ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Nailing It —

Quag7, one of my contemporaries and collaborators, absolutely nails how to put up an informative webpage about a technically geeky and nostalgic subject. (Archive) I thought I’d spend a little time describing what about this page I like so much that makes me think of it as an absolute nailing, so it might explain other choices I make in what interests me.

It is as much about what it is not than what it is. What it IS is vastly informative layout of the requirements and procedures to turn an Apple II into a serial console for a Linux box. What it IS is a collection of informed, carefully-written steps of what was necessary to pull this off, with links galore to other locations to get context or parts. It is generous in its attribution of other sites, and is heavily, heavily illustrated all along the way.

What it is NOT is caked with ads, brimming with “AdSense”, sprayed with Javascript or dingy with poor formatting to make way for banners, heavy “site brand” graphics and worthless popups. It is so easy to forget, especially if you’ve had to load your browser software with a myriad of plugins to remove these things, that there aren’t any on this page in the first place. You begin with a declaration of making an Apple IIe into a serial terminal, and you end with that. It is what it says it is. It is not trying to sell you parts or give you sex bomb abilities or damage your retina with flash-based advertisements. It is merely trying to inform.

On the actual level of the content, I am even more delighted. This is how to revitalize an Apple II, give it powers and meaning for a contemporary usage, while still maintaining the scope, feel and meaning of what the box was built for. It is providing information, it is giving you a clean and clear ability to input information, and it is benefiting from the good aspects of the Internet. You can write mail here, browse aspects of the world wide web, telnet or ssh to parts unknown or even play games. It is the promise of what it was always meant to be, updated to not be left behind by the modern aspects of the world.

This is gold, this is what I search for, and reward. Bravo.

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  1. Hey Jason,

    I just blogged (re-blogged? Is that what the kids are saying these days?) about this whole Gentoo on Apple IIe thing. Thank you for finding it. See my blog post for an extra helping of nostalgia 🙂 Hope you are doing well.

    Best Regards,

    Psygnosis Technical Support


    Daniel Robbins

  2. Jason Scott says:

    Hey there, Dan. I’ll be writing a book soon on my times at Psygnosis and Focus, and you’ll be right in there!

  3. Shii says:

    Jason, you should look into the world of Gopher for a fresh breath of air. I’m sure you’re already familiar it, but I put up my own site recently to show what a model gopher should look like.