April 30th, 2010

FTA Releases Source for ActiveGS Core

The Free Tools Association announced the release of the core source code from the ActiveGS plug-in used on the Virtual Apple ][ website. The code, which is based largely on the Kegs 0.91 emulator. This version of the kernel has been modified to integrate improvements and bug fixes.

Active development on the new plug-in was started during the summer of 2009 when the final versions of the ActiveGS 2.x core was being released. The need to improve the speed, control, and the size of the plug-in were the main driving factors in this update.

Version 3.x includes the following improvements:

+ Upgraded Kegs to 0.91 Core
+ Added Transwarp support on Mac OSX
+ Reduced by 30% .xpi size for faster download
+ Full .NIB support (cf. Zoyon Patrol)

The following fixes are also in the code:

* Safari rendering on Snow Leopard
* Firefox/Win32 Apple ][ display
* Firefox/Win32 space key
* Minor Improvement on file selector

The purpose in releasing this code now is to spur further development and addition of features. The source current source file, Kegs 3.0.242, is the same as the version of the ActiveGS Plugin. The wrapper that is used in the website is not included in the archive.

You can download the source code file from the ActiveGS Plugin page at: http://activegs.freetoolsassociation.com

Direct file download link: http://activegs.freetoolsassociation.com/kegs_3_0_242.zip

April 29th, 2010

Brutal Deluxe site adds many Apple I cassettes

Antoine Vignau and Olivier Zardini’s Brutal Deluxe Software site has a huge collection of Apple program cassettes. In addition to over 230 Apple II tapes, they have just added 15 Apple I cassettes. Pictures and audio extracts are provided. And we thought floppies were old school…

April 27th, 2010

Virtual II 6.3.7 released

Gerard Putter has updated Virtual ][, the leading 8-bit Apple II emulator for Mac OS X to v6.3.7

What’s new in version 6.3.7

  • Fixed an issue that could cause the arrow keys to generate incorrect game paddle values if used in combination with the command key.

  • Added a convenience menu in “Quick Settings” to easily invert the direction of the up and down arrows when used as a joystick.

  • The Mac OS X Finder now correctly recognizes disk images as Virtual ][ files.

The upgrade is free for all users of Virtual ][, and can be downloaded on http://www.virtualii.com

April 26th, 2010

Chris Yerga hacks an Apple //e into a retro Tweetwall

Brendan Robert found and posted news about an interesting hack by Chris Yerga, who took an Apple //e and with a little bit of coding and interface magic, turned it into a Tweetwall. You can read all about it at the Hack A Day and Atom&Electrons sites.

I bet Chris could sell a few of these as kits.

April 23rd, 2010

drHirudo releases Wall Defence game for Apple II

Bulgarian programmer Ventzislav Tzvetkov (aka drHirudo) has ported his Amiga game Wall Defence, to the Apple II. In Wall Defence you play a knight defending your castle wall from a horde of invading orcs. The knight must throw stones at the orcs ascending the wall on ladders. If an orc is able to win the top of the wall, the knight dies. Unfortunately for the knight, the orcs climb at different speeds, so the player must throw his stones with care for maximum results.

drHirudo has also programmed other games for the Apple II including Garden and MazezaM.

April 19th, 2010

March/April 2010 Call-A.P.P.L.E. available for download

The March/April 2010 issue of Call-A.P.P.L.E. Magazine is now available for all users to download. You will need the latest version of the Adobe PDF viewer to read the magazine. See the A.P.P.L.E. website at http://www.callapple.org for the magazine.

April 19th, 2010

Applied Engineering Repository site expanded, relaunched

Most Apple II users, when asked to name one company (besides Apple) that made the Apple II series so great, will immediately think of Applied Engineering. Usually referred to simply as “AE”, the Carrollton, Texas company manufactured an assortment of innovative peripherals that could transform an ordinary Apple II into something better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster sans the bionics, or six-million dollar price tag.

It may even be argued that without AE, the Apple II may have slipped into obsolescence faster than it did. With the release of AppleWorks, Applied Engineering became one of the first companies to patch expanded RAM into the integrated suite’s memory-constrained desktop. This enabled the fledgling and somewhat underpowered AppleWorks to become a serious productivity tool. The symbiosis of AppleWorks and Applied Engineering memory enhancement products spawned a sort of second life for the Apple II, facilitating an industry of AppleWorks tools, utilities and competing copycat products that might not have existed otherwise — all for the lack of a well defined Apple II RAM expansion standard.

