II Something Issue # 17

II Something Magazine

Issue # 17
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, February 18, 1996 – issue 17 – II.Smthg.960218


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • Letters
  • So High I Can’t Get Over It So Wide I Can’t Get Around It
  • Updata – Nice looking short descriptions
  • Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something
  • Do It In Software – Spectrum as a BBS Host – part 1
  • Webfind of the Week – Apple II FTP/WWW Site List
  • The Wire Service – Some sites I wish you’d try
  • The Wire Service – Other Tolkien Resources on the Internet
  • The Wire Service – Not For The Rest Of Us
  • Wish List – Flatbed Scanner program
  • Coming…



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

1996 is now well under way and I’m still using my ROM 03 GS. Anyone wishing to sell their ROM 04 should send me email. The Mark Twain has a serial number of “05”, but that may mean that numbers 1-4 no longer exist, never existed, or are/were totally different prototypes. On the other hand, 05 may be the only one that has surfaced, and subsequent prototypes may also exist. They may be more advanced prototypes.

At the local user group meeting this week our editor claimed to have email addresses for people working on a graphical web browser for the GS. I want one! Just to be ready I will be buying a ZipGS, a Second Sight (and Second Pro View, the JPeg software for the Second Sight), SoundMeister, and possibly more RAM (and 8 meg card). Also on Clark’s shopping list is a used VOC (saw an ad for one), high density drive and controller, discQUEST, and a mess of Apple II software. It’s only money.

I’ve got a lot of pent-up demand. The biggest factor in this buying spree would have to be Ego Systems, which has put out a new catalog. Owner Diz is now a contributor to the already excellent Shareware Solutions II bimonthly newsletter published by Joe Kohn ($25/6 issues, SSII, 166 Alpine St, San Rafael CA 94901-1008). II Something actually got mentioned on page 17 of V2I6, in the description of an A2 DOM.

I’ve been thinking about a few style changes, such as the colon-equals border for the various sections (Lurch, the Apple II manager on Delphi, as well as Dave, has complained about that). I’ve liked the combination since my 8-bit Apple days, but it looks not as good (to put it kindly) in GS/OS applications. I could use the underline, asterisk, colons, equal sign, or a combo of slash and backslash, but all of those have been used by millions of people. I’d like some suggestions.

I may have alienated some readers due to the fact that I didn’t so much as mention Valentines Day in the last issue. It’s heart to believe, but it never crossed my mind. Perhaps I could rename II Something using some sort of Valentines Day reference, thus solving two problems… hmm…


Subj: The Beta is dead………LONLIVE DELPHI…..MAKE IT HAPPEN
Dear Members of Journey Beyond….
Some of you were members of the beta test, some had requested but not received the beta software, some were aware of the beta but did not try it, and some of you were pretty much unaware of its existence.
Recent events have resulted in the demise of the beta and the "new Delphi" it was to have represented. Many of us here on Delphi were concerned about the loss of this text-based system and the many platforms it supported, as well as the loss of the forums and SIGS that we all have come to know and love (or in some cases, hate).
It would appear at this time that there is still some life in this system (Delphi) and we can all contribute to its continuation. Many folks have already departed from Delphi in anticipation of the beta…I regret they have taken this step prematurely. I encourage you to go to the Using Delphi Area and review the postings in the Service area Forum.
Those of us who have been with Delphi for an extended period have grown to love this system, but more so, to love the people that we have had the opportunity to meet and to interact with in both conference and in private conversation. I am writing this to encourage you to 'stay the course' with this antique Delphi. It has served us well and can continue to do so if we will only continue to sign on and to encourage others to join as well.
Many of you are not frequent visitors to Journey Beyond, but all of you have, at one time or another visited us here in Custom Forum 54. I'm sure that some of you may not even recall that visit, but whether you do or not, we are talking about something much bigger than just this forum. Let us show Delphi that we want this system to continue by our continued membership.
As for me, I will be here until they drag me fighting and screaming away from my virtual home away from home. I am sure that many of you feel this way as well.
Thank you for you time, we in Journey Beyond are grateful for you continued presence on Delphi and hope that not only will Delphi continue to be able to provide you a pleasant place to visit, but will grow and prosper as well.
Manager, Custom Forum 54(Journey Beyond)

