November 25th, 2014

David Schmenk releases updated PLASMA

PLASMA for the Holidays

(For all you programmer types looking to escape from the relatives this week)
Just like last year, here is an update to the PLASMA sandbox (an Apple II IDE to play around with PLASMA). It is (sort of) self-documenting progression through some PLASMA example code. PLASMA has grown up a lot since last year. With much input from actual users, it now resembles a real language. It has also sped up quite a bit, about 25-30% over the previous version. By speeding up the VM, I was able to remove the native compiled routines, which sped it up but at the expense of a large increase in memory usage. So now, all the examples can be loaded and compiled in the sandbox. You can download the disk image from GitHub here:
https://github.com/dschmenk/PLASMA/blob/master/SANDBOX.PO
Don’t forget to check out the documentation on GitHub as well:
https://github.com/dschmenk/PLASMA/blob/master/doc/User%20Manual.md
Any and all feedback appreciated. Enjoy,
Dave…

November 23rd, 2014

UltimateApple2 preparing to release several new products

Anthony Martino and Henry Courbis are about to offer for sale several new products. First up is the new ‘8 MEG RAM CARD v2.0′ for the Apple IIGS that is switch selectable between 4MB-8MB in 1MB increments, making it fully compatible with both the ROM 01 and ROM 3 Apple IIGS. We’re anticipating being able to review this card very soon, so stay tuned for updates. Pricing has not yet been disclosed but availability should be only a few weeks away.


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Just built and testing the first few 8 Meg RAM Cards (see pic). What makes this card unique and the best solution out there for your IIgs memory needs? Well I’m glad you asked!

The Ultimate-ReActiveMicro 8 Meg RAM Card features Gold Fingers for superior oxidation prevention and long life.

Tantalum and Ceramic capacitors for longer life (4x minimum), extreme reliability, and they are very stable over time especially when compared to aluminum electrolytic capacitors.

A resettable Fuse for short-circuit protection and to help prevent Tantalum Capacitor thermal runaway.

ROM Expansion/Direct Access for future projects.

DRAM Address Termination.

Full Power Decoupling and Filtering for ALL chips.

Power LED to show the board is receiving power and the Fuse is functioning correctly.

And of course what project is complete without a blinky LED? We have TWO DRAM LEDs to show access and functionality! One LED for each bank of 4 Megs.

As you can see from the pic we also did away with the jumper and used a simple to understand DIP Switch along with adding the legend on the board so it can’t be lost.

Some may wonder why we used a CPLD yet kept the 74F245. Yes we could have added the logic to the CPLD however the 74F245 is meant to drive a higher TTL load (the data bus) than a CPLD. So although it would technically work it’s not good practice. This is also why we used DRAM Address Termination – to reduce ringing and related signal issues, and is just good design work.

Apple //e users and other 8bit fans won’t be left behind. Got RAM? Also coming are cloned versions of the Applied Engineering RAMWorks 2MB expansion and RAMFactor 4MB expansion cards. Expect a much improved No-Slot-Clock with user replaceable battery as well!

From James Littlejohn, offered exclusively through UltimateApple2 will be the new ‘LittlePower Flip’. The new LittlePower Flip is an improved design, essentially combining the previous LittlePower IIGS, IIe and II+ (three separate adapters!) into a single ‘flippable’ super adapter. The Flip will be perfect for quickly testing those dodgy power supplies, motherboards or even when used as a permanent part of your Apple II computer’s power solution.

November 18th, 2014

Pictures of upcoming Carte Blanche II posted

A gallery showing the upcoming programmable Carte Blanche II from AppleLogic is available online for viewing here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6UD-1FjUTjkZ0NmZF9Zb0VUSjg&usp=sharing

Contact AppleLogic SOON if you want to get on the waiting list!

November 14th, 2014

Apple luminary Bob Bishop passes

The Facebook Apple II Enthusiast’s forum is discussing the sad news that Bob Bishop, famed programmer and early Apple employee has passed away. Call-A.P.P.L.E. has a nice write-up of what’s known so far, and the KansasFest site has posted a tribute to Bob, who was keynote speaker at KansasFest 2011.

RIP Mr. Bishop.

November 13th, 2014

Tecnobytes sells out limited batch of Apple IDE cards… more coming soon

Tecnobytes Classic Computers announced yesterday via the Facebook Apple II Enthusiasts forum a small run of 10 boards for their new Apple IDE card (a ‘replica’ of the original CFFA v2.0 from R&D Automation) would be for sale. Within a few hours, they were quickly snapped up for $125 each (including shipping). Tecnobytes promises more are coming — and as soon as they’re available, we’ll post it here.


soldout2

November 7th, 2014

Open Apple #40.5: Quinn and Mike watch The Goldbergs

Now for something completely different. We have a bit of a gap between shows here on Open Apple, due to the timing of some interviews we have lined up. Rather than keep you waiting, we thought we’d try something wacky.

In this “episode” of Open Apple, Quinn and Mike sit down together and watch The Goldbergs. This is a sitcom airing on ABC that is garnering some critical acclaim. In particular, we watched episode 4 in season 2, entitled “Shall We Play a Game?”. This episode features an Apple II+ prominently throughout the show, including terrific shots of games and applications you will definitely recognize. The producers did their homework, and showed the platform genuine love and respect. It’s a very prominent feature of this episode, so we thought it might be fun to talk about it.

Fair warning- the podcast by itself will not make much sense if you aren’t watching along with us!

 


Hacking the II Plus on The Goldbergs (ABC).

Hacking the II Plus on The Goldbergs (ABC).


November 7th, 2014

French Touch releases new demo ‘Unlimited Bobs’

You can get more info and download French Touch productions from http://www.ctrl-pomme-reset.fr/french-touch/.

November 6th, 2014

GGLabs out with new 8MB RAM card for Apple IIGS

GGLabs has started selling an 8MB RAM card on eBay called the RAMGS-MAX. Similar to their 4MB RAMGS card offering, this card uses ZIP style DRAMs, making the board extremely compact. Also as before, it appears this card will be open-source. I think I’ll try to get one of these boards and check it out.


GSRAM-MAX

November 5th, 2014

Control Open-Apple Reset

Inspired by this Apple ][ of sysop Dj on RMAC, a DiversiDial (D-Dial) station based in TX. Call up at telnet://rmac.d-dial.com — Runs on real Apple ][ computers!

October 27th, 2014

Drop /// Inches interviews Colette Askeland

You probably know that Dr. Wendell Sander is the “father” of the Apple ///, and that Daniel Kottke was the lead tech for the Sara project.  But did you know that before Colette Askeland was doing board layout design for the original Macintosh prototypes, she was the PCB layout artist for the ///?

For some reason, her involvement with Apple’s first business computer has been largely ignored by history, but  Drop /// Inches was fortunate to be able to chat with her about the long hours and difficult work she did before moving on to greater recognition as an original member of the Mac team.  Give it a listen.

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