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Updating ProSel,
"Norton Utilities" for the Apple II

by Brian G. Mason

Washington Apple Pi Journal, November/December 1999, pp. 92, reprint information

One of the most important programs an owner of an Apple II computer can have is ProSel, written by Glen Bredon. Before there was Norton Utilities, there was ProSel. This program, let me tell you, has pulled my bacon out of the fire many a time. It wasn't so important in the days of 5 1/4" disks to have a program that would repair your disk and salvage your data. With only 143K on a disk, if you lost your data, not much was lost. Your best and almost only solution was to keep backups. If your disk went bad, you threw it away.

But with the advent of 3.5" disks and hard drives, if a disk went bad, a better solution was required. The storage of data on disk became a lot more complicated. Keeping track of everything was a problem. Corruption of data on a disk could cause a business that depended on it untold problems.

There are two versions of ProSel. The first one written is now called ProSel8. It is written to work with Apple II+, IIc, and IIe machines that use the original ProSel operating system. The second was written after the Apple IIgs came out and only works with this machine. It is known as ProSel16.

These programs that Glen Brendon worked so hard to create were just recently released into the public domain. This is certainly of important news to anyone still using Apple II computers. These are programs that no Apple II user that uses a hard drive should be without. The only competitor I am aware of that offers anywhere near the utility that ProSel does is UtilityWorks for the IIgs.

There is just one problem. The ProSel programs are not Y2K compliant. After January 1, 2000, ProSel8's Mr. Fixit utility and ProSel16's Volume Repair will think that any file saved has an incorrect date-stamp. When they try to repair the "problem", the "fixed" files will display a date of 00/00/00. That is the bad news.

The good news is someone has addressed the problem. Beverly Cadieux, the publisher of the AppleWorks v5.1 newsletter, TEXASII, has made available revisions to the two programs that make them Y2K compliant. These repaired programs are NOT in the public domain. However, they are freeware and they can be downloaded from the TEXAS II site at http://members.aol.com/a2mg or from the WAP File Download Area.

If you currently do not have either ProSel8 or ProSel16, you will need to download the entire program, depending on which Apple II you have. If you already have ProSel8 version 4.0 or ProSel16 version 8.84, you will only need to download Mr. Fixit or the Start** file respectively. If you need the manuals, (and you do need the manuals), ProSel 8's 70 pages of documentation is available from Shareware Solutions II on either 5 1/4 or 3.5" disk for $4.00. Write Joe Kohn, Shareware Solutions II, 166 Alpine Street, San Rafael, CA 94901-1008. The documentation for ProSel16 is naturally twice as long as the documentation for ProSel8. It is available from Chuck Newby for $14.00. Write Chuck Newby, 9081 Hadley Place, San Diego, CA 92126-1523.

If you don't have downloading capability, you can purchase the programs from Beverly Cadieux for $10.00 each. Write Beverly Cadieux, 2503 Sherbrooke Lane, McKinney, TX 75070-4766.

**Please note: the file is named, Start, because it is intended to replace the Start file that come with the ProDos operating system, thus replacing the Apple IIgs Finder and making ProSel your program launcher. To go along with this scheme, it is best to rename the ProDos Start file, which is found in the System folder on your boot disk to Start.gs or something similar, before moving the ProSel Start file into the System folder on your boot disk. That way, if you ever change your mind, you will still have your old Start file available to use. If you do not want to go along with this scheme, rename the ProSel Start file to Start.ProSel or something similar. Then you can launch ProSel just like any application by double clicking on the Start.ProSel icon.

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Revised November 24, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters
Washington Apple Pi
URL: http://www.wap.org/journal/