II Something Issue # 4

II Something Magazine

Issue # 4
a weekly journal devoted to the Apple II family of computers
Sunday, November 19, 1995 – issue 4 – II.Smthg.951119


  • About…
  • Editor’s Greeting
  • Does The Editor Have A Life? – continued
  • Do It In Hardware – The New Hard Drive
  • The Wire Service – review – GS Worldview – postponed!
  • The Wire Service – Webfind of the Week – Strange Magazine
  • The Wire Service – My Personal Favorites – continued
  • The Wire Service – Do It In Hardware – continued
  • Multimedia – CDROM is more than a job… – continued
  • Airware – Desktop BASIC for the GS – Progress Report
  • Wish List – higher speed comm port



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. It’s November 1995 and I’m still using an Apple IIgs.

I have received my first two email messages from readers, R.Suenaga1 and B.Johnson17, both on GEnie. Both were positive. I really enjoyed getting them. In the process of hitting the keys to save the damned text buffer, I cleared instead, and GEnie wouldn’t show me the mail again. Probably my fault – should have tried the help menu in the mail section. Anyway, I sent replies but won’t be able to reprint any of it. Sorry about that.

When I mentioned II Something at the local user group meeting (GRApple, the Grand Rapids Apple Users Group, Box 1811, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1811, $15 a year, include your name, address, maybe your phone, and what kind of machines you use), Jerry the Treasurer wanted to put in some ads to sell some equipment. This is not something that crossed my mind, and I’d appreciate your comments and observations about my placing a classified ad in an archive that costs you to download. If I do it, it may be separate from the actual journal.

Also while at the meeting I found out that the National AppleWorks User Group has only one issue left. They’re calling it quits. I was a member of NAUG for at least three years but left when I realized that I hadn’t read an issue all year. Actually, I’ve never been an avid user of AppleWorks (!). The main reason for their demise, in my opinion, is their attempt to “diversify” into Mac software coverage. Almost every Apple II entity that has ever tried that has failed and then disappeared – Softalk, Nibble, A+, inCider, Call A.P.P.L.E., Beagle Bros, Resource Central, Applied Engineering, GS+, etcetera, and now NAUG. Roger Wagner Publishing is one notable exception (I hope!).

Last Monday I had a day off from work for a hands-on Internet training and found a bunch of sites and neat resources I want to share with you. Check out The Wire Service below for the list. Most of this issue is made up of my report on the new hard drive and way too much of my life story. I hope you enjoy all of it.

Sorry for the delay in the previous issue. Ameritech has refused for years to do anything about the marginal service lines, so any time there is a heavy rain, my phone becomes noisier, then the dial tone disappears, and ultimately the “in use” light goes on. Ironically, I had it done and could have uploaded it just before bed on the 10th.

I’ve complained before, but have tried to be too subtle – “I realize that the phone lines in my neighborhood are historically significant, given that they were installed by A.G. Bell himself, but…” From now on I’ll say, “Since I’ve never kept you waiting for a monthly bill payment, I demand a rebate for all the days I’ve been without service over the past ten years.”

Anyway, we had a day long drizzle on Friday the 10th, and when I woke about 6 AM on Saturday the 11th, the “in use” light was on. At first, barely awake, I thought I’d somehow gone to bed and left the computer on line. That thought woke me up, and I soon realized the truth. The service was still out this morning (11/13/95) but was back in working order by 5:16 PM.

As always, please send me anything you know or any kind of feedback about anything you read here. I may or may not print it, but regardless, submissions become my property to use as I see fit, subject to my own editing.

Does The Editor Have A Life? – continued

Just to give you a glimpse into my real life activities, here is an excerpt of a virtual conversation I had in a real time conference on GEnie a month or so ago…


The old Star Trek was “Wagon Train in outer space”, whereas Voyager is “Gilligan’s Island in outer space”. I think it would [be] a hoot if Bob Denver would have an episode on Voyager. I used to tape those shows regularly but don’t anymore. Bob Denver would work! 🙂

Of course, he’d have to be in some sort of alien prosthetic makeup… From the planet Minnowus… 🙂

It definately has possibilities. Hey… yeah… like the old trek’s “Plato’s Stepchildren”… the ancient Minoans on some planet in the Delta Quadrant a la “Stargate”… 🙂

Russell Johnson and Tina Louise haven’t worked much since the series… nor has Dawn Wells… the other three are dead… this could work…


Still sounds like a good idea… actually had this idea last year, early in the first season of ST:Voyager. After reading the Russell Johnson memoir (he played The Professor) it began to look more timely.

