II Something Issue # 18

II Something Magazine

Issue # 18
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, February 25, 1996 – issue 18 – II.Smthg.960225


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • Letters
  • Do It In Software – Spectrum as a BBS Host – part 2
  • Webfind of the Week – Washington Apple Pi, Ltd.
  • The Wire Service – HyperStudio Journal
  • So High I Can’t Get Over It So Wide I Can’t Get Around It
  • Updata – the readership
  • Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something
  • Updata – Alexander Graham Hell
  • Wish List – CDROM BBS in a Box for the IIgs
  • 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

We’ve reached the fourth issue of February 1996 and I’m still using my ROM 03 GS. Bite that, Spindler!

Since Spindler is now history, I think we should follow the lead of various users in the Genie A2 real time conference and use him for an all-purpose scapegoat. For example, “if Spindler hadn’t taken over at Apple in the first place, I wouldn’t have to worry about that tab I broke off my Harris Labs SIMM board.” See? It works great. I’m feeling better, and my computer even WORKS better now.

Washington Apple Pi’s venerable communications system is this week’s WebFind of the week. Tangentially, the Washington Apple Pi a few years ago commissioned Bob Consorti to write a new OS for the Apple III. I’d met Bob in 1990 at the National Apple User Group Convention (somewhere by O’Hare Airport) and later learned (through Dave, I think) that the OnBoard (a DMA 4 meg RAM card for the GS) was available without RAM in Bob’s then-basement. I wonder if that’s still so? Dave bought one circa 1990 and I think it’s in the Woz machine out back. It is a well-made, untroubled board and uses what at that time was standard CAS before RAS x8 RAM chips of matched denominations (1 MB x 8, or 256K x 8, for example). My guess is that they’ve gone into a Pi auction sometime in the past few years, but who knows? They could be pretty inexpensive by now.

I’ve moved all the “home page” type material to a point much nearer the end for your reading pleasure. This week and from now on look for a Glossary file in the archive which may explain who’s who, in case you missed that week.

In this issue II Something continues the series on a Spectrum BBS host script, tells about a new WebFind of the Week (maybe this should be WebPick?), goes on about the editor’s diet, has an interesting Wish List foretold last week, and the usual. This week I’ve begun to include a Glossary file in the archive, which in an uncharacteristic show of grace I plan to include in the emailed version. Enjoy!


[ I usually receive more email on Genie than I do on Delphi, even though I send most of my mail from the latter because I like their email system better. This week I got on Delphi on Wednesday and had eight pieces waiting. Last weekend I had about three on Genie. Heavy emailers will just laugh at this to same extent that even I will laugh at the “pull out in this traffic?” story from my home town. One piece that would have been helpful to have didn’t get saved because I neglected to turn on the buffer in Spectrum. Fixed the script to avoid that in the future. ]

Queue# Item From Length Sent Subject
1 2544380 INET01# 34 96/02/13 KFest home page
INET01# Document Id: UX012.BUX0694298
Item 2544380 96/02/13 03:31
To: C.STILES3 Clark Hugh Stiles
Sub: KFest home page


The reason you couldn't get to the KFest home page is that as originally stated by the KFest committee, the URL was incorrect.
If you want to get to the KFest home page, the correct URL is:

That lets me in 🙂

Apple II writer and GEnie RTC host

[ ah! That explains it! – editor ]

#3 19-FEB-1996 15:02:13.54


From: IN%"nancy.crawford@slc.davenport.ia.us"
To: IN%"CHSTILES@delphi.com"
Subj: monday afternoon
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 1996 13:23:00 -0100
Avoid this ScaryLand Central site - no text interface. Also,
I have a feeling it may suck.
This MAY be a site aimed at young children; Richard Scary is author of a collection of heavily illustrated children's books. I think I've even seen an afternoon? Sat morning? cartoon with Scary characters. Doesn't mean this site is related to Scary, but it looks logical. Don't suppose you'd be much interested in such children's cartoons.
Thanks for the latest issue. SLC's been mute all day until after 10 pm. Figured Jim was working on it some more. I think, when I go back on to upload this…providing it answers. go see what happens when I go to the Internet menu. Probably nothing; there was no new msg from the Sysop. [ It's not answering tonight now. ]
We changed the meeting day for the club to the 1st Tuesday of the month. I'm going to have to buckle down this next week and get the issue put together.

Wrote this last night; uploaded it this afternoon.

[ thanks for the information, Nancy. Now that you describe ScaryLand in that way, that possibility emerges. You’re right – I don’t have much interest in children’s books, at least not now. My grandfather didn’t marry until age 40, and the oldest child to survive infancy was my father, who was 48 years younger than grandfather, so there is time… – editor ]

Do It In Software – Spectrum as a BBS Host – part 2

In the second installment in this series, I’ll detail the means by which the BBS identifies users by logon name or user number, with a “three strikes and you’re out” safety feature. By all means get last week’s issue (2/18/96) for the opening installment, even if you have to request it from me by email. The scripts will be included in the email versions as well as in the archive.

Luckily for us scripts are just text files.