The AE legacy lives on today, in the Applied Engineering Repository (created by Brian Wiser and Bill Martens), a site dedicated to exploring and preserving AE’s contributions to the Apple II Community. On the site, you’ll find scans of manuals, device drivers and other miscellaneous, historical information on AE’s line of amazing products.

Brian Wiser’s announcement is attached:

The Applied Engineering Repository, located at ae.applearchives.com, was first unveiled in April 2008. While the site wasn’t well publicized at the time, it has undergone several major revisions and is now as complete as possible.

Created by Brian Wiser and Bill Martens, the site features unique content such as catalogs, manuals, pictures, software and self-created brochures for all known Applied Engineering products. From an Employee Cookbook to an ad for the Transwarp III, lots of interesting items are available. Many hundreds of hours have gone into making this the ultimate resource, as we feel strongly that Applied Engineering was one of the finest computer peripheral companies in history. Please visit the site and use the contact form if you can contribute any resources. Thanks!

April 10th, 2010

Retrogaming Times includes monthly Apple II Incider column

Donald Lee covers Apple II games in his monthly Apple II Incider column for Retrogaming Times. This month he looks at Mario Bros. In recent past issues he has paid tribute to Joe Kohn and covered games such as Thexder, Lode Runner, Uninvited, Spy Hunter, Marble Madness, California Games, Computer Baseball, and many more. Retrogaming Times has been published online since 1997, quite a feat!

April 9th, 2010

KansasFest 2010 registration now open

KANSAS CITY, MO — April 9, 2010 — KansasFest, the 21st annual convention dedicated to the Apple II computer, is now open for registration. Users, programmers, hobbyists, and retrocomputing enthusiasts are invited to Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, from Tuesday, July 20th, 2010, through Sunday the 25th for six days and five nights of sessions, demos, announcements, contests, and camaraderie. Veterans of the event are invited to bring a first-time attendee; if each indicates the other’s name on the registration form, both will receive a $25 referral rebate at the event.

The week kicks off with keynote speaker Mark Simonsen, former president of Beagle Bros Micro Software and author of many popular Apple II software programs. Several sessions and workshops are scheduled throughout the rest of the week, including but not limited to:

  • A tutorial of Structured Applesoft, Ivan Drucker’s approach to BASIC programming
  • Floppy disk drive maintenance and hardware color restoration with Tony Diaz
  • Ken Gagne’s review of Macintosh games inspired by the Apple II
  • Programming with Macrosoft by Peter Neubauer
  • A closer look at the Apple III by Mike Maginnis
  • Martin Haye’s introduction to his Super-Mon utility and NakedOS
  • The latest on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad by Rob Walch of the Today in iPhone podcast
  • HackFest, an annual programming challenge open to hackers of all skill levels

What the schedule can’t predict is the variety of surprise demonstrations that are a hallmark of KansasFest. Past years have seen the release of the Sweet 16 2.0 emulator, the Apple II VGA video adapter, the prototype Apple II MP3 player, and many other announcements. Attendees are encouraged to share their knowledge by presenting their own sessions, be it hardware, software, Apple II, or Macintosh.

Register before June 1st to secure your place at this memorable event. Prices until that date are $365 for a double room or $435 for a single and include admission to all sessions as well as room and board. Official KansasFest shirts are extra and optional. To register, please visit the official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/

KansasFest 2010, the world’s only annual Apple II conference, invites any and all Apple II and Macintosh users, fans, and friends to attend this year’s “summer camp for geeks.” For photos, schedules, presentations from past year’s events, and inquiries, please visit the event’s Web site.

KansasFest 2010

Email: http://www.kansasfest.org/contact/
Register: http://www.kansasfest.org/register/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kansasfest
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=116990081645486

April 6th, 2010

Apple IIGS Laptop Project announces bare-bones pricing

The team behind the Apple IIGS Laptop Project has announced base pricing for their ambitious portable IIGS — $1399 USD for the bare-bones A2GS-L01. This configuration is intended for those who want to add their own compact flash storage, accelerator or extra RAM. Pricing for the “loaded” A2GS-L01 with these amenities included hasn’t been determined yet.

If all goes well, the A2GS-L01 should be in production and ready for delivery PRIOR to KansasFest, this July. Hopefully we’ll have pictures of the mock-ups or beta units soon.

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