Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 10 / OCTOBER 1983 / PAGE 282

Apple cart. (tips on using Apple computers) (column) Stephen Arrants.

It is October as your read this, though it is July as I write it. Days are getting shorter, cooler, and the trees in the northeast are turning. Indian Summer is here. As I write this, we are just getting over a heat wave in the Northeast. With weather like this, hacking seems like the only sane activity. This month's column will feature a few more utilities you might find handy, a few reviews, and some useful information. So why not sit back and enjoy? Fixing FID

For a while, I had just one disk drive. Some programs, such as FID, were constantly asking me for slot and drive numbers. I didn't like to be reminded by a hunk of metal and plastic that I couldn't afford another drive. I had been spending all my free cash to feed it things like Deadline, Apple Writer, and Germany 1985. I had to find a way to stop the program from tormenting me.

So, I came up with FFID, or the Fixed FID. What this short program does is amend FID so that it doesn't ask you silly questions. Now that I have a second drive, I could further amend it so that it automatically sets the slot and drives for my system. Slot 6, drive 1 for the read, slot 6, drive 2 for the write. For now, I will just give you the first program. See Listing 1.

To make this work, type the program in and amend line 40 if your drive isn't in the usual slot 6. Then BLOAD FID, EXEC FIXER, and BSAVE FFID, A2051, L4686. That's it. Quick, simple, and permanent.

Don't BSAVE this as FID; you may need an unaltered version at a later date. Since FID loads into the same area as an Applesoft program, I felt that the EXEC approach would be best. You could, of course, BLOAD FID and POKE in the values in line 70. That also works. Poor Man's Lowercase

You say you have an Apple II + without lowercase? You are tired of entering complicated codes to make your printer give you lowercase? I have just the fix for you. Although the Apple II + can't display lowercase unless a modification is made, none is really needed by a printer. Most printers will display lowercase when 32 is added to the ASCII code of a letter.

Usually, this is done by hitting a CTRL character as an indicator and processing each character in Basic. Clumsy. Slow. Inefficient. It would be much better to intercept the output and add 32. After all, computers are supposed to be efficient, right? Enter this routine (Listing 2), which is for an Apple II or II + with DOS 3.3 and a printer in slot 1.

This short routine is stored at location $BA69 and is not permanent. CTRL-S is used to toggle lowercase on/off. If a different character is desired, change the value of $BA6D. The routine is selected by the program in Listing 2.

All hooks are returned to their normal values by the "PR#0" in line 70.PR#1 isn't needed, since JMP at the end of the routine selects the printer slot, number 1.

After the routine is typed in and you have checked it for errors, save it as follows. BSAVE LC,A$BA69,L$2A. That's it! Simple, quick, and clean.

Ah! But there's another modification we can make. Suppose we want a line in mixed normal and inverse display. We could split the line up with various commands, which looks sloppy and can cause formatting headaches. We could also write a machine language program to save us the trouble. The routine in Listing 3 does just that.

Again, CTRL-S is used as the toggle, but you can change it to suit your needs. Turn it on with the following: POKE 40196, 105: POKE 40197, 186. Turn it off with POKE 40196, 189: 40197, 158.

Look at $BA6F. If we change the value to 7E, we will get a flashing character instead of inverse. Save with the following: BSAVE INV,A$EA69,L$10. Remember: don't add spaces between the commas! Lazarus, or Bringing a Program Back From the Dead

From time to time, we all do stupid things with the Apple. How many times have you typed in a program and then entered INT, FP, or NEW? Our next little routine (Listing 4) may help you recover lost material. I call it Lazarus, since it brings some programs back from the dead.

How does this work? Well, when you do an FP, INT, or NEW, you don't actually get rid of a program. It is still lurking somewhere in your Apple. If you ran the short program from August, you probably saw bits of old programs floating around, unless you started out fresh. The trick is to get the deceased program back where you can SAVE or RUN it.

