II Something Issue # 27

II Something Magazine

Issue # 27
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, April 28, 1996 – issue 27 – II.Smthg.960428


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting – welcome to issue 27
  • Letters
  • Not A Funny Story – PG13 – Some Of This Will Be Disturbing
  • WebFind of the Week – Lane Roathe
  • The Wire Service – Endless Mike
  • The Wire Service – E Pluribus Unix
  • Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something
  • So High I Can’t Get Over It So Wide I Can’t Get Around It
  • Wish List – SCSI Handler NDA & CDA



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 issue 27

This is the world’s first and only Apple II weekly. The one idea that has never been tried is a formal Apple II daily. Don’t look at me. We’ll have to stick with the Internet newsgroups for that. I’m still using my Apple IIgs to do just that.

I’m still fired up. Due to sheer laziness, illness, trips to the doctor, fatigue, out of season winter weather, deep depression, long rambling letters to total strangers on the Internet, too much web wandering, and the job (that eats up something like 8.5 long hours per day, five long days per week, believe it or not), there is still no KOTOL part 4. I feel like a real dolt, though, so take some comfort in that.

I’m sitting here listening to “Just What The Doctor Ordered” by Ted Nugent. There is a joke in there somewhere, but it would be so twisted and possibly obscure that even I don’t dare work it into a presentable form. Think of the children. Anyway, I’ve hooked up the computer speakers to the CD150 and now can crank up some tunes while I’m working. Just before Terrible Ted I was listening to two full CDs worth of Nick Drake. Before that it was Blind Faith (most of it – the CD has a couple of clunkers on it, besides “Do What You Like”), and before that AC/DC “It’s A Long Way To The Top” and “High Voltage”.

That’s what’s known as ‘pacing’.

Now we’re at “Free For All” (this is the “Great Gonzos” collection). Joe Satriani played here at the Orbit Room this past week. I’d have gone, but that place is pea soup smoke inside. It is just hideously bad. Since I’ve been ill for about a month off and on, smoke is one of the things I must avoid (I must avoid it most other times as well).

While in Rochchachester I got a used copy of a Led Zep tribute, “Encomium”. What I want to know, why would Robert Plant be asked to appear on this, in the biggest clunker on the disk? Oh, I just answered my own question. My favorite is the Stone Temple Pilots’ version of “Dancing Days”, which they cover as an ‘unplugged’ performance of sorts. I would also say I like Hootie’s version of “Hey Hey What Can I Do” but I don’t, which is too bad, because it is just so close. I like Never The Bride’s “Going To California” up to a point. Some others I can tolerate. Most of these tracks would justify using this disk for skeet just because the performances are so wretched. Number two, their choices of compositions are brain-dead. Sheryl Crow’s choice of “D’yer Mak’er” was pretty clever, really, but she does it so cutesy that I just want to puncture my eardrums with a straightened out paper clip.

Time to switch to “Travelling Riverside Blues”, a Robert Johnson medley performed by the Zep and found on that four CD box from 1990. This is so much better than some of the stuff that they released on time, it is a wonder it sat in the can that long.

So what does this have to do with the Apple II? I’ve been listening to it on the CDROM. Pay attention! In between gardening, walking (just once this week), konking out about 9 PM in front of the TV, waking at midnight, and screwing up my sleep cycle, I’ve had difficulty working on II Something during weekdays, but that is the plan. Still, you’ll find that this issue is a spectacular achievement. There is a lot of content here that frankly has not a thing to do with the Apple II, but at least you’ve been warned in plenty of time. Now you know why this is a download and not listable online.

Enjoy, and keep the faith.


From: Nancy Crawford
Subject: comment and question
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 10:42:00 -0100
I see you've 'met' Rubywand@aol.com. He's been posting some interesting comments and help on comp.sys.a2 and I've enjoyed reading his stuff. Still wish he had a genie account.
Do you have any idea how a person might acquire the Chinook hard drive utilities? When Sequential took over the CT-40 drives, they either didn't acquire the rights to those utilities or they didn't bother to package 'em with their versions of the CT-40. I've never seen any mention of who-where-howmuch to acquire them. Makes me feel a little naked to not be able to handle low-level stuff.
I've been poking around asking questions about swapping out the 40-Meg for a larger HD. I've heard various answers but know I couldn't take care of it myself with no way to re-partition since I don't have the Chinook utilities. Is there any info with or on the software telling where I might acquire a copy?


