May 12th, 2016

Brutal Deluxe updates i’m fEDD up

Brutal Deluxe Software offers a maintenance release to their 5.25″ and 3.5″ preservation software. Now at v2.1, i’m fEDD up fixes two bugs and better supports available blocks on the volume where the different disk images are saved.

imfeddup

You can download it at http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/apple2/imfEDDup/

May 9th, 2016

KansasFest Special from UltimateMicro: Universal PSU Kit $89.99

Henry Courbis writes:

With KansasFest only weeks away I wanted to remind attendees about the specially priced show offer from Ultimate-Micro.com for the Universal PSU Kit: https://goo.gl/amFHma

You’ll receive a $10 discount plus save the regular shipping charges, plus your order will be hand-delivered to you at KFEST. Ultimate-Micro staff will also be available to assist if you have any issues or questions. We recommend bringing some basic tools if you want to install the Universal PSU Kit while at the conference.

There aren’t plans to bring extra PSU Kits due to their weight and added complexity with travel to and from the show, so be sure to place your order NOW and don’t miss out on this great offer which ends July 16th, at 6:00pm Eastern.

For Accessories and Related Items:
IIe: https://goo.gl/GIBcyZ
IIGS: https://goo.gl/GIBcyZ
///: https://goo.gl/NYYI1A

NOTE: Be sure to select “KFEST Special” items for discounted prices and no shipping charges.

May 4th, 2016

4soniq IIGS stereo card press release (debuted at WOzFest ///)

Manila Gear Introduces the 4soniq – a 4Channel Sound Card for the Apple IIGS

Sydney, Australia, 29 April 2016—Manila Gear today announced the 4soniq interface card for the Apple II GS. The card gives II GS owners the ability to connect up to 4 separate powered speakers so they can enjoy quadraphonic surround sound. In addition to providing four channels of output, the 4soniq gives owners the ability to capture audio with a single channel input digitiser.

The 4soniq was announced at WOzFest /// where Jon Christopher Co demonstrated a prototype 4soniq card for attendees to inspect and use in KABOOM! gameplay. “It all started when we were chatting about how the Apple II GS can generate 8 channels of sound, and fellow Apple enthusiast Andrew Roughan wondered ‘if anyone ever attempted such a design.’ John and I checked it out and we decided to give it a shot!” said Jon. “We hope Apple II GS users enjoy using it and programming for it as much as we have enjoyed creating it.”

Hardware
The 4soniq unlocks the capabilities already available in the Apple II GS ’ Ensoniq Digital Oscillator Chip. The simple design and robust engineering delivers clean, reliable sound.

Features:

  • 4 channel output via two 3.5 mm stereo jacks
  • 1 channel input via one 3.5 mm mono jack

When paired with another 4soniq card, it is possible to achieve 8 channels of output. The 4soniq can also be setup for slotless operation.

Software
A Programmers Guide for the 4soniq will be available on the Manila Gear website in the near future. The guide will show developers how to program for the 4soniq, and will include sample code on how to modify existing software to support 4 channel sound.

In addition, thanks to the hard work of Ninjaforce’s Jesse Blue, the recently announced v1.02 of its popular Bomberman clone KABOOM! is fully 4soniq compatible.

The 4soniq will soon be available for pre-order on manilagear.com. For more information on the card specifications please visit http://manilagear.com/product/4soniq-sound-card

Manila Gear is an electronics company founded by Jon Christopher Co and John Valdezco. Jon has been a hardware hacker for the past twenty years and maintains a blog at: http://damntechnology.blogspot.com.au. John advises Silicon Valley startups, and has a degree in Electrical Engineering. Both Jon and John attended Philippine Science High School, and have been working together on cool stuff since then.


4soniq

April 29th, 2016

4play and 4soniq cards demoed at WOzFest ///

The 4play card is an interface for simultaneously connecting 4 digital (Atari style) joysticks to the Apple II for multi-player gaming and possibly other creative applications. The 4soniq appears to be a 4 channel stereo card.

