May 18th, 2017

Nox Archaist combat module, part 2

6502 Workshop announces the release of Part 2 of the short short narrative video Cow-A-Pult using the game engine of their 8-bit tile-based RPG. This video shows more combat features. Mark Lemmert assures us that “Part 2 really does have cows in it. The people who omitted the cows from Part 1 have been sacked.”

In the previous episode, the band of heroes found a village that was attacked by marauding orcs. Now the adventure continues into the wilds to find the lair of the orcs and confront the guardian of the ruins.

This video introduces several gameplay elements:

  • New spells
  • New combat tactics
  • New tile graphic animations

Look for more details about Nox Archaist’s combat in the June 2017 issue of Juiced.GS prior to the game’s release later this year.

March 28th, 2017

WOzFest PR#6 Announced for 29 April 2017

From the europlus blog:

I’m exceedingly pleased to announce that the next WOzFest, WOzFest PR#6, will be held on Saturday, April 29 2017, starting around midday Sydney time (UTC+10:00).

The theme of the day will be “Preservation”, with a special emphasis on grass-roots preservation efforts.

Four Skype video sessions are currently planned with enthusiasts from around the world who are known for their preservation efforts.

A book scanner is also planned to be on hand for a demonstration of non-destructive digitisation of bound publications.

Details on the announcement post, and updates will be posted under the europlus blog’s WOzFest tag.

February 9th, 2017

T2A2 – The transputer is finally here!

Axel Muhr from Germany has released his T2A2 card, a transputer card for the Apple II. Read his announcement and get yours soon!

 

Hey a2central gang,

I’d just like to send you a quick heads-up, that my T2A2 (“Transputer to Apple II”) interface finally became a real PCB – 6 years after you ran a news-line about the prototype (http://a2central.com/2683/t2a2-apple-ii-transputer-interface/). Well sometimes it just takes a tad bit longer :-D

http://www.geekdot.com/t2a2-for-everyone/

I ran a first initial batch of 20 as I have no idea how big (or small) the interest is, as this is really something, uhm, ‘special’ ;-)

T2A2 Transputer

January 11th, 2017

Portal for the Apple II – A Cake-acquisition Simulator

Vince Weaver has written an Applesoft rendition of Portal for the Apple II.

“While attempting to travel to the future to get a copy of Portal 3. I accidentally traveled to alternate-1987 and obtained a copy of Portal 1 for the Apple II!”, Weaver says.

“In actuality I originally just planned to do the end credits. But the Apple II high-res mode has the perfect Aperture Science orange and blue colors, and one thing led to another… ”

Of course this project is just for fun and is in no way endorsed by Valve, etc.

Check out the Kerbal Space Program port by Vince as well!

January 2nd, 2017

The Source Is Strong With This One – System 6.0.4.

Happy II Year!

A New, New Release.

But first I would like to address the auxtypo, er auxtype issue recently discovered with the 6.0.3. release. Sometimes there are many ways to accomplish the same task. Most of the time it matters not how it is done so we don’t think about it. The auxtype issue has brought to the forefront that just as elusive as issues are with the GS/OS HFS FST, the same can be said about the ProDOS File System Extension for MacOS Classic (7.x-9.x). There is an apparent endian issue with the handling of the auxtype. Given the limited use of auxtypes in the ProDOS world, with most being $0000, if there is an endian issue the result is going to be the same anyway. But when you have an intermittent error and a whole lot of files to copy, your odds of it stumbling are much greater. In light of the HFS FST’s issues, I typically tell people to move data onto it’s native file system on the target platform. Don’t write HFS disks with your IIgs. After all these years I guess I need to add “..and don’t write ProDOS disks with your Mac.

The root of the issue was the auxtype bytes being swapped during the transfer. In the case of the SCSI.Manager it should have been $0140 but instead it was written as $4001. All auxtypes have been verified with this release.

Overall, there were auxtype issues with several files but not all affected the operation of the system software.
(SCSI.Manager, Finder, Start, and all system sounds.)

Some of this stuff is technical in nature and therefore dull and boring to most people, but we’ll go over it because if not, someone will ask.

OMF Records

OMF record packing. Records are stored more efficiently than the loader in System 6.0 and earlier resulting in less disk space for most program files and improved load times.

Control Panels

Support for Daylight Saving Time has been revised to the USA standard effective year 2007, up from the 1987-2006 specification used on the 6.0.3 and earlier releases.

Each CDEV has an rVersion resource for consistency.

Sound CDEV handles finderSaysOpenFailed events by playing the sound resource in the file. This is just the option to associate additional error conditions with audio feedback.

For the Unicorns out there, Slots CDEV supports ROM 4 “Mark Twain” hardware. Since this revision has inbuilt SCSI hardware and support for the SuperDrive (FDHD) 1.44mb 3.5″, these changes are now selectable and with the lack of Slots 5 and 7 physically, there is no “Your Card” option that can be selected.

