Apple Sirius IIGS Technical information

January 1991
VoI.6, 1'10.12
A journal and exchange of Apple
n discoveries
ISSN 08854017
newstand price: $2.50
photocopy charge per page: $0.15
AppleFest Long Beach
Applefest was held in Long Beach, California, on December 7th
and 8th (friday and Saturday). This AppleFest was held in conjunclion
wilh Macinlosh/ LA, a regional Macintosh show, and the smaller size
renected the regional navor of the exhibition. But lhere were many
reasons I saw to rejoice.
'nuaJlng GIl'. National Geographic's G7V inleradive geographical
study program waS demonstrated on Friday morning in a ' session
where the IIgs and Mac were presented side by side as equals rather
than in what had become the typical "Mac first. then whalever other
computer we make' format. Two groups of students demonstrated
projects created with each system, shOwing the comparative strengths
and weaknesses of each. In a crowning moment. a demonstration created by the Mac team actually used the superior sound of the Ugs to
generate effects that the Mac couldn't manage. Demonstrating syner·
gy of two product lines can sell more of both types of computers; that
strategy could make Apple richer, especially if they Juxtapose an
equivalently priced IBM PS/2 system for comparison.
fonowing the On' demo, KaJph Russo reported on the
progress of the Apple II JIII,iDes. Unit toward resolving the
Apple D's future. Apple continues their assertion that they have no
intention of abandoning the Apple II product line, or of "orphaning"
users. Russo referred to the Apple II as the "computing platform that
started the personal computer revolution " and "the platform which
propelled Apple Into the ranks of the Fortune 500".,He further emphasized that "we do not consider the Apple II as a disposable asset'.
Russo continues to work on a new business proposition for the
product line, acknowledging that "the challenge is especially dimcult,
given the nature of the product itself; it is, arter alL an Industry leg·
end". He also acknowledged that the Mac occupies ce,nter stage at
Apple, and that the Mac "has been our major revenue producer for
the last four years".
Apple's primary goal is to add value to the investment customers
have made in Apple II products. Apple will continue to develop the
existing Apple II platform where It Is feasible , including the hardware
platform. Current efforts are focused on networking. memory
enhancement, system software speed, and system cost.
Another goal is to make possible a smooth transition to the Macin·
tosh platform for Apple II users who want to migrate to the Macintosh
while preserving their investment in Apple II products.
The other avenue of enhancement is "to develop new ways to sell,
service, and support the product line". Russo has concluded that the
solution will be a new business paradigm to effectively use all
resources of the Apple II product line. Russo wants to garner these
resources and establish a new method of business operations.
The developer community will be a renewed focus. "We will articu·
late the developer strategy In Our business. This strategy' will Identify
marllet and revenue opportunities for those developers who continue
to work on the platform."
Toward these objectives, an Apple II exclusive business unit has
been formed within Apple. Those involved in Apple II engineering.
marketing, evangelism, and customer support have been consolidat·
ed into this unit. Russo expects that the stated goals will be made real
within the next few months.
Apple announced Ifype~ard Og5 friday morning. For a "toy"
computer, Apple sure shOCked a lot of Mac people by creating a version roughly com patible with the Macintosh HyperCar~ version 1.2.5
(only one version behind the current 2.0). The IIgs verSion adds color,
Improved printer support, and a complete set of manuals to the Mac
version that,sold for $50; the IIgs version will be priced at $99.
'HyperCard I/gs represents the investment of 25,000 engineering
man hours over the past 3 years. If you wonder about Apple's intentions regarding the Apple II. that represents a substantial investment
to throwaway without trying to market the program and the necessary
hardware to run it The software will require at least 1.5 megabytes of
RAM program memory (2.0 or more is recommended) and a hard disk
or server volume. That will probably limit th e immediate audience for
HyPerCard IIgs, but it may also have the desired side effect of encouraging cun:ent IIgs owners to enhance their systems. The more memory and hard disk space developers can expect the average IIgs user to
have, the more powerful they can design their programs to be. Apple
has delivered the first end·user product that forces the issue.
HyperCard IIgs will ship with a new System Disk (the currently
announced version is 5.0.4). It seems the new 5.0.3 ImageWriter
drivers have trouble with low-memory situations that HyperCard IIgs
revealed during testing; Apple naturally wants to bullet-proof the systein software better against what could be a relatively common problem. The HyperCard IIgs package will be sold through Apple dealers at
Vol. 6. No. 12
$99 (for six 3.5 disks and three manuals) and should be available by new MlDlsynth sound synthesizer tool (part of HyperStuff ClipTunes,
mid-February 1991.
$39.95 from Triad Venture, P.O, Box 1220 I, Hauppage, N.Y, 11788),
Apple's booth at AppleFest was very active, especially where
Beagle Bros (6215 Fenis Square, Suite 100, San Diego, Calif.
HyperCard IIgs was being shown, and Apple had reserved a large seat- 92121) was demonstrating their new Outliner (acquired from JEM
ing area to do presentations on interactive multimedia featuring Software) and TimeOut Superrorrns (form layout and generation utiliHyperCard IIgs, Yes, there were many Macs in Apple's booths, but sev, ty for AppleWorKs) products, But the most popular new item was Plateral Apple II systems were also there and the layout of the booths inum Paint for the IIgs, a IIgs paint program with loads of features and
seemed to give the systems more parity since the two product lines obvious heir to the stagnating Paint Works Gold and DeluxePaint ll.
