February 8th, 2016

“Classic Computing: The Complete Historically Brewed” now a free download

Back in 2011, David Greelish ran a successful Kickstarter to republish “Historically Brewed”, a series of ‘zines for fans of retro-computing. It was one of the first Kickstarter projects I’ve backed, and I was pleased with the results. It’s not an Apple II-specific ‘zine, but there are plenty of articles of interest for the Apple II user to make for a pleasant, nostalgic experience. I recommend it.

David has generously made the 446MB PDF version free for everyone. You can download it HERE.

February 7th, 2016

Brutal Deluxe releases DustHead! disk mechanism exerciser


DustHead


DustHead! is a utility for exercising your 3.5 and 5.25 drive mechanisms (IWM controllers only). When used in conjunction with a cleaning disk, it can help keep your drives in tip-top operating condition. It can also come in handy when lubricating your drives!

February 2nd, 2016

KansasFest 2016 opens for registration

KansasFest 2016, the 28th annual Apple II convention, is now open for registration.  Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, from Tuesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 24, for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie.

Mike Harvey, a business executive, salesperson, technologist, project manager, entrepreneur, programmer, and best known in the Apple community as the founder and publisher of Nibble magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation. Harvey will be available immediately afterward for a Q&A and autograph session.

Attendees are encouraged to share their knowledge by presenting their own hardware and software sessions related to the Apple II. All KansasFest sessions are presented by the attendees, who are known for unscheduled events and debuts, too. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at new software, preorder opportunities for new hardware, a hands-on workshop, a podcast recording session, Structris tournaments, or an athletic round of Bite the Bag, there are experiences to be had and memories to be made at KansasFest that aren’t possible except in the company of surprising, brilliant, diehard Apple II fans.

Register by May 31 to guarantee a price of $385 for a double room or $455 for a single, which includes admission to all sessions as well as most meals. After that, prices rise $55. Official KansasFest shirts are extra and optional and must be ordered by June 22; registration for staying on-site closes July 1. To register, please visit the official registration form.

KansasFest invites any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends to attend the longest running annual Apple II conference. KansasFest is working towards non-profit status, which will help keep the conference alive for many more years. For photos, videos, schedules, and presentations from past year’s events or to sign up for the email list and for inquiries, please visit the event’s Web site.

January 31st, 2016

Open Apple #55 now available

This month on Open Apple we sit down with Henry Courbis, co-proprietor of Ultimate Micro, serial entrepreneur, and Open Source guy. Henry is boldly going where no hobbyist has gone before, by making Apple II hardware his real day job. If anyone can do it, Ultimate Micro can!

We talk massive modem phone bills, phreaking, warez, and statutes of limitations. You know… for a friend. Henry talks about how hardware first appealed to him, and how he has leveraged his hacking and resourcefulness into development of powerful & complex modern products. Henry is a nexus of collaboration in the Apple II hardware community, and helping to make a lot of things happen. Henry makes cloning the Transwarp GS sound easy, and goes into lots of detail on exciting upcoming UltimateMicro products.

Listen in amazement as Quinn is unable to realize that “qkumba” is a play on “cucumber”. Listen to Mike badger Henry for a Phasor clone, and listen to Quinn’s not-so-subtle attempt to be a beta tester for the IDEA2c. We’ve got emulators, we’ve got hardware vendors, we’ve got crackers, and we’ve got phony museums about to get sued into oblivion. Come on down!


oa podcast cover color (400)

January 26th, 2016

UltimateMicro releases Ramworks schematics, announces 4MB kit coming soon

We are glad to announce another ReActiveMicro release to the Apple II Community!

We have published the RAMWorks III 2 Meg Plus Expander schematic and programing files.

https://goo.gl/HkraX8

With the RAMWorks III and the 2 Meg Plus Expander now fully documented we can start the RAMWorks IIII Kit project and continue with adding AUX RAM to the IDEA2c Drive project.

