August 26th, 2005

Virtual ][ 4.1 released

Gerard Putter has released Virtual ][ 4.1, the latest version of his excellent 8-bit Apple II emulator for Mac OS X. The new version allows mounting Mac OS X folders as ProDOS disks, includes a Spotlight module that scans the contents of ProDOS disks, supports double-low-resolution graphics on the Apple //e, and fixes certain bugs that affected compatibility.

August 23rd, 2005

Homebrew Computer Club newsletters being posted online

DigiBarn is archiving copies of the Homebrew Computer Club newsletter on its web site. This is the newsletter of the club where Woz unveiled the Apple 1 computer back in 1976, and where the personal computing industry was launched.

August 22nd, 2005

Hobby Cross Assembler (HXA) updated to v0.12

Anton Treuenfels has posted an update to his Hobby Cross Assembler (links directly to 6502-family variant page, main page is here).

According to the website, HXA is a one-pass assembler capable of producing absolute output files in binary and Intel hexadecimal formats. HXA is designed to be fairly portable between various processors, and is GPL-licensed freeware.

August 19th, 2005

Silvern Castle 8.4 released

Jeff Fink has released Silvern Castle 8.4, which you can download from our public file library, or you can get it from the official Silvern Castle web site.

August 18th, 2005

Jeff Fink launches web site for Silvern Castle

Jeff Fink has now opened a web site for his popular 8-bit role-playing game, Silvern Castle. Download the software and get information about it all in one convenient place.

August 15th, 2005

August 2005 issue of The Lamp! posted

Lyle Syverson has released the August, 2005 issue of The Lamp!, the monthly compilation of the best of the past month’s posts in the Apple II forum on Syndicomm Online.

August 12th, 2005

Silvern Castle 8.4 due on August 19th

Jeff Fink has announced the anticipated August 19th release date for the next version of his popular 8-bit role-playing game, Silvern Castle. Version 8.4 will include a few bug fixes, but the majority of the changes cover enhancements that have been requested by Silvern Castle fans.Bugs Fixed in v8.4:

  • SCv8.3 introduced a serious bug that could hang combat in certain circumstances. This is now fixed. Thanks to Jon Rose for reporting.
  • The Camp list S)pells command now works under all circumstances, even if you currently can’t cast spells.
  • The Proving Grounds was supposed to limit hit points bonuses to a maximum of 10hp per level, with a cap of 100hp. However, due to a bug, if you have 101hp or more, the cap is ignored. I hereby proclaim this a feature!
  • Fixed combat weapon equip bug that sometimes would forget to re-equip your original weapon after combat.

Stuff Changed in v8.4:

  • The possibility of very low-level parties encountering large “organized” wandering monster groups has been removed.
  • Initiative formula changed. Agility is now the major determining factor, adjusted slightly by class, level, marching order, and a bit of luck.
  • Most potions have been reduced in price, due to the fact they are now in unlimited supply.
  • Level 2 monsters are no longer allowed on the first level.
  • Enhanced feature: Instant Automap! As long as you don’t leave the current level or explore new territory, the automap is now instantly displayed.
  • Enhanced feature: Interactive Auto-Notes! Instead of displaying special locations as drab coordinates on the text screen, special locations are now shown interactively on the automap display.
  • Ladders are now shown in the automap display.
  • Enhanced ID spell. Now the ID spell will also show the monster’s base initiative rating.
  • The message time delay can now be adjusted up to 65500 for emulator users who want to run Silvern Castle at faster speeds, but still be able to read messages.
  • When the preference to restrict loot to gold pieces is on, only gold pieces will be shown. Requested by Bruce Baker.
  • If a monster gulps one of your characters, and if that monster is killed your character will emerge at the end of the round instead of when the last of that group is killed. Requested by Bruce Baker. But if the monster flees with your character, all items and gold carried plus your character are lost forever!
  • Rewrote the title page text scroller to be viewable on most emulators.

New Stuff in v8.4:

  • New preference: Encounter Frequency. This preference allows you to adjust the frequency of wandering monster encounters.
  • New preference setting: Disable shareware checks. Ever since SCv5.2 when Silvern Castle became freeware, the flag that used to check whether you had registered was disabled, although the actual unregistered shareware code was never removed. Now you can toggle this flag on and off.
  • New display preferences! Now you can set your preferred display modes (hires or text) for all modules (maze, camp, market, combat, guild). In addition, you can choose to keep the standard Silvern text mode color scheme (white & black), or use your GS control panel display settings.
  • New preference: Mundane loot frequency. Now you can adjust the frequency of mundane loot, or set it to automatically skip all mundane loot-great timesaver for high-level parties!
  • New maze info command: @ This command brings up misc info, which currently includes the party rating and the encounter chance.
  • NPC lairs! Now you may encounter very powerful gatherings of specific classes of NPCs!
  • New preference: Substitute initiative for race. This toggles whether the bottom character status window shows the character race as normal, or shows the character base initiative instead.
  • The character base initiative rating is now shown at the Camp inspect character display, unless the sub initiative preference is already set to show initiative at the character status window.
  • New preference! Auto-save automap images. By default, Silvern Castle will now auto-save all automaps viewed, which speeds up the new instant automap feature even more.
  • New Extra’s Menu option: Erase & Zero Automaps. This option allows you to selectively erase your automaps per scenario.
  • New preference: Lair Frequency. This preference allows you to adjust the frequency of lairs appearing in rooms. Requested by Bruce Baker.
August 11th, 2005

A2 programming chat scheduled for August 12th

Join us in the Apple II forum at 7 PM Pacific Daylight Time on Friday, August 12th for our monthly programming chat! Get help with your programming problem, swap tall tales, and just hang out with your fellow Apple II geeks.

August 11th, 2005

Retrobits Podcast for retrocomputing enthusiasts

Retrobits Podcast is a new general interest audio blog for retrocomputing enthusiasts that includes topics of interest to Apple II users. The latest edition, blog #006 mentions The Lamp and A2Central. Check it out.

August 9th, 2005

GSE-Reactive seeking product ideas, posts job openings.

GSE-Reactive is seeking new or existing ideas for products that they can help bring to the Apple II market.

They are also looking for an Electronics Engineer versed in circuit board layout, 8-bit processors and PLD’s (GAL, CPLD and FPGA) and an experienced Assembly Programmer (firmware developement a plus) to help develop their products. See their website for details.

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