Note that the Hello, MainMenu, and ExtraMenu files should be placed in a folder called BBS, and that the Problems file should be placed in a folder called LOGS. A file called D01Sep86T0101 containing the sysop password should be located in a folder called PW, while a second file by that name should be located in a folder called LEVELS and should contain the text “Sysop” (without the quote marks), and the USERS folder should have a file called SYSOP containing the text “D01Sep86T0101” (without the quote marks), which is just used to locate the files by that name. So far the program scripts consist of Watcher and Local.

KOTOL uses the $DateTimeStamp variable to identify each user in a unique way. This satisfies my desire to dis’ so-called Daylight Savings Time.

To log onto the system just launch Spectrum 2.0, select Run A Script, and select Watcher. Hit a key to enter the local login routines, then enter “sysop” (without the quote marks) at the login prompt, hit return, and enter “HaHaSaidTheClown” at the password prompt, and hit return to see a simulated problem log, the welcome message, followed by most of the simulated main menu, the extra menu items for sysops only, and the last line of the main menu (Quit).

If you’ve got any suggestions or experience any problems, or just find an easy way to disrupt the operational flow of the script, by all means send it all in a letter to me via me-mail. Soon KOTOL (King Of The One Liners) will be ridiculously easy to configure and use GS/OS BBS, and if all goes better than expected, it will actually be worthwhile and satisfactory to operate – from both ends.

Please note that I have not tested it with actual callers – only the local version has been tested. One problem we’ll deal with next week is cleaning out bogus users. If the scripting language just can’t handle it we’ll have to make a slight change to the program. In either case, more folders are in our future.

[ Arcane Sidebar: Doesn’t KOTOL sound like some sort of lost city? It would have to be perched at the more or less flat summit of a rocky meteorite or basalt volcanic flow, shaped like a spike, that protrudes a thousand feet out of the Pacific, located way off the trade routes. The surrounding water would have to be just warm enough to support coral growth, but seeing icebergs should not be unheard of. End of arcane sidebar. ]

Webfind of the Week – Washington Apple Pi, Ltd.


Washington Apple Pi claims (probably correctly) to be the oldest user group in existence. It remains one of the largest and most active that has ever been, and retains the Apple II strengths that built it. It has been my belief (and history seems to bear me out on this) that user groups that try to expand into multi-platform recruiting, newsletters, and board members, invariably disappear (so also Resource Central, A.P.P.L.E. , the Beagle Bros, inCider, A+, Nibble, Softalk, Applied Engineering, etcetera). II Infinitum.

This week’s WebFind is of interest not only because of the Apple II focus of the club, but also because of the following quote, found on the home page:


“The TCS is WAP’s flagship communications system. In operation for over a decade, the TCS has become the largest and most popular electronic bulletin board system of its kind.

“You’re not likely to believe this, but…

“The TCS is made up of a room full of networked Apple IIGS’s, each with its own modem, and each connecting to a central Macintosh Quadra 700 running AppleShare. Other obsolete models of Macintosh computers connect the TCS to the Internet.

“This mixed, distributed setup, along with some custom programming, handles 100,000 callers a year to exchange anecdotes, send and receive Internet e-mail, and access several gigabytes of publicly distributed software, graphics, and other information.

“An alternative entry point for the TCS, using the World Wide Web as its presentation layer, is currently under development and is tentatively titled the TCS HyperText Edition. As melding Apple II and Macintosh computers into the World Wide Web has never been done before, a specific debut date has not been set. (But if you were to donate a non-obsolete Macintosh computer, such as an Apple Internet Server 9150, it would certainly speed things up.)”

The Wire Service – HyperStudio Journal


This is the new URL for the the HyperStudio Journal. As you may know, HyperStudio is a multimedia program available for the IIgs and the Macs. HS data files are compatible across platforms, which is quite handy in school networks. The HS Journal is an independent publication (last time I subscribed) similar to a user group for HyperStudio users.

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

Seven Hills had continued their sale through the end of this month, and that has to be a good sign. Vitesse and ByteWorks had sales going also, and I’ve put in some orders. Also I’ve made my reservations for the next trip to Rochester New York, the World Image Center, and got a new piece of exercise equipment. The new motto around here is, “It’s Only Money.”

My official weight (Friday, 2/23/96) was 194.5 pounds. My goal was 186.25 pounds. The same scale was used (a counterbalance type you’d see in a doctor’s office).

Spring is coming. I can feel it moving in the air and in the ground. I can hear it. I’m pretty darn happy for it. Of course, it could be pheromones. I’ve been feeling (as Beetlejuice once put it) “a little – anxious”. That has to be a good sign as well. Probably the exercise, what with all the norepinephrine or whatever that gets released from that.

Monday 2-19-96 was a holiday, and the weather was nice. I took a nice crisp walk around Reed’s Lake with my pal Sue. After that I headed for my parents’ house for supper and helped my poor old father with some self inflicted computer problems. From there I headed for Lake Michigan which by chance and extreme cold was frozen over about 150-200 yards out. I spent the rest of the twilight fooling around out there, but on shore or on the pier, since no one was around. Also, on the way back to shore I slipped partway down a slope of snow and ice and nearly broke my big ass in several places. Luckily my inhumanly twisted left knee joint took most of the force of my fall. It feels better now than it has in a couple of years.

