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.

March 9th, 2016

New vendor ByteBoosters releases 4MB RAM card for Apple IIGS

ByteBoosters appears to be a new Apple II vendor in Roth, Germany. Their first product is a $60 (USD) 4MB RAM card for the Apple IIGS currently being sold on eBay. It looks like it may be a clone of the Applied Engineering GS-RAM III which is a really nice card, as far as we’re concerned. The 2 year warranty is nice also.

Specifications:

  • 4MB DRAM (4 banks) using 4Mbit DRAM chips (1Mbit x 4)
  • 100% DMA compatible
  • Fast RAM -70ns
  • Low Power consumption
  • Fully gold plated high quality printed circuit board
  • Gold plated slot contacts ensuring high reliability


ByteBooster 4MB RAM

March 5th, 2016

Lawless Legends 03/04/2016 game play video shows refinements, details

February 15th, 2016

Ian Kim produces first internal Mockingboard for the Apple IIc

Ian Kim has beat a few other similar projects to the punch with his new Mockingboard 4c, an internal Mockingboard compatible card for the Apple IIc. It appears to be music only (no speech synthesis). Details are very limited at this time, but we know (or don’t know) the following:

  • The first batch of cards are going to Ian’s friends with international sales coming later.
  • Pricing has not yet been announced.
  • You won’t be able to physically use a memory expansion card at the same time. Also, the Mockingboard 4c is mapped to slot 4.
  • Zip/Rocket Chip compatibility is unknown.

Lots of pictures to see HERE.


M4c Installed

February 10th, 2016

Brutal Deluxe releases fEDD up v2

Antoine Vignua of Brutal Deluxe has announced the latest version of “i’m fEDD up” version 2.0, now with support for 3.5 disk nibble files and other improvements. Get it here: http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/apple2/imfEDDup/

February 7th, 2016

Brutal Deluxe releases DustHead! disk mechanism exerciser


DustHead


DustHead! is a utility for exercising your 3.5 and 5.25 drive mechanisms (IWM controllers only). When used in conjunction with a cleaning disk, it can help keep your drives in tip-top operating condition. It can also come in handy when lubricating your drives!

January 26th, 2016

UltimateMicro releases Ramworks schematics, announces 4MB kit coming soon

We are glad to announce another ReActiveMicro release to the Apple II Community!

We have published the RAMWorks III 2 Meg Plus Expander schematic and programing files.

https://goo.gl/HkraX8

With the RAMWorks III and the 2 Meg Plus Expander now fully documented we can start the RAMWorks IIII Kit project and continue with adding AUX RAM to the IDEA2c Drive project.

The RAMWorks III Kit project is planned to be a RAMWorks style Apple IIe AUX Slot RAM Card with 4Meg of RAM and sell for about $80. It will also maintain compatibility with all AE’s RGB daughterboard options.

As named, this project will be sold in “kit” form and feature DIP and through hole parts for ease of assembly. We will work to keep the IC count to about 10 units so even a novice should be able to completely assemble the kit in about 1 hour. With some luck this project will be ready for the SolderFest session of KFEST 2016.

All are welcome who would like to help with testing or writing software. We would like to update AE’s RAMWorks III Test program to allow for 4Megs. Please contact “Support at ReActiveMicro.com”.

January 16th, 2016

Big Mess o’ Wires introduces Floppy Emu Model B

Steve Chamberlain has revised his successful Floppy Emu product and added additional enhancements for vintage Apple II and Macintosh users. Check out Steve’s intro attached below.


model-b-750

Today I’m excited to introduce the first significant update to the Floppy Emu disk emulator for Apple II and classic Macintosh computers: Floppy Emu Model B. The new Model B has the same disk emulation functions as the Model A and Universal Adapter, but with several new convenience features:

  • Built-in Apple II Compatibility – Model B is directly compatible with the entire Apple II line, emulating a 5 1/4 inch disk, 3 1/2 inch disk, or Smartport hard disk. While Model A required a separate Universal Adapter for the best Apple II compatibility, Model B has the equivalent functionality built-in. Classic Macintosh and Lisa disk emulation is still supported too.
  • microSD Card Support – The SD card slot is now a push-push microSD type, identical to what’s used in most mobile phones. This will make it easier to find suitable SD card media, since the older full-size SD cards are becoming rare.
  • SD Card Hot-Swap – The SD card can be removed and re-inserted while the Floppy Emu is powered on.
  • Improved Protection Circuitry – Model B features improved protection circuitry on the disk drive interface connector. This circuitry will help protect the Floppy Emu from electrical damage caused by voltage spikes and surges. It also eliminates the risk of potential damage if an Emu board running the Apple II firmware is inadvertently connected to a Mac or Lisa computer.
  • Same Great Emulation Features – All of the time-tested Macintosh, Apple II, and Lisa disk emulation features from Model A are still present. Model B reads and writes emulated 140K, 400K, 800K, or 1.4MB floppy disk images, or hard disk images up to 2GB, if supported by your Apple computer. For full details, see the instruction manual.

If you’re new to Floppy Emu, it’s an external hardware device for vintage Macintosh, Apple II, or Lisa computers. It uses a removable SD memory card to mimic an Apple floppy disk and drive, or an Apple hard drive. The Emu behaves exactly like a real disk drive, requiring no special software or drivers. Floppy Emu is perfect for booting your favorite games, moving files between modern and vintage machines, and troubleshooting a computer without a working OS. Just plug in the Emu board, and you’ll be up and running in seconds.

Floppy Emu Model B is available for sale now. While supplies last, I’m also selling the remaining inventory of Floppy Emu Model A units for a reduced price. It’s disk emulation madness!

January 11th, 2016

David Finnigan’s Marina IP stack now Uthernet II compatible

Announcement copied from Usenet comp.sys.apple2

The January 2016 edition of Marina is compatible with the new Uthernet II from a2RetroSystems.

Find updated demo disk, user’s manual, and source code at the Marina web site.

The source code disk also has some sample programs that use the Uthernet II’s built-in TCP/IP stack. Marina’s Uthernet II driver is in UTH2.S and is an example of how to interface with the MAC Raw mode of the W5100.

Several bugs are fixed, and there have been some advancements towards the TCP implementation, mostly in the sockets interface, but I also have the TCP checksum routine written, and parts of the port demultiplexer going too. The DNS resolver now uses the sockets API, but I’m in the middle of writing a GETHOSTBYNAME function call, so in this edition of Marina it never processes the reply from the server. Not a big deal.

Now that I’ve got the Uthernet II driver done, I can switch back to the Uthernet and focus on completing TCP, as well as other smaller items on my to do list.

But I am also open to working on other areas of Marina. So if anyone has any suggestions or other input, I’m all ears.

Now that the Uthernet II is out and in the hands of hundreds of people, completing Marina is really now just a learning exercise for me.

Anyone who is seriously considering writing a networking application, or heaven forbid, a game, should go with the Uthernet II’s built-in TCP/IP stack, which you will find is fairly competently described in the Uthernet II manual, which I will also update later this week (and hopefully finish before too long).

There is also a new document in the Marina Technical Library called “The New Uthernet II Send Sequence” which describes a less-headache-inducing method of transferring data to/from the W5100. It may need to be updated a little, but overall the technique is sound.

And now, here’s the big change list since the October 2015 edition of Marina:

– Uthernet II driver added
– ARPINIT sets MAC address in various ARP templates
– Fixed check for LLBCAST flag in HANDLEIP
– Don’t pad DHCPDISCOVER and REQUEST messages to 300 bytes
– Fixed check for DHCP replies when no IP address is configured
– Allow SOTYPETCP in SOCKET
– Started writing LISTEN for TCP sockets
– Moved HANDLETCP to TCP.S
– Moved IPHEADCHKSUM to IP.S
– Moved IPCONFIG and IPRECONFIG to IPCONFIG.S
– Removed missed frame count from ETH.S
– Wrote TCPCHKSUM
– Fixed random number generation for link-local address
– Fixed check for NSTXID in DNSRESOLVE
– Wrote VERIPADDR
– Wrote GETHOSTBYNAME
– Modified DNSRESOLVE to use Sockets API
– OUTPHEAD buffer size increased for TCP
– Moved HANDLEIP to IP.S
– Wrote GETSOCKOPT
– Added REUSEPORT socket option
– Uthernet driver scans slots for CS8900A
– Uthernet driver counts transmission failures in TXFAILS
– Socket RECV demo prints all data received, beyond 256 bytes
– SEND eliminated from Uthernet driver; falls into SEND16

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