: II Something - Contents Issues 1-5

During 1996 I plan to edit together files on a single subject, for example, all of my hard drive upgrade tribulations, and upload “Extras” that consist of “reprints” from time to time in order to generate more interest. If you’ve been distributing II Something articles (in accordance with my requirements, listed above in “About II Something”), that means that even more people may be reading it online or in user group newsletters. II Something has been distributed in the GEnie A2 DOM download, and that has to be a good thing.

One thing I may avoid in the future is making an archive much more than 20K in size. The first two II Somethings were pretty small, and there was a substantial dropoff in the number of downloads from issue 2 to issue 3. This could be connected to the increased size of the archive, the fact that people who had been downloading it had noticed it in the GEnie DOM and figured they’d get it that way, or it could be that two thirds of the readers just thought it was a waste of time.

I guess the best way to settle this question is to ask all of you who are NOT reading II Something to send me email to tell me why…

Will The Editor Have A Life In 1996?

Better pick up some Pampers, there’s one about to be delivered.

In 1996 your editor wants to do some remodeling around this joint. He wants three steel entrance doors to replace two existing ones, and add one where there is now a window to access the existing deck in the back yard.

He wants to finish the work on the garage – two garage doors and an entrance door, then drywall, or insulate and drywall (it was vinyl sided back in 1986).

He wants to have a six foot vinyl privacy fence installed on each side of his lot.

He wants to partition the basement into a finished half consisting of an activity room (exercycle, reading, computing, maybe tv/vcr), laundry room, and possibly a half-kitchen (freezer, microwave, counter with sink).

He wants to pull up the hideous dark green carpet in the “hallway” and living room and considers the possibility of installing a ceramic tile floor along the inner wall and in the “hallway” to handle the main traffic route.

He wants to replace the foam imitation wood mouldings currently in those places with wood or ceramic tile.

Hey – Christmas is over, pal.

What I really want to do is move to a different location, on a lake, preferably the Big Lake (around here, that’s Lake Michigan, which has nice sandy beaches unlike most of Lake Huron). I’d even live in Grand Haven, up on what I call the anthill, a domicile-covered dune overlooking the City Beach and the state park. They have telephone lines out there just as we do around here, so I’d remain online.

II Something will continue without regard to these decisions.

I do plan to take a vacation at least a couple of times during the year, but I plan to make sure that I’ve got one issue per week written regardless of whether I’m gone or not. I can handle this for the foreseeable future. The very first issue went up about a week early, and could have been the October 22, 1995 issue, but I made it the October 29, 1995 issue so I wouldn’t have to write against a deadline while in Rochester visiting Dave ‘n’ Becky.

Let me know what you want to see in II Something. I love to get email from strangers (not junk mail, not bulk email, the real thing) and look forward to hearing from you during the new year.

Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – Super Bowl Edition

I live in Grand Rapids. If the Detroit Lions’ head coach, Wayne Fontes, is back next year, I won’t be. He’s good at picking and recruiting players, but he has absolutely no motivating influence over them. At the beginning of their only playoff game this year, he said to the reporter, “I hope we win.” Worthy of Knute Rockne.

I think he should be retained as some sort of talent scout, but he has never been worth a damn as a head coach. With the teams he’s put together over the years, my dead grandfather (the blind one) could have coached his way to a Super Bowl (not necessarily win it – although the ice cold Gatorade wouldn’t startle him at all). I don’t expect the Lions to win a Super Bowl, I just would hope to see them play in one sometime in my life.

On December 30, 1995, the Lions lost to the Philadelphia Eagles due in large part to Scott Mitchell’s throwing interceptions. He threw those because he doesn’t have very good aim most of the time, but especially when he’s under pressure. He should not have been under that much pressure, and that is not his fault. As the papers may say tomorrow, there is plenty of blame to go around. The Lions turned over the ball at least seven times as preludes to Eagles’ scores.

Congratulations and best wishes to the Eagles, to their fans, and their city!

As much as I would have liked to see the Lions in the 1996 Super Bowl, or even in the conference championship game (the last time the Lions won the championship of the NFL was 1957, i.e., not in my lifetime. I recall their having played in and lost the conference championship game only once), my pick as of two weeks ago for the teams to be playing there are Buffalo and Dallas, Buffalo to win.

