February 10th, 2015

Introducing DiscoRunner multi-dialect BASIC interpreter


discodudeicon

DiscoRunner is a multi-dialect BASIC interpreter. Its initial release supports Integer and Floating Point (Applesoft) BASIC from the Apple II.

DiscoRunner is different from other BASIC interpreters in that it is 99.5% compatible with the original languages. It accomplishes this by heavily simulating the host hardware (the Apple II) almost to an emulator level without the drawbacks of running an actual emulator. For example, BASIC programs are saved as text files. We can also add new functionality, such as an editor, a navigable CATalog and a coloured LISTing mode.

DiscoRunner comes with a library of close to a thousand classic programs to play, edit and muck around with.

February 4th, 2015

Retro Computing Roundtable #93 released

Michael Mulhern posted via Facebook:

In a host packed Episode 93, Earl, Carrington, Paul, Michael, Jack, and Ken discuss the controversial topic of “Are We Cheating Cheaters?” Flash storage devices, Internet modems, multi-cartridges with entire software libraries, super RAM add-ons, LCD flat panels – what’s so retro about all that?

Also discussed is the saving of Bob Bishop’s computer gear and doco, Apple ][ Statisfaction, as well as a plug for OzKfest.

Go ahead, click on the link and join us. I dare you :)

January 31st, 2015

Latest update on the Apple II Pi from UA2/RM

Whew! Busy week trying to complete the next version of the Apple Pi prototype. This version has a Clock and Firmware. We’re hoping with some help from David Schmenk to eliminate the need for a floppy when booting directly to the Pi. We’re also hoping to add support for the ‘B+’ version of the Raspberry Pi. Some users have also inquired about the feasibility of using the Ethernet port on the Pi for the Apple II. We’re looking in to this as well. If possible this will add yet another amazing feature and reason to own a Pi. We’re confident if anyone can find a way, Dave is our man.


pi

One of the biggest questions we get asked is “What is the Apple Pi and what can it do for my retro computing experience?” So once the next version is ready for release we will put together a FAQ video demonstrating what the Pi can do for you, and all it’s available features.

A bit more testing and possibly another board revision and we’re hoping to have something worth sending out to people for reviews. Keep an eye on A2Central.com and an ear on the Open Apple podcast (www.open-apple.net) for sneak peaks and news about availability!

January 23rd, 2015

It’s official, CiderPress 4.0.0 released

After a short public testing period, Andy McFadden has put the final touches on the indispensable toolkit CiderPress 4.0. Andy’s announcement is attached.

CiderPress, the Apple II disk and archive utility for Windows, has been updated for the first time in several years. An installer for Windows can be downloaded from http://a2ciderpress.com/.

The last official release, v3.0.1, came out six years ago. A summary of the changes made since that release follows.

** New Features **

  • Support for viewing and extracting the contents of AppleSingle files.

** UI and Usability **

  • When opening files, CiderPress no longer restricts you to a specific type of file (ShrinkIt archive, ACU archive, disk image, etc.). Just open the file and CiderPress will figure it out.
  • The custom file+folder selection dialog, used when adding files, has been rewritten. The long-absent “Accept” button has been restored, and the newer style of dialog is easier to use.
  • The custom folder-selection dialog, used when selecting the folder to extract files to, has been replaced with a much nicer standard system dialog.
  • The font used in all dialogs has been updated to take advantage of ClearType.
  • Help files have been migrated from WinHelp to HtmlHelp, so it is no longer necessary to download the WinHelp viewer on Windows 7 and later.
  • Non-ASCII characters in the Mac OS Roman set — used for HFS filenames and IIgs documents — are converted to Unicode in the file list, file viewer, and many dialogs.

** Bug Fixes **

  • Corrected the default size of the file viewer, and the initial position when viewing tall SHR images.
  • Teach and AWGS conversions now handle “shadow” and “outline” (though you need to open the converted file in something like Word to actually see it). Applesoft listings with carriage returns embedded in REM statements now match LIST output.
  • Fixed the 640-mode palette offsets in the SHR converter. (This was actually fixed a year ago by Bill Buckels, and available in v3.0.2-d1, but the patch wasn’t part of an “official” release until now.)
  • Expanded Gutenberg disk support to include Gutenberg, Jr disks.
  • DiskCopy images with resource forks (e.g. on the ByteWorks Opus ][ CD-ROM) now open with double-click.
  • File type associations, i.e. what makes it so you can double-click a file and have CiderPress open it, started breaking a bit with permission changes in WinVista. This has been fixed, but not perfectly.

