January 31st, 2011

OpenEmulator announced

Marc Ressl (AppleIIGo project developer) has just announced he’s in the early stages of creating a new project called OpenEmulator. The project site states the current goals of the project are to implement an Mac OS X interface, and get Apple-1 and MOS KIM-1 emulation working.

January 30th, 2011

Geoff Weiss releases Hash Tool v1.3

Geoff Weiss has announced the release of Hash Tool v1.3 — Hash Tool (or Tool 128) provides the Apple IIGS with the capability to perform checksum on files and to verify data integrity. Geoff’s announcement is attached:

The Hash Tool has been upgraded to version 1.3 and is now licensed with the standard GNU Public License. New feature: md2 and sha1 support has been added. A big thanks to Mike Stephens for providing Orca/C code as a basis for the md2 and sha1 additions. Source has been included with the archive. Contributions for any additional message digests source code will be accepted to extend this tool set.

Visit http://hashtool.gwlink.net/ for documentation and download.


January 28th, 2011

Apple IIc SmartPort compatible compact flash interface announced

Can it finally be true? Has someone created a mass storage option for the Apple IIc? YES!! Robert Justice has posted EXCITING NEWS that he has developed a working SmartPort-based compact flash interface. Rob’s post from CSA2 is attached:

Hi All,

I have been working on building a compact flash adapater that uses the SmartPort interface via the external disk connector on the Apple //c. I have hand wired a prototype and have this working so that I can boot ProDOS from it. The firmware in the AVR supports 4 partitions on the CF. I have also used the DOS.MASTER games image and that works fine also.

Details are in a quick write up at this link: http://www.users.on.net/~rjustice/SmartportCFA/SmartportCFA.htm

Hope you guys find it interesting.


Robert’s site contains a wealth of technical information (with more on the way) including source code and other documentation. It appears to be an open project for now. No word yet on if it’s destined to eventually become a commercial product — if it does, I’m betting it will be a popular one.

January 26th, 2011

JACE Apple II emulator updated, more usable

Jace (Java Apple Computer Emulator) has finally been poked and prodded enough to be a usable emulator. It’s not AppleWin, nor will it ever try to be. But it is cross-platform friendly and runs well at least in Linux. Most likely it runs well from any platform that has Sun Java 6 or OpenJDK 6 or higher.

What’s new:

  • Better speed throttling, no more emulation lurches when sound starts/stops. Experience is overall much smoother than before.
  • Auto-accelerates when disk access is detected, so boot times and CATALOG are a lot faster
  • Primitive joystick support (uses mouse movement for now, more options will be forthcoming later such as keyboard mappings)
  • Hard drive (HDV/2MG) support (also 800kb floppy images) for reading/writing
  • New configuration interface that allows tweaking various aspects of the emulator — still a work in progress but some things work. (You have to use it to insert a hard drive image)
  • Any card configuration is possible. Seven hard drive controllers? Why not. Fourteen floppy drives? Go for it. (why??). Default configuration is Slot 2: SSC, Slot 6: Disk ][, Slot 7: Mass storage
  • Configuration SAVE will store settings to be automatically loaded on next startup. Settings are saved in .jace.conf (delete this to revert settings to defaults on next start)
  • Super Serial Card emulation can optionally strip/add LF characters for you — useful for telnet support in some cases, but it’s not complete telnet support like Kegs has.
  • Nice shiny startup help screen, with more helpful features to be added later.
  • Aspect ratio correction (Press F8)
  • Paste support (shift+insert)
  • Experimental console support that redirects character input/output to stdin/stdout (doesn’t work very well though) — you can enable/disable it from the config screen.
  • Download:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/java-ace (download should be 600kb or so, if it is >700kb then it is likely an older copy)

    To start: If JRE is registered with your file manager you might have the option to start the program directly by right-clicking and telling it to open with Java. If that option doesn’t present itself, from the command line use:

    java -jar jace.jar

    Thanks to everyone here for all the useful help and code snippets along the way, not to mention very patient testing and helpful feedback. Big thanks to Nick and MDJ for lots of help needed to even get this behemoth off the ground. I’ll still be adding features periodically, keep an eye on the sourceforge activity for small progress updates.

January 25th, 2011

Minneapolis News on Oregon Trail’s 40th birthday

The Minneapolis News City Pages has posted a feature story celebrating the 40th birthday of Oregon Trail. The article includes several interesting pictures and lesser known facts about the iconic educational program and it’s developers.

January 21st, 2011

Wired retrospective on Bill Budge

Wired just posted an informative retrospective on Bill Budge, noted Apple II programmer and game developer.

January 19th, 2011

A2Command in action (video)

Payton Byrd has posted a demonstration video of his recently announced A2Command utility. Features are still being added, but as you will see, A2Command has already become a very capable file manager.

January 17th, 2011

ADTPro 1.1.8 released, now supports LANceGS

Hot on the heels of version 1.1.7, David Schmidt has released an updated ADTPro 1.1.8 with support for the LANceGS Ethernet card. David’s announcement is attached:

If you have a LANceGS card from ///SHH Systeme – this release is for you. Thanks to Sean Fahey for lending me his cards, and thanks to Oliver Schmidt for the Contiki source code. The ip65 stack has been updated to automatically detect and use either the A2Retrosystems Uthernet card or the LANceGS card. Both cards can be used in any Apple II or Apple /// computer that ADTPro runs on (as long as it has a slot).

The Ethernet autodetection routine twiddles the I/O bits a little more now. AppleWin decides to make a (blank) printer.txt file when it runs. Virtual ][ doesn’t seem to produce anything on its virtual printer. I’d be interested to know if a real printer gets bothered by it.

1.1.8 – January 17, 2011

New functionality:

* [Client] Added support for LANceGS Ethernet card


January 7th, 2011

GSBarndoor Team says accelerator delayed until Spring 2011

According to a recent update from the secretive GSBarndoor project team, beta testing on their highly anticipated accelerator will be delayed at least until Spring 2011. Citing problems with initial units not meeting specifications, they’re now in the process of re-designing it.

January 5th, 2011

Introducing A2Command file manager for ProDOS

Payton Byrd has introduced A2Command, a ProDOS file manager similar in form and function with MS-DOS based Norton Commander. Payton’s CSA2 announcement is attached below.


Most of you probably don’t know me, but I’ve been lurking off and on for many years. In 2010 I created a project for the CBM machines called CBM-Command, which is a file manager in the vein of Norton Commander. Not long after I started that project, Oliver Schmidt recommended that I port it to the Apple 2 since the project is written in C using cc65. I began the port in May but had to back-burner it for a lot of reasons after Oliver had put a great amount of work into helping me get it up and running. Well, half a year later and I’m back at work with A2Command. I have a project page all set up and you can even download the source code as Oliver and I commit it. The homepage is at http://a2command.codeplex.com and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the screenshots. Hopefully we’ll get the first beta out soon (can’t promise a date yet).

If you are interested in helping with the project, just let me know!

Payton Byrd