were interspersed rather than segregated,
Br0derbund Software (17 Paul Drive, San RafeaI. Calif. 9490 I) was
Apple also brought large numbers of copies of tbe promised demonstrating a new Print Shop Companion for the IIgs ($49,95), The
Apple H Guide. This 231 page book is being distributed through Print Shop Companion can be operated alone or with Print Shop IIgs,
Apple II dealers and user groups as a resource guide for the Apple II and includes utilities for printing Print Shop images to paper for referend user. It contains profiles of Apple II users, general information ence, designing and printing envelopes and labels, and an enhanced
regarding Apple II capabilities and system enhancement, a history of layout editor,
the Apple II. and a set of information resources for locating assisA company that has achieved success on other computers and is
tance, If you are an active App!e II user, get to your user group or now coming to the IIgs market is PC Globe, Inc (4700 South McClindealer and get your copy; in addition to being a useful publication, tOCk, Tempe, Ariz, 85282, 602-730-9000), They were demonstrating
every copy Apple sees go out the door is a vote that says "I want GeoPuzzle USA (a puzzle created from the USA map that also tests
more Apple II support',
your knowledge of U,S, geography) and GeoQuiz (a quiz program
One tbing I noticed about this ApplePest was a number of using an integrated set of maps and questions) on the IIgs,
bona fide Apple n companies tltat are becoming notable partici,
Digital Data Express (13636 S, Western Avenue, Suite 28, Blue
pants. As in the early months of the Macintosh, the Apple II has not Island, III. 60406, 708-389-7744) was selling the NAUGC Generous
seen many "established' companies bring out appropriate products Efforts of l1any CD-ROM disc of freeware/shareware and also had two
developed for other systems, Developers seeking opportunities are NEC CD-ROM models that will work with a forthcoming IIgs driver, The
starting to coalesce into a few new hard-core Apple II companies,
NEC 350 I is a $400 CD-ROM built around a detachable drive that can
Vitesse (13909 Amar Road, Suite 2A, P,O, Box 929, LaPuenta, Calif. double as a portable (audio) battery-powered CD player (the battery
91747-0929) was present demonstrating their salvation series of disk pack is $70), The drawback is that this drive is slow (access time of
utilities, the Quickie scanner, and their Harmonie printer drivers. A 1500 milliseconds, about twice as slow as the AppieCD SCI, If you
Hewlett-Packard PaintJet XL large-bed color inkjet printer was crank- sacrifice portability, you can look to the NEC 72 drive (which is about
ing out Apple IIgs color graphics wonderfully, But the booth really twice as fast as the AppieCD SCI priced at $625, These drives will be
overflowed the second day when a demo of the In Words optical char- useable on a IIgs with the Apple High-Speed SCSI Card when you add
acter recognition software was conducted (In Words is still being a IIgs driver expected to be available later this month at $59, A driver
refined, but WestCode hopes to ship the f:nal version shortly after the- for the Ramrast SCSI interface is expected in January 1991; there
first of the year),
was no information on Apple II (non-lIgs) compatibility,
Tbis ApplePest was tbe most upbeat I have attended since tbe
Seven Hills Software (2310 Oxford Road, Tallahassee, Fla, 32304)
showed examples of their IIgs printer driver utility for Hewlett-Packard fall of 1988. when GS/OS (System Software 4,0) and the IIc Plus
printers, Independence, working with a DeskJet 500 injet printer, were introduced, Even there, users were cynical about Apple's comIndependence does not support the range of printers that Hannonie
mittment to the Apple II. At this show, the feeling was different
does, but some samples of graphics and columnar text that Seven
System software is often overlOOked because it is considered to be
Hills had looked better than the samples they displayed of competing part of the price of the computer, In HyperCard IIgs, Apple has delivdrivers, We hope to get a DeskJet in our office to do some indepen- ered a product that users know Apple did not have to produce, One
dent comparisons of the two programs.
might question whether such an effort might have been better spent
Zip Technology (560 I Slauson Avenue, Suite 190, Colver City, on other projects, but there is no question that Apple would have to
Calif. 90230) was selling the ZipGS at their booth, On the first day of be very stupid to throw that kind of investment away with continued
AppleFest. they sold out of the stock they had brought to the show,
ineptitude in marketing the IIgs, Most people refuse to believe Apple
Applied Engineering (3210 Beltline Road # 154, Dallas, Tx, 75234) is that dense,
had a large booth, featuring their sound cards (the Audio Animator
Many feared that the Mac/LA exhibition would overshadow the
and Sonic Blaste.1 and their IIgs send-only FAX option for the Apple II area, But the exhibition areas were comparable (the Mac side
DataLink Express modem (the FAX product is IIgs-specific since it is was a little larger, but then most of the Mac booths took up more
hardware and software based), The FAX option is not shipping yet. but space), l1any Mac/LA badges were spotted in the AppleFest area, And
Applied Engineering hopes to have it out later this month,
they must have decided to take a while to look around, since most of
The Visualizer video digitizer resurfaced at New Concepts (665 IV, us who walked over to the Mac side noticed thinner crowds than the
Jackson, Woodstock, N,J, 60098) booth, New Concepts was also AppleFest area,
Apple maintains that AppleFest is a regional show; it's unfortunate
demonstrating Emerald Paint. a IIgs paint program designed to work
in 3200 colors,
that Apple can't seem to muster enough support for at least one
SSSi (4612 North Landing Drive, Marietta, Ga, 30066) had a booth exclusively Apple II national event But the Long Beach AppleFest
showing their development tool. Genesys, as well as their set of IIgs demonstrates that a Mac presence does not have to be oppressive, It
New Desk Accessories, DeskPak, SSSi also sells a IIgs memory card can even be enlightening-for both sides.-DJD
from Harris Laboratories called GS Sauce that holds up to 4
megabytes of memory using the SIMM memory used in many current
computers, A SIMM is a memory module consisting of RAM chips
installed on a standardized compact daughterboard; installing this
Everyone knows there is a problem with the generai perception of
daughter board into a SIMM slot is easier for neophyte users than
installing loose RAM chips, Another interesting Hanis Labs product the Apple II's visibility among the rest of the microcomputer commuannounced was the Velocitas, a RAM disk card for the IIgs or lie which nity, This absence has affected the Apple II's credibility in that comuses pseudo-static RAM SIMM's for battery-powered backup of up to a munity and, over the extended period thatlhe problem has persisted,
month, The card is expandable to 8 megabytes with currently avail- the viability of the Apple II product line as well.
We often point to Apple Computer itself as the source of many of
able SIMMs.
Of tbe Apple n Old Guard. Koger Wagner Publishing and Bea· these problems, This year. at AppleFest Apple took a simple yet bold
g1e Bros were prominenL Roger Wagner (1050 Pioneer Way, Suite p, step to reverse this trend: an Apple II Achievement Awards ceremony
EI Cajon, Calif. 92020) was demonstrating Hyper5tudio in a series of held at Apple's own party for Apple II and Macintosh notables,
sessions both days, and promoting third-party enhancements including a new Xcmd (HyperSludio external command) to control Apple's
The envelope, please
January 1991
Apple polled a panel assembled from a cross-section of organizations that report on the Apple II, including magazines (AfjinCider,
A2·CentraJ, as Flus, and Nibble) and electronic services (America
Online, CompuServe, and GEnie). Apple itself participated in the voting as a tiebreaker, registering its votes before the other ballots were
sent out (to eliminate any possibility of returning ballots influencing
Apple's own voting!. The voting was structured in such a way that the
individual organizations each actually ranked their votes for several
contenders in each category; this allowed the results to rened Ihose
products that received the highest praise most often, and permitted
resolving conflicts in categories where votes could be cast far oneself
(such as the magazine and electronic service categories).
Matt Deatherage (a member of Apple's Developer Technical Sup·
port group) presided over the ceremonies in a tuxedo, lending an air
of great dignity to the proceedings which were held on the lawn of the
Long Beach Museum of Art. I'd like to pass on the names of the winner in each category, and (for most winners) some comments as to
why I think each won.
Best freeware/Shareware: Shrlnkit for the lIAs by Andy
rticholas. Andy started working on Shrinklt as a project for his college
classes. He probably didn't realize just how large an albatross the program would become in terms of the amount of time and work he
would eventually put into it
Shrinklt began as a means of combining and compactlrig files or
disks into an archive file that could be stored for future unpacking
and use '(saving disk space while stored) or transmitted to another
computer (saving transfer time); see 'NuFX eases file transfers', A2,
Central, August 1989. The 8-bit version of ShrinkIt became the standard for archival almost immediately after its release; Andy created
versions for both the older Apple II systems and the newer 1281\ systems, using the extra memory of the latter systems to add utilities to
make working with files and disks within Shrinklt easier,
When Apple announced System Disk 5.0, new features were introduced that forced Andy to start on a IIgs version. The IIgs version had
to cope with extended files, which were used with the new system
software (bilt not intended to be manipulated from ProDOS 8) and
also the chameleon-like nature of GS/OS's support for multiple file
systems. The IIgs version also had the IIgs's enhanced features and
memory available and made development of a more effiCient compression algorithm possible. So Andy came up with one, and then
went back to update the 8-bit versions of Shrinklt to s.upport it
(though they do not support some of the other IIgs-specific needs).
