Mark your calendars again! Coming this August 12th through August 15th is APPLE II FESTIVAL FRANCE 2016, at Maska to Castera-Verduzan in Gers. Join your fellow European Apple II enthusiasts for a few days of retrocomputing, gaming, hacking, good food and some wine. Apple II Festival France 2016 is being produced by Silicium and Facebook Group Apple II France.
Poof! The GEnie is out of the bottle in time for KansasFest 2016 as Mac GUI Vault now holds the Apple II GEnie and Delphi software and RoundTable archives. Both of these online services were central to the Apple II world and were used by thousands of Apple II subscribers in the 1980s and 90s.
The GEnie discussion RoundTables, A2 and A2Pro, are now online. Reading these archives gives one a more complete view of the Apple II world of the 1990s and early 2000s, and forms an interesting parallel to the discussions in the Usenet newsgroups.
Furthermore, the software libraries of GEnie and Delphi are also online at Mac GUI Vault and come complete with their original text descriptions and comments.
Vince Weaver has written an Applesoft version of the game Kerbal Space Program, a simulator for building spacecraft and flying them to assist the Kerbals achieve their mission of conquering space. You can get the games instructions, source code and other bits from the KSP for Apple II website.
Discounted early-bird registration for KansasFest 2016, the 28th annual Apple II convention, ends May 31. On June 1, prices rise $55, so reserve your spot now. Official KansasFest shirts are extra and optional and must be ordered by June 22; registration for staying on-site closes July 1.
Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, from Tuesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 24, for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie. Mike Harvey, a business executive, salesperson, technologist, project manager, entrepreneur, programmer, and best known in the Apple community as the founder and publisher of Nibble Magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation. Harvey will be available immediately afterward for a Q&A and autograph session.
Attendees present all KansasFest sessions, so please submit your session proposal by May 31. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at new software, preorder opportunities for new hardware, a hands-on workshop, a podcast recording session, 4 player Kaboom! tournament, or an athletic round of Bite the Bag, there are experiences to be had and memories to be made at KansasFest that aren’t possible except in the company of surprising, brilliant, diehard Apple II fans.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is an update to our prior post from March 28th, 2016.
We’re excited to announce the official release of the Universal PSU Kit and Upgrade service from Ultimate-Micro.com.
The Universal PSU works Internationally and with all AC power from 90 to 264V, and 47 to 63Hz. The Universal PCB mounts in any Apple II or /// Enclosure. We Universally have you covered!
The Universal PSU Kit is designed to be installed in your existing Apple II or /// Power Supply Enclosure and replace your old Power Supply PCB. All connections can be made by the user and are safe, simple, and designed to last for the next decade and beyond of use. The Kit is also uninstallable and the enclosure isn’t modified in any way. So those concerned with collecting and authenticity of hardware need not worry.
The Kit is the user-installable version of the Universal PSU. The Upgrade is the service where the user sends Ultimate-Micro a Power Supply Enclosure and we perform the install process for the user and return the upgraded Power Supply. We also have a KFEST option and special show price for those who would like to take delivery at KFEST. We’re still not sure about holding an informal session, possibly during SolderFest to assist in upgrades, but we’re working on those details and looks like it will happen. Someone from Ultimate-Micro will also be in attendance to help answer questions or assist as needed.
Orders are planned to start shipping about July 15th or once we have received stock from the factory.
We’re also pleased to announce two Community members have reviewed the Universal PSU Kit and have posted videos of their installation.