You’ll be relieved to know that as of this writing my bed is assembled, lined, filled, treated, made, and in the process of heating. Mike (see earlier issues for Mike ‘n’ Jodi references) came over for the third time and we got the final steps done, moved the bed on its base to a slightly different location, and finished the job at last. Mike arrived about 12:30 and left about 5:00, but while here (and before we got down to serious business) we had some Herb’s brand veggie rotini with Classico Zucchini and Parmesan sauce, and of course talked about philosophy, psychology, politics, and various other things.

Last year (in July or August) I spent about 16 hours one day helping Mike with their bathroom floor. They just wanted to fix the soft spot around the stool (yuck!) but when we got the stool pulled out, I told him what we were going to have to do. There were about three layers (with underlayment) of vinyl and other flooring, and the wax ring just wouldn’t do the job anymore. We took out the vanity sink to get the old floors off and discovered that the galvanized water supplies in the wall were about one day from rusting through (they had an outside, but no inside).

We tore the floor right down to the planks, got some three quarter inch plywood (rough cut to fit the shape, and then cut in half so it would fit in the car – is this why all dads used to have trucks?), among other things, and nailed that on after cutting the hole for the stool. Then we basically plastered over the nail heads (to protect the vinyl – no underlayment), and when that dried Mike glued the new flooring over the new floor. It is VERY solid.

The next day I went back and we spent about four more hours putting the sink plumbing back together. I slept through part of that. Yesterday, after I fretted about the ridiculous amount of time the bed was taking, Mike said “we haven’t spent as much time on this as we did the bathroom floor. In retrospect it was good that we had to take out the sink or we wouldn’t have found the bad pipes.” No doubt! Had we left the pipes that way, one or the other would have begun to leak inside the wall and would have wrecked the new bathroom floor as well as the entire kitchen floor on the other side of the same wall.

In case you’ve been thinking of asking, no, I won’t come over and help you fix your house. My house needs a lot of things and I never do any of them. The furnace is a gravity gas (no retrofit fan), the plumbing is a lot of really old and ugly galvanized, the electrical system is a 60 amp service with fusebox (I replaced the fuses with fuse-breakers, small, fuse-shaped circuit breakers).

The projects this week include moving the computers into the basement, moving the tv back into the living room, moving out everything else, ripping up the carpeting in here, and if the floor is not okay, getting a carpet remnant. The ultimate result will be that the old waterbed will be set up in here for use by guests (or when I feel like slumming it).

I got some of those touch sensitive adapter boxes for the nightstand lamps in both bedrooms, new bedding for both rooms, and I’m going to pack up a few hundred books and move some shelves and so on. I’ll explain more next week (I know you can’t wait).

Do It In Hardware – The New Hard Drive

As noted in the 11/12/95 issue, I was having a time deciding among the APS 270MB Syquest based model for $229.95, the Syquest based 135MB EZ Drive for $199.95, and a big internal fixed drive or two (one for each IIgs). In checking locally the EZ Drive ranged from $239 to $280. While in Rochester, New York I found one (in either an Egghead or a Babbages, I forget, in either case I was amazed) for $219. Oops. It turned out that the $199.95 price for the EZ Drive listed in MacZone was for the drive without the cartridge, and it is permanently out of stock since Syquest now includes the cartridge.

Today (11/16/95) I went (back) to Computer City (opened here yesterday) and got it for $239, minus 5% Grand Opening discount (thanks, Jeff), plus 6% state sales tax. New York’s sales tax is 8%, but I’ve still screwed myself. Computer City had no cartridges in yet, but one was included with the drive.

