January 31st, 2015

Latest update on the Apple II Pi from UA2/RM

Whew! Busy week trying to complete the next version of the Apple Pi prototype. This version has a Clock and Firmware. We’re hoping with some help from David Schmenk to eliminate the need for a floppy when booting directly to the Pi. We’re also hoping to add support for the ‘B+’ version of the Raspberry Pi. Some users have also inquired about the feasibility of using the Ethernet port on the Pi for the Apple II. We’re looking in to this as well. If possible this will add yet another amazing feature and reason to own a Pi. We’re confident if anyone can find a way, Dave is our man.


pi

One of the biggest questions we get asked is “What is the Apple Pi and what can it do for my retro computing experience?” So once the next version is ready for release we will put together a FAQ video demonstrating what the Pi can do for you, and all it’s available features.

A bit more testing and possibly another board revision and we’re hoping to have something worth sending out to people for reviews. Keep an eye on A2Central.com and an ear on the Open Apple podcast (www.open-apple.net) for sneak peaks and news about availability!

January 30th, 2015

Get ready for OzKFest, April 17-19 in Keysborough, Melbourne AU

OzKFest is going ahead April 17-19 in Keysborough, Melbourne.

There are 12 people already confirmed to attend. The website has just been updated with session teasers and those of us on the Apple II Oz mailing list are eagerly making plans with the expectation that this will again be a great event.

We encourage you to attend and join in the fun.

More information and a registration form is available on the website: http://ozkfest.net
If you can’t make it, but would like to follow the event happenings, we will be on twitter @OzKFest #OzKFest2015

Contact me directly (roughana@yahoo.com.au) if you would like assistance with securing shared accommodation.

Regards,
Andrew

January 23rd, 2015

It’s official, CiderPress 4.0.0 released

After a short public testing period, Andy McFadden has put the final touches on the indispensable toolkit CiderPress 4.0. Andy’s announcement is attached.

CiderPress, the Apple II disk and archive utility for Windows, has been updated for the first time in several years. An installer for Windows can be downloaded from http://a2ciderpress.com/.

The last official release, v3.0.1, came out six years ago. A summary of the changes made since that release follows.

** New Features **

  • Support for viewing and extracting the contents of AppleSingle files.

** UI and Usability **

  • When opening files, CiderPress no longer restricts you to a specific type of file (ShrinkIt archive, ACU archive, disk image, etc.). Just open the file and CiderPress will figure it out.
  • The custom file+folder selection dialog, used when adding files, has been rewritten. The long-absent “Accept” button has been restored, and the newer style of dialog is easier to use.
  • The custom folder-selection dialog, used when selecting the folder to extract files to, has been replaced with a much nicer standard system dialog.
  • The font used in all dialogs has been updated to take advantage of ClearType.
  • Help files have been migrated from WinHelp to HtmlHelp, so it is no longer necessary to download the WinHelp viewer on Windows 7 and later.
  • Non-ASCII characters in the Mac OS Roman set — used for HFS filenames and IIgs documents — are converted to Unicode in the file list, file viewer, and many dialogs.

** Bug Fixes **

  • Corrected the default size of the file viewer, and the initial position when viewing tall SHR images.
  • Teach and AWGS conversions now handle “shadow” and “outline” (though you need to open the converted file in something like Word to actually see it). Applesoft listings with carriage returns embedded in REM statements now match LIST output.
  • Fixed the 640-mode palette offsets in the SHR converter. (This was actually fixed a year ago by Bill Buckels, and available in v3.0.2-d1, but the patch wasn’t part of an “official” release until now.)
  • Expanded Gutenberg disk support to include Gutenberg, Jr disks.
  • DiskCopy images with resource forks (e.g. on the ByteWorks Opus ][ CD-ROM) now open with double-click.
  • File type associations, i.e. what makes it so you can double-click a file and have CiderPress open it, started breaking a bit with permission changes in WinVista. This has been fixed, but not perfectly.

** Internal changes **

  • Moved from a CVS repository on sourceforge to a git repository on github.
  • Registered a2ciderpress.com and moved the web site to it (now served up by github).
  • Updated the build files, which were originally set up for Visual Studio 6 (which dates back to 1998). It now builds cleanly “out of the box” with Visual Studio 2013.
  • Switched from _MBCS (narrow strings) to _UNICODE (wide strings). This affected all strings used in the user interface and in file names. The NuFX and disk image libraries still primarily use narrow strings, because they also build for Linux, but the Windows-specific parts are fully converted.
  • The help file “source code”, which used to be stored in a proprietary format, is now just plain text and HTML files.
  • Made various global changes to the source code, such as converting tabs to spaces, switching to variadic macros for debug log messages, and replacing vague C types like “unsigned short” with explicit types like “uint16_t”.
  • Fixed the Linux build, which had suffered from bit rot.
  • Updated to the latest version of DeployMaster (which creates the installer).
  • Expanded and updated developer documentation.

