December 9th, 2014

Carte Blanche II nearly finalized, pricing to be announced soon


CBII TEXT INCLUDED

November 23rd, 2014

UltimateApple2 preparing to release several new products

Anthony Martino and Henry Courbis are about to offer for sale several new products. First up is the new ‘8 MEG RAM CARD v2.0′ for the Apple IIGS that is switch selectable between 4MB-8MB in 1MB increments, making it fully compatible with both the ROM 01 and ROM 3 Apple IIGS. We’re anticipating being able to review this card very soon, so stay tuned for updates. Pricing has not yet been disclosed but availability should be only a few weeks away.


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Just built and testing the first few 8 Meg RAM Cards (see pic). What makes this card unique and the best solution out there for your IIgs memory needs? Well I’m glad you asked!

The Ultimate-ReActiveMicro 8 Meg RAM Card features Gold Fingers for superior oxidation prevention and long life.

Tantalum and Ceramic capacitors for longer life (4x minimum), extreme reliability, and they are very stable over time especially when compared to aluminum electrolytic capacitors.

A resettable Fuse for short-circuit protection and to help prevent Tantalum Capacitor thermal runaway.

ROM Expansion/Direct Access for future projects.

DRAM Address Termination.

Full Power Decoupling and Filtering for ALL chips.

Power LED to show the board is receiving power and the Fuse is functioning correctly.

And of course what project is complete without a blinky LED? We have TWO DRAM LEDs to show access and functionality! One LED for each bank of 4 Megs.

As you can see from the pic we also did away with the jumper and used a simple to understand DIP Switch along with adding the legend on the board so it can’t be lost.

Some may wonder why we used a CPLD yet kept the 74F245. Yes we could have added the logic to the CPLD however the 74F245 is meant to drive a higher TTL load (the data bus) than a CPLD. So although it would technically work it’s not good practice. This is also why we used DRAM Address Termination – to reduce ringing and related signal issues, and is just good design work.

Apple //e users and other 8bit fans won’t be left behind. Got RAM? Also coming are cloned versions of the Applied Engineering RAMWorks 2MB expansion and RAMFactor 4MB expansion cards. Expect a much improved No-Slot-Clock with user replaceable battery as well!

From James Littlejohn, offered exclusively through UltimateApple2 will be the new ‘LittlePower Flip’. The new LittlePower Flip is an improved design, essentially combining the previous LittlePower IIGS, IIe and II+ (three separate adapters!) into a single ‘flippable’ super adapter. The Flip will be perfect for quickly testing those dodgy power supplies, motherboards or even when used as a permanent part of your Apple II computer’s power solution.

November 18th, 2014

Pictures of upcoming Carte Blanche II posted

A gallery showing the upcoming programmable Carte Blanche II from AppleLogic is available online for viewing here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B6UD-1FjUTjkZ0NmZF9Zb0VUSjg&usp=sharing

Contact AppleLogic SOON if you want to get on the waiting list!

November 7th, 2014

French Touch releases new demo ‘Unlimited Bobs’

You can get more info and download French Touch productions from http://www.ctrl-pomme-reset.fr/french-touch/.

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

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.

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.

May 2nd, 2014

Apple II case for your Raspberry Pi

Charles Mangin sure has been having fun with his 3D printer.  Last month, his SD card reader disguised as a Disk II drive made waves in the community and now he’s followed it up with this totally awesome thing:




Yes, it’s a Raspberry Pi case designed to look like an Apple IIe.  Mangin explains:

Each case is 3D printed in SLA (at Shapeways) from 3D models based on my actual Apple II collection. Then, each part is painted to match the original beige, brown or platinum grey – or Black, if you prefer the Bell & Howell model. I also include all the hardware you will need to connect your Pi to power and video – just add Pi.

The case is currently available to order on the RetroConnector Etsy shop for US $115 + shipping.

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.

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