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.

April 2nd, 2014

RetroConnector releases mini DISK II USB SD card reader


It’s cute AND functional. For only $50 and shipping, you can have your own in traditional Apple beige or Bell and Howell black. It comes with a sheet of 6 adhesive ‘floppy’ stickers to put on your SD cards.

Disk II USB SD

March 27th, 2014

Juiced.GS Volume 19, Issue 1 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 19, Issue 1 (Mar 2014)Volume 19, Issue 1 (March 2014) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has been mailed to all subscribers. This issue features an interview with Al Lowe of Leisure Suit Larry; reviews of Option8′s RetroConnector joystick adapters; a behind-the-scenes look at the development of Brian Picchi’s Retro Fever game; musings on why the Mac’s recent 30th anniversary matters to the Apple II; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s first 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.

March 17th, 2014

Willegal reproduction SwyftCards said to look good, work great


swyft-repro-only

Get the scoop here.

March 14th, 2014

Andrew Webber making another run of TDX stereo cards

While it’s certainly not essential, a stereo card can add ‘flavor’ to your Apple IIGS experience. It’s also important to consider carefully which stereo card you use (if you can even find one), because reliability and sound fidelity can vary from brand to brand. That’s why we’re happy to see ‘Drew’ Webber is producing a second round of his high quality TDX ][ stereo cards. They’re reasonably priced, and offer GREAT stereo sound output from your Apple IIGS. I expect the estimated run of 25 to 50 boards to sell briskly, so get on the waiting list NOW or you might miss out.

February 28th, 2014

Nishida Radio working on Apple IIc VGA adapter

Koichi Nishida has Apple //c users on Facebook excited about the VGA adapter he is designing. Since the extremely limited run of Gregory Estrade’s Guimauve 2000, the Apple IIc has been without a viable VGA adapter option.


photo

Thank you Koichi — we will be following your progress with enthusiasm!

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