June 5th, 2014

Introducing PLASMA 123 (1][///) Preview

Some of you may remember my earlier work on PLASMA, the Proto Language AsSeMbler for Apple. Some of you may even know it will be the language of Lawless Legends (https://www.facebook.com/LawlessLegends). But now, with a flurry of previous concepts and new ideas developed for the LL implementation, comes PLASMA 123. Why 123? Because it runs on the Apple 1, ][, and ///. "No way!", you say. Way. And it runs the exact same PLASMA modules (user programs and libraries) on all three systems, without modification. That's the power of a VM. But this VM was designed specifically for the Apple II (both 64K and 128K fully utilized) and the Apple /// (uses extended memory addressing, up to 512K), from the beginning. The Apple 1 got a quick port because of the awesome CFFA1 (Rich may still have some left).

Now this is a pretty early announcement, but I thought some of the more technically adventurous may want to take a look and provide some feedback, or at least poke at it. You can find all the source and preliminary documentation on GitHub: https://github.com/dschmenk/PLASMA

There is a demo disk image in the GitHub project: DEMO.0.9.PO - it is a dual booting disk for the Apple II and III. It will boot into a simple command line prompt. The commands are:

c - catalog current path
c - catalog path
v - list on-line device volumes
p - set prefix to path
+ - run PLASMA file
- - run SYSTEM file (Apple II only)

There are only two sample PLASMA programs to run on this image: HELLO and TEST. Run them, as documented above, with '+hello' and '+test'.

The HELLO module is pretty simple. The TEST module actually loads a module dependency, TESTLIB, as it runs. It is just my language test coverage module, using a bunch of different aspects of PLASMA. If you see a bunch of junk on the screen with HELLO on your Apple ][ or ][+, that means you don't have a lower-case adapter and I haven't forced the output on those machines to upper case yet.

So now we have the grand unifying environment for the 8 bit Apples. And it's fast. I developed some new interpreter technology for this version: about 3 times slower than native compiled 6502, but about 10 times as dense, and code doesn't take up precious main memory (on 128K Apple II or Apple III). You can still write ASM functions inside your PLASMA module for those times that speed is critical above all else.

Dave...

May 28th, 2014

Briel Replica 1 Plus announced

Vince Briel’s Replica 1 10th Anniversary limited edition boards have sold out, but the same design is available now as the ‘Replica 1 Plus’. The only things that are different on this board are the color (green vs. red) and the silk-screened name. The Replica 1 Plus is available assembled for USD $199, or as a kit for USD $149 plus shipping.


replica1plus_med

The plus has improvements over the TE that make programming and power issues a thing of the past. Now you can power your replica 1 right off your PC or Mac or Tablet with the USB interface. With drivers installed, you can use a terminal program for sending/receiving programs or just use the terminal interface as your display and keyboard if you want. For those who prefer the stand alone feature, you can still use a composite monitor or TV and PS/2 keyboard. The ASCII keyboard port has been retained but for Apple II keyboards, a -12V supply or a Super Encoder board enhanced Apple II keyboard is required. Firmware changes now allow backspace or the original _ to be used just by selecting CTRL and F1. No more fighting backspace issues. Two versions of ROM’s onboard to select from! Yes, the original apple 1 with BASIC and now the Woz monitor and Applesoft lite can be used by adding a jumper! Enjoy floating point BASIC ported from the Apple II.

EXTRA GOOD NEWS! Look for an announcement soon on how you can assemble your own Replica 1 Plus kit under Vince’s guidance at a KansasFest 2014 workshop!

April 23rd, 2014

Vicious, an Apple-1 sound card

Well here is a surprise! A sound card for the Apple-1, based on SID and CIA chips you’d normally expect to see on some other vintage computer platform.

November 16th, 2013

Briel Replica 1 Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition announced

Briel Computers is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Replica 1 by releasing a limited edition (and new revision) of their insanely popular Apple 1 compatible computer. The first 50 boards make up the limited edition 10th Anniversary Replica 1; each will be serialized and sport a collectible red PCB. After those are sold out, the new 10th Anniversay Edition Replica 1 PCB will revert to its usual green color.


R110

As always, if you’re comfortable with a soldering iron you’ll have the option to purchase the new Replica 1 as a build-it-yourself kit ($149 USD) or for the non-techie and/or time-constrained, as a fully assembled and tested product ($199 USD). The limited edition 10th Anniversary Replica 1 will be available for pre-order on November 28th, 2013 — Thanksgiving Day in the USA.

