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The Hitchhikers Guide to GEOS v The Hitchhikers Guide to GEOS v2022

I am very happy to announce the initial release of The Hitchhiker's Guide' to GEOS v2022 (HG2G).

Summary - Paul B. Murdaugh (DualTop 64/128, The Landmark Series disk, Super Validate 64/128), along with help from others, has combined Berkeley Softworks' Hitchhiker's Guide to GEOS (1988), The Official GEOS Programmer's Reference Guide (BSW 1987 plus the Italian translation of 1988), Alexander Boyce's GEOS Programmer's Reference Guide (1986 & Bo Zimmerman's 1997 revisions), Wheels Kernal info, and his own personal experience to create this 860 page one-stop shopping repository of GEOS programming information.

You may be aware of Paul B. Murdaugh and, if you aren't, you should be.

Back in the day, Paul created some very fine software for Commodore GEOS including the alternative Desktop called DualTop (in 64 & 128 versions), The Landmark Series disk (including GeoTet, VDC Tet, Geo Solitaire & VDC Solitaire,...), Super Validate 64/128 (that were bonus programs on the Mar/Apr 1992 ReRUN disk from RUN Magazine), plus more.

A few years ago Paul had some time on his hands and decided to get back into coding some software for GEOS.

Rather than dealing with the bugs in BSW's geoProgrammer he tried a number of different development environments. What he found were programming tools that left a lot to be desired, so he started to fix the bugs and update the geoProgrammer package.

While doing this work he realized that there was a lot of GEOS programming reference information in a lot of different places and formats. Rather than continuously spending an inordinate amount of time trying to find the info he needed, he decided to update the information.

The most complete GEOS programming info was the released, but raw and unfinished, Hitchhiker's Guide to GEOS (HGG - 1988) from Berkeley Softworks. The original HGG was digitized and indexed (and pruned of Apple GEOS code for the time being), material from The Official GEOS Programmer's Reference Guide from BSW (OGPRG - 1987) was incorporated, Alexander Boyce's GEOS Programmer's Reference Guide (1986) was utilized where needed (including the 1997 revisions by Bo Zimmerman), an Italian version of BSW's OGPRG (translated from English in 1988) was located that included an extra 100 pages, and Paul's personal experience, from coding and reverse engineering BSW apps, all added to this repository. There is also info on coding for Wheels.

When Paul began this documentation effort he put out the call for assistance and Scott Hutter, Glenn Holmer, Bo Zimmerman, and Dave Lee stepped up. It was several months later that I learned of this project and was able to contribute immediately by providing the CopyString and CRC pages from my original HGG that were missing from online copies. A lot of proofreading has followed. Of course, Paul had the tough job with his vision for the project, implementimg the cool corner icons, creating all the bookmark links (this is a big document but very browsable with the right PDF Reader), and the time-consuming task of updating the PDF file.

As Paul notes on the Introduction on Page iii, this is now a Living Document. While a lot of info has been corrected and modified, the document will continue to be fixed and adjusted. At the present there are a number of typos and formatting issues outstanding that Paul did not have time to include here. If you find any errors or omissions, please send them to Paul at the email address noted on Page iii and he'll add them to the backlog for a future revision.

Also note, as you work your way through this mass of information (it's 860 Pages in a 12.5 MB PDF!), that you will encounter mention of geoProgrammer' 2.1. Paul has chosen to use the Prime (') notation to indicate his versions of the documentation and software (and there will be a lot of software).

Unlike the HG2G, which can be released as a living, changing, document, the software needs to be complete and functional before it is released. Hopefully, that won't be too far in the future, but patience is key.

For now, Paul has stepped out of his Commodore Coding Cave and is back earning a living in the real world. Wish him copious cash deposits and a speedy return to the Cave.

For anyone wishing to do some coding for the GEOS environment you should be able to find, now or in the very near future, the HG2G-v2022.220411.pdf at the following sites:

commodore.software - https://commodore.software/
bombjack - https://commodore.bombjack.org/
zimmers - http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/geos/programming/documents/index.html
github - https://github.com/geos64128/HG2G2022

Thanks to those who are hosting the file.


Bruce Thomas
January 2023


Size12.26 MB


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