February 2nd, 2017

Open Apple #67 (January 2017) : Year End Roundtable!

This month on Open Apple, we round out the year with our annual tradition of sitting around a virtual table with some friends of the show, discussing whatever comes to mind. Mike and Quinn are joined by Jeremy Barr-Hyde, Jorma Honkanen, Kate Szkotnicki & Chris Torrence.

We have a really fun mix of Apple II fans from all walks of life and all parts of the world this month. Sit down with us as we discuss our history with the machines and how they fit into our lives today. Can retrocomputers be teaching tools for kids today? Can an Apple II serve a practical role in modern life? What was your unicorn accessory or software package back in the day? How do we get new faces to KansasFest? We chat about all this and more, so don’t miss it!

December 28th, 2016

Open Apple #66 (December 2016) : Glenda “The Atom” Adams

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Glenda Adams, better known on the Apple II as The Atom. She was a cracker of some note back in the 1980s, and she shares great stories with us of her exploits in boot tracing, cracking, and distributing software in the glory days of the Apple II BBS scene.

We talk about the journey from programming to cracking, and back to programming again. We talk about the politics of the Apple II scene, and the unique experience of cracking software remotely. Think fixing your grandparents’ printer over the phone is hard? Trying cracking a game!

Can you deduce the release date of Fontrix by time-lining Apple II crack screens? We leave that as an exercise to the listener. Meanwhile, Glenda shares stories of porting Space Rogue, parties at Lord British’s house, and the old-school feel of early iOS development.


Open Apple podcast

December 28th, 2016

Eaten by a Grue podcast reviews Infocom games

Eaten by a Grue podcastPodcast hosts Carrington Vanston of the Retro Computing Roundtable and Kevin Savetz of ANTIC have joined forces to form a new podcast. Eaten by a Grue is a semi-monthly show in which the two co-hosts play and share their experiences with Infocom interactive fiction. The first two text adventure games they’ve played are Zork I: The Great Underground Empire and Ballyhoo, both of which were originally available for the Apple II and which can now be found in the Lost Treasures of Infocom, among other ports. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

December 6th, 2016

Open Apple #65 (November 2016) : Alex Lee, What Is The Apple IIgs?

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Alex Lee, purveyor of the canonical IIgs reference site What Is The Apple IIgs? We talk about what it was like being one of the brave few with this machine, and that feeling of living in a secret world of incredible graphics and sound that nobody else seemed to know about.

Alex walks us through the history of IIgs emulators, and all the ways that the IIgs Finder was actually better than the Mac. He also talks about the legal challenges of running an archive site like this, which luckily are not too serious for this obscure machine. We finish up with talk of the future of the site, and the difficulty of finding some really rare software packages- help contribute content!

Alex is also working on an Apple IIgs coffee table book. Help encourage him to finish it, because we all want to buy it very very badly. Just saying.

Keep listening, because you won’t want to miss Alex casually dropping the phrase “Late nineties and early naughties” in his charming Australian accent. Tune in as well to pine along with Quinn for the never-to-be Ultima VI.

Our apologies for this episode being a bit late. Combinations of illness, holiday commitments, and technical difficulties all conspired against us this month.


Open Apple podcast

October 29th, 2016

Open Apple #64 (October 2016) : John Brooks, Tiger Learning Computer, Softalk

This month on Open Apple, we share an excerpt of an interview with John Brooks, courtesy of Juiced.GS. John talks about how and why he updated ProDOS, and his experiences getting back into the community.

Tune in to hear Quinn lose 20 years of time perception around the Tiger Learning Computer, then pretend to know stuff about power supplies. Meanwhile, Mike waxes nostalgic about high school computer labs and tries to unload his excess Apple IIs on unsuspecting community members.

We try out a new segment this month, and we hope you like it! No spoilers- you’ll just have to listen and see what we’re up to.


Open Apple podcast

September 25th, 2016

Open Apple #63 (September 2016) : Kate Szkotnicki, ProDOS 2.4, KansasFest

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Kate Szkotnicki, long time Apple II fan and new addition to the retro community. We chat about her first impressions as a newcomer to the community, and the big splash she made at her first KansasFest. Kate is a cosplayer and frequent attendee of anime and comic cons, so she brought a very fresh set of skills and perspectives to KansasFest. Her presentation on making plastic parts (and candy!) with silicone moulding was very popular. Throw away your 3D printers- this is easier and better.

We also talk lots about John Brooks’ excellent work on updating ProDOS, Quinn says a bunch of stuff about Commodore that probably isn’t true, and Mike falls on his sword for getting everything wrong about Australian Apple II gatherings. Mike gets a record number of Apple /// references into this episode, so be sure to tune in and ignore that.

Breaking news! Between us recording and releasing this show, John Brooks has updated ProDOS to 2.4.1. Also, we worked out that the MegaBeep ROM is in fact compatible with it, contrary to the opening of the show. Listener James reported an issue that we believe was actually a bad ROM. If you are a MegaBeep owner, don’t hesitate to use it with any version of ProDOS, including John Brooks’ excellent new 2.4 updates.

