November 9th, 2015

French Touch releases Raster Bars

A mini demo with raster bars and Mockingboard sound support!

Get the disk image at http://www.ctrl-pomme-reset.fr/french-touch/

November 2nd, 2015

UltimateMicro to begin shipping their new 8Meg IIGS RAM Card v2.0

UltimateMicro will begin shipping pre-orders of their new 8Meg IIGS RAM Card v2.0 starting next week. Priced at USD $249 in their store, there will also be a $279 Buy It Now option via eBay.

The design of this card started out as a clone of the CVTech 8MB card, but it’s an entirely new product now. Refinements and updated components promise to make this the ultimate RAM card available for the IIGS. Features include:

  • Gold Fingers for superior oxidation prevention and long life.
  • Tantalum and Ceramic Power Filtering Capacitors for longer life (4x minimum), extreme reliability and stability over time especially when compared to Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors. Power Filtering Capacitors are the last line of defense when it comes to protection from corrupted data in RAM.
  • Resettable Fuse for short-circuit protection and to prevent damage to the Motherboard’s and RAM Card’s PCB traces, and to help prevent Tantalum Capacitor thermal runaway and damage.
  • Power LED to show the board is receiving power and the Resettable Fuse is functioning correctly.
  • ROM Expansion/Direct Access Connector for future projects and easy connection with existing accessories.
  • RAM Bank 1 and Bank 2 LEDs to show access (not DRAM Refresh).


UltimateMicro---8Meg-RAM-Ca
Click image for larger view of card.

October 31st, 2015

8 Bit Weapon posts tribute to Fallout 4

Using the Lawless Legends engine, 8 Bit Weapon posts a fun tribute to the upcoming Fallout 4.



October 27th, 2015

Tecnobytes announces Tecnowarp reserve list

Tecnobytes is now accepting pre-order reservations for the upcoming Tecnowarp accelerator card for the Apple II Plus and IIe.

The Tecnowarp features four software selectable speeds (1.0MHz, 2.0MHz, 3.6MHz and 7.2MHz) and can use an external switch to toggle turbo mode off and on. It also boasts user upgradeable firmware and jumperless configuration via inbuilt menus. No dips or jumpers to set!

Performance-wise, the Tecnowarp appears to be comparable to the elusive Applied Engineering Transwarp II which also ran at 7MHz.

The Tecnowarp is priced at $250 USD each (PayPal and shipping fees not included), discounts for multiple board orders.



October 11th, 2015

Hands on with the A2Heaven Apple IIc VGA Adapter

Review written by Javier Rivera

The apple //c is a little marvel and it is a favorite among retro collectors for its beauty, versatility and size. Lately there has been a lot of development for the platform around storage and display, as media is harder to acquire and slow, and CRT displays are aging and failing. Also there’s the problem of color: a lot of old displays are green or monochrome, and the color options are sometimes hard to get. All these constraints have engaged creative minds around the world, like France, Bulgaria, Japan, Korea, Brazil and US just to name a few, to come with new and creative alternatives.

The video problem for the Apple //c has been a special one: the signal from the video port is not a typical standard, and very few attempts to use the connector have been made. The first was from Video7, who made a “video enhancer” that connected to RGB monitors. Later there was a home-brew from France called “Guimauve 2000” that connected the //c to a VGA monitor.

Lately, Nishida Radio came out with a beautiful adapter that not only worked very well, but was very small and connected to the back of the computer. The only drawback of the last two solutions is that they don’t include protective enclosures, the components are exposed.

Recently, Plamen Vasilyov from Bulgaria, a prolific Apple II hardware creator, came up with his version of a VGA adapter. I had the fortune of getting ahold of the device and it is a simple yet effective VGA converter. The device not only works flawlessly, but is also elegant and simple. Comes in a white plastic printed enclosure, with a rainbow cable that connects to the //c video port (very retro Apple II style) and provides on the output side a three-row 15-pin DB-15 VGA connector.


vga

The feature that sets this adapter apart from the others is a small button next to the connector: by pushing it will provide 8 different video modes: Color, Green, Monochrome, Mono White, Color-scanline, Green-scanline, Monochrome-scanline and Mono White-scanline. The beauty of these modes is that you can emulate different monitors with one button: a color, green, monochrome and white monochrome monitors, and with the addition of scan lines it recreates the CRT look and feel, very popular in the console game scene.


photo 3

These modes also make working with 80 column and graphic desktop applications very easy, allowing readable and crisp clear text at the touch of a button.

Green | Green w/scan lines | Color | Color w/scan lines

The device sits on the back of the computer out of sight but easily accesible to the switch, is small, light and very well crafted. I’m not surprised as his other creations (//c dclock, Senior PROM, Audio cards and his famous Disk II floppy Emulator) are known for quality and reliability.

I greatly recommend this adapter, as not only does what it is intended very well, but provides extra options found only in high end gaming devices.

At the time of this review, the price of the Apple IIc VGA Adapter had not yet been announced. Separate NTSC and PAL versions will be available.

October 11th, 2015

How Quinn Dunki got her BEEP back

Quinn Dunki embarks on a quest to correct a great injustice; fix the oddball, non-standard system beep of the Apple IIc Plus.



October 7th, 2015

French Touch releases Plasmagoria demo



October 2nd, 2015

MacGUI announces prize winners for Apple II photo contest

Prize Winners for Apple II Photo Contest

At last, the 14 photo entries for last month’s Retro Apple II Photo Contest have been judged, leaving us with a first prize winner for an Uthernet II, a second prize winner for free shipping on the same, and three honorable mentions.

To keep everything fair, the judge was someone who is not a part of the Apple II community, but who has a BFA degree and has a basic familiarity with the Apple II. Entries were judged based on composition, elements from the chosen time period, and overall retro feel.

Speaking personally, there were a lot of really good photos. I love looking at Apple II setups, as I’m sure a lot of other people in the community do. The idea for this contest came to me around January or so, and I’m glad that I brought it to execution and that the community made so many good photos for it.

And now, here are the winners.

September 22nd, 2015

The lost Apple Logo…

Fast Company has posted an article The Lost Apple Logo You’ve Never Seen which clearly doesn’t apply to most long-term Apple II users (but maybe to most Macintosh users).

September 11th, 2015

Wayne Johnson’s Raster Blaster Reloaded available for download

I’ve spent the last few months remaking Raster Blaster from the Apple II which was a game I loved playing back at school in the day. It’s currently available for Windows, MacOSX and Android and I need to get back to finishing the Linux build which will hopefully be next week sometime.

The free download is at: http://sausage.itch.io/raster-blaster-reloaded.

The official site is: http://hippocket.waynejohnson.net

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