II Something Issue # 14

II Something Magazine

Issue # 14
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, January 28, 1996 – issue 14 – II.Smthg.960128


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • Opinionata – Apple, Market Share, Stock Swap Buyouts
  • Winter of 1996 – another seven days thereof
  • The Phone – Alexander Graham Hell
  • Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – videotapes
  • Webfind of the Week – The Spider’s Web
  • The Wire Service – The Internet for Dummies & More…
  • The Wire Service – the Virtual MeetMarket
  • The Wire Service – the Musical Artist Homepages
  • The Wire Service – the Incredible String Band
  • The Wire Service – Can You Really Buy Jeeps for $100?
  • Wish List – CDA Word Editor
  • 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. This is January 1996’s last issue and I’m still using an Apple IIgs.

Due to time problems this week, there will be no personal journal this issue. Since it was mostly tongue in cheek, and you and I have short attention spans, enough is enough anyway. The Wish List looks inviting, the WebFind will pleasure you in ways you’ve never dared dream, and the Wire Service will lick strawberry slices and whipped cream dollups out of your navel, while Do It In Hardware gets playful with each and every one of your ports. Stroking the OpenApple-Control-Escape keys shows that only you are on the menu, and a quick trip to Finder show that you’re the only thing open on the desktop.

Oh, sorry. I was just looking over the Leisure Time Products catalog. Actually, I’ve been thinking over the past few issues about the lack of new hardware around here. There isn’t a Do It In Hardware in sight this issue, or this month, and probably won’t be until March (has to do with a 401K match I’m jamming into three pay periods during January and February). I want to tell you about the DeskWriter 660c, which is the printer about which I’ve been dreaming, but I’m also open to suggestions.

I’ve had so many Wire Service features since the beginning that I may have been better off naming the whole weekly “The Wire Service”. On the other hand, that would make it more difficult to have other types of features. A couple of issues ago I put an easter egg of sorts into the info box of the IIs file in the archive. It was a joke that pertained to something found in the daily journal. Perhaps it could become the new name for this journal, without any perceived disruption to the vast readership.

Dream big. Plan nine is to set up a single large archive when I get to issue 26. It will contain the slightly edited first 26 issues, plus the extra files I’ve included, so those who come late can get one file and be up to date. Shouldn’t be too large a file, really, and could come in handy. Another possibility remains to produce an archive (every ten issues?) for each feature, containing ten issues’ worth. Sort of a best of, except that the bad stuff would also be in there.

One of those, or both, or neither, is what you can expect in the future. Enjoy this issue in the here and now.

Opinionata – Apple, Market Share, Stock Swap Buyouts

Sun Microsystems appears to be interested in buying Apple Computer, Inc. Michael Spindler told the shareholders meeting that Apple is not for sale. Apple’s future may involve building and selling (probably high priced) Windulls 95 boxes. Each year the sales of Apple’s CPUs comprise a smaller slice of the expanding pie, meaning that Apple’s sales continue to expand. The problem with the expansion is that the R&D; expenses represent a larger portion of the cost of each unit sold, because Apple has way too many models of computer.

I don’t think the people running Apple want to give up those margins they’ve enjoyed. One of their plans consists of cutting production on the lower priced models which would give them the market share they need. By what they call their thinking, the shortage of PPC chips means that only those models that have high markup should be built. They don’t see any problem with carrying an unsold inventory of 68K Macs. They don’t see any problem with too many models in both lines of CPU, except that the lower priced ones are using up their precious supply of PPC chips.

Predictions: To survive, Apple will drop the 68K Mac (this one has been in the works for two or three years). Apple will expand production of the Power Mac. Apple will reduce its product line to fewer models which are each more expandable and have an upgrade path that makes sense. Apple will quit employing the hundreds, and maybe thousands, of people who have no actual duties. Apple will drop the PDA line, spin it off, or sell it off. Apple’s Mac/OS will only become popular with developers when many reasonably priced development tools are readily available on CD-ROM at reasonable cost in any computer store; of course, developers will have to be sure that there will also be some sales of the boxes.

Further prediction: Apple must have a single, great package for Internet access that uses subcontractors (arrangements with existing web providers throughout the country and world) to provide a plug-and-play ease of use, because every successful hardware design has owed its success to one or two useful applications (Visicalc for the DOS 3.3 Apple II, AppleWorks for IIe/c/gs, Lotus 1,2,3 for the IBM and its clones, paint and DTP programs for the Mac).

Just remember, it’s only my opinion. For that matter, it’s only a company. For that matter, it’s only a computer company. For that matter, it’s only a computer.

Winter of 1996 – another seven days thereof

Nexrad radar is the newest thing for the local meteorologists. Works great. We can find out exactly what the weather is like by picking up the remote, shutting off the tv, and looking out the front door. Technology marches on.

