8-bit GUI desktop organizers and launchers

47 views
Skip to first unread message

Obsbedia2

unread,
Aug 7, 2003, 6:20:33 PM8/7/03
to
I spent so much time writing this out for the KFEST list, that I thought I'd
share
it with everyone.

I never expected the GUI desktop programs that I run on my hard drive to
raise such an interest at KansasFest: "You've discovered something that we've
forgotten about." Some folks seemed honestly shocked with the power and speed
of
the programs. Somewhere out there on the web, I recall that there's a page
with lots of screen shots of the Apple Desktop II in action. Well, I'm doing
my KFEST homework and I've come across the following for MouseDesk, the
precursor to Apple II Desktop. Here's what I have, short of the source codes.


==== >> If anyone has a copy of MouseDesk v1.5 or later, please contact me.
<< ====

][ Infinitum!
JaY Edwards

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
** ** ** ** **
What are described are GUI desktop organizers/program selectors for the Apple
IIc, e, and gs. Picture the Mac desktop screen.
All versions of MouseDesk and Apple Desktop II can:

*display at least 10 ProDOS volumes on the desktop,

* perform disk formatting and erasing,

* disk and file copying, deleting, formatting, identifying file types,
and locking and unlocking of files.

* load into extra memory/RAM card if they can find it on the first boot,

* Selectors on the desktop's menu bar that can launch eight programs from
the desktop's pull-down menu, or a total of 24 programs from "Other List,"

* allow the automatic launching of programs from the first boot up of
MD/AD2, such as a RAM disk or AppleWorks,

* have the option of copying and deleting of files from pathnames,
instead of icons,

* display files by icon (the only type that can be manipulated), name,
date, size or type,

* boot slots directly from the desktop, a feature that GS/OS Users really
missed when they moved up to GS/OS v.4.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
** ** ** ** **
_MouseDesk_ (MD1)
Version 1.02 (I HAVE)
copyright 1985 by Stephane Cavril, Luc Barthelet, Version Soft
with special thanks to Alexis Gerard, Paul Prebin, Daniel Bleriot
This version:

* Requires Apple IIc or IIe with 128K and one disk drive (NO MOUSE).

* displays up to THIRTEEN ProDOS volumes on the desktop, best of all the
versions for large hard drives. It arranges the volume icons the same way
GS/OS 6 does, in rows from top to bottom, from the right side of the screen to
the left.

* supports complete control of all functions by keyboard commands and/or
mouse,

* permits checking of a single and slot to recognize a new volume and it
to the desktop (inserting new 3.5/5.25" disk media while program is running),
or checking all volumes in all drives. This feature of checking and updating
the volume name of a newly inserted disk WHILE LEAVING all the windows on the
desktop open is wonderful when you've been transferring files from disks to a
window on your hard drive that is down seven subdirectories, only the drive
that you insert the next disk in is checked for a new volume -- leaving all
those windows open.

Note, all MouseDesk and Apple Desktop II programs will leave the windows open
if there is already a 5.25 disk on the desktop (in any drive). Just take out
the old disk, insert the new one, then open the desktop icon for the old
disk's volume name. The programs will search for the old 5.25 disk, notify you
that it can't be found, and then, without closing any windows, update the 5.25
disk icon with the volume name of the new disk that you inserted.

* all types of volumes are represented on the desktop as 5.25" floppy
disks, unless they are 3.5" floppies or ProFile drives (Apple HD20, FOCUS
Drive,
and CFFA volumes are 5.25" floppy icons, for example),

* Selector allows 8 programs to be launched from pull-down menu on
desktop, and those 8 and an addition 16 programs to be launched from Other
List.
Pathnames for the programs must be typed into the Selector's launcher,

* Window Elevator buttons do not work; window contents are vertically
scrolled, split-screen style, by moving the elevator (thumb).

=========
Version 1.1 (I'M STILL LOOKING FOR) is referenced in Version Soft's update
for versions 1.5 & 1.6, which describes their _Upgrade Disk_ as having version
1.5 on Side A (Desk Accessories) and 1.6 on Side B (Program Selector, when
MouseDesk is first booted up, and when exiting programs accessed from the
Selector, until the desktop is accessed).

