March 15th, 2017

Found internal Apple memos about Apple II copy protection

Ben Vandermeer, an Apple enthusiast in Seattle, was at a Goodwill thrift store when he discovered a stack of Apple’s internal memos from 1979 detailing "Software Security from Apples Friends and Enemies" (SSAFE), a form of digital-rights management (DRM) that Apple was developing. Writes Vandermeer:

This was a proposal to bring disk copy protection in-house to sell as a service to outside developers. Inter-office memos, meeting notes and progress reports all give a good idea of what a project lifecycle was like. Different schemes and levels of protection are considered, as well as implementation primarily on the Apple II+ and the upcoming SARA (The Apple ///) and Lisa computers. Randy Wigginton is featured prominently throughout, along with mentions of Woz and many other familiar names.

All 116 pages of memos have been scanned and made available in the Internet Archive.

March 14th, 2017

A glimpse at Nox Archaist

Mark Lemmert of 6502 Workshop recently blogged about the current development status of Nox Archaist, the upcoming 8-bit tile-based RPG, and what the game will be like when it launches later this year.

The post includes a discussion of the tone of the game, a preview of a few villains players can expect to encounter in the adventure and details on expected combat system mechanics. Some highlights:

  • The game engine is approximately 75% complete
  • Programming for the combat system is about 50% done
  • Players will be able to:
    • Place spell casters and archers behind fighters
    • Select a specific mob target for each player attack
    • Aim area of effect spells at large groups of mobs
    • Collaborate between thief/assassin and fighter types for increased critical hit chances
  • Nox Archaist will be a fairly dark game, featuring such foes as demon lords and death knights
  • Characters will be able to choose separate armor to protect their head, torso, feet, and hands
  • Dungeon graphics are being designed by Hollywood animation artists Bill Giggie and Robert Padovan
  • Gameplay will be balanced between combat and non-combat activities

For a more in-depth preview of this game, read the entire blog post.

March 1st, 2017

Juiced.GS Volume 22, Issue 1 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 22, Issue 1 (Mar 2017)Volume 22, Issue 1 (Mar 2017) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has now shipped. This issue features a tutorial for telnetting to bulletin board systems from your Apple II; reviews of the AP40 wireless Bluetooth game controller and the Floppy Emu storage device; an interview with Joe Santulli, co-founder of the National Videogame Museum of Frisco, Texas; a behind-the-scenes look at ProRWTS, the filesystem controller by Peter Ferrie being used in the game Nox Archaist; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s first quarterly issue of 2017, its twenty-second year in print. The complete 2016 volume is now available as a bundle. Subscriptions for 2017 are $19 each for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers.

January 2nd, 2017

Steve Gozdziewski, former KansasFest committee chair, passes away

Steve Gozdziewski, the former “Grand Gouda” of the KansasFest committee, has passed away. He was 69.

Steve was the champion of KansasFest for many years, leading the event around the turn of the century, after the Apple II had been discontinued but before it became retro. He recruited several committee members as well as such memorable keynote speakers as Ryan Suenaga and Eric Shepherd. But Steve made sure to enjoy the event, too: he loved the community and how effortlessly friends reconnected after a year apart. He especially appreciated how easily new friendships were made, commenting, “I’ve always wanted and felt that EVERY Apple II owner/user should experience KFest at least once — it’s almost an obligation that comes with owning the machine:) It’s been wonderful to see how much knowledge and experience the newcomers bring along with what they also gain by attending. KFest really has a magical quality!"

Steve was also a wizard at GShisen, often winning the KansasFest game competition with scores that left his fellow players in the dust. Although Steve had not been to KansasFest since 2003, he remained connected to the community. For KansasFest 2010, he sponsored the purchase of one copy of the documentary GET LAMP for each attendee.

Whether Steve was winning or losing, chatting, running around, or laying back, he always had a smile on his face and a laugh to go with it. He will be missed.

KansasFest 2002

Steve Gozdziewski (third from left) in a lineup of the usual suspects at KansasFest 2002.

More details are available from the Massapequa Funeral Home.

January 2nd, 2017

The Oregon Trail play opens in NYC

The Oregon Trail, playwright Bekah Brunstetter‘s original and unauthorized stage production of the classic MECC game, opens next week at the Fault Line Theatre in New York City. The play runs January 13–February 12, 2017, and tickets range from $9 to $24.

This production was previously performed at the Portland Center Stage at The Armory in Oregon. Apple II user Kevin Savetz’s review is in the December 2016 issue of Juiced.GS, and photos of that production are below.

The Oregon Trail

Update (Jan 22, 2017): The New York Times reviewed this play. Hat tip to Tom Phelps.

January 1st, 2017

Phoenix Software text adventure source code released

The source code for three text adventures from Phoenix Software has been released by the original programmer, Paul Berker. Adventure in Time (1981), Birth of the Phoenix (1981), and Queen of Phobos (1982) were published for both Apple II and Atari, with source code for both platforms now available from the AtariAge forum.

These releases were coordinated by Kevin Savetz, co-host of the ANTIC podcast. His interview with Berker was released on Nov 19, 2016, as episode #254 of ANTIC.

December 31st, 2016

ADTPro updated to v2.0.2

David Schmidt has updated ADTPro to v2.0.2. The first update to ADTPro since March 2015, this release takes advantage the Uthernet II network card and John Brooks’ ProDOS v2.4.1 operating system, as well as assorted bugfixes.

December 30th, 2016

Apple-1 clone Mimeo 1 finds a new home

Prolific hardware developer Mike Willegal has handed off management of his original Apple-1 clone, the Mimeo 1. The boards were first made commercially available in 2010 and "have been sold to vintage computer buffs around the world", writes Willegal. "However, the learning part of the process, which is one of things that keeps me interested in my hobbies, has not been there over the past few years."

Henceforth, the Mimeo 1 will be developed and distributed by Corey Cohen, an Apple-1 enthusiast who was previously profiled in the New York Times for his work on restoring an original Apple-1 sold at Christie’s auction house. Find the Mimeo 1’s new home at Cohen’s website.

December 29th, 2016

Bejeweled updated to v2.0, now supports Mockingboard

Jeremy Rand has updated A2Bejwld, his Apple II port of the popular puzzle game Bejeweled, to v2.0. The game, originally developed for HackFest at KansasFest 2016, now features Mockingboard support. Download the game and source code at GitHub.

Rand has also released a cc65 interface for adding Mockingboard support to your Apple II project. Check out mocklib on GitHub.

December 28th, 2016

Eaten by a Grue podcast reviews Infocom games

Eaten by a Grue podcastPodcast hosts Carrington Vanston of the Retro Computing Roundtable and Kevin Savetz of ANTIC have joined forces to form a new podcast. Eaten by a Grue is a semi-monthly show in which the two co-hosts play and share their experiences with Infocom interactive fiction. The first two text adventure games they’ve played are Zork I: The Great Underground Empire and Ballyhoo, both of which were originally available for the Apple II and which can now be found in the Lost Treasures of Infocom, among other ports. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

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