[Blindapple] Looking for catalog/menu program

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Thu Oct 24 02:58:14 EDT 2013

Hi all,

Thanks to the excellent and much appreciated work done by Jayson, I'm
finally getting back into Apple stuff again.  Many years ago, I found a Unix
emulator called A2 which works well enough, but only emulates the II+ and
had no Echo support.  In some regards, it's better because it's text only,
but as you know if You've played with enough Apple software, the II+ has a
lot of limitations not found in later machines, including no sound, at least
with the A2 emulator.  Anyway, now that MESS supports the Echo, I can play
with the IIe enhanced, which is the exact same as the actual hardware that I
still own, although it's in permanent storage.  It's nice to play some of
those old games again.  Asimov has almost all of the old software I used to
have, so it's almost like having my real Apple again.  It's especially nice
that the disks don't get damaged or lost as I can just recopy bad disks as
needed.  I am still missing Talking Riddles though.

Anyway, I've ran into a problem.  Back in the old days, I had various
catalog and menu programs which let me run a program from disk by pressing a
letter.  One was called cataloger and I'm sure it's on a utility disk
somewhere.  I'm not talking about the DOS and ProDOS catalog commands, I'm
talking about an actual menu system.  The problem is that a lot of disks
have a menu program, but I lose speech when I brun it.  I'm hoping for
something generic so I don't have to go into review mode to check program
spellings.  I've recently got several hundred disks from various public
domain collections and it's a real pain to catalog them every time.
Especially with the utility disks, there are many small files, so the
catalog goes on for a few screens.  With some of the games, they require
Integer BASIC which isn't a problem, but it would be nice to not have to
brun it every time.  I think Textalker takes over the memory that Integer
BASIC uses, so having a language card doesn't seem to matter.

Incidentally, if you haven't checked Asimov recently, there are a number of
large disk collections which might be of interest.  Jason Scott uploaded an
almost complete mirror of Asimov to the Internet Archive if you want
everything in a couple of archives.  I'm looking through the WAC collection
at the moment which consists of 486 disk images.  Not all are useful such as
the graphics and Apple III disks, but there are tons of games and utilities
included.  They also have some Eamon games, but you can do better elsewhere
for those.  There is probably such a catalog program on one of those
utilities disks, but with 38 to go through, it can be hard to keep track.
Some of the Apple III disks are interesting, even though useless.  I wish
there was a way to have speech in Pascal.

I found an Applesoft menu program which kind of does what I want, but
Textalker doesn't read the menu properly.  Apparently, it catalogs the disk
and assigns a letter to each program.  Textalker reads the catalog fine, but
not the letters to run the programs, so I still have to use review mode to
find the item I want.  Besides, it's kind of annoying because it tries to
load Integer into the language card every time, so there is a delay of a few
seconds upon startup.  I don't know of any kind of similar menu for ProDOS,
but there probably is one.  Do you have any ideas?

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