[ editor’s note: the above was a bulk email item, not for II Something per se, but readers may note the relevance. Journey Beyond is one of the more normative fringe forums, and I’ve visited it a few times. Ironically, The Edge, another custom forum, is less normative. Over on Delphi there was a project to perhaps end the command line interface and send Apple II and other machine owners out. I was not aware of the nature of the project, although it looks like I should be glad that it has been discontinued. With Genie getting more expensive, and its CLI service looking less like it has a future… ]

Item 7620855 96/02/06 20:34
From: N.CRAWFORD Nancy I. Crawford
To: C.STILES3 Clark Hugh Stiles
Sub: slc.screwup
Clark, I include part of the prefix of a message from my son; it bounced
from my Searchlight City address:
[ text omitted ]
He returned it to me on GEnie. I forwarded it to my SLC sysop who replied:
|| We are in the middle of changing our IP/domain from INSNET to
|| REVEALED. There will be more problems till we get the connection
|| worked out. FYI, I have been able to get out of SL into the
|| Internet, but, at the present when we do the server locks up.
|| Have to get in contact with the software company to fix.
|| This however is a BIG step! Until now we could not even get out
|| of SLC, then out of REVEALED!!! Been working on that for about
|| two weeks!
|| Will keep you informed…
If my copy of II Something bounces, you'll understand it is (hopefully) only temporary. Looking forward to the new issue whereever or whenever I find it.
Just to blather on a bit, the club picked up a new member at the last meeting…compliments of --> APPLE COMPUTER CO.! He called an Apple 800 number that was in the docs with the model3 //c he bought darn near dirt cheap. His call was forwarded to the User Group people who sorted out our club's name and the Pete's number as Pres. Voila!
Copilot/8 v1.0.0 -- nancy [ WB6WSG ]

[ reply ]


Thanks for telling me about that. My first attempt did in fact bounce back, but by the time I sent the next issue it worked again. I’m keeping everything crossed for this issue.

Item 9730716 96/02/09 23:38
From: T.DONALDSON2 Thomas K. Donaldson
To: C.STILES3 Clark Hugh Stiles
Sub: HTML Editor
Hi! After a bit of confusion I'm trying to write you again. (Apparently you're on the staff of GENIE). I just left the Hypercard BBS in A2. on it the statement was made that GENIE (or SOMEBODY!) WOU would be providing a reader for the WWW, one that will actually let us look at the PICTURES! on a IIGS. Apparently it's quite possible to write and create a WWW site, even with pictures, but right now we can't read a WWW site AND the pictures (I have some familiarity with Unix and certainly knoknow about lynx, but lynx is text only).
In any case, I have downloaded your editor. What I want to know now is how to use it. And if you are on the staff, and there isn't any bar on announcements, just what iIS the situation with a reader for the IIGS that let's us see the pictures too?
        Best and many thanks,
            Thomas Donaldson

[ reply ]

Sub:HTML editor
Thanks for the letter! Although I'm not on the GEnie staff (sounds like a nice job to have though), I can tell you that the A2 library just got in a file of HTML beginner's guide, I believe the file number is 26486 (if not, try 26479, 26516, or possibly 26522. Those are the files I downloaded tonight, and all of them appeared to be of great use to me).
Also, search the database for C.stiles to find other files that may be of some interest to you. If you wait until tomorrow or so, you'll be able to get the latest II Something (2/11/96, issue 16) which has in it some information about a Web browser for the GS, including the Internet site address for more info (not much more, since I edited the text I found online and included it in the archive).
II Infinitum!

[ editor’s note: have I mentioned that I want the graphical web browser? The HTML Editor mentioned in his letter is NOT my work. I obtained it from a Nova Scotia user group website, unbinscii’ed it, and uploaded it to Genie and to Delphi. ]

So High I Can’t Get Over It So Wide I Can’t Get Around It

This has been a poor week for getting anything done. I’ve got a video I’d planned to review for the last four or five issues (including this one), but have had no time. That may be a break for you. I’m about four hours behind on the VCR, unfortunately the VCR is only two hours sixteen minutes behind (the entire two hour episode of the X-files was missed – just as that show seems to be getting back on track. Got to do a better job checking that). I went to two birthday parties on Friday, February 16, and ate too much. Since you are sure to not care whether I watch tv or not, I’ll use the segue in the previous sentence to finally tell you about my diet (a much more interesting topic for you, I’m sure;).

As I’ve said, I’d joined the 200 club a while back (weighed in at 201 1/2) and started to get serious about what I eat and how much I exercise. I set a two pound per week goal with no floor (I don’t seriously expect to lose fifty pounds, which wouldn’t be good for me anyway) and this week’s goal was 188 1/4. I have a daily weigh-in that is unofficial, and an official weigh-in on Friday mornings.

