Forum etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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Beagle Bros

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    Beagle Bros

    (Copied from Wikipedia; feel free to edit and add to this article, and then remove this notice.)

    Beagle Bros was a software company that specialized in creating personal computing products that were both useful and whimsical. Their primary focus was on the Apple II family of computers.


    Beagle Bros (the lack of a period at the end is intentional; according to the company, "there wasn't room") was founded in 1980 by Bert Kersey and expanded over the years to include a wide variety of staff members, programmers, and designers. Whereas most software companies focused on professional users and business systems, Kersey founded the company with the intention of supporting the "hobbyist" users who had sprung up when affordable personal computers were made available to the general public.

    As a result, much of the Beagle Bros product line consists of software that put the creative power in the hands of the user or expanded popular products of other companies. Apple Mechanic allowed users to create their own shape tables (an early form of sprites) to create their own games, DOS Boss let users patch the disk operating system, and Beagle Bag had a number of simple but fun games written in BASIC that budding programmers could also list out and learn from. In the early days, every Beagle Bros order also included a "Peeks, Pokes, & Pointers" chart, a wall poster that budding Apple hackers could use as a reference for the memory locations that did useful things on the Apple II. The company also later released a Big Tip Book containing many programming tips for Apple hobbyists and also published a Tip Disk. The company took great pride in not copy-protecting their software.

    When the Apple IIgs was released, Beagle Bros was among the first companies to release high-quality packages that took full advantage of that computer's capabilities. Both Platinum Paint and BeagleWrite GS (acquired and repackaged) are still regarded as being among the high points of commercial IIgs software.

    Beagle Bros reached a new audience when they began producing add-ons for the AppleWorks integrated package. Their first AppleWorks add-on, released in 1986, was the MacroWorks keyboard shortcut utility by Randy Brandt. Beagle Bros programmer Alan Bird later devised an API for creating AppleWorks add-ons, which they dubbed TimeOut. The company produced an extensive and ever-expanding line of TimeOut products. TimeOut programmers Alan Bird, Randy Brandt and Rob Renstrom were tapped by Claris to develop AppleWorks 3.0, and the TimeOut API itself became a part of AppleWorks with version 4.0 (created by Randy Brandt and Dan Verkade; released by Quality Computers). Eventually the TimeOut API was made public and a number of non-Beagle TimeOut applications were released.

    The end of an age came in 1991 when then-owner Mark Simonsen licensed the Beagle Bros Apple II line to Quality Computers. Quality Computers subsequently went through several acquisitions and no longer exists. However, many Beagle Bros "classics" were released as freeware[1] in the mid-1990s, including most of the company's early utilities and games. Today, their programs are available[2] on the Internet.

    BeagleWorks, the company's main Macintosh product, was licensed to WordPerfect Corporation in 1992, where it became WordPerfect Works. This product was later discontinued after WordPerfect was acquired by Novell. The company also produced a few small Macintosh and PC utilities.

    Many former "Beaglers" have continued to be involved in the software industry; for example, Joe Holt is one of the authors of iMovie, and Alan Bird has worked on Eudora and was the author of the OneClick shortcut utility for Macintosh. Randy Brandt created Online Army Knife, an award-winning Macintosh spell checker, and continued publishing AppleWorks products through his JEM Software spin-off. Mark Munz created Deja ][, which allows AppleWorks to run under Mac OS X. The company's founder, Bert Kersey, started a model train company after selling Beagle Bros, featuring much of the same humor, but is now retired and living in Fallbrook, California with his wife Sharon and a backyard full of barn owls.


    Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Beagle Bros was their use of vintage woodcut art in their print material. While many computer and software companies in the 1980s aimed for flashy, high-tech logos and advertising, Beagle Bros cultivated a nostalgic, down-home feel in keeping with their intended mission of creating software that was welcoming to inexperienced computer owners.

    Humor permeated Beagle Bros products, even extending to the warning label printed on their 5.25" disk jackets. Unlike most disk care labels, which warned that magnets, water, and high temperatures could damage disks, Beagle Bros' warning icons admonished users not to use their disks as kites, fold them into paper planes, set fire to them, or feed them to alligators.

    Another delight was the "two-liner" computer programs that peppered Beagle Bros advertising and mailers. Each new Beagle Bros communication contained one or more Applesoft BASIC programs tucked away in speech balloons or whitespace. The two-liners were always nigh-impenetrable, yet extremely clever, little programs that showcased unusual tricks or capabilities of the Apple II. At first these were written by Kersey himself; later, users began submitting their own. Eventually, almost every Beagle Bros release came with a selection of these "miniprograms" either on disk or in the box inserts.