January 31st, 2006

A2Central.com server undergoing improvements

For the past few days, we’ve been engaged in a move to a new server, which will offer a vastly faster download speed for downloading content from our site. Most services are available once again, but a few (including FTP access, for paid Syndicomm Online members of our A2 forum) are not yet operational again. They should be back up and running soon. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we’re also sure you’ll love the new, faster, A2Central.com!

January 31st, 2006

GSoft BASIC forms the basis for media tool scripting language

Mike Westerfield, the author of many popular Apple II development tools from The Byte Works (of which he was also founder and president), recently mentioned that MediaBlender, a new cross-platform multimedia/hypermedia project system and educational tool has a scripting language that’s based heavily on GSoft BASIC, the popular Apple IIgs BASIC interpreter. Perusing the manual for Boost, the name given to the scripting language, reveals a great similarity between the two languages.

January 31st, 2006

February 2006 issue of Call-A.P.P.L.E. released

A.P.P.L.E. has released the February, 2006 issue of Call A.P.P.L.E. magazine, the monthly PDF magazine covering mostly Macintosh topics, but some Apple II related information as well. This month’s issue includes information about the Apple-1 and Replica-1 computers, and is 60 pages long.

January 30th, 2006

Generic Tile Engine (GTE) library v1.0 alpha released

Lucas Scharenbroich’s Generic Tile Engine has reached v1.0 alpha and has been released for public testing and feedback.Here is a partial list of the features supported by GTE in its current state:

  • Tiles of size 4×4, 8×8, or 16×16
  • Up to full-screen (320×200) playing fields
  • 8-way scrolling
  • Independent Foreground and Background tile layers (for parallax effects)
  • Fringe tile layer
  • Mask tile layer for per-pixel masking of sprites, e.g. put sprites behind fences
  • Up to 32 dynamic tiles on screen
  • Up to 32 sprites on-screen
  • Up to 256 tiles on-screen per layer
  • Support for Windows BMP files
  • Compiled sprites with support for horizontal and vertical mirroring
  • Use of Object Attribute Memory (similar to the NES) for controlling sprites
  • Logical palette binding
  • Interrupt-friendly. Interrupts are never disabled for more than a few hundred microseconds.
January 27th, 2006

GSE-Reactive.com to offer Transwarp GS upgrades, close to cloning entire accelerator

Henry S. Courbis of GSE-Reactive.com announced on CSA2 that they will soon be offering upgrade components for users wishing to over-clock their Applied Engineering Transwarp GS accelerator boards.Quoted from CSA2

Hello everyone.

I’m excited to announce that anyone with a TranWarp IIgs who has been wanting to update or increase their speed will now be able to do so. I have successfully been able to make copies of the last revised set of GAL’s released by AE. The GAL numbers and versions are as follows: 1A, 2B, 3E,
4B, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8B. The GAL’s will be sold by the piece in the on-line store. They will be added by next week.

I will also be offering the 32k Cache boards from SHH Systeme along with other items like cables, CPUs and crystal oscillators. Along with the new
Power Supply released just a few days ago I believe most users will be able to clock their accelerator to 12 MHz or better. Look for these items to be available in the Store soon.

I know the TWGS-2B GAL was a DMA fix Applied Engineering issued. It is an absolute requirement for TranWarp to work at all with at least some RamFAST SCSI boards (e.g. the revision C boards). RamFAST revision D does not require the 2B GAL. The Apple High Speed SCSI card works with all TransWarp GS units as well. The 3E GAL is for above 10 MHz operation.

Here’s a listing of the oscillators speeds:
Oscillator MHz TWGS Speed
32 8
36 9
40 10
48 12
50 12.5
60 15

Any additions or correction to the above information will be appreciated. I know there are some other oscillator speeds available, but I won’t both listing them here. If anyone is going faster than 15 MHz please let me know how.

Now some basic questions I have: Does anyone know what the last revision of the ROM was? I believe it to be 1.8S. Also, is there a ROM difference from the 8k Cache card to the 32k Cache card? Can I take an 32k Cache ROM and use it up upgrade an 8k TranWarp IIgs or vise versa?

Has anyone tried to read or examine the XC2064 FPGA on the TransWarp IIgs? Right now that is the only thing hold us back from cloning it.

I also have a TransWarp IIgs with an error message in the test menu. It seems to fail the Non-volatile RAM test. Anyone know which IC the NVRAM is?

Thanks in advance for all the help. Feel free to contact me directly if you wish to purchase the GAL(s) ASAP. My email address is listed in the “About US” section on the Website or email Support.

January 27th, 2006

Apple file writing tools completed for Semi-Virtual diskette (SVD)

A set of helper tools is available for the Semi-Virtual Diskette to allow it to write and convert NIB, DO and PO format files. There’s also an update to the Apple instruction pages explaining the process in detail.

The SVD is a hardware device that emulates a floppy drive, and connects to both a PC and an Apple II, TRS-80 or Heathkit H8. The cost is $110 assembled or $95 unbuilt.

January 26th, 2006

Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine to be published in Japanese

The Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) announced today the introduction of a Japanese language edition of their programming and Apple news magazine, Call-A.P.P.L.E. The first Japanese edition will be available on February 15th. The magazine is now in its 22nd year of production.In addition, A.P.P.L.E. is reintroducing their web site and member tools. The new web site includes online documentation and software related to vintage Apple computing, as well as modern era Macintosh software. The new site also includes news and information about the latest goings-on in the Apple and Macintosh world.

January 25th, 2006

AppleWin emulator version released

AppleWin has been released. – 25 Jan 2006
– Fixed crash-bug in C++ 65C02 emu code for opcode $7C : JMP (ABS,X)
– Updated help file (by Brian Broker)
– Added ability to use Shift+Insert to paste from clipboard during emulation
– Added buttons to Config->Sound tab to select Mockingboard (s4 & s5), Phasor (s4) or none
– Removed keyboard buffer from Config->Input (this was redundant from
– Fixed speaker click (eg. when selecting disk image)
– Added check to prevent loading old & incompatible 6502 DLLs (caused random 6502 crashes to monitor)
– Added support for AE’s RAMWorks III, which adds up to 8MB (cmd-line switch only):
. -r : where #pages = [1..127], each page is 64KB.
. NB. The following aren’t saved out to the save-state file yet:
. Phasor card (only the Mockingboards are)
. RAMWorks card

The RAMWorks support is experimental: it was a last minute addition and involved just merging the mods from the “AppleWin 2.0 project”. AppleWorks detects up to ~2MB, other than that, I don’t know how well it’s working. Default behaviour is just the standard 128KB.

January 24th, 2006

GSE-Reactive preparing new Apple //e, IIgs power supply

GSE-Reactive is preparing the release of a new Apple IIe and IIgs compatible power supply, using the same Apple power supply case, but with a new 200 watt switching power supply with fans. The Apple IIgs version is finished, and the IIe version will be ready in about a week.

January 18th, 2006

8BitBaby prototyping board available for purchase

The 8BitBaby prototyping board, which makes it easy to develop hardware card projects for the Apple II, is now available for purchase from C64Reloaded.

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