February 15th, 2014

Krüe releases stitch, a 4 channel 1-bit music tracker for the Apple II


stitch

Get it here.

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 12th, 2014

Paul Lutus GPL’s player routine from Electric Duet

Mark Pilgrim wrote on CSA2:

I just had a brief but constructive email discussion with Paul Lutus, the author and copyright holder of “Electric Duet,” the 2-note software synthesizer for the Apple II. He has generously agreed to release the music player routine itself under the GNU GPL. Paul requested that I credit it like this in my upcoming project:

Electric Duet Music Player
Copyright 1982, P. Lutus
Released under the GPL
(http://www.gnu.org)

Paul informed me that this open source license grant applies only to the player routine itself (the one you can tell Electric Duet to generate at any starting address and save as a separate file). The rest of the Electric Duet disk, including the editor, remains under his original copyright.

I don’t claim to speak for Paul. I’m just reporting the outcome of our conversation in a public forum in case anyone else is interested.

Cheers,
-Mark

January 5th, 2014

Sixtyfive 2014.01.04 Forth-style assembler is released

Daniel Kruszyna, the man behind Drift, has just announced on comp.sys.apple2 the release of the latest version of his Forth-style assembler:

Hello All,

I’ve released a new version of sixtyfive, my forth-style assembler.

http://krue.net/sixtyfive/

Here are the changes:

Miscellaneous new 8 bit definitions: prntx and text window direct page locations.

Miscellaneous new IIgs bit definitions: ADB modifier and status registers.

New standalone script which converts the sector order of floppy images from the command line. The existing sector conversion support was limited to operating on assembler segments.

New higher level interface for creating ProDOS images. Includes volume and subdirectory creation and allocation of directory entries.

New example OVERLAY40 which overlays one 40 column text screen over another.

New example REVERSEDUET which reverses an Electric Duet file. This program was used to create the back side of Drift.

New example REVERSEHGR which reflects a HIRES image about the origin.

New example SHOWKEYS which displays keypresses.

Refactored the cmp macro to support arbitrary operand widths and to work with both 8 and 16 bit accumulator modes.

Improved NakedOS support to write files from the host filesystem as well as assembler segments.

Fixed an issue when using else, in 6502 mode. else, now generates an absolute jump instead of a branch always in this situation. bra, is only available on the 65c02 and 65c816 processors.

And probably other minor changes as well.

Thanks and enjoy.

– Daniel

January 4th, 2014

Brutal Deluxe releases OMF Analyzer

Paris, January 4th, 2014 – Brutal Deluxe Software introduces OMF Analyzer.

OMF Analyzer is a command-line tool for Windows to analyze OMF Files we can find on 16 bits Apple IIgs operating systems like Prodos 16 or GS/OS.

Because OMF files are the core of any executable code on the Apple IIgs system (S16, Exe, CDA, NDA, FST, PIF, Library, Tool…), OMF Analyzer will be helpful for anyone wanting to write an Assembler, a Compiler, a Linker or a Disasembler…

Find more @ http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/crossdevtools/omfanalyzer/

OMF Analyzer is part of the Brutal Deluxe’s Cross Development Tools Project, a full set of utilities available on Windows (and other) platforms to enable the creation of new Apple IIgs software : 65c816 Assembler, 65c816 Disassembler, 65c816 Simulator, Graphic File Converter, Resource Catcher…

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 10th, 2013

Brutal Deluxe adds LZ4 Compression to their cross development tools

Dear All,

This technical article discusses the recent LZ4 data compression algorithm and its ability to become a good multi-purpose lossless compression format for the Apple IIGS computer. Mostly for game programming area, where we have to handle multi-types of data (Graphic, Sound, Music, Code, Misc data…), the availability of one generic compression/decompression algorithm will ease developers’ life!

Find more at http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/crossdevtools/lz4/

LZ4 Compression for the Apple IIgs is part of Brutal Deluxe’s Cross Development Tools project, a full set of utilities available on Windows (and other) platforms to enable the creation of new Apple IIgs software : 65c816 Assembler, 65c816 Disassembler, 65c816 Simulator, Graphic File Converter, Resource Catcher…

Antoine Vignau & Olivier Zardini
Brutal Deluxe Software
http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/

December 1st, 2013

Ivan Drucker releases Raspple II

Via Ivan Drucker

I’m pleased to announce Raspple II for the Raspberry Pi. It’s an easy-to-install version of the Raspbian operating system, with preinstalled, newly updated versions of A2SERVER and A2CLOUD, plus David Schmenk’s nifty Apple II Pi, and other goodies.

Find it at: http://appleii.ivanx.com/rasppleii

Raspple II includes:

A2SERVER: Network file server and network boot host for Apple IIgs and IIe computers. Newly updated to support the latest version of Raspbian and the most recent Raspberry Pi boards.

A2CLOUD: Mass storage, internet access, and floppy disk transfer for any Apple II computer (even the IIc), courtesy of David Schmidt’s ADTPro and VSDRIVE. Newly updated to let you participate in Apple II IRC chat and Usenet discussion groups from your Apple II (which I’m in fact doing right now to post this), and to include the KEGS and LinApple IIgs and IIe emulators.

Apple II Pi: Lets you interface your Apple II’s hardware — keyboard, mouse, joystick, drives, and CPU — with your Raspberry Pi, which creates all kinds of interesting possibilities.

Unlike previous releases of A2SERVER and A2CLOUD, Raspple II doesn’t require using special software or Unix commands to install. You just download the zip file, expand it, copy its contents to an SD card, and put it in your Pi. You can download it from http://appleii.ivanx.com. There’s also extensive documentation there for getting up and running with A2SERVER and A2CLOUD.

If you are already using A2SERVER or A2CLOUD and want the new features and updates, including Apple II Pi, you don’t need to start over. Just type
“a2server-setup” or “a2cloud-setup” at your Raspberry Pi’s prompt.

More information about Apple II Pi is on Dave’s web site: http://schmenk.is-a-geek.com/wordpress

Of course, Raspple II is free. I hope you enjoy this new release, and as always please let me know if you have any questions, feedback, or comments.

Cheers,
Ivan.

November 29th, 2013

Brian Picchi releases Lamb Chops

Brian Picchi has released Lamb Chops, a new game for the Apple II. In the game, you must protect your lambs (and yourself) by shooting assorted baddies before they touch (and therefore eat) your flock. As the levels progress, more foes appear and the game becomes more challenging. To play, you’ll need an Apple II with 64K, and while it works with the keyboard, a joystick is preferable. Check out the embedded video of the game play and download the disk image.

November 12th, 2013

Apple II DOS source code released (again), but this time with Apple’s blessing…

“With thanks to Paul Laughton, in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Damer, founder and curator of the Digibarn Computer Museum, and with the permission of Apple Inc., [the Computer History Museum is] pleased to make available the 1978 source code of Apple II DOS for non-commercial use. This material is Copyright © 1978 Apple Inc., and may not be reproduced without permission from Apple.”

http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/apple-ii-dos-source-code/

Thanks to Ken Gagne and Twitter friends.

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