R110 kit

The new board has the following changes:

  • Smaller size (only 7″ X 4.5″)
  • Reduced chip count, only 8 chips plus USB-Serial adapter
  • Single universal power adapter mini-USB connector for serial interface and power
  • Can be powered from a PC or Mac USB interface
  • Universal drivers for serial connection for data transfer now at 9600 BAUD
  • Dual boot mode, standard Apple 1 with Woz Integer BASIC or Applesoft Lite (selected with jumper)
  • Improved video with choice of NTSC or PAL (PAL mode not tested)
  • Optional USB Power supply and cable, no need to search for a compatible power supply

Look for a review of the new Replica 1 10th Anniversary Edition in the next issue of Juiced.GS later this year!

October 15th, 2013

Wendell Sander’s Apple 1 Project

Wendell Sander is giving the Apple 1 serious love with technical notes, modifications and schematics for new cards he’s designed. Check out his site, The Apple 1 Project. If you’re a fan of the original Apple Computer, you won’t be disappointed.

Hey, while we’re talking about the Apple 1, there’s another one up for auction.

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.

July 4th, 2013

Open Apple #29 (July 2013): Mike Willegal, Apple-1, cons, and films

Mike WillegalThis month on Open Apple, the Apple II community’s only monthly podcast, Mike and Ken chat with Mike Willegal, Apple-1 and Apple II reproduction expert extraordinaire. His topic is hot this month: five Apple-1 computers were simultaneously on display at the History San Jose museum; one is being auctioned online; Willegal was interviewed for a Kickstarter-funded book about the Apple-1; and his clones are appearing in a feature-length film about Steve Jobs — what a guy! He even went to Vintage Computer Festival Southeast this spring, though he’ll be absent from VCF Southwest, KansasFest, and Oz KFest, all occurring this summer. Mike, Mike, and Ken watch the trailer for the Jobs movie and find we all have different reasons to see (or skip) Ashton Kutcher in the title role. They may or may not have dressed up to see the recent Star Trek and Man of Steel films; maybe they’ll fit the part by wearing some Apple t-shirts from 1986 to see Jobs.

Find the show at the Open Apple Web site or in the iTunes and Zune podcast directories.

June 20th, 2013

Woz attends historic testing of five Apple 1 computers

Today’s Woz-stalking is courtesy Dean Nichols and The San Jose Mercury News. Tuesday, June 18th saw Steve Wozniak and several other *very notable* attendees gathered at History San Jose to power-on and test no fewer than five Apple 1 computers. How many of us wish they could have been there to see that?

May 30th, 2013

The First Apple (Kickstarter Book)

Thanks to Ken Gagne for the heads up on this story.

We wanted to get in touch with Apple enthusiast groups everywhere, because of our forthcoming book—sure to be of interest to anyone who enjoys Apple and ‘70s Silicon Valley history—The First Apple. It’s the nonfiction account of the Apple-1, the first computer produced by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, produced in Jobs’ parent’s garage. One such computer, the very one presumed to be the first sold to an individual by Steve Jobs, has survived through the years, and is now owned by Bob Luther, author of The First Apple. (About three-fourths of the full run of these computers were disposed of by Apple itself, in the run-up towards the Apple II.)

We recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help in the completion of this publishing project. We’re hoping that members of your group with a particular interest in Apple Computer history will help by checking out The First Apple on Kickstarter, and by spreading the word to other enthusiasts. Here’s the link to that page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2022043843/the-book-the-first-apple

This book features extensive and exclusive interviews with many of the originators and inner circle of Apple, and their views on engineering design, computers in education, as well as their unique personal perspectives on what it was like to be at ground zero during the PC revolution.

Thank you for your time and interest.

Larry Rodman

the upcoming book The First Apple
www.TheFirstApple.com
office (703) 535-3320
toll free 1-888-881-3320
2809 Mt. Vernon Ave., Suite 201
Alexandria, Virginia 22301

April 9th, 2013

Another run of CFFA1s

Rich Dreher, creator of the popular CFFA line of Apple-1 and Apple II expansion boards, has announced that cards from the next run of 200 CFFA1 are now available to order for $109.95 + shipping.  The CFFA1 is compatible with Vince Briel’s Replica 1, Mike Willegal’s Apple 1 Mimeo, the Obtronix clone, and of course, the original Apple-1.

CFFA1_RevDs

Visit Rich’s CFFA1 Project page for more details.

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