Andy's hard work has paid off. Apple, knowing a good and competent worker when they see one, hired Andy last month to be the programmer in charge of maintaining the IIgs Finder. Andy is already
soliciting ideas for what people want to see.
Best Educational Software: Katie's Farm by Lawrence Productions, disbibuted by Botderbund. Unfortunately, I am unable to
comment knowledgeably on this program since I haven't used it
Outstanding 8·bit Apple n Software: Proterm 2.2 'by InSync.
For the most part, 8-bit Apple II telecommunication programs remain
superior in overall features to their IIgs counterparts. Frotenn, though
not the least expensive such program, is the best example of how feature-laden a "telecommunications' program can become. Its author,
Greg Schaeffer, has seen fit to include not only the standard telecommunications functions, but a "host" mode (that allows another system
to dial Frotenn running on your computer and use it as a 'mini-BBS'),
extensible dial lists, terminal emulations, a macro language, and a
"learn' mode that can watch you log on and convert the sequence to
macros for future access. Protenn also incorporates an editor, disk
utilities (including file and disk copy functions from within Frotenn ),
and a large (up to 2.5 megabytes, given sufficient RAM memory)
review buffer to retain incoming text data that you can later (during
the same Proterm session) 'clip' to send to your printer, a disk file, or
the built-in editor.
The editor is atypical in that it has a comprehensive set of com·
mands including cut and paste and reformatting of broken lines into
paragraphs (or vice versa). The editor goes so far as to accept a series
of embedded printer formatting commands similar to those used by
Apple Writer to format a document for printout If your only need for a
computer is to collect and edit text via the modem, you may never
have to leave Protenn.
A2,CentraJ 6.91
Frotenn works on the enhanced 1281\ lie, IIc, IIgs, and Laser 128
systems. Originally published by Checkmate Technology, Frotenn is
now sold through its new publisher, InSync, P,O, Box 22t46, Phoenix,
Artz. 85028, and through several mail-order companies.
Outstanding 16·bit Apple U Software: ltyperstudio 2. 1 by
Roger Wagner Publishing. While everyone else was trying to decide
what to do with the IIgs, Roger Wagner counted up the features,
assembled the programmers to create an applicable ?roduct. and hit
the ground running. As far as I can see, he hasn't stopped yet
HyperStudio is the one program among those possible to consider
for this award that exploits every aspect of the IIgs in such an easily
accessible way as to make the computer's possibilities seem limitless.
Although olten compared to HyperCard for the Mac (and now the
IIgs), the implications of HyperStudio are subtly broader. At the basic
level. HyperStudio can be operated on the current minimal IIgs
machine II megabyte, one 3.5 drive, and monitor) and do things that
HyperCard can't do across the line on Mac systems without extra
hardware or software. With the included sound digitizer, HyperStudio
has the best out·of-the-box capabilities of any comparably priced
hypermedia product; period. With the basic IIgs and HyperStudio, you
have high-resolution graphics, animation, sound, and text at your
beck and call via the Simple HyperStudio mechanism of creating
cards and stacks. In addition,. you have severat unique stand-alone
utilities with which you can create startup effects for your computer
(HyperStudio's Sight and Sound modules), record and edit sounds
(Sound Shop), browse a library of sound flies (Browser). If your moni·
tor is a color monitor, you have something else the Mac version of
HyperCard doesn't supply: the richness of color.
At the other end of the spectrum, I have seen Roger literally roll
carts of hardware into a room to show off features of HyperStudio that
allow you to add and use laserdisc players, CD-ROM drives, the Apple
Video Overlay Card, touch screens ... all without having to buy any
additional HyperStudio software or hardware. With a mischevious grin,
Roger encourages you to check Mac or MS-DOS hypennedia programs
and see how expensive the same capabilities are to add; he has
already researched the answers.
If you think you've taxed HyperStudio's capabilities before you've
bought enough peripherals to bankrupt yourself, ask Roger about it
He can tell you about the HyperStudio capability to support externally
added commands (Xcmds) and can even offer to sell you some compilations that his company publishes. Or you can probably find freeware stack and Xcmd ideas floating around the public dataways;
HyperStudio has freed both user's and programmer's imaginations.
Apple's new HyperCard for the IIgs is a different navor of multimedia pie and will enter a market that Roger has legitimized; it will possibly expand into a market segment where HyperStudio's one notable
deficiency versus the Mac HyperCard (the lack of the HyperTalk language) has caused some HyperCard snobs to snub an obviously powerful product. But then, maybe the world of hypermedia shouldn't
embrace programmers as the best authors. Apple's own HyperCard
Ifgs team and other Apple II people have been complimentary of
HyperStudio, and HyperCard IfgSs presence may not fuel a competition; these are two products that have a similar purpose but differing
mechanisms of creating stacks. We think the two products will coexIst; In many cases on the same person's shelf.
Besides, Roger's well out in front. and he's running hard with less
baggage. But you'll hear more about that in a moment.
Best inDo.ation: the Ramfast SCSI card by C V. Tec:hDotogles.
Other than the availability of software (which is an issue not to be
covered here), the two most frequent complaints about the IIgs we
see are that it doesn't have enough graphics resolution (arguable versus other systems in it's price class) and that it is 'too slow'. Applied
Engineering and Zip Technology have addressed one side of the
speed equation, the processor speed, with the TransWarp as and
lipOS products. The Innovative Systems's Floating Foint Engine
addressed slow SANE math. But it took the Ohio I\ache Card and then
the Ramfast to show what an intelligent disk controller could do to
boost system speed. from our perception, in many cases speed limitalions being blamed on the IIgs processor were actually due to disk
access; adding the Ramfast SCSI interface to your SCSI hard drive
and launching a disk·intensive program like AppleWorks 3.0 or
Apple Works GS (which load the program in stages from a disk) can
prove the processor speed is not the only solution.
The Ramfast itself has another innovation that shines: the installa·
tion software is mapped onto a ROM disk on the card itself; you can·t
lose the Ramfast software without losing the card. Setting the card up
from the supplied menu is a simple and painless process.
The Ramfast includes one other feature desirable for new prod·
ucts; although it shines on the IIgs. it also shines on the Apple lie.
Vol. 6, 1'10. 12
is well known and respected in programming circles.
Be.t Apple n Periodical: A2 Central. I'm not going to say a lot
about this; except ' thanks' . Weighing the fact that many of the other
voter,s were competing periodicals, this is an exceptionally humbling
award, and I plan to be humble (later, we'll see how our marketing
people have treated it).