=========
Version 1.5 (I'M STILL LOOKING FOR) added Desk Accessories (Calculator, Date
Stamp, and Apple Puzzle. (Directory Sort and Text File reader weren't around
yet)). I believe MouseDesk expanded to using two sides of a 5.25-inch disk.

=========
Version 1.6 (I'M STILL LOOKING FOR) added the Program Selector, intended for
use with large capacity disks. This is a screen that comes up before the
actual desktop, allowing the instant launching of programs, without searching
the
drives for volumes online, as the desktop does each time it's launched. (A
district tech advisor to a real doubletake when he walked through my classroom
and saw this, instead of Oregon Trail, on the monitor. He should have seen the

desktop!)

When found, the later versions would be especially useful to //c+ users.
Apple Desktop II has a bug in it that constantly runs the internal drive.
Thus,
//c+ users that I've talked with are interested in locating these later
MouseDesk versions so they could also have desk accessories -- it's hoped that
the
Text Reader and Directory Sorter from DeskTop II will work when added to
MouseDesk version 1x's Desk Accessories folder. Anyone have a copy? We'd love
to
see if this will work! It does work in the Apple Desktop II program.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
** ** ** ** **
_MouseDesk 2.0_ (MD2)
*** The only copy I have is in French, and it's a stripped down version.
When the Desk Accessories folder is added from DeskTop 1.1, MD2 recognizes the
folder and now it has desk accessories (It even recognizes the spaces provided
for three additional DAs, just like Apple Desktop II). This version was
probably reduced to the minimum files (3) needed to run the program so it could
fit
on a 5.25" disk. Now, if only I had a copy in English, nez pas?

Copyright Apple Computer Inc., 1986
Copyright Version Soft, 1985-1986
Tous droits reserves
Auteurs: Stephane Cavril, Bernard Gallet, Henri Lamiraux, Richard Danais et
Luc Barthelet
remerciements a: Alexis Gerard, Jim Gerber, Pat Pahl

14 September 1986 Version F1-1.0

This version:

* displays up to 10 ProDOS volumes on the desktop, sometimes an eleventh
can be added, but the first volume (Slot 7, Drive 1) will be removed from the
desktop. Any more volumes and the desktop essentially locks up. This
reduction in the number of volumes seems to have been done for cosmetic reasons
only,
to allow five drives to border the right-hand sided of the screen and five at
the bottom. These are the areas left alone for the longest time when opening
multiple windows automatically.

* needs mouse to select icons and adjust windows (no more keyboard
controls for these functions),

* Checks all volumes on the desktop (no longer able to select just one
slot and drive to check for a new volume. This results in all windows on the
desktop being closed, so you have to open windows, digging back down through
subdirectories to get back to the one you were transferring files into/out of
when a new disk is added to the desktop),

* NO DESK ACCESSORIES--see *** above,

* Windows are now vertically scrolled as a single image (not split
screened as MD1 does),

* Window Elevator up/down buttons now work,

* Volume Icons now visually represent hard drives, RAM card and 3.5"
floppies,

* Top of each window has a bar with information about that subdirectory
(number of items in subdirectory), and the volume in general (K used, K
available),

* SIZE is added to pull-down options. It gives the number and size of
any files, subdirectories and their contained files, and/or any combinations
there of,

* Selector now has a GUI interface to find and input pathnames for
program files to be launched from the pull-down menu or Other List.

* Quit option, but mine just reboots MD2.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
** ** ** ** **
_Apple Desktop II_ (AD2)
* There is a program called "Ultimate DeskTop" which, other than the name
change on the menu bar, seems to be _Apple Desktop II_.

