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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 use it.

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 100.

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 B.

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Revised November 1, 1998 lic
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