//c+ switch settings, QWERTY/Dvorak (was Re: IIc+ mouse `A+ Little Mouse')

From: Sellam Ismail <foo_at_siconic.com>
Date: Fri Aug 30 15:40:01 2002

On Fri, 30 Aug 2002, Derek Peschel wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 30, 2002 at 02:32:30AM -0700, Sellam Ismail wrote:
> > > > If I recall correctly, the seminally useless 40/80 column switch on the
> Does that mean "useless from the time when it was created" or "useless and
> spreading its uselessness to all its descendants"? :)

Both I guess. It didn't actually change the display. It was supposed to
be a way for the user to indicate their screen width preference. It
basically set a flag in memory (a so-called "soft-switch") that
applications could choose to honor or ignore. I can't recall any
application that ever honored it for any reason. Maybe a word processor
was made that did, but I don't know about it.

It's a stupid switch. Either your program sufficed with 40-columns or
80-columns. If you had 80-columns and you were a word processor, why let
the user type in 40-columns instead? Maybe they were using a TV, but that
was their fault. Go buy a monochrome display. The switch is complete

> Do you know of a program that actually read that switch? The expansions
> that made the ][+ into the //e and //c were rather complicated, and yet not
> complete enough (I wish they had made all the soft switches readable --
> I hate write-only registers).

Yes, it would have been nice in some (very very very) rare instances to
know what graphics mode you were in, for instance. Or what bank of memory
you were in. Mostly from a cracking standpoint I guess.

> No, but I do know that the same feature existed on the //e (i.e. before
> the //c came out) but it was only accessible by changing internal
> wiring. I read about this in an issue of Call A.P.P.L.E. which (of
> course) I no longer have.

Wow, crazy. I never knew that, or even heard of it. In fact I want to
see a source before I believe it :)

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at www.VintageTech.com *
Received on Fri Aug 30 2002 - 15:40:01 BST

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