No one picked Buffalo all year, and the players should be on the brink of death by now (old, in terms of the NFL), yet they beat the hell out of the better teams they played, and have a Super Bowl (losing) streak that is unique. After last year I wondered why the Bills shouldn’t be kicked out of the NFL for turning into the big dance wallflowers again (along with the Lions, who lost again in the first round, looking like they were part of the covert drug testing program of the CIA). This year the Bills will win.

That’s my prediction, anyway. My other predictions…

…unless the Eagles go on to win the Super Bowl with Randall Cunningham at QB, they will cut him loose. He’s not happy in the offense, with the coach, and with that castoff from Detroit who replaced him as QB for a lot of this season.

…Lions owner William Clay Ford will fire Wayne Fontes and hire Jimmy Johnson (if Ford can beat the offers from Miami, Tampa, Dallas, and probably others). Johnson’s first job will be to bring in a new backup QB, one with a lot of experience, to help coach Scott Mitchell. Boomer Esiason will be available and wants to play.

…Randall Cunningham will end up with the Jets. The Jets will turn it around next year, which will be the last year for Miami’s QB Dan Marino. Marino will retire without a Super Bowl ring (it would just get in the way as he counts his millions).

…Dallas’ QB Troy Aikman will get in a fight with members of his own team during the 1996 Super Bowl with Buffalo.

Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – more sci-fi

Your editor subscribes to ST:TNG video club. The new tape arrived on Wednesday. It has “The Game”, and “Unification” (both episodes). The game simulated in the episode “The Game” is pretty neat, and it would be fun to have a version of that to play using the mouse as the interface (of course!). The episode itself is one that goes on my list of things that suck. The Riker character would have received a reprimand for letting his drives dictate (heh) the near-capture of the ship and its crew. But of course, nothing happens to him, Wesley saves the day (yeah, right), and the aliens get theirs. What a crock.

Another even more crocky episode is a later one in which Barclay gets some sort of injection from Dr. Crusher to bring out a dormant gene to fight off some infection. By the time the Captain and Data get back on a shuttle from somewhere, everything living on the ship has reverted to its ancestral life form, and the ship’s systems are all out. Just before the end of the episode Data contrives an antidote, and in the next scene everyone and everything is back to normal. Odd that the treatment she used had never had such side effects in the past. Crusher remarks that she’s really the one who was responsible, which is a fact, but of course nothing happens to her. I half expected someone to say “What an amazing escape,” at the end of this one.

These episodes are only slightly less bad than the year two episode Riker spends in flashback (one of those budget-saving, almost-a-rerun episodes popular for years in shows like the Brady Bunch and the daytime soaps). Of course, there are those who like them.

The editor is considering subscribing to the Gilligan’s Island video club. That one takes 33 shipments to finish, always has three episodes per tape, costs the same as ST:TNG (usually two episodes), and never disappoints (viewers know the whole show is ridiculous going into it). In addition, subscribers get the original pilot with the first cast (mostly the same, but with three characters different from the Professor, Ginger, and Mary Anne, who are played by different actors, and a different theme song). Like Star Trek, the Castaways have Internet resources:

Also on Wednesday the editor purchased (at Sam’s Club) the Director’s Cut of “Blade Runner” and Ken Burns’ “The Civil War”. Each of these titles were the last copies in stock. I’d been looking for “The Civil War” for three or four years, and Sam’s Club had not stocked it, even though they stocked Ken Burns’ “Baseball” (which I would rather pull my own teeth with a pair of pliers than watch ever again) the year it was broadcast. I’d only heard about this version of “Blade Runner” before.

“Blade Runner” is set in the (now) near future, about twenty years from now, and the original release (in theater and on video) had this unintentionally hilarious narration by Harrison Ford (“I quit because I’d had a belly full of killing” has to be heard to be believed). Although loosely based on “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” by Phillip K. Dick, the movie is an entirely different story. The director’s cut version ends abruptly as Rachel and Deckard leave his apartment to flee the city. Having seen it but once, I can see why the studio screwed around with it. I’d seen the other version multiple times and noticed that some of the editing flaws remained (the most obvious one is in the scene at the snake dealer’s, where the Deckard character is saying something and the voiceover is of something else).

“Blade Runner” is great fun but is not a great movie in any other way. It could have been on Comedy Central’s Mystery Science Theater 3000 (which has been cancelled, I hear). Watch the director’s cut first, then watch the original version. Then read the book. The book is somewhat more paranoid than the movie (a paranoid work by Phillip K. Dick? G’wan!), and as I said, the story is completely different. It is helpful to read the book first, just to understand some of the details and background of the movie’s plot.

