Re: Question about Apple II

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Posted by Em Head on November 30, 19100 at 02:44:36:

In Reply to: Question about Apple II posted by Michael on November 28, 19100 at 17:00:33:

: I was thinking of buying an APPLE II computer to mess around with.
: This one is complete with both drives, keyboard and such.
: My question is will I need an operating system or what.

Yes you'll need an OS, but because there's no Hard-Drive, each 5.25"
floppy contains its own Operating system. In most cases you'll deal
with, the OS is either DOS 3.3 (no, not the IBM PC DOS 3.3), or a later
Apple ][ OS known as PRODOS.

The earlier DOS 3.3 is usually on the first 3 tracks of any FORMATTED
floppy. To format a DOS 3.3 floppy, you'll need to boot either the
DOS 3.3 system disk, OR another (Unprotected) DOS 3.3 disk - first.

Best if it's the original DOS 3.3 System disk as there were MANY
other variations on DOS 3.3 used, each having its own quirks.

Before formatting you'll need a startup (or HELLO) file, usually
written in BASIC, but not always. It can be as simple as a one-liner
10 REM
(Useful for data or storage disks that dont need a startup program)

Or it may be a MENU HELLO that lists the files on the disk, etc. etc.
(You'll REALLY need to do some reading to come to grips with menus).

To mine the online information you really can't find a better
starting point in learning the APPLE ][ than:

Back to Apple DOS 3.3. When you have the HELLO file typed in, to
FORMAT a new disk, simply type INIT HELLO (you can use names other
than HELLO, but that's the name most beginners use at the start.)

When you press RETURN, the drive will clunk and grind, and format
(or INITIALIZE) the floppy - hence INIT.

Most beginners initially prefer simple DOS 3.3 rather than PRODOS.

Now to PRODOS. Basically to format a ProDos floppy you'll need
a copy of a PRODOS utilities disk of some sort. Obviously the
original APPLE disk is a desirable treasure, as it contains all
sorts of useful tools: copying files, deleting files, formatting etc.

Perhaps the overall message is: Don't buy an Apple ][ unless it
comes with Disks, especially the original Apple ][ Utility /
System disks, UNLESS you can easily get them elsewhere.

> I can remember using these in elementary school,
> but then again not that much.
> In all reality what can I do with the computer?

Not much without DISKS. Program disks are vital if you're to
immediately get fun out of your purchase. Make sure you can
get software before spending money on hardware.

Do you have an Apple Users Group nearby ? Friends with Apple ][s ?


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