II Something Issue # 20

II Something Magazine

Issue # 20
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, March 10, 1996 – issue 20 – II.Smthg.960310


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • Letters
  • Do It In Software – Spectrum as a BBS Host – still nothing
  • Webfind of the Week – DaveNet’s Letter From Woz
  • The Wire Service – The Family Internet Directory Online
  • Alexander Graham Hell – back to AT&T;
  • Too Much TV? – continued
  • 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
  • Wish List – Extra Paint and an Updata
  • 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 second issue of March 1996 and I’m still using my Apple IIGS. In six short weeks we’ll be involved in lots of the great outdoors and be halfway through our first year together.

In other words, if you’re looking for crying and lamentations, you’ve come to the wrong place.

There’s absolutely nothing of interest to people without the will to go on. If you lack the will to go on, you’d better be getting on.

If my memory were a little better I’d know what books are to blame for my mind.

Actually, those would make fairly good tag lines. If only I used those. Hmm… I could make use of those in the quote system for KOTOL. Keep reading the installments.

Last week I put the wrong date on the archive names when I uploaded them to Genie and to Delphi. Instead of IIs.960303.SHK, I made them IIs.960304.SHK, which is a day off. It shouldn’t be any problem, but it is annoying. The other place the error appears is in the long description on both services, and the short description on Genie. Sorry for the mixup, but it shouldn’t have any impact on your enjoyment.

This week we pick up the delayed third installment of the Spectrum Host scripts. Some of the menu selections will work when we’re done. I hope they seem like they’re being introduced in a logical order. The WebFind is pretty alright, and the Wire Service will continue to thrive in the role that it has taken on – sites that may or may not have anything to do with Apple II or any other kind of computing.

If you think you’d like to see more issues of II Something, and you are on GEnie or Delphi, look in their Apple II download areas, and search for the keyword II Something or C.Stiles – either one will show the full listing of 20 issues. Download them by following the directions. On Genie you’ll be prompted to download it, skip it, or quit. On Delphi I can’t remember – I mostly upload there. I think you just type Choose to select Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem, or whatever for a transfer protocol, then Download to start that process. Set up your term program for automatic extraction of Binary II if possible (otherwise, ShrinkIt or GSHK will handle this, and you will need those to extract the file anyway), and download them one by one.


[ It is surprising that no one has complained that I reprint email here in II Something. Then again, I don’t exactly send copies to everyone, which is a common and very fair practice. I may have to start doing that. Luckily for all concerned, most of my email remains private. ]

Item 2367697 96/02/27 19:16
From: C.STILES3 Clark Hugh Stiles
To: CINDY.A Cindy Adams
cc: C.STILES3 Clark Hugh Stiles
Sub: RTC - Me?
I'd be glad to do it. I should be around that day and have often wondered what it's like to be the center of attention (yeah right Stiles).
The most recent II Something (2/25/96) had a desktop init you may like, but it's not like a stunning masterpiece or anything. It's pretty easy to make one, but I have GOT to get a real paint program.
Queue# Item From Length Sent Subject
1 1268062 CINDY.A 5 96/02/27 RTC - you
Item 1268062 96/02/27 20:56
From: CINDY.A Cindy Adams
To: C.STILES3 Clark Hugh Stiles
Sub: RTC - you
I'm looking forward to your visit to PAUG on March 17.  Yeah, a good paint program might help. :)

Do It In Software – Spectrum as a BBS Host – still nothing

In the third installment in this series, I’ll refine the script from number two and implement a first version of one of the main menu selections. Of course, that one feature is going to be “Logoff”…

Unfortunately for you, I’m not going to do it until at least the 3-24-96 issue. I’ve been spending a lot of after work hours outside in the improving weather. Despite all the TV talk in recent issues, even TV hasn’t consumed much of my time. Last night I did finish watching the Civil War so Mike and Jodi can borrow it.

Even if I lived in Hawaii where the weather is fine all the time I’d probably have to work two jobs just to live. This would then be known as One-And-A-Half Something.

Webfind of the Week – DaveNet’s Letter From Woz


Woz’ letter exists in the archives somewhere on the homepage here. Woz wrote in in response to one of Dave Winer’s whinings (this guy reminds me of someone, but I just don’t know who) about Apple. It is VERY interesting reading. I’d reproduce it here but it is copyrighted. I’d reproduce the exact address including all the slash levels, but that is bound to change.

