tl;dr – download all of the disk images and instruction sheets in one zip file here.
In the crowded and competitive marketplace of publications catering to the home and microcomputer market in the early 1980’s, publishers did everything they could to stand out on the book store magazine racks. One idea that proved immediately successful and was quickly adopted by all the major rags was the Disk of the Month.
For a few extra dollars tacked on to their annual subscription fee – or available as à la carte items advertised next to the back issues deals – readers could forgo the hassle of typing in each program listing that had appeared that month and receive a floppy disk pre-loaded with all the code, ready to run, and often a few extras not available in print, as well. The fact that hours of eyestrain caused painstaking character-by-character comparison between page and screen to track down that period mistyped as a comma in the haystack of thousands of lines of code could be eliminated to conveniently, made it for many an offer hard to pass up.
Publishers loved them too. They were easy to prep – once the master copy had been loaded with the digital articles and programs, a mass floppy copier took over and an entire run for a month could be handled mostly on autopilot. And since the disks were usually prepared late in the publication cycle, they could include corrections, updates and other last-minute information not available in the print copy.
Of course, nothing lasts forever and as the sun began to set on those early 8-bits and subscriber numbers began to fall, beancounters found this perk an easy cost-savings elimination. Today, much of the history of the early magazines that didn’t survive the industry shift to rule by the mighty Wintel cartel, can still be found in the musty textfiles on those diskettes known as “Disks of the Month”.
From the premiere issue in January 1983, publisher Bob Consorti included a disk option for subscribers. Floppies came in custom ON THREE jackets and were tagged with bright, reflective labels, and just filled to the brim on both sides with valuable Apple /// information. Later on, the fancy jackets and labels were dropped, and content was limited to the front side of the disk.
As far as I can tell, ON THREE mostly was able to stick to a monthly schedule with their disks, though there are holes in my collection and the last one I have is DOM #13, so I can’t be sure. It wasn’t 100% consistent – Disk of the Month #4 and #5, for example, both covered Volume 2, Number 1 of the print version.
Each DOM also came with a single sheet of printed instructions and tucked neatly into the floppy jacket with the diskette. I’m missing some of these..
I’ll have to take a closer look to be sure, but I don’t believe these disk images were included on the WAP DVD.
Disk of the Month #1: January 1983 and February/March 1983
Disk of the Month #1 covered the premiere issue in January 1983, with the back side of the floppy holding the programs from #2, the February-March issue.
- Disk Pak1, a utility to give an Apple /// user an extra 4 blocks of space on a standard floppy
- Key-Things, a suite of programs allowing a programmer to read the second byte of keyboard data
- Graphic Demos
- Disk Pak2: Directory Lister Unit. This Intrinsic Unit gives any Pascal program the ability to list the files on any directory or subdirectory. Thus, all programs written in Pascal can now give the user the option of seeing a complete file listing.
- Key-Things (Part2). These assembly language routines will enable your Basic or Pascal programs to easily determine the status of all the bits of the second byte of keyboard data. You will be able to tell when the user is pressing the shift key, when they are pressing any of the other modifier keys and much more.
- Bob’s Blocks. This simple little program shows how fast the Apple /// can display different colors on the screen. Just type in the program and enter ‘RUN’. This works best with a color monitor but is still okay without one.
- Bob’s Lines. Another very short program, it will draw lines on your graphics screen. It picks random endpoints for the lines so you will get a colorful straw affect. To use, make sure you have ‘/BASIC/BGRAF.INV’ on line.
- Bob’s Noises. Up to now we have used this column to show off the graphics capabilities of the ///. This program shows you some of the different sounds the Apple /// can make. Just type it in and enter the command ‘RUN’.
- FontDemo. This is a program designed to show off some of the fonts available on the Apple ///. It is not included in the print edition.
Disk of the Month #2: April/May 1983
** Thanks to Paul Hagstrom for providing this one.**
- CharDownLoad. This program will download the Apple ///’s screen font to an Apple Dot Matrix Printer or Prowriter. Files may be saved and then later retrieved for downloading.
- Disk Pak3: List_it – DOS_List_Stuff Test Program. This program uses the Intrinsic unit ‘DOS_List_Stuff’ to list the contents of any DOS directory. Note that you can define the number of lines to be listed per page. Thus, you can set a viewport and list the files according to the size of that text window.
- Re-Boot (Pascal version). This program demonstrates how to use the ‘MISC’ assembly language routine ReBoot from within your Pascal programs. After compiling this program, use the Linker to link the assembly language routine to this Pascal program.
- Misc. Utilities: SpeedBoot(Un)Lock. These assembly lanuage routines will enable your Basic or Pascal programs to re-boot the system without pressing Control-Reset, Lock and Unlock the Reset key to protect from accidental reboots, and slow down and speed up the speed of the computer.
- Re-Boot Invokable
- Dazzling Rectangles Graphics Demo. This short program displays a neat pattern of dazzling rectangles in full color.
- Moving Color In A Diamond Graphics Demo. This program will display a pattern consisting of a colorful diamond with colors constantly changing within it.