I believe the Chinook utilities may be available from Alltech, Shreve, or PreOwned. I don’t know at all for sure, but they’d be good places to check. There are low level utilities on Genie as well. The thing I like about the CUs is the way it limits the blocks to the maximum ProDOS 8 size. That is something that ADU just doesn’t do, being GS/OS and all. I will see if the Chinook U’s have the author’s name in the title screen and then it will be a matter of looking on the Internet or just on Genie.

Good idea for a project!

See the Wish List this week for another…

[end of reply]

From: Steve Cavanaugh
Subj: Stickies
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 22:38:00 +0000 (UTC)
Yes, stickies is already a IIGS utility. It came out on SoftDisk GS issue #59.

Not A Funny Story – PG13 – Some Of This Will Be Disturbing

Since I work at the Family Independence Agency, my workplace is located in a less well-to-do area. What little drug trade there is, and the lion’s share of the city’s homicides, occur within half mile or so of the welfare office. Luckily for me the murdering goes on after hours. This is also Grand Rapids, Michigan, so the number of murders is not like that of large cities.

I’m not going to claim to have a lot of experiences just from working where I do. Most is hearsay in the form of listening to firsthand testimony. During my too-long career at the welfare office I’ve walked between the parking lot and the building or back something in excess of 8500 times. I’ve never been mugged, shot, or otherwise physically harmed. The worst thing I’ve heard as I’ve walked that route have been a few racist epithets and a few incidents of overheard gunfire.

Back in the summer of 1994 Grand Rapids, like most of the country, had a wee bout of random murders, mostly at night or early in the morning, and mostly drive-by. I remember one day during that summer my coworker Sue left about fifteen minutes after I did. The guard stopped her, saying that bullets were striking an embankment in front of the gym, which lies between our exit and our parking lot, and would she please wait to leave.


Those bullets had been intended for some target on another street. What a relief! The only other daytime shootings I recall were a carload of killers that were going around to houses (apparently of people they knew, or the former addresses thereof) and shooting with a semi-automatic. One of our employees had just locked her car and was about to head in to the building around 8 a.m., and the shoot’em group arrived, started to fire at one of the houses, and caused her a great deal of distress, what with not knowing whether or not she’d be sprayed with hot lead. We gave her a day and a half off for recuperation.

If you felt that was a troubling story, skip to the WebFind of the Week.

The worst thing I remember from that year was seeing a photocopied newspaper article regarding a pretty ugly massacre, and noticing that the address had to be close to the home of one of our retirees and old bud’ of mine. The addresses were just one number apart, making the murder scene right across from Ruby’s. It seems that about 3 a.m. two men knocked at its front door, were admitted by someone inside, and the two newcomers (dunno if it was one or two weapons) killed everyone with some brand of machine gun.

No kidding, this article gets worse from here.

The most popular spot to get shot to death that summer was at the corner of Ruby’s street and Franklin (the welfare office is at Madison and Franklin). There is a pay phone in front of the convenience store there, and at least two or three people making calls very late at night or early in the morning didn’t live to check the coin return. Beats me why anyone would have used that phone after the first couple of victims. But that’s just me. Near the pay phone someone else got shot by a drive by perpetrator around 2 a.m.

Readers living in larger cities may just shrug off these stories. That was a hard summer all over the country, and such stories may have been common. In some places they still are. Perhaps I don’t have as high a comfort level as some people, or perhaps I feel more exposed to the risk of catching an inadvertent bullet working where I work.

To my knowledge, the building has only been hit once by a bullet. It passed through a plastic windowpane, an office, and became lodged most of the way through one of the Westinghouse modular office walls. Police determined that it had been fired one street over for reasons unknown, passed between two brownstones, lost velocity, and did its damage. No one in the room heard anything, so it may have happened at night. It was discovered when the cold winter draft from the bullet hole came to the notice of the office occupant.

I’m not a wannabee. I’d be content if nothing like that happened again.

The main reason I’m writing this is to wonder if 1996 will be similar to 1994. So far I’ve read the newspaper story regarding a running gun battle (using AK-47s) between two vehicles driving at high speed down Kalamazoo Avenue, between Hall and Burton, and that is maybe four blocks due east of where I live. That sounded scary. Luckily I’d taken a different route home that night or I might have driven right into it. Nothing major happened for weeks afterward, and it began to look like a fluke.

