Apple II  Telecom Manual II: Downloading & Uploading

Csa2 FAQs-on-Ground file: Csa2T2TCOM.txt  rev012

The Csa2 (comp.sys.apple2) usenet newsgroup Frequently Asked
 Questions files are compiled by the Ground Apple II site,
 1997 - 1999.

for on-line perusing via Netscape, etc. ... (double-spaced)

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 001- What's the easiest way to download files from Apple II sites?
 002- What is a good setup for moving files between computers?
 003- Are there download files I should process on the PC (or Mac)? 
 004- How do I upload files? 
 005- What kinds of files should I upload to which sites?
 006- How can I read & send email and newsgroup msgs with my A2?
 007- With a fast modem, how can the IIe connect to the internet?
 008- I'm running the Lynx web browser. Where do I put the URL?
 009- How do I download an .SHK file through Lynx? 
 010- Can I send and receive FAXes using my Apple II?
 011- What is a "Binary II" header?
 012- Should I add a Binary II header to files I upload?
 013- What is a "binscii" file and how are they used?
 014- What are .SHK files and how do I use them?
 015- Can I create .ZIP files on my Apple II?
 016- What are DSK "disk image" files and how do I use them?
 017- Where can I get ShrinkIt, binscii, DSK2FILE, ASIMOV, etc.?
 018- I have downloaded  files in "gz" format? How do I use them? 
 019- ShrinkIt downloaded as a TXT file. How can I use it?
 020- Which programs can change ProDOS filetype?
 021- How can I move A2 programs to Quick BASIC on my PC?
 022- What do the popular file name extensions mean? 
 023- How do I tell what kind of file this is?
 024- How do I use Copy II Plus to create and convert IMG files?

From: Rubywand

001- What is the easiest way to download files from Apple II

     Modern PC internet browsers, like Netscape 4.x, have 'spoiled' much
of the challenge of connecting to sites on the net, especially popular
Apple II ftp sites. For example, entering

in Netscape's "Location:" (or "Netsite:", etc.) box gets you to Ground's
GS games folder ready to download with just a mouse click.

     Most major Apple II sites are mainly FTP sites. Some will connect
up via an http:// ... address and work fine for viewing Text files; but,
you may experience problems getting good downloads of Binary files. A
pretty good indication that you are dealing with such a site is the
absence of pretty graphics-- instead, you see mainly folder icons and
text descriptions. In general, downloads seem to work best when you
contact these sites via an ftp:// ... reference.

     Once you are connected via, say, Netscape, you can Click on folder
icons to get a listing of what's in the folder. When dealing with simple
ftp icon and file name displays, you should, usually, not just Click
(leftClick) on an item you wish to download to disk. This will usually
immediately start a download to your display (which is fine if you just
want to view a text file; but not much help for .shk, .dsk, etc. files).

     To download under a browser, the usual way to select an item is a
SHIFT-Click (SHIFT-leftClick)or a rightClick. SHIFT-Click usually brings
up a Save window and you can change the name, change the destination
folder, etc. before Clicking OK. RightClick gets you a menu and you can
Click "Save Link As ..." to get to the Save window.

     Once files are downloaded, they can be transferred to your Apple II
via NULL modem.

     A slightly different approach is to use a good FTP program, such as
WS_FTP. It is easier to download multiple files and speed is usually

     To connect to an FTP site you can run a dial-up program to
establish contact with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), start your
FTP program, and select the FTP site you want from a list you've

     The list, also called a "profile list", contains ...

the site's internet name-- such as ""

the particular folder or directory you want to begin with-- such as

and the folder on your computer for downloads-- such as "C:\UPDOWN".

     Other information, such as the kind of connection ( usually "Unix
standard") and the password you send to the site-- usually you will
log-in as "annanymous"-- are entered more or less automatically when you
first create a site's profile entry.

     When the connection is made, you will see a list of files and
folders in the folder you have entered. If you open one of the folders,
you will get a new listing of files and folders contained in the
selected folder. You can 'navigate' deeper into the archive and reach,
say, Ground's /2/apple2/Collections/AOL/Games folder; and you can
navigate backward to, say, /2/apple2/Collections and explore some other
collection, such as /2/apple2/Collections/1WSW.

     Practically all programs and compressed disks will be in .SHK or
some other "binary" form. "Binary" should be your download/upload mode
setting except when downloading (or uploading) Text files. To download
or view a Text file, you should click the FTP program's "ASCII" or
"Text" mode.

     In general, when downloading an Apple II .SHK, .ZIP, etc. file, it
is best to avoid having any "helper" applications set up to
automatically process the file. Your Apple II can take care of
un-Shrinking and most other kinds of processing which may be required
after the file is transferred from the PC (or Mac).

     To download one or more files you click-highlight each file you
want. Then, you click some button-- such as an arrow symbol pointing to
your C:\UPDOWN folder-- to start the download.

     Usually everything will go smoothly and the files will appear on
hard disk in your target folder (e.g. C:\UPDOWN).  If you use a
dedicated ftp utility you will, usually, be able to see the exact length
of a file on the site's file list. One good check for a successful
download is to compare file lengths displayed in your target folder with
those shown in the FTP site's file list. If you do straight downloads
with no processing, there should be no differences.


002- What is a good setup for moving the files I download and
     upload between computers?

     The standard setup is a "NULL modem" connection. You will need a
NULL modem connector and each computer needs a modem cable and telecom
program.  A IIe or II+ will also need a serial card.

