November 29th, 2007

Syndicomm offering downloadable Byte Works products

Syndicomm recently announced that they obtained permission to distribute downloadable versions of Byte Works programming and utility products. Today, Sheppy made ORCA/Pascal, ORCA/C, GSoft BASIC and other items available for purchase online (at discounted prices), with several more to follow soon.

November 29th, 2007

A2Unplugged show #0015 released

Ryan Suenaga presents A2Unplugged, show #0015. This podcast includes news from the Apple II Community, and the scoop on Tony Diaz’s new Apple2.info web site. A2Unplugged can be freely downloaded from the podcast’s web site, or subscribed to from the Apple iTunes store.

November 23rd, 2007

Children’s coloring book software for the IIGS

Michael “Polymorph” Stephens has written and released a coloring book program for the Apple IIGS featuring characters from a popular children’s cartoon. The program is freeware, with source code to be released shortly.

Update: Beta 2 is now available, with enhancements/fixes:

* fixed “no colour set on startup” bug
* hopefully fixed the lockup bug (its no longer locking up for me)
* added an alert dialog to verify that you wish to exit the game (stop kids doing so by accident)
* added “Apple-S” key combo to toggle music on/off
* enhanced most of the images to better support flood fill

A call for additional coloring artwork is going out to the community, possibly for creating theme-packs to be used with the software.

November 21st, 2007

A2Unplugged show #0014 released

After a hiatus, podcast host Ryan Suenaga presents A2Unplugged, show #0014. This episode includes news from the Apple II Community, a book review and…. Ryan cleans out his truck.

November 18th, 2007

Virtual ][ for Mac OS X updated to version 5.8.5

Gerard Putter has updated his must-have OS X 8-bit Apple II emulator, Virtual ][, to version 5.8.5

What’s new in version 5.8.5

  • Solved an issue (introduced in version 5.8) that caused flickering screen objects in some games (such as Swashbuckler, Bolo and Choplifter).
  • Improved the floating bus feature; the intro of the game “Money Munchers” now works as it should.
  • The “Search Apple II Disk Images” feature now not only searches for matching Apple II file names, but also for matching disk image file names.
  • The Inspector can now show the Apple II screen as it would appear in any graphics mode.
  • Substantially improved nibble copy and half-track copy in A2V2, resulting in much more reliable disk copies.
  • Refined the keyboard mappings to more resemble the Apple II: shift-tab now acts as tab; numeric pad “clear” acts as esc.
  • Increased default screen refresh rate from 20 Hz to 30 Hz.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in stray pixels all over the screen when switching from 80-column text mode to graphics mode on an Apple //e.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Saturn memory card to behave like a 16K instead of a 128K memory card.
November 16th, 2007

Littlejohn Systems announces LittleProto II card

Littlejohn Systems has announced the LittleProto II, a prototype development card for the Apple II series. The LittleProto II features a insertion breadboard area for convenient, solderless connection of components and wiring. Developers can design and test prototypes much faster than with solder and wire-wrap style cards.

Pricing wasn’t announced, but the LittleProto II will soon be available exclusively from ReactiveMicro.com

November 14th, 2007

Apple II Quickies

One of my favorite Internet destinations to visit is The Mothership, a site dedicated to preserving Apple’s historical contributions to computing (and pop culture). One of the more intriguing pages on the site (for me) is the Advertising and Brochure Gallery which contains material all the way back to the Apple 1 and Apple II era, on up to more recent years. For example, check out the hard to find Apple ][+ Family System manual that was just added, circa 1981. Good stuff… wish I had one.

Making the semi-transportable Apple //c even more portable has been the goal of many Apple II retro-computing hobbyists. Dean Phares is the latest to achieve gaming nerdvana by interfacing a PSone portable playstation LCD to his //c. There might be a slight increase in demand for these displays on eBay now.

New hardware is coming soon for the Apple II. I can’t divulge anything specific but expect a few announcements from more than one vendor soon, maybe in time for the new year. Apple II Forever!

November 7th, 2007

Sneak Peek: Littlejohn Systems “LittlePower” adapter

The LittlePower is an adapter card that lets you utilize a modern ATX power supply with your Apple IIGS, by providing the missing -5V line required by the Apple II. The LittlePower is designed to be used in conjunction with a specialized, small form factor 200 watt Mini-ATX power supply and external 12V AC adapter. The combination completely replaces the trusty but bulky Apple power supply.

Tweakers and hardware hackers should be excited by the potential projects they’ll now be able to accomplish with all the space available inside the IIGS case. Internal drives, cooling fans and other devices are now realistically possible because of the LittlePower/Mini-ATX combo’s super small form factor. Others may simply appreciate the availability of a heavy duty power supply for their IIGS, and the removal of a heat source.

As of now, pricing for the Littlepower hasn’t been established, but the cards have been built and they will be available soon exclusively through ReactiveMicro.com.

Littlejohn Systems has provided A2Central with a pre-release LittlePower adapter for testing. As soon as our Mini-ATX power supply arrives, we’ll give it a complete going over.

November 4th, 2007

GSE-Reactive changes name, launches new site

GSE-Reactive is now ReactiveMicro.com. New name, same great selection of peripheral add-ons for your Apple II. As previously announced, ReactiveMicro.com is expanding to offer products and services to other vintage retro-computing platforms and arcade enthusiasts.

The old site will remain active until the transition to the new one is completed. Eventually, the old link will resolve to the new site exclusively.

November 4th, 2007

Ryan Suenaga’s Apple II software available for download

Ryan Suenaga has made his collection of Apple II software available for download on a new web page. Ryan is a long time Apple II community contributor, and currently the voice and producer of the A2Unplugged podcast.

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