II Something Issue # 13

II Something Magazine

Issue # 13
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, January 21, 1996 – issue 13 – II.Smthg.960121


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • The Editor’s Life In 1996 – another seven days thereof
  • Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – videotape
  • Webfind of the Week – Starting Point
  • The Wire Service – Compuserve website
  • The Wire Service – Todd Rundgren
  • The Wire Service – BIX website
  • The Wire Service – BYTE website
  • The Wire Service – Dr Dobbs website
  • Updata – Internet subscriptions to II Something
  • Wish List – OS II
  • Coming Next Week



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 late January 1996 and I’m still using an Apple IIgs. I’ve been using an Apple II since 1984 and boy are my arms tired.

Last week’s diary approach to “The Editor’s Life” was fun. It reminded me to look into my daily journal that I started last summer. Seems I’ve made entries three times. Just as I’ll bet you’ve hoped, II Something will have more daily tidbits, exclusive of depraved, lurid, sensational types of material. If you want stuff like that, watch daytime tv or evening tabloid programs.

This week continues the shortwinded approach. After uploading the 1/14 issue I noticed that the 1/7 issue had been downloaded sixty times, which may be the result of one or more of the following things: I’ve tried to keep each issue focussed and the archives relatively small; I’ve attempted to make the long descriptions more interesting; I’ve attempted to include small, interesting supplemental files; and there seems to be some good word of mouth publicity going around. I’m for it. I want II Something to reach as wide an audience as possible.

In this week’s issue we visit more websites, review more videos, and have a new Wish List. The archive will have other things of interest. Enjoy it all.

The Editor’s Life In 1996 – another seven days thereof

Saturday 1/13/96 – (continued) The first thing I noticed when I woke up around 10 was a red line of some sort on the ceiling above the waterbed. I lay there wondering what it was for a while, then I noticed a red smudge a couple feet away. I got out from under the covers, stood up (easier than it sounds), and as I got up near the marks I noticed a few sets of three dark smudges that look like they were made by fingertips, as if I’d stood up in my sleep and kept my balance with just my fingers on the ceiling.

I didn’t give it much more thought. After I got dressed I went for a long walk (two hours, to, and then around, Reeds Lake). After I returned I watched a bit of video, listened to music, and worked on II Something. In the late afternoon I took a shower at last. While washing the back of my neck I noticed a scratch near the bumps the vertebrae make. It’s a half inch long and has mostly healed. While deodorizing I found a quarter inch wide abrasion high on the inner right thigh.

On occasion I have such scratches and scrapes when I wake, and I don’t usually notice them until I get into the shower (the sting of the soap usually does it). Usually they are on the back of my neck on the left side – these were on the right side. I’ve never before had one on my inner thigh.

When these things have occurred my speculation has been that I’ve been sleepwalking. I just hope I haven’t been running naked through someone’s rose bushes in the middle of the night in the middle of the winter.

Of course, it could have been an alien abduction… some species have but three fingers on each hand… they just opened up some sort of doorway over my bed, grabbed me by the neck and leg, and floated me out of here to run a few tests… implanted something in my neck… no harm done… at least they could wash their hands before they put their fingers all over my ceiling…

Sunday, 1/14/96 – Joel Mabus was a lot of fun. While waiting for the doors to open I bought one of his CDs, a live one from 1988 called “The Naked Truth”. Also got an order form (although all of his stuff is available from Elderly Instruments via mail order). Left at the intermission because I was tired.

Failed to get a walk in today. Saturday was warmer, but today was not bad. Watched “The Money Pit” on video, watched portions of the two playoff games. They were both well played, close games. Officiating was a bit stinky in each game, but that’s too bad. Didn’t get the seed orders finished.

I’ve got all my tax stuff except for the W2 forms. Plan to do my taxes and mail any refund claims by the end of the first week of February. I prefer to owe the Feds, and to owe the state income tax but get a state property tax refund. City income taxes are usually a few dollars either way. I hope to owe.

Monday, 1/15/96 – Holiday. Sunny. Cold. Either I have to do dishes or I have to get a dishwasher today. No forks or spoons left. Also, no sinks left. It is tough being a slob.

Tuesday, 1/16/96 – Payroll began today. Have to finish by Thursday. In two weeks the payroll will be normal again, in four weeks it will be shortened by a day. Then we begin the long stretch (half of February, all of March and April, almost all of May) before the next holiday. Dave and Becky have invited me over for March. I plan to fly again. I may also write at least part of that week’s issue of II Something while I’m there. That archive may be interesting, unless Dave has a IIc left over from his sale.

Wednesday, 1/17/96 – Finished payroll, although I had to work nine and a half hours to do it. Will ask to adjust Friday to compensate.

Thursday, 1/18/96 – What did I do today at work? GRApple meeting tonight. Sue wants to power walk this evening, hoping that the weather stays warm. Blew away the temperature record for the date.

