The Apple II FAQ

This is the Frequently Asked Questions posting of the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup). Copyleft 1994 by Dan DeMaggio ( But still under construction... (name a page that isn't!)

Table of Contents

Q#1   What's a FAQ? 2/8/95
Q#2   How do I get to comp.sys.apple2 and what is it? 2/9/95
Q#3   How do I get files off the net? 2/8/95
Q#4   Where can I get Apple II software and info on the net? 2/8/95
Q#5   What archivers do I need to know about?
Q#6    More about BinSCII
Q#7    ShrinkIt and NuFX archives
Q#8    Executioner
Q#9    Apple Archive Format (aaf)
Q#10   Net standard formats
Q#11   A quick note about ProDos filetypes
Q#12  What do the file extensions mean?
Q#13  How do I tell what kind of file this is? 2/8/95
Q#14  What is an Apple II? 1/1/95
Q#15   The Apple I
Q#16   The Apple ][ and Apple ][+
Q#17   The Apple //e
Q#18   The Apple //C and IIC+
Q#19   The Laser 128EX
Q#20   The Apple IIGS
Q#21   The Apple ][e Emulation Card
Q#22  Some Common Questions (with answers!) 2/8/95
Q#23   Info about A2's:
Q#24    What is 8 bit and 16 bit?
Q#25    How can I tell what version my computer is?
Q#26    What programming languages are available for the Apple ][?
Q#27   Adding Hardware:
Q#28    Can the Apple II connect to SCSI devices?
Q#29    Can I use Macintosh Monitors or 3.5" drives with my ][?
Q#30    Can I hook up a LaserWriter, DeskJet, etc to my Apple //e?
Q#31    Can I hook up a LaserWriter, DeskJet, etc to my Apple IIGS?
Q#32    Can I hook up a scanner up to my //e? Can it do OCR?
Q#33    Can a Disk ][ be used on a GS smartport?
Q#34    What's the scoop on the new HD 3.5" drive?
Q#35    I want a Y-adapter for my GS keyboard.
Q#36   File Transfer:
Q#37    How can I transfer stuff to/from an IBM/Mac?
Q#38    File transfer: Apple //e ---> Macintosh
Q#39    File transfer: Apple //e <--- Macintosh
Q#40    File transfer: Apple //e ---> IBM
Q#41    File transfer: Apple //e <--- IBM
Q#42    File transfer: Apple IIGS ---> Macintosh
Q#43    File transfer: Apple IIGS <--- Macintosh
Q#44    File transfer: Apple IIGS ---> IBM
Q#45    File transfer: Apple IIGS <--- IBM
Q#46    What's the CTI Drive?
Q#47    How about hooking up cheap IDE Hard Drives?
Q#48    How do I USE stuff I have transferred to/from an IBM/Mac?
Q#49    How do I get cool Mac Icons and fonts onto my GS?
Q#50    What programs are there for conversion of graphic images?
Q#51    I have an old CPM / PASCAL / DOS 3.3 disk.  How do I get it into ProDos?
Q#52    How do you copy from a 5.25" disk to 3.5" disk?
Q#53   Strange problems:
Q#54    How do I get out of Basic (that little "]" prompt and flashing cursor?
Q#55    What are the problems with GSCII?
Q#56    AppleWorks won't print to my printer.  What gives?
Q#57    My GS control panel keeps resetting to the defaults and/or forgetting the date.
Q#58    I'm getting Error XXX.  What's it mean?
Q#59    Why does my Apple II lose characters when I'm using the modem?
Q#60    Where do I get support for AE boards now that they are closed?
Q#61    Is there a QWK reader for the Apple //e?
Q#62  System 6.0 mini-FAQ
Q#63   Common Problems
Q#64   Tips & Hints
Q#65   If you have a RamFast
Q#66   If you have a Vulcan or AE High Density disk
Q#67   If you have ProSel
Q#68   If you have an AMR 3.5"
Q#69   GSCII+ & HFS Note
Q#70  What to do with an Apple ][? 2/8/95
Q#71    What can you hook up to an Apple ][?
Q#72    What can you do with an Apple ][?
Q#73    What can the //e can "borrow" from other computers?
Q#74    What can the GS can "borrow" from other computers?
Q#75  Resources for the Apple II 2/8/95
Q#76   Apple II Groups
Q#77   Getting Parts & Software
Q#78   Fun hardware add-ons
Q#79   Periodicals & Books
Q#80   Misc Resources
Q#81  General guidelines on How To Troubleshoot
Q#82   General troubleshooting
Q#83   Trouble shooting and good maintenance
Q#84   GS Trouble shooting
Q#85  SCSI
Q#86   Tips on setting up a SCSI system:

Q#1 What's a FAQ? 2/8/95

Hi! Welcome to the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup!

Sorry about the previous posts (or lack there of). Some things weren't getting into new posts because the highly contorted way I post this. Hopefully, this post actually works. Feel free burn me in effigy if I don't get it right, then e-mail me about it.

I hope it becomes a valuable resource. If not, what's it missing??

Dan DeMaggio (

Q#2 How do I get to comp.sys.apple2 and what is it? 2/9/95

c.s.a2 is a USENET newsgroup. USENET posts can originate from your local newsreader and spread to hundreds of thousands of machines throughout the the world. The comp.

comp.sys.apple2              - General discussion and questions
                               relating to all Apple //'s
comp.sys.apple2.comm         - Communications and networking related
comp.sys.apple2.gno          - Discussion of program GNO/ME for the
                               Apple IIGS (UNIX for the Apple IIGS)
comp.sys.apple2.marketplace  - Buying, selling and promoting Apple //
                               related products
comp.sys.apple2.programmer   - Discussion relating to any aspect of
                               programming the Apple //
comp.sys.apple2.usergroups   - Discussion relating to Apple //
comp.binaries.apple2         - Public Domain/Shareware Software for all
                               Apple //'s
comp.sources.apple2          - A moderated newsgroup for the posting of
                               Apple // related source code
comp.emulators.apple2        - Discussion relating to the use of Apple //
                               emulation software/hardware on an IBM
                               compatible system
alt.emulators.ibmpc.apple2   - Older "ALT" version of above
If you only have e-mail access to the Internet, you will find the following addresses helpful. Make sure you have a large mailbox and the time to sift through lots of messages per day. Consider getting better connected to the Internet (read "The Whole Internet Users Guide And Catalog" for more info.)

For this:                        Send a message body of "help" to:
---------------------------      ---------------------------------
Subscribe to C.S.A2  (internet)
                     (BITNET)    LISTSERV@NDSUVM
APPLE2-L archives    (internet)
                     (BITNET)    LISTSERV@BROWNVM
Games from APPLE2-L  (internet)
                     (BITNET)    LISTSERV@UTARLVM1
More files via E-Mail (i-net)
                     (BITNET)    FILESERV@PLAINS
Kermit file transfer program
                     (BITNET)    KERMSRV@CUVMA (BITNET)
Apple /// files      (internet)  APPLE3-L@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU
Once you are getting c.s.a2 in your mailbox, you may want to post. Just use the addresses listed below. People with direct access to the newsgroups do not need these, as they can use their news software to post.

Post to any newsgroup 
Post to comp.sys.apple2

Comp.binaries.apple2 is a newsgroup used to distribute PD (Public Domain - may be used and copied freely.), FW (Freeware - ditto, except that the original owner retains the Copyright.) or SW (Shareware - try it for free, pay for it if you use it) Apple II software (executables, pictures, sounds, etc...). Software distributed on comp.binaries.apple2 is expected to be a BinSCII text file containing a ShrinkIt archive. Please post a text description of your program and what it requires to run so people can tell if they need it or not. You may cross-post the description (only) to comp.sys.apple2. Please don't post questions or answers in the binaries group. Remember, distribution of commercial software is illegal.

Comp.sources.apple2 is a newsgroup used to distribute Apple II source code. The posts in comp.sources.apple2 should be in Apple Archive Format. Contact for details.

Discussions concerning the software posted in these groups, or the methods of locating, decoding, or accessing this software, or questions on locating archive sites of this software, or any OTHER discussions are to be held in comp.sys.apple2. If someone DOES either intentionally or accidentally post to the binary/source groups, please respond only in E-mail - do not compound the problem!

Q#3 How do I get files off the net? 2/8/95

Quick Summary:
Step 1: Make a list of files that you want
Step 2: Get files to your host (a UNIX box or ProLine BBS)
Step 3: Get files to your Apple II
Step 4: Create BINSCII
Step 5: Create ShrinkIt
Step 6: Use BinSCII & Shrinkit to create Shrinkit GS
Step 7: Extract the files you _REALLY_ wanted
Step 1: Make a list of files that you want
1) You need BINSCII (binscii.exe) and ShrinkIt (shrinkit.3.3.exe.bsc).
   For a shortcut, see Chuck Orem in the resources section.
2) If you have a GS (and use GS/OS), you will want Shrinkit GS
   ( and GSCII (gscii.bsc)
3) Add any other files you want. Don't try to get everything the
   first time around.  Try one or two test files for starters.

