The .RS232 driver comes with Apple /// system software and on
every data comm program's boot disk (including those available from
the WAP /// SIG PD). It is keyed to communicating through the ///'s
built-in serial port. It is the standard, and we really recommend you
The Apple Serial Card /// comes with
two drivers, one to drive a printer and one to drive a modem. If you
feel you must use an SC3 for data communications, know that you will
have to specially put the data comm driver into SOS.DRIVER of every
boot disk you use for data communications. And remove the
probably-existing .RS232 driver pointing to the built-in serial port.
You will also probably have to change the driver's name to .RS232
(Don't forget the dot). There might be a data comm program that does
not require ".RS232" as the driver name, but I don't know of any. You
will also have to tell SCP what slot your card is in. See? We told
you to stay with the standard.
The Apple II Super Serial Card (or
one of the cheaper clones) does not come with any Apple /// driver.
Gee, what a surprise. Apple wrote SERIAL.X.DRIVER in 1982 as a
stopgap until the real SC3 came available. The driver may be found on
several public domain "driver" disks available from user groups,
often with the name SUPER.SERIAL.DRIVER. It works for data
communications after a fashion. The big drawback is that the SSC has
physical switches that the driver can not reliably override. Yes you
can use it for data comm. No, please don't.
Do you have an Apple /// RS232
driver on your boot disk? You probably do, but there is a way to find
out. The boot disk you use will have a file on it called SOS.DRIVER
and that file contains information the Apple /// uses to talk to
things like the printer and the RS232 port that you probably use for
your modem. You can see what drivers are installed in that file via
the Apple /// Systems Utilities program, using the "S -System
Configuration Program (SCP)" option.
You read in the SOS.DRIVER file from
the boot disk. One of the drivers should be named ".RS232 ". If it is
in the list, you have the driver. And 95 times in 100 that is all you
need to know. However, it won't hurt to discuss the other 5 times in
The Apple /// Standard Device
Drivers Manual has a section on the RS232 driver which may be of
interest to you. If you find your way to the main SCP menu and choose
to "E-Edit" Driver Parameters for the ".RS232" driver you will see a
screen of information about this driver. Item #4 on this list is
"Driver Status" and it should say ACTIVE. If it says INACTIVE, then
that driver is ignored. You can change it to ACTIVE if need be.
Item #6 is the Configuration Block
Data. If you choose to edit that item you will see a line with 16
values numbered from 0 to F. For those of you who don't speak
hexadecimal, "F" is the number 15. A driver may not use all 16
values. The .RS232 driver we're discussing only uses 11 -- 0 through