The EZ Drive itself is maybe a quarter inch wider than a 3.5 drive, and looks like it’s exactly the same height as one. It has the same color as a PowerBook, but that is not a problem for me. The disk cartridge looks like a tiny version of the 44MB cartridges to which I’ve been accustomed. Inserts are easier. The load lever flips in the from left to right (rather than the right to left of the 44MB). The eject button (for want of a better term) doesn’t feel like it is mechanically linked like it does in the 44MB, which is kind of a relief. In the instructions for removing the cartridges it says the user should unmount the cartridge by dragging the disk icon to the trash, then pressing the stop button, and notes that if the cartridge is still mounted the stop button will have no effect. This is a change. When I tried it, it worked exactly as advertised, except that it was unnecessary to push the button. What a timesaver. A reinsertion brought the icons back to the desktop. It is speedier than the scroggy old fixed drive I use on the RamFAST equipped ROM 01 that I’m using to write this article, but even the Zip drive seemed to hold its own against the Scrog’.

I’ve been looking it over on the ROM 03 (HSS interface card), and just now fired up the venerable Chinook SCSI Utilities because the Advanced Disk Utilities didn’t make any sense (and no Mac partitions this time, damn it – they run slow). The size of the cartridge is 131071.5 K, 262143 blocks, 1:1 (comes formatted for Macs, but that’s what I use anyway). The rest of the display is enlightening to me.

  • The first partition is Apple_partition_map, 31.5 K.
  • The second is Apple_Driver43, 32 K in size.
  • The third is the actual data partition, Apple_HFS, 131 K.
  • The fourth is Apple_Free, 0 K (I’m not making this up!).

When Finder finds the bogus partition with the Apple driver, it asks if I wish to eject or initialize. I pick eject, and the HFS volume then shows up on the desktop. Since the Syquests (any of the models) have no servo eject, unlike floppy drives or the Iomega Zip drive, this method will work. It will not work on the Mac formatted Zip diskettes in a Zip drive because the Zip drive ejects the disk and all the rest of the partitions go with it. Knowing these details doesn’t make it any easier to select “Initialize”.

The CDROM I’ve been complaining about has this problem (I’m wise to it now), but initialization is impossible, so eject just spits out the whole thing. This makes it unlikely that I’ll ever read the files on the damned thing. It’s particularly ironic since I do not have these troubles with CDROMs made for the clone war boxes.

Since 135 MB works out to 131 MB, and that’s 3 MB more than 4 volumes, I toyed with the idea of using those other volumes as the System Install disks so those would always be online. Always wanted to do that, but never had a suitable hard drive. I found that wouldn’t work – I was limited to seven partitions in the Chinook Utilities, and found out something else you’ll read in a minute. I wondered if I shouldn’t just move the whole works to the RamFAST.
When I tried that I found that RamFAST wouldn’t recognize the drive with its supplied terminator in place, and wouldn’t boot with the terminator removed (also had a lot of video interference when I tried). When I’d had this type of incompatibility in the past, I’d found that adjusting the DIP switch on the RamFAST to change the status of terminator power didn’t help. That problem came from a combination of a TMS 44MB Syquest and a Q Labs fixed hard drive of more than 100MB. On that occasion we found that the third drive (I think it was an 80MB fixed) on the chain always worked, but the TMS and the Q Labs couldn’t be online at the same time, and the terminator power DIP switch determined which one. Also the terminator had to be in place at all times whether the terminated drive was recognized or not. So I gave up then and now.

The Chinook utilities partitions drives and shows the size of each volume in K. It also places the maximum limit imposed by ProDOS 8 on each partition, and the user adjusts the size of the partitions with the cursor keys. I’ve always like that. The default is that all of the partitions have the same size. The highest numbered partition is reduced in size when any of the others is adjusted up (where possible) and the Apple_Free is increased in size when any of the others is reduced. I like those features as well.

Now finished, /Groucho, /Chico, and /Harpo show 65535 blocks each, while /Zeppo shows 65507 blocks, and the partition map has 1 block, for a total of 262113 blocks. The 30 blocks unaccounted for are a mystery to me. What this really means is, the megabyte figure listed for the drive is not based on actual megabytes, but on the decimal value for those figures. For an easier example, this Apple 3.5 drive is not an 800K drive, but an 819.2K drive, because it holds 819,200 bytes of data when formatted on an Apple II or Mac – 1600 blocks of 512 bytes each.

