Menu “Other actions” and database AppleWorks

The database in AppleWorks is 99 percent similar to QuickFile, development by the same author. Differences from QuickFile is a database in AppleWorks is much faster and smaller.

From this place in the text and at the end of it, refers to AppleWorks “AppleWorks for the Apple II”. Why is it necessary to specify, see in the beginning of the series.

The beginning of immersion in AppleWorks here.

Menu “Other actions” and work with the file system

In the menu “Other actions” 7 items:

  • Change the active disk drive (the disk on the old computer language – diskette) or the file path
  • Show list of files on the disk
  • Create a subdirectory
  • To delete files from disk
  • To format a blank floppy disk
  • To select the location of the standard file allocation on disk
  • To configure the printer

The first and the sixth command are linked by shared themes, will tell about both at once.

When you run the program it was necessary to specify the location in the file system where it could place its own files, where to save the files from the desktop and for all other purposes. This place was called the “standard directory”, the path to this place was preserved after exiting the program (even non-standard).

In the process, for the needs of the moment, the user can select the location (disk and path of the file) to save your files, and other needs is called the “current drive and path to files”. This setting when you exit the program forgotten.

The first two teams accordingly, change “current location” and “place” file location.

The second command displays a list of files on the “current” disk. On 5.25-inch floppy disk in ProDOS format files could be up to 51, just in case more of them than fit on one page, provided the operation is “More”.

The third command creates the subdirectory. In ProDOS hierarchical file system, with unlimited level of nesting. On Macs at this time, these directories have not yet been.

The fourth command self-explanatory.

And with formatting floppy disks is clear, though, many of my readers never did. This operation is resorted, for example, in cases when the disk was formatted in DOS 3.3. From the point of view of ProDOS and AppleWorks are the floppy disk was “empty”.

Setting up printers is all too clear: it’s a lot of possible parameters, some of which in our days is not enough.

Database, limitations, and General information

What was called in AppleWorks database, in our days more like a table in a relational database. A real DBMS in the then the personal computer, even in the biggest and advanced by the standards, to push was impossible.

The recommended amount of memory for AppleWorks – 128 kilobytes, but the program steadily worked under 64. Only memory is a little lacking.

AppleWorks database is really similar to a fragment of the spreadsheet. The same columns, the same “row” and “cell”. Only strings are called records and the columns (in the current database “fields”) – categories.

The Apple IIe and Apple IIc 8-bit computers. For those who wrote programs for them, was limited on all sides. However, the most valuable masterpieces of art were created during those years, when artists, almost under pain of death, were forbidden to paint anything but the biblical scenes and heroes. They poured out in these scenes and characters all the pain and all the hopes of the soul, putting in each movement of the brush the whole world.

The programmers of those years, created masterpieces, otherwise it does – but the possibility of these masterpieces were limited to architecture.

With any amount of memory in AppleWorks database records could not be more than 1350. In reality, it was sadder: when 64 K of RAM, their number could not exceed 140, at 128 K – 750.

Other limitations are not dependent on the amount of memory:

  • the number of categories is not more than 30;
  • the maximum record length is 1024 characters;
  • the maximum length of the value record is 76 characters long.
  • the maximum length of a category name – 20 characters.

Outwardly the database in AppleWorks is a file of type “Data Base”. It kept its structure, the values of all its entries, settings, forms and reports and some other data.

All you can do with the database, reduced to two groups of operations: “View/Add/edit” and “Reports”.

A database is a type of file. Birth and death

Regardless of what was stored in the database and how it was used, apparently it was the normal file. A file of type “Data Base”.

Like any other file in AppleWorks to see what to add or change it, you first need to create it. For this important mission meets the first command in the Main menu. The database file is either created from scratch or imported from the outside world – supports multiple “foreign” formats.

Import was complicated by one fact: AppleWorks worked with the media only in ProDOS format. The reading presented on the “wrong” media was not that impossible (programs for this was in abundance), but takes time, which most irreplaceable resource in the world. But AppleWorks was not much difference between the carriers for DOS 3.3 and MS DOS.

When you create a database from scratch, the user had to determine its structure.

The interface in which the user has no ability to spontaneously change the course of events, not as bad as it seems. Like someone wise and knowledgeable leads, not allowing distractions. Very similar to the Wizard s or Guide’s on Windows and Mac OS.

First you need to call the database file. The alternative is to stop creating the file. In the file name were allowed to use only Latin letters, digits, dots and spaces. The file name could not start with a digit and contain more than 15 characters.

