This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Kate Szkotnicki, long time Apple II fan and new addition to the retro community. We chat about her first impressions as a newcomer to the community, and the big splash she made at her first KansasFest. Kate is a cosplayer and frequent attendee of anime and comic cons, so she brought a very fresh set of skills and perspectives to KansasFest. Her presentation on making plastic parts (and candy!) with silicone moulding was very popular. Throw away your 3D printers- this is easier and better.
We also talk lots about John Brooks’ excellent work on updating ProDOS, Quinn says a bunch of stuff about Commodore that probably isn’t true, and Mike falls on his sword for getting everything wrong about Australian Apple II gatherings. Mike gets a record number of Apple /// references into this episode, so be sure to tune in and ignore that.
Breaking news! Between us recording and releasing this show, John Brooks has updated ProDOS to 2.4.1. Also, we worked out that the MegaBeep ROM is in fact compatible with it, contrary to the opening of the show. Listener James reported an issue that we believe was actually a bad ROM. If you are a MegaBeep owner, don’t hesitate to use it with any version of ProDOS, including John Brooks’ excellent new 2.4 updates.
Thanks to Brian Wiser of Call A.P.P.L.E. for permission to use the interview clip with Mike Harvey and John Leake.
Happy 30th birthday, Apple IIgs!
This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Mark Pilgrim, one of the most active software preservationists in the Apple II community. Mark has been spending his free time working on Passport, an automated cracking tool. It automatically detects and defeats copy protection schemes on Apple II disks, producing copyable disks that are otherwise completely intact. This is a boon for preservation of software that has only been (poorly) cracked by hoodlums of the past, or is previously uncracked. The latter is very common with educational software, business packages, and other things that the old crackers weren’t interested in. Mark’s skills and perseverance are making it possible to use more and more Apple II software on sites like Archive.org and VirtualApple.
KansasFest 2017 will be July 18th-23rd at Rockhurst University!
Meanwhile, tune in to this show and listen to Quinn and Mike bumble through news of various festivals, discuss lots of new hardware, and utterly fail to be respectful of the passing of a computer science legend. We’re sorry, Mr. Papert- you will be missed, and Logo touched all our lives.
There are a record number of amazing announcements of hardware and software this month. You won’t want to miss Passport, Ancient Legends, 4soniq, CP/M Turbo 7, SD-MIDI, and more. It’s an incredible month for spending money on your Apple II.
Go download Passport and archive all your floppies. Start now, or you’ll be up very late.
This month on Open Apple, as is tradition, we present the megapodcast recorded live at KansasFest. Most of your favorite retrocomputing podcasters attend KansasFest each year, and we all get together in a basement room to record a giant group podcast. This year’s recording includes, in no particular order:
Quinn Dunki of Open Apple
Paul Hagstrom of Retrocomputing Roundtable and Drop /// Inches
Michael Mulhern and Carrington Vanston of Retrocomputing Roundtable
Kevin Savetz of Antic
Rob McMullen of Player/Missile
Ken Gagne of Polygamer and Indiesider
John Leake of RetroMacCast
Todd George of Chicken Lips Radio
Charles Mangin of How II
Jeff Salzman of The History Of Personal Computing
In this megapodcast, we talk about our experiences at this year’s KFest, and play a form of Liar’s Dice with each other’s personal computing histories.
A note on audio quality- it’s difficult to get 11 people recorded simultaneously in a room without a lot of fancy equipment that we can’t carry on airplanes, so we hope you’ll bear with us. We have a ton of fun recording these as a group, and we hope you enjoy listening to it. Many many thanks to Paul Hagstrom for doing the editing on this one!
This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Sean Fahey of A2Central, major league collector, and member of the KansasFest Committee. It’s not too late to register! Go to kansasfest.org right now. If you listen to this show, you should definitely be there. The Garage Giveaway will be larger than ever this year. You won’t want to miss the amazing pile of free Apple II gear. The other classic traditions keep getting better as well- the cookout will be catered, and the prizes for the various contests are amazing this year. All the great Apple II community vendors have stepped up with a lot of hardware, tools, and software to give away.
KansasFest 2016 runs July 19th – July 24th at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. The keynote speaker this year is Mike Harvey, best known in the Apple II community as the editor of Nibble magazine. He has some great stories about the business and culture of the early computing era.