Be.t Online Service: America OnLine. Okay, we win one, we
lose one. Since I do browse other services as time permits, I have to
admit that the selection did not surprise me. The depth and quality of
c.v, Technologies's address is 94.31 Saddlebrook Lane, Suite #2('
America Online 's Apple II sections have been exceptional. All I can
Miamisburg, Ohio 45342.
llest l'Iultimedla: Hypershld/o 2.1 by Roger Wagner Publish·
Ing. Yes, it's back. See the comments on l1yperStudlo's previous
award above.
Be.t Development Tool or Language: Genesy. 1.2 by SSSi.
The major complaint In programming the IIgs is that it is too tedious
to create the code necessary to support the preferred Desktop inter·
face. Genesys is a prototyplng tool that can be used to layout and
define elements of the user interface on the graphics screen; for
example, you can create a window, drag it to size, position it 'on the
screen, add buttons, an information bar, scroll bar,s, and so on with·
out ever having to write a line of code. When you are finished (and
you can create and save more than one element during the same session). Genesys can save the resulting program elements to disk as
raw data or can create the source code in several IIgs languages for
incorporation inlo your program. Delineating the languages supported
is tricky since Genesys is extensible through Source Code Generator,s
(SCGs); if an SCG doesn't exist for the language your using, 'it can be
added later. But the chances are that Genesys does support the Ian·
guage of your preference: C, Pascal, BASIC. assembly, Rez (Apple's
resource compilation language), and so on.
One way to store the raw data of an element manipulated by
Genesys is in a data structure called a resource. GS/OS's extended
files are like Mac files in that they consist of two file "forks' Or storage
areas; one is the data fork that corresponds to what we think of as a
"conventional' Apple II file structure, and the other is the resource'
fork that contains data in the speCific format expected by a GS/OS
tool called the Resource Manager. The beauty of the resource fork
(and Resource Manager) concept is that data structures are defined
independently of any specific program so that they can also be
manipulated by other programs. For example, if the titl e of a menu is
embedded in the program code itself and you try to alter it, you may
end up changing it in such a manner as to destroy the ability of the
program to use it. By storing the title in a resource using the pre·
scribed format, the title can be altered consistent with its resource
type and will not interfere with the operation of a properly designed
program. It can also be used by other programs that recognize and
manipulate resources. Genesys is such a program, and so is useful as
a resource editor allowing users (e ven non·programmer,s) to alter the
appearance of their program almost as if editing a word processor
file. For example, the Mac uses the same concept to allow editing its
visual design features; you can edit a series of menu titles and dialog
messages to change the visual language of a program from English to
French, for example. As more programmer,s diSCipline themselves to
think in terms of resources and use them, Genesys's domain will
increasingly expand from use as a development tool to use as a sys·
tern utility.
Best Debugging Aid: GSBug 1.5 by Apple Computer. Many
contributions Appte makes are "faceless'; we tend not to think of new
System Software, Apple publications. and Apple hardware devices as
' revolutionary' in many cases because they become such a staple of
our world. Programmer,s universally recognize that' being able 'to
quickty and reliably track down problems in their code is at teastas
important as being able to write the code in the first place, and
Apple's own GSBug is an indispensable aid in that regard.
Think of GSBug as a 'super monitor' program that you can load
and enter to execute your program and monitor its progress. When
the program reaches a certain stage, or crashes in a manner GSBug
can "trap", you can use the capabilities of GSBug to try and track
down the specific part of your program that is caustng (or being bru·
talized) by a bug. GSBug is currently still being revised by Apple and
is only available through developer channels (including APDA), but it
say is that we GEhie folks don't plan to make it easy for our friends at
America Online to repeat next year.
Hardware of the Year: Apple It/gh Speed DI'IA SCSI Card by
Apple Computer. A2-<:entraJ was one of the publications screaming
about the seeming inability of Apple to support it's own line of
peripherals (Apple Scanner, Apple Tape Backup) on the Apple II.
When Apple responded, they responded big. and gave us not only
improved peripheral compatibility but also improved performance
over the previous Apple II SCSI interface. In addition, they kept the
price for the new card the same as the old one; yes, there is no
upgrade, but then the price is low enough that if you need the new
features the price can easily be justified.
We've mentioned the Ramfast SCSI's speed advantages; the Apple
DMA SCSI card is not as fast in general use but does provide the
important features of broader peripheral compatibility (for scanners,
tape backup, CD·ROM, removable media hard disks, even on lie systems) and an advantage Apple was bound to implement; synergy with
the Apple IIgs System SoHware to tap the full I megabyte per second
throughput of the card In special instances. Apple also included new
SCSI utilities with the card that solved some rather ' stupid' aspects
of the older SCSI card utilities (such as limitations in sizing drive par·
titions). The new card does require an enhanced lie or IIgs (the Rev.
C card and Ramfast will also run on unenhanced systems), but it
delivers a' broad spectrum of capability to the Apple II line. Now all
we need is SOme third·party products based on Apple's IIgs scanner
and tape drivers.
Software of !be Year: Hyperstudio 2.1 by Roger Wagner Pub·
li.hing. Again ? You ,bet.
Special Award to
and !be authors of Appleworks l.O.
Atthough the release of AppleWorks 3.0 fell outside the time window
we were allowed to nominate from , apparently it was mentioned fre·
quently enough that Apple's judges added this special award to credit
not only Rupert Lissner's original concept and implementation of the
program, but also the continuing legacy of substantial improvement
by Claris and (for the 3.0 enhancements) Beagle Bros. Admittedly,
we'd like to see other programs that exceed the capabilities of the
individual AppleWorks modules (word processor, database, spread·
sheet) achieve greater acceplance, but the fact that AppleWorks dom·
inates because many users nnd it comfortably adequate can't be
OUtstanding individual Achievement: Roger Wagner. We've
raved about lIyperStudio. Now it's time to rave about it's publisher.
During the presentation, the phrase used to describe Roger was "a
tireless evangelist of Ihe Apple 11'. Many of you who don't go to com·
puter trade shows may think an evangelist is someone like myself
who has a public forum and whines a lot. The latter is more like poli·
tian, who Is trying to create an environment of opinion to sway a
monolithic entity. What Roger does is more per,sonal and immediately
beneficial to the viability of the Apple it; he convinces individuals that
the IIgs is the best computer for a purpose that they have ever seen,
and that it is something that they have to own.
I have seen Roger work a crowd from dawn to dusk. Ilis l1yperSlu,
dio booth has always been filled near the point of angering U,e atten·
dant fire marshall at several conventions I have seen him. He always
has something new to show. Ile always has new ideas. He always
stays catm (at least. that I've seen) while nailing someone into a con·
versational comn when they assail the IIgs. Before and aHer the con·
ferences you see him discussing ideas, opinions, and complaints
about Apple and its products. I'm not convinced he sleeps.