“The Civil War” is, in my opinion, the finest television show that has ever been broadcast. See if you can rent it. Sometimes the local PBS station offers it as a premium to those who contribute $1000 or more, but that’s not something most people can do. TV, like the Internet, is 99% or more crap. Fine jewels like “The Civil War” should be encouraged.

Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – cable “provider”

The local cable “provider” cancelled Lifetime from its lineup, but left MTV, TNN, TBS, CNN, and other entertainment stations in which I have no interest as part of its “extended basic” package. Frankly, the only thing I ever watched on Lifetime were the “Unsolved Mysteries” reruns, but to not have any input into what stays and what goes is just feces. The basic package isn’t worth a dime, so I’ve got the EB.

My view is that cable should be offered entirely a la carte, so that there is a basic fee (to cover actual distribution maintenance costs), and each station ordered (or not) for a regulated extra charge. All domestic cable tv broadcasters should be available on the menu. Ordinarily I’m not a fan of regulated monopolies, but most cable providers got established during that era. Right now I’m thinking “dish”, especially since I won’t be giving up any of the options that are alleged to be available from the glorious coax line. This company will never offer them.

If I move (see “Life in 1996?” above), I probably will get the dish.

Webfind of the Week – Area 51


Area 51’s webmaster is Glenn Campbell. He used to live in Massachusetts and work in a computer related field, but took some sort of early retirement and moved to Nevada. He has been seen on CNN’s Larry King Live (the Area 51 episode) among other shows. Now he has a website which I found linked off from last week’s Webfind.

In his Area 51 WWW site Campbell lists his “Core Interests” as links. Selections include the secret military bases in Southern Nevada, Groom Lake Desert Rat* newsletter, Groom Lake Security Manual, WWW and Internet resources, Mac software archives, Book Dealers, “History, Pseudo: Virtual World” (this sounds like one I want to see), DeLorme Mapping, Schwa, and Southwest Airlines. The page showed 29631 visits since 6/20/95, and the most recent modification was 12:41 in the afternoon 12/30/95 (the day I was on). Glenn’s email address is Area51www@aol.com and his address is shown as Area 51 Research Center, PO Box 448, Rachel, Nevada 89001.

Now that the DoD has grabbed the public viewing areas around the Groom Lake facilities, we are confined to archives and websites like this one to learn more about it. Most of the world’s advanced aircraft have been tested at Area 51 (the real one, not the website), although the most recently identified one that remains classified seems to be the SR-75 or “Aurora”, a high altitude, Mach 5, stealthy reconnaisance jet that replaced the SR-71 “Blackbird”.

Based on what I’ve read elsewhere, it rides the shock wave generated by its hypersonic velocity to make its cryogenic fuel engines pulse, leaving a contrail that looks like a string of pearls. Accelerating up to that point uses a different technique. The “Flying Dorito” research bed plane was sort of unveiled during 1995 after the usual series of sightings and military denials. The Aurora is actually in everyday use. The Dorito is a rejected design.

Those with an interest in aviation, UFOs, military history, secrecy, espionage, or just a good story, will find that this site has a lot to offer.

Next week’s Webfind of the Week will be a little more mundane.

The Wire Service – GS Worldview – before the review

The GS Worldview thing is up and running at last, and somewhere in “Dr. Tom’s” ramblings I came across the allegation that there is a TCP and a HTTP function for GNO/ME that is in development. I’ve also got the alleged website address for the front end test, and I’ll tell you about that in the near future. Supposedly, Turley is facilitating the development of a graphic front end for the Apple II (not just the GS) to surf the web. I hope so! The HTTP function turns the GS into a website (yes, a website), although whether it actually works is unknown to me. TCP is needed for it to work.

The Wire Service – GEnie website – continued

This site, which is easy to access, changes every time I go into it. There were tons of links in there last time, and although I went into the same spot (I thought) many of the links were not there. There was one I had not noticed before, “Karen’s Organized Hotlist,” that wouldn’t open from there, but luckily Lynx tells us when a connection can’t be made and shows the address it tried to use. I tried typing it in from the “Enter any URL” menu in Delphi’s Internet service, and it still wouldn’t work. Next I tried entering just the beginning (write down this hint!) and entered the top of the site. It turned out to be Carnegie Mellon University, and it turned out to be pretty easy to find Karen’s pages, since hers was the first listed under the letter F (although her initials are kcf).

