November 28th, 2015

Open Apple #53 (November 2015) : David Schroeder, Phreaking, 8-bit Mice

This month on Open Apple we sit down with David Schroeder, author of classic Apple II games such as Crisis Mountain, Dino Eggs, and Short Circuit. We talk about the randomness of our passionate brand-loyalty, the logistical realities of early Apple II development, and the magical era of “one-person, one-game”. We get into a lot of the technical details of Crisis Mountain and Dino Eggs, so you might pick up some tips for your own Apple II projects! David also has great memories of the economic and design realities of the time, where everyone was scrambling to figure out what a computer game was, and what players really wanted. Game developers are still fighting that battle, but at least we have a definition of “video game” now.

We’re sharing David’s games in the show notes below, with his permission! In exchange, he asks that you patronize, share and support Dino Eggs: Rebirth.

After that we jam through some quick news, bask in the fallout (see what I did there?) of the GEOS episode, and we get down and dirty with rodents. Do you have the GS with the bigger Em Bees? Trust us, you want the bigger Em Bees.

You might notice that we’re continuing to tighten up the show. Let us know how you feel about this trend in our show length! Do you like the shorter episodes? Miss the epic three hour monsters? Email us at feedback (at) open-apple (dot) net. We have social media too, but we can never remember which ones.

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October 31st, 2015

Open Apple #52 (October 2015) : GEOS! Robert Bowdidge, and more GEOS!

This month on Open Apple we sit down with Robert Bowdidge, one of three interns at Berkeley Softworks who ported GEOS to the best line of 8-bit computers. We talk about what a great place Berkeley Softworks was, along with the power of good tools and proper software engineering. Robert has great memories of the culture there, the GUI technology they had built, and the brilliant people who built it. Apparently GEOS existed for some other 8-bit computer as well, but we imagine it was slow and child-like. Users probably bought it at K-Mart or something.

After the interview, Mike and Quinn delve into their personal memories of GEOS, along with a couple of new projects they both did with the environment. Mike works on GEOS file conversion, and Quinn sorts out all the drivers so you don’t have to. We’re even having a contest this month! Download Quinn’s Ultimate GEOS disk image and find the secret phrase. First person to do so and email us at feedback (at) open-apple (dot) net wins nothing at all!

We also talk some news- lots of really great hardware is coming down the pipe. You won’t want to miss Javier Rivera’s hands-on with Plamen’s IIc VGA adapter, and the Uthernet II is now available. Don’t miss out! We talk some Woz, we talk some French Touch, and we revisit KansasFest yet again.

Celebrate GEOS with Quinn and Mike this Hallowe’en!

October 31st, 2015

Drop /// Inches #13: Dr. Wendell Sander

This month on Drop /// Inches, Paul’s Apple /// has trouble connecting with the world outside, so he speculates on possibilities for WiFi connectivity, and Mike’s Apple /// has trouble connecting with any worlds at all. So, we turn our attention to literature, including the full Apple /// patent, a survey of Apple II users, an early interview with Trip Hawkins, and books on the Apple ///. Paul’s gotten himself a Cursor /// and some late-era PFS software, and unexpectedly managed to get a CMC Quick-20 drive working, Mike’s gotten an Axlon 320 RAMdrive. And Charles Mangin has created a miniature Apple ///.

The second half of the episode is an interview Mike conducted over the phone with Wendell Sander, designer of the Apple ///, from a couple of years ago, covering things like the Apple-internal interactions between departments, problems and solutions to initial reliability issues, the RAM design and peripherals. Recorded from a speaker through the air for added retro sound quality, but very interesting indeed!

And after you’ve listened, be sure to read Dr. Sander’s follow up comments on the infamous National Semiconductor clock/calendar IC, loose chips in sockets, and the article on


September 30th, 2015

Open Apple #51 (September 2015) : Mike Westerfield, Opus ][, The Byte Works, Merlin 32

This month on Open Apple we sit down with Mike Westerfield, of The Byte Works’ fame. We talk about his adventures writing assemblers & compilers for 8/16 bit computers, and we see what he’s up to nowadays. We talk about small-system compilers, Logo, the perils of open source, and where to go for Byte Works’ products. It’s a compiler and assembler-themed episode of the one-and-only Apple II podcast.

Tune in to hear Mike pine longingly for Lawless Legends, and hear Quinn achieve maximum Boo Atari Density (BAD). We find amazing new hardware and unauthorized museums. There are wacky Australians, wacky Russians, wacky Brazilians, and wacky Germans. There are Arduinos, headphone jacks, and realtime clocks, oh my! You won’t want to miss Mike dropping a Murphy Brown reference. Take that, Millenials!

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 17th, 2015

Burgertime 08/16/2015: Coding with Burgerlib

Rebecca Heineman has posted the latest Burgertime video to YouTube. Be sure to subscribe for the latest, greatest news and development info from Burger Becky.

August 2nd, 2015

Open Apple #49 (July 2015) : Laine Nooney, Technowarp, 4am

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Laine Nooney, researcher of early computer and software companies. She has been digging into the history of such greats as Brøderbund and Sierra On-Line. In particular, she has done some awesome research on the infamous Soft Porn Adventure, including behind-the-scenes details on the infamous advertising photo. We talk about broken microfilm projectors, we talk about printer stands, and we talk about revisionist small town historians. Trust us, it will all make sense in the end. Laine is going deep into the role of the microcomputer revolution in transforming domestic life (and the very layout of the houses we live in).

Listen and wonder why Quinn thinks it’s 2010, wonder how loud an ASR-33 really is, and why Mike reads local newspapers of small towns in Utah. Explore the lost art of naming computer user groups, witness the first pure hack of Rastan, and see what Woz thinks about… well, everything and everyone.

August 1st, 2015

KansasFest featured on VICE Radio Motherboard

Click Here for article

July 20th, 2015

Retro Computing Roundtable episode 105 – KansasFest 2015 coverage

This episode features a special huge circle of podcasters around a single microphone at KansasFest 2015, where we reflect on KansasFest, relative merits of the Apple II, the CoCo, Atari 8-bits, and Commodores, and on the phenomenon that is KansasFest. We also make a couple of attempts at Carrington’s choose-your-own-adventure door decoration, and talk about the history and brainstorm about the prospects of future KansasFests. While listening to this episode is nothing like being at KansasFest, it’s a little bit less like not being at KansasFest.

Panelists: Carrington Vanston (hosting), Quinn Dunki, Ken Gagne, Paul Hagstrom, John Leake, John Linville, Rob McMullen, Michael Mulhern, Wade Ripkowski, Kevin Savetz, Steven Weyhrich, and Mike Whalen.

July 12th, 2015

Open Apple #48 (June 2015) : Tony Diaz, KansasFest Memories, Prototypes, and 8-bit DNS

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Tony Diaz- KansasFest committee member, and consummate Apple II collector. With KansasFest just days away, we go deep on Tony’s amazing collection of unique prototypes, documents, peripherals, and the stories that go with them. If there’s a person with deeper knowledge of the early history of Apple Hardware, we haven’t met them.

Thanks for your patience in June, everyone! Some technical and logistical difficulties kept us from posting this episode as soon as we would have liked. We hope the show is worth the wait. We dive into lots of new hardware toys, KansasFest-like events around the world, lots of software updates, and one of the best Apple II games ever made.

How many times does Quinn boo Atari this month? What can we learn about Mike’s dark, mysterious past? How many tedious Jobs movie news items can the world produce? Listen and find out!

KansasFest 2015 is just days away. Hope to see you all in Kansas City this week!

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