A Facebook campaign to get out the vote for the Apple II on this Fortune Magazine poll has raised the Apple II from 3% to 13% (at the time of this post). Join us! Show your retro-computing pride and help get the Apple II the love it deserves by voting Apple II today!
Recently, Juiced.GS Magazine (the longest running Apple II print publication in existence) announced their solidarity with Apple Inc. in their fight for privacy and security against government eavesdropping. Not unexpectedly, this placed Juiced.GS in the cross-hairs of the FBI and other governmental agencies within the umbrella of Department of Homeland Security; if popular, influential magazines such as Juiced.GS were allowed to encrypt their content, then rowdy Atari and Commodore anarchists wouldn’t be too far behind. Where would it end?
Sources speaking confidentially with A2Central (because they were not authorized to do so) claimed the FBI wanted Juiced.GS decrypted, or “unlocked” and had initially requested the assistance of the NSA’s Advanced Code-breaking Unit (ACU) which uses super-computing and artificial intelligence resources to decrypt foreign government communications. That option allegedly wasn’t immediately available due to its current task of decoding McDonalds Monopoly prize pieces in an effort to win free Frappe Mocha, french fries and other freebies for the organization’s night shift. Conjecture indicates the NSA staff may have had an unprecedented case of the munchies.
A lengthy battle in the court of public opinion and eventual legal proceedings seemed imminent. However, it may have turned out to be an unnecessary and overly elaborate exercise as the FBI and Homeland Security now claim they can access Juiced.GS content without ACU intervention. An unidentified third-party is assisting the agency establish a subscription to the magazine that has the encryption feature disabled.
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We are excited to introduce Nox Archaist, a new role playing game we are developing exclusively for the Apple II platform and emulators. Currently we are targeting a release date sometime this year. Nox Archaist will be available 100% free and the complete assembly source code will be posted on our blog as development progresses.
Nox Archaist is a 2D tile based fantasy RPG with a classic Apple II look and feel. We are taking advantage of the full 128k available on the IIe and later models which will help us create features and effects that may not have been seen in vintage 1980s Apple games. Game play videos and screenshots showing the current evolution of the Nox Archaist game engine are available below.
Please send us your comments and suggestions! We would like to include many community sourced ideas into the game.
Coming soon from UltimateMicro: a new heavy duty universal power supply for the Apple II, II+, //e, IIGS and Apple ///. The circuit board for the power supply will feature multiple mount points and snap-offs to accommodate any of the standard power supply enclosures used in the Apple II and /// series and possibly even those from Applied Engineering and Applied Ingenuity. The UM-UPS will likely be available as both a DIY kit and as a fully assembled product ready for mounting in your enclosure. You will also have the option of having UltimateMicro upgrade your existing power supply by sending it in and paying for labor. Pricing has not yet been announced for this product or upgrade services.
The Scalable Oscillator has been revised and now we have the v2.0 versions for the Zip-GS and the Transwarp GS. Although identical in function, the new Scalable Oscillator circuit boards were redesigned for reliability and accuracy by using a higher grade clock IC. Both have fuse protection and a diagnostic power LED to let the user know the card is powered on. Either product is available for a very reasonable USD $40 plus shipping.
Scalable Oscillator for ZipGS
Scalable Oscillator for TranswarpGS
Scalable Oscillator 2.0 Review by Joe’s Computer Museum
Lastly, we have the replacement DuoDisk cable. It’s a common occurrence for Apple II enthusiasts to find 5.25 DuoDisk Disk Drives missing their interface cable, or sometimes it’s been cut-off. It doesn’t help that the cable is somewhat non-standard. Good news! UltimateMicro will soon have a solution for you!
Vintage Computer Festivals are like no other events! Come join us for a few days of family-friendly historic computing awesomeness. Each event has a hands-on exhibition hall where you can see and try computers from the 1960s-1980s. There are also keynote lectures, technical classes, special attractions, and much more.
There are four U.S. editions of the Vintage Computer Festival scheduled for 2016.
VCF Southeast — April 2-3, Atlanta region
VCF East — April 15-17, central New Jersey
Online ticketing and exhibit registration is open!