  ____________                                        ____________ 
 |  PC or Mac |                                      |  Apple II  |
 |  running a |                                      |  running a |
 |  telecom   | <--modem--> [NULL modem] <--modem--> |  telecom   |
 |  program   |    cable    [connector ]    cable    |  program   |
 |____________|                                      |____________|

    "NULL modem" means "no modem". A NULL modem connector is just a pair
of connectors wired 'back to back' with a few lines switched so that
each computer views the other pretty much as though it were a modem.
NULL modem connectors can be found at Radio Shack for a few dollars or
you can make your own. 

     On the Apple II side, you can choose from several good telecom
programs. Since you would like to be able to do z-modem transfers, good
choices include Intrec's ProTerm-A2 3.1 (Enhanced IIe -- IIgs), MGR
Software's Modem MGR (II+ -- IIgs), AnsiTerm (IIgs), and Spectrum
(IIgs).  You can also choose from many freeware and shareware programs.
Generally, these support x-modem but do not support z-modem. 

     If you're running under a current version of Windows, HyperTerm
works very nicely on the PC side. (For sending Text files from PC to
Apple under HT, be sure to uncheck "send line enders" in the ASCII
settings.)  If there is a choice of terminal emulations, it seems best
to stick with something simple, such as "TTY". A good NULL modemming
program for running under DOS is Telemate, commonly available as
shareware. Many other telecom programs are available and work fine under
current Windows, old Windows, and DOS. Similarly, there is a good
selection of Mac telecom wares.  

     To do transfers, you just connect the modem cable from each machine
to the NULL modem connector. If your PC or Mac has a spare COM port, the
connection can remain in place without disrupting normal net connections
through the other COM port.

 [Modem to net]
   modem cable
  ____ |______                                        ____________ 
 |  PC or Mac |                                      |  Apple II  |
 |  running a |    COM2                              |  running a |
 |  telecom   | <--modem--> [NULL modem] <--modem--> |  telecom   |
 |  program   |    cable    [connector ]    cable    |  program   |
 |____________|                                      |____________|

     If you can not use a separate PC or Mac port for your connection to
the Apple II, you can move the PC modem cable connection from your net
modem to the NULL modem for doing transfers or use a switch box.

     For a GS, the modem cable should be a "high speed" type which
allows hardware handshaking and this option should be set in the GS
telecom software. The same is true for other Apple II's running at 9600
baud or above.

     Set the same format (8-N-1), flow control (Hardware or Xon/Xoff),
and baud rate on each telecom program. (The format will, almost always,
already be set to 8 bits-No parity-1 Stop bit.) For a baud rate of 9600
or higher, flow control should be "Hardware". 

     A good first-try speed setting is 9600 baud. If errors indicate
this is too fast for either machine, you can move down to 2400 baud. An
accelerated GS running Spectrum can connect with modern PC's running
HyperTerm at 56k baud or better.

Note: Spectrum (and most other newer Apple II telecom programs) do not
require that you modify IIgs Control Panel settings for speed and
handshaking. Since Spectrum directly accesses the GS serial port, speed,
etc. settings are done in the program. (By the way, this frees-up Slot 2
-- the GS modem firmware Slot-- for any peripheral card which needs to
have its Slot set to "Your Card" in the Control Panel.)

Note: On the PC, HyperTerm allows setting the Port Configuration-- i.e.
Format, Baud Rate, and Flow Control for COM1 or COM2-- for a particular
setup which you can save under a name, like "". Whenever you
start HyperTerm to do transfers to/from the GS, you need to Open (or whatever you name it) in order have your setup in place.

     Put each program in terminal mode-- often, this is the default
mode. Or, the particular telecom program may have menu items or buttons
you select for specific kinds of transfers.

     Next, you will usually select the function (send or receive) on
each machine and the protocol.  The protocol should be the same on both
machines. Z-modem is the best choice for most single or multiple file
transfers. For Text files you may want to do an ASCII or Text transfer.
(See discussion on Text file transfers in Csa2T1TCOM.)  Finally, you
will select the file or files to send or "Open".

     Usually, it is best to start Receive on the target machine before
starting Send on the source machine. If you find that one telecom
program or the other does not give you enough time to start Send-- i.e.
it keeps "timing out"-- change the program's "Time Out",  "Inactivity
Delay", etc. setting.


From: Jeff Blakeney

     You don't need to manually tell Spectrum or other modern telecom
programs to receive a file each time you do a Z-modem transfer. Just
make sure that you have Auto Receives turned ON. In Spectrum the setting
is in the Settings/File Transfer/Receive Options... dialog.


From: Rubywand

003- Are there any kinds of files I should process on the
     PC (or Mac) before transfer to my Apple II?

     Yes. Many old games and other interesting wares downloaded from
"emulator" sites like Asimov (  will arrive as .gz
files. These will, almost always, be compressed 5.25" disk image (DSK)
files. They should be un-compressed on the PC via WinZIP before being
sent to your Apple II. This avoids a messy de-compression process on the
Apple and makes the DSK file available on the PC (or Mac) should you
wish to use it with AppleWin or some other A2 emulator program.

Note: If you are running an FTP program under plain DOS or Windows 3.x,
long file names will be truncated to fit PC's old "8 and 3" format. A
.gz file may not show up in your C:\UPDOWN (or whatever) directory with
the ".gz" suffix. It is still a .gz file and will not be useful as a
disk image (DSK) file until it is uncompressed. The usual size of a
5.25" disk image file is about 143kB.

