Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 60 / MAY 1985 / PAGE 10

Apple DOS And Keyboard

I have recently started using an Apple IIe and have several questions. How do you initialize a DOS 3.3 disk? Also, are there ways to disable the following keys from a program: ESC, RESET, CTRL, and RETURN?

Rodney Hesterman

Apple DOS, like all disk operating systems, requires that you format a disk (sometimes called initializing) before any files can be saved on it. The INIT command is used to format an Apple disk and, at the same time, to save a special BASIC program to the disk. The program, called the greeting or hello program, must be in memory when the INIT command is given. Once the disk has been formatted, the greeting program will run automatically whenever you boot the computer (turn the computer on or type PR#6) if this disk is in the drive.

The syntax of this command is:


Here, the greeting program is named HELLO, the traditional name for a DOS 3.3 greeting program. However, you can use any name you like.

Disabling the keys you mention is virtually impossible without hardware modifications because the Apple lacks a programmable keyboard. Therefore, you cannot disable or redefine the keys as you can on other computers. One way to limit user input is to use the GET command instead of INPUT in your BASIC programs and ignore the characters that you don't want to allow. You could also write your program to use a joystick as a menu-selection pointing device, avoiding the keyboard whenever possible.