[an error occurred while processing this directive] ZEPHYR Magazine

                              T H E 
                      E S T A B  - L O I D
                  Issue #1             1-11-86
               Editor & Host Sysop - Gene Williams
            A weekly electronic magazine for users of 
                The Establishment BBS (894-6526)
               owned and operated by Thane Harris
                    Editor - Gene B. Williams 
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                            (c) 1986
     Those of you who have been around a while might remember 
The Evening Zephyr BBS and "The Zephyr Magazine." The magazine 
was a thing I would write and upload to the BBS each Saturday 
night or Sunday morning.
     Well, the Zephyr has blown off into history. Our illustrious 
sysop here on the Establishment has conned me into bringing the 
magazine back to life again, however.
     So, here it is.
     At the moment, we have planned to bring you a new magazine 
each week. Just exactly how well this will work out is largely up 
to you, the users. The only way it will work is if you get 
involved. There are several ways you can do this:
     1. Be sure to stop by The Establishment AT LEAST once each 
week to get the new issue. Then read the issue. It doesn't do me 
much good to write the magazine if nobody is going to be reading 
     2. Make comments and get involved with the discussions. This 
doesn't mean that I'm looking for, "Wow, that was a good issue, 
Gene!" comments (although they're nice, too.) I'm more concerned 
with getting you involved and talking. The one thing I ask is 
that you confine your comments to the issue topic. (If you have 
topic suggestions, by all means let me know.)
     3. SPREAD THE WORD! When you log into another BBS, be sure 
to mention the magazine - and The Establishment. To make this 
work, we need users and readers.


                            (part 1)