  Note: Filenames can vary from site to site. Shrinkit and Binscii
        are usually available on all the Apple II FTP sites.

Step 2a: (For ProLine users) Get files to your host
1) Dial up your host and log in.
2) I'm not familiar with ProLine, so I'll be vague here. Just go
   into the files section and look... Anyone wanna clue me in?

Step 2b: (for those with a Sell account) Get files to your host
1) Choose an FTP site from the FAQ
2) At your UNIX prompt, type "ftp _____" (fill in hostname)
3) At the "Login:" prompt, type "anonymous" (or "ftp" if you are
   a bad speller like me ;)
4) Type in your e-mail address when prompted for a password.
5) Type "bin" unless you are only getting text files
6) Type "cd ______" (directory) to move to the right directory.
6) type "ls" to see a list of files.
7) Locate each file (more "cd ___"'s and "ls"). Also, "cd .."
   will move up a directory in the tree.)
8) use "get ______" (filename) to get it
9) When you are done using FTP, type "quit"

Step 3: Get files to your Apple II
1) Find out what file transfer protocols your Apple communications
   package supports. (see below for a list)
2) On your local comm program, set your file transfer type to Text
   (TXT) or Binary (BIN) depending on what type of file you are
   downloading. If there is an option to "strip incoming linefeeds",
   try turning it on.
3) Get your host to send you the file.  I don't know about ProLine,
   but UNIX users can use these commands:
   For Z-Modem: "sz ___ ____ ____"  (file names)
   For X-Modem: "sx ____" (one at a time)
   For Kermit:  "kermit", then "put _____" (filename)
5) If needed, tell your local communications program to Receive. You
   must do this quickly, or the other host will give up trying to
   send the file.
4) Write down the full pathname of the files you downloaded and where
   you put them. There will be a quiz later.  Pathnames look like

  Note: If something goes wrong, hit ESC, Ctrl-X or Ctrl-C 3 times.
        If you can't get one protocol to work, try the next one
        down. Z-modem is much faster than the others. You will
        want to find a program that supports it.

Step 4: Create BINSCII (if needed)
1) After you disconnect, go into Applesoft by starting BASIC.SYSTEM
2) At the `]` prompt, type 'EXEC ____' (your BINSCII file name)
  Note: If you get ?SYNTAX ERRORs then something went wrong. Try
        looking at the file with a Text Editor.
3) Type "cat" and look for BINSCII (type 'SYS')
4) type "-BINSCII" or "-BINSCII.SYSTEM" depending on above

  Note: You should get the BINSCII opening screen.

Step 5: Create ShrinkIt (if needed)
1) If your Shrinkit file ends in ".BSC" then (In BINSCII) type in
   the filename of your ShrinkIt file
2) Quit BINSCII. Get into AppleSoft again.
3) Type "EXEC SHRINKIT3.3.XTX" (you may need the full pathname)
4) Run ShrinkIt with "-SHRINKIT.SYSTEM"

Step 6: Extracting everything else
1) If it's BSQ or BSC, run it through BINSCII
2) If BINSCII creates a ".SHK" file, or if you download a ".SHK"
   file, then use ShrinkIt on the file.  It's easy to use and it
   doesn't give you the dreaded "FILENAME QUIZ!"

For those who haven't picked a program to download with, here are the biggies. All of the non-commercial programs are available from FTP sites. If you don't have a comm program already, your best bet is to have someone mail you one on a disk or buy ProTerm. (See resources).

Program   Comp Emulations     Protocols             Note
ProTerm    E$  PSE, VT-100     Kermit, X,Y,Z-modem  From InSync
PTP        E$, VT-100          X-Modem, (Y-mdm D/L) From Quality Computers
Kermit-65  E   VT-100          Kermit, X-modem      Hard to use,Works on ][+
Z-Link     E   VT-100          X-modem              Good.
CommSys    E   none            X-modem              Works on ][+
TIC        E$  VT-100 (+)      X-modem              Small, Scripting.
Agate      E   mono ANSI       X,(Y,Z D/L only)     Unpacks ZIP, Buggy
ColorTerm  GS  color ANSI      X-modem              Desktop based
MegaTerm   GS  color ANSI      none                 ProDOS 8
ANSITerm   GS$ color ANSI, PSE X,Y,Z-modem          Editor, scrollback, etc.
SnowTerm   GS  VT-100 (+)      none                 Desktop based
FreeTerm   GS  none            X-modem              Desktop based
GenComm    GS  none            none                 Text, Shell Compat.
GSVT       GS  VT-100          none                 Desktop
GTerm      GS  color ANSI      none                 Written in BASIC/ML
Telcom     GS  VT-100, PSE     X, (Y D/L only)      Shell compat
| Key: $ = A commercial program   + = And other obscure ones
| Computer:  E = works on GS and //e, GS = only works on GS
| D/L = Download from other computer
PTP = Point-To-Point. I don't think it's being sold anymore. Anyone know?
See the resources section for where to buy the commercial programs.

Q#4 Where can I get Apple II software and info on the net? 2/8/95

[A quick note about URL notation: For those of you with full net access, you can run a web browser (like Lynx if you are dialed in from your Apple), which will understand URLs directly. Otherwise, ignore the 'http:' ones and see the previous section on how to use the FTP ones.)

Hint: /apple2
             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^
                 Hostname         Directory
OK, so here's a bunch of resources: - Hypertext version of this FAQ - Umich archive via the web - Emulation FAQ - Apple's Product List, including some Apple II products! - ShareWare Solutions II Homepage - Caltech Apple II Archive - Nathan Mates Apple II Links. Lots of 'em. - ? - Mike Shecket's BBS listing - Apple III stuff - Apple user group

Major FTP sites and mirrors:


Note: Files on are stored by serial number. For a human- readable directory, send e-mail with the text "INDEX APPLE2-L" or "INFO REFCARD" (no subject) to

Other FTP Sites:

Archives of C.S.A2 Newsgroups:
===============================      /usenet/comp.sources.apple2 (complete!)
?         /pub/news/comp.binaries.apple2           /pub/newsarchive/comp/sources/apple2 (incomplete)             /pub/newsarchive/comp/sources/apple2 (incomplete)             /pub/archive/comp.sources.apple2 (complete?)     /pub/lists.1989 (1989 only)
If you have a Shell account, you can use 'archie' to find ftp sites with a particular file.

Q#5 What archivers do I need to know about?

There are two programs you will need to have an be familiar with to get software off the net. They are BinSCII and ShrinkIt. ShrinkIt is like PKZIP on the PC, or STUFFIT on the mac.: It puts multiple files into one compressed archive. This way, you can get the program, documentation and related files in one swoop. Unfortunately, USENET can only handle text, not 8-bit binary information. Thus the need for BinSCII, which can take a file (usually a ShrinkIt file) and turn it into a series of meaningless letters, numbers and punctuation. This text travels thru USENET to you, where you need BinSCII to turn back into data that the computer can actually use.

Q#6 More about BinSCII

When turning a binary file into text, BinSCII will output a series of files. Each file contains a segment of the original program encoded in BinSCII format. These segments are small enough to be posted or e-mailed without clogging the network. (Actually, they are usually posted 3 at a time to save bandwidth). [NB: A BinScii text file is somewhat larger than the original binary file.] On FTP sites, these will be 'blah.BSQ', but on USENET, you give them your own name when you save a posting.

When re-creating a binary file from the BinScii segments, all one has to do is collect ALL the segments and run them through BinScii. Each segment has a header that tells BinScii what to do. BinSCII is intelligent enough to wade through all extraneous text (i.e. newsgroup headers, etc) and find the segments. It does not matter what order the segments are in, and the segments can be in different files. The only thing you have to remember is that BinScii does not check to see if ALL of the segments have been accounted for. If there are segments missing, the program will not work, or you will get a 'file corrupted' error when unshrinking.

GS users can use GSCII+, an NDA version of Binscii. GSCII+ can also encode/decode several other formats.

For those with Shell accounts, you can use SciiBin (decode-only version of BinSCII) to reduce your download time. You will need to compile this on your Unix box (ask for help from a local Guru), then run your BinScii files (from comp.binaries.apple2) through it. You will now have the original (smaller) file. This works great if there is a NuFX archive in the BinSCII file, but can cause problems if BinSCII was applied directly to ProDos executable files. In this case, you will have to download the BinSCII file.

If you need a Unix BinSCII encoder, Bsc will do the trick.

Q#7 ShrinkIt and NuFX archives

ShrinkIt is an Apple II program which takes one or more Apple II ProDOS files or disks and 'archives' them into a single file (called a NuFX archive). It also stores all the vital ProDos information, such as filetype and auxtype. Usually these files are denoted by putting a ".SHK" extension on the archive. ShrinkIt can also shrink an entire disk into a file (extension ".SDK"), but this should only used when the disk is not ProDos. ShrinkIt is also a menu driven utility that not only compresses and extracts, but it can also format disks, copy files, etc.