     Other chores you will want to handle on the PC before sending a
file to your Apple II include converting .HTM (HTML) files to text and
splitting up very large Text files. Similarly, it will be easier to
view, process, and convert most large graphics files on the PC.


004- I need some help with uploading. I uploaded a large file to
      apple2.caltech but nobody seems able to download it without
      ending up with garbage. What's wrong?

     Uploading files to an FTP site is a fairly simple process--
basically, it's pretty close to the reverse of downloading described
above. For example, to upload  a group of Apple IIgs files named
"NARFGAME" you would ...

o  On the GS, use GS-ShrinkIt to created a single compressed file
containing the NARFGAME files. The new .SHK file could be named

o  Use Spectrum or some other A2 telecom program to NULL modem
NARFGAME.SHK to, say, the PC's C:\UPDOWN folder using Z-modem protocol.

o  Dial-up your ISP

o  If you are running Netscape or some similar browser, you can do the
upload very easily.

   Go to the site's upload URL-- e.g. you might type in and open the Uploads/
   folder(the folder will often be named "Uploads" or "Incoming").

   Open a window for the folder (e.g. C:\UPDOWN) which has the file or
   files (like NARFGAME.SHK) to upload.

   Select the files and drag them onto the uploads page display.

   Click "Yes" when asked if you want to upload the files.

o  If you prefer using an ftp program (e.g. WS_FTP), start the program.

   Select the desired FTP site's name in your "profiles list" (or,
   if necessary, create the profile entry) and connect with the
   FTP site.

   Navigate to the FTP site's uploads folder-- usually, it will be
   named "Uploads" or "Incoming".

   Note: you may or may not see any files listed when in a site's
   Uploads folder. Some FTP sites hide file names in this folder 
   and/or restrict folder access to upload-only.

   For .shk, .dsk, and most other program files you upload, make
   sure 'transfer mode' is set to "binary". (For Text files, mode
   should be "text" or "ASCII".)

   Highlight "NARFGAME.SHK" (and any other binary mode files to
   upload) in the listing of files in your C:\UPDOWN folder.

   Click an arrow button (or whatever) to start the transfer to
   the FTP site's Uploads folder.

     With a little experience everything is nearly 'automatic'. However,
there are a few common mistakes which can ruin an upload:

o  Probably, the most common error is failing to make sure "binary" is
set (check-marked, etc.) as the transfer mode when an .SHK file or other
non-Text file is uploaded using an ftp program. Similarly, Text files
are messed up if the user neglects to set "ASCII" mode for his/her Text

o  Many Apple II users seem to feel that, because "Binary Up"-- an
option which adds a Binary II header-- is available on their telecom
program, it should be used for all transfers. It is best to turn OFF any
Spectrum (ProTerm, etc.) option which adds a Binary II header. (Also,
you should _not_ use GS-ShrinkIt's option to add a Binary II header.)  A
Binary II header renders a file useless until the header is stripped
off; so, for example, any Text file with the header will be un-readable
by a PC. If a downloader does not have an A2 telecom program which
automatically strips off the header during NULL modem transfers (or if
"Binary Down" is turned OFF), the Text file will look like garbage on
the Apple II as well.

o  Too many old-time Apple II users still insist upon doing a binscii
conversion of all .SHK files before uploading them. When, as sometimes
happens, a binscii'd .SHK file is uploaded as an ".SHK" file,
downloaders end up with a ".SHK file which ShrinkIt cannot unshrink".
Except for uploads to text-oriented services like comp.binaries.apple2,
binscii is not necessary on the modern internet.

o  Sometimes, a user will NULL modem an Apple Text file to PC using a
block transfer protocol (like Z-modem) and, then, upload the file as
Text intended to be readable on-line. Such a file will, usually, be a
mess when viewed on a PC.

o  Mac owners sometimes use the Mac version of ShrinkIt to create a
".SHK" archive of Apple II files which is then uploaded to an Apple II
FTP site. The result is another 'mystery .SHK file' which Apple II users
cannot unshrink. .SHK files uploaded to an Apple II FTP site should be
created on an Apple II using an Apple II version of ShrinkIt.

     In short, most of the common uploading errors are the result of
carelessness or of doing something which is unnecessary. A good
uploading 'rule of thumb' is "Keep it simple".


005- What kinds of files should I upload to which sites?

  I. Ground, A2-Caltech, and most other Apple II ftp sites

     These sites prefer .SHK files for stuff intended to run or be
accessed on an Apple II. For example, a game which includes a program
file, text Readme file, and folder of pic files would be Shrink'd into
an .SHK file.

     It is best to Shrink even compressed picture, small binary, and
icon files and upload them as .SHK files because everyone is used to
dealing with .SHK files and the filetype of the Shrink'd file is

     ProDOS diskettes should, usually, be uploaded as a collection of
files in a regular .SHK file. This uses less space than a whole-disk
archive file.

     DOS 3.3 diskettes should be uploaded as whole-disk archive .SDK
files. (That is, you have an .SHK whole-disk archive but you change its
name to end with ".SDK".)

     Pictures and diagrams you want to be both useable on an Apple II
and viewable on-line should be converted to .GIF form (e.g. via Super
Convert) and uploaded in this form.

     If you have several pictures or diagrams you want to be accessible
off-line on an Apple II as well as a PC, Mac, etc., you can convert them
to .GIF form, place them all in a .ZIP file on your PC, and upload the
.ZIP file.

     All of the above would be uploaded in "Binary" mode. 

     Text which is intended to be readable on-line should be uploaded as
plain Text in "ASCII" or "Text" mode.

