August 21st, 2015

A2RetroSystems announces Uthernet II preorders opening NOW

IT’S HAPPENING NOW! If you asked to be notified of the A2RetroSystems Uthernet II preorder, your e-mail inviting you to participate has been sent or will arrive soon. Glenn Jones has announced that the initial price for the Uthernet II will be $59, and $10 for worldwide shipping of up to 2 cards. Glenn’s announcement is attached below:

Dear Uthernet II Interested parties,

I am pleased to report the survey was a great success. Thank you so much for your awesome support of the Uthernet II project.

Before I continue, I would like to thank the people who have assisted me in getting this project to the point where it is now.

We all owe Oliver Schmidt a large thank you for his many and continuing open source contributions on the Contiki, IP65 and also ADTPro programs. Oliver consulted with me in the early stages of this products development, on which chip should be chosen for this project and provided all the primary software support to ensure the correct operation of the hardware. After that he went on to provide drivers and enhancements to Contiki, IP65 and ADTPro.

Ewen Wannop is another force to be reckoned with in the Apple II software world with his own suite of programs for GS/OS, that use both the Uthernet I and II cards. Ewen developed both the original Uthernet I and II link layers that make it possible to use Marinetti and associated apps on GS/OS.

David Schmidt continues to enhance and support ADPPro. David was responsible for an early test version of ADTPro that was compatible with the Uthernet II.

On the hardware front Kilian Leonhardt suggested a solution to resolve compatibility issues with the Apple II+ and Unenhanced IIe and Daniel Kruszyna suggested a solution for an issue with the interrupt line.

Last but not least is my sincere thanks to my alpha and beta hardware testers whose additional testing help give the confidence to proceed with production of this project.

Jonno Downes, Ed Eastman, Sean Fahey, David Finnigan, Bill Garber, Daniel Kruszyna, Kilian Leonhardt, John Keoni Morris, Andrew Roughan, Oliver Schmidt, David Schmidt, Nigel Sheldon (CL), Antoine Vignau, Ryan Wallmow, Ewen Wannop, Sean Zabriskie.

To date there have been 277 respondents to the survey.

Since sending out the survey, another option for board assembly has presented itself.

I was contacted by a local Canadian company, Circuits Central, who offered to bid on the assembly job.

So why am I mentioning this option verses just continuing with my original plan of producing the boards in China?

As mentioned in the survey, given the quantities we are discussing, these boards must be machine assembled to ensure a consistent quality and be produced in a timely fashion.

Having them made in China has some benefits like lower cost and reasonable execution but it also presents a few challenges on my part.

  • First time trying to execute at this scale.
  • Communication with Chinese manufacturers can be challenging at times.
  • Initial Inspection for a run must be done by photograph (assembly line cannot be held up waiting for sample testing).
  • Two runs cost more than 1 large run (assuming a smaller initial run in order to make sure quality and functionally is met, followed by a second larger run).

By choosing to go with Circuits Central

  • I would be partnering with a local business located 30 minutes from my home.
  • Has a good reputation/track record in the electronics industry since 1996.
  • Will produce a few sample boards for me to test before committing to the rest of the production run.
  • Significantly increases the chance of project success while helping to reduce risk.

So having explained all of this, my decision then is to partner with Circuits Central in Canada for the assembly. The bare PCB’s however will still be manufactured in China.

In summary:

Based on the results of the survey and other factors, the card will be offered at an “introductory price” of $59 USD per card. Orders will be filled based on the color chosen in the survey (Green, Red, Blue, Black).

World wide shipping would still be $10 USD flat rate per 2 cards.

I believe this offer provides the best blend of value and quality while reducing the manufacturing risk to a manageable level.

So to place a pre-order via paypal, please access the ordering page at http://www.a2retrosystems.com/order.htm

This introductory price offer will be valid until August 31 2015 EDT.

Once I have enough pre-orders to get underway, I will post a production status page with your order number so you may follow along with project updates and later shipping status.

I expect the manufacturing process to take approximately one month given no delays. After receiving the cards, I will be filling orders after hours/weekends. Given the quantity of cards to be tested, packed and shipped, please bear with me as I process the orders.

You will find the current FAQ at http://www.a2retrosystems.com/support.htm#faq.

Thanks again for all your encouraging support.

Glenn Jones
A2retrosystems

.ps Please feel free to share this email if you know someone who did not fill out the survey and may be interested in this offer.

August 21st, 2015

Decode your vintage Apple computers serial number

Guillaume Courtier has written a Macintosh OS X application that will decode the serial number on your Apple IIGS, IIe Platinum, IIc Plus and Macintosh. The serial number will reveal the date and month, and also where the computer was manufactured.

Requires Macintosh OS X 8.x-10.x 64bit

You can download the app from: http://museepgc.perso.sfr.fr/download/Serial%20Number%20Decoder%201.2.dmg

August 18th, 2015

SYNTAX ERROR T-shirts available from Zazzle

Brendan Robert designed a Syntax Error t-shirt, and the product is now available for purchase on Zazzle.com. Control-G Bell (beep) not included.


syntax_error_t_shirts

August 18th, 2015

Coming soon: A2Heaven.com


a2heaven2

Plamen Vayssilov will soon open A2Heaven.com, a new Apple II site to sell his Apple II products. The site will also host a blog and forums for technical support.

Plamen, a Bulgarian retro-computing enthusiast, has been prolific in cloning and reverse-engineering and even modernizing several Apple II peripheral products, such as the Mockingboard, AE RAMWorks and RAM Express, Apple SCSI card and many more.

August 17th, 2015

An amazing Apple II Plus wedding cake

Mike Maginnis posted this delicious link to Facebook… http://saveyourforkcakes.com/2014/12/02/apple-ii-computer-cake/

August 17th, 2015

Burgertime 08/16/2015: Coding with Burgerlib

Rebecca Heineman has posted the latest Burgertime video to YouTube. Be sure to subscribe for the latest, greatest news and development info from Burger Becky.



August 12th, 2015

Video from Apple II Festival France 2015

Andres Lozano Gallego posted this on Facebook.



French Apple II enthusiasts know how to have fun!
Apple II Festival France 2015 Picture Album

August 11th, 2015

Happy 65th Birthday Woz


It’s Steve Wozniak’s Birthday today!
happy-birthday-images1-810x506

August 7th, 2015

New game released at Apple II Festival France 2015

Antoine Vignau reports a new game was released during Apple II Festival France 2015. I don’t speak or read French very well, but it appears to be an adventure game written by Benoit Triquet and RenĂ© Speranza. The game is entitled “Nono et la pomme arc-en-ciel” or (apologies if I get this wrong) “Nono and the Rainbow Apple”.


new_game

Hopefully we’ll get to see this game in action via video soon.

August 7th, 2015

Brian Fitzgerald grants release of source code to TAXMAN, Pac-Man clone

Rebecca Heineman has announced via Facebook that she has been given permission to the release the source code to 1981’s “TAXMAN” from H.A.L. Labs by the games programmer Brian Fitzgerald. TAXMAN is notable for being one of the first (and best) clones of the famous Pac-Man arcade game. It was so good, AtariSoft sued and then as part of the subsequent settlement, used TAXMAN’s source code to produce their own Pac-Man port for the Apple II.

Over the years, there have been variants, one of which was created by Heineman herself, when she added additional escape tunnels to the game.

As soon as the source hits GitHub, we’ll post a link here. Examining the code should be beneficial to programmers who want to learn techniques for smooth animation, sound FX generation, obstacle and collision detection as well as general game theory principles.

In the meantime, please enjoy Brian Picchi’s review of TAXMAN courtesy of YouTube.



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