June 6th, 2014

Dagen Brock releases Flapple Bird

Based on the maddening ‘Flappy Bird’ game, Dagen Brock has released a reproduction (or de-make) game for the Apple II dubbed ‘Flapple Bird’.

Download 5.25″ version
Download 3.5″ version


flapple_title

June 6th, 2014

The French Touch

Block ASCII art done right on the Apple II. Who needs ANSI?

June 5th, 2014

Option8 offers discount to KansasFest attendees

KansasFest Special:

Order any item for local pickup at KansasFest 2014, and receive 5% off your total order. Offer valid through July 4, 2014.

http://retroconnector.com/products/

June 5th, 2014

Introducing PLASMA 123 (1][///) Preview

Some of you may remember my earlier work on PLASMA, the Proto Language AsSeMbler for Apple. Some of you may even know it will be the language of Lawless Legends (https://www.facebook.com/LawlessLegends). But now, with a flurry of previous concepts and new ideas developed for the LL implementation, comes PLASMA 123. Why 123? Because it runs on the Apple 1, ][, and ///. "No way!", you say. Way. And it runs the exact same PLASMA modules (user programs and libraries) on all three systems, without modification. That's the power of a VM. But this VM was designed specifically for the Apple II (both 64K and 128K fully utilized) and the Apple /// (uses extended memory addressing, up to 512K), from the beginning. The Apple 1 got a quick port because of the awesome CFFA1 (Rich may still have some left).

Now this is a pretty early announcement, but I thought some of the more technically adventurous may want to take a look and provide some feedback, or at least poke at it. You can find all the source and preliminary documentation on GitHub: https://github.com/dschmenk/PLASMA

There is a demo disk image in the GitHub project: DEMO.0.9.PO - it is a dual booting disk for the Apple II and III. It will boot into a simple command line prompt. The commands are:

c - catalog current path
c - catalog path
v - list on-line device volumes
p - set prefix to path
+ - run PLASMA file
- - run SYSTEM file (Apple II only)

There are only two sample PLASMA programs to run on this image: HELLO and TEST. Run them, as documented above, with '+hello' and '+test'.

The HELLO module is pretty simple. The TEST module actually loads a module dependency, TESTLIB, as it runs. It is just my language test coverage module, using a bunch of different aspects of PLASMA. If you see a bunch of junk on the screen with HELLO on your Apple ][ or ][+, that means you don't have a lower-case adapter and I haven't forced the output on those machines to upper case yet.

So now we have the grand unifying environment for the 8 bit Apples. And it's fast. I developed some new interpreter technology for this version: about 3 times slower than native compiled 6502, but about 10 times as dense, and code doesn't take up precious main memory (on 128K Apple II or Apple III). You can still write ASM functions inside your PLASMA module for those times that speed is critical above all else.

Dave...

May 28th, 2014

Briel Replica 1 Plus announced

Vince Briel’s Replica 1 10th Anniversary limited edition boards have sold out, but the same design is available now as the ‘Replica 1 Plus’. The only things that are different on this board are the color (green vs. red) and the silk-screened name. The Replica 1 Plus is available assembled for USD $199, or as a kit for USD $149 plus shipping.


replica1plus_med

The plus has improvements over the TE that make programming and power issues a thing of the past. Now you can power your replica 1 right off your PC or Mac or Tablet with the USB interface. With drivers installed, you can use a terminal program for sending/receiving programs or just use the terminal interface as your display and keyboard if you want. For those who prefer the stand alone feature, you can still use a composite monitor or TV and PS/2 keyboard. The ASCII keyboard port has been retained but for Apple II keyboards, a -12V supply or a Super Encoder board enhanced Apple II keyboard is required. Firmware changes now allow backspace or the original _ to be used just by selecting CTRL and F1. No more fighting backspace issues. Two versions of ROM’s onboard to select from! Yes, the original apple 1 with BASIC and now the Woz monitor and Applesoft lite can be used by adding a jumper! Enjoy floating point BASIC ported from the Apple II.

EXTRA GOOD NEWS! Look for an announcement soon on how you can assemble your own Replica 1 Plus kit under Vince’s guidance at a KansasFest 2014 workshop!

May 25th, 2014

ADTPro 2.0.0 released

David Schmidt has announced ADTPro has reached version 2.0.0

It is time for the Wide protocol to see the light of day. Version 2.0.0 has been released, and it’s a doozy (at least from the internals point of view). Many of the underlying subsystems were ripped-and-replaced, from the basic block transport to the Apple ///’s screen I/O. All with an eye towards improved performance and… finally, a file picker that lets you choose a file from whatever the host is serving.

This is a “point-oh” release in every sense of the word, so if you’re daring… go ahead and get on the bleeding edge.

