February 12th, 2016

ZDNet posts article on how communist-era clones of the Apple II influenced today’s technologists

ZDNet has posted an interesting story on how clones of popular computers (notably, copies of the Apple II) built during the communist era have influenced today’s technologists in Bulgaria, Romania and other former Soviet Bloc countries. Even today, the Apple II Community is benefiting; Plamen Vayssilov’s A2Heaven.com is a great example.

February 10th, 2016

Brutal Deluxe releases fEDD up v2

Antoine Vignua of Brutal Deluxe has announced the latest version of “i’m fEDD up” version 2.0, now with support for 3.5 disk nibble files and other improvements. Get it here: http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/apple2/imfEDDup/

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


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