This is a developing story. More information is forthcoming.

PRESS RELEASE
Brisbane, Australia, 29 April, 2016 – Alex Lukacz, well known in Apple ][ circles for his hardware hacking projects, today announced the debut of 4play, a digital joystick interface card for the Apple ][ line of computers. With the 4play card, Apple ][ gamers have a modern solution to connect up to four digital joysticks to an Apple ][.

The 4play supports the original Atari Joystick (and some derivatives of that standard). It is also possible to retrofit 4play support to keyboard-controlled Apple ][ games by redirecting keyboard control calls to the appropriate 4play memory addresses.

The 4play was designed in collaboration with Jesse Blue, of Apple IIgs development powerhouse Ninjaforce. Jesse was instrumental in helping Alex to refine the design and features of the card.

In conjunction with the 4play’s release, Ninjaforce jointly announces a 4play compatible version of its popular Bomberman clone KABOOM! The newly released v1.02 of KABOOM! supports the use of up to four digital joysticks in conjunction with the 4play. Other changes include the ability to control game menus via a connected joystick.

The 4play was announced during the 29 April 2016 WOzFest (Wollstonecraft OzFest) gathering of Apple ][ enthusiasts hosted by Sean “europlus” McNamara on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, Australia. Alex joined the gathering via video hookup to make the announcement, and a pre-release card was available for WOzFest attendees to inspect and use for KABOOM! gameplay.
Technical details on the operation of the 4play and how to modify existing keyboard control code can be found at Alex’s blog. The 4play-compliant version of KABOOM! is available for download from the Ninjaforce website.

Alex Lukacz has been programming Apple ][‘s since 1983, after outgrowing his Dick Smith System80, a TRS-80 Model I clone. After a long hiatus he returned in 2007 to become a regular OzKFest attendee and blogger, showing off various projects ranging from a wireless turtle robot called WALTR to reconstructing Apple ][-driven LEGO kits to his work on floppy drive emulation and video adaptors.

Ninjaforce has long been known for their programming and graphics prowess with their Megademo and work on the Apple IIgs port of Wolfenstein 3D. They literally exploded into prominence on the Apple ][ scene in 2015 with the release of the critically acclaimed Bomberman clone, KABOOM!. KABOOM! pairs exciting gameplay with outstanding graphics and sound to fully exploit the capabilities of the Apple IIgs. Based in Germany, Ninjaforce has released many Apple ][ software products and demos since 1992.

See more at:
http://lukazi.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/apple-ii-4play-joystick-card.html
and
http://www.ninjaforce.com/html/products_kaboom.html


4play_kaboom

April 25th, 2016

MSX games and applications on the Apple II?

Ian Kim of South Korea is a busy person. He’s apparently working on a Z80 co-processor board that will run MSX programs on the Apple II. I’ve used Google Translate (the site is on Korean) to get a pretty good translation here.

March 28th, 2016

UltimateMicro News

Coming soon from UltimateMicro: a new heavy duty universal power supply for the Apple II, II+, //e, IIGS and Apple ///. The circuit board for the power supply will feature multiple mount points and snap-offs to accommodate any of the standard power supply enclosures used in the Apple II and /// series and possibly even those from Applied Engineering and Applied Ingenuity. The UM-UPS will likely be available as both a DIY kit and as a fully assembled product ready for mounting in your enclosure. You will also have the option of having UltimateMicro upgrade your existing power supply by sending it in and paying for labor. Pricing has not yet been announced for this product or upgrade services.

UPU1

The Scalable Oscillator has been revised and now we have the v2.0 versions for the Zip-GS and the Transwarp GS. Although identical in function, the new Scalable Oscillator circuit boards were redesigned for reliability and accuracy by using a higher grade clock IC. Both have fuse protection and a diagnostic power LED to let the user know the card is powered on. Either product is available for a very reasonable USD $40 plus shipping.