On Tuesday morning I weighed 188 1/2. I thought, “perfect. I can lose 4 ounces by Friday, and maybe get a nice jump on next week,” and by Wednesday morning I was at 194 1/2. I got that down to 193 1/2 by Friday. I ate a LOT at each of the Friday parties, and four of us shared some appetizer plates late that night after a comedy show and a blues performer. In short, I’m dumbing down.

The plan for the coming week is to begin using one of the models of Healthrider. This is of more immediate importance to me, so this will precede the purchase of more computer hardware. I will buy some more software this month, however. I plan to contact Vitesse and ByteWorks.

Updata – Nice looking short descriptions

A2.Tony, A2 librarian, fixed up the short and long descriptions of the II Something files a while back and they look really nice now. The first five issues still show heavier access, but this dipped with 12/3/95, then started to pick up again for 12/10/95. Apparently you are one of nearly eighty who download on a regular basis (that’s my best guess), and here is the listing as of 2/10 or 2/11/96. The number listed next to “53” is the number of times each file has been downloaded.

No. File Name Type Address YYMMDD Bytes Access Lib

25910 IIS.951029.BXY X C.STILES3 951022 12160 149 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 01 - Oct 29 95
25997 IIS.951105.BXY X C.STILES3 951104 16000 145 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 02 - Nov 05 95
26029 IIS.951112.BXY X C.STILES3 951113 37120 92 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 03 - Nov 12 95
26059 IIS.951119.BXY X C.STILES3 951119 21504 85 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 04 - Nov 19 95
26098 IIS.951126.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 91136 93 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 05 - Nov 26 95
26099 IIS.YNOPSIS.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 3712 54 53
Desc: II Something - Issues 1-5 - Contents
26108 IIS.951203.BXY X C.STILES3 951203 15232 57 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 06 - Dec 03 95
26135 IIS.951210.BXY X C.STILES3 951209 17920 78 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 07 - Dec 10 95
26167 IIS.951217.BXY X C.STILES3 951217 20736 77 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 08 - Dec 17 95
26237 IIS.951224.BXY X C.STILES3 951224 28928 75 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 09 - Dec 24 95
26296 IIS.951231.BXY X C.STILES3 951231 17920 75 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 10 - Dec 31 95
26338 IIS.960107.BXY X C.STILES3 960107 22144 78 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 11 - Jan 07 96
26393 IIS.960114.BXY X C.STILES3 960113 16640 74 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 12 - Jan 14 96
26446 IIS.960121.BXY X C.STILES3 960121 24960 71 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 13 - Jan 21 96
26450 IIS.960128.BXY X C.STILES3 960127 27904 74 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 14 - Jan 28 96
26477 IIS.960204.BXY X C.STILES3 960204 24532 56 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 15 - Feb 04 96

Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something

This week’s and last week’s issues went out at exactly the same time. Sorry about the 50K of email. The last issue was pretty large on its own, and the previous week’s was about average. Nancy Crawford’s address was working by the time I got to sending the combined issue (the first mailing didn’t correctly work), and she sent email telling me what the trouble was (see “Letters”). This is a great idea for the growing list (several members of the local user group wished to be added).

If you feel the need for back issues delivered in the same way, or would like a catalog listing of the archive contents, let me know.

Do It In Software – Spectrum as a BBS Host – part 1

Spectrum seems to need more speed than a stock GS can generate when using a 14400 modem. I first noticed this when trying to get it to learn the signons for Delphi and Genie. When I loaded the resulting file, Spectrum was telling itself to wait for “ONNECT” instead of “CONNECT”, for just one example. This just means I need to get an accelerator.

I’ve always felt pretty comfortable with the Talk Is Cheap macro language. Spectrum’s has a somewhat larger vocabulary, but many of the commands are identical to TIC’s. Named variables are an addition in version 2.0, and a sample chat type host macro is included in the package. It doesn’t take too much work to make a rudimentary BBS out of it.

The obvious advantage to using Spectrum for a file transfer and chat BBS is FST access to CD-ROMs, Mac, Pascal, MS-DOS, and DOS 3.3 volumes. This is something we may need very badly if Apple II owners get kicked offline. I noticed in the Digisoft webpage that the upcoming successor to the Golden Orchard CD-ROM will be bootable. I did not know that was possible, but it would make a file transfer BBS pretty easy to implement. Once debugged it could be burned onto a CD-ROM along with the System, Spectrum itself, and about 600 megs of anything else needed. The sysop could laugh at uninterruptable power supply salesmen as long as a floppy were available (the “debugged” BBS macros would have to be able to check for bug fixes in update files on an online floppy, just to make the system robust).