In any case, despite the obvious depth of the ice, I thought it best to get off there since darkness and cold were moving in on the beach and no one knew I was out there. There was someone sitting on the next ridge of “foothills” as I turned back. Watching the ‘bergs float along and the sun go down is something really special. Usually February is the only really good month for it in the latitude of Grand Haven. The next day Sue and I went out there, but still didn’t make it to the ice hills before dark because she insisted on eating pizza first. As if the pizzeria is going anywhere.

Of course, several people told horror stories regarding people who in past years or the past few months had broken through the ice and gone into the drink, and were only alive today because someone happened to see them and haul them out using human chains, or whatever. Maybe that’s where all those missing persons reports come from.

On a trip to Lansing, Michigan on Thursday, 2-22-96, I went to Elderly Instruments (on Washington, north of the Capitol) where there is always loads of used folk, New Age, classical, medieval, and rock CDs for $7 each. I got four – Led Zep’s “Presence”, Linda Ronstadt’s “Best” (volume 1), a medieval vocal music collection (not by the original artists), and perhaps best of all “Way To Blue – An Introduction to Nick Drake” which is a sixteen track disk from 1994 (i.e., subsequent to the box set, which has my favorite tune of his, “Joey”). Some people have said that Nick’s music is too depressing, but they couldn’t be more wrong if their OS were booting backwards. They’re just saying that because the poor guy died from an accidental poisoning from prescription anti-depressant medication.

Tonight (2-24) I got $10 extra at the grocery store and went to a concert by Anne Hills (or is it Ann?). She’s quite fun, has a great voice, and is absolutely nothing like Joni Mitchell, except that she’s also a woman, she plays in various guitar tunings, and writes folk songs. At the break I was a bit sleepy so I left for home, but stopped at El Sombrero on the way for a nice Wet Bubba (bean burrito).

Updata – the readership

The number listed next to “53” is the number of times each file has been downloaded. Since last week the numbers have changed a bit on the later issues. I think I’ve just figured out why I stopped doing this every week. A lot of people are the way I used to be – prior to II Something, I wouldn’t get on GEnie more than a couple of times per month. I’m on Delphi more because I’ve got 20 hours a month over there and I’m used to their implementation of the Internet Lynx, but the II Something uploads don’t get validated until a month has gone by.

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 75 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 76 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 14 - Jan 28 96
26477 IIS.960204.BXY X C.STILES3 960204 24532 59 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 15 - Feb 04 96
26535 IIS.960211.BXY X C.STILES3 960211 38656 53 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 16 - Feb 11 96

Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something

This week’s issue went out at exactly the right time to everyone on the newly expanded list. Last week’s went out twice – once to the old list and again (a week late) to the GRApple members I’d added.

It’s not too late to be added. I’ll accept Internet subscribers until I let you know otherwise. The only reason I’ll ever have to stop is if I end up kicked off Delphi and Genie.

This week the email version will contain all the text found in the archive, but as one file. The desktop INIt won’t be included unless I locate one of those programs like EXTRAX or EXECUTIONER.

Updata – Alexander Graham Hell

A work mate put a sticky note on my desk. Attached by a piece of tape was a newsclipping regarding the practice of postal and phone solicitation. I’d known that these existed, but had no idea where to write (no email address yet).

To reduce junk mail, write to the Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, Box 9008, Farmingdale NY 11735.

To reduce junk calls, write to Telephone Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, Box 9014, Farmingdale NY 11735.

Two postcards from now should reduce the frequency of this series. If the Direct Marketing Association were involved in the Internet, we might see less spamming. I really, really don’t like spam. Hmm. Sounds like next week’s Wish List to me.

Wish List – CDROM BBS in a Box for the IIgs

BBS in a box has been available from BMUG for a long time, and this would be at least as good (better, since it would be for the IIgs). It would consist of a bootable (System 6.0.1 – I read on the Digisoft site that this is possible) CD-ROM with minimal system extras (Font DA installer or IR, plus a licensed version of Balloon XCMD if available), a licensed version of Spectrum (if available), which would be the first application launched (using Setboot, already configured), and would check for a floppy (more than likely – in order to find user information and updated BBS scripts). Also on the boot volume would be any needed files with indices of the downloadable archives on the rest of the disk, which of course would be one huge HFS volume.

The HFS volume would have a dump truck load of SHK files containing fonts (system, TrueType, and Postscript), NDAs, CDAs, FExts, stacks, XCMDS, utilities, and data files to feed to AppleWorks and AWGS, among other things. The aforementioned indices might be needed to make the download menus for callers.

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


The Spectrum host script series will be an ongoing thing. I haven’t even looked at the XCMDs that may be available to help accomplish this so there may be even more to come than you or I know. When completed, I’ll start to write a caller front end that uses Spectrum scripts to automate and prettify the interaction, and that is bound to create more need for revision to the host scripts. It should be fun.

In coming weeks I plan to review various pieces of commercial, shareware, and free software that is available. WebFinds, Wish Lists, Wire Services, and who knows what else will keep coming.


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.