The 262143 total blocks on the EZ Drive, divided by two (each block is 512 bytes, or one half K) is 131071.5 (K). A ProDOS volume actually holds 33,554,432 bytes, which in the decimal way of doing things is more than 33.5MB. So, when you go out looking for a hard drive, keep in mind that meg-age figures may vary…

Arcane sidebar (feel free to skip the next few paragraphs) These same types of calculations (perhaps based on information found in the classic book, “Beneath Apple DOS”) led to the misapprehension that the old 5.25″ Apple II type drives held 143K, and early Mac advocates (especially the Apple sales force) claimed that DOS 3.3 (an Apple product) would not accept more than 143K per volume, which pretty much any old II user knows is just not true.

Yet in the case of ProDOS, no one has ever claimed that the size limit of volumes is anything but 32MB, perhaps because that would have been beneficial to the Apple II at a time (ProDOS and MFS – forerunner of HFS – were introduced at roughly the same time) when the original Mac was introduced with its whopping 400K drives and no hard drive provision (I’ve read that when General Computing introduced the very first Mac hard drive – the internal HyperDrive – one of the Mac design team members said “impossible! We made sure of it!”). The “fat Mac”, the 512K that came out less than a year after the 128K original also lacked a hard drive provision.

By that time AppleWorks was on the way to stardom, so was ProDOS, so was AE with its RamWorks memory cards, and so were external hard drives.

When the 1MB Mac Plus came out less than a year later, the SCSI port was standard. Within a year or so the Mac SE replaced the Plus, and had the same ADB bus as the Apple II GS, which had been introduced earlier that year. All subsequent Macs have the ADB bus for the keyboard, mouse, trackball, and even joystick, which is a good thing for the GS owner.

Even the old Disk IIs were capable of at least 36 tracks of operation, which was an additional 4K, and according to Uncle DOS himself, unmodified DOS 3.3 would carry out all operations except for disk formatting on volumes up to 400K in size. Special drivers were needed for hard drives because the interface cards used proprietary circuitry.

Since DOS 3.3 would recognize up to 256 volumes, this meant the hard drive size limit was 10MB (real ones, not decimal ones). The proliferation of 10MB Trustor and Sider hard drives must be the real reason for the virtual extinction of DOS 3.3 – who wants to deal with 256 hard drive partitions?
For that matter, who wants to deal with all this curator’s information? When I’ve brought this subject up in the GRApple News, a lot of eyes glazed over.

End of arcane sidebar…

I thought that a trip back to the Advanced Disk Utility would be appropriate, so away I went. The four Marx Brothers partitions show 25% each of the available total, at 32MB each. Go figure. Hey! A dialog just popped up with the message “Clark, don’t be so darn precise all the time” and my only option is an “Okay” button.

Now I’ve finished the partitioning and the formatting (that took all of three seconds for all four volumes!), and needed only use the Chinook utilities. My dream of having the System 6.0.1 disk set online at all times has fallen apart for now. Maybe when I get a Zip Drive…

Wow! I’ve just backed up a 32MB partition from the 44MB to the EZ Drive while I typed a paragraph. The write speed was easily twice as fast as the read speed. Now I’m moving the other volume file by file (around 10MB worth). We’ll get a rough idea of how long it takes based on how much I type. Hmm. The thermometer is about a quarter done. I’m impressed (I think I’ll get another to replace the Conner – CP30100, 121MB according to the Chinook Utilities). You must realize that this is no competition since the 44MB is a five year old design. I’ve had the 44MB for four years, since April 1991 in fact. Okay, the file by file copy is done. Took much longer than the volume copy which is just block reads and writes and therefore fast fast fast. The Chico volume now has the PC Transporter stuff, so that’s off the boot volume now. Groucho will now have a lot of room for the System, Harpo is (of course) for sound utilities, and Zeppo is a new home for the files we just copied. Sorry, no Gummo. He doesn’t appear as a partition all that often.

So far I recommend the EZ Drive wholeheartedly. This is a very short evaluation period, since I’ve only had the drive two days, and have to upload this week’s II Something today, but rest assured you’ll read more about it in future issues. The 135MB disk cartridges are $20 each. One of the things I must do today is find some, perhaps at Electronics Boutique, perhaps at Best Buy, perhaps at Software America, perhaps at AMS, or at Softwarehouse. All but two of these are on the way out to the homestead where I’m bound today.

The Wire Service – review – GS Worldview – postponed!