We had nice weather on Friday, January 26. Even when the wind started in the evening it felt warm (for winter), and the predicted eight inches turned out to be more like one to two (based on the accumulation I see on the ground and the car).

I’ve been underproductive this week and am therefore attempting to write the entire II Something on Saturday. Super Bowl XXX will take place on the cover date for this issue (in case you’re interested). A couple older folks (101 and 68 years old, respectively) in my family have had some serious medical conditions during this month. I’ve been concerned about them.

Mike (of “…& Jodi”) administered MMPI-2 test to four people as part of his graduate study. I did the 587 questions in about an hour or so. A coworker’s sweetie had told me that she’d taken it before and that it was “fun.” I wouldn’t call it fun. I don’t know exactly what happens when it’s scored, but I don’t think I can be locked up no matter what I wrote down. I couldn’t answer number 78, which was “I prefer my human body parts cooked medium well.”

Eight to ten years ago I went to a tiny Spiritualist church on occasion and got “read” by “mediums present”. It was entertaining. The very first time I did this a Chicago area minister was the visiting medium. He introduced himself, then said “you don’t have to tell me anything.” He sat down, put his hands up to his head, and said, “I’m tuning into your vibrations.” I was seated across the room thinking, “my vibrations. Right.” Then I felt this vibrating sensation all over my limbs. He started to specify relationships with people in my life, correctly naming them, and then continued to talk as if he’d known me as long as I had. I was amazed. I’ve never had a “reading” like that one before or since.

Some mediums claim to get their information from the dead. I have too much of a life to spend time with those mediums.

The following summer I managed to get a contact address for him, with the intention of making arrangements to have a group of friends get “read”, probably in Chicago. This hasn’t happened yet. I still had the address at Christmas, so I sent him a Christmas card with a brief note of explanation about who I was. He sent a reply in the form of a Christmas card. Now I’m thinking about doing the group reading again. I’m not yet sure about how this would work.

Cabin fever, that’s what it is. I’ve been reading a travel book about the islands of the Pacific, Internetting, reading gardening magazines, and generally trying to be elsewhere. Saturday night I’ll be at the museum watching Madcat & Kane play the blues.

The Phone – Alexander Graham Hell

While working on II Something this morning I’ve had two sales solicitations. The first was from an auctioneer who now works for AT&T; Long Distance (if his line of bull were transcribed, it would not require use of the spacebar), the other from the local paper with a word-for-word pitch that I’ve heard about seven or eight times a year for the past fourteen years. AT&T; has called three times in two calendar months. Come to think of it, the Press has also. The annoying thing about each of them is that the pitch is always the same. Come to think of it, the annoying thing is that they call me at all.

Last year sometime some boz’ called me with the usual pitch from the Press. I said “I’m not interested in subscribing.” He said “Wait a minute! Who said anything about subscribing? I’m just calling to see if you’ve read our paper recently.” I replied, “I read parts of it once a week, but I’m not interested in subscribing.” He said, “This isn’t about a subscription! This is a three month trial at 35% off!” I hung up on the dumb bastard. A while later some other jerk called back with the standard pitch. That’s it, win me over…

Does The Editor Still Watch Too Much TV? – videotapes

“The Money Pit” is as funny as this review is lame. Since everyone on Earth has seen this movie in their native language by now, I don’t think I need to tell you the plot. I saw it in the theater when it came out, and when the bathtub fell through the floor I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. I sat there thinking, “this is where they’ll find me, blue and dead,” which just made me laugh harder. It is not a movie to watch on the weekend tv matinee. It should be rented or bought and watched straight through. That’s my opinion, but I’ve never passed a bar in my life.

“Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a film Woody Allen made in 1989, prior to the personal disasters that included the end of his marriage to Mia Farrow. I’m one of the people who thinks that this is his best film. I haven’t seen all of his films, in fact not even all of his comedies. “Crimes…” has some comic touches, but it is a film that portrays profound despair. It is not a film that will make you think good thoughts, but it will make you think.

Webfind of the Week – The Spider’s Web


This site is yet another link to other links. It is highly eccentric in its selections, which makes it all the more attractive. It is the work of Bob Allison, a single user who goes out of his way to thank the system administrators who let him consume a lot of storage and processor time dealing with thousands of daily visitors. Among other places listed on the home page was the Fortean Times website in the UK. The last update when I visited last week was Thursday, January 18, at 10:27:51 CST, and all of the links I tried worked. In other words, it is aggressively maintained. I was pretty impressed. I was highly surprised by some of the links that exist here, primarily because I was surprised by the sites themselves. I no longer recall how I found it, but you will enjoy this site.

