Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 34 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

AccessPC Installation

AccessPC ships on a single disk with five items, only two of which need to be installed by dragging to your System Folder and restarting. Those two items are the "~AccessPC" cdev and its associated document "~AccessPC Data." I presume that the tildes sit in front of the file names to make them sort together, and so that the cdev runs after most other INITs and cdevs. On my system, only the @Disinfectant INIT runs after AccessPC. The third item on the disk is a small HyperCard 1.2.x stack that talks a little about the process of assigning icons to DOS files with certain extensions and then gives 13 examples of common DOS extensions and the appropriate Mac file creators and types. Then there are two folders, "PRACTICE" and "Other." "Other" holds three alternate versions of the ~AccessPC Data file for people who use MacWrite II, Wingz, or the Ashton-Tate suite of Macintosh programs, FullWrite, Full Impact, and dBMac. If you fall into one of those three categories, Insignia recommends using the appropriate ~AccessPC Data file instead of the default one, which is set for Microsoft Word and Excel users. Insignia doesn’t say what to do if you use MacWrite II for your word processor, Wingz for your spreadsheet and dBMac for your database. Other than the last one, it’s not all that unlikely a situation. My impression is that the only difference between the different data files is that they have different preset extension mappings, so don’t worry about it too much. The "PRACTICE" folder contains four documents, an MS-DOS Word file, an MS-DOS Word style file, an MS-DOS WordPerfect file, and a Lotus 1-2-3 worksheet file. They are used in the tutorial chapter on how to assign Macintosh icons to DOS files with certain extensions. If you’re wondering, they merely have some examples of how formatting isn’t lost if you have the proper program on the Mac, along with a short blurb on how wonderful AccessPC is. What did you expect?

As I said before, installation is remarkably simple, simply drag two files to the System Folder and reboot. I haven’t noticed any conflicts at all, although Insignia recommends renaming CD-ROM drivers to load after AccessPC if they cause problems. The Errata sheet that accompanies the manual says not to rename the "~AccessPC" file itself though, but instead to prefix the offending INIT’s name with a tilde, which should cause the INIT to alphabetize after AccessPC.

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For over 33 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. The Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.