Charles Turley has postponed the release of his GS Worldview online magazine. I have some text captures of his bio and other info, as well as some GIFs, and I’ll put it in the archive of this week’s II Something if it proves to be not copyrighted. See last week’s issue for the Internet location of this online magazine and lots of other stuff Mr. Turley has put up. Hyperpublisher, a HCGS stack, is available from Mr. Turley’s site.

The Wire Service – Webfind of the Week – Strange Magazine

I love Strange Magazine. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has it on the newsstand, buy it. I’ve seen it at Village Green bookstore on Monroe in Rochester, New York. It is a twice annual magazine, the publisher and editor in chief is a magician and regular contributor to Fate magazine, and you can subscribe online if you have Internet access. Subscriptions are for two years and cost $17.95 US. By mail use Strange Magazine, P.O. Box 2246, Rockville MD 20847.

I have not yet explored the entire website, mainly because there are articles available online that are pretty good sized and I’ve opted to read some. There are graphic file versions of the covers of back issues available as downloads, and I recommend viewing a few of those just for fun. There are some links to other sites, and the Strange book shop.

I’d like to see more links elsewhere just because I’m so lazy, but some of the links I’d like to see are likely to be to sites that don’t exist. I’d love it if Bill Corliss had a Sourcebook Project website for his Science Frontiers articles and a way to order books. It so happens, however, that Strange carries a number of the Corliss titles, and also carries other titles that are also carried by Mr. Corliss.

That’s my whole review. You didn’t want to spend a lot of time reading about this site, right? That’s going to be my approach for future issues unless you can come up with a good reason for me to go into more detail.

The Wire Service – My Personal Favorites – updated

This is the list of my personal favorites list I have on the Lynx browser over on Delphi. From now on I’ll just update this list by telling you what I’ve added.

Name=All-Internet Computer Directory: Internet Access Providers

Name=Apple GS Directories (Nova Scotia UG)

Name=Apple II & GS Download Area (Nova Scotia UG)

Name=Apple II Internet Resources

Name=APS Technologies (hard drive company)

Name=Argus/University of Michigan Clearinghouse

Name=Welcome to Britannica Online (a beta service scheduled for termination)

Name= Caltech Apple II Archive Page

Name=CERN HTTP server status

Name=CNIDR Home Page (freeWAIS)

Name=CNN Interactive (yes, Cable News Network)

Name=Commercial Services on the Net

Name=The Conspiracy Pages (best of worldwide paranoia)

Name=Dancer WWW Client

Name=Diversified Software Research Flier (remember Diversi-Tune?)

Name=Doc’s Strange Page (links to odd places)

Name=ECKANKAR Home Page (sect based on the practice of one form of yoga)

Name=FOX Specials: Alien Autopsy (some mighty strange JPEGs)

Name=Grand Rapids Free-Net

Name=GEnie Services Home Page

Name=Welcome to GNN

Type=1 (Menu)

Name=The Grail Browser Home Page

Name=Index of /~3d5d1wsw/ (some wacky links, as well as…)

Name=index.html (…the site of GS Worldview)

Name=InfoSeek Home Page

Name=The Internex Online Apple II Library Home Page

Name=InTrec Home Page (publishers of ProTerm and ProTerm Mac)

Name=Lycos, Inc. Home Page

Name=Nathan Mates’ Home Page

Name=A Day in the Life of Cyberspace (MIT I believe)

Name=What’s New With NCSA Mosaic

Name=Netizens (nothing but personal homepages)

Name=The Nine Planets (information and theories about the Solar System)

Name=OSF Home Page

Name=PIPEX Worldserver (supposed to have an Incredible String Band homepage)

Name=Scantron Quality Computers Home Page (formerly QC and Q-Labs)

Name=Seven Hills Software catalog

Name=Shareware Solutions II (Joe Kohn’s – lots and lots of links)

Name=Softdisk G-S

Name=Index of /strangemag (Strange, my favorite magazine)

Name=Sun Remarketing Inc. (used Apple gear)


Name=tkWWW (programming tools)

Name=TradeWave Galaxy (another websearch service)

Name=Transhuman Contact in Vedic Civilization WWW/Web (UFO/aliens)
URL http://zeta.cs.adfa.oz.au/Spirit/Veda/vedic-transhuman.html

Name=The Unabomber’s Manifesto

Name= Unuson Home Page (mostly Woz, with some Auri)