The RAMWorks III Kit project is planned to be a RAMWorks style Apple IIe AUX Slot RAM Card with 4Meg of RAM and sell for about $80. It will also maintain compatibility with all AE’s RGB daughterboard options.

As named, this project will be sold in “kit” form and feature DIP and through hole parts for ease of assembly. We will work to keep the IC count to about 10 units so even a novice should be able to completely assemble the kit in about 1 hour. With some luck this project will be ready for the SolderFest session of KFEST 2016.

All are welcome who would like to help with testing or writing software. We would like to update AE’s RAMWorks III Test program to allow for 4Megs. Please contact “Support at ReActiveMicro.com”.

January 22nd, 2016

French Touch posts latest demo “Crazy Cycles 2”



January 16th, 2016

Big Mess o’ Wires introduces Floppy Emu Model B

Steve Chamberlain has revised his successful Floppy Emu product and added additional enhancements for vintage Apple II and Macintosh users. Check out Steve’s intro attached below.


model-b-750

Today I’m excited to introduce the first significant update to the Floppy Emu disk emulator for Apple II and classic Macintosh computers: Floppy Emu Model B. The new Model B has the same disk emulation functions as the Model A and Universal Adapter, but with several new convenience features:

  • Built-in Apple II Compatibility – Model B is directly compatible with the entire Apple II line, emulating a 5 1/4 inch disk, 3 1/2 inch disk, or Smartport hard disk. While Model A required a separate Universal Adapter for the best Apple II compatibility, Model B has the equivalent functionality built-in. Classic Macintosh and Lisa disk emulation is still supported too.
  • microSD Card Support – The SD card slot is now a push-push microSD type, identical to what’s used in most mobile phones. This will make it easier to find suitable SD card media, since the older full-size SD cards are becoming rare.
  • SD Card Hot-Swap – The SD card can be removed and re-inserted while the Floppy Emu is powered on.
  • Improved Protection Circuitry – Model B features improved protection circuitry on the disk drive interface connector. This circuitry will help protect the Floppy Emu from electrical damage caused by voltage spikes and surges. It also eliminates the risk of potential damage if an Emu board running the Apple II firmware is inadvertently connected to a Mac or Lisa computer.
  • Same Great Emulation Features – All of the time-tested Macintosh, Apple II, and Lisa disk emulation features from Model A are still present. Model B reads and writes emulated 140K, 400K, 800K, or 1.4MB floppy disk images, or hard disk images up to 2GB, if supported by your Apple computer. For full details, see the instruction manual.

If you’re new to Floppy Emu, it’s an external hardware device for vintage Macintosh, Apple II, or Lisa computers. It uses a removable SD memory card to mimic an Apple floppy disk and drive, or an Apple hard drive. The Emu behaves exactly like a real disk drive, requiring no special software or drivers. Floppy Emu is perfect for booting your favorite games, moving files between modern and vintage machines, and troubleshooting a computer without a working OS. Just plug in the Emu board, and you’ll be up and running in seconds.

Floppy Emu Model B is available for sale now. While supplies last, I’m also selling the remaining inventory of Floppy Emu Model A units for a reduced price. It’s disk emulation madness!

January 12th, 2016

Warren Ernst starts new ‘zine “Old Tech | New Tech” with apple II content


Capture
Click the graphic or click here to be redirected.