We don’t just talk about KansasFest this month. We dive a bit deeper into the murky world of Apple II clones. Also marvel as Mike pretends to know nothing about KansasFest, and roll your eyes as Quinn continues to beat a dead horse joke about the eBay segment. Fear not, however, because the world is a better now that we all know the Lode Runner board game exists.
Z0DWARE WHERE ARE YOU?!
This month on Open Apple, Kevin Savetz sits down with Amy Kefauver and Lorri Hopping. Amy was the editor of Scholastic Microzine, an educational magazine focused on the Apple II. Lorri was a writer and editor for Microzine. They share many great memories creating lessons with computers, the nature of the educational market, and how computers can engage kids in ways that static media can’t.
After those interviews (thanks Kevin!), Mike and Quinn talk ear worm game introductions, crappy early advertising, and hardware with Bumper Stumper product names. It wouldn’t be a show if they didn’t mention UltimateMicro and Brutal Deluxe, so they make sure to do that too.
Bathe in the glory of 1980s video game box art, enjoy mobile versions of KansasFest memories, and roll your eyes at teenage boy whimsy.
This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Huibert Aalbers, author of Soundsmith. It’s hard to overstate what a platform-defining piece of software this was for the Apple IIgs. Few people appreciated what the audio system in this computer was capable of, until Huibert unlocked it for the world to hear. Games and scene demos would use his tool for the entire life of the machine. Other music trackers came along in later years, but Soundsmith was always there. It turns out platform jealousy can be a powerful force indeed.
Meanwhile, we talk oranges, Taiwanese ham, dying young, and cramming IIc parts in your Franklin. We blow the lid off the French pirate sneakernet and complain about kids today and their disrespect for bytes.
After that, Mike finds beta ROMs, Quinn loses her sense of humor, and they both find GS RAM cards everywhere. It’s a IIgs themed episode- all the Ensoniqs and FTAs you can stand. If you’re an Atari user*, see if you can spot the backhanded compliment.
You won’t want to miss Huibert’s amazing project involving IIgs Epluché!
This month on Open Apple, we sit down with legendary Apple II programmer, Bill Budge. In addition to being an icon of Apple II gaming and graphics, he is the number-one-requested guest by listeners of the show. Mike and Quinn are very excited he was able to make some time to talk to them, and hope you agree it was worth the effort. Bill is, of course, the author of such seminal classics as Raster Blaster, Pinball Construction Set, and MousePaint. He was an influential force in the golden years of Electronic Arts, and did many good works with early Apple as well.
After chatting with Bill, Mike and Quinn chew the fat about Soviet Apple II clones, slowing down the IIc Plus, and documenting rare II models. Meanwhile, Quinn constructs an impromptu sound studio in a conference room, and Mike waxes nostalgic about harpsichords. Also, this episode marks the most Apple III references snuck in to date. Mike even manages to goad the guest into bringing it up. Don’t miss Quinn struggling to remember the word “Dacta”, and Mike taking a cheap shot at Elevator Action.
A quick update to Quinn’s Floppy Emu Model B review- since this was recorded, Steve has updated the firmware so it now remembers the last disk image you used.
This month on Open Apple we sit down with Peter Lount, co-developer of Gemstone Warrior and Gemstone Healer for the Apple II. Canadian programmer Peter and his partner Trouba broke new ground in video games by combining fast action combat with procedurally generated caves and dungeon content. Gemstone Warrior doesn’t get credit for being the predecessor to Blizzard megahit Diablo, but it should. Peter talks about tuning his rendering engine, including rewriting huge chunks of it overnight to meet a deadline. What’s your reality resolution?
Tune in to hear Mike complain that Gemstone’s monsters are too smart for him, and hear Quinn choke on the most important Apple II announcement of the year. We talk a lot about solid state drives, marvel at underground ‘zines, and bask in the awesome glory of Brutal Deluxe’s tape collection. Audio is still the “best” way to move data after all these years. “A bold statement,” you say? “Nonsense,” you cry? Listen and decide.
Meanwhile, Ultimate Micro continues to kick butt by reverse engineering all that sweet Applied Engineering hardware, Quinn makes terrible “card” jokes, and we catch up on lots of feedback.
Breaking the fourth wall on segment bumpers- good idea, or great idea?
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!