The net effect of all these changes is an application that looks a bit better, works a bit better, and will be much easier to patch and update in the future.

The newer build tools don’t support WinXP by default, but can be configured to do so. This required a few extra megabytes of DLLs in the installer. Earlier versions of Windows, such as Win2K and Win98, will not be able to run this or future versions of CiderPress. For those systems, version 3.0.1 should continue to be used.

Coincidentally, version 3.0.0 of NuLib2 has been released. The update was primarily a code refresh, with build fixes for Mac OS X, Win32, and Linux, but also added support for Mac OS Roman filenames on Linux and Mac OS. No meaningful change for Win32, though being built with the VS2013 compiler means the executable won’t work on older versions of Windows. Visit http://www.nulib.com/ for more information.

January 20th, 2015

Brian Picchi reviews the Apple II, David Murray thinks the Macintosh may have been a mistake


Brian Picchi

David Murray

January 12th, 2015

The French Touch strikes back with “Scroll Scroll Scroll”

The French Touch strikes back with a fantastic multi scroll demo: text, GR and HGR scrolls in the same window.


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

January 6th, 2015

Brutal Deluxe Software releases Merlin 32

Paris, January 6th, 2015 – Brutal Deluxe Sofware releases Merlin 32

Merlin 32 is a multi-pass Cross Assembler running under Windows targeting 8-bit processors in the 6502 series (such as 6502 and 65c02) and the 16 bit 65c816 processor.

It is compatible with Glen Bredon’s Merlin 16+ syntax, including support for Macros, Pre-processor, Logical Expressions, Conditional Operations, Variables, Loops, Local Labels…

It can build fixed position object code or relocatable executables (OMF v2.1) as we can find on 16-bit APPLE IIGS operating systems like ProDOS 16 or GS/OS (S16, EXE, CDA, NDA, FST, PIF, LIBRARY, TOOL…).

Merlin 32 has been successfully used to re-assemble classic Apple IIgs games and utilities such as Rastan, Sensei, Shuffle Puck Cafe, Final Assault, Lemmings, The Tinies, Cogito, Blockade, Convert 3200… without the need to modify the original source files.

Merlin 32 is part of the Brutal Deluxe’s Cross Development Tools Project, a full set of utilities available on Windows (and other) platforms to enable the creation of new Apple IIgs software : 65c816 Assembler, 65c816 Disassembler, 65c816 Simulator, Graphic File Converter, Resource Catcher…

Learn more and download Merlin 32 at http://brutaldeluxe.fr/products/crossdevtools/merlin/

Antoine Vignau & Olivier Zardini
Brutal Deluxe Software
http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/

January 2nd, 2015

Open Apple #42: 2014 Year-End Roundtable, Eric Shepherd, Sarah W., Carrington Vanston

This month on Open Apple, we close out the year with our traditional Year-End Roundtable discussion. We’re joined by Eric ‘Sheppy’ Shepherd, Sarah W., and Carrington Vanston. We talk about alternate universes, our collective love of the IIgs, and Quinn takes cheap shots at Carrington. It’s the holidays, so Commodore users are given a respite. Well, a bit of a respite, anyway. Meanwhile, Sheppy solicits hatemail, Carrington calls shenanigans, and Sarah keeps everyone honest. Count the euphemisms! So many euphemisms!

As usual, we have lots of news to talk about as well. It’s been an amazing year for the Apple II, and we have new games, new hardware, and new video histories to share. I/O Silver is here, John Romero is there, and JSMESS is everywhere.

http://www.open-apple.net/2015/01/01/open-apple-42-december-2014-2014-year-end-roundtable-eric-shepherd-sarah-w-carrington-vanston/

December 23rd, 2014

Mike Willegal shares VCF repair/maintenance presentations

Mike Willegal is one of the most knowledgeable hardware hackers in the community. So when Mike shares his accumulated wisdom, it’s probably something you’ll want to snag for your own reference library. Check out Mike’s ‘Apple II Repair Tips‘ page and also his recent VCF presentations in PDF format.

General Troubleshooting
Apple II Maintenance

Good stuff!

December 22nd, 2014

Bill Buckels releases Bmp2DHR v1.0 ‘best Apple IIe graphics converter on the planet…’

After much tinkering and optimizing, Bill Buckels has released v1.0 of Bmp2DHR, a graphics converter for 8-bit Apple II computers. Check out Bill’s site for the impressive results!

December 22nd, 2014

Dagen Brock’s ‘Winter Demo’ for the Apple IIGS


SNOW

Get the disk image here

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