Most of the stuff on this site is pretty interesting. DaveNet appears as a column on the HotWired website, which is accessible through most of those big index sites like Starting Point and Yahoo. Woz’s letter was in reply to Dave’s 8-24-95 column. in HotWired itself.

The Wire Service – The Family Internet Directory Online


This site is a site with links to sites you can let your kids see. In all the zealous rage regarding attempted government censorship, swept under the rug is the fact that the Internet is mostly porno and leaves parents of children (particularly small ones) with no recourse but to pull the plug out of the modem. Parents should take that type of responsibility very seriously. With so much available on the Internet, it is difficult for most people to find the time.

Right now online sources of erotic art are popular because they are freely accessible (usually), and no one can see you lurking at the convenience store magazine rack. People like that are just wussy skinflints. Tiny Giant forever, that’s what I say! Adam & Eve! Leisure Time!

Anyway, here’s a quote from this homepage:

“Welcome to FIDO! Arf! This site contains links to sites on the World Wide Web that I have reviewed and consider to be totally fun, educational, and family-safe. If I think good ol’ Walt Disney himself would’ve liked it, I pick it! But before you surf – please be sure to see my special note to parents! After that, you can see who’s talking about FIDO! NOW WITH OVER 300 LINKS!!!!”

This could be a quite useful service. My suggestion to the person maintaining it would be to offer email updates, perhaps for a small fee. That would make it more palatable as more sites are found. Even I can’t believe that there are only 300 sites out of the millions available that are not really, really naughty. The main deficiency could be sites that are on a level appreciated by children. Those would consist of TV show oriented home pages, for the most part.

Alexander Graham Hell – back to AT&T;

AT&T; offered me $40 to switch, so I did. I’m a long distance company whore anyway, and have noticed no difference in service from any of them, except that MCI’s calling card never works anywhere. Of course, I think that there is some sort of 1-800 access number listed on the back, but that kind of activity really exacerbates my carpal tunnel.

Now I’ll get an AT&T; calling card and 35% off the next three months, after which I’ll be in their standard, advertised “discount” program. Of course, this didn’t stop them from calling me a week later to point out that I wasn’t listed as having ANY discount program and the shill who called me offered to put me into their standard “discount” program. I told her it was news to me, that I’d been promised 35% off, and she got very nervous and backed down, saying, “oh, here it is” or some other weak kneed lie. This is what is sometimes called telemarketing fraud. Watch for it.

MCI has been bugging me to switch back, offering me a big $10 check (the two switching fees). I won’t be doing that for a while.

If you’re trying to sell Excel Long Distance, don’t email me – I’m not interested. Everyone here in the home of Amway multilevel marketing is involved in that, including Mike’n’Jodi and Dave’s sister Tracy.

Too Much TV? – continued

I’ve almost given up on the Nightly Business Report. It consumes more than 2% of my day and is less and less interesting. If the stock rundown were at a reliable time I’d just tape that every day. CNBC’s business program is a poor substitute because it goes on for hours and mostly consists of references to upcoming new stories which when they finally arrive look like something from Entertainment Tonight or Sightings.

Babylon 5 is beginning to get pretty good. There is a sort of continuity from episode to episode. There aren’t any pointless, useless hints and loose ends in every episode as there used to be, and the amount of overacting has been reduced. The scripts have been better. That resemblance to a soap opera (“haven’t I ever mentioned your long lost cousin Betsy?”) has begun to decline. Walter Koenig’s latest performance in his PsyCop role was wonderful. Even a Majel Barrett character was believable. I doubt that Harlan Ellison has anything to do with the overall improvement, since he’s been involved with the show from the beginning.

Deep Space 9 bores me. Bringing in the Worf character has to be an unnecessary budget buster for the series, and he’s the last thing I want to see every week. The episode where Worf has his brother’s memory wiped is the stupidest thing anyone has dreamed up in years. Then need to get rid of Worf immediately and bring back the other main characters, along with the small ensemble of secondary characters (like Gerrick and Kaiko – sp? on both), including some new ones. Maybe get Tom Arnold to play some occasional itinerant ne’er do well like the Mudd character in the original series (could be a contact for Quark). As I said, breaking up the Klingon-Federation treaty was very dopey. I couldn’t possibly care less what the season ending cliffhanger will be this year (gee, might it involve the Founders and Klingons?), and will probably stop watching this crap before that it televised.