If you have a GS, you will want the GShk, which is even more of a wonder utility than it's 8-bit counterpart. Files encoded with GShk are usually smaller than those encoded with ShrinkIt, but can still be extracted with ShrinkIt (except files with resource forks. Watch those Teach documents if you want Apple //e's to read it!).

If you can't run Shrinkit because you have a ][+, you can use ShrinkIt+, UnShrinkIt+ and Autounshrink.

Q#8 Executioner

Executioner is an older format that is only used to distribute BinSCII (otherwise you would have a catch-22!). It usually has a "CALL -151" at the top (if not, delete everything above it), and doesn't use punctuation like BinSCII does.

To translate an Executioner text file to an Apple II file required that you delete the mail headers/trailers, translated the newlines into carriage returns, download the file to your Apple II and from Applesoft Basic, type the command 'EXEC <filename>' where <filename> is the name of the file you downloaded.

Q#9 Apple Archive Format (aaf)

Apple Archive Format was invented as a standard way to post source code to comp.sources.apple2. The C and Basic source code to aaf unpackers are available on the various FTP sites, in aaf format. Fortunately, files in aaf format can be turned back into source code with a simple text editor. Just break the file up into component files and remove the first character of each line. /apple2/unix/aaf

Q#10 Net standard formats

There are several formats that are used widely on the Internet. The most common in FTP sites are tar (.tar) and compress (.Z). To undo a Tape Archive, type 'tar -xvf filename.tar'. To undo a compress, type 'uncompress filename.Z'. Since tar does not make the file smaller, and compress can only compress 1 file, many times you will find files that are 'tarred an feathered'. They have a '.tar.Z' extension. Just run uncompress then un-tar the result. Other USENET groups will use uuencode (.uu) to send binaries. Just type 'uudecode file.uu'. BinSCII is better than uuencode because 1> It stores the ProDos filetype. 2> It splits the file into manageable 12K chunks. 3> It does a CRC checksum on each chunk.

Most of these 'Unix' standard formats are available on the Apple. See the table below.

Q#11 A quick note about ProDos filetypes

ProDos keeps some information about a file's type. Files can be text (TXT), binary (BIN), executable (SYS), fonts (FON), etc. Most other file systems do not have a place to store this information, so it may get 'lost' when you upload the file. Similarly, when you download a file, you may not know the file type. Most comm programs will use some default. For NuFX archives, this is not a big deal, since you can still unpack an archive if the filetype is wrong (and the archive protects the filetype of the files inside the archive). For other files, you may need to change the file's type. One utility I recommend is File Attribute Zapper II. /apple2/8bit/util/fazz.2.3.bsq

     |Type| NuFX | Bin  | uuen-| com-  |.ZOO | Bin | LZH/| Stuff| ARC | Other|
Program | |      | SCII | code | press |     | Hex | LHA | -It  |     |      |
Binscii |e|      |   X  |      |       |     |     |     |      |     |      |
Shrinkit|e|   X  |      |      |       |     |     |     |      |     |      |
DeArc   |e|      |      |      |       |     |     |     |      |  D  |      |
Angel[1]|e|      |      |      |   X   |  X  |     |  X  |      |  X  | .ZIP |
GShk    |g|   X  |      |      |   D   |  D  |     |     |  D   |  D  |      |
GSCII+  |g|      |   X  |   X  |       |     |  D  |     |      |     | .AAF |
sscii   |x|      |   X  |   X  |       |     |  X  |     |      |     |      |
PMPUnzip|x|      |      |      |       |     |     |     |      |     | .ZIP |
LHext   |x|      |      |      |       |     |     |  D? |      |     |      |
BSC     |c|      |   E  |      |       |     |     |     |      |     |      |
Nulib   |c|   X  |      |      |       |     |     |     |      |     |      |
SciiBin |c|      |   D  |      |       |     |     |     |      |     |      |
(Key:   E = Encode only,    D = Decode only,  X = Encode and Decode)
(Type:  e = Apple //e,  g = GS Only,  x = GS EXE file, c = C Source code)

[1] Angel is pretty Buggy, but it's worth a try.

Program        Format   Author
Nulib v3.21      C      Andy McFadden  (
SciiBin v3.10    C      Marcel Mol, Dave Whitnet, Bruce Kahn
Bsc v1.2         C      Neil Parker
Executioner      A      Glen Bredon
BinSCII v1.0.3   A      David Whitney  (
ShrinkIt v3.3    A      Andy Nicholas  (
(Un)ShrinkIt+    A      Andy Nicholas  (
AutoUnShrink     A      Andy Nicholas  (
GShk v1.1        G      Andy Nicholas  (
GSCII+ 2.3.1     G      Darek Taubert  (
  C - Distributed as source code written in C.
  A - Executable, runs on most Apple //s.
  G - Executable, runs on GS only. /apple2/8bit/util/dearc

Q#12 What do the file extensions mean?

Many times, people put filename extensions (extra characters at the end of a filename) to denote what type of file it is. Please note that these are just accepted standards. If a file does not indicate it's type, your guess is as good as mine. The following is a table of some common filename extensions. See the previous section (on archivers) for programs that will deal with these files.

Extension   What is it?  (What program do I use?)
---------  ---------------------------------------------------------------
 .aaf   [TEXT] Apple Archive Format for source code (aaf.unpacker)
 .ACU   Applelink Conversion Utility (Shrinkit)
 .ARC   ARC Archive (IBM ARC, GS Shrinkit, //e Angel or DeArc2E)
 .CPT   Compactor Pro archive (Compactor Pro on a Mac only)
 .BSC   [TEXT] BinScii file. (BinScii)
 .BSQ   [TEXT] BinSCII'ed NuFX file. (BinScii--then Shrinkit)
 .BXY   NuFX archive with a Binary II header.  (Shrinkit)
 .BNY   BLU archive. (Shrinkit)
 .BQY   NuFX or Binary II  with BLU header. (Shrinkit)
 .BNX   NuFX with BLU header. (Shrinkit)
 .exe   [TEXT] Executioner file. May only work in DOS 3.3. See above.
          NB: .EXE also means IBM executable program..
 .GIF   Graphics Interchange Format: Compressed picture.
        (IIGIF for //e, many programs for all other computers)
 .HQX   [TEXT] Mac BinHex file. (BinHex on Mac or GSCII+ on GS)
 .JPG   Newer graphics format. (only Unix/IBM/etc viewers)
 .JPEG  Newer graphics format. (only Unix/IBM/etc viewers)
 .LZH   LZH Archive (IBM/Amiga LZH program, //e Angel)
 .LHA   LHA Archive (IBM/Amiga LZH program, //e Angel)
 .QQ    BLU archive.  (Shrinkit)
 .SEA   Self-extracting archive (Might be Mac, Might be Shrinkit archive)
 .SIT   Mac StuffIt archive. (Stuffit on Mac or GS ShrinkIt)
        GS Shrinkit will not decode StuffIt Deluxe files.
 .SHK   NuFX archive. (Shrinkit)
 .SDK   NuFX with a shrunk disk image. (Shrinkit)
 .tar   Unix Tape Archive (Unix 'tar -xvf', GS EXE tar)
 .txt   [TEXT] An ASCII text file: usually english text.
 .TIFF  Graphics format (GS SHR Convert)
 .uu    Unix uuencode file [TEXT] (//e uudecode, Unix uudecode)
 .ZOO   IBM Zoo Archive (GS Shrinkit or IBM ZOO program, //e Angel)
 .ZIP   IBM Zip Archive (GS EXE Unzip, IBM PKUNZIP, Unix unzip, //e Angel)
 .Z     Compressed file (GS Shrinkit, Unix uncompress, //e Angel)

All of these types, except the ones marked [TEXT] are BINARY files. Binary files cannot be sent over e-mail, posted to the newsgroups or FTP'd in text mode. You must FTP them in binary mode (see the section on FTP). You can download either with kermit, X-,Y- or Z-Modem.

Generally, anything labeled as 'Archive' above will contain multiple files, and even subdirectories. Most archivers are also compressed the files to make the whole smaller than the sum of it's parts. (only in computers ;)

Sometimes you will find multiple filename extensions. Simply take the filename extensions apart one at a time and you should be able to reconstruct the original file. (i.e. somefile.bsq.tar.Z would mean: uncompress, untar, unbinscii, then unShrink to get the original file!)

Q#13 How do I tell what kind of file this is? 2/8/95

Here is a sample of what file formats look like, in case you get stuck. View the file in an editor (or use the UNIX "head" command). Once you have identified the file, see the previous section (on filename extensions) for what to do next.


NuFX (Shrinkit Archive) (.SHK)

NuFilei][![/#NuFX_<:c[[[ H`F-fGSCII~[
uuencoded file (.uu)

begin 666 nonsense.junk
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====================================================================== This FAQ is available on-line at (see FTP) CopyLeft 1994 by Dan DeMaggio. Non-profit distribution encouraged. Mail me at: From: (Dan DeMaggio) Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2,news.answers,comp.answers Subject: comp.sys.apple2 - Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) part 2 of 2 Followup-To: comp.sys.apple2 Reply-To: Summary: What you need to know about the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroups Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu Archive-name: apple2/part2 Last-modified: 05 Dec 1994 Version: 4.25

Q#14 What is an Apple II? 1/1/95

Q#15 The Apple I

The original Apple was not much more than a board. You had to supply your own keyboard, monitor and case. It sold for $666.66, but now they are worth much more as a collector's item.

