October 1st, 2014

Open Apple #39 (Sept 2014): Gary B. Little, New Segments, Apple IIc Cards

This month on Open Apple, we talk to Gary Little, prolific author of many technical reference books about various models in the Apple ][ line. In addition to writing great books that go deep on the hardware, Gary also wrote lots of great software, including such gems as AmDOS, and the popular Point To Point modem communication software.

We also catch up on all the news (there’s lots!) and take some cheap shots at other podcasters along the way. Join us as we talk about open source hardware, GS ports of great arcade games, the joy of redialing, and DClocks. So many DClocks!

September 21st, 2014

Something new coming from Tecnobytes

Apparently a new compact flash controller is on the horizon from Tecnobytes Classic Computers. We’ll post details and pricing when the info is available.


Tecnobytes

September 12th, 2014

Next batch of CFFA3000 cards (run #4) expected early 2015

Rich Dreher is selling 7 CFFA3000 cards that had minor production issues (since corrected). The boards have a full 1 year warranty, and come with the Remote Switch board, cable and a CD with the manual and various support files.

Rich has also alluded to the next production run of the wildly popular CFFA3000 would take place in early 2015.

September 8th, 2014

Bonhams to auction rare Apple 1

Another rare Apple 1 has turned up for auction. This Apple 1 is verified as working (always a bonus) and will be sold by auction house Bonhams in New York, on October 22nd, 2014.

The Apple 1 was acquired in 1980 by John Anderson, a founding member of the AppleSiders User Group of Cincinnati, Ohio during a local Apple convention. It’s been sitting in glass display case all this time, and it’s condition has been described as ‘pristine’.

Due to it’s functional condition, Bonhams estimates this Apple 1 will sell for between USD $300,000 and $500,000.

August 25th, 2014

Will there be a Carte Blanche 2?

That’s the question now being discussed on Usenet forum Comp.Sys.Apple2 right now. The new Carte Blanche would offer several improvements over the original, of which built-in VGA or HDMI output and new video modes may be possibilities. If this is something you might be interested in, drop in to CSA2 and voice your support. It sounds like orders may be opening soon.


CB2

August 5th, 2014

GGLabs, new RAM card vendor for the Apple IIGS

I found this IIGS 4MB RAM card on eBay, and a subsequent search for the vendor turned up GGLabs, ‘Open Source Electronics from Silicon Valley.’ It appears to be a copy of the Applied Engineering GS-RAM III but it may only be a resemblance based on the type of RAM used (ZIP-20). More details (schematics, Gerbers, documentation) are available here.


ramgs

July 26th, 2014

KansasFest Day 3

MORE LINKS WILL ADDED LATER

Andre Lozano greeted early risers with the first session of the day. Andre was part of the group that restored disks from the collection of Chris Marker, a French film director, writer and early pioneer in multimedia computing and authoring. Chris was interested in how computers and humans interacted emotionally (something retro-computists can easily identify with). He developed a program called ‘Dialector’ that explored these emotional responses which were similar in concept to the famous ELIZA program and it’s variants.

If you haven’t seen Jason Scott in person, it should be something on your short ‘to-do’ list; he’s like a Kung-Fu kick to the psyche (but in a good way). Jason is a natural and entertaining speaker with a passion for his work with the Internet Archive. He’s been busy JSMESS emulation project (try it, you’ll be floored), in addition to scanning of magazines, books and disks from all sources retrocomputing. Jason shared some good news, apparently museums, other archival organizations (and even copyright holders like Atari) are waking up to the need to preserve and protect our digital history and are supporting projects like the Internet Archive. Perceptions are changing; it’s no longer a matter of digital piracy, but of digital preservation.

Ken Gagne announced that Juiced.GS continues to thrive as the last, and longest running Apple II print magazine ever. Publishing will continue into 2015 at the same rates as before! Also announced, some money-saving bundles for digital copies of back issues. See site for details.

Ch-ch-ch-changes to the schedule created an opportunity for an impromptu but very productive programmers roundtable event.

Charles Mangin and friend then gave us a tutorial on the various types of 3D printing that are available. During the session, he produced a few key caps as practical examples of what can be achieved for the retrocomputing hobbyist.

Next up, Quinn Dunki discussed her personal journey of discovery with ‘Veronica’, a homebrew 6502 based computer she built from scratch. Quinn put in about 5 years of work designing circuits and PCB’s as a learning exercise reminiscent of Steve Wozniak’s Apple 1 endeavor. You can read about on Quinn’s blog.

Michael Sternberg next demonstrated how Sir-Tech’s ‘STAR SAGA: ONE, Beyond the Boundary’ can be played over the internet using the VASSAL Engine. According to it’s site, ‘Vassal is a game engine for building and playing online adaptations of board games and card games. Play live on the Internet or by email. Vassal runs on all (modern) platforms, and is free, open-source software.’ Wow, I didn’t know this existed and it’s very cool. I can’t wait to try it out.

Pizza happened next, which was a much appreciated, welcome break from the yucky, uninspired, tasteless (and occasionally mysterious) food we’ve been getting from the cafeteria. Wow Rockhurst, we LOVE you, but the food has been disappointing this year. I think I lost weight just by looking at what was on my plate. Thanks?

The evening’s activities wrapped up with the annual group photo, best wacky tie (hey, I won!) contest and a few late evening sessions.

We have more than a few Podcasters present this year. I saw them massed around a microphone recording a joint podcast. I’m looking forward to that podcast — it should be interesting.

David Schmenk demo’d Apple II Pi (because he still gets asked ‘what is it?’).

Anthony Martino announced the upcoming A2Pi 6.5 card (with numerous improvements). We hope to have pics and a press release for that soon.

Lastly, Tony Diaz led a class on repairing floppy disk drives. Attendees were free to bring their malfunctioning drives for diagnostics and repair, because if Tony can’t fix it, probably no one else can.

Wow it’s late. I’m tired but staying up late tonight. I’ve managed to return 3 Transwarp GS boards from my personal collection back to the community so far. I’m using the proceeds to fund additional Garage Giveaways, recoup shipping expenses, etc. I’m probably going to list a few more on eBay before long.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably sleep in. Saturday is the last official day of KansasFest and I can’t tell if we’re winding up or winding down. One thing is for certain, this has been a great year.

July 26th, 2014

Michael Sternberg’s A2MP3-Xfer

We totally missed this during RetroChallenge Winter Warmup 2014. Luckily, we caught up with Michael Sternberg during KansasFest for a demo. Checkout his disk/image transfer program for the Apple II using Vince Briel’s A2MP3 adapter.


Michael wrote A2MP3-Xfer has a proof of concept, so it’s rather limited (DOS 3.3, DSK images only). The source code is available on BitBucket for download and Michael encourages anyone interested to check it out and expand upon his work if they’re interested.

Manuals for programming and technical specifications are still available.

June 26th, 2014

Vince Briel to host BIY workshop at KansasFest 2014

KansasFest attendees are in for a special treat this year. Vince Briel is attending and will once again host a ‘build it yourself’ workshop. You can sign up to assemble any of his famous kits, including the brand new Ohio Scientific Superboard III (another famous 6502-based micro).

Complete details are on the Briel Computers web site.

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/

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