January 26th, 2016

UltimateMicro releases Ramworks schematics, announces 4MB kit coming soon

We are glad to announce another ReActiveMicro release to the Apple II Community!

We have published the RAMWorks III 2 Meg Plus Expander schematic and programing files.

https://goo.gl/HkraX8

With the RAMWorks III and the 2 Meg Plus Expander now fully documented we can start the RAMWorks IIII Kit project and continue with adding AUX RAM to the IDEA2c Drive project.

The RAMWorks III Kit project is planned to be a RAMWorks style Apple IIe AUX Slot RAM Card with 4Meg of RAM and sell for about $80. It will also maintain compatibility with all AE’s RGB daughterboard options.

As named, this project will be sold in “kit” form and feature DIP and through hole parts for ease of assembly. We will work to keep the IC count to about 10 units so even a novice should be able to completely assemble the kit in about 1 hour. With some luck this project will be ready for the SolderFest session of KFEST 2016.

All are welcome who would like to help with testing or writing software. We would like to update AE’s RAMWorks III Test program to allow for 4Megs. Please contact “Support at ReActiveMicro.com”.

November 9th, 2015

A2Heaven opens its gates at last


2

Plamen Vayssilov has opened A2Heaven.com, a new Apple II site to sell his Apple II products. The site will also host a blog and forums for technical support.

Plamen, a Bulgarian retro-computing enthusiast, has been prolific in cloning and reverse-engineering and even modernizing several Apple II peripheral products, such as the Mockingboard, AE RAMWorks and RAM Express, Apple SCSI card and many more.

October 31st, 2015

CFFA3000 Run #4 now available for ordering!

Rich Dreher of R&D Automation has announced the opening of sales for the fourth run of his wildly popular CFFA3000 flash storage and disk emulation card. You can order the CFFA3000 from here. Initially, there is a limit of 2 boards per customer.



October 8th, 2015

Mockingboard v1a in stock at UltimateMicro

UltimateMicro has 26 Mockingboard v1a cards in stock. This is a 100% compatible clone of the Sweet Micro Systems Mockingboard A, (upgradeable to a “B” with the addition of an SSI-263P Speech Synthesizer chip). It’s also features a few modern enhancements. The Mockingboard v1a is only $85 USD plus shipping. At this price, THESE WILL GO FAST!


MBv1a
Short of an actual Mockingboard, this is the best, most compatible product available.

September 1st, 2015

The Byte Works’ Opus ][ now available from Juiced.GS

The Byte Works

SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 — LEOMINSTER, MA — Gamebits, publisher of premier Apple II magazine Juiced.GS, is proud to announce its partnership with software developer The Byte Works to sell Opus ][: The Software and Opus ][: The Source. These products, which collect the majority of The Byte Works’ products and source code, are available immediately on CD and USB and as downloadable disk images, starting at $25 each or $40 for both.

"Juiced.GS‘s collaborations with The Byte Works began when we bundled GSoft BASIC with our December 1998 issue," said magazine editor and publisher Ken Gagne. "We’re thrilled to work with Mike Westerfield to again make his programming tools accessible to the Apple II community."

"The ORCA languages, including the assembler and development environment Apple shipped as APW, have always been the most complete and widely used tools for Apple IIGS programming," said Mike Westerfield, president of The Byte Works. "They have been hard to get for a few years. I’m delighted that Gamebits is making these programs easily available again."

To commemorate this release, Gamebits has released Juiced.GS Concentrate: GSoft BASIC, a PDF that collects Eric Shepherd’s six-part programming tutorial series that was originally published in Juiced.GS from 1998 to 2000. This PDF is free when purchased with any Opus product, or it can be purchased separately, bundled with a free trial edition of GSoft BASIC, for $10.

Additionally, a related product, Juiced.GS Concentrate: Back to BASICs, has been reduced in price by 33%, from $12 to $8. A further $2 discount is applied when purchased with Juiced.GS Concentrate: GSoft BASIC.

Opus ][

Juiced.GS is the longest-running and last remaining print publication dedicated to the Apple II. Subscriptions are available at $19 for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers. Receive news and updates about Juiced.GS by signing up for our email list or following us on Facebook or Google+.

August 21st, 2015

A2RetroSystems announces Uthernet II preorders opening NOW

IT’S HAPPENING NOW! If you asked to be notified of the A2RetroSystems Uthernet II preorder, your e-mail inviting you to participate has been sent or will arrive soon. Glenn Jones has announced that the initial price for the Uthernet II will be $59, and $10 for worldwide shipping of up to 2 cards. Glenn’s announcement is attached below:

Dear Uthernet II Interested parties,

I am pleased to report the survey was a great success. Thank you so much for your awesome support of the Uthernet II project.

Before I continue, I would like to thank the people who have assisted me in getting this project to the point where it is now.

We all owe Oliver Schmidt a large thank you for his many and continuing open source contributions on the Contiki, IP65 and also ADTPro programs. Oliver consulted with me in the early stages of this products development, on which chip should be chosen for this project and provided all the primary software support to ensure the correct operation of the hardware. After that he went on to provide drivers and enhancements to Contiki, IP65 and ADTPro.