January 1991
At the Apple Fiesta In June of 1989, Tom Weishaar and I saw Roger
running a demo designed around a Campaign '88 laserdisc similar to
a demo Apple was running in their own booth. Apple had relegated
their IIW; to showing a paint program and a IIc Plus to demonstrating
a K-6 educational program; their 'dog and pony show' used a Mac II
(including monitor), a second expensive video monitor, laserdisc,
HyperCard, and stereo speakers. Roger had pretty much the same
Idea, except he used a single IIW; monitor and an Apple Video Overlay Card to display the laserdisc output on a IIW; with HyperStudio as
the driving software. Subtract the cost of a IIW; from a Mac II, count
up the difference, and you 'll see why Roger's demonstration was
drawing more people than the Apple booth.
At the AppleFest this spring, Roger showed up with an information
kiosk (the ' touch a button, see information on the video screen' type
of system you see used in some shopping malls) built around a similar system, A touch window was used; by touching an icon on the IIgs
screen, you selected the items (by topic, or map location) you wanted
information on. Most of the information was displayed in IIgs graphics
kept on the hard disk, but just to keep interest up Roger had a few
options to demonstrate IIgs (and HyperStudio) capabilities, Tom
Weishaar attended, and told me he watched several Mac enthusiasts
walk away mumbling about the impossibly great IIgs graphics, He
later realized that they had actually been confused by a laserdisc
image displayed on the IIW; screen using the Video Overlay Card features in HyperSludio, Roger had put IIgs capabilities together in a
manner that the Mac people apparently couldn 't envision,
At the Apple Fiesta this past summer, Roger had set up a similar
kiosk in the center of the exhibition area, Meanwhile, Roger was drawing Mac users into his booth by showing the IIgs properties off with
HyperStudio, At one point, he showed a preview of an Xcmd that
allowed recording a sound at the press of a HyperStudio button on
screen and then playing it back; previously, you needed something
like Farallon's MacRecorder (at about $300) to do that with HyperCard on the Mac. Maybe that's why Apple felt compelled to add sound
input to the Mac i.C and IIsi.
Al long Beach, I'm sure Roger had an unusual feeling, competing
with Apple's roll-<Jut of HyperCard IIgs, But again Roger came prepared; this time he had collected an army of evangelists, For two
solid days he had other people doing demonstrations for him to
booths full of future converts. One of the high points was an implementation of Dragon's Lair (the laserdisc,based arcade game) using
only HyperStudio as the controlling program and a Dragon's Lair disc
rescued from a broken arcade machine, Roger didn't use the opportumty to relax, however; most of the convention I saw him collaring
anyone faintly interested in the IIgs and working them into a fever
pitch regarding it's untapped potential.
l1e of course used HyperStudio as an illustrative example of how to
tap that potential. l1e would point out applicable distinctions in it and
HyperCard IIgs, but I never heard any disparaging words, Evel)1hing
I've seen about Roger indicates that he prefers to accentuate the positive aspects of his products rather than railing on flaws he perceives
in the competition. (Though he has been known to demurely point
out a competitor's weaknesses where appropriate,)
When you think about how the IIgs will succeed, it is obviously the
people who put their nose to the grindstone and deliver tools to
make the system uniquely usable that ultimately determine whether
the machine will sUlvive, As Apple revises its marketing aims for the
IIgs, Roger's 'tireless evangelism' may emerge to a broader audience;
despite the current low profile of the IIgs, Roger packs in interested
Observers at education and Irade shows, and says he has more people in the field demonstrating HyperStudio on the IIgs than Apple has
sales representatives. Ne's not the only Apple II champion out there,
but he has the products and the will to convince the mass market
that the IIgs is a superior com puler 10 its competitors in at least the
emerging technology or interactive multimedia. Roger will even have
a rebuttal 10 Ihe editorial regarding the Mac i.C in Ihe February issue
of A+/inCider; Roger's whimsy shows In his inversion of the original
titie to read "The IIgs: Whal the Mac i.C Should Have Been". Bul his
words are sober; Roger's love affair with the IIgs recognizes no conqueror and lakes no· prisoners.
Roger continues 10 find new ways to convin ce people to buy IIgs
systems (and, of course, his products). He has put together a 10-disk
demonstration set of HyperStudio applicalions (Including a run-time
version of HyperStudio) that he distributes for $10, including a 40page Hypermedia Resource Guide. Roger has also instituted a 'Hypermedia Test Drive" kit for loan to any school; the kit includes 15-20
complete copies of HyperStudio, a touch window, scanner, digitizer,
laserdisc, other hardware related to multimedia, and a manual that
can be used to conduct a short (lor 2 hour) workshop (contact educational coordinator Della Smith at Roger Wagner Publishing, 800421-6526),
Of course, Roger's motives aren't completely selfless; he wants to
sell his software, But he has not chosen to follow on the coattails of
Apple's strong marketing emphasis for Mac hypermedia, Instead,
Roger has followed what he believes to be the technical lead of the
IIgs in the multimedia field, and do what the Fortune 500 company
has failed to do: find a way to sell the IIgs in a competitive mar·
Apple has formed two AppieLink address groups wilb an
Apple n focus. Group addresses allow a large number of App/eUnk
pariicipants to receive an item mailed to the group's name, The new
AppJeLink group addresses are intended to facilitate the eXchange of
technical information and solutions, announcement of new products
and programs, feedback to Apple II engineering, promotion of trade
shows and other gatherings of interest to Ihe Apple II community, and
to just share common interests, Using AppJeLink will allow the discussions to be conducled in a more interactive way, since Apple employ,
ees and many other AppJeLink members usually gather their
AppleUnk mail at least daily (if not more often).
AILTECN$ will be used for the discussion of technical issues,
AII.NEWS$ will be used for the discussion of items of general interest,
including new products, general news, and so on,
If you are on AppJeUnk, you can have your account name added to
one or both group addresses by sending your request to 'subscribe"
to AppJeUnk address AIL ADMIN.
l'IIDlsynth Is DOW avaHable Ibrough APDA. The MlDlsynth tool
provides integrated access to several of the distinct Apple IIW; sound
toolset functions (MIDI toolset, sequencer, sound synthesizer, and so
on) to simplify the programmer's use of these varied tools. The APDA
disk includes synthLab, an application for experimenting with the features of the toolset.
MIDlsynth is also available to license for IIgs software products; the
first third-party application that we've heard of that uses MIDlsynth is
the IIgs version of InterPlay's Dragon Wars game, Apple's tools may
make It possible for the IIgs to blow away the competition's inferior
sound capabilities. Now Apple needs to put a better speaker into the
IIgs, like they do for the Mac systems.-DJD
Running with the enemy
Assume that you're considering buying a computer other than an
Apple II (or compatible), Also assume that you feel a strong desire to
access the vast software base for the lie and its cousins.
What would you say to an Apple II peripheral card that emulated a
128K enhanced Apple lie al normal (I megahertz) and twice normal
(2 megahertz) speed with all lext and graphics modes, that supports
up to four disk volumes (including hard disk and network volumes),
and Includes one parallel and one serial port, an Apple IIc-style game
port, an Apple II-compatible disk drive port, and a ProDOS-compatible
clock. And thai Installs in more than one specific model of host computer,
The last provision is the clue that this card is not the Apple lie
Emulator card that operates (only) in the new Mac i.e. Instead, it's the
TracKstar from Diamond Computer Systems, Inc" 470 Lakeside
Drive, Sunnyvale, calif. 94086, 408-736-2000), and it installs in one
of many MS-DOS hosts with IBM PC/XT-style slots.