New functionality:

  • New protocol (code-named “Wide”) that makes transport more reliable and significantly faster with tunable payload lengths
  • [Client] Arrow-and-Return interface for choosing a file to receive
  • [Client] Arrow-and-Return interface for the main menu
  • [Client] Directory listing allows for wildcard filtering of files, paging forward and backward
  • [SOS Client] Slow driver-based screen I/O subsystem replaced with custom code, significantly speeding up display
  • Separated ProDOS and SOS boot disks for ADTPro client; VDRIVE boot disk remains common to both

Bug fixes:

  • When the server decides to abort, the new protocol will not react to the “spray of commands” when the client (re-)sends data that isn’t supposed to be commands
  • [SOS Client] Keyboard interaction works correctly
  • [SOS Client, SOS VSDrive] Changing serial connected-ness to the Apple /// no longer causes fatal SOS $02 errors
  • [SOS Client] Bare-metal bootstrap more reliable with timeout logic borrowed from Speediboot and made prettier with a logo and better display management
  • [Client] Hitting the escape key on the configuration screen truly aborts changes; this prevents DHCP from requesting a new IP address, for example
  • [Build] Re-architected ‘Ant’ build system to be completely dependency-driven; allows complete granularity of build targets
May 23rd, 2014

Woz reflects on Apple’s early days

His appearance at KansasFest 2013 and recent write up on the development of Integer BASIC notwithstanding, Woz has spent much of his time recently battling the FCC’s controversial new net “neutrality” policies and generally looking to the future. This is understandable of course – you can only tell the same stories of the company’s early days so many times before they lose a bit of their luster – but the Apple co-founder still finds time now and then to spend an afternoon, recounting the past as he did when he appeared as the “surprise” guest at the Smith & Associates Thirtieth Anniversary in Houston, Texas earlier this week (in a suit jacket, no less).


From left: Lee Ackerley, co-founder and co-owner of Smith; Marc Barnhill, chief trading officer for Smith; Bob Ackerley, co-founder and co-owner of Smith; and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. (Olivia Pulsinelli/HBJ)


Woz shared anecdotes of Apple’s founding, and explained to lucky attendees to the “fireside chat” and luncheon how factors such as the company’s organization in its early years and the professionalism brought by industry vet and initial investor Mike Markkula, helped Apple achieve success in the then-nascent industry.

PRWeb has the original press release available here.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that any video of the chat has been posted online, but we’ll be sure to update you the moment it is made available.

 

May 19th, 2014

New Apple /// podcast announced, Drop /// Inches

Today is the Apple ///’s 34th birthday, and Mike Maginnis has used this auspicious date to announce he is starting a new podcast with fellow Apple /// enthusiast Paul Hagstrom. Dedicated to the (you guessed it) Apple /// computer, the ‘Drop /// Inches’ podcast is named tongue in cheek after the infamous troubleshooting step used to re-seat RAM chips in malfunctioning Apple /// computers.


10314691_10203183951912135_5365457404055951887_n

Check out ‘Drop /// Inches’ web site for more details.

May 19th, 2014

Do you want 16MB of auxillary RAM in your Apple IIe?

The real question is, ‘what would you do with 16 megabytes of auxiliary RAM?’ Well, there’s AppleWorks (but it only recognizes 1.5MB) and only a few other programs like SuperCalc that can adequately justify adding more than 1MB of RAM to your Apple IIe. Sure, you can also add a print spooler and a RAM disk but then, what’s next?

We’re about to find out. Matt Jenkins is close to turning his prototype RamWorks clone, dubbed ‘ScramWorks’ into an actual card. Initially, Matt looked at an 8MB version, but it’s just as easy and with little increase in cost to max out the card for the ultimate 16MB auxiliary card.

During their early years, Applied Engineering advertised memory add-on cards for the RamWorks line totaling between 14MB to 16MB (achieved by stacking multiple expanders), digital and analog video adapters and even optimistically developed a 65c816 option card, perhaps in the hope of spurring 16 bit development on the Apple II line. By the time the RamWorks II and III were introduced, AE had reduced their advertising claims to 3MB and the 16bit option card was a gizmo that little to nothing took advantage of. That was then.

So what’s new and different today? Honestly, very little. Matt is looking into making the card compatible with the older AE RGB interfaces, or more likely, integrate Nishida Radio’s VGA adapter into the design. That would certainly be practical.

It would be up to today’s hackers and enthusiasts to develop the killer apps or utilities to make 16MB of RAM dance on the Apple IIe. I will buy one (or two) in the hopes someone will do exactly that.

If you’re interested in the ScramWorks project, let Matt know. He has a survey up to gather information on what the community needs and expects.

April 23rd, 2014

Vicious, an Apple-1 sound card

Well here is a surprise! A sound card for the Apple-1, based on SID and CIA chips you’d normally expect to see on some other vintage computer platform.

« Previous Page« Previous Entries | Next Entries »Next Page »