     I've started work on the fifth book in a series of books on 
computer maintenance and repair. During the research for these 
books I had to go through a number of manuals, and talk to quite 
a few people involved in the field.
     When I first got into computing I had the usual reaction 
when it came to thinking about fixing a malfunction. FEAR! I was 
under the impression that a computer is complex, requiring years 
of training and experience to understand its inner workings.
     If something DOES go wrong, chances are good that you can 
fix it yourself. All it really takes is a bit of time and a bit 
of thought.
     Most of the problems come from simply not taking care of 
your computer. You can prevent about 90% of all malfunctions by 
taking a few easy steps. The key is prevention. Take care of 
things BEFORE they happen and you'll have far fewer problems with 
your computer system.
     When was the last time you cleaned the disk drive heads of 
your computer? Or vacuumed out the inside of your printer. Or 
given your computer a snack of chips and DIP (switches)?
     At this point it might be appropriate to mention some of the 
differences between the various computers and to bring up some 
information that is not generally released to the public. There 
are some minor differences between the various makes.
     IBM is a huge corporation - the largest computer-type 
company in the world. It is company policy for the employees to 
do little things, such as to dress well, even if you're about to 
crawl inside one of their mainframes. This attitude has reached 
through into the design of their computers. Consequently, the 
IBMs have a tendency to have a "holier than thou" attitude. So, 
you don't dare spill an ordinary Coke or Pepsi down the keyboard 
of an IBM. Your computer will feel insulted and is almost certain 
to go into a temper tantrum pout and malfunction.
     When spilling things inside the IBM machines, be sure to use 
nothing but imported champagne - preferably French. That way you 
let your computer know that you care, and that you understand 
that the IBM comes from a higher society than other computers.
     The Commodore computers, on the other hand, come from a 
nautical background (hence the name). While the Commodores aren't 
offended by spilled Coke, they much prefer a good, hearty beer. 
Better yet, toss some foamy ale into the keyboard, or perhaps a 
bottle of rum (accompanied by a loud, "Yo ho ho").
     Commodore computers are also known to be somewhat partial to 
a thick butter sauce, especially when it has just a touch of 
garlic in it. If you happen to own one of the earlier Commodores, 
or any of the special "Official Commodore Diskette"s, sniff 
carefully and you'll smell the garlic. It was used to lubricate 
both the mechanical parts of the computer and to provide a nice, 
slick surface for the diskettes. The use of garlic as a lubricant 
also helped to keep vampires away, making C64s very popular 
overseas. (When was the last time you saw fang marks on a C64?)
     They had to abandon this practice, however. After a few 
months the end users were complaining that certain parts of the 
computer were being covered with mold, and that the odor was 
getting to be a bit much. Worse yet were the users who were fat. 
They reported difficulty in operating the computer since they had 
the constant and overwhelming desire to eat their computers and 
     Now, Apple computers weren't named "Apple" out of the blue - 
and certainly not out of the big blue. The original designer of 
the Apple circuitry was named Johnny. He would walk around the 
garage by the hour, reaching into his pockets and tossing tiny 
seeds at everyone in sight. The common story is that Apple moved 
out of that garage and into a larger building because the company 
was growing so quickly. Actually it was because a veritable 
orchard was busting through the concrete of the garage floor.
     Johnny's influence continues to this day. If your Apple II 
or II+ is acting up, try rubbing some sliced apple over the 
keyboard and across the motherboard. If this doesn't take care of 
the problem, it's possible that you computer have worms. Well, 
not YOU necessarily. But your computer might have them. The 
easiest way to get rid of apple worms is to pare out the CPU, 
blend in a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar, and then bake at 375 
for an hour.
     The IIe was Apple's attempt to break free of Johnny's 
influence. The idea was to make it possible to carry out normal 
maintenance and repair without having to slice fresh apples. They 
attempted to get all the apples out, but only managed to reduce 
it to using apple puree, or even apple sauce. For a memory 
problem, for example, with the II or II+ you have to rub in 
whole, fresh apples. With the IIe you need only open the cabinet, 
pour in 16 ounces of apple sauce and stir it around. Another 
advantage with the IIe is that no baking is required.
     With the Lisa they made one more attempt to get away from 
fruits. One day while playing Fifi, the engineer stumbled into a 
room just above the fireplace and met a cute little thing by the 
name of - you guessed it - Lisa! The original Lisa was apparently 
from the Black Forest, and quite a frau she was! All 512 pounds 
of her, and willing to let anything at all be plugged in. Hence 
the idea of building a "powerful" computer. Their only problem 
was that Lisa had a fondness for apfel struddle. Repair and 
maintenance of the Lisa by the end user is confined to the 
struddle, a pint of dark beer, and perhaps a shot of schnaps 
poured carefully over the serial port. Beyond that, Lisa is far 
too powerful and experienced for handling by the average person.
     Apple finally realized that they couldn't get the seeds out 
of the Apple, which is why they came back with the Macintosh. The 
attempt was to at least get a better, more edible, variety going.     
To help keep out the worms, they made the cabinet so that a 
special tool is required just to open it. (Sounds kinda like 
Lisa, doesn't it?) The best method is to load a squirt gun with 
some official "Apple Juice" (part # BN-CXZ4-143L97W12-M - $23.95 
per ounce) and place a few well-aimed spurts through the drive 
     Many people are under the false impression that TRS stands 
for "The Radio Shack." Actually it is an acronym for "Truly 
Reliable Sh@%." End result - you won't have to worry too much 
about fixing the thing. When you do, keep in mind that the TRS 
series is built for the common man. Nothing fancy is required. A 
simple Jumbo Jack will do it nicely. Quite often if the disk 
drive fails, all you have to do is to place the beef patty from a 
regular burger (with cheese or secret sauce, if you also need 
lubrication) in the disk drive and boot up. (Some people report 
that the beef patties are more reliable for storage of important 
programs than are diskettes from Radio Shack.)