The Trackstar comes in two flavors: Ibe Trackstar e and Ibe
Vol. 6, No. 12
Trackstar rlus. The Trackslar e is designed to use with the older PC
digital video standards (MGA, CGA, EGA). We tested a Trackslar flus,
which is designed to use with the current analog (VGA) video standard
becoming common on most PC compatibles. The Trackslar Plus package comes with the Trackstar card itself. a set of three connecting
cables, installation disk and a user's manual.
The Trackstar card is a full·length (about 13" long) card filled with
IC's and connectors, including two 65C02 microprocessors. Of the
three cables supplied, two are for video connection; only one of these
While performing the setup, the installation software will ask if you
wish to assign two addilional drives for use with ProDOS. If you elect
to do this, you can create one or two ProDOS volumes of up to ten
megabytes in size (limited by the available space on the drive select·
ed to hold the file representing the ProDOS volume). These volumes
will be assigned to slot 7 as drives I and 2. Once you boot into the
Trackslar,. you can use ProDOS utilities to format and use the drives.
The Trackstar monitor ROM and BASIC firmware is by t.anguage
Ms, the same people who brought you the t.aser 128 monitor ROM
cables is actually used, depending on the type of system the Trackslar is installed in. The remaining cable attaches to the Trackstar at
and,BASIC firmware. The Trackstars firmware does not seem to sup-
one end; the other end terminates in an Apple Hc·style (9·pin) game
The manual is small but covers the procedures necessary for normal installation and use with a few minor exceptions. The first exception that we ran into was that the installation instructions only cov·
ered three specific IBM systems; the PS/2 Model 25, PS/2 Model 30,
and PS/2 Model 30/286. Since we're relatively naive about the guts of
these systems, it took a few moments to sort through the hardware
deSCriptions and determine the proper course of action for our nonIBM clone system.
PC compatible slots are similar to Apple H slots; the card itself
installs in a receptacle on the motherboard, and there is a "knockouthole on the rear panel of the computer for accessing connecting
cables and controls on the edge of the card (unlike most Apple II
cards, for PC systems the design of the slots usually assumes any
mounting bracket for access is part of the card itselD. Installation of
the Trackstar boils down to finding one free full·size slot for the
Trackstar card itself (the mounting bracket on the Trackslar card
includes the video output and disk drive port connectors), and (if
desired) a second slot knockout for mounting the game port bracket.
We found the most appropriate installation description to be the
one for the PS/2 Model 30, although the orientation of its slots is for
horizontal installation of boards (our clone's cards install vertically).
Simplified, the installation procedure involves running one of the supplied video cables from your existing VGA output to a connector on
the Trackstar board, also connecting the game port cable to the
appropriate connector on the Trackstar, and mounting the Trackstar
and game port bracket in the selecled slot locations. Finally, you can·
nect your monitor to the Trackstar video port, and your Apple·compat·
ible disk drive to the DB·19 port on the Trackstar bracket (if you have
the older Disk II-style 20-pin inline connector, there is a place on the
Trackstar card itself to attach it).
Software installation involves creating a workdisk from the supplied
master disk (I just added the files to the clone's hard disk) and run·
ning the TSlITILlT.COM program file to set up the Trackstar environ·
ment. One item is the selection of the printer type as "IBM compati·
ble" or "Apple compatible". The other is the configuration of disk
The Trackstar supports the use of up to four drives" One of
these may be an Apple·compatible 5.25 attached to the drive port on
the Trackstar itself. The Trackstar accesses an Apple·compatibledrive
as an Apple II would; we booted several Apple II program. disks
(including copy protected software) from an Apple 5.25 drive attached
to the disk port.
other "drives" are represented by special files created on MS·DOS
volumes (floppy drive, hard disk, or network volume) that the Track·
star recognizes as representing Apple disk volumes. One such type of
file is a TrackStore file, which the Trackstar utility software creates by
reading in an Apple 5.25 disk and storing the disk image into an M5DOS file. Trackstore files can be "inserted" and "removed" into the
virtual "Apple 5.25 drive" by selection mechanism provided with the
Trackstar environment. From MS·DOS, the files are recognized by a
filename ending in ".APP", and may be manipulated with normal MS·
DOS file utilities.
If you elect to use an Apple drive, it will be assigned as a slot 6
device (usually as drive I for use as the boot device). The second slot
6 device can then be an MS·DOS volume holding one or more Track'
Store files; the first time you try to access the device from an Apple
program, a selection screen will appear that asks you to select which
TrackStore disk you wish to appear in the virtual drive from a dis·
played list. Move the cursor to the desired TrackStore file, hit Return,
and you return to the Apple side of life with the selected disk online.
port all of the features of the current !.aser 128 ROM; for example,
the Trackslac's monitor does not support the disassembly listing com·
mand. For higher compatibility, the configuration program allows you
to save a TrackStore image of a DOS 3.3 System Master under the
filename INIT (INIT.APP from M5-DOS) and select to load Applesoft
from the FPBASIC image on the System Master file. Alternatively, you
can elect to have FPBASIC loaded from an Apple diskette; the system
will prompt you when it is ready to load Applesoft.
Running the system is only a little bickier than using an
Apple II. From MS·DOS, you launch the Trackstar into Apple mode by
running STAR.COM. STAR will ask you which volume you wish to boot
from. If the selected volume is not the "slot 7, drive I" ProDOS vol·
ume (PRODOS.HDI) or the Apple external drive, it's probably a vol·
ume containing TrackStore files and STAR will additionally ask you
which TrackStore image you want to boot. Work through the selections and you'll be working on an Apple II clone.
The correlation .isn't always direct. For one thing, you have no
open· and closed·Apple keys; instead you use the PC's F9 and FlO
function keys. This can be slightly awkward, depending on the layout
of your keyboard.
There is also no reset key. Reset and several other functions are
reached from a special menu activated by hitting the function key FI
followed by Escape. From this menu you can type several single·key
commands: "R" to reset the Trackstar (equivalent to "control·reset" on
an Apple II), "B" to reboot from the selected device (equivalent to
"control·open·apple·reset"), "I" to switch the configured disk I (in
case it's assigned to a TrackStore volume), "2" to switch disk 2, "+" to
toggle Apple 11+ mode, "K" to display a list of other control keys, "X"
to exit to M5-DOS, and the "ENTER" key to return to the Trackstar, So,
for example, you can reset the Trackstar from Apple mode by pressing "FI ", "Escape", and then "R".