Voyager’s Q episode was surprisingly good to me. Although I like to think that I hate the Q character (stems from the first couple of years of TNG, when it seemed like he was around all the time), I really enjoy almost all the episodes in which he’s appeared (not, however, the DS9 episode, which just sucked). Voyager itself is so bad that I’ve begun to believe all those bad stories about Star Trek fans. I won’t be bothering to watch this beginning next week.

Seinfeld has been at new highs right along with the Dow 30 Industrials.

The Single Guy is my latest addiction. It is a perfect ensemble cast, the characters are well differentiated and believable, the dialogue is rapid and hilarious, and the main character doesn’t seem to dominate all the action. In other words, this is a show that doesn’t have a prayer. Some gonad in the upper management of the network will get in and muck it up, thinking that a few changes (rather than a little more time) will get that extra 5% of ratings. I like it better than anything else I watch. It reminds me of other shows I have loved, like Bosom Buddies, Flying Blind, Herman’s Head, Seinfeld, Frasier, Cheers, and WKRP In Cincinnati (the original series).

Frasier has been a funny-tiresome combination all year. Seeing Shelly Long reprise the Diane role again was the latter. It’s ironic that she would have to look for work on that show, considering that she hated the Frasier character from its very introduction on Cheers (Kelsey Grammer once said that Frasier originated as an eight episode character, but the writers hated Shelly Long so much that they kept writing for the character for the remaining eight YEARS of the show). So were the episodes with his short-lived new boss. That show needs better scripts. The Sinatra episode was my favorite this year (unless Frasier’s agent negotiator appeared this year, because I wet ’em during that one).

Since the cancellation or other disappearance of the Andrew Clay series, I’ve set up the VCR to tape the Drew Carey show, which is the 90s version of The Bob Newhart Show. While cleaning I found the summer 95 flyer from the local Comedy Den, and Drew Carey had appeared here. I’m very disappointed that I missed that. I don’t know how long it will be before I get tired of this show – too much of it revolves around the main character, who has most of the lines, but that opening theme is so much fun! Drew Carey’s crew cut reminds of Henry Morgan (the only thing I know for sure that he did was “I’ve Got A Secret”, or maybe it was “What’s My Line?” Harry Morgan, whose REAL name is Henry Morgan, played the Captain during most of the run of MASH, and had played two distinct but not distinctive characters on earlier episodes of that show. Henry Morgan is or was someone else).

Friends is still quite okay with me, but I don’t see much on most of the episodes that is very compelling. This week Ross’ baby got left on the bus. Tee hee. The episode where Ross and Rachel finally got together (the suspense was killing uszzz) was QUITE well done, emotionally tugging but not pandering.

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

My official weight on Friday, 3-8-96 was 195 1/4 pounds. From now on I’m going to throw out the fractions, set a goal of 1 pound a week, and reset that every Friday when I weigh in. Therefore, the 3-15-96 goal is 194. If I end up at 193, the 3-22-96 goal will be 192. If I end up at 199, the goal will be 198. This is a very New Age method of dieting and I’m content with it.

Updata – the readership

I think readership is picking up a bit. I hope to see a rise in those numbers after the RTC. Tell everyone you know to show up. I’ve never participated in any capacity in a special RTC, although I do pop in during the continuous conferences from time to time.

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 146 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 02 - Nov 05 95
26029 IIS.951112.BXY X C.STILES3 951113 37120 94 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 03 - Nov 12 95
26059 IIS.951119.BXY X C.STILES3 951119 21504 86 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 04 - Nov 19 95
26098 IIS.951126.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 91136 94 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 05 - Nov 26 95
26099 IIS.YNOPSIS.BXY X C.STILES3 951127 3712 55 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 79 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 07 - Dec 10 95
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Desc: II Something - Issue 08 - Dec 17 95
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Desc: II Something - Issue 09 - Dec 24 95
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Desc: II Something - Issue 10 - Dec 31 95
26338 IIS.960107.BXY X C.STILES3 960107 22144 80 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 11 - Jan 07 96
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Desc: II Something - Issue 12 - Jan 14 96
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Desc: II Something - Issue 13 - Jan 21 96
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Desc: II Something - Issue 14 - Jan 28 96
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Desc: II Something - Issue 15 - Feb 04 96
26535 IIS.960211.BXY X C.STILES3 960211 38656 71 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 16 - Feb 11 96
26590 IIS.960218.BXY X C.STILES3 960218 19840 59 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 17 - Feb 18 96
26652 IIS.960225.BXY X C.STILES3 960225 25984 64 53
Desc: II Something - Issue 18 - Feb 25 96

Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something

Last week’s issue (3-3-96) went out at exactly the right time. It went out as text. The previous issue (2-25-96) went out as a BINSCII version of the archive. Since no one has sent feedback I’m wondering if anyone really noticed.

