July 18th, 2016

CH Systems releases ByteBoosters DarkRAM-8MB for Apple IIGS only $99 USD

Ready just in time for KFest …

Maximizing your Apple IIGS RAM to 8MB finally becomes affordable with a quality RAM Expansion board from the ByteBoosters – The D(ark)RAM-8MB

The DarkRAM-8MB will be available this week on eBay for a low introductory price of USD $99.99 including world-wide express shipping (shipping time to the USA is usually 5 business days)


DRAM8MB_tilted

Unique features are:

  • Lowest power consumption (<1.8W max when active) on any 8MB board ever
  • Smallest size 8MB expansion board ever
  • Providing 3.3V supply to other projects via aux-connector

Specifcations:

  • 8MB RAM using 16Mbit DRAM chips (4Mbit x 4)
  • Optimized using only four 16MBit chips to reach 4MB
  • Fast RAM -60ns
  • 4MB out of 8MB are fully DMA compatible like any other >4MB card
  • Black PCB with blue Power Indicator LED
  • Gold contact fingers ensuring high reliability

This totals the memory of your ROM 3 IIGS to 8.125MB (8320KB)!

All boards come fully tested (stock and TWGS speed) on ROM01 and ROM03 machines with a 5 years warranty and 30 days money back guarantee (less shipping).

July 11th, 2016

Something worth listening to?

WANT!


MB_dual

June 10th, 2016

RAMWorks IIII v1.0 kits now available from UltimateMicro

Hello Everyone! A quick update that we have some new items now listed in the UA2 Store – The RAMWorks IIII Kit v1.0.

This Kit is mainly designed and meant for the SolderFEST part of KFEST to help add to the show. We will however ship to users since there is a demand for the board and a fun “kit” project for the Apple II.

KFEST Delivered Kit: https://goo.gl/SH6NUZ
Shipped Kit:https://goo.gl/nc86dZ

All details and pics are listed on the item’s page in the Store. I’ll be posting a facebook announcement tomorrow for the above items being active in the Store.


Capture

May 31st, 2016

4soniq now open for pre-order from Manila Gear

The recently announced (and demonstrated) 4soniq 4-channel sound card from Manila Gear is now available for pre-order at the introductory price of $99 (regularly $119).

Product Description

The 4soniq gives you four separate channels of sound for your Apple IIgs, instead of the usual one.

Each of the 32 oscillators available in the Apple IIgs’ Ensoniq Digital Oscillator Chip (DOC) can be assigned to play on any one of 8 output channels. One 4soniq card unlocks 4 of those channels. Pair it with a second 4soniq card to unlock all 8!

To enjoy four channel sound with the 4soniq, you will need four powered speakers (e.g. two sets of 2.1 computer speakers setup up as Front Left, Front Right, Back Left and Back Right), and the appropriate software.

Four channel sound is now supported in Ninjaforce’s Kaboom! and has been tested successfully on modified versions of Ninjaforce’s NinjaTracker * and Sheppyware’s AmperSound GS.

For software that does not support four channel sound yet, the 4soniq functions equally well as a two channel stereo card.

Features:

  • 4 Channel Output (via 2x 3.5mm stereo jacks)
  • Single Channel Input (via 1x 3.5mm mono jack)
  • Ability to pair with another 4soniq to get 8 Channel Output **
  • Ability to power externally for slotless operation ***

What’s In The Box:

  • 1x 4soniq
  • 1x 4soniq-to-J-25 Connector Cable
  • 1x Backplate and Cable Assembly

* Requires appropriately modded .SSM sound files
** Requires a 4soniq-to-4soniq connector cable, sold separately
*** May require longer cables, +5/-5VDC power supply sold separately
**** Photos are of original prototypes and do not depict final product

May 23rd, 2016

ByteBoosters introduces new 4MB/XLP IIGS RAM card

Alexander Krauss writes:

After the successful introduction of our first 4MB Apple IIgs Memory Expansion the ByteBoosters are happy to announce an improved revised version – the 4MB XLP (eXtreme Low Power) Expansion board. The first batch of boards is for sale on eBay for USD $59. Worldwide shipping for less than USD $10.