January 12th, 2016

Mike Harvey of Nibble magazine to deliver keynote at KansasFest 2016

Mike HarveyKansasFest 2016, the 28th annual Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 19 – 24 in Kansas City, Missouri. Mike Harvey, a business executive, salesperson, technologist, project manager, entrepreneur, programmer, and best known in the Apple community as the founder and publisher of Nibble magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Harvey started his career as a salesperson for IBM and continued with various roles at other major technology companies, including marketing at Burroughs, planning and project management at Xerox, and executive positions with several others. In October 1979, he was between jobs and thought he would start an Apple II magazine, Nibble. The first four issues contained his own programs until he was able to attract free-lance authors. Over the next 12 ½ years, he published over 16,000 pages and inspired countless technology-related careers. At its pinnacle, Nibble earned about $5 million annually, had over 100,000 readers, and had the second highest circulation among Apple II magazines, all handled via an Apple II-based order and fulfillment system that he developed. The technical challenges were considerable – for example, figuring out how to sort and print 30,000 subscriber labels in ZIP code sequence on a network of Apple IIs. The success of Nibble contributed to Harvey’s publication of PC Hands On for IBM PC compatible systems and to four years of Nibble Mac. After Nibble shut down in 1992, Harvey returned to executive leadership in the mainframe industry. He retired in 2000 and now enjoys web development, photography, computer art, and travel. His breadth of industry experience and unique business perspective is certain to inspire and entertain KansasFest attendees.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in February 2016. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site.

January 11th, 2016

David Finnigan’s Marina IP stack now Uthernet II compatible

Announcement copied from Usenet comp.sys.apple2

The January 2016 edition of Marina is compatible with the new Uthernet II from a2RetroSystems.

Find updated demo disk, user’s manual, and source code at the Marina web site.

The source code disk also has some sample programs that use the Uthernet II’s built-in TCP/IP stack. Marina’s Uthernet II driver is in UTH2.S and is an example of how to interface with the MAC Raw mode of the W5100.

Several bugs are fixed, and there have been some advancements towards the TCP implementation, mostly in the sockets interface, but I also have the TCP checksum routine written, and parts of the port demultiplexer going too. The DNS resolver now uses the sockets API, but I’m in the middle of writing a GETHOSTBYNAME function call, so in this edition of Marina it never processes the reply from the server. Not a big deal.

Now that I’ve got the Uthernet II driver done, I can switch back to the Uthernet and focus on completing TCP, as well as other smaller items on my to do list.

But I am also open to working on other areas of Marina. So if anyone has any suggestions or other input, I’m all ears.

Now that the Uthernet II is out and in the hands of hundreds of people, completing Marina is really now just a learning exercise for me.

Anyone who is seriously considering writing a networking application, or heaven forbid, a game, should go with the Uthernet II’s built-in TCP/IP stack, which you will find is fairly competently described in the Uthernet II manual, which I will also update later this week (and hopefully finish before too long).

There is also a new document in the Marina Technical Library called “The New Uthernet II Send Sequence” which describes a less-headache-inducing method of transferring data to/from the W5100. It may need to be updated a little, but overall the technique is sound.

And now, here’s the big change list since the October 2015 edition of Marina:

– Uthernet II driver added
– ARPINIT sets MAC address in various ARP templates
– Fixed check for LLBCAST flag in HANDLEIP
– Don’t pad DHCPDISCOVER and REQUEST messages to 300 bytes
– Fixed check for DHCP replies when no IP address is configured
– Allow SOTYPETCP in SOCKET
– Started writing LISTEN for TCP sockets
– Moved HANDLETCP to TCP.S
– Moved IPHEADCHKSUM to IP.S
– Moved IPCONFIG and IPRECONFIG to IPCONFIG.S
– Removed missed frame count from ETH.S
– Wrote TCPCHKSUM
– Fixed random number generation for link-local address
– Fixed check for NSTXID in DNSRESOLVE
– Wrote VERIPADDR
– Wrote GETHOSTBYNAME
– Modified DNSRESOLVE to use Sockets API
– OUTPHEAD buffer size increased for TCP
– Moved HANDLEIP to IP.S
– Wrote GETSOCKOPT
– Added REUSEPORT socket option
– Uthernet driver scans slots for CS8900A
– Uthernet driver counts transmission failures in TXFAILS
– Socket RECV demo prints all data received, beyond 256 bytes
– SEND eliminated from Uthernet driver; falls into SEND16

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