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

(2) The second is that the Apple /// operating system distinguishes between two types of text files. Both types are editable with the Pascal editor. One is an "ASCII" file and the other is a "Pascal Textfile." You can find which you have by listing the file in the file section of System Utilities. The list will show the file type of "text" files as either "Textfile" or "Asciifile" .

You can change the file-type from "Textfile" to "Asciifile, or back, with the Pascal editor. You do this from the "environment" screen while editing the file. You type "s)et e)nvironment" from within the Pascal editor to see this screen. Changing a file from "Textfile" to "Asciifile" will reduce its size by two blocks.

(3)The third meaning is the suffix appended to the file name. Most files ending in ".text" have a file-type of "Textfile". Most files ending in ".code" or ".data" are binary files.

In some cases it is better to transfer text files using ASCII rather than XModem. For example, IBM DOS uses a slightly different convention in marking the end of lines in text files than does the Apple ///. If you transfer the file using ASCII protocol, the appropriate adjustment is usually made. Besides, XModem is painfully slow compared with straight text transfer.

Binary files (i.e files that have a file type such as "Codefile" or "Datafile" ) usually cannot be transferred using ASCII protocol. They can be transferred with XMODEM. XModem is available in the TCM program and is available in most IBM communications programs. It does error checking and will transfer any file between two machines. XModem will spend as much time as it needs, resending data when needed, to be sure that the destination file contains exactly the same data as the source file.

Transferring binary files is not always useful. A particular binary file, such as an executable program, may have no use after being transferred to a different kind of machine. For example you can certainly download an Apple II Pascal executable program (codefile) from a MAUG library, but it will do you no good. It will not run on an Apple /// or on an IBM PC, so don't waste your money.

A confusing note: if a binary file (say of file-type "Datafile") contains only printable characters it can be transferred with Ascii protocol.

A file of file-type "Asciifile" is a true Ascii file and can be transferred without problem using Ascii protocol. Files with file-type "Textfile" on the other hand use the first 1024 bytes of the file to store information about the file. You probably do not want to transfer this data unless you are connected to another Apple /// that can deal with a Pascal text file.

Return to Apple III Home Page

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