Q#16 The Apple ][ and Apple ][+

The computers that started the Apple II line. They have the 6502, ability to do High and Low rez color graphics, sound, plus they have 7 expansion slots to add peripherals. Surprisingly, the ][+ can run some of today's software. For instance, I've run Davex and FredWriter under ProDOS. You can even run AppleWorks if you have more than 128K and a program called PlusWorks.

Recommended configuration: 16K language card (in slot 0 with a ribbon cable running to the RAM), an 80-column video card (not the same as a //e 80-column card), shift key modification (a wire running from shift key to game port), modified character ROMs to do lower case. You can add memory in various ways, but programs that require 128K probably will not work, no matter how much RAM you have. You can also add accelerators like the Rocket/Zip.

Q#17 The Apple //e

The //e comes in two flavors: Enhanced and Unenhanced. Apple makes an Enhancement kit that will upgrade an unenhanced to enhanced by replacing 4 chips (CPU [65C02], Video ROM [MouseText], and new Monitor/Applesoft ROMs). Most current software require an Enhanced //e, and sometimes 128K too. The current operating system is ProDos (Version 2.0 or so). The Apple //e is still useful for three major reasons: 1) It runs AppleWorks, a simple to use, yet sophisticated Spreadsheet/Word Processor/Database. 2) There are many Apples in schools, so there is a ton of educational software for it. 3) It is was and will always be a _Personal_ computer. You can learn as little or as much as you want, and nothing stops you from learning about every nook and cranny in it. Ask any big name programmer in MS/DOS or Mac where they learned to program. Most of them taught themselves on a good ol' Apple //. Good programs for an Apple //e: AppleWorks 4.0 (Spreadsheet/Word Processor/Database from Quality Computers), Copy ][+ (file utility from Central Point), ProTerm 3.0 (communications/terminal emulator from InSync), PrintShop (sign/card/banner printer from Broderbund).

Recommended configuration: Extended 80 Column card (gives you 128K) or RamWorks (512K to 1MB RAM). Enhancement kit if it was an Unenhanced //e. A Hard Drive is recommended if you use a lot of different programs. You can also speed it up with an accelerator (like the Rocket Chip, Zip Chip or TransWarp).

Q#18 The Apple //C and IIC+

The //c and //c+ are 'luggable' versions of an Enhanced //e, with many built-in 'cards'. Included are 2 serial ports, a mouse port, a 3.5" disk port and 128K of RAM. The //C+ has a built-in accelerator that runs at 4 MHz. Even though they don't have slots, you can still add extra memory (there's room under the keyboard) and a hard drive (through the disk port--a bit slow by ordinary standards, but usable. (Hard to find though.. Was made by Chinook). The //c and //C+ run just about everything that an Enhanced //e runs. The //C and //C+ cannot connect to an AppleTalk network.

Recommended configuration: 1 MB RAM, 3.5" drive, maybe a Hard drive.

Q#19 The Laser 128EX

While not made by Apple, this clone is a cross between the //c and an Enhanced //e. It is as luggable as a //c and has built-in 'cards', and an accelerator. It also has a slot to expand. If you want to add a card, you may have to disable the internal UDC (for 3.5" drives) or the internal 1MB memory expansion. Runs almost everything that the //c and //e runs.

Q#20 The Apple IIGS

The GS represents a giant leap in the Apple // line. It can still run //e software, but has a better processor (16-bit), a new super-hires graphics mode, a toolbox in ROM (just like the Mac) and a 32 oscillator Ensoniq sound chip. It can not only run ProDos, but it can also run GS/OS, a sophisticated operating system very much like the Macintosh's OS. The original GS ROM 00 (I think they all have the Woz signature) one or two chips upgraded to boot/run current software. The ROM 01 had 256K on the motherboard, while the ROM 03 has 1 MB. Although there were a few ROM changes, the current system software will work patch the toolbox ROMs to look identical.

Recommended configuration: 1.25 MB lets you boot up GS/OS and use most programs. With 2 MB, you will have room for Desk Accessories. Go for 4 MB if you want a RAM disk (useful if you don't have a hard drive) or do a lot of Graphics work. Adding a hard drive is highly recommended. You can also speed it up with a TransWarp GS or Zip GS.

Q#21 The Apple ][e Emulation Card

This is a card that fits in certain Macs that lets one run Apple //e software. It is actually more like a //c because the card is not expandable like a //e. There is a place on the back of the card to plug in a UniDisk 5.25" and a joystick. Because the graphics are handled by the Mac, animation may be slow if you don't have a decent Mac.

Q#22 Some Common Questions (with answers!) 2/8/95

Q#23 Info about A2's:

Q#24 What is 8 bit and 16 bit?

A: That indicates how big the chunks of data are that the CPU can manipulate. The Apple IIGS is a 16-bit machine and all previous Apple ]['s are 8-bit. This is one of the reasons you cannot run GS software on a //e.

Q#25 How can I tell what version my computer is?

A: Apple //e:

The major division is between the Enhanced and unenhanced models. Look at your computer while re-booting. If it says "APPLE ][", it is not enhanced. The enhanced computers will say "Apple //e". You can upgrade it yourself by getting the Apple //e Enhancement kit. (It contains 4 chips to replace on your motherboard.) Many newer programs will not work unless you have an Enhanced //e. The //c, //c+, GS, and Laser 128 incorporate these enhancements.

You can see what version of the //e you have by looking for the serial number on the motherboard (in the back, by the power-on led). If it is 820-0064-A, you may have a motherboard that can't do double-hires. Serial #s like 820-0064-B or 820-0087-A are un-enhanced (without the kit). If you have the grey Apple //e with the built-in keypad, then you also have: One 128K ROM IC replaced the two 64K Monitor ROM ICs (the CD and EF ROMs), Two 64Kx4 RAM ICs replaced the eight 64Kx1 RAM ICs, The single-wire shift-key mod, and an Extended 80-Column Card.

The Apple //e comes in two video standards: PAL (Australia, Europe, etc) and NTSC (USA, Japan?, etc.) If the AUX slot is on the side of the motherboard near the power supply, you have an NTSC model, whereas if it is in line with slot 3, you have a PAL model. (Thanks to Steve Leahy for this one) The PAL revisions are: [Thanks to Dave Wilson for this]

week 26 1983: 820-0073-A (c) 1982 / B-607-0664
   Colour killer switch soldered to vacant oscillator position on PCB.

week 38 1983: 820-0073-B (c) 1982 / B-607-0264
   Colour killer switch near RHS of PCB. All chips socketed.

week 7 1985:  820-0073   (c) 1984 / B-607-0264
 PCB marked for enhanced ROMs & 65c02 (may have old ROMs and 6502).
 RAM & some TTL soldered in. Layout same as above.

Apple //GS:

There are 3 major versions of the GS: Check the initial power-up screen. It will say ROM 01, ROM 03. If it does not say either, you have the Original (Woz Signature edition). You must upgrade it in order to run current system software. The ROM 01 has 256K on the motherboard, while the ROM 03 has 1 MB on the motherboard. All the enhancements of the ROM 03 (except the 1MB, of course) can be added to the ROM 01 simply by booting up with current system software.

Apple //c:

Go into Basic and type "PRINT PEEK (64447)" and press return. If it says 255, you have a very old //c. See your dealer about getting an upgrade (tell them that the Apple authorization number is ODL660). If it says 0, you can connect a 3.5" drive, but you don't have the memory expansion connector. If it says 3 You have the memory expansion. If it says 4, you have the latest model of the //c. If it says 5, you have a //c+.

Q#26 What programming languages are available for the Apple ][?

A: Larry W. Virden maintains The Apple II Programmer's Catalog of Languages and Toolkits. It's archived on several FTP sites. (The main one first)

Q#27 Adding Hardware:

Q#28 Can the Apple II connect to SCSI devices?

A: Yes. See the section on SCSI in this FAQ.

Q#29 Can I use Macintosh Monitors or 3.5" drives with my ][?

A: In general, no. Apple's 3.5" drive has logic to sense which machine it is hooked up to (Apple II or Macintosh) and it works accordingly. Most 3rd party drives don't bother to put in Apple II support in their drives. The Mac monitors cannot be used with the ][ line, not even the GS. Some may work if you hook them up to a UDC instead of an Apple 3.5" card. Old style Mac 800k drives are very slow.

Q#30 Can I hook up a LaserWriter, DeskJet, etc to my Apple //e?

