Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

In this section we'll discuss the known Apple /// data comm programs. We'll tell you each programs strengths and weaknesses. If possible, we'll tell you how to get each program, and we'll list one or more CompuServe folk who know enough about the program to maybe be able to answer your questions.

3.1 Access ///

Access /// was the first of the Apple /// data communications programs. It began life as an "other vendor supplied" Special Delivery Software product in 1981. Apple was not long in taking Access /// to its own bosom. August 1982's Version 1.1 was a purely Apple product. The next (and last) version was 3.2x -- the Access /// Interpreter -- in 1984.

Access /// 1.0 came in versions that could be invoked from the BASIC or the Pascal interpreters. Release 1.1 was similar, and it had major problems depending on what version of Pascal you were running. The BASIC version was OK. Release 3.2x obviates the interpreter problem by being an interpreter in its own right. It doesn't run under any language system, so it launches like a rabbit and runs quickly.

Access /// has two major features. Its emulation of a DEC VT-100 terminal is complete and seamless. Many mainframe or minicomputer systems permit VT-100 terminals to operate in "full screen" mode. A data communication program's terminal emulation can be important. Depending on the host computer, generic terminals can be limited to "line mode" communications or can be forbidden access. If you need VT-100 emulation, Access /// is the only Apple /// data communications program that will serve.

Access ///'s other major feature is its "scripting" capability (3.2x only). You can write a script that will automatically dial your modem and log on to your favorite host service. And more. Access ///'s script language is powerful. You can script an entire session if you always do the same things.

Access ///'s major problem is that its documentation has not been completely in a single source since its original incarnation. The "SDS" version (1.0) came with a spiral bound manual. Apple's 1.1 version did not come with a new manual, just an "Apple Tech Notes" (750.990 dated August 25, 1982) addendum detailing the enhancements from version 1.0. The interpreter came with another addendum, this one on disk and dealing only with the "script" feature. Even having all the manuals does not guarantee success. Data comm programs traditionally have the worst conceivable user documentation. No, we don't know why. You will probably need help. That's why we have experts on CompuServe.

Access /// supports no error free file transfer protocol. It can only transfer text (human readable) data between your Apple /// and another computer. It can not transfer executable programs or graphics files.

Return to Apple III Home Page

Revised November 1, 1998 lic
Washington Apple Pi
URL: http://www.wap.org/a3/