     Whenever you upload a game, utility, etc. to an ftp site, it's a
good idea to also upload a brief Text file with a description of the
uploaded item. For example, after uploading NARFGAME2.SHK (in binary
mode), you could upload a brief description in a Text file named
NARFGAME.TXT (in Text mode).

 II. Comp.binaries.apple2

     Programs, etc. posted to this newsgroup are normally .SHK files
which have been Binscii'd-- i.e. after Shrinking, the file is changed to
Text form via a binscii utility.

III. Asimov and other Apple II emulator ftp sites

     Upload files will, generally, be individual DOS 3.3 or ProDOS disk
image (.DSK) files created on an Apple II by DSK2FILE or ASIMOV. Upload
in binary mode.


From: Brian Hammack

006- How can I read & send email and newsgroup messages
     with my Apple II?

     You can use a program by Tom Larson named "2qwk!".  Many PC-based
BBS's and other servers have hidden among the door programs a
"maildoor," which will package all unread messages in a user's chosen
news groups and make them available for download as a single compressed
file, called a QWK packet. (Hence "2qwk", QWK access for Apple II; get

     So, you have a QWK packet sent to your machine, which takes a few
seconds to a few minutes depending on how fast the modem is and how many
messages there are. Then, you can go off-line and launch 2qwk!.
Selecting "Archiver" lets you start the utility of your choice (such as
Angel 0.81b, available separately) to unpack the QWK packet and return
to 2qwk!.

     Now, you may select "Messages" to view your news groups, scan
messages by author and subject, and, finally, read individual messages.
When you find a post that needs a reply, you can decide how much of the
message to quote and type-in your words of wisdom. You can also haul in
text from disk and, even, pick just the right tagline (snappy words at
the very end of many messages seen on-line nowadays). Naturally, 2qwk!
allows complete freedom to change a message title along with the group
to which it is to be posted and to originate new messages.

     When you are done reading and replying, you exit the program and it
creates a reply file, called a REP packet. The next time you connect,
you simply upload the REP to the maildoor. The maildoor will decide what
goes where and your messages will enter cyberspace pronto!

     To use 2qwk! you will need an enhanced Apple IIe, IIc, or IIgs,
with at least 128k RAM and drive space to hold the QWK data. The program
itself will fit on a 5.25" disk with plenty of room to spare. Of course,
the server to which you connect must have a QWK-compatible maildoor.
2qwk! runs under ProDOS 2.x. It comes with QuickFix, a program to patch
ProDOS, and other utility programs to handle MSDOS-legal names.


From: Richard Der

007- With a fast modem, how can the IIe connect to the internet?

     Get an Internet Service Provider that has the option of a text
based shell account. For email, Proline and METAL BBS's work well too.


008- I'm on the Internet and running the Lynx web browser.
     It dosn't look like Netscape Navigator at all. Where do
     I put in the URL?

     Type "g" which will bring up a URL dialog. You can then type in the
URL and hit return.


009- How do I download an .SHK file through Lynx? Selecting the
     link gives an unusable text dump.

     Just highlight the link, but do not press return.  Press "d" 
instead, which will bring up the download dialog.


From: Rubywand

010- Can I send and receive FAXes using my Apple II?

     If your Apple II is a IIgs, yes. There are two GS FAXing programs:
FAXination and PMPFAX.


011- What is a "Binary II" header?

     A Binary II header is a small block of code tacked onto some Apple
II files. Sometimes, this is referred to as a "binary wrapper". Mainly,
the Binary II header contains filetype information. The purpose of
Binary II is to allow Apple II users to download files and have them
show up with the correct filetype. (Otherwise, a downloaded file tends
to show up as a TXT type file.)

     In order for a Binary II header to be recognized and used to supply
the filetype info, the Apple II downloading software must have its
"Binary Down" option set to ON. The problem with this is that, at least
on a few popular telecom wares (like Spectrum), setting "Binary Down" to
ON will turn OFF Resume Transfer, something you probably do not want to
do when downloading over phone lines.

     When you use a PC or Mac to handle downloads and, then, NULL-modem
the files to your Apple, it makes sense to leave "Binary Down" ON for
the telecom program running on the Apple II. Resume Transfer is not
necessary because you have a direct, noise-free connection between two
machines. Meanwhile, Binary Down will automatically recognize and
strip-off any Binary II header and save the resulting file with the
correct filetype.


012- Should I add a Binary II header to files I upload? 

     In general, no. Binary II is an Apple-only device which, today, is
largely unnecessary and can cause problems. Virtually the only valid use
for Binary II is to retain filetype information for .SEA self-extracting
archives. (An .SEA file with a Binary II header is a .BSE file.) The
only file which really needs to be downloadable as a self-extracting
archive is GS-ShrinkIt. 


013- What is a "binscii" file and how are they used?

     The term "binscii" comes from combining "binary" with "ASCII".  A
file in binscii form has been changed so that it can be transmitted as
text to/from net servers and services which do not handle pure binary

     Today, practically all servers can handle pure binary transfers;
so, binscii is no longer in popular use. However, quite a few old A2
files are still in binscii form and binscii is used for files uploaded
to comp.binaries.apple2.

     To convert binscii'd files to their un-biniscii'd form, you can use
a program named "BINSCII" or, on a GS, the New Desk Accessory named
"GScii". These programs can, also, create binscii files.

Note: Binscii is in no way related to Binary II. Binscii changes the
entire file into Text. Binary II is just a small block of bytes tacked
onto the front of a file, mainly to identify the file's filetype.


