January 21st, 2014

Penguin/Polarware Software library now available on Apple2Online.com

Via Applefritter

Dr. Kenneth Buchholz is pleased to announce the addition of a new product library dedicated to Penguin / Polarware Software for the Apple II series of computers on www.Apple2Online.com. Working with Mark Pelczarski, founder & President of Penguin Software, the entire product line has been located, archived and made available on A2OL. Mark was able to provide non-copy protected versions of some of the earlier copy-protected offerings from Penguin, along with a never-released game (Poof!) which was the precursor for the Spy’s Demise.

In addition to the software library, we have also produced a high quality, searchable PDF of Mark’s book, Graphically Speaking. Mark was also able to provide disk listings of all of the program code appearing in the book, and it is now also available for download!

We have several of the boxes and inserts available in PDF format, and are searching missing titles so if you have any and are willing to contribute, please contact Ken.

January 20th, 2014

Andy McFadden releases CiderPress v3.0.2d1

It’s been 5 long years since the last update, but CiderPress (for Windows) finally gets some love that includes a few new features and bug fixes. In case you don’t know, CiderPress is the essential utility for working with Apple II disk images on Windows-based PCs. It supports ShrinkIt (NuFX) files, and disk images with DOS, ProDOS, Pascal, CP/M and RDOS filesystems. It can also work with .gz and .zip files. In short, it’s the Swiss Army Knife of disk image manipulation.

You can get the new version from: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ciderpress/files/CiderPress%20Executable/3.0.2/

Please note that while this is the latest release, Andy has said this is a ‘development version’ that will need to be thoroughly tested. For now, CiderPress 3.0.1 is still the ‘official’ build.

Tip o’ the hat to Bill Buckels via CSA2.

January 20th, 2014

Ivan Drucker releases updated A2Server, A2Cloud apps

From CSA2:

So much for my hiatus. I’ve snuck out a couple of updates. If you haven’t been keeping score since the above announcement:

A2CLOUD 1.6.2 supports PC ANSI color and graphic text using Spectrum’s ANSI online display; has better VT-100 emulation for non-ASCII characters in ProTERM and Z-Link; provides ttytter for Apple II tweeting; adds sciibin and unblu for dealing with BinSCII and Binary II files; enables 300 baud support for you Micromodem nostalgists; and adds telnet (which I hadn’t realized wasn’t in default Raspbian) for online BBS access. Update with “a2cloud-setup”.

A2SERVER 1.1.4 fixes a bug preventing network boot from working if set up with version 1.1.3 while A2CLOUD was also installed. Update with “a2server-setup”.

If you’re starting fresh, Raspple II 1.0.5 includes both of the above: http://ivanx.com/rasppleii

Thanks to Alistair, Daniel, Stephen, and others for the suggestions and bug reports that prompted the above releases.

If you want to know about future updates in real time, you should probably follow me on Twitter at @II_tweets, since that seems to be the only place I’ve been consistently announcing them.

Enjoy,
Ivan.

January 13th, 2014

SNAP updated to v1.1.6

Ewen Wannop has updated SNAP usenet reader to v1.1.6 to resolve a bug with the Marinetti 3.0b3 system init. You can get the latest SNAP and the rest of Ewen’s superbly useful software from http://www.wannop.info/speccie/Site/Speccies_Home_Pages.html

In addition, Ewen has been given the go ahead to also include the latest Marinetti 3.0b7 system init with his software, even though it’s not yet available on SourceForge.

January 12th, 2014

AppleWin 1.24.0 released

Straight from comp.sys.apple.2

Hi,

Here’s a new build of AppleWin which fixes a few issues: http://prdownload.berlios.de/applewin/AppleWin1.24.0.0.zip

As usual, if anyone spots any problems then either post here or file a bug report on berlios: https://developer.berlios.de/bugs/?group_id=6117

This is really just a maintenance release rolling up the small set of changes/fixes since April 2013.

NB. The Win8 full-screen issue has *not* been addressed yet.