VCF West — August 6-7, Silicon Valley
Online ticketing and exhibit registration is open!
VCF Midwest — September 10-11, Chicago region
Want a VCF show in your area? Let us know! – Contact email@example.com
Be sure to check out the Vintage Computer Forums!
UtlimateMicro has re-released their clone of the highly sought after Apple II 3.5 “SuperDrive” Disk Controller. Known also by it’s Apple code name, the “Mustang Controller” allows you to use standard Apple 3.5 and Apple SuperDrives on your enhanced Apple IIe (and IIGS).
It’s a much better option versus the slower Liron/UniDisk 3.5 combination or VTech Universal Disk Controller (which can also be hard to find). In addition to reading Apple’s GCR format, it can also read IBM formatted MFM disks (an enabled MS-DOS file system translator required).
For $35 USD, this snazzy ROM adapter from A2Heaven.com will let you switch your original Apple IIGS between ROM 0 and ROM 01, or (even more interestingly) between the beta 2.0 and IIBF ROMs if you’re curious about those. It features a color-changing LED to indicate which ROM is active. Obviously, due to architecture differences, this device isn’t compatible with the ROM 3 or Mark Twain Apple IIGS.
UltimateMicro has announced new products to enhance your favorite Apple II, with even more enhancements and fun projects on the way.
ROM 0 to ROM 01 Adapter v2.0
The IIgs ROM0 to ROM1 Adapter v2.0 is a redux of the v1 adapter where I used to Machine Pin Sockets stacked together to allow use of a standard ROM in the IIgs. There is hidden benefit to these new v2 Adapters however. Since they use a standard EEPROM, users can now do firmware development for the IIgs very simply. For ROM3 firmware development or ROM replacement you will require two Adapters since there are two ROMs on the ROM3 motherboard. Available now, for only $30 USD.
ZipGS SRAM SOJ to DIP Adapter
The next project is called the SRAM SOJ to DIP Adapter and it is intended to allow ZIP-GSX users to more simply upgrade their board without the need for new sockets or crazy hacks likes bending pins of “skinny” SRAMs to solder in to the on-board sockets of the ZIP. Or more correct, but costly options, like having me replace the sockets on the ZIP-GSX board. Each adapter is $20 USD and available for ordering now.
Also coming up is the new Universal Power Supply. Beta units are going out to Joe Strosnider and Chris Torrence for video reviews (which we’ll try to post here). There will be a pre-order to gauge interest since the initial expense to deliver this project is fairly significant.
ByteBoosters appears to be a new Apple II vendor in Roth, Germany. Their first product is a $60 (USD) 4MB RAM card for the Apple IIGS currently being sold on eBay. It looks like it may be a clone of the Applied Engineering GS-RAM III which is a really nice card, as far as we’re concerned. The 2 year warranty is nice also.
4MB DRAM (4 banks) using 4Mbit DRAM chips (1Mbit x 4)
100% DMA compatible
Fast RAM -70ns
Low Power consumption
Fully gold plated high quality printed circuit board
Gold plated slot contacts ensuring high reliability
In this episode of Drop /// Inches, we interview Taylor Pohlman, who joined Apple in 1979 and became the Apple /// Product Marketing Manager in 1981, managing the “Reintroduction” of the Apple ///. He is also well known for the series of columns in Softalk magazine (“The Third BASIC”) introducing concepts in Business BASIC programming. Later, he left Apple to found Forethought (the company responsible for FileMaker and PowerPoint), co-founded Regent Systems, managed the development of GS-BASIC for the Apple IIGS, and then returned to Apple from 1986 to 1992, and is currently principal at Rohner & Associates, having worked with Sybase and Autodesk along the way.
We talked with Taylor about the innovations the Apple /// and SOS brought to the computing landscape, the launch at Disneyland, frustrations and missed opportunities with the Apple ///. We also heard about several other things, not specific to the Apple ///, such as the early days at Apple, interactions with Steve Jobs, launching the black Bell & Howell Apple II, using an Apple II to rock a baby cradle triggered by sound, Apple employees storming the Lisa building in Halloween costumes, the short-lived Apple IV, and lots more.