Karen’s Organized Hotlist are not being reviewed here, but the name is a misnomer. Probably she doesn’t have sufficient time to maintain a list that size of something as transitory as the Internet addresses, but the main thing I found was that about half of the links I tried did not work. Her approach for organizing the links is via a hierarchical list, similar to the approach used by Yahoo! and others. Try finding her page yourself and check out some of the links there:


(see past issues of II Something for Yahoo! and similar resources)

I don’t have any idea why the GEnie Hotlist is different, has moved, or been changed. Maybe I just went to the wrong place, but I don’t think so. I’m just glad I was on there before, because I’ve found a lot of interesting places through the GEnie Hotlist.

I’ll go into more detail about the GEnie site from time to time in future issues.

The Wire Service – Delphi website – continued


Delphi’s website has not got as much variety to offer as GEnie, even though I think that the Delphi realization of Lynx is much better. Delphi’s website consists of links to various Fox Network resources, including the X-files, but there isn’t much else, even things such as the member homepages offered by AOL (next week). Delphi’s site is mostly Fox and Delphi.

It is worth having on your list of things to do, not just because you are a fan of the X-Files (an X-Phile, in X-File fan parlance), but also because of the news. The other broadcast networks may have similar resources (CBS and CNN do).

I’ll go into more detail about the Delphi site in future issues if I see something new and different.

The Wire Service – still more about the Delphi workspace

Uploading mail to an Internet address doesn’t work, or at least, I couldn’t make it work. I typed XUPload at the Workspace prompt, said Y it was a textfile, and sent a back issue of II Something to my workspace. I used the next half hour trying to make the system process the file into usable mail. Right now I have to process text files using a Basic.System command to break the lines into less than 80 characters, then go into the regular SEND function of the Mail subsystem and send the processed file as text. This takes forever and it just a crock. It is no problem forwarding entire messages. I can send binary files (typically, a SHK archive) to other Delphi members (GEnie also allows binary transfer between its members), but that’s just about it. I’m really getting tired of this.

If you have any questions or (please, please) suggestions about what you’ve just read, send email to me. I’ll continue with the Delphi workspace in future issues if I figure out my problems with it.

Wish List – Favorite Online Service

As I’ve said, I’d like to have a single online service that combines my favorite features of both GEnie and Delphi. GEnie’s file directories and real time conferences are the things I like best over there. Delphi’s file directories are a real chore and I’m not aware that Delphi has real time conferences.

The book I bought when first online with Delphi is a pretty poor guide. GEnie’s guides are available as downloads, but the Apple II version was out of date, negating a potential advantage of offering it in that format. An up to date guide should be available as a download in several formats (ASCII, Postscript, Rich Text Format, perhaps some Apple II specific ways).

Delphi’s implementation of Lynx could be improved, but I prefer it by a long shot over GEnie’s. GEnie’s website is better, but I access it from Delphi. Delphi has custom forums, but hasn’t put them online, which is a mistake. I’d love to have a homepage, working my way into a Custom Forum, that would available to all web users. The negative feedback alone would make it worthwhile 😉

I’d love my online service to have a custom user menu option that would allow me to build my own command line or graphical interface to the services available (even those that are not Internet linked), such that I’d decide how the thing would work. This would make it much easier to use. Delphi’s configuration is better than GEnie’s in my opinion, although GEnie’s is configurable at each signon if you happen to know what all the page numbers are on the entire system.

I’d love to be able to select my own user name, and would also like to see the elimination of obtuse email addresses such as those used on Compuserve and Prodigy, among others (this one exceeds the scope of this wish, just seemed like it was worth saying).

Of course, I’d prefer to have a mouse based interface available, at least on the GS, but also on the enhanced IIe and the IIc and IIc+. AOL used to offer that so it is possible. Internet access is a must.

I’d also like to make reference to earlier Wish Lists by restating that I’d like a faster serial interface to my modem.

Since GEnie is still for sale (last time I checked), perhaps we should pool our money and acquire it (heh). GEnie could then retain its Apple II service, with even better host capability.


II Infinitum

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About the Author

Clark Hugh Stiles

Welcome to II Something. It’s October 1995 and I’m still using an Apple IIgs. What am I missing? The newest machines use CRT screens (preferred, even with laptops except when actually used on the lap), keyboards, mice, and sound to implement an interface with the user. Hard drives are used for primary storage and boot volumes, while CD-ROMs are used to hold larger data files, and floppy and tape drives are used for current data and backup for the hard drives. Modems are used for communication with mainframes. These features have not changed in years; most of them have not changed in decade.