Tom

1.24.0 – 11 Jan 2014
——————–

Changes:

. Support cursor keys (in addition to numpad) when using keyboard for joystick emulation
. Support auto-fire for all 3 joystick buttons (via Config->Input)
. [Feature #5668] Added confirmation message box for reboot (F2)
. [Feature #5715] Added -no-printscreen-dlg to suppress the warning if AppleWin fails to capture the PrintScreen key
. Changed save-state file persisted to Registry from filename to pathame
. [Feature #5105] Added About dialog showing GPL (at startup, but only when AppleWin version changes)

Fixes:

. [Bug #19154] ProDOS Order 2IMG crashing
. [Support #103098] Sometimes swapping disk could cause INIT to fail with ERROR #8
. Fixed save-state bug for when 4K BANK1 is dirty (previously it would save the stale data instead)
. [Bug #18723,#19070] Mouse movement for CopyII+9.1 and ProTERM3.1

Debugger:

. Added “disk info” command
. [Bug #18940] Extend BSAVE and BLOAD Command To Memory Banks 0 and 1

December 30th, 2013

Christmas break 2014 roundup

I’ve been away for the holiday season enjoying some time off from work and yes, even A2Central. I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and is looking forward to a prosperous New Year 2014.

A lot happened over the past week. I took in nearly *4 TONS* of Apple II stuff — a lot of it is destined for giveaway at KanasFest 2015 (we already have a huge load set aside for 2014). Where did it come from? I’d like to thank Michael Mahon for his incredible generosity in donating his collection of 30+ years. He’s going to make a lot of Apple II users happy when we finally start distributing it all. Some of it will eventually head to eBay to recoup shipping expenses, but once that’s recovered the rest will be freely given away. Either way, some Apple II users will gain access to some really cool Apple II gear.

David Schmidt’s ADTPro was upgraded to 1.2.9 and it appears to be a big deal. Read speed performance for VSDrive is reportedly faster, and Ivan Drucker will be integrating the new version into A2CLOUD (more info later).

New functionality:

  • Disk II drive turns on a little early to reduce spin-up delay

Bug fixes:

  • Nibble sends work correctly in batch mode
  • [Client] Nibble sends retry (more) correctly
  • [VDrive] Virtual disks are loaded at once at initialization time, making it much faster for huge drives (but much less dynamic)
  • [VDrive] Serial driver installer quits to where it came from, allowing an invocation from the launcher to return there, this time with the driver in place

Bill Buckels released utilities (with source) to convert BMP files to Super Hi-Res (SHR) and PIC format, as well as viewers for Carte Blanche and Video Overlay Card (VOC) users. Bill’s initial announcement and follow-up are attached.

Read about it here:

Win32 etc.
http://www.aztecmuseum.ca/extras/bmp2shr.pdf

Apple II
http://www.aztecmuseum.ca/extras/PicSave.pdf

Download it here:

http://www.aztecmuseum.ca/extras/B2S.zip

This download contains programs, source code, documentation, and disk images for creating Super Hi-Res Pictures, and for viewing and saving Super Hi-Res
pictures on an Apple II GS, or on an Apple //e with a Carte Blanche, or an Apple //e or Apple II GS equipped with an Apple II VOC (Video Overlay Card),
or in an Apple II GS emulator (like Kegs32).

BMP2SHR – converts BMP Files to PIC Files

The BMP2SHR command line utility will convert Windows BMP files to Apple II SHR (Super High Resolution) Graphics Files of Apple II GS File Type $C1 Aux Type $0000.

This utility converts from the following BMP file formats to Apple II SHR files:

  • 2 Color (Monochrome) BMP Files
  • 16 Color (VGA) BMP Files
  • 256 Color BMP Files
  • 24 bit BMP Files

The BMP2SHR utility is provided with doucmentation, source code and 3 flavors of executable program(s):

B2S16.EXE (MS-DOS) Built under 16-bit Microsoft C Version 8.00c
B2S32.EXE (WIN32) Built under 32-bit Microsoft C Version 14.00
B2S.EXE (WIN32) Built under MinGW 5.1.4 (gcc)

Windows Build environments and source code are provided with all the above. This includes the gcc (MinGW) build script. It should be straight-forward for those using Linux and other Unix-like OS’s to build this under GCC but I am leaving that up to them.

Additional utilities are provided for the Apple II as well. They are noted below.

PICSAVE – converts PNT Files to PIC Files

The PICSAVE utility for ProDOS 8 loads Apple Preferred Format (APF) SHR (PNT) Files and saves them to SHR Screen (PIC) Files of Apple II GS File Type $C1 Aux Type $0000.

PICSAVE also comes with 3 other programs:

PICSHOW – a simple SHR Slideshow Viewer for SHR PIC Files
PICLODE – a simple SHR File Viewer for PIC Files
PNTLODE – a simple SHR File Viewer for PNT Files

These programs are written in Aztec C for the Apple IIe and were cross-compiled in Windows XP.

Thanks to Charlie, Andy McFadden, Antoine, and others for all the good info that made this relatively straight-forward to put together.

Please read the documentation, the source code, and run the programs for more information.

…and, Bill’s updated info:

The BMP2SHR Distribution and the document above have been updated.

