AUSOM began its’ life back in the late 1970’s as The Apple Users’ Society of Melbourne (A.U.S.O.M.) Inc — Before the Apple Macintosh existed, let alone iPods, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches!
The most popular personal computer in use in the 1970’s and early 80’s was the Apple II and AUSOM was formed to help Melbourne based Apple II users get the most out of these computers and soon become one of the world’s largest Apple User Group communities.
These were also days before the Internet existed, so the main way of discovering new software was through computer user groups like AUSOM. These groups copied hundreds, if not thousands, of floppy discs (in those days they did actually flop) full of Public Domain, Freeware and Shareware Software, which where then sold to their members for a small sum — usually around $5 per disk.
Because the internet didn’t exist at the height of the Apple II’s popularity, far too much of this old software was never made accessible online and runs the risk of been lost forever, so I’m trying to locate some of the old software I personally wrote back in the 1980’s and early 90’s, as well as some of the collections of Apple II Software that I know AUSOM used to (and hopefully still has) maintain so they can be preserved for posterity.
Please Help Us Track Down Apple II Collections Article
What got me started on this hunt for old Apple II Software was an article I saw posted to the Apple II Enthusiasts group on Facebook, which lead me to the “Please Help Us Track Down Apple II Collections” Article.
This article has been re-published in the May issue of AUSOM News and can also be found online at http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/5180
AUSOM Apple II Disk Library
I was the Apple II Disk Librarian for a couple of years in the early 90’s and at that stage there were over 680 Disks in the library — The majority on 143k 5 1/4” floppies but also a handful were on 800k 3.5” floppy disks. I don’t recall who took over from me, nor what ended up happening to the physical collection of diskettes.
If anyone has any knowledge on the current location of the AUSOM Apple II Disk Library collection could they please contact either myself or AUSOM’s Committee so we can look at preserving this incredible resource for posterity.
AUSOM Apple IIgs Disk Library CD
I understand that Maurie Eason, AUSOM’s former Apple IIgs Disk Librarian, spent about a year archiving and copying all, or at least a very significant portion, of the Apple IIGS Disk Library from the original 800k 3.5” floppy discs over to a CD-ROM.
Does anyone still have a copy of this CD-ROM? If so, I’d love to get hold of a copy of it for my own collection, but more importantly so it can be included in the Apple II Archive mentioned in the “Please Help Us Track Down Apple II Collections” article found elsewhere in this issue of AUSOM News.
BASIC Selector (BASel)
A long time ago, last century in fact, on February 10, 1989 I released the first version of BASIC Selector (BASel, pronounced BAZ SIL, for short) which was a powerful program selector for ProDOS written in AppleSoft BASIC for use with BASIC.System and utilised an interface that was very similar to the AppleWorks filecard interface.
By the time I released v1.7 of BASel, on October 6, 1990, you were able to:
- Launch SYS, S16, BAS, and BIN from a menu,
- Display AWP, ADB, and TXT files,
- Navigate through subdirectories with simple keystrokes,
- Catalog a disk,
- Set the date and time if your system doesn’t include a clock card,
- Perform simple file management operations,
- Set ProDOS’s Prefix from a list of available drives,
- Unlike other AppleSoft programs, you can read root directories shorter than four blocks (ie: /RAM and the AppleWorks Program Disk), and
- Enter the system monitor with one keystroke.
All versions of BASel were released through the AUSOM Apple II Disk Library, with earlier versions quite probably been included on a Disk with a collection other Public Domain, Freeware and Shareware titles.
BASel v1.7 was released on its’ own 5 1/4” Disk called PRODOS UTIL 27 and it included a version ProDOS that had been patched to support 40-Track 5.25″ floppies, displayed flashing MouseText apples in ProSel-8 on a IIgs, and included Apple Enhanced Quit Code and the BASIC.System had been patched so that the Startup program is BASel.
Unfortunately I no longer have any copies of the actual AppleSoft BASIC programs that made made up BASel — in fact all I have left of BASel is the AppleWorks 5.0 (Apple II version) Word Processor file containing the documentation only.
This documentation lists a number of people who helped me develop BASel in various ways and I’ve been in direct contact with a few, but I’d love to hear from Robert Pascale (who helped in writing the Blocks used graph) and Mark Walscot (he provided help, encouragement and inspirational ideas on debugging and improving BASel).
If you have any version of BASel floating around, but especially v1.7, I’d love to hear from you so it can be properly archived.
Macros.NKP [FOUND and now archived online]
Macros NKP was a series of FreeWare TimeOut UltraMacros Macros, TimeOut HelpScreens and TimeOut Applications created for my own personal use in the Apple II version of AppleWorks back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Due popular demand I released them for general public use as FreeWare.
FreeWare grants you the right to copy and distribute the software. However, modifications must NOT be made to the program. FreeWare is copyrighted and it is required that the author’s name and the copyright notice remain in the program.
The latest version of Macros.NKP v9.0 is now supplied as a .2mg Disk Image, which is suitable for use with many Apple II Emulators and even on original Apple II Hardware.
Bolo Maps from NKP
I know this article started off looking for Apple II and IIgs software, but I thought I might as well also put a call out for a bundle of Maps I created for an old Mac System 7/8/9 game called Bolo.
These maps where originally released to the public through the AUSOM Macintosh Disk Library in February 1996 and I believe to a couple of Bolo FTP sites, but alas I can no longer find a copy. If any one has a original set of these maps, please let me know.
The original description read “These maps were designed to be played with two players – myself and a friend, but some will easily support more players. You will be able to see my progression in map design and playability. I have also experimented with a variety of terrains and layouts. Some have multiple islands, others just have a single island with difficult terrain.”
Did YOU write any Apple II software???
AUSOM had a very vibrant Apple II Programmers Group back in the hey days of the Apple IIe, //c and IIgs and many unique programs were written in BASIC and Assembly Language or even extensive Macros written for use inside AppleWorks.
Did YOU, or any of your friends, develop any Apple II software and release it to the Public Domain, or as Freeware or Shareware??? What about Commercially???
If so, do you still have an archive of it somewhere???
Would you please consider making it available for inclusion in the Apple II Archive???
Conditions are very, very good right now for easy, top-quality, final ingestion of original Apple II Software and if you know people sitting on a pile of it or even if you have a small handful of boxes, please get in touch with Jason from textfiles.com by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for the disks to be imaged.
The quickest and easiest way to contact me is to email me via the web form.
This article was originally published at NicholasPyers.com and is re-printed here with permission.