The Complete CSA2 Chronicles
Subject: csa2 chronicles
As the world turns...activity on comp.sys.apple2 buzzes. Let's
drop in and have a look. Hey, a Macintosh user has just stumbled
into the newsgroup!
<Macintosh user> Hello, can somone tell me how to connect my
ImageWriter II? I have an Apple IIci.
<Nathan Mates> Hey bozo, you're posting in the wrong newsgroup.
(Nathan takes out his flamethrower...poof, Mac user is dead)
<User #1> Hi, I am eight years old looking for help on the Video
<Nathan Mates> Hey kid, don't post until you learn some grammar.
(Smokes the kid with his flamethrower)
<User #2> AppleWorks doesn't work for me. It seems like a primitive
word processor, but I need a program that shows me the whole page.
Will WordPerfect GS work? Where do I get it?
<User #3> WordPerfect GS has full screen preview.
<User #4> You need a desktop publishing program like GraphicWriter
<Joe Kohn> I publish a newsletter with AppleWorks. It is great
if you use it in conjunction with AppleWorks GS.
<User #5> Yes, we publish a newsletter with AppleWorks GS.
<Nathan Mates> You idiot, no WordPerfect IIe doesn't do full
screen zoom. NO APPLE II PROGRAM DOES! (Giddily zaps
the guy with his flamethrower).
<Dr. Tom> Hey, someone wiped my site, Joe did you do that?
You said I stole Ms. Pacman.
<Joe Kohn> You stole it.
<Dr. Tom> No I did not.
<Joe Kohn> Yes you did!
<Dr. Tom> Did not!
<Joe Kohn> Did too! Excuse me, I have to go to KansasFest.
<Nathan Mates> Yo, Turley, don't lie! (Tries to flame Dr. T).
<Dr. Tom> Nanananana! (Uses his ice gun to neutralize Nate's
<Nathan Mates> HEY! (Starts to flame everyone in sight).
[For several eons, the land of comp.sys.apple2 is plunged into
a darkness of fire and ice. One day, Joe Kohn returns...]
<User #6> Nathan, why don't you stop flaming...
<Nathan Mates> F*** off pal (smokes the guy) I only flame idiots
and liars. When idiots like Dr. Tom post, we have a license
to flame. It is not just me, Henrik Gudat and Joe Kohn flame
<Joe Kohn> Hold on, Nathan, I don't flame. All I did was correct
Dr. Tom since he did steal my disks. That's not flaming.
In fact, this flame war has got to stop.
[With Kohn back and the whole of csa2 behind the quest to stop the
flame war, Dr. Tom makes an exit. Nathan Mates sulks away, having
been told by grownups that he can't play with his flamethrower.
Herik Gudat returns from vacation and laughs at rumors about his
<Henrik Gudat> Has Nathan been telling lies that I left for good?
<Joe Kohn> (laugh) Yes, he tried to use you as ammunition for his
stupid flame war.
<Henrik Gudat> How pathetic. I'm going to write a program that
parodies flamethrowing. Hopefully, people will realize how
stupid it is.
<User #5> (runs the software) Hey this is fun. "Bozo Gudat"
<Henrik Gudat> Here's one "Joe Cob"
<Joe Kohn> Cool, can't get enough of it "Bozo" ;)
[Nathan Mates, watching this, jumps back in. Somehow, he has
gotten hold of some old FAQs]
<Nathan Mates> I'm now the god of FAQs!
<User #5> What?
<Nathan Mates> Trying to flame me, huh (Smokes the guy).
<User #7> I thought you agreed not to flame?
<Nathan Mates> Hey, the others even have a program to flame,
that gives me a LICENSE to do so!
<User #7> That's a parody, you fool.
<Nathan Mates> DON'T LIE! (Smoke)
<Nathan Mates> People should be made to read my FAQs before they
are allowed to post. Like getting a driver's license. Bow to
the god of FAQs, ME!
<User #8> People still drink and drive.
<User #9> What's this got to do with the Apple II?