Copyright Apple computer Inc., 1986
Copyright Version Soft, 1985-1986
All Rights Reserved
Authors: Stephane Cavril, Bernard Gallet, Henri Lamiraux, Richard Danais,
Luc Barthelet,
with thanks to: A. Gerard, J. Gerber, P. Pahl, J. Bernard

November 26, 1986 Version 1.1
(Yep, two months after MD2)

Included in GS/OS disks version 2.0 and earlier, this program was never
marketed for 8-bit Apple II computers and doesn't fit on one side of a 5.25"
disk,
but it works beautifully on the //e and //c (less problem with the //c+'s
internal drive). I learned about it from a letter written into Nibble
magazine.
from an 8-bit User who recognized that Apple had abandoned the program with the

completion of it's own true GS/OS desktop. The User was calling for the
Apple II Community to continue developing this program, suggesting more desk
accessories, an icon editor, the ability to place DHR artwork on the desktop's
background, and making it more //c+ compatible. It was included in a Nibble
artlcle, "Polishing Your Hard Drive," where it was described as a
third-generation
MouseDesk.

It's difficult to tell how much this varies from MD2, without a complete copy
of MD2, perhaps excepting the //c+ glitch, but there doesn't appear to be any
differences between the two, except the "Quit" option.

* Quit option now crashes into monitor, instead of rebooting MD2, as it
tries to get back to the GS/OS.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
** ** ** ** **

_Improvements desired:_
(Drum roll, please...)

1. Increase the number of desktop volumes to 13, as MD1 allows. Do this by
decreasing the size of the volume icons, limiting their "displayed" name size
for the bottom row (after all, who picks 15 character names for HD volumes?),
or simply using the same layout as MD1. It's hard to give up 96 Megs of disk
space!

2a. Add "Window" option on pull down menu bar to move to front windows open
on the desktop, but buried under other open windows.

2b. An alternative to "1a" (or addition to) would be the ability to collapse
windows to their top bar, just as can be done on the IIgs and Macs.

3. Take advantage of larger memory cards to increase the number of items
displayable in open windows and draggable (all MouseDesk and Desktop versions
are
limited to 20 draggable icons). Currently, about 110 items can be displayed
on the desktop. This could be in eight windows, or just one. If opening a
subdirectory will exceed the number of items that can be displayed, then a
dialog box pops up stating that other windows must be closed in order to open
this
one. Kind of tough when your TimeOut Applications folder is on your main
directory. My TO folder exceeds 110, anyway.

4. Add "Close All Windows BUT Front One" and "Close All Windows AND Open
This Folder" commands. All versions of MouseDesk and Apple DeskTop II have a
"Close All (Windows)" command to make cleaning up the desktop quick and easy.
The added benefit of these two commands would both clean up the desktop and
remove unnecessary icons from the desktop. The "Close All Windows AND Open
This
Folder" option would be especially useful if the 110 item limit can not be
increased.

5. Add "FIND FILE" ability Sorely missed, this ability is best substituted
by its equivalent in AppleWorks' T.O. DirecTree. There is a stand alone
program from April 1989's Nibble Magazine called "Where.Is" that does search
out
and find files, but on hard drives, it's slower than molasses. The alternative

is to make a text file of where useful, but not often used programs and files
are, and then use the Desk Accessory Text Reader to read that file from the
desktop (There are no notepads or stickies in the DA--yet).

6. Have the same ability as the IIgs and the Macs, to drag files on the same
volume from one folder to another without leaving the file in the original
folder (not simply making a second copy of the original file in the second
folder). I understand that Glen Breedon's text-based program has this ability
on
8-bit ][s.

7. Fix the bug in the TEXT READER desk accessory that forces it to error and
only allow exiting when the end of a file is reached, whether the window was
being read and scrolled, or if the elevator (thumb) was moved down lower than
the length of the file.

8. Add a pic.viewer to the Desk Accessories. SNEEZE has the wonderful
ability to view HR and DHR inside a folder. It would be convenient to do the
same
with Desktop, PLUS being able to view PrintShop clipart. Viewing all three of
these picture formats is already incorporated in AppleWorks by DB.Pix. To be
able to select icons in a folder and then have the items displayed would make
finding the right artwork much more convenient; just like on a IIgs or Mac.

9. Return the option of checking just one volume on the desktop for changes
(new floppy in drive), allowing for 13 volumes, or just for Slot 6, drives 1
and 2.

10. A bit of fluff, but that empty right side of the Menu Bar just screams
out for something. The time and date read off the clock card/NoSlot Clock
would look mighty nice right here.

