March 1st, 2015

Open Apple #44 (February 2015) : Beagle Bros Reunion Roundtable, Andrew Roughan

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Beagles Bros Randy Brandt, Mark Simonsen, Tom Weishaar, and Alan Bird. We share stories of Beagle’s development, poke lots of fun at each other, and check in on where everyone is now.

We spread the love for Oz KFest with Andrew Roughan, and amazingly resist the urge to make any upside-down jokes about Australia. Mike and Quinn are trying to be bigger than northern-hemispherism, and they like to think they’ve grown as people as a result.

We talk brain-imaging, we talk helicopter piloting, and we spread more IIgs love than usual. We search for amazing things, and sometimes we find them. Join us for another great month of Apple II brouhaha.

Listen here now, or subscribe in iTunes!

oa podcast cover color (400)

February 25th, 2015

John Carmack starting his kids programming on the Apple IIc

Cult of Mac has a nice story of DOOM co-author John D. Carmack starting his kids out on programming with the Apple IIc. John posted via Twitter, “Teaching my kids programming on an Apple IIc is like kung fu training in the primitive wilderness.” We couldn’t agree more, but we’d add that there is an oasis of knowledge to be found in that wilderness, that will last a lifetime. #parenting_power-up

February 11th, 2015

Microsoft BASIC source code for 6502 revealed

Egan Ford posted via Usenet comp.sys.apple2 a couple of interesting links for BASIC buffs pertaining to Microsofts BASIC for the MOS 6502. It’s good reading, so we’re sharing it here.

IT World – The source code behind Microsoft BASIC for 6502 comes to light

PageTable.com – Microsoft BASIC for 6502 Original Source Code [1978]

February 10th, 2015

Introducing DiscoRunner multi-dialect BASIC interpreter


discodudeicon

DiscoRunner is a multi-dialect BASIC interpreter. Its initial release supports Integer and Floating Point (Applesoft) BASIC from the Apple II.

DiscoRunner is different from other BASIC interpreters in that it is 99.5% compatible with the original languages. It accomplishes this by heavily simulating the host hardware (the Apple II) almost to an emulator level without the drawbacks of running an actual emulator. For example, BASIC programs are saved as text files. We can also add new functionality, such as an editor, a navigable CATalog and a coloured LISTing mode.

DiscoRunner comes with a library of close to a thousand classic programs to play, edit and muck around with.

February 6th, 2015

KansasFest 2015

KansasFest, the 27th annual convention dedicated to the Apple II computer, will gather from Tuesday, July 14, through Sunday, July 19. Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie.

Registration details and the identity of the keynote speaker are coming very soon.


The Power ][ Be Your Best ;-)

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February 4th, 2015

Retro Computing Roundtable #93 released

Michael Mulhern posted via Facebook:

In a host packed Episode 93, Earl, Carrington, Paul, Michael, Jack, and Ken discuss the controversial topic of “Are We Cheating Cheaters?” Flash storage devices, Internet modems, multi-cartridges with entire software libraries, super RAM add-ons, LCD flat panels – what’s so retro about all that?

Also discussed is the saving of Bob Bishop’s computer gear and doco, Apple ][ Statisfaction, as well as a plug for OzKfest.

Go ahead, click on the link and join us. I dare you :)

February 3rd, 2015

John and Brenda Romero, Gary Koffler rescue Bob Bishop’s Apple legacy

The word went out on Facebook via Gary Koffler that the late Bob Bishop’s Apple II collection might be heading for the dumpster. As practically every Apple II user knows, Bob Bishop was a legendary early Apple employee, programmer and technical trailblazer. The thought of his collection lost to time in some California landfill couldn’t have been more reprehensible to the Apple II Community.

Gary reached out to John and Brenda Romero, who quickly stepped up to save all that was salvageable from Bob’s Apple II collection. Some of the collection may be destined for the Strong Museum of Play, while other items (scans of documentation, source code, pictures, etc.) will hopefully find their way into the community for the benefit of all.

Thank you John and Brenda!

January 31st, 2015

Latest update on the Apple II Pi from UA2/RM

Whew! Busy week trying to complete the next version of the Apple Pi prototype. This version has a Clock and Firmware. We’re hoping with some help from David Schmenk to eliminate the need for a floppy when booting directly to the Pi. We’re also hoping to add support for the ‘B+’ version of the Raspberry Pi. Some users have also inquired about the feasibility of using the Ethernet port on the Pi for the Apple II. We’re looking in to this as well. If possible this will add yet another amazing feature and reason to own a Pi. We’re confident if anyone can find a way, Dave is our man.


pi

One of the biggest questions we get asked is “What is the Apple Pi and what can it do for my retro computing experience?” So once the next version is ready for release we will put together a FAQ video demonstrating what the Pi can do for you, and all it’s available features.