The Wire Service – The Internet for Dummies & More…

The first book, “The Internet for Dummies” didn’t do much for me. Like all the Internet books I’d read in the past, they dealt with a lot of crap that didn’t make any sense whatsoever. “More Internet for Dummies” is much better in that it has specific examples usable from popular online services Delphi and AOL, and useful tricks like how to send Internet email to Compuserve subscribers. The back of the book is full of out of the way websites, some of which were actually interesting. Overall, I’d suggest buying the second book now (I got my copy at Sam’s Club) and looking for the first one on a remainder table, nice and cheap. The first one is actually more useful after the reader has already gained real experience on the Internet itself.

The entire “for Dummies” series has made butt-headed ignorance less of a stigma that it used to be. Imagine my relief. There are “Dummies” books out for many subjects, including sex (Doctor Ruth is its author – imagine my disbelief), personal finance, and a raft of programming this or that. Unfortunately for Apple, “Running A Corporation for Dummies” is not one of them.

The Wire Service – the Virtual MeetMarket


The Virtual Meet Market is a web singles bar. Here is an edited quote that explains most of what you need to know:

“VMM personal files consist of a Hypertext Markup Language file and up to 3 small GIF files. Your personal may include any information you would like to include about yourself (your interests, your philosophy, etc.). Contrary to all other personal services, you have a full page to write about yourself. BE CREATIVE! However, you may not include any information which compromises your anonymity, such as your full name, email address, home address or phone number, company name, etc. Lastly, you MAY NOT include HREF hyperlinks to another Web site or document. Your personal is meant to describe you on a single page. Please limit it to that. Obscene material will be removed.”

This is a fascinating idea. At present there is no charge for this service. To have a page on VMM, you must first send email to its administrators (there is an online form that Lynx was not able to use, unfortunately) who assign a user code to you. You then prepare and upload your page and up to three GIFs which the administrators may edit for size. There is a sample home page available which you can edit for your own use.

The Wire Service – the Musical Artist Homepages


I found this on the Ten Pound Fiddle website (the Ten Pound Fiddle is a folk music campus organization located at Michigan State University. It has been around for twenty years or more. Look into the TV.Sav file in last week’s archive). It is an alphabetical lookup system for links to artist’s homepages. Some artists are still around, some are not, some are solo, some are bands, some pages are official, most are not. Most of the bands are folk, roots, blues, world music, reggae, or other non-mainstream category. I was quite pleased to find here a link to…

The Wire Service – the Incredible String Band


ISB fans need to travel here. It is located in Australia, and I haven’t surfed over there yet. I was having problems with nesting errors in Lynx and finally gave up trying this one. I don’t think there was any real problem other than excess traffic on Delphi and/or the Internet.

The Incredible String Band began in 1965 and lasted until about 1976 or 1977 (as I recall). They produced about twenty albums (forerunners to CDs) which are gradually becoming available thanks to Ryko (at least one title, “The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter,” was released on CD by Elektra). I recommend “5000 Layers Of The Onion”, “Wee Tam/Big Huge”, “U”, or “Hangman’s…”, or the ISB sampler that Hannibal/Ryko produced from four of the original titles. Frankly, I didn’t even know about ISB until they had run their course, and wound up finding very used or an occasional new copy of the LP versions. “U” has a lot of fun material on it, but it has a lot of material, period, and was designed around an elaborate stage show. I’ve got a sort of best of called “Relics of the ISB” that gives a more listenable sample than the sampler described above.

The ISB is not for everyone (ask yourself – have I ever heard of this band?). The website is free, however, so you may find out more information to indicate that ISB would be to your liking. A friend of mine told me about another ISB home page located in Canada, but I’ve been unable to connect to it.

The Wire Service – Can You Really Buy Jeeps for $100?


This is the website to tell us about surplus property sales by the DoD. I just found this in an old file and it seems to me that there were links to other, similar government sites (perhaps the DEA also has one?). It may be worth a look. What I can’t figure out is, who attends surplus equipment auctions on Guantanamo, Cuba?

Wish List – CDA Word Editor

Edit It! is an okay program for editing text files. It is included with the Talk Is Cheap term program. I don’t care for Edit It! and never have. I’ve even gone so far as to edit FreeWriter so I could use a macro to exit TIC to FreeWriter, then return to TIC without a trip to the GS/OS launcher.

Even from back in the golden age of CDAs (ProDOS 16 – predecessor to GS/OS) I can recall no such CDA. The closest things were a one screen editor by Glen Bredon and a Forth screen editor by RavenWare, neither of which works anymore. I’d pay $15 for a copy of a CDA text editor (AppleWorks WP file loading would also be nice). Dream big, that’s what I say. Everytime I’d fire it up, I’d say “Wheeeeee!”. Hmm… in that case, call the product “Whee!Writer”.

Coming Next Week

A new “Coming Next Week” preview.


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.