Later – We went around the block and had enough. Went to Meijer for a few groceries, then to North Kent mall for a Harlequin romance novel (Sue’s oldest claims that they’re supposed to use one for a book report). Ate at some coffee bar. Got some books of local history at one of the bookstores we visited. One listed my great grandfather and his brothers.

Friday, 1/19/96 – last night’s GRApple meeting was almost a bust because the demo machine couldn’t make it to the meeting – the equipment manager lives in Dorr and had the flew. But a new member joined!

Saturday, 1/20/96 – woke at 10 AM when the phone rang. Someone wanted to know about GRApple, and specifically wondered where to get a IIe emulation board for his IIgs. I explained that the GS automatically emulates a IIe and he seemed pleased. Sue called 10:30 AM to see if I still wanted to power walk, and I suggested that we just go to Saugatuck so I could pick up the Archimboldo poster (the large one has arrived, and the store displays one behind the counter, so it must be a hit). I had a little touch of the flu I think. We shopped a bit, made oinkers of ourselves at The Butler House, shopped some more, and took the scenic route home (via Ottawa Beach in Holland, but missed the sunset, then up Lakeshore Drive to Grand Haven, where I made the horrible discovery that the Pronto Pup has been removed and Snug Harbor is expanding or something! From there we took the freeway). Sue’s younger daughter Ashley has her dad’s cheap old electric guitar and amp, and I tuned that for her and helped her a very little bit.

Sunday, 1/21/96 – I’m feeling a bit hoarse today, but those decongestants (leftover prescription meds) really helped for a change. All that outdoor walking in Saugatuck yesterday didn’t have any negative consequences. Today I’ll lie around, watch the taped Bab 5, watch some more of “The Civil War”, maybe soak in the tub and read. Oh yeah, and finish II Something before I do anything.

Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – videotape

“L.A. Story”, starring Steve Martin, was on the ‘very cheap’ display at Best Buy (that’s not the real label), and having enjoyed it in the theater, I got it. This is one of his better movies in that it has an actual, interesting plot, and is not just a 90 minute gag. “Father Of The Bride” is another of his good ones (its sequel is out right now, but I haven’t seen it). “L.A. Story” is nothing I would show a child, but is worth watching. Propeller heads may like the artificial intelligence aspect. X-Philes may like the very gentle reference to non-human guidance.

Webfind of the Week – Starting Point


Starting Point is a hierarchical set of organized links to other Internet sites. I really like it. I found it somewhere last week while doing research (code word for dinking around in the Web) for last week’s issue, and went back to it this week. Like Lycos, Yahoo! or a raft of other such sites, Starting Point is just a multidimensional junction where the information interstate system converges. Sometimes I think that the whole reason for being on the Internet is to find more links on the sites we already know, rather than to actually do anything. As such, the Internet is the perfect toy for the short attention span generation.

Will the Internet be the most significant development since the Industrial Revolution (“rubbish!” was my Marxist brother in law’s response to that ad), or is it already, or will it never be, or is the question completely irrelevant? I don’t know, I don’t care.

The Wire Service – Compuserve website


In my experience, the Compuserve website is best accessed using a graphical browser. The travel section is the one I’ve explored the most, and it seems to be pretty nice. GEnie and Delphi users need not go here for the resources, since each of those services have a travel menu. I’m still not fully reconciled to making travel arrangements via the Internet because somehow it just never lives up to its billing. Ideally I’d be able to sign on to a search system that would just ask me where and when I want to go and find the best price and arrangements. I don’t much want to travel on a fourteen seat plane for six hours, followed by a layover, followed by a flight back to my destination I’d already seen out of the window during the first flight, and that’s what will happen if I book on some airlines. A virtual travel agency would have no particular allegience.

Compuserve bought out the Spry Internet service (among other things) and is attempting to maintain market share among its competitors. I’ve read that eWorld is going to give up its old style and become more of an Internet provider. AOL and Prodigy are fighting to grab the same niche. GEnie is for sale, Delphi has been bought by Fox, and even Grand Rapids has a dozen or so Internet subscription services available. It amazes me that Compuserve, the oldest, is moving to change as quickly as it is. Old style online services have to move to survive, and the fastest way to do that is to offer more public Internet access. Most birds have to have a tree to build their nests, in this metaphor, subscribers have to rent a service to build their home pages.

The Wire Service – Todd Rundgren

One of these sites is the official home page for Todd Rundgren, the eccentric and highly creative musician and somewhat creative graphic artist. Try the first one. He now goes by the name TR-i (a send up of the Prince name-change fiasco) and has adopted a look similar to that of Howard Stern. Half the time I want to smack this guy (Todd, I mean – I want to smack Howard Stern ALL the time).

As you can see, other home pages exist that suggest things familiar to those who have some knowledge of Todd’s work over the past 25 years. I’ve been meaning to see him perform again, but missed him last summer when he came here. All my “Todd” friends have lost touch (maybe they meant to?).