<Nathan Mates> Shut up! (Smoke)
<User #10> Hey Nathan, some of the info in the FAQs is wrong.
<Nathan Mates> I didn't write them, I'm just god of them!
<User #10> So what good is it going to do to make
them to read it?
<Nathan Mates> DON'T LIE! (Smokes him with glee!).
<User #11> Hello, I am a new user. I have just heard about an
Apple IIgs. What is it?
<Tilghman> It is a computer.
<Nathan Mates> Read the reference manuals. It is NOT JUST A
COMPUTER. It is a 16 bit CPU, Apple II compatible...(proceeds
to quote the entire techinical reference manual).
<Tilghman> Gee Nathan, I was just simplifying to get the new user
<Nathan Mates> Simplify my ass, just TELL THE TRUTH! (Flames
the poor guy) ... and let that be a lesson to you all. Unless
you've got a degree in computer science from Cal Tech, don't
bother posting here!
<User #11> What does all this data mean?
<Nathan Mates> Learn to read, fool! (Flame)
<User #12> Help!
<Nathan Mates> (Smoke) Good riddance. No one looking for help
is welcome in this here newsgroup.
<User #13> Hello, I'm new...
<Nathan Mates> (Smoke). New users are not welcome!
<User #14> Is this the...
<Nathan Mates> F*** it! No one is welcome but me! (Starts to
flame the whole csa2.)
[For eons hence, csa2 looks like Hell with Satan Mates at the helm.
The old newsgroup burns in a fire of hate as canisters of propane
fuel his relentless flaming. "You know I have been stockpiling
since I wrote my first resume...and I knew how to do it since I
was a baby!"]
Subject: csa2 chronicles: the next generation?
Captains log: We've been trapped here in the delta quadrant for over
two years, inching our way back to Federation space. Recently, scans
have indicated traces of a dilithium power signature, indicating
alpha quadrant technology. We are moving to investigate.
<Janeway> Mr. Kim, what have you got on that power signature?
<Kim> Still too far to tell, captain, but it is definitely a
dilitium mater/antimater reaction, almost identical to our
warp engines but hundreds of times more powerful.
<Janeway> If these are engines, could ones that use an energy
source of this magnitude take us back to Federation space?
<Kim> They could be using the power to create an artificial
wormhole, a stable transwarp field, who knows?
<Tuvok> Mr. Kim, such conjectures have very little probability.
<Janeway> I'm willing to try anything to get us home. Mr. Paris,
take us in, best possible speed.
<Paris> Aye, setting course, warp 9.
[The Federation Starship Voyager races through space toward the
source of the power signature. As they go under way, Commander
Chakotay falls into a trance...]
<Janeway> Chakotay, what is it?
<Chakotay> I am having a vision quest...flames...burning...
<Kim> Captain, we are within range.
<Janeway> Put it on screen.
[An whirling multicolor image appears on the screen...]
<Janeway> It's a wormhole! But where does it lead to?
<Kim> Scans indicate a stable wormhole to the alpha quadrant.
<Janeway> Great! We're going home!
<Tuvok> Wait, I would advise launching a probe first to determine
the intense dilitium signature.
<Janeway> Good idea, Tuvok. Ensign Torres, ready a probe.
<Torres> Launching. Telemetry returning...Captain, the alpha
quadrant has been destroyed!
<Torres> There was apparently a war shortly after we left. They
were using Flamestations.
<Janeway> My God, weapons of mass destruction!
<Tuvok> Flamestations were known to cause mass insanity, leading
people to kill each other.
<Janeway> Are there any survivors?
<Torres> Only a few. They are:
Subject 1: Nathan Mates
Traits: Romulan computers are the best in the alpha
quadrant. Romulans are known for their firery
tempers and arrogant behavior. Nathan Mates
was a most disagreeable Romulan.
Subject 2: Charles Turley
Traits: The Orions are pirates. They do not have
clearly defined genders. Orions are known for
their mean behavior as well.
Subject 3: Joe Kohn
Traits: The Ferengi are businessmen. They are out to
make a buck, no matter how dirty the method.