The additional keys shown by "II" are used to control system
parameters. "F2 " will toggle the graphics display between color and
monochrome; you can use this to surpress color on programs expecting a monochrome monitor. Using a modifier key on the PC keyboard
named "AIt" like a "shill" key, you can switch the speed of the Trackstar; "AIt·[" (hold down the" AIt" key and press" I") forces I mega·
hertz operation, "AUT pushes the system to 2 megahertz,
When you select oX' from the menu, you'll be asked if you
want to terntinate the operation of the Trackstar. If you choose
"Y", you exit to M5-DOS and the Trackstar is shut down; you must run
STAR. COM again to restart.
othelWise, you exit to MS·DOS and the Trackstar will continue to
operate until it requires some aspect of the PC's input/output
resources, at which point it suspends operations and waits for you to
return to Trackstar mode so it can claim the resource it needs. With
the Trackstar running, you can switch between MS·DOS and Trackstar
modes by using" AIl·Escape". Thus the Trackstar is a parallel processor that allows the MS·DOS and Trackstar processors to run alongside
each other at the same time,
The unused function keys can have key sequences ("macros")
assigned with the configuration software. Once defined, pressing the
function key within Trackstar mode causes the defined keystrokes to
be issued as if you had typed them from the keyboard,
The Trackstar also includes a set of utilities to allow transferring
mes between MS·DOS and Apple (DOS and ProDOS) format disks.
The Trackstar appears to be designed to run Apple software
in a classroom environment where Apple II systems are being dis·
placed by MS·DOS systems. The Trackstar does an admirable job of
running software from 5.25 disks, provides (through Trackstore) a
January 1991
A2"Central 6.95
convenienl way to archive oflen-used disks on nelwork volumes (Diamond's manual cautions lhat the use of copyrighted programs On a
network must be approved by the software manufacturer), and provides a usable environment for ProDOS users requiring larger disk volumes.
There are two severe limitations for serious Apple II users. first
there's no provision for altaching an Apple-compatible 3.5 (8001l)
disk drive. This is probably not as severe a limitation for schools,
where the use of 3.5 drives on Apple II systems may be rare due 10
the cost of Ihe drives, and since most software is supplied and used
on 5.25 disks. But for Apple II users running disk-inlensive software,
the 16011 storage limit of normal Apple 5.25 disks is too restrictive.
Moving such files to a ProDOS "partition" on the hard disk solves the
storage limilation, but Ihen large files have to be broken up 10 fit on a
5.25 and moved to another Apple. We've found 3.5 disks to be essential for practical, transportable data storage.
Second, there is no provision for expanded RAM above the 12811
lie model. This allows running the most popular "serious" Apple II
program, AppleWorks, with only a limited desktop and few enhan ce·
ments. Most importantly, it limits the use of the TimeOut applications.
The only other minor glitches encountered were the failure of the
serial port to work with 2400 baud modems without lOSing characters
(the port appears to be intended primarily for use with a printer, and
doesnlsupport interrupts), and the inability to boot a few vel)" heavily
protected programs (the two I had trouble with were Microlab's Life·
Saver and Sirius Software's arcade game Bandits; both products have
been defunct for quite some time). Diamond does have a list of sever·
Disk interleave info
I have what must seem like a couple of
dumb questions, but I can't seem to get any
answers locally. I have a IIgs with all Ihe
usual peripherals.
Question # I: Is there any utilily (or
method) of determining the interleave of a
previously formatted 3.5" disk?
Question #2: On a disk to disk copy (the
finder or ProSeI·I6), if the original disk has a
4: I interleave and the destinalion has a 2: I
interleave (before the copying starts) what is
the interleave of the destination disk after
the copy is completed?
Th e basis for these questions is that I pre·
viously had an Apple 3.5 disk and daisy
chained a UniDisk 3.5 to it. I formatted storage disks at a 4: I interleave because of the
UniDisk. In storing data, the disks droned on
and on, especially storing files from Apple·
Works 3.0. I finally acquired a second Apple
3.5 disk to replace the UniDisk, formatted
blank disks with the 2: I interleave, copied
the 4: I storage disks to these new disks
expecting a considerable speed·up in disk
activity. The results were most unspectacular.
As nearly as I could tell there was not the
al hundred programs that they have tested for compatibility.
The Trackstar has been available for several years: it will come
into closer focus now as Apple tries to push its "dual processor" platform , the Mac lC with lie emulation card, into the Apple II education·
al market. The Mac lC/lle does allow attaching a 3.5 drive, and it
does provide for expansion memol)' for programs like AppleWorks .•
We can assume that its firmware will be a faithful rendition of Apple's
proprietary Apple II monitor and BASIC. We won't know where it's lim·
itations versus the Trackslar exist 'until Apple actually starts shipping
this combination, so we'll reselVe further judgement until we have lhe
setup in hand.
However, we feel the Trackstar alternative represents several fac·
tors schools should consider. It has been in production for some
time, versus Apple's LC/ lle. The Trackstar works in MS·DOS machines.
which represent nearly all of the non·Apple II CPUs installed in 1\-12
currenlly. At $445 (retail) the Trackstar costs over twice as much as
Apple's card (announced at $199). but the host computer can be significantly less expensive.
The last factor may be the most damning: the problem with Apple 's
solution is that, in typically Apple fashion, the user's choice of hardware is limited. If you want a Mac to run Apple II software, you have a
grand choice of One machine; the Mac lC. With the Trackstar, you can
select a platform ranging from basic PC clones to a full-feature 80486
behemoth. And if you change PC (or PC clone) models, it's likely the
Trackstar can move with you.--DJD
slightest improvement in disk access and
storage times. What am I doing wrong?
Barney Woodruff
Camp Springs, Md.
The Free Tools Association's (FTA) copy
program PlJotonix n will detect the existing
interleave of a disk. PlJotonix H is published by Toolbox, 6 Rue l1enri IJarbusse,
95100 Argenteui!, France.
If you format the target disk at a 2: I interleave and use a normal disk copy utility to
copy the contents of the 4: I original without
reformatting the target disk, the interleave
of the target will remain at 2: J. 110st copy
utilities will work this way. l10st IIgs copy
programs (and I'roSe1's ProDOS 8 /lgs disk
copy utility) allow you to specify the Interleave of the target disk for formatting.
Changing the inlerleave mayor may not
help file access times depending on what
program you use to measure the change.
Some programs such as AppleWorks pro·
cess information as they read.or write a file,
and Ihe proceSSing time causes delays Ihat
an optimum inlerleave will have 10 lake into
account. Since you can't optimize the interleave for everything, Apple's suggested
inlerleaves are based on what they consider
10 be Ihe besl compromise.-DJD
Not as testy
Do you know of a program or a way to
stop the laserWriter NT from printing a test
page evel)' time it's started up?
John A. Mclean
Courtenay, B.C.
PostScript guru Don Lancasler lists the
needed incanlalions in his La5erWriter
Secrets book (from Synergetlcs, Box 809,
Thatcher, Ariz. 85552, 602428·407J). The
PoslScript code to disable the tesl page is:
serY!rdid te¢n 0 exitsener statusdict tegin false
setdostartpage end quit % true restores it
The PostScript code to enable the test
page Is:
serverdict begin neritseIW! shtusdict begin true
oet<I>!urtpage end quit % fll" kill. it
Oetting this code 10 the LaserWriter is a
bit of a problem. Don, of course, suggests
using a direct connection where you use the
Apple as a terminal to type (or download)
Postscript instructions directly to the Laser·
Writer using a serial connection. This of
course assumes you can take control of the
LaserWriter, which is not convenient in a
network situation.