     Keeping your computer clean is important. This is especially 
true of the drives. There is a mistaken belief that all you need 
to keep everything working right is to use one of the very 
expensive drive cleaning kits. These kits are fine for cleaning 
the head (and there won't be a funny man in a rowboat shouting at 
you), but they completely ignore the fact that dust is one of the 
major enemies of anything mechanical.
     Instead of trying to clean the head only, take the entire 
computer into the shower with you. This is an excellent time for 
you to REALLY get to know your computer. If the read/write 
functions have been sluggish, you might consider a long hot soak 
in a bubble bath, followed by a lengthy alcohol rub. (Be very 
careful that you don't become emotionally involved during this. 
There is also the danger of the Maricopa Sheriff's Office busting 
you for running an illicit computer massage parlor. Rumor had it 
that a BBS was busted for having things on that BBS that 
shouldn't be there. Actually, the real reason was . . . well, YOU 
figure it out.")
     Cleaning of the read/write head itself can be accomplished 
in any of several ways. For a light cleaning you can use alcohol. 
(Keep in mind that the IBM thinks that it's high society. Use 
only imported champage or 12-year-old scotch. In any case, use 
the alcohol sparingly, or your computer might give you some 
bizarre errors until it sobers up. Plenty of black coffee might 
help speed the cure up if this happens.)
     For heavier cleaning jobs, the military has been using 
industrial strength cleansers for cleaning heads for years. Quite 
often this is used in conjuction with a scrub brush or a thing 
called a "johnny mob." (Note: It was NOT invented by Apple.)
     If this doesn't work, a rotary sander or automotive body 
grinder will surely remove any build-up. A chisel and hammer 
might also come in handy.
     This is fine for cleaning the computer and drives. Obviously 
anyone with the tiniest bit of intelligence will realize that 
it's certainly no way to clean a printer. I mean, who in their 
right mind would take a printer into the shower with them? 
     Yet, printers tend to get dirtier than any other part of the 
computer system. Paper dust can build up and jam (and jelly) the 
mechanism. DO NOT blow into the printer. If you do this, it will 
follow you anywhere from then on. Even vacuum cleaning the inside 
of the printer is risky. You just never know how the printer will 
interpret that.
     To save yourself emotional grief, when the printer needs a 
cleaning, take it outside, preferably by dragging it by its power 
cord. Be rough - be firm - and your printer will respect you. 
Once it's outside, get out the garden hose and spray it down. 
Better yet, set the printer down and open a fire hydrant on it. 
The water pressure will bounce the printer along the ground. This 
guarantees that all parts will be cleaned, and that stubborn dirt 
particles will be shaken loose.
     Monitors rarely needs any attention unless they start 
showing reruns. There's nothing that can be done for this sit
uation, unfortunately. All you can do is to sit back and get 
bored until it's all over.
     Worse is the monitor that begins to monitor YOU. This is a 
sure sign that you've been too gentle. As with printers, the 
monitor has to be treated roughly to keep its respect. But, where 
the printer becomes excessively affectionate (such as pulling 
your face close to it by wrapping your hair in the platten), the 
monitor merely spies on you. And you never know who it will tell.
     As a precaution, never do anything you don't want others to 
know about if the monitor is near. And keep a stick handy at all 
times in case it gets out of line. Obviously don't take the 
monitor into the shower with you. It's bound to let everyone know 
just how big a liar you've been all these years.
     Once each week be sure to give the monitor a good, solid 
kick. This not only helps to show the monitor who is boss, but 
keeps the phosphors on the screen shaken up so they can provide a 
clear image. (The monitor works by a stream of electrons getting 
the particles of phosphor excited. No wonder the monitor is 
always so grouchy!)


Gosh, I'm really sorry about this week's issue. I'll do my best 
to behave in the future.
Meanwhile, let's get some of YOUR ideas. Things like "The AT&T 
computer has the tendency to get wrong numbers, and charges a 
toll if an RAM address is out of the CPU zone."  Or, "Radio Shack 
made the RAM chips in the CoCo out of dark chocolate."
This could be a good week to get silly about computing and 
computers. We can all use that change of pace once in a while, 

Next week: At the moment I have planned to do a piece of short 
fiction. If anyone has any better ideas, be sure to let me know. 
Your suggestions and comments are always welcome.

Zephyr Magazine is © Gene Williams. All rights reserved.