Paul Grammens

unread,
Aug 7, 2003, 6:24:31 PM8/7/03
to
This is good FAQ material!
-Paul


"Obsbedia2" <obsb...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20030807182033...@mb-m22.aol.com...

Chris Morse

unread,
Aug 7, 2003, 9:41:07 PM8/7/03
to
On 07 Aug 2003 22:20:33 GMT, obsb...@aol.com (Obsbedia2) wrote:

<Collosal Snip>


> _Apple Desktop II_ (AD2)
>* There is a program called "Ultimate DeskTop" which, other than the name
>change on the menu bar, seems to be _Apple Desktop II_.
>
>Copyright Apple computer Inc., 1986
>Copyright Version Soft, 1985-1986
>All Rights Reserved
>Authors: Stephane Cavril, Bernard Gallet, Henri Lamiraux, Richard Danais,
>Luc Barthelet,
>with thanks to: A. Gerard, J. Gerber, P. Pahl, J. Bernard
>
>November 26, 1986 Version 1.1
>(Yep, two months after MD2)

</Collosal Snip>

I have a copy of "Apple II Desktop v1.00", apparently the version
before the Version 1.1 you described above. Same (C) info.

// CHRIS

Obsbedia2

unread,
Aug 7, 2003, 11:13:01 PM8/7/03
to
Two corrections:
--------------------
CORRECTION #1 on MouseDesk v1.02 arrows buttons and elevators:
WAS:

* Window Elevator buttons do not work; window contents are vertically
scrolled, split-screen style, by moving the elevator (thumb).

SHOULD BE:

* Window Elevator arrow buttons move elevator (thumb) about 1/3 of a full
screen by scrolling the window information in split-screen style. The elevator
(thumb) can be moved manually to move arround window quicker. Clicking in the
"gray shaft" that the elevator (thumb) moves in does nothing in this version.
--------------------
CORRECTION #2 on MouseDesk v2.0 arrows buttons and elevators:

WAS:


* Window Elevator up/down buttons now work,

SHOULD BE:
* Clicking in the "gray shaft" that the elevator (thumb) moves in now moves
the elevator and screen one entire screen length.

--JaY Edwards


Ned Ludd

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 1:29:45 AM8/8/03
to
Obsbedia2 <obsb...@aol.com> wrote:

<snip>

>
> _Improvements desired:_
> (Drum roll, please...)
>
> 1. Increase the number of desktop volumes to 13, as MD1 allows. Do this by
> decreasing the size of the volume icons, limiting their "displayed" name size
> for the bottom row (after all, who picks 15 character names for HD volumes?),
> or simply using the same layout as MD1. It's hard to give up 96 Megs of disk
> space!

Is 13 the maximum possible? I used to use A2DeskTop all the time on my
GS, but now I've got a 800MB "GarberDrive" with 16 Partitions plus 2 -
3.5's and 2 - 5.25's (so now I'm stuck with GS/OS)... sure would be nice
to have DeskTop running on it :)

Obsbedia2

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 1:57:32 AM8/8/03
to
<< Is 13 the maximum possible? I used to use A2DeskTop all the time on my
GS, but now I've got a 800MB "GarberDrive" with 16 Partitions plus 2 -
3.5's and 2 - 5.25's (so now I'm stuck with GS/OS)... sure would be nice
to have DeskTop running on it :) >>

Ten is definitely the max on MouseDesk 2 and Apple Desktop II on any system.
The MD1 limit of 13 volumes is based on the 8-bit Apple II architecture. It'll
be interesting to see it on the IIgs. I imagine that it would be possible that
more volumes would be recognized, but I've not yet tried it. Time to pull out
the FOCUS drive.
JaY

Obsbedia2

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 2:56:33 AM8/8/03
to

On my //e, I've just recently been using a program from SoftDisk #98 that
unhooks the computer's recognition of whatever drives you select. You can also
use it to rehook the drives recognition by the computer. Where I had been
required to give up three 32 Meg volumes to allow the use two 5.25 and one 3.5"
drives AND the use of Apple Desktop II, now I "unhook" the floppy drives so I
have "access" to 13 volumes in MouseDesk2 and Apple Desktop2, IF I "unhook" at
least three of them and never have more than 10 volumes online at a time.