Ewen Wannop is another force to be reckoned with in the Apple II software world with his own suite of programs for GS/OS, that use both the Uthernet I and II cards. Ewen developed both the original Uthernet I and II link layers that make it possible to use Marinetti and associated apps on GS/OS.

David Schmidt continues to enhance and support ADPPro. David was responsible for an early test version of ADTPro that was compatible with the Uthernet II.

On the hardware front Kilian Leonhardt suggested a solution to resolve compatibility issues with the Apple II+ and Unenhanced IIe and Daniel Kruszyna suggested a solution for an issue with the interrupt line.

Last but not least is my sincere thanks to my alpha and beta hardware testers whose additional testing help give the confidence to proceed with production of this project.

Jonno Downes, Ed Eastman, Sean Fahey, David Finnigan, Bill Garber, Daniel Kruszyna, Kilian Leonhardt, John Keoni Morris, Andrew Roughan, Oliver Schmidt, David Schmidt, Nigel Sheldon (CL), Antoine Vignau, Ryan Wallmow, Ewen Wannop, Sean Zabriskie.

To date there have been 277 respondents to the survey.

Since sending out the survey, another option for board assembly has presented itself.

I was contacted by a local Canadian company, Circuits Central, who offered to bid on the assembly job.

So why am I mentioning this option verses just continuing with my original plan of producing the boards in China?

As mentioned in the survey, given the quantities we are discussing, these boards must be machine assembled to ensure a consistent quality and be produced in a timely fashion.

Having them made in China has some benefits like lower cost and reasonable execution but it also presents a few challenges on my part.

  • First time trying to execute at this scale.
  • Communication with Chinese manufacturers can be challenging at times.
  • Initial Inspection for a run must be done by photograph (assembly line cannot be held up waiting for sample testing).
  • Two runs cost more than 1 large run (assuming a smaller initial run in order to make sure quality and functionally is met, followed by a second larger run).

By choosing to go with Circuits Central

  • I would be partnering with a local business located 30 minutes from my home.
  • Has a good reputation/track record in the electronics industry since 1996.
  • Will produce a few sample boards for me to test before committing to the rest of the production run.
  • Significantly increases the chance of project success while helping to reduce risk.

So having explained all of this, my decision then is to partner with Circuits Central in Canada for the assembly. The bare PCB’s however will still be manufactured in China.

In summary:

Based on the results of the survey and other factors, the card will be offered at an “introductory price” of $59 USD per card. Orders will be filled based on the color chosen in the survey (Green, Red, Blue, Black).

World wide shipping would still be $10 USD flat rate per 2 cards.

I believe this offer provides the best blend of value and quality while reducing the manufacturing risk to a manageable level.

So to place a pre-order via paypal, please access the ordering page at http://www.a2retrosystems.com/order.htm

This introductory price offer will be valid until August 31 2015 EDT.

Once I have enough pre-orders to get underway, I will post a production status page with your order number so you may follow along with project updates and later shipping status.

I expect the manufacturing process to take approximately one month given no delays. After receiving the cards, I will be filling orders after hours/weekends. Given the quantity of cards to be tested, packed and shipped, please bear with me as I process the orders.

You will find the current FAQ at http://www.a2retrosystems.com/support.htm#faq.

Thanks again for all your encouraging support.

Glenn Jones
A2retrosystems

.ps Please feel free to share this email if you know someone who did not fill out the survey and may be interested in this offer.

August 18th, 2015

SYNTAX ERROR T-shirts available from Zazzle

Brendan Robert designed a Syntax Error t-shirt, and the product is now available for purchase on Zazzle.com. Control-G Bell (beep) not included.


syntax_error_t_shirts

August 18th, 2015

Coming soon: A2Heaven.com


a2heaven2

Plamen Vayssilov will soon open A2Heaven.com, a new Apple II site to sell his Apple II products. The site will also host a blog and forums for technical support.

Plamen, a Bulgarian retro-computing enthusiast, has been prolific in cloning and reverse-engineering and even modernizing several Apple II peripheral products, such as the Mockingboard, AE RAMWorks and RAM Express, Apple SCSI card and many more.

June 16th, 2015

UltimateMicro to open new store Wednesday, June 17th 2015


UltimateMicro

Anthony Martino and Henry Courbis will be opening their new, updated UltimateMicro storefront on Wednesday, June 17th. You can expect to see many of their innovative new products showcased, such as the MicroDrive Turbo, 2MB RAMWorks Expander, the improved No-Slot-Clock and the new Switchable Oscillator along with ROM, RAM and miscellaneous upgrades. Something for everyone!

September 12th, 2014

Next batch of CFFA3000 cards (run #4) expected early 2015

Rich Dreher is selling 7 CFFA3000 cards that had minor production issues (since corrected). The boards have a full 1 year warranty, and come with the Remote Switch board, cable and a CD with the manual and various support files.

Rich has also alluded to the next production run of the wildly popular CFFA3000 would take place in early 2015.

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