When you NEW something, you tell the Apple to set some bytes as nulls ($00). From then on, the Apple treats that program as if it had never existed, except in some dusty corner of memory. What we have to do is reset these bytes and bring the dead to life. Not a miracle, just a few lines of machine language.

Save this program as BSAVE LAZARUS,A$2BF,L$41. Letters, Errors And Omissions

In the August Apple Cart I mentioned that the Rev. B board may be unnecessary at this time because there is no commercial software available to take advantage of the double hi-res graphics it allows. Jerry Van Cleeff of Montgomery, AL wrote in to take me to task for this statement.

I agree with him that you can write your own routine to get the 560 X 192 resolution graphics. But I would think twice about rushing out to buy the 80-column extended memory card and getting a Rev. B board simply to see 16 colors in double hi-res. Until good software is available, I would wait. True, Apple is still offering the upgrade for free, but that is not reason enough to buy the 80-column extended memory card.

By the way, the July 1983 issue of Softalk has an excellent article by Don Worth on how to run and understand double hi-res graphics on the IIe.

I stand by my statement to be careful when using What's Where in the Apple. Although Apple has been careful to keep monitorentry points and soft switches the same as in the Apple II +, not everything is the same. It is a new machine, Jerry.

Oops! There may be a problem when using the program inListing 1 from August. On the IIe, it will crash when it will crash when it turns on the soft switch at location 49237, where page 2 is selected. Jerry suggests hitting CTRL-C, typing TEXT, and then continuing. The program will crash again at location 49280, where it selects an alternate bank of RAM, entering the land of no return. RESET to get out. Skip locations 49152 to 53247 for painless execution. Apparently, these soft switches aren't the same, Jerry.

This little bug shows up the differences between the II + and IIe. The program runs fine on a II or II +. On the IIe, there are problems. If you really want to see something strange, run it with an 80-column extended memory card. Talk about locking-up!

Thanks for the letter, Jerry. It is people like you who keep me on my toes. To the other letter writers, thanks for the compliments, complaints, and queries. I cant's answer every letter, but a SASE ensures a reply.

In last month's column, a reader wanted inforamtion on using an Apple in sailboat navigation. Well, a few people in our book division, politely mentioned Computers for Sea and Sky by Stephen J. Rogowski. It is published by Creative Computing Press and sells for $9.95.

This collection of programs for sailing, aviation, navigation, astronomy, and surveying is quite nice. Mr. Rogowski is a licensed pilot and an FAA ground instructor, so he knows what he is doing. He is not a bad writer, either. Not only does he give you over 50 programs, but he explains in clear language how they work and what they can and can't do. A list of references is included to help you write more advanced programs on your own. New Products

Verbatin Corporation sent me a disk diagnostic package the other day. I have mixed feelings about diagnostics packages. It is nice to know when something is wrong, but if you are like me, you know that knowledge can cause paranoia and depression. I mean, knowing that your disk drive heads are out of alignment at 2:00 a.m. is informative, but then try and get to sleep! Still, it is a useful product.

I now know why I kept losing disks--my secondary drive was poorly aligned. One warning--if a drive has serious problems, test your disks on a good drive. If the good drive doesn't read them properly, copy them over from the bad drive to new disks on the good drive. Otherwise, you may not be able to recover data.

What the Disk Drive Analyzer does is perform four comprehensive tests covering head alignment, disk clamping (how tightly the drive holds your disk in place), read/write accuracy, and disk speed. Your drive is evaluated as good, fair, or poor and rated pass or fail, indicating whether tested areas require adjustment or repair.

Verbatim claims that is the only product that effectively tests drive alignment without taking the drive apart. The price seems a bit steep, however, at $69.95. As a special introductory offer, Verbatim will send you introductory offer, Verbatim will send you a head cleaning kit or a twin pack of mini disks when you return the warranty card. Finally

That's it for this month. I've decided not to give you the program I promised for recovering a deleted file. Instead, it will be part of a longer program presented over the next few Carts. This longer program is a disk utility that will allow you to examine and edit a track and sector, recover a lost file, hide files that you don't want seen, and customize DOS the way you want it. See you in November.