014- What are .SHK files and how do I use them?

    .SHK files are the Apple II world's answer to .ZIP files in
PC-ville. An .SHK file is a file which contains one or more files which
are almost always in compressed form. Usually, they are produced by
GS-ShrinkIt (also called "GSHK" or "ShrinkIt-GS") or, on 8-bit Apple
II's, by ShrinkIt. Some .SHK files are produced by Macs and are not
compatible with A2 ShrinkIt programs.

     An .SHK file can be unpacked by ShrinkIt even if it shows up on the
Apple II with a TXT or BIN filetype. If an .SHK file has a Binary II
header, ShrinkIt will automatically remove it and assign the correct
filetype. (Of course, this will usually be SHK.)

     Other kinds of ShrinkIt files include .SEA and .SDK.  An Apple II
.SEA file is a IIgs executable self-extracting archive-- i.e. you can
click it on the GS Finder and it will unShrink. There are also Mac .SEA
files and these are not GS-compatible.

     A ShrinkIt disk archive is usually labeled ".SDK" to show that it
is a Shrinked diskette. A disk archive retains everything on the
diskette, including files, Catalog/Directory sectors, and DOS if
present. .SDK files can be archives of 3.5" or 5.25" diskettes. Most are
archives of 5.25" DOS 3.3 diskettes produced by 8-bit ShrinkIt. 

     8-bit/IIe ShrinkIt can be used to fully unshrink any .SHK file
_except_ .SHK files which contain files with GS/OS resource forks and
.SEA files. For this reason, 8-bit ShrinkIt should not be used to
unshrink .SHK files containing GS programs unless you know none of the
contained files has a resource fork.

     GS-ShrinkIt can handle nearly all kinds of .SHK and .SDK files. It
will not handle shrinked 5.25" DOS 3.3 .SDK files created by 8-bit
ShrinkIt. For this reason most users automatically use 8-bit ShrinkIt to
handle .SDK files of old 5.25" wares.

     Naturally, you can use the 8-bit and GS ShrinkIt programs to create
.SHK files. Since the unshrinking process is very speedy and since size
of a compressed .SHK file is, often, around half that of the original
files it contains, .SHK files are very handy for archiving your
software. Since an .SHK file also preserves filetype information of
contained files, .SHK has become the preferred format for uploading and
storing Apple II files on the internet.


015- Can I create .ZIP files on my Apple II?

     The GS can unZIP .ZIP files via PMPunZip; but, at present, there is
no Apple II utility for creating modern .ZIP files.


016- What are DSK "disk image" files and how do I use them?

     A "disk image" is a file containing everything on the diskette--
i.e. Catalog tracks, files, DOS (if present) etc.. Usually, they are
images of Apple 5.25" game, utility, etc. diskettes.

     There are several disk image formats. DSK files are disk image
files used by popular Apple II emulators like AppleWin to run A2 wares
on the PC or Mac. A standard 5.25" .dsk DSK file is 143,360 bytes in
length. Emulators treat DSK files like diskettes.

     DSK files are also a handy way to archive DOS 3.3 disks on hard
disk and to maintain old DOS 3.3 wares on Apple II ftp sites. On Ftp
sites, DSK files are usually in a ZIPped form to conserve space. For
example, on the Asimov site, narfgames.dsk.gz is a DSK file of the
narfgames disk which has been g-zip compressed. On a PC, WinZIP will
unZIP g-zipped DSK files into uncompressed form.

     On an Apple II, a DSK file can be converted to actual 5.25"
diskette form using DSK2FILE or (GS-only) ASIMOV. Most 5.25" DSK (.DSK
and .DO) files are of a DOS 3.3 or some related DOS disk. The target
diskette should be formatted for DOS 3.3. (or, it can be INITed) and you
should use the default DSK2FILE or ASIMOV "DOS 3.3 Order" setting. If a
disk image file has a .PO suffix, use a diskette formatted for ProDOS
and the DSK2FILE or ASIMOV "ProDOS Order" setting.

     Here is a quickie step-by-step guide for getting a 5.25" DSK disk
image file into useable form:

1. Download the file in binary mode from an ftp archive site via ftp://

2. If file length is not 143,360, use WinZIP or equivalent to unZip it.

3. Transfer the DSK file to your GS via Mac diskette or a NULL modem
transfer. One way or another, the file needs to end up on a ProDOS
diskette or ProDOS hard disk volume on the GS.

4. The vast majority of DSK files are images of DOS 3.3 diskettes.
Unless you have good reason to believe the DSK is an image of a ProDOS
diskette, format or INIT a 5.25" diskette for DOS 3.3. (If the DSK file
has a .PO suffix or if you have good reason to believe the DSK is an
image of a ProDOS diskette, format the target diskette for ProDOS.)

If you are using DSK2FILE, now is a good time to jot down the complete
path name of the DSK file (e.g. /RAM5/NARFGAMES.DSK ) because DSK2FILE
will ask you to type it in.

5. Insert the formatted target diskette into 5.25" Drive 1 (Slot 6).

6. Start DSK2FILE or ASIMOV. Normally, you will accept the defaults. (If
the DSK is a ProDOS image, select "ProDOS Order".)  

7. Select the "Image file ---> Diskette" option, follow prompts, and you
should end up with a good diskette.

     DSK2FILE and ASIMOV can, also, create DSK files from game, etc.
diskettes so long as the diskette is not copy protected. 


