July 20th, 2015

Retro Computing Roundtable episode 105 – KansasFest 2015 coverage

This episode features a special huge circle of podcasters around a single microphone at KansasFest 2015, where we reflect on KansasFest, relative merits of the Apple II, the CoCo, Atari 8-bits, and Commodores, and on the phenomenon that is KansasFest. We also make a couple of attempts at Carrington’s choose-your-own-adventure door decoration, and talk about the history and brainstorm about the prospects of future KansasFests. While listening to this episode is nothing like being at KansasFest, it’s a little bit less like not being at KansasFest.

Panelists: Carrington Vanston (hosting), Quinn Dunki, Ken Gagne, Paul Hagstrom, John Leake, John Linville, Rob McMullen, Michael Mulhern, Wade Ripkowski, Kevin Savetz, Steven Weyhrich, and Mike Whalen.

July 19th, 2015

Kahney’s Korner – the Apple II deserves its own festival (uh, thank you?)

Thanks Mac enthusiast dude… nice to have your blessing there.

April 8th, 2015

Apple ][ Watch

Check it out at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Apple-II-Watch/
March 10th, 2015

Brian Edwards of the UK Mirror is a [colorful metaphor]

Demonstrating he’s not much of an historical fact-checker, Brian Edwards dribbles out a hate piece that will probably rile you up too.

February 4th, 2015

Retro Computing Roundtable #93 released

Michael Mulhern posted via Facebook:

In a host packed Episode 93, Earl, Carrington, Paul, Michael, Jack, and Ken discuss the controversial topic of “Are We Cheating Cheaters?” Flash storage devices, Internet modems, multi-cartridges with entire software libraries, super RAM add-ons, LCD flat panels – what’s so retro about all that?

Also discussed is the saving of Bob Bishop’s computer gear and doco, Apple ][ Statisfaction, as well as a plug for OzKfest.

Go ahead, click on the link and join us. I dare you :)

January 20th, 2015

Brian Picchi reviews the Apple II, David Murray thinks the Macintosh may have been a mistake

Brian Picchi

David Murray

January 2nd, 2015

Open Apple #42: 2014 Year-End Roundtable, Eric Shepherd, Sarah W., Carrington Vanston

This month on Open Apple, we close out the year with our traditional Year-End Roundtable discussion. We’re joined by Eric ‘Sheppy’ Shepherd, Sarah W., and Carrington Vanston. We talk about alternate universes, our collective love of the IIgs, and Quinn takes cheap shots at Carrington. It’s the holidays, so Commodore users are given a respite. Well, a bit of a respite, anyway. Meanwhile, Sheppy solicits hatemail, Carrington calls shenanigans, and Sarah keeps everyone honest. Count the euphemisms! So many euphemisms!

As usual, we have lots of news to talk about as well. It’s been an amazing year for the Apple II, and we have new games, new hardware, and new video histories to share. I/O Silver is here, John Romero is there, and JSMESS is everywhere.


August 25th, 2014

ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation

I was recently given a copy of ‘ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation’ by Jonathan Zufi to review. I’ve spent the past week poring over it in my spare time. As I turned each page, I felt mesmerized and pleasantly surprised by the book’s high-quality photography of historical Apple products.

Which is odd. I’m not one for coffee table books. At least, that’s what I initially mistook ‘ICONIC’ for. I like to read books with stories that have something to say, or have something to do with science, engineering or history; in short, I prefer books that spark my imagination. Yet, that’s exactly where ‘ICONIC’ hooked me.


‘ICONIC’ is a giant, heavy slab of a hardcover divided into 6 chapters and 340 pages. Inside, you’ll find a phenomenal collection of photographs of Apple products beginning with the Apple 1 era and ending around the 2012 iMac. The six chapters are: Desktops, Portables, Peripherals, iDevices, Prototypes (my personal favorite) and Packaging. ‘ICONIC’ indeed turned out to be the ultimate coffee table book, but there’s substantially more to it than that. It’s a pictorial history of over 30 years of industrial design evolution and pursuit of technical excellence. As Richard Attenborough’s character John Hammond repeatedly states in Jurassic Park, the author and publisher appear to have ‘spared no expense’ to produce this homage to Apple Innovation. ‘ICONIC’ is every bit as impressive as the Apple products it explores.

Accompanying the pictures are quotes from the likes of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Nolan Bushnell, Andy Hertzfeld and their contemporaries. The book doesn’t attempt to narrate the history of Apple Computer. Mr. Zufi has wisely left that tired road for others to trek and has instead found a Zen-like approach to presenting his vision in pictures. ‘ICONIC’ was four years and over 150,000 pictures in the making, and it shows. I imagine it was an excruciating task to settle on the final set of photos for the book.

My only complaint is trivial and hardly worth mentioning. I would like to have seen more pictures from the Apple II era placed within the book, but I admit I’m biased in that regard. Still, I completely enjoyed ‘ICONIC’ and recommend it highly.

Beyond Apple fanatics, ‘ICONIC’ will appeal to anyone with a love for elegant industrial design. So much attention to detail is captured, you may discover something new each time you open its pages.

You can order ‘ICONIC’ from the book’s website at http://iconicbook.com/purchase or from Amazon.

January 24th, 2014

Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh

The Apple II is still better than you’ll ever be.

January 24th, 2009

Macintosh turns 25

You’ve probably seen or heard it somewhere in the media recently, Macintosh turned 25 years old today. They’re saying the Mac is the computer that revolutionized microcomputing… but I would argue otherwise. I think we all know it was really the Apple II that kicked off the microcomputer revolution.

Still, the Mac quickly replaced the venerable Apple II as Apple Computer’s flagship product. It didn’t happen quite overnight; during the ’80’s, the Apple II series was a dominating player in the education and home computing markets and it remained the company’s cash cow for years even after the Mac’s introduction. At first, both platforms seemed to be on equal footing. The Mac was being pitched at business and creative professionals, and the Apple II in home and education.

It wasn’t long though, that a change in direction was felt. As the Macintosh platform gained traction, many Apple II enthusiasts began to feel Apple Computer wasn’t living up to their Apple II Forever hyperbole. All of Apple’s attention seemed to be focused solely on the Macintosh. And so it was, and the rest is history.

Today, I am a Mac user and I’m not really bitter about the past. On behalf of A2Central, I want to wish the Macintosh a Happy 25th Birthday, and many more to come. After all, it’s one of the best peripherals I’ve ever bought for my Apple II.

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