October 2nd, 2015

MacGUI announces prize winners for Apple II photo contest

Prize Winners for Apple II Photo Contest

At last, the 14 photo entries for last month’s Retro Apple II Photo Contest have been judged, leaving us with a first prize winner for an Uthernet II, a second prize winner for free shipping on the same, and three honorable mentions.

To keep everything fair, the judge was someone who is not a part of the Apple II community, but who has a BFA degree and has a basic familiarity with the Apple II. Entries were judged based on composition, elements from the chosen time period, and overall retro feel.

Speaking personally, there were a lot of really good photos. I love looking at Apple II setups, as I’m sure a lot of other people in the community do. The idea for this contest came to me around January or so, and I’m glad that I brought it to execution and that the community made so many good photos for it.

And now, here are the winners.

September 24th, 2015

Remembering Crisis Mountain

In his latest Gamasutra blog entry, David H. Schroeder discusses his days developing Crisis Mountain, the classic Apple II game eventually published by Synergistic Software.

crisis mountain

September 22nd, 2015

The lost Apple Logo…

Fast Company has posted an article The Lost Apple Logo You’ve Never Seen which clearly doesn’t apply to most long-term Apple II users (but maybe to most Macintosh users).

September 11th, 2015

Wayne Johnson’s Raster Blaster Reloaded available for download

I’ve spent the last few months remaking Raster Blaster from the Apple II which was a game I loved playing back at school in the day. It’s currently available for Windows, MacOSX and Android and I need to get back to finishing the Linux build which will hopefully be next week sometime.

The free download is at: http://sausage.itch.io/raster-blaster-reloaded.

The official site is: http://hippocket.waynejohnson.net

September 1st, 2015

Open Apple #50 (August 2015) : Rebecca Heineman, Plamen’s Clones, GS/OS Updates

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Rebecca “Burger Becky” Heineman. Becky is a legendary Apple II developer (not to mention many other platforms), and was the keynote speaker at KansasFest 2015. We discuss Becky’s KansasFest experiences then and now, how the community has changed, and what she’s up to now. She has a lot of Apple II gold archived away, and we’re starting to see more and more of it as a result of the continued warmth and friendliness of the Apple II community.

Tune in after that interview, when Quinn and Mike go on to talk about amazing Bulgarian hardware products, new ways to acquire Byteworks software, the mysteries of Double Hires graphics, and of course Halt & Catch Fire. KansasFest stories abound, Mike plugs the Apple III, and Quinn acts oblivious to Mike on the subject of Prince of Persia. Listen in awe as she tells the exact same story about Mechner’s source code, immediately after Mike says the same thing. We swear your co-hosts do listen to each other most of the time, folks.

Place your orders now for the hottest new fragrance, R3TR0: By Gagne.

August 30th, 2015

Brutal Deluxe opens collection of underground French Apple II products

Click here for Brutal Deluxe’s collection of underground French Apple II products.

August 17th, 2015

An amazing Apple II Plus wedding cake

Mike Maginnis posted this delicious link to Facebook… http://saveyourforkcakes.com/2014/12/02/apple-ii-computer-cake/

August 12th, 2015

Video from Apple II Festival France 2015

Andres Lozano Gallego posted this on Facebook.

French Apple II enthusiasts know how to have fun!
Apple II Festival France 2015 Picture Album

August 7th, 2015

Brian Fitzgerald grants release of source code to TAXMAN, Pac-Man clone

Rebecca Heineman has announced via Facebook that she has been given permission to the release the source code to 1981’s “TAXMAN” from H.A.L. Labs by the games programmer Brian Fitzgerald. TAXMAN is notable for being one of the first (and best) clones of the famous Pac-Man arcade game. It was so good, AtariSoft sued and then as part of the subsequent settlement, used TAXMAN’s source code to produce their own Pac-Man port for the Apple II.

Over the years, there have been variants, one of which was created by Heineman herself, when she added additional escape tunnels to the game.

As soon as the source hits GitHub, we’ll post a link here. Examining the code should be beneficial to programmers who want to learn techniques for smooth animation, sound FX generation, obstacle and collision detection as well as general game theory principles.

In the meantime, please enjoy Brian Picchi’s review of TAXMAN courtesy of YouTube.

August 5th, 2015

My First KansasFest – Ian Marks

During KansasFest, we asked 11 year old Ian Marks to write about his KansasFest experience. This was Ian’s first time attending the conference with his mother, Giselle Marks. The adults weren’t the only ones having a good time with their Apple II computers.

This was my first year at K-Fest. I think that it has been the most interesting thing I have ever done. What I liked the most about K-Fest was how kind and generous everyone was to me. Everyone was so helpful, and I think that made the difference. It was the most fun that I have ever had.

Ian Marks

The first thing I went to was the keynote speech by Burger Becky. It was a very interesting story of how she got away from her parents to become a famous programmer. Having abusive parents is difficult, but she still managed to make it. My favorite part of the story was when she won the Atari game tournament by a long shot. I hope I get to see her again at K-Fest next year.

The next thing I did was make a string bracelet with Loren Damewood. This is where everybody started being so generous, because he let me do it for free. Later, Loren helped me download Sweet16. Someone else let me use one of the ROM files he had, and Loren gave me a disk image. It was cool being able to use an Apple //’s software on a modern computer. I was also able to try out real Apple // computers, and Jeremy Moskowitz gave me my first very own Apple //e!

Late that evening, I played Bite the Bag. Everyone thought I was going to win, but I didn’t make it far! I will have to practice to get more experience. All the same, they were kind enough to award me a prize for playing for the first time, and I chose a Juiced GS subscription from Ken Gagne.

Assembling a radio kit

The next day, I did soldering. I was making a radio. I didn’t finish my project on the first day, but when I did finish it, I didn’t have any batteries. Greg Nelson kindly donated a 9 Volt battery from his camera flash for me to use. It worked! I also participated in the game tournament. I played Little Red Bug and FlApple Bird. I didn’t do very well in Little Red Bug, but I placed third in FlApple Bird.

Playing Dagen Brock’s FlApple Bird in the game tournament

The next day, I went to the session where they had eight Apple //s playing music in harmony. I can imagine that it was very difficult to put that together! After that, there was the group photo. One of the photographers had us point at him with expressions of horror on our faces! He said he would edit something into the photo later! Then, I went downstairs to eat pizza. Mark LaPlante had some cool posters that he had brought specially for us kids from NASA, where he works – he donated them to me and Christian Schmenk. I went to see the winners of the door sign contest. In the door sign contest, people customize their doors. One of the winners was Carrington Vanston. His door sign was my favorite, because it was a game! You chose a card, which led to another card, and so on, until you reached an end card.

Ian and Mark LaPlante showing NASA mission posters
Playing Carrington Vanston’s adventure game

After that, I hung out in the lobby of the dorm where we were staying for a while. I enjoyed talking to Sean Fahey, who was also very helpful. Ms. Sarah gave me an extra Apple // computer ornament kit she had. I would have had to pay for it, but she kindly gave it to me for free. I haven’t finished it, and I probably won’t finish it for a while, but I will get it done eventually! After starting on the ornament, I went to the vendor fair they had in the basement. Dagen Brock, the maker of FlApple bird was selling copies of the game. I was interested in buying a copy, so I went up to the table and asked how much it would cost. He had decided that since I placed third in the tournament, I could have a copy for free!

On the last day, we went to see the movie Ant-Man. K-Fest was so fun! Before we left, I tried to say thank you to everyone who had helped me. I hope to go again, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next year!

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