** Internal changes **

  • Moved from a CVS repository on sourceforge to a git repository on github.
  • Registered a2ciderpress.com and moved the web site to it (now served up by github).
  • Updated the build files, which were originally set up for Visual Studio 6 (which dates back to 1998). It now builds cleanly “out of the box” with Visual Studio 2013.
  • Switched from _MBCS (narrow strings) to _UNICODE (wide strings). This affected all strings used in the user interface and in file names. The NuFX and disk image libraries still primarily use narrow strings, because they also build for Linux, but the Windows-specific parts are fully converted.
  • The help file “source code”, which used to be stored in a proprietary format, is now just plain text and HTML files.
  • Made various global changes to the source code, such as converting tabs to spaces, switching to variadic macros for debug log messages, and replacing vague C types like “unsigned short” with explicit types like “uint16_t”.
  • Fixed the Linux build, which had suffered from bit rot.
  • Updated to the latest version of DeployMaster (which creates the installer).
  • Expanded and updated developer documentation.

The net effect of all these changes is an application that looks a bit better, works a bit better, and will be much easier to patch and update in the future.

The newer build tools don’t support WinXP by default, but can be configured to do so. This required a few extra megabytes of DLLs in the installer. Earlier versions of Windows, such as Win2K and Win98, will not be able to run this or future versions of CiderPress. For those systems, version 3.0.1 should continue to be used.

Coincidentally, version 3.0.0 of NuLib2 has been released. The update was primarily a code refresh, with build fixes for Mac OS X, Win32, and Linux, but also added support for Mac OS Roman filenames on Linux and Mac OS. No meaningful change for Win32, though being built with the VS2013 compiler means the executable won’t work on older versions of Windows. Visit http://www.nulib.com/ for more information.

January 2nd, 2015

Open Apple #42: 2014 Year-End Roundtable, Eric Shepherd, Sarah W., Carrington Vanston

This month on Open Apple, we close out the year with our traditional Year-End Roundtable discussion. We’re joined by Eric ‘Sheppy’ Shepherd, Sarah W., and Carrington Vanston. We talk about alternate universes, our collective love of the IIgs, and Quinn takes cheap shots at Carrington. It’s the holidays, so Commodore users are given a respite. Well, a bit of a respite, anyway. Meanwhile, Sheppy solicits hatemail, Carrington calls shenanigans, and Sarah keeps everyone honest. Count the euphemisms! So many euphemisms!

As usual, we have lots of news to talk about as well. It’s been an amazing year for the Apple II, and we have new games, new hardware, and new video histories to share. I/O Silver is here, John Romero is there, and JSMESS is everywhere.

http://www.open-apple.net/2015/01/01/open-apple-42-december-2014-2014-year-end-roundtable-eric-shepherd-sarah-w-carrington-vanston/

December 23rd, 2014

Juiced.GS Volume 19, Issue 4 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 19, Issue 4 (Dec 2014)Volume 19, Issue 4 (Dec 2014) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, is now arriving in subscribers’ mailboxed. This issue features an interview with Karl Roelofs, original co-creator of the Apple IIGS game Shadowgate; the Retro Computing Roundtable‘s holiday gift guide for retrocomputing enthusiasts; Ivan Drucker’s tutorial for using Magic Goto; a review of Leigh Alexander’s e-book Breathing Machine; a behind-the-scenes look at the Song Board stack for HyperCard; and much, much more!

In a first for Juiced.GS, this issue features variant covers! Each subscriber will receive the Fire or Ice edition, chosen at random.

This is Juiced.GS‘s fourth quarterly issue of 2014. The complete annual volume is now available as a bundle at a discount rate! Subscriptions for 2015 are also available at $19 each for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers, with several free sample issues available as PDFs.