Joe Kohn was actually known to post advertisements
about his paper based information exchange on
the network more than once. [Gasp!]
Subject 4: Sam Ismail
Traits: Aggressive behavior. Destructive. Known to be
enemies with the Romulans.
Subject 5: Endless Mike
Traits: Piglike in appearance. Likes to insult people for
no apparent reason. Apparently, this Tellarian
destroyed the alpha quadrant by using Flamestations
to project the idea that Apple II technology was
<Janeway> What? Apple II technology is the basis of all alpha
quadrant based computer systems. Our isolinear chips
and bioneural processors crunch Apple II code.
<Neelix> Wait a minute, what is an Apple II?
[The viewscreen changed from the view of the wormhole to sickbay...
the holographic doctor is speaking...]
<Doctor> Let me explain. The Apple II was the first truly expandable
personal computer, first developed in the 20th century.
There were some shortlived attempts to replace it with
inferior architectures: the IBM PCs and the Macs, for example,
were used up to the 21st century and seemed to replace
the Apple II until it was discovered that John Sculley and
Bill Gates were trying to control the world.
<Paris> Sculley and Gates, they were as notorious as Khan was in
<Doctor> Yes, they tried to control the world, but they failed.
intelligent computers began appearing, they could only be
based on the superior design of the Apple II. The Knight
Industries 2000, for example, was a late 20th century
ground rover that crunched Applesoft BASIC code.
<Kim> I remember studying an archive that showed that, I think it
was called "Knight Rider"...
<Doctor> There was also the Cyberdyne Systems Terminator series
cyborgs, which used Apple II assembly code. In the 23rd
century, the breakthrough of isolinear chips by the Dystrom
institute was based on an extended 65816 design. Even
the advanced bioneural systems on Voyager are descended from
Apple II stock.
<Neelix> That is impressive. Let's go through the wormhole to the
alpha quadrant, then.
<Janeway> I'm afraid we can't do that. That idiot Endless Mike has
flooded the alpha quadrant with anti-Apple II delusions.
[Just then, Kes runs onto the bridge...]
<Kes> Please Captain, I'm already 2 years old. I'll be dead in less
than eight years!
<Janeway> OK, Ensign Torres, see if you can modulate the shield
harmonics to reflect the anti-Apple II delusions.
<Torres> I could shield us for five hours, but then we would be
<Janeway> Mr. Paris, set shields to maximum and take us through the
[Voyager pops back to the alpha quadrant, aka comp.sys.apple2. Scenes
of destruction everywhere...a lone shuttle appears, it is crippled.]
<Janeway> Beam the survivors on board.
<Chakotay> Energizing...its Nathan Mates, Joe Kohn, Charles Turley
and Sam Ismail.
<Paris> This is the first time I've seen a Romulan, a Ferengi,
an Orion, and a Klingon working together.
<Nathan Mates> We decided to make peace to fight Endless Mike.
<Joe Kohn> He sucked away profits.
<Charles Turley> Nothing to pirate.
<Sam Ismail> He has less honor than even Nathan Mates. The enemy
of my enemy is my friend.
[Just then, Voyager is attacked, fried circuits crackle, smoke is
<Janeway> Damage report!
<Chakotay> It is bad. My vision quest predicted this. Endless
Mike has flamed our bioneural gel packs. We are running
on emergency power only.
<Paris> He's moving in for the kill.
<Janeway> Torres, we need phasers NOW.
<Torres> We are short four bioneural gel packs. We can't charge
up the main phaser couplings without them.
<Joe Kohn> Wait, Nate, Sam, Charlie, and I each have an Apple IIgs.
<Nathan Mates> They can be re-coded to perform the functions of the
<Sam Ismail> That's right, bioneural circuits are based on Apple
<Paris> But how can we fool him to buy the time for the modifications?
<Charles Turley> Let me speak to the fool. I can spin yarns that
will drive him crazy.
<Kim> Comm link open.
<Charles Turly> 4D sound is achieved by harmonizing the soul...
<Endless Mike> No...no more torture...no...