On Tuesday 4-23-96 I left in the afternoon for a doctor appointment. An hour after I left, a van caught fire in the visitors’ lot across the street from the Personnel office where I work (the windows are at street level, by the way). The van belonged to a couple of outside contractors who were installing some modular office equipment. It began from a smoldering cigarette butt. One of those guys tried to drive into the parking lot to see the firefighters about something, and when he heard the shooting start (see below, or skip to WebFind) he didn’t bother with that. He stepped on it and took the next available corner on two wheels.

Smoking stinks. If you don’t believe me now, you will in a minute.

The world’s worst convenience store is located kitty-corner (diagonally across the crossroad) from the welfare office. I haven’t gone in there in at least eight years because all the items on the shelves are out of date, there’s practically no lighting, and the soft drinks I used to go there to get are now available with no trouble from the vendor in my building.

If you want a couple of unattractive memories, keep reading; otherwise, search for WebFind and begin the next article.

On Tuesday a man in his early thirties walked into the store with a plastic grocery bag full of returnable bottles with the intent of cashing them in to buy some cigarettes. The proprietor refused to accept the returnables because they were in a bag (he requires they be singles or in a carton, I guess, or perhaps they were bottles that had not originated in his store). The customer got very angry and started to bust up everything in the store. He threw the cash register on the floor and smashed it, struck the owner on the head with a big piece of concrete (maybe the one used as a doorstop in the summer), grabbed some money, and ran outside. The owner went after him. The thief was waiting for him, they struggled, then the owner went back inside with the retrieved money. As the thief tried to follow him inside he fell backward.

That was number one. My boss and coworkers said that there were a total of five shots from what the paper described as a “small caliber semi-automatic handgun”. The last shot went right between the eyes. A number welfare employees were looking out the open windows as soon as they heard the shots (personally I prefer to drop and roll under the nearest large piece of furniture) and one, from the next office in my building, went over to the crime scene because she knows a lot of people in the area. She came back saying that there were two curls of material on the deceased’s face, one from each nostril, like moustachios, and she didn’t know whether they were brains, guts, blood, or what.

Thanks for the vivid description I can take to my old age. Here’s another.

The human head is built a lot like a watermelon – a hard shell containing a semi-liquid mass. When something enters at a high velocity, hydraulic pressure pumps out the contents using any available opening. You may have noticed that phenomenon in the Zapruder film. There wasn’t a shooter on the grassy knoll – that every-which-way motion effect is pretty common during terminal head wounds, or during the later portions of Gallagher live.

Don’t say I didn’t tip you off.

My intent here is not to try to be “funny” or to make you toss ’em. I’m not trying to equate some criminal with a U.S. president. I’m trying say that I need to find different work. I really hate the place. If I wanted to risk my life on the job, I would be in a job where that risk can reasonably be expected, and of course “reasonably” in this context means that I would be similarly armed and prepared for combat – you know, the armed forces. I slipped through the cracks and never had to register for the draft, and am now so old that I place a higher value on my life than I used to and assign more weight to risk.

It’s a wonder I’m still normal.

I don’t think I need to move to a new home or new city to avoid getting shot by accident or design, but I have a feeling that this is going to be a bad summer to spend working in the heart of the city, provided of course that summer ever starts.

WebFind of the Week – Lane Roathe

Ideas From the Deep, Ltd. has some webpages for Lane Roathe, fairly prolific programmer (if I remember correctly, he was involved in Uptime GS, which had but one issue, but has also produced WriteAway and its predecessors and successors). I had a devil of a time getting connected, and I’m beginning to think that the Delphi Lynx has some need for a debugging or better error trapping. The link listed on GS Worldview didn’t work (two attempts) in any case, so I just tried the domain name and followed the links on those pages.

Although you wouldn’t know it by me, Lane Roathe’s entire output (except for work still retained by Softdisk GS and one or two other publishers) is available at this site, and some of his source code is also said to be available. I plan to try this again on a weeknight when the lines aren’t abuzz. This site is located in the Bahamas or something.



IIgs Freeware Collection Link (from GS Worldview)


The Wire Service – Endless Mike

[this was on comp.sys.apple2, but I found it in GS Worldview. Obviously this Mike is not the vegetarian Mike Kivinen from the Glossary, but he sounds like he needs some assistance can you listen to what I say?]