These can be rotated with the unhook program -- which also hooks slots and
drives back up, but it hooks the physical slots and their drives, so 13 volumes
is the 8-bit A2 limit IF all slots are active.

Using a 13-volume FOCUS drive, 2-5.25" drives and 1-3.5" drive, unhook slot 5,
drive 1 and slot 6, drives 1 & 2. What you'll see are 10 volumes present on
the MouseDesk1 desktop, not the full13 volumes that are actually on the FOCUS
drive. Unhooking the floppy drives also shut off the FOCUS drive's ability to
commandeer the slots and drives that the floppy drives were using. The only
way that I know of to have access to all 13 partitioned volumes of a hard drive
on an 8-bit Apple II is to pull all other drive cards from the slots.


JaY Edwards

Obsbedia2

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 3:01:06 AM8/8/03
to
ADDITION:
MouseDesk version 1.02 -- and maybe other MD1s -- have a big glitch requiring a
BASIC.SYSTEM file be in all subdirectories containing programs written in Basic
in order to launch those programs. It's not a ProDOS version problem, but a
MD1 problem. MD2 and Apple Desktop II don't have this characteristic.

JaY Edwards

Bill Garber

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 3:53:33 AM8/8/03
to

"Ned Ludd" <sp...@luddite.ca> wrote in message
news:1fzcgql.7bve471fcf4z2N%sp...@luddite.ca...

You are NOT stuck, put DeskTop on another ProDOS partition and boot
from there. Simply hold OA when booting and while holding it at the menu
press the number of that partition. Did you happen to read the manual?

Bill @ GarberStreet Enterprises };-)
Web Site - http://garberstreet.netfirms.com
Email - will...@comcast.net

---
This email ain't infected, dude!

Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.507 / Virus Database: 304 - Release Date: 8/4/03


Ned Ludd

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 5:39:40 AM8/8/03
to
Bill Garber <will...@comcast.net> wrote:

> "Ned Ludd" <sp...@luddite.ca> wrote in message

<snip>


> >
> > Is 13 the maximum possible? I used to use A2DeskTop all the time on my
> > GS, but now I've got a 800MB "GarberDrive" with 16 Partitions plus 2 -
> > 3.5's and 2 - 5.25's (so now I'm stuck with GS/OS)... sure would be nice
> > to have DeskTop running on it :)
>
> You are NOT stuck, put DeskTop on another ProDOS partition and boot
> from there. Simply hold OA when booting and while holding it at the menu
> press the number of that partition. Did you happen to read the manual?

Yeah, I figured out the boot option, installed DeskTop on another
partition but no luck... I think the problem is that DeskTop freezes
when it finds too many volumes online. It also leaves mystery files with
names like ?????FFF??? that are a bugger to get rid of...
-s

David Wilson

unread,
Aug 8, 2003, 3:47:36 AM8/8/03
to

14 is the maximum ProDOS allows (slots 1-7 and drives 1-2) and you lose one
drive for any slot with a drive controller card in it that only has 1 drive
(eg a Disk ][ controller in slot 6 will prevent remapping a smartport drive
into S6,D2 even if you only have 1 5.25" drive). I have found that it is
possible to use slot zero drive two [if you manually modify the drive table
and vectors] but the drive table encroaches onto the copyright notice
(not a problem) and many programs that allow you to type slot numbers refuse
to accept zero as a valid input.

Interesting history note - in the original ProDOS Technical Reference Manual
(loose leaf Workbench edition) the 64KB aux memory /RAM drive was listed as
being in slot 0 drive 2. This would have been a good place for it IMHO.

This error was fixed in the ProDOS 8 hardback manual.
--
David Wilson School of IT & CS, Uni of Wollongong, Australia

Lockar

unread,
Jun 15, 2005, 5:44:02 PM6/15/05
to

I know this is a year old thead, but are you still around?

I have MD v1.1 and never knew there was other versions out there?

Did you ever get the other versions, does any one have version 1.5 or
higher? It sounds like MouseDesk is the GUI I want to use of I find
the higher versions.

-Lockar

In article <20030807182033...@mb-m22.aol.com>, Obsbedia2

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages