Read all about it at Blondihacks.
Guillaume Courtier has written a Macintosh OS X application that will decode the serial number on your Apple IIGS, IIe Platinum, IIc Plus and Macintosh. The serial number will reveal the date and month, and also where the computer was manufactured.
Requires Macintosh OS X 8.x-10.x 64bit
You can download the app from: http://museepgc.perso.sfr.fr/download/Serial%20Number%20Decoder%201.2.dmg
Antoine Vignau reports a new game was released during Apple II Festival France 2015. I don’t speak or read French very well, but it appears to be an adventure game written by Benoit Triquet and René Speranza. The game is entitled “Nono et la pomme arc-en-ciel” or (apologies if I get this wrong) “Nono and the Rainbow Apple”.
Hopefully we’ll get to see this game in action via video soon.
Rebecca Heineman has announced via Facebook that she has been given permission to the release the source code to 1981’s “TAXMAN” from H.A.L. Labs by the games programmer Brian Fitzgerald. TAXMAN is notable for being one of the first (and best) clones of the famous Pac-Man arcade game. It was so good, AtariSoft sued and then as part of the subsequent settlement, used TAXMAN’s source code to produce their own Pac-Man port for the Apple II.
Over the years, there have been variants, one of which was created by Heineman herself, when she added additional escape tunnels to the game.
As soon as the source hits GitHub, we’ll post a link here. Examining the code should be beneficial to programmers who want to learn techniques for smooth animation, sound FX generation, obstacle and collision detection as well as general game theory principles.
In the meantime, please enjoy Brian Picchi’s review of TAXMAN courtesy of YouTube.
This is a developing story, but it looks like the source code for ORCA/C may legitimately be heading for hosting on GitHub. This may mean the patches for ORCA/Pascal and other Byte Works products are also going to be made available as well.
UPDATE: And here it is, the source code.
And YOINK it’s gone. According to Mike Westerfield:
OK, I was apparently incorrect in using GitHub as a way to make the source code for ORCA/C freely available to all of you so you could modify it and get the updates for free. I reread the terms of service, and as has been pointed out, permission to fork is required, and this conflicts with the clause in the license agreement blocking distribution of derivative works.
As a result, I’ve deleted the ORCA/C repository on GitHub.
I am still looking for a way to make updates to the source easy, free, and universally available while maintaining the copyright on the code. If anyone has a suggestion on how to do this, please let me know.
UPDATED POST: 07/30/15
I’ve converted all of the art for Space Ace into animated gifs and created Mac and PC based tools to convert the GIFs into Iigs format data.
The tools are built against Burgerlib and the 65816 code is built with a modified version of a65816. Both Burgerlib and a65816 will be updated on github
ORIGINAL POST: 07/08/15
Just in time for KansasFest, Rebecca Heineman has released the source code to ReadySoft’s Space Ace via Github. Rebecca’s announcement is pasted below:
In 1990, ReadySoft released Space Ace for the Apple IIgs. I purchased a copy and was appalled that the port was only for ProDOS and required you to play the game on floppy disks. Being the reverse engineering nutcase I was, I promptly disassembled the game and converted it back into source code. I then re-wrote the game to use the Apple IIgs hard disk and updated all the file manager code to GS/OS. After creating a really horrible icon for the game, I then uploaded my new application file to friends who wanted to play Space Ace on their hard drives and then promptly forgot about this port.
Here it is, 2015, and after searching my archive CDs, I found this source and decided to share it with you, the programming public, so you can get a glimpse of what 65816 code looked like for the Apple IIgs. This code ACTUALLY COMPILES AND RUNS using the Brutal Deluxe a65816 assembler and my python based build scripts. I’ve successfully built this on my Mac and ran the executable using Sweet16 and in Windows with Kegs. I’ve included the build tools and its source and exes for Mac (Intel/PPC) and Windows.
In case you’re wondering, yes, I did do this port just because I wanted it running natively on my Apple IIgs hard drive. Yes, I’m insane.
And one more thing…
The intellectual property of Space Ace is the exclusive property of Don Bluth and Digital Leisure. No transfer of the intellectual property of Space Ace or any transfer of the ownership of the sounds, art or other game assets are given nor implied. If anyone wishes to release a version of Space Ace for the Apple IIgs commercially, (I have absolutely no idea why? You’d sell like, what? 3 copies?) contact Digital Leisure for a license.
The source code… Go for it.
Rebecca Ann Heineman
Jeremy Rand has updated his 2015 Hackfest winning entry A2Sudoku to version 1.2 — you can get a .DSK image directly from here: https://github.com/jeremysrand/a2sudoku/releases/download/1.2/a2sudoku.dsk
The main change is that when you enter a value, any scratch values in cells in the same column, row or sub-square are automatically updated. So, if you enter a “5” into a cell, 5 will be removed as a possible scratch value automatically from all cells in the same column, row and sub-square. Makes it a bit easier to keep your scratch values up to date when the program does a bit of it for you.
