July 26th, 2014

KansasFest Day 3

MORE LINKS WILL ADDED LATER

Andre Lozano greeted early risers with the first session of the day. Andre was part of the group that restored disks from the collection of Chris Marker, a French film director, writer and early pioneer in multimedia computing and authoring. Chris was interested in how computers and humans interacted emotionally (something retro-computists can easily identify with). He developed a program called ‘Dialector’ that explored these emotional responses which were similar in concept to the famous ELIZA program and it’s variants.

If you haven’t seen Jason Scott in person, it should be something on your short ‘to-do’ list; he’s like a Kung-Fu kick to the psyche (but in a good way). Jason is a natural and entertaining speaker with a passion for his work with the Internet Archive. He’s been busy JSMESS emulation project (try it, you’ll be floored), in addition to scanning of magazines, books and disks from all sources retrocomputing. Jason shared some good news, apparently museums, other archival organizations (and even copyright holders like Atari) are waking up to the need to preserve and protect our digital history and are supporting projects like the Internet Archive. Perceptions are changing; it’s no longer a matter of digital piracy, but of digital preservation.

Ken Gagne announced that Juiced.GS continues to thrive as the last, and longest running Apple II print magazine ever. Publishing will continue into 2015 at the same rates as before! Also announced, some money-saving bundles for digital copies of back issues. See site for details.

Ch-ch-ch-changes to the schedule created an opportunity for an impromptu but very productive programmers roundtable event.

Charles Mangin and friend then gave us a tutorial on the various types of 3D printing that are available. During the session, he produced a few key caps as practical examples of what can be achieved for the retrocomputing hobbyist.

Next up, Quinn Dunki discussed her personal journey of discovery with ‘Veronica’, a homebrew 6502 based computer she built from scratch. Quinn put in about 5 years of work designing circuits and PCB’s as a learning exercise reminiscent of Steve Wozniak’s Apple 1 endeavor. You can read about on Quinn’s blog.

Michael Sternberg next demonstrated how Sir-Tech’s ‘STAR SAGA: ONE, Beyond the Boundary’ can be played over the internet using the VASSAL Engine. According to it’s site, ‘Vassal is a game engine for building and playing online adaptations of board games and card games. Play live on the Internet or by email. Vassal runs on all (modern) platforms, and is free, open-source software.’ Wow, I didn’t know this existed and it’s very cool. I can’t wait to try it out.

Pizza happened next, which was a much appreciated, welcome break from the yucky, uninspired, tasteless (and occasionally mysterious) food we’ve been getting from the cafeteria. Wow Rockhurst, we LOVE you, but the food has been disappointing this year. I think I lost weight just by looking at what was on my plate. Thanks?

The evening’s activities wrapped up with the annual group photo, best wacky tie (hey, I won!) contest and a few late evening sessions.

We have more than a few Podcasters present this year. I saw them massed around a microphone recording a joint podcast. I’m looking forward to that podcast — it should be interesting.

David Schmenk demo’d Apple II Pi (because he still gets asked ‘what is it?’).

Anthony Martino announced the upcoming A2Pi 6.5 card (with numerous improvements). We hope to have pics and a press release for that soon.

Lastly, Tony Diaz led a class on repairing floppy disk drives. Attendees were free to bring their malfunctioning drives for diagnostics and repair, because if Tony can’t fix it, probably no one else can.

Wow it’s late. I’m tired but staying up late tonight. I’ve managed to return 3 Transwarp GS boards from my personal collection back to the community so far. I’m using the proceeds to fund additional Garage Giveaways, recoup shipping expenses, etc. I’m probably going to list a few more on eBay before long.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably sleep in. Saturday is the last official day of KansasFest and I can’t tell if we’re winding up or winding down. One thing is for certain, this has been a great year.

July 21st, 2014

KansasFest News: All 1200+ Nibble Magazine programs available FREE

For nearly 4 years, Stavros Karatsoridis has been a very busy man, collecting, typing and debugging Nibble Magazine’s complete 12 1/2 year run of (1,200+) featured programs. What a remarkable achievement. Even better news, Mike Harvey (Nibble Magazine’s editor and publisher) has made all of the software from Nibble Magazine available for free! Mike’s announcement is attached below.