You know, this idea is going to make a great Wish List one of these weeks.

Using Spectrum for a general forum style would be difficult because string handling is not much better than what is available in TIC. One workaround (I’m not gonna try it, you try it) is to allow registered users and guests with IIgs CPUs virtual access using the Balloon 2.0 XCMD to ship unread messages to the caller using a SHK archive built on the spot. The users and guests would need a Spectrum macro front end downloaded on a previous visit. It would log them on, grab new messages as a SHK file, log them off, and load the unpacked SHK (if Balloon were available) into some sort of offline reader/editor.

The offline program could tag messages for reply as desired by the user, who would then be given the tagged messages one by one at the end of the full read. Replies would then be made (or not made, in the case of messages which had been answered in a later post), turned into a SHK archive, and uploaded at the next sign on. The user’s unread counter would be updated through some easily implement protocol. Obviously, Balloon 2.0 would be required on the host end, but perhaps it wouldn’t need to be on the user end. As I said, I don’t plan to do this.

This is just the first installment in this series. I’ll build a halfway decent macro-based BBS for Spectrum here in II Something and share the whole thing for your enjoyment.

Webfind of the Week – Apple II FTP/WWW Site List


“Neil Parker has recently set up the most extensive collection of Apple II links to be found anywhere on the World Wide Web. From the Apple II FTP/WWW Site List Home Page, you can connect to just about every Apple II company and every Apple II user who has a presence of the World Wide Web. If you have only one Apple II home page that you visit on the web, make it Neil Parker’s.” – Joe Kohn

The Apple II FTP/WWW Site List is recommended by Joe Kohn (in the current Shareware Solutions II) as a default page for Apple II users of Internet browsers. It is an agreeable site, even though some of the links seem to go nowhere – after all, this is the Internet, and all index sites act that way, even when there is nothing wrong with the links themselves. All it takes is for a server to be down.

I used this site to surf into Clayton Juniel’s FTP areas and found I could get there, but got an error when I tried to download. For some reason, the most recent file there was GSHK (Feb 11 1996), and I was wondering whether it was some new version or merely a rearchived set of files from 1992’s release. It frustrated me to not be able to download it.

The Caltech server is still down, and the link to GRIND didn’t work from here, either. These disappearing sites are starting to get to me. GROUND, the replacement for the GRIND site, seems to be all Charles Turley’s doing, but it’s hard to say (I haven’t unpacked any of the 2 MB of stuff I downloaded today).

I’d never been to this site list page, and I’ve added it to the top of my rather huge Personal Favorites list for Delphi’s Lynx. Now it is bedtime for me and for this issue. See you next week.

The Wire Service – Some sites I wish you’d try

According to GS Worldview, this is supposed to be an Applied Engineering support site, but it didn’t work for me:

WWW Alert: Fatal Error 401 Unauthorized Access Denied


Unable to retrieve


I thought this was the new address for GRIND, but this is what happened:


Reason: System call `connect’ failed: Unix errno = 61 dec, VMS error = 294 hex

Unable to retrieve “http://ground.isca.uiowa.edu/”.

Instead, try:


The Wire Service – Other Tolkien Resources on the Internet

There are a lot of sites devoted to J.R.R.Tolkien and his work. This page is just the largest list I’ve been able to find.

The Wire Service – Not For The Rest Of Us


Avoid this ScaryLand Central site – no text interface. Also, I have a feeling it may suck.

Wish List – Flatbed Scanner program

There is a SCSIScan driver in System 6.0.1, but to the best of my knowledge there is but one program that can access a flatbed scanner – the incomplete hack by Jim Mensch, found on the GEM CD-ROM (I dunno where – I’m citing that from a dim memory and am too lazy to look for it, especially since I don’t have a flatbed scanner to try). That program wouldn’t save or print – it just scanned. It seems to me that InWords could be adapted to work with such a scanner, and I’m not entirely sure that InWords doesn’t already work with flatbed devices. InWords is ProDOS 8 I believe, which means it would not be using the SCSIScan driver, nor would it be as convenient for GS/OS addicts like me. The drawback to a flatbed scanner versus a hand held one is cost, but flatbed scanners are far easier to use in most cases.

Shed some light, if you’ve got some. You know how to reach me.


Just download it and see.


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.