March 31st, 2009

Apple Game Server 3.0 RC1 released

Brendan Robert has announced Apple Game Server 3.0 RC1 is now available for download and testing. Apple Game Server is a Java application (v1.5) that hosts disk images on a PC or Mac, and serves them to an Apple II via serial cable. Brendan’s announcement is attached:

https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=185513

EDIT: Try http://sourceforge.net/projects/a2gameserver/

With tons of help from Nick (Westgate), I am close to putting the lid on the final 3.0 release of the game server.

Remaining to-dos:

– Provide ability to swap out disk images (close, just not done yet)
– Finish adding descriptions and screenshots for list of games
– Disk write support

Finished:

– Limited disk emulation (supports a few disk-based games, and dos 3.3 images)
– Support for all apple ][ models (requires at least 64kb, might work with 48kb but not tested)
– New launcher GUI
– New game selector menu, uses both hires pages
– Advanced game search
– Game information with screenshots
– On-the-fly compression of graphics data using packbits-based scheme
– All sorts of goodies on the small scale of things

To use, download the release and uncompress. Change to the release directory (the one with dist, src, lib, etc). Use “java -jar dist/ags.jar” to start. It is imperative that you launch with the current directory as the main directory, not the “dist” directory for path reasons. Edit settings to set your apple settings. Note that “port” refers to TCP/IP port as well as COM port. Hostname only applies to TCP/IP. You will probably need to flip over to the second tab to locate the rxtxcomm.dll (or whatever library file is appropriate for your OS version).

ENJOY!

-Brendan



March 24th, 2009

A2Central maintenance this weekend (March 28/29)

Coming up this weekend (March 28/29), the server that hosts our e-mail, FTP, BBS and IRC will be down for maintenance and relocation. One of the server’s hot spare drives is failing, and I must take it out of service before it completely conks out. We’re also rearranging tech equipment and office furniture in the area where the server is, and need to physically move it to another location.

The main A2Central site that you are reading right now will remain online and available throughout the event. There will be an update to this post advising when all maintenance/relocation tasks have been completed and that services have been restored.

If you’re a regular in our IRC, meet us on our temporary backup channel on EFNet, channel #apple2 (irc://irc.prison.net:6667/#apple2).

March 24th, 2009

Beagle Bros Software Repository updated

Bill Marten’s of Call-A.P.P.L.E. wrote in with the following update:

The Beagle Bros Software Repository has been updated. (http://beagle.applearchives.com) Thanks to the contributions by Brian Wiser, we are now able to offer a new graphics section; Beagle Bros Graphics 4 which is a compilation of many of the graphics that appeared in ads in Nibble Magazine (http://www.nibblemagazine.com) over the years.

Also some of the Timeout Series have been added with more coming this week. So far we have a total of 8 of the Timeout Series done and will be completing this collection as time allows. Another addition will be the Beagle Big Tip Book which should be available sometime next week, once we finish putting together the final PDF file.

You can check out all these updates and more at the Beagle Bros Software Repository at:
http://beagle.applearchives.com

Be sure to sign up for the RSS feed so that you can get all updates as soon as they are published.

March 19th, 2009

Briel’s 4MB GS RAM card available again at reduced cost

Vince Briel wrote in to let everyone know that his popular 4MB GS RAM card (Apple IIGS only) is available again and at a reduced price of only $49 USD while supplies last.

March 13th, 2009

Juiced.GS Volume 14, Issue 1 now available

Juiced.GS V14I1Volume 14, Issue 1 (March 2009) of Juiced.GS, the last remaining Apple II publication in print, shipped today to all subscribers. This issue features an interview with Michael J. Mahon, inventor of the NadaNet and AppleCrate; Kelvin Sherlock’s look at how he developed ProFUSE; Eric Shepherd’s review of several Apple II-inspired iPhone games; Stavros Karatsoridis’s introduction to the IIGS Monitor; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s first quarterly issue of 2009. Subscriptions are being accepted at $19 for United States customers and $26 for international customers.

March 9th, 2009

Ben Heckendorn’s mad scientist approach to computer design

Computerworld.com has a feature on Ben Heckendorn, who last year created a laptop Apple IIGS. Though that particular machine is not the focus of the article, it does look at Heckendorn’s background, design philosophy, and the variety of machines he’s modified, from Atari 2600 to Xbox 360.

The full transcript of the Heckendorn interview featured in the above article was the cover story for the December 2008 issue of Juiced.GS.

March 5th, 2009

Retr0bright restores vintage computer plastics

The retrocomputing community is buzzing about Retr0bright, a newly developed method for restoring discolored plastic (an effect commonly referred to as “yellowing”) to their former pristine condition.

The yellowing of ABS plastic was thought to be permanent, and speculated by many to be the result of the exposure to sunlight or florescent lighting. Cases that were once beige, white or platinum would turn yellow or even brown because of the Bromine flame retardant added to the plastic during production.

Retr0bright is the result of a collaboration between several retrocomputing enthusiasts and chemists. They hit upon the technique for mixing hydrogen peroxide and “Oxy” laundry cleanser into a bathing solution and then using an ultra-violet lamp as a catalyst to recondition the yellowed plastic. Complete instructions are on the Retr0bright wiki.

For a look at the reasons for the discoloration in the first place, see our previous post, Why your Apple turned yellow.

Coming soon:

Another method (and possible service) for reconditioning “yellowed” cases from Apple II guru Tony Diaz.

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