Unique features are:

  • Lowest power consumption (<0.9W max when active) on any 4MB board ever
  • Optimized using only two 16MBit chips to reach 4MB
  • Smallest size 4MB expansion board ever
  • Providing 3.3V supply to other projects via aux-connector

Specifcations:

  • 4MB (4096kB) DRAM using 16Mbit DRAM chips (4Mbit x 4)
  • 100% DMA compatible
  • Fast RAM -60ns
  • Power Indicator LED
  • Gold contact fingers ensuring high reliability

All boards come fully tested on ROM01 and ROM03 machines with a 5 years warranty and 30 days money back guarantee (less shipping).

May 9th, 2016

KansasFest Special from UltimateMicro: Universal PSU Kit $89.99

Henry Courbis writes:

With KansasFest only weeks away I wanted to remind attendees about the specially priced show offer from Ultimate-Micro.com for the Universal PSU Kit: https://goo.gl/amFHma

You’ll receive a $10 discount plus save the regular shipping charges, plus your order will be hand-delivered to you at KFEST. Ultimate-Micro staff will also be available to assist if you have any issues or questions. We recommend bringing some basic tools if you want to install the Universal PSU Kit while at the conference.

There aren’t plans to bring extra PSU Kits due to their weight and added complexity with travel to and from the show, so be sure to place your order NOW and don’t miss out on this great offer which ends July 16th, at 6:00pm Eastern.

For Accessories and Related Items:
IIe: https://goo.gl/GIBcyZ
IIGS: https://goo.gl/GIBcyZ
///: https://goo.gl/NYYI1A

NOTE: Be sure to select “KFEST Special” items for discounted prices and no shipping charges.

May 4th, 2016

4soniq IIGS stereo card press release (debuted at WOzFest ///)

Manila Gear Introduces the 4soniq – a 4Channel Sound Card for the Apple IIGS

Sydney, Australia, 29 April 2016—Manila Gear today announced the 4soniq interface card for the Apple II GS. The card gives II GS owners the ability to connect up to 4 separate powered speakers so they can enjoy quadraphonic surround sound. In addition to providing four channels of output, the 4soniq gives owners the ability to capture audio with a single channel input digitiser.

The 4soniq was announced at WOzFest /// where Jon Christopher Co demonstrated a prototype 4soniq card for attendees to inspect and use in KABOOM! gameplay. “It all started when we were chatting about how the Apple II GS can generate 8 channels of sound, and fellow Apple enthusiast Andrew Roughan wondered ‘if anyone ever attempted such a design.’ John and I checked it out and we decided to give it a shot!” said Jon. “We hope Apple II GS users enjoy using it and programming for it as much as we have enjoyed creating it.”

Hardware
The 4soniq unlocks the capabilities already available in the Apple II GS ’ Ensoniq Digital Oscillator Chip. The simple design and robust engineering delivers clean, reliable sound.

Features:

  • 4 channel output via two 3.5 mm stereo jacks
  • 1 channel input via one 3.5 mm mono jack

When paired with another 4soniq card, it is possible to achieve 8 channels of output. The 4soniq can also be setup for slotless operation.

Software
A Programmers Guide for the 4soniq will be available on the Manila Gear website in the near future. The guide will show developers how to program for the 4soniq, and will include sample code on how to modify existing software to support 4 channel sound.

In addition, thanks to the hard work of Ninjaforce’s Jesse Blue, the recently announced v1.02 of its popular Bomberman clone KABOOM! is fully 4soniq compatible.

The 4soniq will soon be available for pre-order on manilagear.com. For more information on the card specifications please visit http://manilagear.com/product/4soniq-sound-card

Manila Gear is an electronics company founded by Jon Christopher Co and John Valdezco. Jon has been a hardware hacker for the past twenty years and maintains a blog at: http://damntechnology.blogspot.com.au. John advises Silicon Valley startups, and has a degree in Electrical Engineering. Both Jon and John attended Philippine Science High School, and have been working together on cool stuff since then.


4soniq

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.

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