017- Where can I get ShrinkIt, Shrink (64k), Unshrink (64k),
     GS-ShrinkIt, binscii, GScii, BISCIT, TCHANGE, DSK2FILE, ASIMOV,
     PMPunZip, FileManager, 2qwk!, and GZPK? 

     You can download

 ShrinkIt v3.4 or later ("8-bit ShrinkIt") at ...
 Shrink (v2.1) for 64k Apple II's at ...
 Unshrink (v2.1) for 64k Apple II's at ...

 GS-ShrinkIt ("ShrinkIt-GS", "GSHK") at ...

 Binscii at ...

 GScii NDA at ...

 BISCIT ("BSC-It") at ...

 TCHANGE at ...

 DSK2FILE (recommend version 4.3 or later) at ...

 ASIMOV at ...

 PMPunZip at ...

 FileManager NDA at ...

 2qwk! at ...

 GZPK at ...


018- I have downloaded a bunch of files for the Apple II
     lately that are in a format called GZ.  I understand it
     is some variation of Zip but I don't have a translator for
     it on my GS. Does anyone know where I can find one?

     Files downloaded from Asimov, mod files, and some others are,
often, in GZ "g-zipped" format and usually have the .gz file name
extension (like narfgame.dsk.gz). If you download the files to a PC, you
can use the Windows version of PKZip (WinZIP) to unzip the file.

     Usually, once unzipped, an Asimov GZ image file will end up as a
143k DSK file. The file may be moved to your Apple via NULL modem and
converted to Apple-readable diskette form using DSK2FILE or (GS-only)

     If you download a GZ file directly to your Apple you can use a
program named "GZPK" v2 to convert it from gzip form to a zip format
which can be unzipped via PMPUnzip 2.0 or Angel. A GZ file from the
Asimov site should end up as a DSK file.


019- I've downloaded ShrinkIt but it comes in as a TXT file.
     Since I do not have a way to change filetypes on my,
     Apple II how do I get ShrinkIt going?
     You can download a file named "TCHANGE.BIN" and the directions for
using it from Ground's "Useful stuff" folder.

     TCHANGE.BIN is the original Roger Wagner BASIC Type Changer
filetype-changer program which has had a short machine code routine
tacked onto the front to make it BRUN-able. As explained in the
directions, this circumvents the Catch-22 situation of needing to
already have a filetype-changer program.

     Using Type Changer you can set the filetype for 8-bit ShrinkIt to
SYS or of GSHK.SEA (GS-ShrinkIt) to S16 and run the programs.


From: Slick

020- Which programs can change ProDOS filetype?

     I prefer More Info or Disk Witch, myself. I'll go through a list of
stuff on my hard drive to manipulate filetypes:

Alter (NDA)
Conchshell (CDA)
Disk Witch (CDA)
File Manager (NDA)
File Info2 (NDA)
File Info Edit (NDA)
Super Info II (NDA)
Utilities CDA (CDA), not very good

Finder Extras:
More Info

GS/OS Applications
Instant Access
File Passage

ProDOS 8
FAZ II (File Attribute Zap II)


From: Boris Guenter

File-A-Trix by Karl Bunker should do the job. Best of all, the latest
(and last) version 1.1.1 of this program is freeware.

Since I had a few troubles with the latest version, I have made both
version 1.1 and 1.1.1 available in the gs/utils/files folder on

Try them both and find out which version works best for you.


From: Tony Ward

I also prefer File-A-Trix. It performs a wide variety of functions
including copy, move, delete, rename, catalog, make new folder, set file
attributes (lock, unlock, filetype, auxtype), find file, format (floppy
only), view text, Teach and AWP files. Best of all, it's a CDA that
works from GS/OS and ProDOS 8, although there are some restrictions
under P8 (ie. no HFS disk access, no viewing forked Teach files, etc.)


From: Gareth Jones

I use either File-A-Trix, Change-A-File 4.20, or Deliverance (part of
the Salvation Utilities). 


From: Rubywand

     Some programs which can be used to change filetype are ...

Jeff Hartkoph's File Manager- a GS NDA which lets you change Type,
Auxtype, Date, and Access attributes. It is handy for modifying several
files in quick succession.

Paul Parkhurst's PMPunZip- a GS application which includes an option for
changing Type, Auxtype, and Access attributes. (In the File menu click
on Modify File Attributes.)

Glen Bredon's ProSel (ProDOS 8 utilities)

Roger Wagner's Filetype Changer- a vintage BASIC utility which lets you
change just the Type. A BRUN-able .BIN version is on Ground. (This is
good enough for getting the GS-ShrinkIt .SEA file's filetype set
correctly so that it can self-extract.)

From: Rubywand

021- How can I move AppleSoft BASIC programs to Quick BASIC
     on my PC?

     Transferring Applesoft programs on an Apple II to QBASIC, GW-BASIC,
etc. on the PC is mainly a matter of moving a text copy of the program
to the PC.  (To make a text copy of an Apple II program, you LIST the
program to a Text file.)

     On the PC, you  bring the A2 program text into your BASIC editor.
BASICs available on a PC are not 100% compatible with Applesoft. Once
you can list the Applesoft program on the PC under QBASIC (or whatever),
you will, almost certainly, need to modify it.

     It will be necessary to replace some Applesoft commands with their
PC BASIC equivalents. Some commands are very similar but differ slightly
in syntax; and you are likely to find that some conventions, such as the
numerical value of "True" from boolean tests, are different.