BMP2SHR now produces Brooks Format 3200 Color SHR Files from BMP files, in addition to what it did yesterday.

When a 640 x 400 BMP file is converted to Brooks, a second 3200 Color SHR files is also produced suitable for loading to the VOC’s auxiliary memory, and providing the VOC with a 320 x 400 x 3200 color effective display.

I do not provide loaders for these yet, but decided I’d better get this part out of the way first.

A Sample disk in 2mg format of brooks files converted by BMP2SHR is also included for anyone interested in such things.

And finally, we mentioned earlier that Ivan Drucker was adding the latest ADTPro to his A2SERVER/A2CLOUD/Raspple II suite. Here’s Ivan’s announcement:

Hey everybody, happy almost new year. I’m pleased as punch to announce a couple of small but significant year-end updates to A2CLOUD, A2SERVER, and Raspple II.

If you haven’t tried out this stuff yet, consider that, via A2CLOUD, I’m posting this message with my Apple IIc by using ProTERM running from a virtual hard drive. Good times. You’re missing out.

With these releases, I’m going to be taking a hiatus from Apple II development until at least KansasFest 2014, but I’d still certainly be happy to hear from you if you have questions, comments, or suggestions.

If you’re starting fresh, go get Raspple II if you have a Raspberry Pi, or try out the A2SERVER virtual machine, at http://appleii.ivanx.com.

If you’re already up and running and and want to update, type:

a2server-update
a2cloud-update

Here’s what’s new. The user guides for A2CLOUD and A2SERVER have been updated as well to explain this stuff a little more.

A2CLOUD (1.6):

  • If you have A2SERVER installed, the ADTPro disks folder is now shared on your network as ADTDISKS. You can in drop disk image files from a Mac or Windows computer, and then use ADTPro to make them into floppies. Or you can make a disk image from a floppy and easily copy it to a Mac or Windows computer for use in an emulator. Or you can immediately use a ProDOS disk image as a virtual drive, or copy Apple II files into one. Possibilities abound!
  • Includes David Schmidt’s ADTPro and VSDRIVE 1.2.9, which dramatically improves read performance of virtual drives.
  • On a Mac, or on a Windows computer with Bonjour Print Services, you can now refer to your Pi from another computer on your network as “raspberrypi.local” rather than needing its IP address.

A2SERVER (1.1.3):

  • On Macs, A2SERVER now appears under Shared computers, rather than needing to use “Connect to Server”. (This was long overdue.)
  • Windows file sharing is now enabled by default in Raspple II and the A2SERVER virtual machine.
  • On a Mac, or on a Windows computer with Bonjour Print Services installed, you can now refer to A2SERVER from another computer on
    your network as “a2server.local” (or “raspberrypi.local” if it’s a Pi) rather than needing its IP address.
  • The A2SERVER virtual machine is based on Debian 7.3.0, rather than Ubuntu Server 12.04.

Raspple II (1.0.3):

  • With Ethernet attached to your Pi, displays progress bar during installation, and properly reboots after.
  • Based on Raspbian 2013-12-20.
December 28th, 2013

Juiced.GS Volume 18, Issue 4 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 18, Issue 4 (Dec 2013)Volume 18, Issue 4 (December 2013) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has been mailed to all subscribers. This issue features a review of the Replica 1 Ten from Briel Computers; a preview of David Schmenk’s Apple II Pi card; an interview with Jonathan Zufi of the Shrine of Apple and Iconic; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s fourth quarterly issue of 2013. Subscriptions are available for both 2013 and 2014 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.

December 22nd, 2013

Show off your drive


Disk II tee
If you want one, you can order it here.

December 18th, 2013

They’re back! Ultimate Apple 2 and ReactiveMicro announce re-opening


Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 9.32.02 AM

Good news from Anthony Martino and Henry Courbis! After a lengthy hiatus, they’re coming back online and will soon start offering products to the Apple II Community again.

UltimateApple2.com has announced that they will be distributing David Schmenk’s Apple2Pi adapter, as well as the products from their former catalog. Details are still being ironed out on the extent of ReactiveMicro’s return, and the scope of products and services it may offer. As more information is provided, A2Central will post updates.

December 10th, 2013

Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple

Via Marc Esslinger:

A new book by industrial designer, Hartmut Esslinger of frog design, famous for being an early collaborator with Steve Jobs, explores how the first Apple computers got designed and developed. Hartmut provides a peek behind the scenes, into the making of the products that revolutionized the digital age, in Keep it Simple: The Early Years of Apple.

You can order a copy on Amazon.

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