Name=Urantia.Ref.html (regarding the sect and the book)

Name= VirtualGS Project (programming a PowerPC emulation of the GS)

Name=The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Name=Getting the W3C Source Code Distribution

Name=The X-Files (SOMETHING is out there, wish I’d left the porch light on)

Name=Yahoo (popular, now hierarchical link to other websites)

Name=Scott Yanoff’s Home Page (Mr. Yanoff is a legend of the Web)

The Wire Service – Do It In Hardware – continued

In the 11/5/95 issue I asked whether it would be possible to program a high speed modem driver that uses the game port. In the 11/12/95 issue I included a ’94 Kansasfest article and handout found on A2Pro of GEnie. This week I’d hoped to have located the code from Don Lancaster’s 57K baud printer driver for the game port, but all I’ve found so far is his article concerning Localtalk (it has a diagram for using the DB9 joystick connector as a Localtalk port!). I will continue this search and keep you updated.

Multimedia – CDROM is more than a job… – continued

Accessing ISO 9660 CDROMs is pretty simple in most cases. I popped the Alternative Programming Languages disk in the trusty old drive and the UNTITLED volume appeared on the desktop. All sorts of directories and files could be moved to ProDOS volumes, usually with a needed filename change. My plan now is to buy cheap ISO 9660 CDROMs (these are the kind used in the clone world) to look for graphics, languages, and other things I can use on the PC Transporter. FLIs (basically those are movie files) can be viewed using a converter from GS+ Magazine (FLI Convert) and one of the movie viewers on the GS. Many graphics can be converted. Second Sight makes VGA graphics at least possible.

After mounting the APL CDROM, it was simple to move over the utility files (programs to extract various kinds of archives) and the .TGZ file containing the Basic source. Other files such as “readme.TXT” were usable right away. Some had to be have their filetypes adjusted (if you don’t know how to do that, look for the INFO command which is included in this archive).

Basically it is just not that hard. The only bad thing I’ve noticed is that the PC Transporter can’t access the CDROM directly because A) DOS won’t do that anyway as far as I know – it requires some special program I’ll be looking for, and B) ProDOS 8 is the host operating system for the program that launches the PC Transporter – we’d need to have a GS/OS launch program for this idea to work.

Next week we’ll take a look at graphics (how would we “take a look” at anything else?).

Airware – Desktop BASIC for the GS – Progress Report

Job Outline:

Pull the source code off the CDROM and place it on hard drive Check the syntax of the C source code Use the ByteWorks’ ORCA/C package to build a working port Place the ported version on at least two online services and on the Internet Test it as an interpreters Build on the experience to develop compilers.

That sounds easy. So far I have moved the source code from CDROM to /RAM5, transferred it to the PC Transporter partition, unGZIPed it, unTARed it, moved it back to ProDOS, and discovered I now need to process it as an archive using “sh {filename}” within UNIX (GNO/ME, I suppose). What a CROCK! Ahem. Anyway, Omni.Type (an old external command for Basic.system that appeared in Nibble five or six years ago) displayed it quite readably, and it appears that I need GNU (that’s not GNO/ME) to compile this, or something. It may affect my ability to distribute the finished work.
This will be the last update for two weeks because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m proceeding with the house and furniture update (see “Does The Editor Have A Life?” for the continuing saga) and had the GRApple meeting this week, so I haven’t had a lot of time. Check out the 12/3/95 issue for the next Desktop BASIC update.

Wish List – higher speed comm port

Clone boxes and Macs have graphic front ends for the Internet and its Websites. Like a lot of people, I’d like an Apple IIgs version of this. Sounds like a no brainer wish, eh? Clone boxes and Macs have had various adapters to increase serial port flexibility as to speed and number of input and output ports. Perhaps it will take some sort of hardware development, like a processor direct adapter (pull the processor, plug in the adapter, plug the processor back in) hooked to a high speed serial chip or digital signal processor (like in the Power Macs) and dedicated memory, but in the past its programmers have made the Apple II function beyond its intended limits without significant hardware modifications. Years ago, DSR used to make a seven line chat BBS software package that required seven serial cards and seven phone lines (all 300 baud – but it was a chat BBS, so no problem).

Keep an eye on “Do It In Hardware” for information about any kind of direct to metal type adaptations, and “The Wire Service” for information about such software.


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.