April 29th, 2016

4play and 4soniq cards demoed at WOzFest ///

The 4play card is an interface for simultaneously connecting 4 digital (Atari style) joysticks to the Apple II for multi-player gaming and possibly other creative applications. The 4soniq appears to be a 4 channel stereo card.

This is a developing story. More information is forthcoming.

PRESS RELEASE
Brisbane, Australia, 29 April, 2016 – Alex Lukacz, well known in Apple ][ circles for his hardware hacking projects, today announced the debut of 4play, a digital joystick interface card for the Apple ][ line of computers. With the 4play card, Apple ][ gamers have a modern solution to connect up to four digital joysticks to an Apple ][.

The 4play supports the original Atari Joystick (and some derivatives of that standard). It is also possible to retrofit 4play support to keyboard-controlled Apple ][ games by redirecting keyboard control calls to the appropriate 4play memory addresses.

The 4play was designed in collaboration with Jesse Blue, of Apple IIgs development powerhouse Ninjaforce. Jesse was instrumental in helping Alex to refine the design and features of the card.

In conjunction with the 4play’s release, Ninjaforce jointly announces a 4play compatible version of its popular Bomberman clone KABOOM! The newly released v1.02 of KABOOM! supports the use of up to four digital joysticks in conjunction with the 4play. Other changes include the ability to control game menus via a connected joystick.

The 4play was announced during the 29 April 2016 WOzFest (Wollstonecraft OzFest) gathering of Apple ][ enthusiasts hosted by Sean “europlus” McNamara on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, Australia. Alex joined the gathering via video hookup to make the announcement, and a pre-release card was available for WOzFest attendees to inspect and use for KABOOM! gameplay.
Technical details on the operation of the 4play and how to modify existing keyboard control code can be found at Alex’s blog. The 4play-compliant version of KABOOM! is available for download from the Ninjaforce website.

Alex Lukacz has been programming Apple ][‘s since 1983, after outgrowing his Dick Smith System80, a TRS-80 Model I clone. After a long hiatus he returned in 2007 to become a regular OzKFest attendee and blogger, showing off various projects ranging from a wireless turtle robot called WALTR to reconstructing Apple ][-driven LEGO kits to his work on floppy drive emulation and video adaptors.

Ninjaforce has long been known for their programming and graphics prowess with their Megademo and work on the Apple IIgs port of Wolfenstein 3D. They literally exploded into prominence on the Apple ][ scene in 2015 with the release of the critically acclaimed Bomberman clone, KABOOM!. KABOOM! pairs exciting gameplay with outstanding graphics and sound to fully exploit the capabilities of the Apple IIgs. Based in Germany, Ninjaforce has released many Apple ][ software products and demos since 1992.

See more at:
http://lukazi.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/apple-ii-4play-joystick-card.html
and
http://www.ninjaforce.com/html/products_kaboom.html


4play_kaboom

April 25th, 2016

MSX games and applications on the Apple II?

Ian Kim of South Korea is a busy person. He’s apparently working on a Z80 co-processor board that will run MSX programs on the Apple II. I’ve used Google Translate (the site is on Korean) to get a pretty good translation here.

April 11th, 2016

Happy 40th Birthday Apple 1

The Sydney Morning Herald has a nice write-up on today, April 11th 2016, being the Apple 1’s 40th Birthday.

March 28th, 2016

UltimateMicro News

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.

UPU1

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.

SO-ZIP
Scalable Oscillator for ZipGS

SO-TWGS
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!

DDA

March 14th, 2016

Vintage Computer Festivals Spring/Summer 2016

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
contact: earl@baugh.org

VCF East — April 15-17, central New Jersey
Online ticketing and exhibit registration is open!
contact: evan@vcfed.org

VCF West — August 6-7, Silicon Valley
Online ticketing and exhibit registration is open!
contact: erik@vintage-computer.com

VCF Midwest — September 10-11, Chicago region
contact: silent700@gmail.com

Want a VCF show in your area? Let us know! – Contact info@vcfed.org
Be sure to check out the Vintage Computer Forums!

March 13th, 2016

UltimateMicro re-releases their clone of the Apple II 3.5 “SuperDrive” Controller

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).

UM_Mustang

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).

Available now for USD $149.99 plus shipping and handling.

March 9th, 2016

A2Heaven releases IIGS ROM adapter

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.

A2HROM
AppleIIGSxROM Adapter

March 9th, 2016

UltimateMicro announces new products

UltimateMicro has announced new products to enhance your favorite Apple II, with even more enhancements and fun projects on the way.

UM_ROM_Adapt
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.

UM_Zip_RAM
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.

March 9th, 2016

New vendor ByteBoosters releases 4MB RAM card for Apple IIGS

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.

Specifications:

  • 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


ByteBooster 4MB RAM

February 15th, 2016

Ian Kim produces first internal Mockingboard for the Apple IIc

Ian Kim has beat a few other similar projects to the punch with his new Mockingboard 4c, an internal Mockingboard compatible card for the Apple IIc. It appears to be music only (no speech synthesis). Details are very limited at this time, but we know (or don’t know) the following:

  • The first batch of cards are going to Ian’s friends with international sales coming later.
  • Pricing has not yet been announced.
  • You won’t be able to physically use a memory expansion card at the same time. Also, the Mockingboard 4c is mapped to slot 4.
  • Zip/Rocket Chip compatibility is unknown.

Lots of pictures to see HERE.


M4c Installed

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