File System Translators

DOS 3.3, Pascal, and ProDOS FSTs have been corrected to use the maximum Parameter Count (pCount) values. These are one way of passing variables between sections of code.

Pascal FST checks that the Volume Control Record is actually a Pascal Volume Control Record, that all parameters were properly initialized.

Finder

When opening resource sound files with only a single rSound and no application is assigned to that file type, the Finder sends a finderSaysOpenFailed event. This lets the Sound CDEV play the sound (if no other system extension handles it first). Most sound files in the System:Sound folder can be played by the Finder.

File and volume sizes larger than one gigabyte, up to the maximum GS/OS allows, are properly displayed. Note that this is GS/OS support, and not ProDOS. Since GS/OS has open ended support for file systems other than Apple II native formats those files will be displayed properly in listings.

FST names in Finder windows no longer display garbage if a third party unknown FST is installed and used. Instead, no information is displayed.

Fonts and Sounds

Additional fonts are available: The installed group of fonts has been rounded out and all sets contain each character in each native point size.
Added Fonts:
Courier 48, 56, 72, and 96
Helvetica 56
Symbol 9, 10, 12, 14, 18, 24, 36, 40, 48, 56, 72, and 96
Times 56

Helvetica 96 and Times 96 have missing characters restored.

Various Macintosh system sounds have been added.

Installer

Installer sets the System folder’s auxtype during Easy Update to permanently enable magic routing in the Finder. This only works if the System folder is unlocked. Magic routing is when you’re installing things to the System Folder, you don’t need to open it and go to the respective folder. Files will be placed according to their filetype.

New fonts and sounds can also be added through the Customize options “Fonts: All” and “Control Panel: Sounds” respectively.

Line Edit Tool

Line Edit control supports Control-A to jump to the start of the line and control-E to jump to the end of the line.

ProDOS 8

ProDOS 8 2.4.1 release from John Brooks is included.

Window Manager Tool

When JM Gothic is the System Font, the Window Manager uses JM Gothic instead of the hard-coded Shaston 8.

Apple II Technical Notes Apple IIgs #001 and GS/OS #100 have been updated to reflect the content and organizational changes in this release.

Click for Availability…

September 22nd, 2016

A2Central on hiatus

There have been some interesting new developments in the Apple II community recently. You may have noticed we haven’t reported on them. I apologize for that, but my time has been constrained with family, work and other responsibilities and obligations that have left me with precious little time for my Apple II hobby.

Effective immediately, A2Central (as least where I’m concerned) is going on hiatus until I can get past a few major projects at work. I don’t know yet how long the hiatus will last. I appreciate your patience and understanding during this break in A2Central’s operations.

There are several other people who have the capability to post stories on A2Central, and I hope they’ll continue to do so while I take some needed time away.

Apple II Forever!
a2fan

September 7th, 2016

VNCView GS updated to v1.0

Stephen Heumann has updated VNCView GS to v1.0. The update includes optimized raw pixel decoding routines, meaning raw pixels can be decoded and displayed incrementally while receiving data and there is now an added option to tune Marinetti for high throughput.

This software allows an Apple IIgs to connect over a network to any computer providing VNC services, to display and interact with that computer’s graphical desktop environment.

August 26th, 2016

ByteBoosters adds new Transwarp GS enhancements to product line

ByteBoosters is now selling via eBay, two new Transwarp GS enhancements.

High-speed 32KB DarkCache Card to replace the standard 8KB cache piggyback on the Transwarp GS. It uses the fastest SRAMS (8ns) available.


bb-32Kcache

$44.44 USD plus shipping – click picture for eBay listing.

Complete GAL ICs replacement set, same high using the latest hardware revision and highest speed from Lattice (7ns).


bb-twgsgals

$39.99 USD plus shipping- click picture for eBay listing.

August 26th, 2016

Manila Gear introduces the Apple IIGS VGA Adapter

Mountain View, CA, August 26, 2016 – Manila Gear, makers of the 4soniq quadraphonic sound card for the Apple IIGS, today announced the Apple IIGS VGA Adapter. The adapter lets you connect your Apple IIGS to a VGA monitor that supports 15 kHz. It consists of a DA-15 to DE-15 adapter with an integrated sync separator.


VGA-Adapter-front-hires

This is a great solution for those of us who have aging AppleColor RGB Monitors, or are still looking for a simpler and better VGA solution.

The adapter has been tested and confirmed to work with a few Benq and Samsung monitors. It can also be used with monitors that do not support 15 kHz, by using the adapter in conjunction with a frequency upscaler such as the Gonbes GBS-8200. A list of supported monitors is maintained here.

The Apple IIGS VGA Adapter retails for $30, and is now available for purchase at https://manilagear.com/product/apple-iigs-vga-adapter.

August 18th, 2016

Pics from Apple II Festival France 2016

Thanks to Stephane Briancourt, we can see pictures from France’s premier Apple II retro-computing event. Check out the gallery here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130765014@N06/sets/72157669232460520/

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