     The more an Applesoft program is "pure BASIC", the easier it will
be to get it working on a PC. Programs which employ lots of PEEKs and
POKEs, do monitor CALLs, and access other features specific to the Apple
II will be more troublesome.


From: Dan DeMaggio, Boris Guenter, Nathan Mates, Phil Abro, Rubywand,
      Labelas Enoreth, tturner

022- What do the different popular file name extensions, like ".BSC",
     mean and how do I access the files?

     File name extensions tell you what sort of file you are dealing
with so that you will know which program(s) to use to unpack, unShrink,
display, etc. the file. Many programs which create such files do not
automatically add an extension-- for example, most of the disk images on
the Golden Orchard CD are DiskCopy files with no name extension. Many
other programs which create files suggest a default extension as part of
the name-- GS-ShrinkIt generally suggests ".SHK"-- but, the user can
change this and save under any legal name desired. (One popular change
is using ".SDK" for ShrinkIt whole-disk archive files.)

     Some extensions indicate a filetype recognized by Apple II ProDOS;
but, often, the extension is just for user information or to help some
utility recognize the file as one it can deal with. For such files the
actual ProDOS filetype is usually TXT, BIN, or SHK.


        What is it?  (What program do I use?)
 .AAF   Apple Archive Format [TEXT] for source code (aaf.unpacker)
 .ACU   NuFX Applelink archive (ShrinkIt*)
 .ALU   usually a multi-file, non-compressed A2 archive (ALU)
 .APF   GS super-res "Apple Preferred" packed graphics format
       (Platinum Paint, Convert 3200, etc.)
 .ARC   PC Archive (GS-ShrinkIt* or DeArc2E or PC Arc program)
 .BMP   Windows Bit-Mapped graphics format (GS Convert 3200;
        many PC viewers)
 .BNX   NuFX with BLU header. (ShrinkIt*)
 .BNY   BLU archive. (ShrinkIt*)
 .BQY   NuFX with BLU header. (ShrinkIt*)
 .BSC   BinScii file. [TEXT]  (BinScii or GScii)
 .BSE   A GSHK* .SEA file with a Binary II header (ShrinkIt*)
 .BSQ   BinScii'd NuFX file. [TEXT]  (BinScii plus ShrinkIt* on
        the result)
 .BXY   NuFX archive with a Binary II header. (ShrinkIt*)
 .CPT   Compactor Pro archive (Compactor Pro on a Mac only)
 .DSK   standard emulator disk image (typical length: 143360) for
        5.25" software (A2 DSK2FILE and GS ASIMOV)
 .DO   "DOS Order" DSK file; same as standard .DSK file default--
        i.e. a DOS 3.3 disk image (A2 DSK2FILE and GS ASIMOV)
 .EXE   A2 Executioner file [TEXT]. (On A2; some files may EXEC
        properly under only DOS 3.3.)
 .GIF   Graphics Interchange Format: Compressed picture (IIGIF for
        //e; Super Convert, ... on GS; PC, etc.: many viewers
        and editors)
 .GZ    GZip PC archive format often used for storing A2 emulator
        disk images (GS GZPK v2 plus PMPUnZIP or Angel; PC WinZIP)
 .HQX   Mac BinHex file. [TEXT] (BinHex on Mac or GScii)
 .HTM   HTML [TEXT] with embedded Text commands (Web
        browsers, web editors, etc.)
 .IMG   Type IMG or "user #7" Copy II Plus disk image file (A2
        Copy II Plus v6.x or v7.x)
 .IMAGE, .DIMG, .IMG  DiskCopy disk image file (GS Clone or Diskcopy)
 .JPG   PC JPEG hi-res, hi-color graphics format (GS JPEG.VIEWER,
        etc. B/W only or PC, Unix viewers)
 .LBR   a multi-file, non-compressed A2 archive (Librarian)
 .LHA   LHA Archive (PC/Amiga LZH program)
 .LZH   LZH Archive (PC/Amiga LZH program)
 .NIB   emulator disk image (typical length: 232960) for protected
        5.25" software (A2 Saltine's Super Transcopy)
 .PCX   PC graphics format (GS Convert 3200; PC many viewers)
 .PD    compressed GS multi-palette graphics file w/o
        palettes (GS SuperPac)
 .PNG   PC PING hi-res, hi-color graphics format (PC viewer)
 .PO   "ProDOS Order" DSK file; typically a DSK disk image of a 
        5.25" ProDOS disk (A2 DSK2FILE and GS ASIMOV)
 .PS    compressed GS multi-palette graphics file with
        palettes (GS SuperPac)
 .QQ    BLU archive.  (ShrinkIt*)
 .SDK   ShrinkIt disk image, usually NuFX-compressed (ShrinkIt*)
 .SEA   Self-extracting A2 ShrinkIt* or Mac ShrinkIt archive
        (depending upon kind, run on Apple IIgs or Mac)
 .SHK   usually an A2 NuFX-compressed archive; non-A2-compatible
        Mac .SHK archives also exist (GS ShrinkIt* / Mac unshrinker
        utility / PC Nulib-- does not extract GS resource forks)
 .SIT   Mac StuffIt archive. (Stuffit on Mac or GS ShrinkIt)
        GS-ShrinkIt will not decode StuffIt Deluxe files.
 .TAR   Unix Tape Archive (Unix tar with -xvf option, GS EXE tar)
 .TGZ   Gzipped .TAR file
 .uu    Unix uuencode file [TEXT] (//e uudecode, Unix uudecode)
 .uue   Unix uuencode file [TEXT] (//e uudecode, Unix uudecode)
 .TIFF  Graphics format (GS SHR Convert)
 .TXT   [TEXT] An ASCII text file (Text editors,
        word processors, etc.)
 .UU    Unix uuencode file [TEXT] (A2 uudecode or Unix uudecode)
 .UUE   Unix uuencode file [TEXT] (A2 uudecode or Unix uudecode)
 .Z     Compressed file (GS-ShrinkIt or Unix uncompress)
 .ZIP   PC Zip Archive (GS PMPUnZIP or UNZIP [GS Shell EXE]
        or PC WinZIP, PKUNZIP, Unix unzip)
 .ZOO   PC Zoo Archive (GS-ShrinkIt??? or PC ZOO program)