Both the /Ie and the IIgs download a text
me named IWCI1 when you select to use Ihe
LaserWriter as your AppleTalk printer and
elect to download the "Image Writer emulator'. By replacing this Iwcn file with your
code, you can have the respective 'chooser'"
function (the IJ.bit Chooser of the Apple lie,
or the Control Panel LaserWriter CDCV of the
IIgs) download your code IhinKing il is the
emulator program. Since you probably want
to use the emulalor, too, we'd recommend
you rename the original Iwcn file, create
the new Iwcn file in the same folder (or
rename an existing file conlaining Ihe
instructions as IWEn), selecl the LaserWriter
and download Ihe bogus Iwcn file, then
reverse Ihe proecedure to reslore the previous IWEN file.
We lried it and the LaserWriter retains
the slalus for printing the startup page when
cycled off and on, so Ihe selling must be
retained in SOme type of nonvo!aUJe memo1)'.
We let our LaserWriler print the tesl page
since it gives a running count of Ihe number
of pages prinled, and a sample of Ihe currenl print quality. As a further caveat, Dan's
Vol. 6, no. 12
notes on the procedure indicate that the test
page should be lell enabled on a LaserWriter
NTX with attached SCSI hard disk as a
means of verifying that your disk is still func·
Apple bashing?
As much as I enjoyed reading the article in
' The Ides of October'. I'm beginning to won·
der if all this "anti·Apple' bashing is going to
really do us all really good.
Not that I don·t agree with everything said.
Most of it is true. It's just that if Apple
deddes not to put out another Apple IIgs, or
push it in any way (which is what apparently
is happening); I don'l really wanl to promul·
gate the advocation of moving over to M5DOS clones.
I like Apples. I work on an IBM PS/2 at my
job, and I have no intention of going that way
for a long time. They just don't interest me.
The Apple IIgs is more of a Mac than you real-
Of course, everyone is angry with Apple.
However, on the other hand, technology
marches on. The computer you buy today
won 't be worth much in three , maybe four
years. When I bought my Apple IIgs in 1986,
I was considering purchasing an MS-DOS Xl.
Well, the Xl is now a doorstop, while my
Apple IIgs Is still a viable machine (although
it could be upgraded). I've had some wonderfut use out of my Apple IIgs; I certainly have
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gotten my money's worth . And I will be using
it for years.
Of course, it may not be getting much
more new software. I'm disappointed, as is
everyone else, that things have slowed down.
But I still won't go the IBM route. I like the
finder, and the Mac has more to offer me
than an IBM machine.
It's true that Apple isn't the company it
used to be; but I've enjoyed the company
they keep. It attracts the best programmers
and has the best users of any computer
equipment I've seen. I was angry all9ut Apple
not upgrading my Appte IIgs, but I see no
allernative available ... The other companies
aren 't all that endearing to their users. Why,
IBM or it's clones don't even write thetr system software!
50 if you have to get a new machine, a
Mac is worth considering.
Lynda Botez
Redondo Beach, Calif.
There are many people that can't (or
won 't) deal with the 1'15.oOS alternative, and
having used I'IS-DOS since the days of the
IBI'I PC/ AT I can sympathize. I think I hold a
lot in common with IIgs owners that rea/ly
want to feel better about Apple's treatment
of them so that buying a Hac could be a less
traumaUc decision.
However, I would guess that · although
most I/gs users (and Apple II users in general) are not grossly disappointed in what they
have purchased, they are justifiably indigo
nant about Apple working to shorten the
useful life of the· systems they Invested in.
And there are not many ways to rationalize
away this realization; although Apple is now
trying to reverse part of the trend through
enhancements to the Apple
platform, an
ine>cuseable amount of damage continues
to be done by inept dealer support and marketing.
It remains to be Seen whether the new
Apple /I business unit can restore faith; I can
accept a valiant attempt that fails, but Apple
has barely managed to throw the Apple II
community an occasional bone in recent
years and should not expect alienated Apple
/I users to be easily appeased. If someone
sells me a well and then poisons it, I'd be
reluclant to buy another from the same
source, no matter how appealing the
prospect appears.-DJD
to take the risk of offering us unprotected
Third, contrary to Harry's experience, I
have had no compatibility problems SO far
with the lip Chip. I have a lie with an 8 MHz
lip Chip and I have used the Convert routine
to convert ten disks of old Print Shop graphics, borders, and fonts to the new ProDOS
format at full speed (at default lip Chip seltings for all slots) with no problems. Harry
advises people not to try the Convert routine
with the lip Chip on. My advice is, try it; it
might work. If it crashes, then try it again with
the lip Chip off.
Fourth, I have experienced a minor compatibility problem with Applied Engln ering's
Timel'laster II H.O. clock card (in slot 2).
Every time t attempted to use the Installation
option to install the New Print Shop on my
hard disk, the program successfully created
the subdirectory IPS, then stopped to report
a disk error. Br0derbund's technical support
suggested I remove the clock card during the
installation and then put it back in. It worked,
and has been working fine since. The incompatibility is only with the installation option.
Paul Edwards
Roswell, New Mexico
I'm wailing to see if I get a letter n..t
month that says 'Gee, I installed the /Yew
Print Sbop on my hard disk with the
TimeMasler ".0. installed without a problem' (sigh)... -DJD
In search of BPI
I come to you with a whisper of hope as I
throw my appeal to the masses. for over a
year I have tried to locate BPI single entry
series software modules that run on ProDOS.
Specifically, I need General Accounting,
Accounts Payable, and Accounts Receivable.
I have pleaded with Computer Associates
to sell me the software without any warranty.
They tell me they have none. However, when
a "glitch" showed up on my Inventory software, they sent me a new set of disks.
I have called software and computer
stores. I have called people that totd me to
. call other people which in turn told me to call
other people, Are there any out there?
Should I call the Smithsonian or maybe
Sathe by's?
You might wonder why the obsession.
Well , I think BPI software is tops. I have used
it since its inception with the old DOS programs. Then they came out with the ProDOS
I would like to add a little to Harry W.
version and made it fully compatible with
Barr's very helpfut comments on the New
AppteWorks. What else can a small business
owner like me ask for? Unfortunately, by the
Print Shop (A1,Centrai, p. 6.77).
firs(, according to the October issue of time I had enough money to upgrade all the
files to the rroDOS versions, BPI sold out and
A t/inCider, owners of the original Print Shop
can call Br0derbund for a $20 upgrade at Computer Associates dropped the Apple II
800-999-3256. for those who bought the line.
If anyone out there knows of where or how
original version after May 25, t989, the
upgrade is free.
I can get the rest of the ProDOS versions I
Second, people like yourself and Harry need, please call me. You can reach me toll
who praise Br0derbund Software for giving us free at 800-777-9992.
Max Poggio
a ProDOS 8 version without copy protection
are missing a chance to exhort readers to
GMG Products Inc.
buy the program or the update rather than
make and use an illegal copy. Only in this
Springville, Utah
way will publishers like Br0derbund continue
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