Apple cart. (column) Stephen Arrants.
Welcome back! This month's column will be a mixture of things. we'll look at some new products, take care of some old business, answer some of your questions, ask some of you, and correct some errors from the June issue.
Last month, I gave you a short program that appeared to do nothing special. When run, it cruised through your Apple's memory, showing you what was inside your machine. At first glance, it didn't look like the most useful little program in the world. But think about it. You actually saw what was in memory.
I hope it proved to you that you control your computer. Many users, alas, believe that the machine only does what it wants to do. A computer only does what you tell it to do. If you looked closely, you saw DOS commands flash across your screen. DOS, of course, resides in memory after booting a disk. Which brings me to this month's program.
Last month I promised to give you a program that would let your recover a "lost" file. Before we do that, however, let's talk about DOS.
Without DOS, your Apple doesn't even know that the disk drive exists. DOS tells the computer how to get information from or write information to a disk.
An Apple disk is divided into 35 tracks, each of which is divided into 16 sectors; each sector is divided into 256 bytes. DOS occupies tracks 0-2. Tracks 3-16 and 18-34 are for storage, and track 17 contains the disk directory in sectors 1-15 and the ubiquitious VTOC in sector 0.
Three tracks is a great deal of space for DOS. On ten disks you have wasted 30 tracks. Boot a disk with DOS on a Monday, and as long as your Apple is turned on, it will remain in memory through the next weekend and beyond. It doesn't have to be placed back in memory unless you restart the system. Why have DOS on each disk? You could always use the extra spacE, couldn't you? Since DOS isn't a program, you can't just DELETE it. You could always reinitialize a disk, but you would lose all the data on the disk. Removing DOS isn't difficult. In fact, it is quite easy if you know how. Here is a short program that will give you the extra space.
It works as follows:
Lines 10-20 are self explanatory.
Line 30 clears and sets up the screen.
Lines 40-50 provide an explanation and instructions.
Line 60 tells the Apple to read VTOC.
Line 70 stores all dta at 10000.
Lines 80 is the read-write-track-sector jump routine.
Lines 90-100 read the sector.
Line 110 writes four bytes by POKEing in 255 to free the sectors.
Lines 120-130 write to the sector monitor subroutine to clear from the cursor to theend of the page.
Lines 140-150 end the program.
The variables used are A$ and B$ for input, and area for the location of data storage.
What this program does is free trcks 1 and 2 by allowing DOS to be overwritten. In a way, this is like deleting a program. Physically, DOS is still on the disk, but as new data are saved, it is overwritten.
If isn't the most elegant program; it doesn't immediately removed DOS. Unfortunately, because of the way DOS does what it does, track 0 is unavailable.
Be very careful when typing this program in. One wrong key, and your disk may become dead plastic. Don't save it on a valuable disk until you are satisfied that it works correctly and is completely debugged. Thanks to Ian MacNab of Regina, Saskatchwan for this program.
Next month, a track/sector editor and (I promise!) the file recovery program. New Products
We have just received an exciting new product from Koala Technologies. The Koalapad touch tablet lets you draw graphics for video display with your finger or a stylus. Custom keyboard overlays may be added, and the Koalapad can also be used as a game controller. I won't say more about it here. John Anderson is planning a comprehensive review. Osborne/McGraw-Hill has published a series of books called Disk Guides. These are short, informative reference guides to using the Apple, the IBM PC, Atari 400/800, VisiClc, and the CP/M operating system. For quick reference, they are OK--certainly easier than leafing through a stack of manuals. The Disk Guides are the size of floppies, and can be stored in a disk box. Prices are $6.95 to $8.95, depending on the title. Do you have a friend who has an IBM PC? Are you tired of spending long hours translating your Apple programs so he can have a taste of the best computer? Is your friend envious of your game collection? Quadram Corp. produces a card called the Quadlink which allows an IBM PC to run Apple softwware. Quadram claims tht 90% of all Apple software will run without a problem on the PC. Programs using half-track protection schemes and programs which read Apple keyboard ports or serial/parallel ports are a problem. Also, some software which uses specific areas of the Apple ROM may not work. For a closer look, read Mark Zachmann's review in the June '83 PC magazine. More On II + Trade-In
We have been getting some phone calls and letters from readers asking about trading in an Apple II + for the new IIe. Most ask about the dealers offering the trade-ins. The only advice I can give is: deal with reputable people. If a dealer has been in business a while, hs a good reputation, and seems trustworthy, then his deal is legitimate. Follow the same rules you followed (or should have followed) when you bought your II. Keep in mind that a dealer in Boston offering a trade-in won't be worth much to you if you live in Brooklyn and your motherboard begins to smoke.
