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Apple "BS Disk II" - very early Macintosh utilities

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de (135.95 KB)
MD5: 12bc98a1063f3858fb19dc1e0909b2bc
For System 1 - 5
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
BS_Disk_II.img (409.46 KB)
MD5: 5e08767622c670c75ea714c8a6eaf31d
For System 1 - 5
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
bsdiskII.sit (140.40 KB)
MD5: 2111d7e8eab5296c6bbefe088a13e0db
For System 1 - 5
This app works with: Mini vMac

A set of very early Macintosh utilities, including MacTalk files.

This is a disk that came into my possession containing what appears to be internal Apple development software from the Macintosh project, and/or from the software companies that worked on the Macintosh project, in 1983. The people I acquired these disks from claimed they met in college in Cupertino in the early 1980s, while one was doing a computer science degree, and working for Apple or a closely associated company on the Macintosh project.

First upload: zipped 400K MFS .dsk for use with emulators. Not Bootable. Works in Mini Vmac. Boot off of the "Macwrite Boot" disk I just released:
Second Upload: raw DiskCopy 4.2 .image (rename to .image)
Third upload: Stuffit 3 .sit archive containing the disk image, for copying, extraction and writing on a real Compact Macintosh. The machine and floppy disk drive will need to be capable of writing 400 Kilobyte MFS formatted floppy diskettes.

This disk contains "Talk demo" (which is identical in operation and even has the same date stamp as "MacTalk" on BS Disk I that I just released), and many other applications to demonstrate the early Macintosh speech synthesis.

I believe based on a usenet post someone helping me found (from May 1985) that this disk may be a copy of, or a release disk (i.e. from Apple internally before they released it to dealers), of a demo disk that was distributed very early on to dealers, that demonstrated the software speech synthesis as used during Steve Jobs unveiling of the original Macintosh.

My contact says:

"Well, I went digging on Google Groups and found some highly relevant
information... in a thread about Kate Bush.!msg/


J. Eric Roskos (May 17, 1985):

This reminds me of a question that has been bothering me for a long
time. Back when the Apple Macintosh personal computer first came out,
there was a demo disk distributed to various dealers, etc., of a voice
synthesis program (it's the one that had different names over the
early part of the product life, names like MacinTalk, MacTalk, etc.,
and I don't know the name it has now or had then). Included with it
was a little demo that recited the well-known "In the olden days,
before 1984, not many people used computers, and for a very good
reason: not many knew how, and..." story.

Well, if you looked in the text file that contained the text of this
message, there was a delimiting string at the end of the message,
something like "#####", and then some more phonetic text. If you took
out the "####", after it got through telling you about Apple, it would
start giving you a little talk about how the Fairlight CMI worked! Why
is this? Was that voice synthesizer made by the same people who make
the CMI? Or is there a version of it that runs on the CMI? or what?



"The programs in the "Assorted Junk" folder from your video have
surfaced before, but never all in the same place. Most if not all of
them were developed inside Apple."

"a lot of those Apple-created demos did openly
circulate back then:

• Bill Atkinson's Life, Steve Capps' Clock and an unfinished version
of Alice were included on the first two Boston Computer Society disks
in 1984; Alice was omitted when the disks were archived on CD-ROM.
• Alice was also uploaded to the net.sources.mac newsgroup in 1985,
causing a kerfuffle about its copyright status.
• MacBook by Arthur Naiman (1985) mentions SoundLab and Hendrix as
public domain software.
• SpeechLab and the "Pepsi Caps" Window Manager Demo appear in the
Berkeley Macintosh Users Group's software compilations.

But yes, it's much more likely that the disk came from inside Apple
than that someone meticulously collected all of those internal Apple
demos from separate sources and put them in a folder labeled "junk".

Of course, people are welcome to disagree.

Architecture: 68k


iwakurarein's picture
by iwakurarein - 2019, August 15 - 4:41pm

You are welcome. Thanks for your support.

If you read my description about the operation of "talk demo"/MacTalk, from the other disks, and the Macwrite boot disk, (to modify QD.text which is the phoneme script the programs read from to generate speech), then hopefully you know about its operation.

Well, last night while messing with files from the net on my Mac SE emulated hard disk, I installed an old "Talking Moose" desk accessory. It didn't work well under System 6, but- it included a handy phoneme reference DA! Its like a rosetta stone for MacTalk/talk demo and that QD.text file!

I will take and add screenshots of that to both of these releases today, as it will allow people now to make their own "QD.text" files using the phoneme codes that early MacTalk uses- allowing us to make it speak anything we want!

Pretty cool, eh?


24bit's picture
by 24bit - 2019, August 15 - 11:28am

Great! Thanks for this one too.