SO-ZIP
Scalable Oscillator for ZipGS

SO-TWGS
Scalable Oscillator for TranswarpGS


Scalable Oscillator 2.0 Review by Joe’s Computer Museum

Lastly, we have the replacement DuoDisk cable. It’s a common occurrence for Apple II enthusiasts to find 5.25 DuoDisk Disk Drives missing their interface cable, or sometimes it’s been cut-off. It doesn’t help that the cable is somewhat non-standard. Good news! UltimateMicro will soon have a solution for you!

DDA

March 26th, 2016

Juiced.GS Volume 21, Issue 1 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 21, Issue 1 (March 2016)Volume 21, Issue 1 (Mar 2016) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, is now arriving in subscribers’ mailboxes. This issue features a behind-the-scenes look by Ian Johnson at his work bringing Japanese language support to the Apple IIGS; an interview with Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian; David Schmenk’s introductory tutorial for programming in PLASMA; a review of Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs film; a reflection on lessons learned using the Apple II in a modern high-school classroom; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s first quarterly issue of 2016, its twenty-first year in print. Subscriptions for 2016 are also available at $19 each for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers.

March 13th, 2016

UltimateMicro re-releases their clone of the Apple II 3.5 “SuperDrive” Controller

UtlimateMicro has re-released their clone of the highly sought after Apple II 3.5 “SuperDrive” Disk Controller. Known also by it’s Apple code name, the “Mustang Controller” allows you to use standard Apple 3.5 and Apple SuperDrives on your enhanced Apple IIe (and IIGS).

UM_Mustang

It’s a much better option versus the slower Liron/UniDisk 3.5 combination or VTech Universal Disk Controller (which can also be hard to find). In addition to reading Apple’s GCR format, it can also read IBM formatted MFM disks (an enabled MS-DOS file system translator required).

Available now for USD $149.99 plus shipping and handling.

March 9th, 2016

A2Heaven releases IIGS ROM adapter

For $35 USD, this snazzy ROM adapter from A2Heaven.com will let you switch your original Apple IIGS between ROM 0 and ROM 01, or (even more interestingly) between the beta 2.0 and IIBF ROMs if you’re curious about those. It features a color-changing LED to indicate which ROM is active. Obviously, due to architecture differences, this device isn’t compatible with the ROM 3 or Mark Twain Apple IIGS.

A2HROM
AppleIIGSxROM Adapter

March 9th, 2016

UltimateMicro announces new products

UltimateMicro has announced new products to enhance your favorite Apple II, with even more enhancements and fun projects on the way.

UM_ROM_Adapt
ROM 0 to ROM 01 Adapter v2.0

The IIgs ROM0 to ROM1 Adapter v2.0 is a redux of the v1 adapter where I used to Machine Pin Sockets stacked together to allow use of a standard ROM in the IIgs. There is hidden benefit to these new v2 Adapters however. Since they use a standard EEPROM, users can now do firmware development for the IIgs very simply. For ROM3 firmware development or ROM replacement you will require two Adapters since there are two ROMs on the ROM3 motherboard. Available now, for only $30 USD.

UM_Zip_RAM
ZipGS SRAM SOJ to DIP Adapter

The next project is called the SRAM SOJ to DIP Adapter and it is intended to allow ZIP-GSX users to more simply upgrade their board without the need for new sockets or crazy hacks likes bending pins of “skinny” SRAMs to solder in to the on-board sockets of the ZIP. Or more correct, but costly options, like having me replace the sockets on the ZIP-GSX board. Each adapter is $20 USD and available for ordering now.

Also coming up is the new Universal Power Supply. Beta units are going out to Joe Strosnider and Chris Torrence for video reviews (which we’ll try to post here). There will be a pre-order to gauge interest since the initial expense to deliver this project is fairly significant.

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