Thanks to Brian Wiser of Call A.P.P.L.E. for permission to use the interview clip with Mike Harvey and John Leake.

Happy 30th birthday, Apple IIgs!


Open Apple podcast

August 24th, 2016

Open Apple #62 (August 2016) : Mark Pilgrim, Passport, Ancient Legends

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Mark Pilgrim, one of the most active software preservationists in the Apple II community. Mark has been spending his free time working on Passport, an automated cracking tool. It automatically detects and defeats copy protection schemes on Apple II disks, producing copyable disks that are otherwise completely intact. This is a boon for preservation of software that has only been (poorly) cracked by hoodlums of the past, or is previously uncracked. The latter is very common with educational software, business packages, and other things that the old crackers weren’t interested in. Mark’s skills and perseverance are making it possible to use more and more Apple II software on sites like Archive.org and VirtualApple.

KansasFest 2017 will be July 18th-23rd at Rockhurst University!

Meanwhile, tune in to this show and listen to Quinn and Mike bumble through news of various festivals, discuss lots of new hardware, and utterly fail to be respectful of the passing of a computer science legend. We’re sorry, Mr. Papert- you will be missed, and Logo touched all our lives.

There are a record number of amazing announcements of hardware and software this month. You won’t want to miss Passport, Ancient Legends, 4soniq, CP/M Turbo 7, SD-MIDI, and more. It’s an incredible month for spending money on your Apple II.

Go download Passport and archive all your floppies. Start now, or you’ll be up very late.


Open Apple podcast

July 27th, 2016

Open Apple #61 (July 2016) : KansasFest 2016, Chicken Missile Megapodcast


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This month on Open Apple, as is tradition, we present the megapodcast recorded live at KansasFest. Most of your favorite retrocomputing podcasters attend KansasFest each year, and we all get together in a basement room to record a giant group podcast. This year’s recording includes, in no particular order:

Quinn Dunki of Open Apple
Paul Hagstrom of Retrocomputing Roundtable and Drop /// Inches
Michael Mulhern and Carrington Vanston of Retrocomputing Roundtable
Kevin Savetz of Antic
Rob McMullen of Player/Missile
Ken Gagne of Polygamer and Indiesider
John Leake of RetroMacCast
Todd George of Chicken Lips Radio
Charles Mangin of How II
Jeff Salzman of The History Of Personal Computing

In this megapodcast, we talk about our experiences at this year’s KFest, and play a form of Liar’s Dice with each other’s personal computing histories.

A note on audio quality- it’s difficult to get 11 people recorded simultaneously in a room without a lot of fancy equipment that we can’t carry on airplanes, so we hope you’ll bear with us. We have a ton of fun recording these as a group, and we hope you enjoy listening to it. Many many thanks to Paul Hagstrom for doing the editing on this one!

June 22nd, 2016

Open Apple #60 (June 2016) : Sean Fahey, KansasFest 2016 Warmup

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Sean Fahey of A2Central, major league collector, and member of the KansasFest Committee. It’s not too late to register! Go to kansasfest.org right now. If you listen to this show, you should definitely be there. The Garage Giveaway will be larger than ever this year. You won’t want to miss the amazing pile of free Apple II gear. The other classic traditions keep getting better as well- the cookout will be catered, and the prizes for the various contests are amazing this year. All the great Apple II community vendors have stepped up with a lot of hardware, tools, and software to give away.

KansasFest 2016 runs July 19th – July 24th at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. The keynote speaker this year is Mike Harvey, best known in the Apple II community as the editor of Nibble magazine. He has some great stories about the business and culture of the early computing era.

We don’t just talk about KansasFest this month. We dive a bit deeper into the murky world of Apple II clones. Also marvel as Mike pretends to know nothing about KansasFest, and roll your eyes as Quinn continues to beat a dead horse joke about the eBay segment. Fear not, however, because the world is a better now that we all know the Lode Runner board game exists.

Z0DWARE WHERE ARE YOU?!


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June 1st, 2016

Open Apple #59 (May 2016) : Amy Kefauver, Lorri Hopping, Stuff4YourGS

This month on Open Apple, Kevin Savetz sits down with Amy Kefauver and Lorri Hopping. Amy was the editor of Scholastic Microzine, an educational magazine focused on the Apple II. Lorri was a writer and editor for Microzine. They share many great memories creating lessons with computers, the nature of the educational market, and how computers can engage kids in ways that static media can’t.

After those interviews (thanks Kevin!), Mike and Quinn talk ear worm game introductions, crappy early advertising, and hardware with Bumper Stumper product names. It wouldn’t be a show if they didn’t mention UltimateMicro and Brutal Deluxe, so they make sure to do that too.

Bathe in the glory of 1980s video game box art, enjoy mobile versions of KansasFest memories, and roll your eyes at teenage boy whimsy.


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