December 30th, 2008

Beagle Bros. TimeOut series reclassified as freeware

According to a post on comp.sys.apple2 by Warren Ernst, the entire Beagle Bros. TimeOut series of AppleWorks enhancements has been reclassified as freeware and will eventually be posted to the Beagle Bros Software Repository.

Warren deserves credit for running down the reclassification of these titles, and we extend our thanks on behalf of a grateful Apple II Community.

UPDATE: I’ve received an e-mail from Howard Katz, who previously headed the Lost Classics Project. Apparently, Howard secured freeware status for the TimeOut series and many other Beagle Bros. applications years ago and had them posted to the GNO Apple II Archive (formerly known as Trenco). I was not aware of this. In fairness, Howard Katz should be credited for the initial reclassification.

I don’t feel this detracts from Warren’s efforts; because of him we have confirmation of the software’s freeware status and the entire TO series will be united with the rest of the Beagle Bros. catalog on the BBSR.

December 30th, 2008

RetroBits podcast series on Apple II computers updated

Jeff Blakeney wrote in to remind me that I haven’t posted that Earl Evans over at RetroBits Podcast, has released part three of a four part series on the Apple II. The most recent podcast focuses on the Apple IIGS.

December 30th, 2008

Apple II CFFA compact flash card review

Alex Lee has posted a lengthy review of Rich Dreher’s CFFA card on his Apple IIgs web site. It includes a step-by-step guide to setting up the card.

December 30th, 2008

Apple II Family Fonts Available as TrueType

Now you can sprinkle a little Apple II in everything you do:

Rebecca Gabriella Bettencourt brings what are billed as the “World’s most complete Apple II text font, in TrueType format”

In addition to the standard 40/80 column Apple II screen text, a TrueType version of the Apple IIgs system font, Shaston has also been released. Shaston is available in 320 and 640 mode aspect ratios in keeping with the text screen font being available in both 40 and 80 column modes.

The web page has a lot more about the font sets than I can begin to describe.

While this is not the first release over the years of an Apple II system font, this one is the most complete set. Some many years back I desired to have the KFest materials printed with some Apple II highlights and set out to create enough of a character set to do that after finding one that only worked on the screen. Creating fonts requires painstaking attention to detail and that shows with this release.

http://www.kreativekorp.com/software/fonts/apple2.shtml

This release works where ever TrueType fonts are supported. Imagine using the Apple II screen font on the IIgs with Pointless. Oh, the irony … ironed out, finally!

December 29th, 2008

Juiced.GS Volume 13, Issue 4 now available

Juiced.GS V13I4Volume 13, Issue 4 (December 2008) of Juiced.GS, the last remaining Apple II publication in print, shipped today to all subscribers. This issue features an interview with Ben Heckendorn, creator of the laptop Apple IIGS; a review of Dungeons and Desktops, a history of computer role-playing games; a how-to for converting MOD music files to MP3 format; the conclusion of Antoine Vignau‘s dissection of copy protection schemes; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s fourth and final quarterly issue of 2008. The complete volume is now available at the discounted rate of $16, while 2009 subscriptions are being accepted at $19 for United States customers and $26 for international customers.

December 27th, 2008

New floppy drive interface announced

Vladimir Ivanov has posted on newsgroup comp.sys.apple2, information on his latest project; an Apple II interface for PC-style 3.5 MFM floppy drives. Videos of the interface in action are online, and a production run for the interface has been announced. Vladitx’s full announcement is quoted below.

Greetings,

Friends of mine convinced me on a pet project – connecting PC floppy disk drive to the Apple ][. First working prototype used DD (Double Density) mode:

http://softjunk.org/vid/appleII_with_PC_floppy_first_success.mp4

We were not happy with the handling of the DD diskettes in modern HD floppy drives, not to mention that this kind of media is almost extinct. Notching a HD diskette into a DD-alike is not a good idea, too, because of different coercivity. Thus came version 2 utilizing the diskette in HD (High Density) mode but still deluding the Apple ][ that it’s a Disk ][:

http://softjunk.org/vid/appleII_with_PC_HD_floppy.mp4

In the good old days a programmer named Boby Zahariev made disk operating system for Oric Atmos (Pravetz-8D) similar to Apple’s DOS 3.3, using the same drives, disk controller and disk layout. It works with our toy as well:

http://softjunk.org/vid/oric_atmos_pravetz_8d_with_PC_HD_floppy.mp4

We’re probably going to do a production PCB, so if anyone is feeling interested and says so, we could adjust our board allocation numbers.

One feature I put is converting Apple’s half-tracks to real tracks, so the PC diskette can hold up-to 80 tracks. Anyone to know a quick patch of DOS / ProDOS to use them? It will result in 280KB (70 tracks) or 320KB (80 tracks) capacity if there isn’t any internal OS limitation.

Happy Holidays!
— Vlad

December 27th, 2008

A2Unplugged show #0030 released

Ryan Suenaga presents A2Unplugged, show #0030. In this episode, Ryan interviews noted Apple II developer “Burger” Becky Heineman.

A2Unplugged can be freely downloaded from the podcast’s web site, or subscribed to from the Apple iTunes store.

December 22nd, 2008

Mike Willegal working on PC to Disk II interface

James Littlejohn wrote in to tell us about Mike Willegal’s latest project, a PC to Disk II interface. Mike has posted an update on the project’s progress over on the Applefritter Apple II forum.

Willegal has previously completed other Apple II interfacing projects, and may be best known for his Apple II Revision 0 Replica.

December 18th, 2008

Jason Scott to keynote KansasFest 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO — December 18, 2008 — Technology historian and documentarian Jason Scott will be the keynote speaker at KansasFest 2009, the world’s only Apple II computer convention. Scott, whose documentary about dial-up bulletin board systems was presented at KansasFest 2007, brings with him a comprehensive insight into the Apple II and its role in the development of the personal computer.

“I’ve been wanting to attend KansasFest for years,” said Scott. “That there’s still an Apple II conference going on after all this time is just wild.”

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