Remember that if your II + is under Applecare warranty, you cannot transfer the coverage to the new machine. Your original machine is covered, not the trade-in. Corrections And Addenda
In our June issue, Ernest Mau did an excellent job in reviewing Apple word processors. When reviewing something as complex as a word processor, errors may creep in. Features supported in one word processor may not be apparent unless the software is in constant use. AppleWriter II does support the shift key wire modification and takes full advantage of a 16K RAM, card. Many keyboard enhancers may be used without worry. Block copying from memory and the overwriting of existing text are available features, and the cursor can be moved a word or a character. Using a WPL program, multiple copies of a file can be printed.
Indenting paragraphs requires setting the paragraph margin (.PM) at a position greater than the left margin. The next sentence after a return will be indented.
The greatest area of confusion is that of using printers. Refer to the printer manual, Apple documentation, or ask your dealer about the correct codes to send to the printer. In general, if the printer is capable of producing different typestyles; AppleWriter II can use them.
There are still a few features that I as a dedicated AppleWriter II user, haven't gotten used to. I wish that the software were modifiable, since there are some enhancements I would like to add. Now that I have the IIe along with AppleWriter IIe, I have to get used to a slightly different system. When I got the IIe I didn't even consider different word processing software. I find the AppleWriter packages to be about the best available. Thanks to Scott Cramer, Chris Immroth, Dean Cook, David Mattson, Barry Bayer, Wolfgang Gunther, and other readers for their letters on AppleWriter II. We're sorry we missed those facts, but glad you all wrote.
Incidentally, you may experience problems when using AppleWriter II with an Apple IIe. The shift key doesn't work; you must still press ESC. Also, when underlining you must press ESC reverse slash at the beginning and end of the underlined areas and ESC SHIFT underline between words. For some inexplicable reason, the FIND command doesn't always work. If it doesn't, I suggest saving the text, clearing memory, and reloading the file. If anyone knows what the problem is, please let me know I would like to share the information with other readers.
Michael Fine of PAF Computer Consulting in Philadelphia, PA, sent us a method of printing PFS graphs with Pkaso and other printer interface cards.
First, before booting PFS; Graph, INIT a blank disk. Remove the disk and boot up PFS: Graph. Retrieve an existing graph or create a new one and save it on a PFS data disk.
Next, while the graph is on the screen, remove both the PFS disk and the PFS-format data disk. Insert your blank disk into drive #1. Hit CTRL-RESET only once. Apple DOS 3.3 is present.
At this point, the hi-res image is still intact. You now have the ability to send commnds to the Pkaso or other intelligent interface card.
to save the hi-res image to disk, type
A$2000, L$2000 (CR)
To dump using the Pkaso, type PR#1 CR CTRL-IH.
Mr. Fine recommends using the reduced color and medium size modes with the Pkaso. Answers To Your Questions
To Doug Kline: No, I don't know of anyone using an Apple on a sailboat for navigation. Can anyone else help him?
To Arlene Rodriguez: Apple-compatible is a term used by manufacturers to mean that at least one Apple program will run on their computer. If you buy an "Apple clone," test the software you are planning to use on it, or check with the software publisher. Many are including the names of Apple compatibles on the outside stickers. And no, I don't recommend buying an Apple copy from overseas. Do you want to ship it back to Taiwan when the Monitor ROM gets nervous?
To Anonymous, Prairie Village, KS: There is only one way I know to run TRS-Model III software on the Apple--translating it line by line.
Now some questions for you. About the only thing I know about the readers of this column is that they either own or plan to own an Apple. That's it. What I would like is some information from you. It will help me get to know the audience and allow me to bore you as little as possible. Please take a few minutes to write down some answers to the following question and drop them in the post. The reader with the most creative answers wins a copy of InvisiCale.
What type of system do you have?
What software that you own is your favorite?
What software that you own do you refuse to boot?
Do you use bulletin board services? Which ones?
Do you belong to a user's group?
What non-Apple equipment do you have?
Why did you buy an Apple (or Apple-compatible)?
The best thing about an Apple is:
The worst thing about an Apple is:
Any problems with your machine?
What other computer magazines do you read?
Send your answers to:
39 E. Hanover Ave.
Morris Plains, NJ 07950 Coming up
Next month, I will be reviewing two software packages for the IIe, Quick File IIe, the AppleWriter IIe, one of the best word processors around.
Check out our Fall Hardware Buyer's Guide for reviews of the Apple IIe and the Apple III, and the Franklin Ace 1200. I think you'll be surprised about what Franklin has to offer. It is an attractive alternative to the Apple IIe and a good deal at the suggested price.