April 29th, 2017

AFPBridge facilitates TCP/IP based AppleShare connections for Apple IIgs

Stephen Heumann has released AFPBridge, a tool that allows an Apple IIgs to connect to file servers using the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) over TCP/IP. It works by using the existing AppleShare FST, but redirecting its network traffic over TCP/IP rather than AppleTalk.

With AFPBridge, anyone with a Marinetti-compatible network interface (such as an Ethernet card) can connect to AFP file servers from a IIgs, with no need to set up a LocalTalk network. This provides a very convenient way to move files to and from the IIgs, just by copying them in the Finder or accessing them in any other IIgs program.

See the AFPBridge website for more information.

April 28th, 2017

40th Anniversary Reissue of The New Apple II User’s Guide Announced

The Apple II computer celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer and to celebrate, The New Apple II User’s Guide by David Finnigan is now reissued under new 40th anniversary covers.

The New Apple II User’s Guide with 40th Anniversary cover is available to order from Amazon.com for $25. This special 40th anniversary cover will only be available through the end of 2017. An ebook edition is also available for sale directly from the author. Visit the companion web site for more information.

The book has received praise and accolades from dozens in the Apple II community, including Steven Weyhrich, author of Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life and Times of the Apple II Computer; Chris Torrence, editor of Assembly Lines: The Complete Book; Eric Shepherd, well-known Apple II programmer and shareware author; and Open Apple, the Apple II podcast.

This book covers all models of Apple II, and contains everything that the new user needs to know to get started using and programming his Apple. Learn how to setup and start using the Apple, then learn how to program in BASIC. Further chapters cover graphics and sound, the disk system, networking, printing, and much more. This book is completely up-to-date and covers all recent advancements and developments in the Apple II world.

April 21st, 2017

Nox Archaist combat module completed

6502 Workshop announces a major milestone in the development of Nox Archaist, their 8-bit, tile-based RPG: the combat module has been completed, as showcased via the short narrative video Cow-A-Pult (Part 1) using the Nox Archaist engine.

In the previous episode, the wizard Ojithar warned that the nearby ruins contain a great evil. Of course, that’s where the party is headed today, as there’s bound to be treasure!

This video demonstrates several new game features:

  • Combat scenarios
  • Spellcasting special effects
  • New tile graphic animations
  • NPCs outside of towns

Look for more details about Nox Archaist’s combat in the June 2017 issue of Juiced.GS prior to the game’s release later this year.

March 17th, 2017

Alien Downpour preorders now available

Michael Packard of Snacking On Software has announced the imminent availability of his new 8-bit shmup, Alien Downpour — "a fast-action arcade-style shooter". It is developed in assembly language and will run on any Apple II with 48K of RAM.

Alien Downpour will be available mid-April 2017 in disk image format. Additionally, a limited run of DOS 3.3 cassettes and 5.25" floppies, packaged in Ziploc bags, will be sold for $20 each, including shipping anywhere in the world. Preorders are being accepted via PayPal.

March 16th, 2017

Dagen Brock releases GSplus, buckshot & ksynthed

Dagen Brock, prolific software developer and host of the GS Programmer’s Home, recently produced a software hat trick of Apple II tools he’s developed.

GSplus is an open-source, cross-platform Apple IIGS emulator based on KEGS and GSPort. Despite still being in alpha, the latest build supports drag-and-dropping disk images onto the emulator to have them show up in the Finder desktop.

buckshot is an open-source, cross-platform image conversion utility. It takes modern image formats (PNG, JPEG, BMP, etc.) and converts them for use on the Apple II.

ksynthed is a small music editor and player library for Apple II, based on ksynth. The player library can be loaded into Applesoft BASIC, then CALLed to play songs (or notes).

Brock demonstrates all three tools in this YouTube video in which he uses GSplus, buckshot, and ksynthed to create an Apple II game called Applezini:

March 14th, 2017

A glimpse at Nox Archaist

Mark Lemmert of 6502 Workshop recently blogged about the current development status of Nox Archaist, the upcoming 8-bit tile-based RPG, and what the game will be like when it launches later this year.

The post includes a discussion of the tone of the game, a preview of a few villains players can expect to encounter in the adventure and details on expected combat system mechanics. Some highlights:

  • The game engine is approximately 75% complete
  • Programming for the combat system is about 50% done
  • Players will be able to:
    • Place spell casters and archers behind fighters
    • Select a specific mob target for each player attack
    • Aim area of effect spells at large groups of mobs
    • Collaborate between thief/assassin and fighter types for increased critical hit chances
  • Nox Archaist will be a fairly dark game, featuring such foes as demon lords and death knights
  • Characters will be able to choose separate armor to protect their head, torso, feet, and hands
  • Dungeon graphics are being designed by Hollywood animation artists Bill Giggie and Robert Padovan
  • Gameplay will be balanced between combat and non-combat activities

For a more in-depth preview of this game, read the entire blog post.