A: Yes, all the above connections have regular serial or parallel connections. The tricky part is getting them to do what you want. The DeskJet, for example will print very nice-looking text with regular old "PR#1". But if you want to change the font or print graphics, you may have to purchase some software. One excellent program for these types of printers is PublishIt 4. You won't believe the output you can get from a //e. For AppleWorks fans, there is the program called SuperPatch. Among it's patches is a cool DeskJet 500 printer driver. You can print sideways, and change fonts with normal AppleWorks commands. The Deskjet driver is built in to AW 4.0.

Q#31 Can I hook up a LaserWriter, DeskJet, etc to my Apple IIGS?

A: On the GS, you can hook up a LaserWriter via AppleTalk or direct serial connection. A GS program can typically print to a LaserWriter if it's connected to the GS via AppleTalk. If you get a DeskJet, or PaintJet, etc, you can hook them up via the serial port. But in order to use them effectively, you will want Harmony from Vitesse (better) or Independence (cheaper) from Seven Hills. They are new printer drivers for GS/OS programs only. If you want to print from an 8-bit program, see the previous question.

Q#32 Can I hook up a scanner up to my //e? Can it do OCR?

A: Yes and Yes. (OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition -- the ability to convert a scan into text) Just pick up a Quickie scanner (by Vitesse) and InWords (by WestCode Software). You can scan 4" columns (you must have 512K to 1 Meg) and can even paste them together to make 8" scans. Then you can use InWords to "read" text and put it into a text file or AppleWorks Word Processor file.

Q#33 Can a Disk ][ be used on a GS smartport?


Q#34 What's the scoop on the new HD 3.5" drive?

A: In order to do High Density on the Apple //, you will need both the High Density 3.5" drive and the new Apple 3.5" controller. If you don't have both, you will only be able to do regular density. Of course, you will also need High Density Disks.

Once you have collected the above items, you are in for a pleasant surprise. ProDos 8 programs not only recognize it, but most programs format and recognize HD disks just fine. You can even boot off of a HD disk, allowing plenty of room for GS/OS Desk Accessories and such.

There are a few drawbacks: You cannot boot copy-protected software or (or some FTA demos.) You can't daisy-chain a 5.25" of a HD card. Also, it takes up a slot, even on the GS.

Q#35 I want a Y-adapter for my GS keyboard.

A: Redmond Cable has an ADB Y-connector cable for separating your mouse from the side of your keyboard (also can be used to work around a failing ADB port on the keyboard). See the 'Resources' section of this FAQ.

Q#36 File Transfer:

Q#37 How can I transfer stuff to/from an IBM/Mac?

A: Here's a summary: [Note that you can always do transfers by modem or Null Modem]

Q#38 File transfer: Apple //e ---> Macintosh

  • Apple File Exchange (comes with Mac system software) allows you to copy to/from ProDos (3.5") disks.
  • There's the IIe Emulation Card that fits into the LC, LC II, LC III, Performa 400 and the Color Classic. The card has a port for a 5.25" drive, from which you could copy things to/from the Mac.
  • The ProDos File System Manager is an init (available via FTP) that allows you to use ProDos 3.5" disks as if they were normal Mac disks. [You will have to download the entire disk to get that one file.] /aii/lc.iiecard

  • A //e to Imagewriter cable can function as a null-modem to connect serial ports. Use communication software on both ends.

    Q#39 File transfer: Apple //e <--- Macintosh

  • The programs A2FX and HFSLink will allow you to read Mac disks in 3.5", 3.5" HD, or even a HFS hard drive. /apple2/8bit/util/a2fx.8.bsq

  • See Mac -> //e question about null-modems Q#40 File transfer: Apple //e ---> IBM

  • If the computers are close enough, get a null-modem cable and communication software with file-transfer capability for both computers.
  • See below about CrossWorks.
  • Also, see the question on the CTI drive. Q#41 File transfer: Apple //e <--- IBM

  • See below about CrossWorks.
  • If you have a new Apple High Density 3.5" Drive and High Density 3.5" controller card, then you can use the program MSDOSCOPY (via FTP) to read IBM disks, even HD ones.

  • Also, see the question on the CTI drive.

    Q#42 File transfer: Apple IIGS ---> Macintosh

  • See above for //e to Mac, or below for Mac to GS Q#43 File transfer: Apple IIGS <--- Macintosh

  • GS/OS 6.0 will read and write Mac disks just fine if you have the HFS FST installed. (See the resources section for info on how to get GS/OS)
  • Note that you want to read high density (HD) disks, you will need BOTH the Apple HD 3.5" drive AND the HD 3.5" Drive Controller Card.
  • See also notes about null-modem above

    Q#44 File transfer: Apple IIGS ---> IBM

  • The Applied Engineering PC Transporter has a utility to copy files from MS/DOS to/from ProDos (regardless of disk size). Unfortunately, the PCT often has problems and AE is unwilling to actively support the card.
  • Also, see the question on the CTI drive.
  • There is always null-modem cables. (see above) Q#45 File transfer: Apple IIGS <--- IBM

  • If you have a new Apple High Density 3.5" Drive and High Density 3.5" controller card, then you can use GS/OS 6.0.1's MSDOS FST to read IBM 3.5" disks. Note that Apple 5.25"s don't have the hardware to read/write IBM 5.25" disks.
  • Also, see the question on the CTI drive.
  • There is always null-modem cables. (see above) Q#46 What's the CTI Drive?

    A: The CTI drive allows you to hook up IBM 3.5" and 5.25" disk drives (no High Density support yet) to your Apple II. [IBM drives are cheaper] Some software is included to read MS/DOS disks on your Apple. Otherwise, ProDos and GS/OS recognize them like normal drives. See CTI's address in the resources section. Also see SSH systems in the resource section.

    Q#47 How about hooking up cheap IDE Hard Drives?

    A: There's a card called Turbo IDE, does DMA, is as fast as a RamFAST SCSI card. Contact for details like technical specs, pricing, and S/H procedure.

    Q#48 How do I USE stuff I have transferred to/from an IBM/Mac?

    A: In general, only certain types of files can be usefully transferred back-and-forth between computers. One thing that you CANNOT do is run programs designed for another type of computer. But often you can transfer data files between similar programs (Spreadsheets) on different platforms. Here are some pointers:

    One helpful hint is that all computers can read text files. Most word processors can save your file as text and import as text. But with text files, you will loose all your formatting (font type, centering and so-forth). For spreadsheets, saving as DIF will make conversion a breeze. Databases can be saved as tab-delimited records. (Note that in AppleWorks, you have to go to Print to save in these formats). Look for options like "Import" or "Export" (or "Save As" in the Mac world).

    If you want to do better, there are several options available. A commercial program called MacLinkPlus can do some conversions. Some Claris programs do conversions automatically. Also, AFE can convert between some kinds of documents (For example AppleWorks Word Processor to MsWorks) if you have the right translator.

    For IBM folk,The CrossWorks program can convert between many Apple and IBM formats, and even comes with a universal null modem cable. Alternately, If you use AppleWorks a lot, you can get SuperWorks for the IBM, a clone of AppleWorks. It can import AppleWorks files directly. For graphics, SuperConvert can convert between all Apple-specific graphics formats and many Mac, Amiga and IBM specific formats. It can also save as GIF, which is a universal standard.

    You can also play Mac sounds resources (the sort you keep in the system folder as alert sounds) with IISound.

    Q#49 How do I get cool Mac Icons and fonts onto my GS?

    A: Find the program "Resource Spy"

    Q#50 What programs are there for conversion of graphic images?

    A: There are quite a few:

  • IIGIF is a freeware GIF converter for any Apple II (but there is a patch needed for the Apple //c). It reads in GIF and saves as hires or double-hires.

  • MACDOWN is also freeware and lets you do the same with MacPaint pics.
  • A ProDos 8 version of The Graphics Exchange (don't know much about it). [The following software only work on an Apple IIGS]

  • The Graphics Exchange converts between many formats of graphics.
  • Prizm v1.0 Converts .GIFs, Amiga IFFs, Raw Files, and some other types to Greyscale (very fast), 16 colors, 256 colors, and 3200 colors! Size of picture limited by availabe RAM (Avail from Big Red Computer Club, ~$40)
  • SuperConvert loads all GS formats, plus GIFS and other non-GS specific formats and saves in all GS formats (including Finder Icon files). It has more dithering options than most of the other programs, but you may have to play with it to find the best one.
  • SHRConvert is the earlier, shareware, predecessor to SuperConvert. It does a pretty good job on the types of graphics it supports.

  • Platinum Paint is a commercial program that can import all GS formats plus MacPaint. It can only save in SHR and Apple Preferred. Version 2.0 can make Animations too!
  • ShowPic 6 is a shareware NDA that can display most GS formats. You can also save the resulting graphic as a IIGS SHR painting.

  • Dream Grafix supports all 3200 color picture types and also 16 color and 256 color pictures. This is a very impressive commercial paint program with its 3200 color support. Note: 'All GS formats' includes Superhires (type $C1 and $C0), hires, double-hires and PrintShop/PrintShop GS.

    Q#51 I have an old CPM / PASCAL / DOS 3.3 disk. How do I get it into ProDos?

