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.


10383639_1504720386447868_4655326932500518638_n

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

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 24th, 2014

UltimateApple2 and ReactiveMicro to bring Transwarp GS clone (and more) to the masses

The trigger has been pulled, UltimateApple2 and ReactiveMicro are going to attempt to clone the much sought after (and often freakishly expensive on eBay) Applied Engineering Transwarp GS accelerator. Will they be heroes or zeroes? Others have tried and failed, so this is a risky but potentially rewarding project. UA2/RM already offer tweaker upgrade products and services for the Transwarp GS, so they know their way around the board’s quirks and voodoo. If anyone is going to succeed, it’s likely going to be the team of Henry Courbis and Anthony Martino.

Also in the pipe, Tom Arnold is working with UA2/RM to make the revised Mockingboard 1A available again. Even more interesting are the rumors of an Applied Engineering Phasor clone that are being circulated. The constraint of cloning any Apple II sound card is in the availability of vintage speech synthesizer ICs or finding a modern substitute. Solve that riddle, and we can expect our Apple II computers to sing. We just need programmers to support the sound cards we have now.

RAM! 8MB CV Tech clones for the Apple IIGS, Ramworks and Ramfactor with buffed out expansion options and an updated (intelligent?) Apple2Pi card all are in the pipe from UA2/RM. Stay tuned! Winter is coming.

October 2nd, 2014

Drop /// Inches podcast #6 released – Don Williams at Phase III

The Phase III conference was organized by the Third Apple User Group in Chicago, held October 2-4, 1987. Dave Ottalini located and digitized his audio recordings of some of the sessions at that conference, and provided them to us. We have been cleaning them up as best we can, and will release them here on the podcast feed. Read the rest of the intro here.

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