Then AppleWork required to define and name a category. First she created without guidance from the user, as in any database must have at least one category. Newborn the first category was called Category 1. To change it could be on anything (Latin, spaces, or numbers, but not longer than 20 characters, the figure in the beginning of the name is invalid) and how you want. The user is recommended to enable replace mode (Overstrike, other OS Overtype) team Apple-E and seal the inherent name of their own. Approval of the name by pressing Return.

This creates a new category, Category N, where N is its sequence number. To score, press Return and so on until the end. By adopting the latter category a new database, I had to press Escape. Category created after the last Return has self-destructed, and the database was ready to receive data.

AppleWorks was very liberal. Even if the database was already recording, it was possible not only to rename the names of the categories, but add new ones, delete those that are already there, rearrange them.

Was the database AppleWorks feature, is able to severely punish someone who considered himself smarter than everyone else and didn’t read the documentation. If the category name was a combination of the letters “date” or “time”, the values of these categories was converted into the representation of a date or time in standard AppleWorks. If you convert the value was impossible, the program started beeping nasty error, not allowed to continue the data entry.

For any number of categories to specify default values. At any time, this setting can be changed or cancelled.

If the category value in the created record is the same as in the previous one, enter it was optional, it was enough to enter the Apple“. Quote.

And to kill the database file was, as in the case with men much easier than just the file had to be removed from the desktop (if it was included) and remove the disk. And that’s all.

Form, search and other life

The word “form” can be misleading. In AppleWorks it’s just a way to represent database records on the screen, and only has two. Single-Record and Multiple-Record. Form to display one record and to display them in a tabular format, as you can fit on a small screen.

To switch between forms, use the command Apple-Z, that is, “to increase”. If the screen “smaller” show records in table form, the Apple-Z will deploy an entry in the “enhanced” form, if on the contrary – on the contrary.

In Multiple-Record you can select categories to display on the screen. More than 4 or 5 categories just don’t fit. Of course, the data in the records does not suffer, and at any moment the form can be reconfigured to display the same data differently.

How were entered and edited by data will only say one thing: it is convenient and nice, though without much spontaneity.

Database is a place where data is stored. But its main purpose lies elsewhere: in the extraction of enormous amounts of information to that which meets some criteria.

The database in AppleWorks is not supported by SQL, but you could change the rule of selection of records (to display on the screen). To change the rules of selection of the records was enough to enter the Apple-R, and instead the rule “All records”, i.e. “show all”, ask their own.

Select category as selection criterion, choose from the list the type of comparison and if the comparison was not “Is blank” or “Is not blank”, specify the value for comparison. To enable the new rule was enough to press Escape.

In the selection rule to specify up to three expressions joined by logical operators And and OR.

To return to the show only or to change the criterion was no more complicated: Apple-R and either include “All records”, or editable the existing selection criteria, or create a new one.

In addition to the Apple-R was still and Apple-F searching for combinations of letters in all categories all entries.

Entries can be placed in a certain order. Rupert uses the term “arrange” is “sort”, meaning “to sort”. Predefined sort orders: A->Z, Z->A, 0->9 and 9>0. Simple, clear, suitable for almost all occasions. In addition, to sort the records it was possible for the provisional values in forward and reverse chronological order.

Control sort included Apple-A. Maybe because of this and uses the term Arrange, as the combination of Apple’s already busy with the Save command.


The most important art for us is beautifully composed report. It’s just a movie, and the circus, and all the other delights of civilization.

Reports in AppleWorks were of two basic types: “table” and “category name”, that is, variations on the theme of Single-Record and Multiple-Record forms. Only in the reports by both these methods output all records included according to the selection rule.

In the database file could be stored up to 8 reports settings. In the settings were asked which of the categories in which sequence are displayed for each record whether the headers for the categories and how they are called in the report.

In our days there are much more subtle, but products of AppleWorks quite professional even by today’s standards.

In reports you could create a calculated category. Up to 3 fields.

For use in calculating category names do not fit. Therefore, the first 26 categories in the database were contacted by letters of the Latin alphabet. The first (one) was A, the second B and so on.

In a calculated category, stored formula, for example A x 0.05 + A, or 1.05 x A.

Categories could be 30 letters in the Latin alphabet 26. What about the categories from the 27th to 30th? And in any way. They could not be used in calculations. If the category number 28 (for example) I had a bloody nose in them to use anything other than transferring to one of the first 26 positions to help the situation was impossible. After this was recommended to check all the formulas in all reports.

In addition, there was a function to group values and calculating the totals, but it is much more trivial.

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