    A: The //e system software, the DOS3.3 FST (GS/OS System 6), and Copy ][+ can all convert Dos 3.3 files into ProDos. This is only helpful for text files, graphics, and some Basic programs. For ProDos, CPM, Pascal, Dos 3.3, try the program Chameleon. You have to use the 'force disk as ProDOS' option to use your hard drive.

    Q#52 How do you copy from a 5.25" disk to 3.5" disk?

    A: ProDos has no problems with this, as long as you copy by files. Note that ProDos can only have 51 files in the main directory. If you try to exceed that, it will give you a cryptic 'Disk Full' error. If there really is space left on the disk, you can copy all the files into a subdirectory to get around the 51-file limit. In theory, you can put an unlimited number of files in a Subdirectory, but in practice, you should limit them to a few hundred.

    Q#53 Strange problems:

    Q#54 How do I get out of Basic (that little "]" prompt and flashing cursor?

    A: Type the word "BYE" and press return. Now get out the Apple manual 'A Touch of BASIC' and read it.

    Q#55 What are the problems with GSCII?

    A: GSCII is a great program, but has two subtle problems: First, it won't work correctly if you extract to a HFS disk (so extract to a ProDOS disk). Also, it won't set the size correctly on S16 files. This should only be a problem when downloading Shrinkit GS. In that case, use BINSCII. The rest of the time you will be extracting .SHK files, which don't care about extra bytes at the end.

    Q#56 AppleWorks won't print to my printer. What gives?

    A: AppleWorks will refuse to print to a slot that has a disk device. In the past, this worked well because if you try to print to a slot that has a disk controller in it, you will re-boot. But now, this can cause problems when a disk device is 'mapped' into your printer slot (due to a limitation in ProDos, you can only have 2 drives per slot. Extra partitions on your hard drive will be re-mapped to other slots). If you have a RamFast, you can re-map the drives to different slots. Otherwise, (for AW 3.0) use this patch:

    POKE 768,128: POKE 769,10
    If you didn't understand that, e-mail me, or look into John Link's SuperPatch program, which includes many more patches.

    Q#57 My GS control panel keeps resetting to the defaults and/or forgetting the date.

    A: It's probably your battery. If you have a ROM 03 GS, you just pop it out an get another. On the ROM 01, you will need a Slide-On Battery Replacement Kit from Night Owl Productions. See address in 'Resources' section.

    Q#58 I'm getting Error XXX. What's it mean?

    A: Some common errors and their cause:

    ProDos Errors:
    UNABLE TO LOAD PRODOS   - You can't boot a disk unless it has ProDos and a
                              something.SYSTEM file on it (Pre-1.9 ProDOS)
    $27    I/O Error.  Possibly a bad disk?  Verify it with Prosel or Copy II Plus
    $44    Path not found (You gave an invalid directory name)
    $45    Volume not found (you didn't type in the right disk name)
    $46    File not found (you didn't type a valid filename)
    GS/OS errors:
    0911   Either your GS is overheating, or the ADB port is having problems
    0301   Bad TransWarp
    0308   see 8021
    8020   Either random TransWarp, or SCSI (try using different SCSI connector)
    8021   If you get this at random times and you have a HS Apple SCSI, it's
           probably a version conflict.  Install the SCSI drivers from your GS/OS
           disk, not your HS Apple SCSI disk.
    Q#59 Why does my Apple II lose characters when I'm using the modem?

    A: Check the following: 1) Your software may need interrupts enabled. Examine DIP Switch 2-6 on your Super Serial Card. 2) If you have an unenhanced //e, you need to enhance your //e. 3) If you have a //c, it may be one of the ones that had a serial port problem. Talk to your dealer about upgrading it for 2400 baud support.

    Q#60 Where do I get support for AE boards now that they are closed?

    A: Bruce BABB, ex-AE bench tech, is offering support out of his home for customer support of AE's boards. He also hints that another company is opening that will sell many of the Apple II products the AE made. You can reach Bruce via Email at

    Q#61 Is there a QWK reader for the Apple //e?

    A: Yes, it's called 2qwk!. To use 2qwk! you must patch prodos to allow filenames sent by MS-DOS machines. The beta version is available now on grind and caltech.

    Q#62 System 6.0 mini-FAQ

    Q#63 Common Problems

    Some programs are incompatible with CloseView. Symptoms are the mouse wipes out everything it moves over. Remove CloseView or inactivate it in the system folder. May still cause troubles if active, but set to 'off'. See GS Technote #91.

    EasyAccess is also incompatible with some applications, (especially on ROM 01). Symptoms are a locked keyboard, and not being able to reboot. Remove it or make it inactive.

    Missing features of system 6? Perhaps you just used easy install, which doesn't install all the bells and whistles. Try clicking on customize and add the nifty things like Calculator, Find File, HFS FST, etc. You can also read the Shortcuts file on SystemTools2 for some great keyboard shortcuts.

    Finder icons that match by name and have a leading wildcard require uppercase letters. For example, a name like "[star].txt" never matches, but "[star].TXT" works fine (it matches regardless of a file's actual capitalization). (This was accidental; the 5.0.4 Finder did not care about capitalization in icon files.)

    Two misconceptions about System 6: The A2.RAMCARD is not for the GS's /RAM5. It only works with "slinky" (i.e. standard slot) cards. Also, the DOS 3.3 FST has nothing to do with MS-DOS.

    Q#64 Tips & Hints

    The AppleShare logon programs have always looked for a folder named "Mail" inside your user folder whenever you log onto a user volume. If there's any items in there, they present a dialog that says "You have mail." Under SSW 6.0, that also sends a SysBeep2 request so you can get the sound of your choice.

    If you don't want to see your icons on boot, set bit 1 (i.e. the 2nd LSB) of BRAM Location $5F. Be sure not to mess with the other bits. Use the toolbox calls!

    The FinderExtras folder goes in the same folder as the Finder (generally the System folder).

    If you don't like yellow folders in the Finder you can change the byte at offset +65 in the Finder resource with type $C001 and ID 1. Change the $E0 to whatever you want (the first digit is the default folder foreground color, and the low nibble is for the outline color). Only folders that do not already have a color recorded in a Finder.Data file get the default color.

    Q#65 If you have a RamFast

    The RamFast and ProDos 2.0.1 both try to do re-mapping of drives to unused slots. This can cause problems, mostly when launching and returning from ProDos 8 applications (crashes or wants you to insert disk). Solution: Configure the RamFast not to re-map. If you have a RamFAST with a ROM revision less than 2.01a, you need to get a newer ROM from CVT. Otherwise, V2.01c allows setting Slot Priority Allocations to 0 which will let ProDos deal with them. V3.0 allows you to choose between RamFast mapping (works now) and ProDos 8 mapping. If you can't wait, you can Patch ProDos 2.0 not to re-map slots. Look for "10 BF C9 A5 D0 07" and change the $A5 to $00 (should be byte $1A3 in the 5th block of the file). Hack at your own risk.

    Q#66 If you have a Vulcan or AE High Density disk

    Due to problems with the Vulcan, when booting, it asks for your System Disk. Just put the Vulcan driver on your boot disk, boot it, and then launch the installer. Alternately, put the driver on the installer disk and boot it. (but you have to delete some of the installer scripts first) For the AE High Density Drive, be sure to remove Apple's 3.5" driver when putting on AE's.

    Q#67 If you have ProSel

    Rename start to something else before running the installer, or else the Finder won't be installed. Believe me, you don't want to miss out on Finder 6.0!

    Q#68 If you have an AMR 3.5"

    If the computer hangs (mostly at the Standard File dialogue box) with no disk in the drive, try putting one in. What's happening is that GS is reading the status from the drive, and the drive won't return anything unless there is a disk in the drive. Just stick a disk in and all will be fine. If it really annoys you, either deactivate the 3.5" driver (get IR so you can double-click to re-activate it) or simply keep a disk in the drive at all times. This is not a problem under ProDos 8.

    Q#69 GSCII+ & HFS Note

    There is a problem with the HFS FST, but only GSCII seems to be affected. When de-binscii-ing files, put the output onto a ProDos volume, not an HFS one.

    [ Mega-thanks to Dave Lyons & friends for these. ]

    Q#70 What to do with an Apple ][? 2/8/95

    Q#71 What can you hook up to an Apple ][?

    A: Hard Drives, Scanners, Video Digitizers, Laser Printers, Video Overlay Cards, Tape backups, Inkjet Printers, 24 pin Dot Matrix Printers, EPROM Burners, AppleTalk Networks, High Density 3.5" drives, serial cards, parallel cards, audio Digitizers, CP/M boards (Z-80 processor), an IBM-on-a-card, 9600 baud modems, D/A and A/D cards, joysticks, mice, graphics tablets, touch screens, extended keyboards, track balls, several Megabytes of RAM, Real-time clocks, (cheap) IBM disk drives and of course, Users!

    This list is by no means exhaustive: This is just what I personally have done. All of it is available NOW, and can be done on any Apple //e. In the very near future, you will be able to hook up:

    EitherTalk Networks, DSP boards, and cheap FAX modems.

