February 25th, 2011

ActiveGS – Best of FTA in Apple iTunes app store

The Free Tools Association has released a version of ActiveGS that is compatible with Apple iOS devices. Now you can have an Apple IIGS on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

ActiveGS – Best of FTA is available as a free app in the Apple iTunes store. The app is preconfigured to showcase several of the FTA’s best demos and applications but the inquisitive may find ways to run other Apple II programs. Get it while you can!

February 22nd, 2011

A2Command goes v1.0 with $50 documentation bounty

The A2Command project team (Payton Byrd, Oliver Schmidt, and Greg King) are pleased to announce the full release of A2Command Version 1.0. A2Command is a full-featured File and Disk Manager for the Apple II line of computers with 65c02 processors and 80-column video cards (Enhanced //e, //c, IIgs). A2Command uses the Orthodox File Manager paradigm made popular by Norton Commander and includes features such as file copying, renaming, and deletion as well as disk image operations on DSK, BIN, PO, and HDV disk images.

A2Command is an open source project released under the BSD license. Users may modify the code for whatever purpose they see fit as long as original copyrights remain. All source code, documentation, and issue tracking may be accessed from the A2Command project website which is located at http://a2command.codeplex.com.

Since A2Command is a community project, the project team would like to announce the opportunity for an A2Command user to document the software and earn $50 in the process! Entries for the documentation bounty will be accepted through March 31. The winner will get a full recognition in the next major release of A2Command as well as having their documentation posted on the A2Command website as well as in TEXT format in the A2Command distribution media. Entrants are encouraged to liberally describe the features of A2Command and to use screen shots of the software running in an emulator to provide visual references for users.

Finally, the A2Command team would like to thank the 100+ people who have downloaded and tested the pre-release versions of A2Command. It is only through the help of the Apple II community that projects such as A2Command can become quality software that serves the needs of the entire community.

February 22nd, 2011

ActiveGS browser plugin adds save state and rewind mode

Free Tool Association’s ActiveGS browser plugin received a couple of updates in January, including:

  • support for various color schemes: auto, b&w, green, amber
  • implemented memory save and restore state
  • implemented rewind mode: user can now go back in time and restart the emulation when needed (in pause mode, use the arrow keys to go back to time)
  • improved user control and 6502 simulation (allowing more games to work)

Visit FTA’s site for the complete list of improvements and bug fixes. ActiveGS is a front-end for the Apple IIgs emulator KEGS. It can be run standalone or in a web browser on Windows and OS X.

February 21st, 2011

Apple IIgs Laptop Project redux

The A2GS-L01 project folks posted a brief update to say they are building a new unit to replace the prototype that was lost last year. Plans are to show it and take orders at this year’s KansasFest.

February 20th, 2011

Video demonstration of Apple IIGS ROM4 “Mark Twain” now online

At the June 1996 Gravenstein User Group meeting, Joe Kohn gave a demonstration of the Mark Twain — the Apple IIGS “ROM4” prototype that Apple Computer chose not to bring to market.

The presentation has been in limbo for all these years, until now. As part of preserving Joe Kohn’s legacy of distinguished service to the Apple II Community, the video has been made available by his friends.

Joe Kohn and the Mark Twain from Ken Gagne on Vimeo.

February 20th, 2011

David Schmidt beta testing CFFA3000

David Schmidt (ADTPro) is beta testing the upcoming CFFA3000 and is writing about it on the R&D Automation blog site. The new card appears to be shaping up to be a worthy successor to the popular CFFA card.

February 16th, 2011

Mike Willegal announces Brain Board

After weeks of hinting, Mike Willegal has posted a video podcast demonstrating his latest project: The Brain Board. The Brain Board is a custom 2 bank firmware card; the first PROM bank contains the Apple 1 Monitor, cassette driver, Integer BASIC and some special code that combined, Mike has named the “Wozanium Pack”. The second PROM bank is empty and could be used for anything else e.g. Apple ROM images, etc.

With the Brain Board, you can have your Apple II work like an Apple 1. You’ll be able to run those older programs that otherwise might require (sometimes extensive) modification to run.

Mike expects to be shipping Brain Board kits by the end of March for $59 USD. More details will be released later. You’ll also have the option of buying unprogrammed PROMs if you just want a firmware card to experiment with.

Direct link to video: Brain Board Introduction

February 7th, 2011

Open Apple Podcast debuts, features Apple II content

February 7, 2011 — Mike Maginnis and Ken Gagne, two long-time Apple II users, are proud to announce the Apple II community’s first co-hosted podcast. Open Apple, a monthly show dedicated to Steve Wozniak’s most famous personal computer, begins broadcasting today at http://www.open-apple.net/ with a new episode to come every month.

“When we got home from KansasFest 2010, we didn’t want the experience to end,” said Gagne in the show’s first episode, referring to the annual Apple II convention. Added Maginnis, “One of the great things about the Apple II is the community that surrounds it. Having a podcast where we can chat with other Apple II users fosters that community feeling you get at events like KansasFest.” In keeping with that theme, the two co-hosts are joined in their first episode by KansasFest veteran Andy Molloy, the first of many guests to appear on Open Apple.

The Apple II was the first personal computer produced by Apple Computer Inc. after their founding in 1977. More than eight models and five million units were sold before it was discontinued in 1993. Nearly two decades later, the computer still enjoys regular releases of new hardware and software, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of both loyal fans and retrocomputing newcomers.

The Open Apple show aims to spotlight that vibrancy and serve that community with regular segments that include “II News”, a roundup of the latest Apple II activities and announcements; “Retroviews”, a look back at classic hardware and software; “Apple Pickings”, which spotlights Apple II sales on eBay and Craigslist; and “Name the Game”, an audio trivia challenge in which listeners can win prizes.

“There are plenty of other great retrocomputing podcasts that we enjoy listening to,” said Maginnis, “but none dedicated to the Apple II is produced on a regular basis, and nothing that consistently features multiple voices from the community. With this show, Ken and I are looking forward to keeping in touch with each other and other Apple II geeks every month.”

Mike Maginnis blogs about Apple’s pre-Mac computers on his blog, 6502lane.net.  Ken Gagne is editor and publisher of Juiced.GS, the Apple II’s longest-running print publication, and is marketing director for the community’s annual convention, KansasFest.

The Open Apple podcast is available immediately at http://www.open-apple.net/ where it can be streamed live or downloaded.