[Dr. Tom continues to speak of his VAMPs readme file while Endless
Mike screams in the background...]
<Torres> Captain, you have phasers!
<Janeway> Lock on phasers, FIRE!
[Endless Mike's ship begins to grow red-hot...his Flamestations spits
out increasingly vulgar flames...Voyager is rocked, shields buckling...]
<Chakotay> We can't hold out much longer.
<Janeway> Photon torpedoes!
<Tuvok> Autolock is out, aiming manually, torpedoes away...
[Big explosion, Endless Mike is destroyed!]
<Janeway> Now that there is peace, let's rebuild comp.sys.apple2.
I hope this shows how working together can accomplish
great things. Apple II Forever!
Subject: csa2 chronicles: review
The previous installments of csa2 chronicles have been paradies of the
silly flame war that has been going on for the past several months.
This installment includes a review. Recently, the most interesting news
in csa2 turned out to be the release of Medley as freeware.
Review of Medley
Medley is a full-featured Apple IIGS word processor that was
discontinued several years ago. It has recently been released as
freeware by the publisher, Milliken Publishing.
The first thing that is noticeable when using the program is that it is
first and foremost a word processor. It is not appropriate to compare
Medley to desktop publishing software such as PageMaker, GraphicWriter,
or even the AppleWorks GS page layout module. The program simply does
not work this way. Instead, it is a robust word processor with
integrated paint/draw and some page layout abilities. It shares more
with WordPerfect or Microsoft Word for Windows than with a "grounds
DTP program. If word processing power is what you want, Medley is
hard to beat. In the February 1990 issue of InCider, Medley was
praised as being second in the features department only to WordPerfect
for the GS. WordPerfect GS, however, does not support GS/OS printer
drivers, GS fonts, TrueType fonts under Pointless, or WYSIWYG
mixed graphics and text on display as well as on paper. Medley does
all of the above.
Power WP users will appreciate the large selection of features that
put lesser word processors like AppleWorks GS to shame. Page numbers
can be put in selected pages, in different positions and with different
styles. Gutters that provide space for binding is supported. Instead
of a limited header/footer function, Medley supports freeform Global
Page Elements which can be graphics and text appearing anywhere on
the page, on every page, or on selected pages. Standard APF or screen
format SHR graphics of any shape can be inserted into text, which
then wraps around it, not just supporting square graphics frames, but
also irregular ones. Leading is supported, not only the standard one,
one and a half, and double space type, but fractional increments.
Kerning (space between letters) is also variable and adjustable.
The space between paragraphs may be independently adjusted. Columns
are easily created. Editing features allow independent adjustment
of line, paragraph, or document.
How columns are created demonstrates that Medley is a word processor
first and a DTP program only on the side. You select the rectangular
tool from the menu and then draw a thin rectangle "through" the
straight down the middle. The automatic text wrap feature for graphics
objects then causes the text to form into columns around the rectangle.
On the paint/draw side, the selection of tools is impressive. You have
your standard oval and rectangle tools, a polygon tool, etc., and if
you prefer clipart, that too is available on the clipart disk. There
are 48 brushes to choose from, as well as a spray paint tool. Or you
can import your favorite graphics. You can also change the display
palette to grayscale to better see how the page will print on a regular
black and white printer (Medley does support color printing on a color
Medley supports import of AppleWorks 3.0 or ASCII word processor files
directly. AppleWorks 3.0 word processor files will have formatting
intact. However, latter versions of AppleWorks will pose a problem.
Unfortunately, the freeware distribution of Medley does not include
the spelling checker and thesaurus. These are the two most powerful
features of the program. The spelling checker is intelligent and
operates in two modes. You can have it check your spelling at the
end of text input or, in spell check mode, it will catch you when
it encounters a word it does not recognize (sort of like having
someone look over your shoulder when typing). The thesaurus is
context aware, meaning that it displays not just a single list of
synonyms, but synonyms according to tense, part of speech, and number.