Exciting news from Stavros Karatsoridis!!!
ALL 1,200+ NIBBLE PROGRAMS FROM 12 1/2 YEARS ARE DOWNLOADABLE!
AND THEY’RE FREE!!!

After a 3 1/2 year effort, Stavros Karatsoridis has laboriously typed, formatted and packaged the entire collection of Nibble 1,200+ programs spanning our 12 1/2 years of publication. His 42-disk collection includes the 265 major programs that were volunteered several years ago by Sam Stoddard (see below) and goes well beyond. Stavros has also provided a scrollable Index of the Programs by Title, so you can easily search our the location of your favorites programs (on the Nibble Disks page).

So this is your chance to recapture some of the magic and charm of the good old 40-character screen with its Low-Res and Hi-Res graphics and take a program tour to that wonderful decade of the 1980′s!

WELL DONE STAVROS, AND THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF THE APPLE II COMMUNITY!

June 27th, 2014

Juiced.GS Volume 19, Issue 2 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 19, Issue 2 (Jun 2014)Volume 19, Issue 2 (June 2014) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has been mailed to all subscribers. This issue features a celebration of the BASIC programming language’s fiftieth birthday; an interview with programmer Ron Graff; Charles Mangin’s introduction to using 3D printers to create Apple II parts; a behind-the-scenes look at how ADTPro accomplishes bootstrapping; reviews of the book Vintage Game Consoles and the chiptune documentaries Reformat the Planet and Europe in 8 Bits; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s second quarterly issue of 2014. Subscriptions are available at $19 for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers, with several free sample issues available as PDFs.

June 23rd, 2014

GSport 0.31 released

The GSport team has announced a new release with significant improvements! Below is David Schmidt’s posting via CSA2.

The GSport team has been busy lately. Peter Neubauer’s AppleTalk emulation is the star of this release – making GSport the only modern emulator with this capability. Christopher Mason enhanced printer emulation capabilities further with a virtual ImageWriter II or LQ in slot 1. Several other items and fixes are aggregated as well.

GSport is a derivative of Kent Dickey’s KEGS Apple IIgs emulator.

Version 0.31 – 6/22/2014

New functionality:

  • Added AppleTalk networking emulation with bridging to EtherTalk (See: http://gsport.sourceforge.net/appletalk.html)
  • Added Imagewriter LQ printer emulation (more documentation coming – printing is highly configurable)
  • Added clipboard text paste capability (OSX, Windows)
  • Emulated serial ports are individually configurable as either IP or pass-through to real hardware ports
  • Apple II Pi build improvements

Bug fixes:

  • IN#1 and IN#2 now trigger the incoming IP port to listen when using IP simulated serial ports; previously, only PR#1 or PR#2 did
  • Fixed crash when parallel.rom is missing
  • Fix for real joysticks: unless the joystick is moving, GSport sets the values to zero
  • http://gsport.sourceforge.net

    (Followups set to comp.emulators.apple2)

June 10th, 2014

AppleWin moves to GitHub

Update your bookmarks. Tom Charlesworth announced today that AppleWin (the leading 8-bit Apple II emulator for Windows) has moved to it’s new repository on GitHub.

Hi,

Berlios has finally been closed (for OSS hosting), meaning that the AppleWin project is no longer accessible on the Berlios site.

I have been gradually migrating AppleWin over to GitHub. The move still isn’t 100% complete, but IMO it’s good enough now so that I can announce it here.

The new project URL is:
https://github.com/AppleWin

Releases are here:
https://github.com/AppleWin/AppleWin/releases

Issues (bug, enhancements and questions) can be accessed and raised here:
https://github.com/AppleWin/AppleWin/issues?state=open

NB. All the old issues and features have been migrated over.

I’m am still getting up to speed on GitHub and git, so bear with me during this initial period.