    Q#72 What can you do with an Apple ][?

    A: As if the above weren't impressive, how about: Optical Character recognition, Desktop publishing, Integrated Spread sheet, Database and Word Processing, Interactive fiction adventure games, Arcade quality games, Educational games, Programming, Telecommunications, Inventory, Accounting, Money Management, and that's not even scratching the surface.

    Q#73 What can the //e can "borrow" from other computers?

    A: GS bitmapped fonts, Mac Disks, MacPaint pictures, GIF pictures, just about any Mac/PC SCSI device (Hard Drives, Tape backup), Mac sounds with IISound (sounds are stored in the resource fork), many archive formats (like uudecode), any serial device (EPROM burners, FAX modems, mega-fast modems w/ MNP5), etc.

    Q#74 What can the GS can "borrow" from other computers?

    A: Mac bitmapped fonts, Mac Icons, Mac and Windows TrueType fonts, Mac Disks, Amiga Mod songs, MacPaint pictures, MacWrite documents, GIF pictures, WordPerfect documents, just about any Mac SCSI or ADB device (including Hard Drives, Pen Mice, etc), Mac sounds, Many archive formats (.uu, .zip, .arc, .sit, .hqx, etc), any serial device (EPROM burners, FAX modems, mega- fast modems w/hardware MNP-5), IDE hard drives (check out a card called "Turbo IDE". Mail for details)

    If you are interested in doing any of the above, feel free to e-mail me ( Someday, maybe I'll fill in the specific software or hardware you need to do any of the above. If you have any additions, let me know too!

    Q#75 Resources for the Apple II 2/8/95

    Listed below are some places to get information about the Apple II. You should also try your local user group (and the user group library), friends, relatives, library, school, FTP sites, books, and etc. One good book is "The Whole Internet Users Guide & Catalog" by Ed Kroll, published by O'Reilly & Associates Inc.

    Q#76 Apple II Groups

    You can become an associate in the Apple Developer Program for $350 (for Mac and Apple II) or a mere $150 (for Apple II only) by calling 1-408-974-4897. That gets you Develop magazine, Apple Technical notes, the Apple Developer CD, discounts on Apple products, and more! If you want to license Apple Software for distribution with your product you can get information by calling 1-408-974-4667. (Note: You need a license to distribute Apple System Software, including ProDOS, and the Installer.)

    USUS (Keith Frederick (Secretary), P.O. Box 1148, La Jolla, CA 92038) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and influencing software standards to aid in the development of portable software. They have a large software library including a lot of source code (for almost every language or computer).

    NAUG, the National AppleWorks Users Group (313-454-1115, 313-454-1965 FAX, 615-359-8238 BBS) is a group devoted to that wonder program, AppleWorks.

    Q#77 Getting Parts & Software

    Redmond cable (206-882-2009) makes and sells all sorts of custom cables.

    Quality Computers (800-777-ENHAnce or 313-774-7200, 313-774-7740 Tech Support, 313-774-2698 FAX) not only sells Apple II products, but maintains a list of user groups and publishes an informative newsletter geared towards educators (called Enhance). They also published AppleWorks 4.0! To get a QC catalog and a free subscription to Enhance, just call! Contact QC (on GEnie), QualityCom (on AOL) or

    Alltech (800-995-7773 orders, 619-721-2823 FAX, 619-721-7733 Technical Support/inquiries) sells all kinds of replacement parts for Apple II's. They are also pretty knowledgeable about the II. and inquiries)

    Sun Remarketing (800-821-3221) also sells used Apples parts and books.

    Parkhurst Micro Products (510-837-9098) sells ANSITerm, a GS-only communications program that supports X/Y/Z-Modem (plus variants), Kermit, VT-100, Color ANSI, and offers features like a text editor, a large scrollback buffer, and macros.

    Sequential Systems (800-759-4549 or 303-666-4549,800-999-1717 tech, 303-666-7797 BBS) announced software for the GS that will let you use many (but not all) CD-ROMs. Audio, Still Pictures and searching text are supported. Contact

    The Big Red Computer Club, (402-379-4680) or BRCC, (formerly the Big Red Apple Club, sells all kinds of good software that you can't get anywhere else. (including discontinued games, etc.)

    Chuck Orem (PO Box 1014, Benton City, WA, 99320-1014 USA) distributes a 5.25" disk with a terminal program (Comm.System 2.5), Shrinkit 3.4, BinSCII 1.0.3, UU 1.1, Sneeze 2.2 and UnShrink 2.1 in ready to run format. Also included are all the docs for the above programs, plus Zlink (in archived format). The disk is distributed for $2, to cover postage and materials. Contact Chuck for more information at: or

    Digisoft ( has a CD called Golden Orchard that is full of Apple II-specific programs. 18MB is accessable from 8-bit //e's, the rest is in HFS partitions that can be accessed with GS/OS System 6. Cost is around $60.

    Edlie Electronics (800-645-4722 or 516-735-3330) is selling "The ProDOS User's Kit". It seems to be your basic ProDOS operating system and a manual. I doubt that it's a current version, but it's worth a look if you need ProDOS on 5.25". Heck, for $1.95, you can't go wrong. [there is a minimum order, and I have never tried it... Let me know if you try it.]

    Washington Apple Pi (301-681-6136, 301-593-0024 BBS [7 bits, odd parity]) has an extremely active Apple /// Special Interest Group. They have 250 PD disks and have funded a new revision of the OS. Contact Dave Ottalini at

    Educational Resources (800-624-2926) sells educational programs for the II.

    MECC (800-685-MECC) is a well-known educational software shop.

    The Cynosure BBS (410-549-2584 Settings: 8 data bits, No parity 1 stop bit, up to 14400 bps) has a license to distribute system Apple software (ProDos and GS/OS). Contact Doug Granzow at

    You can also get system software off of Apple Computer's FTP site. It is maintained by DTS in their spare time. Thanks guys!

    The Apple User Group Connection (800-538-9696 ext 500) can tell you the closest Apple II (or Macintosh) User Group. (Check Quality Computers too..)

    Resource-Central (913-469-6502, FAX: 913-469-6507) publishes an 8-page monthly newsletter. It's small but packed with information. It has technical discussions and philosophical discussions. It is also available on disk, with many PD/SW programs each month. Resource Central also publishes many monthly disks, including ones for HyperStudio users, TimeOut users, HyperCard users, and probably others. All are on 3.5" disk only. They also have taken over APDA's job of keeping the latest and greatest from Apple and some 3rd party vendors. They have programming tools and manuals not available anywhere else (like the Video Overlay Card Development kit, Tool 35/SynthLab docs, etc). Contact A2-CENTRAL, UNCLE-DOS, or DENNIS.DOMS on GEnie.

    Q#78 Fun hardware add-ons

    SSH Systems (Write to: SHH SYSTEME, Dipl. Ing. Joachim Lange, Bergstrasse 95, 82131 Stockdorf, Germany) is selling a card for your Apple that will allow you to use cheap IBM drives for storage. Price is around $100. Contact

    Night Owl (913-362-9898) makes a slide-on battery for ROM 01 GS's. You need a replacement if the time and system settings go back to their defaults whenever you turn the computer off.

    Conversion Technology (801-364-4171) sells a drive that allows you to hook up cheap IBM 3.5" and 5.25" disk drives to you Apple II.

    Silicon Systems (714-731-7110) makes that 22 pin DIP DTMF decoder chip that Apple-Cat modem owners are always looking for. Part #: SSI 75T201 - Integrated DTMF Receiver.

    Q#79 Periodicals & Books

    Quality Computers and Resource Central (previously mentioned above) also publish periodicals.)

    Shareware Solutions II (166 Alpine Street, San Rafael, CA 94901) is a new Apple II magazine with the latest scoops, written by long time Apple II writer Joe Kohn. Mail for details. You can also finger him, or check out his WWW homepage (see FTP).

    Adam Barr ( and Cindy Field (former InCider/A+ editor) are starting a new Apple II newsletter, only this one is only available via e-mail.

    GS+ Magazine (800-662-3634 orders, or 615-843-3988 or 913-469-6507 FAX) is published bi-monthly, as a magazine and as an accompanying disk. They are a great source for unique programs, which are not available anywhere else. They also have reviews of new software. Of course, it's GS specific. Contact: GSPlusDiz (on AOL orDelphi), JWANKERL (on GEnie), or

    Hyperstudio Network (609-446-3196) is a quarterly newsletter about HyperStudio. They put out an annual 'Best of HyperStudio' disk of stacks, and have discounts on HyperStudio accessories. They even do some teacher-oriented stuff.

    Computist (P.O. Box 110846, Tacoma, WA 98411) is a publication devoted to gathering and distributing information on removing copy protection from Apple II software.