* Note: GS-ShrinkIt (= GSHK) can handle all ShrinkIt files except
       .SDK (shrunken disk) files of 5.25" DOS 3.3 disks created by
        8-bit ShrinkIt. 8-bit ShrinkIt does not work for GS
        files having a resource fork or GS .SEA files.


From: Apple's ftp site ...

Most files are in one of a few common formats, and many are a

 .sit    StuffIt 1.5.1 archives
 .hqx    BinHex 4.0 file
 .bin    Binary file
 .image  DiskCopy 4.2 image file
 .txt    plain ASCII text file
 .bsc    Apple II BinSCII file
 .shk    Apple II ShrinkIt file

     Most of the Macintosh files are BinHexed StuffIt files.  This means
you need to transfer the file, then read the license agreement which is
prepended to it (with any text processor), use BinHex or any utility
which can read BinHex 4.0 files to decode the BinHex to a StuffIt
archive, then use UnStuffIt or the StuffIt Expander (or any other
utility) to decompress the .sit file into the final file.

     In some cases the final file is a .image file. These are exact
duplicates of floppy disks (with verified checksums). Use DiskCopy to
convert these files into floppy disks for installation. Some Apple
System Software is in this format.

     Most of the Apple II files are either straight text or BinSCII'd
ShrinkIt files. This means you need to transfer the file, then use
BinSCII to convert the .bsc file to a ShrinkIt file, then use ShrinkIt
to create the final file or disk.

Note: Apple calls their BinSCII'd .SHK files ".bsc" instead of ".bsq".
It is fairly common for uploaders and ftp sites to tag any BinSCII'd
file as ".bsc". The rationale is that, once a user un-BinSCII's a file,
he or she will find an .SHK, .ZIP, etc. file and know how to continue.


From: Dan DeMaggio

023- How do I tell what kind of file this is?

Here is a simple guide to help you identify a file. You should always go
by filename extension first, but not everybody uses those. In Unix, you
can use the 'head' command to look at the first couple of lines of a
file. If it turns out to be a binary file, you may be in for a surprise.
You may want to use the Unix 'file' command to find out if it is a text
file or not first. Once you have identified the file, check the earlier
info on filename extensions for how to deal with it.

If there are lines in the file that look like this (there can be other
text before it--search for 'FiLeStArT'):


then you've got something encoded by BinSCII. You must decode _all_ the
parts using BinSCII before attempting to extract using ShrinkIt.

On the other hand, if you have a binary file which resembles:

NuFilei][![/#NuFX_<:c[[[ H`F-fGSCII~[

then you have a NuFX file (note the key words NuFile and NuFX).  You
should be able to extract the files it contains using ShrinkIt.

On the third hand, if you have a text file which resembles:

begin 666 nonsense.bny
M4W5N3U,s4F5L96%S92 T+C$s\%-$4U0V,"Ds(SsZ(%1U92!/8W0s.2 Q,CHS
M...3HT.2!%1%0s,3DY, HT

then you have a uuencoded file.

On another hand, if you have a text file which begins with

(This file must be converted with BinHex 4.0)

then you have a BinHex file. The GScii NDA by Derek Taubert decodes
BinHex files on an Apple IIGS. You can also use a variety of macintosh
programs to do the decoding. There is also a Unix implementation of
BinHex called mcvert.

On one more hand, if you have a text file which resembles:

E00:38 A5 FF D0 32 D8 20 8E FD AD 30 BF 8D 6A 0E 20 00 BF C7 6D 0E 0D 80

E18:D0 1D 20 00 BF C5 69 0E B0 15 AD 81 02 29 0F AA E8 8E 80 02 A9 2F 8D

and more lines like that, followed by a bunch of lines that look like:


then you have an Executioner file.


From: tturner, Rubywand, Greg Buchner, Labelas Enoreth

024- How do I use Copy II Plus to create and convert IMG files?

     First, to the best of my knowledge, IMG type disk image files are
created only by Copy II Plus versions 6.x and 7.x. The feature was gone
by version 8, for sure.

     To create an IMG file you COPY--> DISK to an over-size target
volume. Versions 6 and 7 will create a type "IMG" file instead of
complaining about a "size mismatch" (which is what other versions of
Copy II Plus do). It is fairly common to end the name of the new IMG
file with ".img".

     Doing the opposite lets you convert an IMG file back to diskette.
That is, you select the COPY --> DISK option and pick the large volume
with the IMG file as Source and a blank unformatted 5.25" diskette in
the Slot 6, Drive 1 drive as Destination. You pick an IMG file on the
Source volume and it is transferred to the diskette.

     By the way, IMG files are not compatible with DSK2FILE or ASIMOV
and will not work on emulators such as AppleWin. Also, not all files
ending with ".img" are Copy II Plus disk image files. I have seen ".img"
(and ".image") used for DiskCopy disk image files.