I went into Genie on this cover date to update the listing of downloadable II Something issues, and discovered to my chagrin that the 3-3-96 issue isn’t up there. Maybe there was a send error? In any case, I’m going to resend it (this time with the proper date). Sorry for the inconvenience!

The main reason for the BINSCII was to include all the Spectrum Host project files. Sorry for the confusion. From now on I’ll make a BINSCII version of the inclusions and send it separately from the text version of II Something itself. Oh yeah – the BINSCII will contain a SHK archive.

If you don’t know how to handle this, relax. It is no more difficult than using ShrinkIt or GS-ShrinkIt. It just involves one more step. If you need a utility that can handle this, drop me some email and I’ll try to take care of that problem.

The reason for BINSCII is to make it possible to send 8-bit data (such as a SHK archive, a non-compressed program, etcetera) over the Internet, which still has 7-bit transfer services. In effect, those 7-bit units assume everything is text and drops the high bit, limiting your transfers to values of 127 or less (8 bits give you values up to 255).

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, or they drop the command line interface.

Wish List – Extra Paint

I’d love to see a Finder Extra paint program. That’s the whole wish. The brevity might be a letdown, or it might be a relief. This week’s archive has a desktop init that demonstrates one possible realization of Extra Paint. Like last week’s Finder NDA init, it was built using Deskpak Screen Saver, an old NDA called DT Painter, and Superconvert.

Being lazy, I opened a folder window on top of most of the icons, did the screen save, then loaded the saved screen into DT Painter and fooled with it for a while. The tool menu and color menu window are adapted from a screen shot of DT Painter itself. The “Tool” in inverse on the menu bar was done in the paint NDA, and the arrow was captured from any old desktop. The screen shots were captured using Deskpak’s ScreenSaver NDA.

Making a screen shot permitted the inclusion of The Imagine Nation init as the background for the background to lend a sense of, uh, well, realism. Additional tools (like patterns, and a pattern editor) would be nice to have in Extra Paint.

It may have been done before (actually, I’ve done it before), but the II Infinitum desktop background (still a champion after all these years) is now a screen shot file, making it easy game for various utilities that will use it as or convert it to a desktop init. I’ll check the database before I upload that.

I’d love to see an option on the save dialog of Extra Paint (and for that matter, in Show Me, screen shot savers, and every paint program) to save my masterpieces directly as desktop init files so I wouldn’t have to use Superconvert for this. It would also be nice to be able to load desktop inits directly as if they were ordinary paint files. Obviously some formats that Show Me (for example) can display won’t make very good desktop backgrounds, but live and learn, that’s what I say.

If you have a favorite paint program, I’d love to hear about it.

Wish List – Audio CD Track Launcher Updata

The updata is for the improved audio CD desk accessory Wished for last month. Now dubbed the New Disk Accessory, it exists only as a desktop init and its source APF file (in this archive). This one bears a striking resemblance to the existing CDRemote NDA because it is an inverted and otherwise altered image of it. The lower window contains text like “Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Track 4” when a CD is loaded into the CD-ROM drive for the first time.

The user would click the DISK programming button to edit the information there and assign a disk name (otherwise the title bar would contain “Untitled”), and when done would click the DISK button again to save it (probably into a Config file, possibly into the System:Preferences folder).

The user would click the TRCK button to have it play just selected tracks in a preferred order. When TRCK is clicked again that information too is saved and becomes the default. At that point, clicking the Shuffle button would toggle from LIST (default) to RANDOM to OFF. When OFF, the list of tracks is used and played in order. When no preferred track order has been set up, the Shuffle default is OFF.

The Finder window that shows the tracks as named files, and the named CD icon for the audio CD itself, would be generated by a FExt or other Init.


Spring. Less than two weeks from now. At least on paper.

I plan to review the Juiced GS prototype (available for download everywhere an Apple II can go), whine some more, continue the Spectrum Host scripts, have a new WebFind, some more Wire Service, another shamelessly brilliant Wish List, and whatever other ideas I find sitting around unclaimed in the virtual bus lockers of my brain.


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.