November 30th, 2014

Open Apple #41: Randy Brandt, IO Silver, Bob Bishop, Neuromancer and Castle Smurfenstein

This month on Open Apple we present an early holiday gift, in the form of an epic three hour episode. We sit down for a great conversation with Apple II legend Randy Brandt, perhaps best known for his work at Beagle Bros. We go deep on Beagle Bros, exploring the making of their quirky, innovative software and the wacky characters that produced it. Never one to rest on his laurels, Randy is now helping to produce a modern reboot of Beagle Bros’ only major game release, I/O Silver. The game will be released very soon as of when you’re reading this, and it runs on all major mobile platforms. Look for it in an Apple App Store or Google Play Store near you.

If that’s not enough, we have a huge pile of news to talk about this month, joined together by the most epic series of segues ever to grace the history of podcasting. We talk Transwarps, we talk Woz, we talk Neuromancer, we talk Wizardry, we talk to our listeners, and we talk smack. That’s just how we roll here on Open Apple. We also spend a lot of time pretending to know anything about Apple II mice.

In addition, we have the unfortunate duty to recognize the passing of some Apple II luminaries- Bob Bishop and Mike Pfaiffer. The Apple II community is great because of a lifetime of hard work by many talented people. Join us as we remember the contributions of two of those people.

Don’t worry, there’s much Apple II stuff to be thankful for in this month of American Thanksgiving. So put down the turkey leg and get caught up on ye olde stripey Apple. The biggest episode of Open Apple ever!

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).


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.

October 19th, 2014

Open Apple #40 (October 2014) : Chris Torrence, Printers, Celebrating Lode Runner

This month on Open Apple, we talk to Chris Torrence, the new Roger Wagner Volunteer Archivist on behalf of Softalk magazine. Chris is a lifelong Apple II fan, and has recently undertaken the valuable effort of producing a book containing all of Roger Wagner’s Assembly Lines columns. This will include all of the articles included in Roger’s original book (Assembly Lines: The Book) as well as columns never before available in book form. He’s not just republishing the articles, he’s annotating, footnoting, and expanding on them as needed. It’s a terrific service for the community. We’ll dig into that, as well as Chris’ start in computing, and how he got to where he is today. We manage to get through an entire show without taking a cheap shot at Commodore, so you won’t want to miss this. Wait- no we don’t.

 

September 12th, 2014

RIP Douglas E. Smith (1960 – 2014)

Tozai Games is reporting the sad news that Douglas E. Smith, creator of the iconic, groundbreaking game Lode Runner, has apparently died.  Details are still emerging and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more.

 

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(HT: @yesterbits via Twitter.)

September 10th, 2014

Joe Ely releases album recorded with an Apple II, with liner notes by Woz

Texas rocker Joe Ely has released B4 84, an album he made with an Apple II, using the alphaSyntauri music system and a Roland 808 drum machine.  In a brief interview with the San Antonio Current, Ely discusses the details of the album, which was recorded over 30 years ago, his interactions with Woz, and how his record company liked the songs but wanted him to re-record them using traditional studio methods.  The redone tracks were released on 1984’s Hi-res album which, “didn’t do very well.”

Now Joe has released the original recordings and you can get your own copy for $9.99 on iTunes, with liner notes by Steve Wozniak himself.

 

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Oh, and hey – did you know Joe ran his own BBS back in they day?

May 23rd, 2014

Woz reflects on Apple’s early days

His appearance at KansasFest 2013 and recent write up on the development of Integer BASIC notwithstanding, Woz has spent much of his time recently battling the FCC’s controversial new net “neutrality” policies and generally looking to the future. This is understandable of course – you can only tell the same stories of the company’s early days so many times before they lose a bit of their luster – but the Apple co-founder still finds time now and then to spend an afternoon, recounting the past as he did when he appeared as the “surprise” guest at the Smith & Associates Thirtieth Anniversary in Houston, Texas earlier this week (in a suit jacket, no less).


From left: Lee Ackerley, co-founder and co-owner of Smith; Marc Barnhill, chief trading officer for Smith; Bob Ackerley, co-founder and co-owner of Smith; and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. (Olivia Pulsinelli/HBJ)


Woz shared anecdotes of Apple’s founding, and explained to lucky attendees to the “fireside chat” and luncheon how factors such as the company’s organization in its early years and the professionalism brought by industry vet and initial investor Mike Markkula, helped Apple achieve success in the then-nascent industry.

PRWeb has the original press release available here.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that any video of the chat has been posted online, but we’ll be sure to update you the moment it is made available.

 

May 2nd, 2014

Apple II case for your Raspberry Pi

Charles Mangin sure has been having fun with his 3D printer.  Last month, his SD card reader disguised as a Disk II drive made waves in the community and now he’s followed it up with this totally awesome thing:




Yes, it’s a Raspberry Pi case designed to look like an Apple IIe.  Mangin explains:

Each case is 3D printed in SLA (at Shapeways) from 3D models based on my actual Apple II collection. Then, each part is painted to match the original beige, brown or platinum grey – or Black, if you prefer the Bell & Howell model. I also include all the hardware you will need to connect your Pi to power and video – just add Pi.

The case is currently available to order on the RetroConnector Etsy shop for US $115 + shipping.

May 2nd, 2014

Woz recounts writing Integer BASIC

BASIC, that simple language that was an integral part of the Apple II experience for so many fans, turns 50 this month and to help celebrate, Woz has contributed a nice little memoir about how he wrote Integer BASIC from scratch.

 



August 6th, 2013

Apple-1 Registry gets an overhaul

With all the recent news about Apple-1 computers fetching the 21st century equivalent of a king’s ransom seemingly every few months, and more and more units emerging from storage units, garages and attics, Mike Willegal decided it was time to give his Apple-1 Registry a facelift.  The new layout features a clickable table of units in an easier-to-read format and now includes recently-discovered machines updated information, with more improvements coming.

Check it out here.

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