- Random Triangles Graphics Demo. This program will display a number of triangles of random size, in a variety of colors.
- Misc. Utilities: Documentation and Test Program. This program demonstrates how to use the “MISC” invokable module from Business Basic. You can now have the computer Re-Boot, Lock and Unlock the key, and slow down and speed up the microprocessor from Basic using simple commands.
- Re-Boot (Basic version). This program demonstrates how to use the ‘MISC’ invokable module from Basic. Any time you want to re-boot your system without pressing CONTROL-RESET, you can!
- Disk Pak3: DOS File List. This Intrinsic Unit gives any Pascal program the ability to list the files on any Apple ][ DOS diskette. * Original Pascal definition for the DOS file structure is from the November/December 1981 edition of Call-A.P.P.L.E. by Dr. Wo. All Apple /// changes and enhancements by Bob Consorti.
- DOSLISTS Intrinsic
- CDLOAD.APII. Apple DMP Custom Character Font Loader
- Fonts. Gothic ///, Gothic/// (Italic), Slant ///, Slant /// (Italic), Stop ///, Stop /// (Italic), Apple ///, Apple /// (Italic), Roman ///, Roman /// (Italic), Byte ///, Byte /// (Italic), Outline ///, Outline /// (Italic)
Disk of the Month #3: June/July 1983
* I’m missing the instruction sheet for this disk
- Keyboard Layout Editor. This program lets you edit and change the keyboard layout. You can now change the keyboard positions to suit your liking.
- Disk Formatting Utility (Pascal Version), Test Program. This program demonstrates how easy it is to use the assembly language routine from Pascal. Your Pascal programs can now format disks whenever needed and thus will not force the user to boot the System Utilities diskette to perform this function.
- Graphics Demos
- Disk Formatting Utility. This assembly language routine will enable your Basic or Pascal programs to format a diskette. You will never again have to force the user to boot the System Utilities Disk to format a disk. This routine will work equally well with Apple 140K disk drives and any of the Micro-Sci drives.
- Disk Formatting Utility (Basic Version), Test Program. This program demonstrates how easy it is to use the ‘FORMAT’ invokable module from Business Basic. Your Basic programs can now format disks whenever needed and thus will not force the user to boot the System Utilities diskette to perform this function.
- SpreadSheeting From Basic. An example of spreadsheet type input for Apple /// Business Basic using the screen control codes and window commands that are available in the system.
- Graphic Sketcher ///. This program allows you to draw on the graphics screens of the Apple ///, load and save pictures to and from disk in a very easy to use manner.
- HeadFirst. This is a program that prints headings for ‘.Printer’ output etc… Writen for the Apple /// and Epson MX-100.
- Ron’s Walking Man. This program shows how to do simple animation using the DRAWIMAGE procedure of BGRAF.INV and the TEN() function of BASIC.
- Graphing Demo. This program graphs functions of your choice on the GRAPHICS screen. See the program for details.
Disk of the Month #4 and #5: Volume 2, Number 1
#4 Sides 1 & 2
- Automating Access ///: Pascal Version. This program is a modified SYSTEM.STARTUP for the Pascal version of Access ///. It will autodial the numbers that you supply.
- Radiate. This menu driven program will present you with three colorful graphic demonstrations.
- Beatles. This program will sound out some of the favorite Beatles’ melodies of all time – on your Apple ///!
- PASCALCULATOR: Pascal UNIT. This Pascal UNIT enables your Pascal programs to give the user a calculator from within that program. Thus, users will not ever have to boot a Basic or VisiCalc disk simply to perform a simple calculation. This UNIT can be used from within any Pascal program to give users a new amount of flexibility and ease of use.
- PASCALCULATOR: Pascal Test Program. This Pascal program tests out the Pascal UNIT that enables your programs to use a calculator from within a program. Thus, you don’t have to boot a Basic or VisiCalc disk to perform a simple calculation.
- Apple ][ Patch. This program will alter an Apple ][ Emulation diskette so that you can install any Apple /// character set. You can now also have upper AND lower case letters in Emulation mode!
#5 Side 1
- Automating Access ///: Basic Version. This program is modified HELLO program for the Basic version of Access ///. It will autodial the numbers that you supply.
- Slots Of Fun: Ben’s SUPER Slot Machine. A slot machine game in Business Basic.
- Graphics Circling Demo. This programs draws a single circle and rapidly changes colors of parts of the circle.
- PFS.WPL. WPLs for PFS.
- Apple /// System Demonstrations : Read and Set the Clock/Calendar V 1.0. A bug-fixed version of Apple’s original Invokable for the Clock/Calendar Chip.
- Draw ON /// Picture Slide Show. This program will display pictures that Draw ON /// has created. Each DOM contains a variety of these pictures. To look at these creations simply insert the diskette with the pictures into any disk drive attached to your ///. The program will first look for FOTO files on the disk in drive #1. If it finds any, it will cycle through and display them.
#5 Side 2
- Draw On /// FOTO files. For use with the Picture Slide Show on Side 1 of this disk.