A bit more testing and possibly another board revision and we’re hoping to have something worth sending out to people for reviews. Keep an eye on A2Central.com and an ear on the Open Apple podcast (www.open-apple.net) for sneak peaks and news about availability!

January 30th, 2015

Get ready for OzKFest, April 17-19 in Keysborough, Melbourne AU

OzKFest is going ahead April 17-19 in Keysborough, Melbourne.

There are 12 people already confirmed to attend. The website has just been updated with session teasers and those of us on the Apple II Oz mailing list are eagerly making plans with the expectation that this will again be a great event.

We encourage you to attend and join in the fun.

More information and a registration form is available on the website: http://ozkfest.net
If you can’t make it, but would like to follow the event happenings, we will be on twitter @OzKFest #OzKFest2015

Contact me directly (roughana@yahoo.com.au) if you would like assistance with securing shared accommodation.

Regards,
Andrew

January 23rd, 2015

It’s official, CiderPress 4.0.0 released

After a short public testing period, Andy McFadden has put the final touches on the indispensable toolkit CiderPress 4.0. Andy’s announcement is attached.

CiderPress, the Apple II disk and archive utility for Windows, has been updated for the first time in several years. An installer for Windows can be downloaded from http://a2ciderpress.com/.

The last official release, v3.0.1, came out six years ago. A summary of the changes made since that release follows.

** New Features **

  • Support for viewing and extracting the contents of AppleSingle files.

** UI and Usability **

  • When opening files, CiderPress no longer restricts you to a specific type of file (ShrinkIt archive, ACU archive, disk image, etc.). Just open the file and CiderPress will figure it out.
  • The custom file+folder selection dialog, used when adding files, has been rewritten. The long-absent “Accept” button has been restored, and the newer style of dialog is easier to use.
  • The custom folder-selection dialog, used when selecting the folder to extract files to, has been replaced with a much nicer standard system dialog.
  • The font used in all dialogs has been updated to take advantage of ClearType.
  • Help files have been migrated from WinHelp to HtmlHelp, so it is no longer necessary to download the WinHelp viewer on Windows 7 and later.
  • Non-ASCII characters in the Mac OS Roman set — used for HFS filenames and IIgs documents — are converted to Unicode in the file list, file viewer, and many dialogs.

** Bug Fixes **

  • Corrected the default size of the file viewer, and the initial position when viewing tall SHR images.
  • Teach and AWGS conversions now handle “shadow” and “outline” (though you need to open the converted file in something like Word to actually see it). Applesoft listings with carriage returns embedded in REM statements now match LIST output.
  • Fixed the 640-mode palette offsets in the SHR converter. (This was actually fixed a year ago by Bill Buckels, and available in v3.0.2-d1, but the patch wasn’t part of an “official” release until now.)
  • Expanded Gutenberg disk support to include Gutenberg, Jr disks.
  • DiskCopy images with resource forks (e.g. on the ByteWorks Opus ][ CD-ROM) now open with double-click.
  • File type associations, i.e. what makes it so you can double-click a file and have CiderPress open it, started breaking a bit with permission changes in WinVista. This has been fixed, but not perfectly.

** Internal changes **

  • Moved from a CVS repository on sourceforge to a git repository on github.
  • Registered a2ciderpress.com and moved the web site to it (now served up by github).
  • Updated the build files, which were originally set up for Visual Studio 6 (which dates back to 1998). It now builds cleanly “out of the box” with Visual Studio 2013.
  • Switched from _MBCS (narrow strings) to _UNICODE (wide strings). This affected all strings used in the user interface and in file names. The NuFX and disk image libraries still primarily use narrow strings, because they also build for Linux, but the Windows-specific parts are fully converted.
  • The help file “source code”, which used to be stored in a proprietary format, is now just plain text and HTML files.
  • Made various global changes to the source code, such as converting tabs to spaces, switching to variadic macros for debug log messages, and replacing vague C types like “unsigned short” with explicit types like “uint16_t”.
  • Fixed the Linux build, which had suffered from bit rot.
  • Updated to the latest version of DeployMaster (which creates the installer).
  • Expanded and updated developer documentation.

The net effect of all these changes is an application that looks a bit better, works a bit better, and will be much easier to patch and update in the future.

The newer build tools don’t support WinXP by default, but can be configured to do so. This required a few extra megabytes of DLLs in the installer. Earlier versions of Windows, such as Win2K and Win98, will not be able to run this or future versions of CiderPress. For those systems, version 3.0.1 should continue to be used.

Coincidentally, version 3.0.0 of NuLib2 has been released. The update was primarily a code refresh, with build fixes for Mac OS X, Win32, and Linux, but also added support for Mac OS Roman filenames on Linux and Mac OS. No meaningful change for Win32, though being built with the VS2013 compiler means the executable won’t work on older versions of Windows. Visit http://www.nulib.com/ for more information.

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