December 22nd, 2014

Roger Wagner’s ‘Assembly Lines: The Complete Book’ re-released under Creative Commons

Announced by Chris Torrence via Usenet Comp.Sys.Apple2

Assembly Lines: The Complete Book is now available! The book contains all 33 of Roger Wagner’s articles from Softalk magazine, as well as appendices on the 6502 instruction set, zero-page memory usage, and a beginner’s guide to using the Merlin Assembler. The book is currently available for 40% off on Lulu.com, and will be available at Amazon in a few weeks. Note: Roger Wagner has released the book under a Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, and I’m currently working on the eBook version.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/roger-wagner/assembly-lines-the-complete-book/hardcover/product-21959093.html

FYI, I uploaded disk images of the Assembly Lines programs to the Asimov website:

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net//pub/apple_II/images/programming/assembler/AssemblyLinesWagnerDOS1.DSK
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net//pub/apple_II/images/programming/assembler/AssemblyLinesWagnerDOS2.DSK
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net//pub/apple_II/images/programming/assembler/AssemblyLinesWagnerProDOS1.DSK
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net//pub/apple_II/images/programming/assembler/AssemblyLinesWagnerProDOS2.DSK

There are DOS and ProDOS versions. Disk1 contains the programs from chapters 1-17, while Disk2 contains the remaining chapters. Note that a few of the programs (in the DOS chapter) will only work in DOS, not ProDOS.

You can download a copy of the Merlin assembler for DOS at:
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net//pub/apple_II/images/programming/assembler/merlin/Merlin-8 v2.48 (DOS 3.3).dsk

And for ProDOS:
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net//pub/apple_II/images/programming/assembler/merlin/Merlin-8 v2.58 (ProDOS) Disk 1-2.dsk

Brief Table of Contents:

Preface
Introduction
1. Apple’s Architecture
2. The Monitor
3. Assemblers
4. Loops and Counters
5. Loops, Branches, COUT, and Paddles
6. I/O Using Monitor and Keyboards
7. Addressing Modes
8. Sound Generation
9. The Stack
10. Addition and Subtraction
11. DOS and Disk Access
12. Shift Operators and Logical Operators
13. I/O Routines
14. Reading and Writing Files on Disk
15. Special Programming Techniques
16. Passing Data from Applesoft BASIC
17. More Applesoft Data Passing
18. Applesoft Hi-Res Graphics
19. Calling Hi-Res Graphics Routines
20. Structure of the Hi-Res Display Screen
21. Hi-Res Plotting in Assembly
22. Even Better Hi-Res Plotting
23. Hi-Res Graphics SCRN Function
24. The Collision Counter, DRAW, XDRAW
25. Explosions and Special Effects
26. Passing Floating-Point Data
27. Floating-Point Math Routines
28. The BCD, or Binary Coded Decimal
29. Intercepting Output
30. Intercepting Input
31. Hi-Res Character Generator
32. Hi-Res Character Editor
33. The 65C02
Appendix A: Contest
Appendix B: Assembly Commands
Appendix C: 6502 Instruction Set
Appendix D: Monitor Subroutines
Appendix E: ASCII and Screen Charts
Appendix F: Zero-Page Memory Usage
Appendix G: Beginner’s Guide to Merlin
List of Programs
Directory Listing for Program Disks
Index
Quick Reference

December 22nd, 2014

Ivan Drucker releases ‘Magic Goto’

Announced by Ivan Drucker via Facebook

Magic Goto is now available, so you can program in Applesoft without ever having to think about line numbers, yielding better organized and much more readable code.

It lets you GOTO, GOSUB, or ONERR GOTO a label in a REM statement. For example, GOSUB “showMainMenu” will find the line containing REM “showMainMenu”.

Magic GOTO is self-contained in your Applesoft program and does not require any additional files to be loaded.

For those already familiar with Magic Gosub, this supersedes it, with support for GOTO and ONERR GOTO; better performance; and the ability to specify your label search either forwards or backwards, starting from the top, bottom, or current line (this allows you to reuse labels if you are programming in Structured Applesoft).

Have fun: http://ivanx.com/magicgoto

December 9th, 2014

Carte Blanche II nearly finalized, pricing to be announced soon


CBII TEXT INCLUDED

November 29th, 2014

Kevin Smallwood to release GBBSPro under the GPL

Kevin Smallwood announced in the Facebook Apple II Enthusiasts forum that he intends to release the GBBSPro bulletin board system (along with ACOS and other related products) under the GPL. Kevin is the current owner of the GBBSPro product.

To my fellow Apple // fans. Tony Diaz and I are going to GPL the GbbsPro source code. Stay tuned. -Kevin Smallwood

Tony Diaz has a huge collection of GBBSPro/ACOS material, so in tandem, they will be releasing a literal treasure trove of Apple II telecommunications history and source code. We could even see a resurgence of interest in good ol’ fashioned Apple II BBS’ing, as several people have expressed their desire to update the code to support telnet access.

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