March 1st, 2017

Juiced.GS Volume 22, Issue 1 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 22, Issue 1 (Mar 2017)Volume 22, Issue 1 (Mar 2017) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has now shipped. This issue features a tutorial for telnetting to bulletin board systems from your Apple II; reviews of the AP40 wireless Bluetooth game controller and the Floppy Emu storage device; an interview with Joe Santulli, co-founder of the National Videogame Museum of Frisco, Texas; a behind-the-scenes look at ProRWTS, the filesystem controller by Peter Ferrie being used in the game Nox Archaist; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s first quarterly issue of 2017, its twenty-second year in print. The complete 2016 volume is now available as a bundle. Subscriptions for 2017 are $19 each for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers.

February 9th, 2017

T2A2 – The transputer is finally here!

Axel Muhr from Germany has released his T2A2 card, a transputer card for the Apple II. Read his announcement and get yours soon!

 

Hey a2central gang,

I’d just like to send you a quick heads-up, that my T2A2 (“Transputer to Apple II”) interface finally became a real PCB – 6 years after you ran a news-line about the prototype (http://a2central.com/2683/t2a2-apple-ii-transputer-interface/). Well sometimes it just takes a tad bit longer :-D

http://www.geekdot.com/t2a2-for-everyone/

I ran a first initial batch of 20 as I have no idea how big (or small) the interest is, as this is really something, uhm, ‘special’ ;-)

T2A2 Transputer

January 30th, 2017

Sweet16 status update

Eric Shepherd, author of the Sweet16 emulator for the Mac, posted an announcement today about the status and future plans for Sweet16. He starts with a comforting “this isn’t a death announcement!”, then continues:

With that out of the way, I know it’s been a while since the last update to Sweet16, and that it is in need of one. Here’s what’s going on right now.

First, my health has been troublesome for the last several years, as many of you know, with some issues gradually worsening even while others are being controlled through treatment. This has been a drain on my time, and the treatments have tended to leave me with little energy for work on anything non-essential, so I focus on my day job and my family the best I can.

Second, there are technical issues at play. I have started work on a major update to Sweet16 which involves rewriting parts of the code from the old Carbon API into the modern Cocoa one, since Carbon is deprecated and pieces of it are increasingly unreliable. The code as it stands is not a shippable product because of its partially-converted status.

I have become aware of certain issues with the currently available version of Sweet16 (3.0.3) that make it hard to use in certain cases. I am going to attempt to get things situated so I can do an update to fix at least some of these problems sometime before the June solstice.

The sticking point there is that the version of Xcode I used to last work on Sweet16 doesn’t run on the version of macOS I run anymore, and the code won’t build on the current Xcode. So I have decided to set up a virtual environment to use for future work on older versions of Sweet16 so that I can get these updates done.

I’m aware of a few issues I will try to address in this winter/spring (Northern Hemisphere) update.

The latest discovery: I’d gotten some reports of the command and option keys not working right, but hadn’t been able to reproduce it until I realized that this is happening only in software checking them by reading the joystick button flags. That led me straight to the correct solution: the code handling this is looking for a game controller to be present; if one is, then that controller is checked. The keyboard is only checked if there are no game controllers (joysticks or gamepads) connected. I will update the code to check both regardless and report the button down if EITHER or both are down.

I will try to resolve issues related to game controllers not working reliably, but I make no promises. The libraries for this changed over the years and I may not be able to fix this until I resume work on Sweet16 4.0.

I’ll also make some changes to handling of disk images to allow any .po image to be created and used instead of only allowing them for floppy-sized disks. When this code was first written, .po was strictly used for floppy disk images, but that’s changed over time and Sweet16 didn’t keep up with that change (mostly because I didn’t realize it had happened until long after it had — oops!).

There are a few other issues that I’ll look at. The goal is to go after stuff that’s either extremely critical or easy to fix only, just to ensure I get something out. The more I try to put into this update, the more likely it is to get delayed by my health issues.

I’m sorry that work on Sweet16 has been so slow. I have big plans and am pushing hard to get my health situation on track but it’s difficult. I will get this smaller update out, though, no matter what it takes, as soon as humanly possible.

Thanks for your support, and Apple II forever!

Hopefully he’s able to make this happen. He’s missed some planned and hoped-for release dates in the past due to his health, but let’s all hope for the best, and that he is also able to get back to work on Sweet16 4 as soon as possible!

January 13th, 2017

A 65816 in a PAL //e

a2heaven.com has just revealed one of their projects: a microprocessor replacement for the PAL Apple //e. Switch from your current 8-bit 65(c)02 to the 16-bit 65816 one. You are still running at 1 MHz and access 64 KiB of RAM — but is that the first step before a modern accelerator interface card similar to the one a2heaven.com has recently announced for the Apple //c?

 

65816 in a PAL //e

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