Tom

June 5th, 2014

Option8 offers discount to KansasFest attendees

KansasFest Special:

Order any item for local pickup at KansasFest 2014, and receive 5% off your total order. Offer valid through July 4, 2014.

http://retroconnector.com/products/

May 28th, 2014

Briel Replica 1 Plus announced

Vince Briel’s Replica 1 10th Anniversary limited edition boards have sold out, but the same design is available now as the ‘Replica 1 Plus’. The only things that are different on this board are the color (green vs. red) and the silk-screened name. The Replica 1 Plus is available assembled for USD $199, or as a kit for USD $149 plus shipping.


replica1plus_med

The plus has improvements over the TE that make programming and power issues a thing of the past. Now you can power your replica 1 right off your PC or Mac or Tablet with the USB interface. With drivers installed, you can use a terminal program for sending/receiving programs or just use the terminal interface as your display and keyboard if you want. For those who prefer the stand alone feature, you can still use a composite monitor or TV and PS/2 keyboard. The ASCII keyboard port has been retained but for Apple II keyboards, a -12V supply or a Super Encoder board enhanced Apple II keyboard is required. Firmware changes now allow backspace or the original _ to be used just by selecting CTRL and F1. No more fighting backspace issues. Two versions of ROM’s onboard to select from! Yes, the original apple 1 with BASIC and now the Woz monitor and Applesoft lite can be used by adding a jumper! Enjoy floating point BASIC ported from the Apple II.

EXTRA GOOD NEWS! Look for an announcement soon on how you can assemble your own Replica 1 Plus kit under Vince’s guidance at a KansasFest 2014 workshop!

May 19th, 2014

Do you want 16MB of auxillary RAM in your Apple IIe?

The real question is, ‘what would you do with 16 megabytes of auxiliary RAM?’ Well, there’s AppleWorks (but it only recognizes 1.5MB) and only a few other programs like SuperCalc that can adequately justify adding more than 1MB of RAM to your Apple IIe. Sure, you can also add a print spooler and a RAM disk but then, what’s next?

We’re about to find out. Matt Jenkins is close to turning his prototype RamWorks clone, dubbed ‘ScramWorks’ into an actual card. Initially, Matt looked at an 8MB version, but it’s just as easy and with little increase in cost to max out the card for the ultimate 16MB auxiliary card.

During their early years, Applied Engineering advertised memory add-on cards for the RamWorks line totaling between 14MB to 16MB (achieved by stacking multiple expanders), digital and analog video adapters and even optimistically developed a 65c816 option card, perhaps in the hope of spurring 16 bit development on the Apple II line. By the time the RamWorks II and III were introduced, AE had reduced their advertising claims to 3MB and the 16bit option card was a gizmo that little to nothing took advantage of. That was then.

So what’s new and different today? Honestly, very little. Matt is looking into making the card compatible with the older AE RGB interfaces, or more likely, integrate Nishida Radio’s VGA adapter into the design. That would certainly be practical.

It would be up to today’s hackers and enthusiasts to develop the killer apps or utilities to make 16MB of RAM dance on the Apple IIe. I will buy one (or two) in the hopes someone will do exactly that.

If you’re interested in the ScramWorks project, let Matt know. He has a survey up to gather information on what the community needs and expects.

May 2nd, 2014

Apple II case for your Raspberry Pi

Charles Mangin sure has been having fun with his 3D printer.  Last month, his SD card reader disguised as a Disk II drive made waves in the community and now he’s followed it up with this totally awesome thing:




Yes, it’s a Raspberry Pi case designed to look like an Apple IIe.  Mangin explains:

Each case is 3D printed in SLA (at Shapeways) from 3D models based on my actual Apple II collection. Then, each part is painted to match the original beige, brown or platinum grey – or Black, if you prefer the Bell & Howell model. I also include all the hardware you will need to connect your Pi to power and video – just add Pi.

The case is currently available to order on the RetroConnector Etsy shop for US $115 + shipping.

April 7th, 2014

Sweet16 3.0.3 released

Eric “Sheppy” Shepherd has released Sweet16 3.0.3. The key changes in this release are a new About box—the first portion of Sweet16 to be rewritten as Cocoa code—and the following two key bug fixes:

  • Fixed a memory leak in full-screen mode that would fairly quickly eat up a lot of free memory the longer you stayed in full-screen mode.
  • The internal tools used to implement the ability to drag files in and out of the emulator were not built correctly to support Intel Core Duo processors. These are the earliest processors supported by Sweet16, and were not working with this feature. Now they are.

There are a few other changes as well, so be sure to review the release notes.


Sweet16 about box

Sheppy says he’s especially excited about the new About box, because it’s the first step on the road to gradually converting Sweet16 into a modern Cocoa application, which will make it easier to develop and maintain in the future. He hopes to tackle the Disks window next.

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