    Softdisk and Softdisk GS (800-831-2694 or 318-221-8718) are monthly disk magazines containing a variety of software (PD/SW, clip art, reviews, etc). Softdisk is available on 5.25" or 3.5" disks. Softdisk GS is available only on 3.5" disks. Contact

    Q#80 Misc Resources

    If you need a IIc upgrade, it should be free. Try a few Apple dealers or call Apple to seek help. The number is 1-800-767-2775 (SOS-APPL).

    Sequential Systems (1-800-759-4549 customer service 1-800-999-1717 technical support) have taken over CVTech's products.

    Larry Beyer (312-735-9010) likes to fix InnerDrive hard drives.

    Apple has a toll-free customer assistance line for handling sales questions and user concerns. This toll-free line is not designed to be a technical support hotline, but instead is an extension to the comprehensive Apple customer relations effort. The Customer Assistance Center is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time by dialing 1-800-776-2333.

    A new ShareWare-Fee payment service has been established for info, write to:

    Some Assembly Required          OR
       1132 Adelaide St. N.  #719    
       London, Ontario  N5Y 2N8
    Email suggestions to As always, let me know of any mistakes, updates, corrections, additions, etc.

    Q#81 General guidelines on How To Troubleshoot

    Q#82 General troubleshooting

  • First, resist the temptation to install all your new toys at once. Take it one step at a time and test everything after adding each item. (i.e. Run the diagnostics and try your old programs.)
  • Leave the computer plugged in, but turned off when installing cards. Touch the top of power supply before and often during your work. Better yet, use a wrist strap tied to ground through a 1 Megaohm resistor.
  • When asking others for help, it is essential to know the EXACT error message you are getting. Also, be as specific as possible. Saying "It did not work" or "I could not get any farther" is not helpful. Exactly which screen did it stop at? Does it respond to any input at all? What had you done up to that point? Is it reproducible any other way?
  • Make sure you have the required components for the program. Does it require an Enhanced //e? More RAM? A separate boot disk?
  • Never use your original disks. Make a backups and store the write-protected originals in a safe place.
  • Be sure to keep your disks away from stray magnetic fields emanating from phones, monitors and speakers.
  • If you have an accelerator, try to disable it or take it out entirely. It may not be compatible with the new item.
  • Is the problem re-producible? If so, what are the MINIMUM actions to reproduce it?
  • Check all your cable connections. Do not disconnect or connect any cables with the computer on.
  • Try pulling out other cards and disconnect your joystick. If you have a lot of cards, you might consider a Heavy-Duty Power Supply from A.E. It supplies 6 Amps instead of a measly 2.5 Amps. Test the power supply with a voltmeter while the computer is on.
  • Call the manufacturer to see if there is an upgrade or a fix.

    Q#83 Trouble shooting and good maintenance

  • Try the system self-test: hold down the Control key, the Open Apple key, and the Option (or Solid Apple) key. Then press and release Reset. Lastly, let up on the other keys. Sit back and 'Watchen Der Blinken Lighten.'
  • Most RAM cards come with a memory tester. Try running it in continuous mode for several hours, even if your RAM seems to be working.
  • Write down your configuration when you have it working (for future reference).
  • Verify your disk(s) with Copy ][+ or the Finder to see if you have any bad blocks.

    Q#84 GS Trouble shooting

  • Check your control panel settings: What is the startup slot set to? Is the slot set to "Your Card"? Check your RAM disk setting. Is it taking up all your memory? Try setting the speed to normal if it's a non-GS program.
  • Take out or disable your INITS, CDAs, NDAs, and CDEVS. (With System 6, just hold down Shift while booting).
  • If you have a hard disk, try booting from a System Disk and/or re-install the latest system software. Many random problems can be traced to corrupted or improperly installed system software.
  • Never connect/disconnect an ADB device when the computer is on.
  • AppleWorks GS comes with a memory tester (try it).
  • The TransWarp GS has a continuous test on the CDA (try it too).

    Q#85 SCSI

    SCSI is a protocol (kind of like serial or parallel) that lets you hook up several devices (up to 8) on a SCSI bus (a bus is just a series of wires). You must give each device it's own unique ID number from 0-7. The SCSI card is usually set to 7. There are two types of SCSI cables: the 50 pin Centronics-type (like on parallel printers) or the 25-pin "D" connector. The 50-pin is the SCSI standard, the 25-pin is the Apple standard. On a SCSI chain, there must be a Terminator at each end. A Terminator is just a bunch of resistors. Some drives have internal terminators (3 small yellow-orange packs), and some drives come with an external terminator (a "plug" to put on the back of the drive). Also, somebody on the bus must supply terminator power (one of the SCSI lines). If There are any problems (multiple things with the same ID, too much termination or not enough, or no terminator power), you may be able to use the drive, but your data will get corrupted. Most of the time, the computer will refuse to recognize the drive.

    At first, there was the Apple Rev 'C' SCSI card (named after the final ROM version--all previous versions MUST be upgraded to work with current software). There were several clones from the likes of CMS and Chinook. Then Apple came out with it's High Speed DMA SCSI card. This has the ability to do Direct Memory Access to the RAM in your computer, which speeds things up. This created a lot of problems with cards that were not DMA compatible. CV Technologies also has a DMA SCSI card called the RamFast. This card has 256K or 1MB of on-board RAM to make it even faster than Apple's card. It can also supply terminator power if you drive does not supply it. Both of the new cards support things like SCSI tape backup units, removable SCSI drives, SCSI CD-ROM, and of course SCSI hard drives. Both the new cards also require an Enhanced //e.

    Q#86 Tips on setting up a SCSI system:

  • You can have multiple drives on one SCSI card, just make sure you remove the termination on all the drives but the last one. This is because the newer SCSI cards are terminated (and they count as a SCSI device).
  • Always check that the cords are plugged in properly. Never connect/disconnect anything when the computer is on.
  • The computer will boot the hard drive with the highest SCSI ID, which should be ID 6.
  • Try letting the drive 'warm up' for 15 seconds before turning the computer on. The SCSI cards look for drives only at startup, and may ignore any drives that are not ready.
  • Try turning off DMA. If this helps, you may have a non-DMA compatible card, such as the early versions of the TransWarp, early versions of the GS RAM, or any 8-bit accelerator. Alternately, try setting up a RAM disk for all but 4 MB. Some RAM cards can only do DMA in the first bank.
  • Check that each device has a unique ID. Most drives have a thumbwheel on the back to set the ID. Your SCSI card (yes, it counts too) is probably ID 7. Number your drives from 6 downwards for best compatibility. The IDs have nothing to do with what slot the card is in.
  • Is there a terminator at each end of the SCSI bus? (the DMA cards are terminated, and some drives are internally terminated.)
  • Try the software that came with the card. It may give helpful diagnostic messages (I.E. the Apple DMA SCSI utilities-- Does it say "No Apple SCSI card found" or "No SCSI devices found"?)
  • Do you get the message "Unable to Load ProDos"? If so, it's booting your drive but you have no system software on it. Try hitting Control-Reset, then PR#5 (or PR#6) to boot a floppy. Then install the system software (i.e. ProDos or GS/OS).
  • In extreme cases, try reformatting the drive, repartitioning, and re-installing the System software.
  • If the drive access light blinks in a regular pattern before the computer is turned on, it is telling you that it has a hardware malfunction. It needs to be serviced.
  • Did you try re-installing the System software? Many times, the data on a drive will get corrupted if you run the drive with improper terminators or conflicting SCSI ID's. Sometimes you will not notice the corrupted data until after you fix the problem. If re-installing the System software helps, it was probably a software problem, not a hardware problem.
  • The Apple HS DMA SCSI card requires an Enhanced //e. It will not work on the older //e without an Enhancement Kit.
  • To really put a drive through it's paces, copy a LOT of stuff from one partition to another (copy the entire partition if you can). If there is a problem with DMA or SCSI ID's, it will probably show up as a strange GS/OS error. (GS only)
  • Make sure you do not have the Apple SCSI drivers installed if you have a RamFast. It may cause random problems (they leave an interrupt handler dangling if they can't find their card.) (GS only)
  • Make sure you are booting the right slot. If the card is in slot 7, you can set the startup slot to Scan or 7. (GS only)
  • If you boot up and only 1 partition shows up, you need to install the SCSI drivers. (GS only)
  • If you boot up and it says "Drive XXX is already on the desktop" over and over: Probably a SCSI ID problem. (GS only)
  • If you add a CD-ROM, drivers are availiable from Trantor Systems LTD, 5415 Randall Place, Fremont, CA 94538 (415)770-1400 (GS only)
  • At least one device must supply terminator power to the bus (Pin 26). The Apple Cards do not supply this, and some drives don't either. Result: The drive won't be seen by any software.
  • Some CMS Platinum drives had pin 40 disconnected for obscure Mac compatibility reasons. This can cause problems with the Apple IIs.
  • Make sure you use the drivers from GS/OS, and not the ones that ship with the Apple HS SCSI card. (Doesn't apply to RamFast).
  • To low-level format an AE Vulcan drive, go into PART.MANAGER, move the highlight to "format" and type "AE". Then say yes to all the prompts.
    CopyLeft 1994 by Dan DeMaggio (