Today, we have the Apple II Business Graphics package. I was surprised to discover that it didn’t seem to be archived in any of the places I looked, but it also turned out to be kind of a beast to copy. Even Apple-branded stuff back in the day was copy protected.
This is a complete set, at least according to the packing list. The only thing I haven’t scanned is the “How-To Sheet”, which is glued to the inside of the top cover of the box.
Here is the scanned documentation and paper that came along with it:
- Apple II Business Graphics Packing List
- Apple II Business Graphics Manual
- User Input Report Form
- Software License Agreement
- Apple II Business Graphics identification sticker
- Apple II Business Graphics slip cover
- Apple II Business Graphics disk images
The real coup here, actually, is that I finally managed to get disk images that seem to work in an emulator. It was no easy task. I first managed to get a bootable copy using Locksmith 5.0, and then tried a couple of different nibble disk transfer methods until I finally wound up using SST to nibblize the disks on actual hardware and then reconstitute the image in an emulator.
Virtual ][ seems only to like it in its half-track format (v2d), so accordingly, it only runs right now in Virtual ][. Maybe someday I’ll try it again—it is not flawless. Sometimes (randomly?) it bombs out with an I/O error and you have to reset the machine. But I tried it a little bit (nowhere near exhaustively), and it basically seemed to work.
Update: Thanks to Rich Thompson in the comments, I was made aware that Computist #48 has a softkey for this. The trick is that track #1 is unreadable on the original, and if it can be read, the program bombs out. So, I re-imaged the disk straightforwardly with ADTPro, converted it to a .nib file using Disk Muncher in the emulator (reading from the .dsk.po file, writing to a .nib file), and then went in with a hex editor and changed all instances of D5 AA 96 FF FE AA AB to D5 AA 96 FF FE FF FF, which effectively destroys track #1. The .nib file now boots fine, so I have replaced the disk images I’d had up before with these. Because the Computist softkey relies on using a magic volume number (005) to see if it’s dealing with the PLOT disk, and because the .dsk format doesn’t preserve the volume number, I have not gone ahead with deprotecting the disk, since it would have to be stored in a .nib file anyway.
I was previously having occasional I/O errors that would force me to reset, and I don’t know whether that behavior is gone or not (perhaps that even happened BITD). I haven’t stress-tested this new image, but I was able at least to recreate the plots I’d done without any errors appearing.