(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
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
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.