Saturday’s report is brought to you by third year attendee Mike Whalen.
So, as I write this at 11:18pm on Saturday, July 18 2015. KansasFest is well and truly over. There no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s over, Johnny. It’s over!
NUTHIN IS OVUH! YOU CAN RELIVE THUH DAY!!
Well, okay, I suppose I could recount the day’s activities. That would delay things… a bit?
We all started in the morning.. and, uh, I ain’t gonna lie, I don’t remember it much. I think there was an egg or two. Maybe a bacon. I don’t know. What is breakfast.
But somehow I did wake up at some point because I do recall Kevin Savetz giving us a good explanation as to how we can preserve Apple history via interviews. Kevin’s been producing interviews for his Atari (boo) podcast, ANTIC for the last coupe of years. I think he has like one hundred interviews. Anyway, Kevin made a compelling argument over why it would be useful to produce more and more interviews for the various Apple II podcasts and that you can find interesting stories in some unusual places — technical support, third party companies, etc.
Next up, Peter gave us a detailed history of LOGO, the programming language originally designed to teach children programming fundamentals. In the early 80s, LOGO caught fire at schools and many a school-child learned how to move turtles around a screen. Unfortunately, the language fell into disuse fairly quickly. Peter recounted the reasons why and then launched a fascinating discussion into new horizons in the programming languages for children. This child programmer appreciated it!
John Linville came back! Yes, he wasn’t run out by A2 fans wielding pitchforks for the heresy that is a CoCo session. In fact, we wanted more! John detailed his game Farhfall which he recently released for the CoCo. It’s basically like a reverse Crazy Climber. A fire is descending down on you. You need to fall from platform to platform to keep clear from fiery doom.
Brian Wiser was up next with his annual update about all things A.P.P.L.E. He announced several exciting projects including a cleaned up and redesigned edition of the classic What’s Where in the Apple. Brian demoed several pages that showed the original version, a recently released cleaned-up version, and their own work. It looks quite amazing.
After lunch, Ian Johnson gave us his update on getting working and useful Japanese language support on the Apple IIGS. Ian has been demonstrating the leaps and bounds made for a couple of years now and they’re very close to having Japanese lanaguage support that can work as well as it could. This will give the Japanese Apple IIGS fans something to look forward to!
The second to last session was a smattering of new product announcements. Charles Mangin from RetroConnector showed off his new //e audio adapter. You plug it in between the speaker and speaker connector and then you have an earphone jack just like the IIc owners have.
And with that all the sessions were over. It was time for the swap meet and exhibition. Everyone brought down their equipment to show off what they had been working on the whole year while others sold their wares. I hovered over the //e and a Newton Messagepad but didn’t quite go for it. Oh, and I also wanted No-Slot Clock for my IIc Plus. Alas, things went very fast.
While the festivities took place, the Hackfest judges reviewed entries and made their decision. When they were done, the attendees got their own look at the entrants. Amazing stuff. Carrington Vanston demoed his Tic Tac Pro which was a grid of nine smaller tic-tac-toe games determining the outcome of one big tic-tac-toe game. Charles Mangin demoed a small utility that reads disk images and creates a graphic representing the data on-disk. You must see to understand. Forrest Lowe demonstrated adding a litle randomness to every boot. One one boot, maybe one program will load. The next? Maybe a different one. Jeremy Rand demonstrated his take on Sodoku with its own A.I. John Leake of the RetroMacCast demoed his OMG Zombies game in which every step you take brings the zombies closer. Kevin Savetz took Bob Bishop’s Li’l’ Red Bug and made it play itself. HE did something similar in 2013 with Structuris. Kevin prefers to let a computer do all the work, including winning games evidently. Kevin actually had two entries. The second one showed an script in which a disk already uploaded on the Internet Archive was opened, the file contents documented, and metadata created and re-uploaded to IA. It’s a very useful hack that will simply make it easier to find software on the IA. Martin, not one to be outdone, wrote an amazing enhancement for the Apple /// Monitor. He added disassembly and assembly. How does he do it? How? How I ask you? Lastly, Sarah showed a keen idea in which she edited the opening sequence of Olympic Decathalon to pay tribute to Caitlin Jenner.
The winner of the chicken dinner? CARRINGTON VANSTON with Tic-Tac-Pro.
Various groups went to several restaurants and/or the movies. I went to Eden Alley Cafe with several folks. Afterward, we all went to an extremely noisy and crowded Up Down barcade to play games. Back at Corcoran people began packing in earnest. Another KFest down. Another year until the next one. The good news? There will be a next one.
Apple II Forever, y’all.