A small nit-pick is that the manual is not included. Medley is
such a powerful and complex word processor that without the manual,
users may never tap into all the features of the program. It would be
ideal if, Milliken Publishing granting permission, the manual can be
scanned and distributed with the program. Also, the archive that
the program is distributed in apparently has the program dragged onto
the desktop. The first time, I thought the disk didn't have the
program and had to verify that it was there with the GS/OS program
selector and then deleting the Finder.Data and Finder.Root files.
Knowing now that the file was on the desktop, this sounds stupid, but
if a user's desktop is cluttered, the program icon can easily be
In conclusion, Medley is an excellent freeware word processor that
rivals WordPerfect in features. It is the only currently available GS
word processor to be able to easily mix text with graphics, plus it
has advanced word processing features that may be just what many GS
users are looking for (ones that WordPerfect or Word users on other
platforms have come to expect). It is not a replacement for
GraphicWriter III v2.0 or the AppleWorks GS page layout module,
however. It is almost a replacement for the AppleWorks GS word
processor - except that, lacking the spelling checker and thesaurus,
it is not complete. Here is a challenge to the Apple II community:
make the Medley spelling checker and thesaurus available. If it takes
making it commercial, so be it. If it can be done free, then great!
If another dictionary and thesaurus, like that of AppleWorks GS, can
be used instead (a challenge to programmers?), even better.
Recommendation: Get Medley today! It is free!
csa2 chronicles: the final chapter
Ash drifts in ever widening circles. The fickle wind blows it
across the barren landscape only to suddenly drop it haphazardly on the
ground. A new gust lifts a devil from the ash and starts it drifting in
ever widening circles.
He stands, as if a stranger. In his heart he knows that this is
the familiar resting place that brought relaxation, thoughtful
discourse, and a sense of family. There is nothing to stop the wind
from rending his soul. Nothing to stop it from fanning his anger into
blasting gouts of fire that would dwarf the explosion of Mt. St.
Nothing -- save the lack of fuel beyond his burning chest. There
is nothing but ash. Nothing will burn for his anger. The ash has
already been consumed by those that fed his anger. The wind whistles a
mocking tune and tugs at the flame within him, dragging him down a slope
and up another rise. Looking about he still sees nothing but sterile
ash. Closing his eyes and slumping to the ground he abandons the
thought of vengeance on those who have done this harm. The flame within
him cools. Eventually it is smothered by a profound sadness. Depressed
and exhausted he drifts to sleep.
He wakes to the shaking of his shoulder.
"Is it always like this here?" asked a muffled voice.
He wipes at the grit in his eyes and peers at the space-suited
figure standing above him. "Like what?"
"Dead. Unproductive. Cause if it is I am out of here."
"It use to be beautiful here, there still may be some left."
The suited figure spun in a lazy circle, arm outstretched
indicating the landscape around them. "Where? And if there is
something good here what is to stop it from being torched by the fire
bugs that are all around?"
He struggles to his feet, with the help of the suited figure. A
small mean spirited bug leaps from the ash and throws flame at them.
"That's it. I'm gone. I was going to suggest that my kid's school
do a field trip here. Not now." The suited figure turns and lopes
toward the horizon without looking back.
Ignoring the fire bug's attempts to set his shoe on fire, he turns
and looks at the landscape one last time. He has decided to follow the
suited figure out of this place. Off in the distance he sees a flash,
as if sunlight was reflecting off a shiny surface. Someone must be out
there. "Perhaps they need help getting out of here," he thinks
walks toward the light.
By the time he reached the flashing light, the fire bug had given
up trying to set him on fire. A computer monitor, its screen glinting
in the sun had led him here. Two figures stood over the case of an open
computer. One was explaining something. One was listening. When he
drew near, the Listener was thanking the Explainer -- enthusiastically
pumping the other man's hand. He waved, but couldn't get either
The Explainer looked up when his footsteps crunched on the nearby
He stopped beside the open computer. "Hi, who was that?"
The Explainer turned to the departing Listener, "Him? Just a
lurker with some problems."
"What are you doing here?"
"Just planting a few seeds. I could use some help."
(for now - or so it seems)