Don Worth’s Bag of Tricks manual original files

Next up, we have the original texts for the “Bag of Tricks” manual.

Well, most of them anyway. Pieter Lechner’s “Chapter 2: Trax” is missing. When I asked Don about it, he replied:

“Pieter was responsible for his own disks and was working at Quality Software in those days, so I don’t think I had copies of his parts of the manual.”

If you’re looking to read the original files on your favorite emulator or real Apple II, this is a CP/M formatted disk, but Don doesn’t remember the specific word processor he used:

“I believe at the time I did BoT I was using a CP/M word processor (to get proportional spaced output on my Diablo daisy wheel printer). I can’t for the life of me remember what it was – except that it had a small padded brown vinyl manual.”

Also of note: on side 2 are a few letters written to Softalk editor Margot Comstock. I left them in the image because they’re probably interesting to Apple II historians and Don gave his OK:

“If there is nothing embarrassing in the letters, go ahead and share them too.”

This .zip file has what you’re looking for.

Don Worth’s Beneath Apple DOS original text files

A while back (feels like about a year ago, but I’m sure it’s closer to two or three – memory gets funny when you age) Bill Garber sent me a disk-box full of Don Worth’s original floppies. These include source code for various versions of Beneath Apple Manor, Zap!, AstroApple and some other things, as well as the text files that were used in the production of his groundbreaking Beneath Apple DOS book, and the manual for Bag of Tricks.

I used an FC5025 to create disk images; Device Side Data’s ingenious little board is a handy tool and makes bulk-imaging a breeze but its error handling is somewhat less robust than, say, the Kryoflux or the E.D.D. Plus card, which is unfortunate because several floppies had bad sectors scattered across them. One, “DOSX Source” couldn’t be read at all. On the plus side, when the FC5025 does encounter an error, it doesn’t kill the process completely so some of the images have a bad file or three where data couldn’t be read. I’ll make sure to point out the affected items as I post them.

Anyway. I’ve held them captive for long enough, so we’ll start with the Beneath Apple DOS book files and I’ll try to get everything else up shortly. The source files for Beneath Apple DOS span three diskette sides and were written in Hayden Software’s PIE Writer. The zip archive (link below) contains a disk image for that program so you can fire it up on your favorite emulator, or transfer it over to the real thing and read the text that way.


I couldn’t find a copy of the PIE Writer manual but the ‘Help’ files are included on the program disk. You won’t need them to load Don’s text though. Just choose the Format Text Processor (option 2) from the PIE Writer menu and follow the prompts to load the file called CH1 and you’ll be off and reading. The files are chained together so when you reach the end of one chapter, the next will load from disk automatically. (PIE Writer is pretty cool!)

I’m not sure why I’m telling you this, actually. If you’re here, you know how to do all this…


This zip file contains everything you need. (No bad sectors on Don’s originals – whew!).

Aw, cr*p!



Back in the late 90’s or so, there was this sound file making the rounds on the internet – it was the Windows 98 (or maybe ME) startup chime, which blended into the sound of an explosion (presumably as Microsoft’s operating system lived up to its well-deserved reputation), followed by Krusty the Clown going, “Aw, crap!” I can’t find a copy of that .wav file these days – there’s an updated version with Windows 95 doing what it does best, but I’m pretty sure that came out after the one I’m remembering… Come to think of it, Windows is pretty much unchanged in this respect; there’s always this little voice filled with nagging doubt in the back of my head every time I turn on my PC. It likes to take bets with the rest of my more optimistic mind over whether the OS will actually finish booting up this time. I owe that little voice about half a million dollars because I just don’t learn.

Anyway, this morning I finally restored all the old posts that used to live here and it went smoothly for the most part. There are a few jpeg missing and the YouTube links from posts in 2009 and 2010 seems to be dead now, but to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. I’d expected hours of work reformatting, re-entering and re-writing posts and that didn’t happen. Cue the triumphant, yet relaxing chords of the Windows start up chime…

Then the emails started showing up in my inbox… The six of you who read and subscribe to this website had your RSS feeds flooded with notifications of new 6502lane posts. Something like 70 or 80 of them. Aaaaand there’s the explosion – the sound of Windows failing to finish booting, a sound many of us are so familiar with…

And me yelling, “Aw, crap!”. This was supposed to be a cool thing. Nothing magical, or amazing or anything, but there was a little bit of unique and interesting content stirred into the nauseating miasma of the rest of my drivel and I was happy to have it back. But no… not this time. Instead, an inbox full of slightly chiding messages, letting me know how annoying this was. Okay, six. Not exactly an email folder overflowing with vitriol and spite, but still. And me embarrassed and annoyed as well – probably a muted version of what Bill Gates was feeling when this happened:


Believe me, I get it. Nothing irks me more than weeding duplicate notices out of my RSS reader. Anyway, I suppose the upshot is that most of you unsubscribed, so next time something like this happens, I’ll only have two or three emails, instead of missives from all six of you.


Apple III and III Plus differences

Last night, I decided it would be a good idea to move a 512K memory board from a 5V Apple /// that has become increasingly flaky over the past few month, to a III Plus. While the effort was ultimately unsuccessful (more on that in a later post), the exercise gave me the opportunity to note some differences between the two boards. I took some pictures. Here they are.

Clock/Calendar Chip and Battery

Of course, we all know the story of the bad batch of clock chips Apple bought from National Semiconductor.  It seems to be one of the few problems commonly associated with the /// for which Apple isn’t blamed.  When end users and dealers began receiving their new ///s in late 1980, one of the first things they noticed was that the inbuilt clock wasn’t functioning normally. Sometimes, it would speed up randomly; other times, it failed to roll over properly and continued to count up.  If you ever wondered what thirty-three o’clock looked like, you could ask your Apple ///.

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Quark Word Juggler protection

Quinn’s comments on my previous post about the downfall of Quark, Inc. pointed out the need for me to take a better picture of the Word Juggler dongle.  So here you go.

Quark Word Juggler dongle

In addition to providing hardware-based DRM for the software, the dongle for Quark Word Juggler also allowed users to create powerful custom keyboard macros.

Also, here’s a shot of the custom keycaps you got when you bought Word Juggler.  These are not stickers that you peeled off a sheet and applied yourself.  Quark shipped actual plastic keycap replacements for your Apple IIe keyboard.

Quark's custom keycaps for Word Juggler functions.

Quark’s custom keycaps for Word Juggler functions.

Two-page Word Juggler ad from a November 1983 issue of InfoWorld.

Word Juggler ad page 1

Word Juggler ad page 2