I stumbled onto these links while in the Compuserve website, where the text of an interview with Todd is available. Also available are WAV files containing Todd’s digitized responses to some other interview questions not in the text, making this a multimedia interview.

The Wire Service – BIX website


BIX at least used to be the online service operated by BYTE magazine. Now BIX is operated by but separate from Delphi. This was a surprise to me. I didn’t spend much time here, but spent enough to realize there is absolutely nothing here unless you are a subscriber to BIX. Logging on is possible at this site. Think about that one… you’d have to have an Internet account with some provider, then surf into the BIX website, then log into BIX… you’d be paying for two services. This doesn’t make sense to me, unless BIX and the Internet provider were mighty cheap. I only brought it up because I wanted to introduce…

The Wire Service – BYTE website


There is a lot of stuff here, but mostly I came away with the impression that it is a giant commercial for Byte. I don’t have anything (except Jerry Pournelle;) against Byte magazine, and there is Internet information here, but it isn’t like having a subscription. That’s what I mean when I say it is like a giant commercial. As always, try the site for yourself and make up your own mind. Speaking of online magazines…

The Wire Service – Dr Dobbs website

Available here are articles from back issues of Dr. Dobb’s Journal, the bimonthly Dr. Dobb’s Sourcebook, downloadable source code, the complete set of back issues of the (discontinued) Dr. Dobb’s Developer Update, and a link to the “Anonymous FTP site is ftp.mv.com in the /pub/ddj directory”. I couldn’t get logged onto the FTP site, but will try again later.

This site is an example of the way all magazines should maintain an online presence. All those old issues can be made available and kept available in this way without having to worry about how much the back stock costs to store and distribute. All those old issues in hardcopy can go to the recycler or be donated to schools and libraries. It is excellent. Programmers will get more than I did out of this site, but I see myself dipping into it from time to time.

The Wire Service – Microsoft Network


I discovered the address to this while in the Superbowl website. Someone had typed a ? instead of a / and the entire line from “http:” to “com/” was at the end of some text. Not a great editing job, but things are so hard in the world of Dross and Windulls. Anyway, this is a new site and it is very MS oriented, so much so that those ubiquitous annoying home page messages “this page was enhanced for Netscape” messages have been replaced by annoying advertisements – “Our site requires a browser that supports tables and cookies. If you are running Windows 95 you can use Internet Explorer 2.0.”

“if you are running Windows 95…” Good one.

There were disclaimers ahead of every link to sites outside MSN, to the effect that Microsoft takes no responsibility for their content. Sure, Bill, but in a couple of years you may own all other websites, who knows?

Anyway, Chrysler’s home page is listed right away. I don’t know for certain, but I’ll guess that Chrysler very craftily paid a bundle for this link. The Chrysler home page has some nice graphics but is still under construction. Couldn’t find the graphic download for the Sebring Convertible. Damn.

One very nice set of links were on the financial page. The most fun a CPA could have would be to explore in there. I also enjoyed it. The American Stock Exchange has a link off here, and I like it. The top this and thats are listed online, and overall I got a very warm feeling from this place. Check out the archive for the addresses I found there, and note that at least the Mutual Fund Mag site wouldn’t connect, possibly because of a typo in the name.

[ Arcane sidebar: located in New York, the AMEX began as the American Curb Exchange since some companies were not invited into the NYSE. Their stocks traded on the curb in front of the NYSE. The first building housing the AMEX actually said “American Curb Exchange” across the front. Those not allowed into the AMEX or NYSE continued to trade shares on the curb in front of both places until about 1929. The AMEX is about 1% the size of the NYSE, while the NYSE is actually a small group of six or seven affiliated regional exchanges. End of arcane sidebar.]

Updata – Internet subscriptions to II Something

So far I have not received any requests for the experimental Internet
subscriptions. If you know anyone who might like to receive II Something
via email who is not on GEnie or Delphi, ask them whether they’d like to
try an issue. I don’t want to “spam” anyone. The only current Internet
subscriber is Dave, and he really likes it. Since he is the president of
the C.I.D.E.R. user group in Rochester, my guess is they can use the text
in their Apple II SIG section of their quite nice newsletter.

Wish List – OS II

Some years ago I suggested this idea in an article in our local user group newsletter, and absolutely no one noticed. The name is a play on the OS/2 operating system originated (not to say popularized) by IBM. OS II would be a revision of and replacement for ProDOS 8 that would provide different levels of service for different machine configurations. Support for various processors, clocks, amounts of memory, and forked files would be standard.

Perhaps it would be necessary for OS II to be a forked file, so that appropriate segments could be loaded from the resource fork to avoid the 8-bit memory limit. The main load kernel would reside in the data fork. The other possibility would involve loading the entire OS, most of which would be compressed, and after the machine id routines had figured out which to use, a small routine would decompress the needed segments and move them to the appropriate areas, and discard the others. In either case, it would be preferable to have a single load file.

Coming Next Week

“Internet for Dummies” and “More…” are reviewed, among other things. Definitely no more daily diary for a while.


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.