Disk of the Month #6: Volume 2, Number 2
Sides 1 & 2
- Business Basic Program Lister. This program produces formatted listings of BASIC programs that have been captured as Apple /// textfiles, using the CAPTURE utility or other means.
- Program Lister Documentation. Documentation for the Lister program
- Business Basic Capture Utility. This program will produce two EXEC files to capture Business Basic programs as text files on disk.
- Surface Graphics Demo. This program draws a 3-D surface on your Apple ///’s graphic screen. The surface looks much like a cowboy hat. This one can take some time, so RUN the program and take a coffee break!
- Easter Egg Graphics Demo. This program draws an n-sides polygon, stores the vertices in an array, then connects them.
- NOISEFINDER. This program lets you use the arrow keys and a joystick to vary the parameters to the Noise procedure. Using this program you will be able to find just the noise you are looking for and print out the parameters used in making that noise.
- Spirograph. Most people have seen spirograph patterns. One of the easiest ways to construct such designs is by the rotation of polygons. The following program rotates four such figures: an equilateral triangle, a square, a regular pentagon, and a regular hexagon. Each figure will stay on the screen until the user hits any key.
- Golfball. This program will draw a golfball on your /// drawing a series of rays from one point on the circle to other points on the circle that makes the golfball.
- Draw On /// FOTOs: HARD.DISKS, RAIDERS
- Fonts: Roman, Apple, Byte, Up-Down, Shadow, Wide, Outline, Lazarus, Greek, Math, Bold, Script, Bold Roman, English
Disk of the Month #7
Disk of the Month #8: Volume 3, Number 3
- CleanHeads. This program allows you to select the drive to be cleaned and the track to be used on the cleaning diskette.
- Directory Sort. This program allows you to change the order that files are listed on your disks.
Disk of the Month #9
* DOM #9 is a single-sided disk.
- Easter Egg Graphics Demo. This program draws an n-sided polygon, stores the vertices in an array, then connects them.
- Space Convoy Game. Your mission is to lead a convoy of ships through an asteroid belt around to planet Mobilia. You have just enough power for ten shots. But be careful. Fast firing may blow up the ship. Good Luck!
- Music Player. This program plays music which has been composed and saved using the Music Maker program.
- Music Maker. This program allows the user to compose music, play the composition to check for errors and then save the music to a disk file for later use.
- Energy Plotting Demo. This program allows you to chart and print out the amount of energy your house is using every month.
- Music Player Songs: Camptown Races, Shoofly, Somewhere Out There, We Three Kings, Love Makes the World Go Round, Release Me, Aloha, O Little Town of Bethlehem, We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Disk of the Month #10
Note: The included sheet of instructions lists side 1 as having Stereo Spiral, a graphics demo that will display a variety of 3-D spiral patterns on your screen; and side 2 as having Football Pool, a program to allow you to track your office football pools on your Apple ///. The disk itself, however, has different programs.
- Calendar. Calendar Module for the ON THREE Desktop Manager
- ListStuff. A program to help you manage your various lists (shopping, etc.)
Disk of the Month #11
* I’m missing the instruction sheet for this disk
- Audio.Demo, a program that demonstrates the tonal range of the Apple /// Audio driver. This program inputs a series of strings to the audio driver. The driver recognizes each string as a command to generate a tone. Each string consists of character numbers that represent Mode, Volume, Time, and Count of the tone. Only Count varies, to generate a series of higher and higher tones.
- Patches. A program that draws random-size colored squares on the Apple /// screen. It also works in monochrome.
- Recipe for A Menu. Create custom menus for your Apple /// programs
- A-Mazeing. This is a game that demonstrates how a maze can be created in Business Basic.
- Timeset. Set the Apple /// Date and Time from a Business Basic program. Originally by Apple Computer, and modified by ON THREE to fix a bug.
- Apple DMP – ImageWriter Graphics Printing Utility. This utility will provide you with the ability to print Apple /// black and white graphic images on either the Apple DMP or ImageWriter series of printers.
- Epson Graphics Printing Utility. This utility will provide you with the ability to print Apple /// black and white graphic images on the Epson series of printers.
Disk of the Month #12
* I’m missing the instruction sheet for this disk
- Aurora Borealis. A graphics demo.
- Color Diamond. A graphics demo program that draws colorful diamond designs
- Random Shapes. Creates a variety of shapes using straight lines
- Random Designs. Handsome shapes which look best on a color monitor
- Designer. This program creates beautiful patterns
- Web. A graphics demo program that weaves web-like designs on the screen
- Heap Sort. This program demonstrates a number of sorting techniques and routines
- Cross. A strategy board game for your Apple ///
- Text File Manager. Organize and manage your text files.
- Two Way Scrolling. This program loads the catalog into memory and scrolls up and down using the arrow keys.
- Pick It! This elegant program randomly selects lottery numbers for you
- Magic!! A magical puzzle game
Disk of the Month #13
* I’m missing the instruction sheet for this disk
* DOM #13 is a single-sided disk.
- US Geography. An educational game to teach you about the states and capitols.