2017-10-06 07:25:04 UTC
I might be 20-30 years late and there might not be any use for another BINSCII decoder. However, I do know notice there are mirror links at the URL
which have many Apple II files encoded in BINSCII format. These files have a file extension of BSC or BSQ. A lot of e-mails sent to the newsgroup comp.binaries.apple2 contain BINSCII text blocks (called segments) embedded within the body of the posts.
For those unfamiliar with files in BINSCII format, each segment of an encoded file begins with the line
and ends with a text line consisting of 4 printable characters. Small Apple 2 programs (<= 12K) are output as a single BSC/BSQ file. Larger Apple 2 programs will be encoded and output in multiple segments. The segments are usually written out as separate text files and given the file extension BSC/BSQ. To facilitate posting to newsgroups, the segments can be copied and paste to an e-mail. Multiple segments can also appear in a single BSC/BSQ file which BTW, is just a text file.
My program SciiBinX (which runs under MacOSX 10.5 or later) has a simple UI, a single drop window with a progress indicator. The user drag-and-drops one or more BSQ/BSQ files onto this window; the underlying decoder will extract the original Apple2 ProDOS file and writes it to the same folder as the BSC/BSQ file(s). Since it operates under Mac OS X, the original file’s attributes will be preserved as an extended Mac OS X file attribute.
This program was actually written years back but only updated recently to
a) handle situations like leading and trailing spaces in each line of a BINSCII segment of a BSC/BSQ file,
b) combining BINSCII segments in separate BSC/BSQ files to produce the original Apple2 ProDOS file.
It can handle interspersed non-block text as well as different types of line endings. It shouldn’t have problems if all the BINSCII segments of the encoded file are in a single text file.
What is required now is for the program to return concise error messages. I have not decided whether it’s better to log the error messages or put up dialogs. The former feature will allow the user to decode lots of BSC/BSQ files at one go. The message log can be viewed if there are failures as a result of data corruption.
Adding QuickLook and Spotlight plugins might be helpful to those who would like to maintain a repository of BSC/BSQ files.
Help needed either as a beta-tester or you could e-mail to me BSC/BSQ files which couldn’t be decoded.