From: socks@whitehouse.com (Endless Mike)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2
Subject: I give up!!
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 18:57:53 -0400
Organization: I give up!
All right, you guys win!
I pulled out my old GSuck yesterday to throw-it out and saw my old copy of Blue Helmet underneath the CPU, but it was still in good condition. I thought "What the hell…..they've been touting the greatness of this machine, let me remind myself how dinky it is!" Well, I started up Blue Helmet and became entranced, and sat on the floor racing on my Gs for about 4 hours. Not only did I enjoy it, but it got me interested again in getting my system up and running. So now, with my tail between my legs, I come to you with a request for addresses of software/hardware sellers. Is there a list available?

[boy, do we have some email for him…]

The Wire Service – E Pluribus Unix

[this was on the web, but I found the link in GS Worldview. He sounds like a shut-in who needs some visitors. Sorry, I didn’t note the webpage address. This is the whole text of his webpage.]

e pluribus unix
kevin's homely home page.
I hate the web. I really really hate the web. the mere existence of this page is irony enough, but hey! everyone's got a home page these days. so i'll keep it simple. if you really want to know more about me, send me email or something.
kevin brintnall

Updata – Internet Email Subscriptions to II Something

You too can receive II Something in your Internet emailbox every week. Although I may drop all Genie and Delphi email addresses (users of those systems can download the archive of all current and back issues – for example, see the 4-21-96 issue for more information on this subject) you can still receive this on other accounts. Drop me some email and tell me where to send it. This service will continue until either II Something no longer exists (no plans of that, so let’s not start that rumor) or I lose the capability to access Internet email (i.e., if Delphi and Genie kick out Apple II users).

If everything holds together, Steve Cavanaugh of The Apple Blossom will put up a II Something home page of some sort. I have to put together some text and Dave may be able to provide a digitized version of one of my mugshots.

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

My official weight (Thursday, 4/26/96) was 195 1/2 pounds. That makes my goal for next week 193. This has been a very good week. My weight has been stable, I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast about half the time, sticking to a lot of fruit, skipping the evening meal (this is pretty normal), and cutting out salsa. Salsa is supposed to help one to lose weight, but my stomach was so upset on Sunday, long before the turmoil described above, that I’ve been avoiding spicy food.

In trying to learn better self care I’ve found out a number of things.

I’d noticed that eating oatmeal for breakfast and occasionally a mug of it (uncooked) with milk (sometimes with a small scoop of added Grape-Nuts) and eaten as cold cereal, seems to contribute to my own weight loss. This is also good for fiber intake, and we humans need a lot of fiber. Most of what we eat should consist of it. That’s just how we’re built, because that is what was around for our distant ancestors to eat while they created the first graphical user interface on the walls of caves and cliffs.

As far as fat versus carbohydrates, a calorie is a calorie.

Some kinds of fat are not good for us, but Omega3 Fatty Acids are said to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest, and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, for example) are high in HDL, which breaks down LDL, and LDL is the bad cholesterol. It is said to be better to have a high percentage of HDL versus LDL in any fat you consume.

Red meat is okay as long as it is eaten in a balanced diet and all easily removed fat is discarded. Most of the risk from eating meat comes from the fat, because most of the weird medicines, chemicals, and metals are accumulated and stored in the fat, kidneys, and liver. Don’t eat kidneys or liver.

Weight loss comes from aerobic exercise, illness, or fasting. Weight stability grows out of having more muscle mass which also results from exercise, or from eating a balanced diet while watching caloric intake.

The body likes weight stability. Dieting alone, short of long term and very unhealthy fasting, will not work. Also, because muscle weighs more than fat, it makes more sense to build muscle mass through exercise in order to lose size (the real goal in any case) and maintain weight. That is what the body likes to do. Exercise is good for our cardiovascular system regardless of what it does to the way we look. As the metabolic rate changes (which happens whether we do anything or not) our stable weight changes.

See you out on the track…

Wish List – SCSI Handler NDA & CDA

SCSI Handler NDA (for use with GS/OS) & CDA (for use with ProDOS) would mount volumes on the fly for those times when GS/OS won’t recognize large capacity removable volumes on insertion. SCSI Handler should also be able to show the kind of information that Chinook Utilities does (on non-drive SCSI devices as well), should be able to perform the same kinds of tests (interleave, bad block), and should be able to partition and format SCSI storage devices.


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.