February 28th, 2012

David Schmidt releases KEGS emulator derivative GSport 0.2

To quote David:

“If you haven’t seen GSport before, it is a derivative of Kent Dickey’s KEGS Apple IIgs emulator.  Virtual printer support from Chris Mason (now with plain text output!) and Uthernet emulation from Glenn Jones are the big-ticket improvements over that code base, along with other contributions gathered up from several other KEGS offshoots.”

New functionality:
*   Added text-based virtual printer output for all platforms
*   Added OSX drag/drop “installer” disk image (.dmg)
*   Disk images will automatically mount and boot when specified as the last argument on the command line, or when invoked from the Windows shell (file->open as GSport.exe)

Bug fixes:
*   Added sound libraries in Win32 binary, mistakenly omitted

Schmidt elaborates on what’s new:

“Startup on Windows was annoying to me, needing to run a batch file to set up the path.  So all the .DLLs moved to the main directory.  That had some interesting side-effects: it enable the “file->open as” action to start GSport, which in turn led to the notion of automatically mounting and booting any arbitrary image – no matter what it is.  So, 5-1/4″, 3-1/2″, and hard drive images can “just work” when double-clicked (after setting up the default shell behavior).

“Mac OSX now has a drag and drop install – from the DMG, just drag the GSport folder over to the Applications folder.  The binary is fatter now, with (fingers crossed) PPC and Intel binaries that may work all the way back to OSX 10.4.  No guarantees, but 10.5 and 10.6 are working for me on both architectures.”

You can find the new release here.

February 26th, 2012

Did Apple really revolutionize power supplies?

Ken Shirriff takes an in-depth look at the history and design of computer power supplies in this well-written piece over at his blog, and takes a moment to question the conventional wisdom held by fans and historians, that Rod Holt’s design for the Apple II power supply revolutionized the industry, a view which was also repeated in Walt Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography.  Whether or not you agree with Shirriff’s conclusions, the post is worth a read for the technical and historical information alone.  Check it out here.


February 25th, 2012

Large collection of vintage Apple ads posted

Egan Ford notes in his post to comp.sys.apple2 that a large collection of vintage Apple print ads – 80 in all – has been posted over at Neat Designs.  The collection is extensive, covering a span from 1977 to 1999, and includes ads that don’t often appear elsewhere on the Internet.  Check out the ads and accompanying article here.

February 24th, 2012

Remembering Steve Jobs

Today would have been Steve Jobs’ 57th birthday and The Unofficial Apple Weblog has posted a nice set of videos in remembrance.   Check them out here.

February 23rd, 2012

An insider’s look at Cortland

Karl Grabe worked at Apple Computer, Inc. from 1983 to 1998.  In 1985, he was transferred from the Cork office to Cupertino to work on the Apple IIGS diagnostics and was the lead for the machine’s ROM diagnostics.  Karl has posted some rare information and pictures of the Cortland project on his web page here.

(HT to Antoine Vignau for his csa2 post announcing this amazing find!)

February 23rd, 2012

PC World: “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”

PC World magazine recently posted a nice article showcasing examples of old technology still in use today.  The piece covers a wide variety of “obsolete” tech, from an IBM 402 automated electromechanical tabulator that handles the payroll and accounting at a chemical process filtration firm in Texas, to a Tandy CoCo 3 that today functions as a “programming assistant” to a former Playstation game programmer.  Of interest to A2Central readers though will be the Apple IIe that still manages all the inventory tracking and account keeping at Huffman Industrial Warehouse in Eden, North Carolina.

Says owner Kevin Huffman: “I still use the machine because it is so simple to use, I know the software, and I can still update the tax tables manually.” He adds, “The only glitch in the entire system is that it does not recognize the year 2000, so all my printed financial reports say 1912. But on the invoices, checks, and other forms, it prints in the 11/14/12 format.”  Huffman uses Manzanita Software’s “The Business Accountant” integrated accounting package, and regularly backs up his data with Copy II+.

Coverage of Huffman’s operation and use of the Apple IIe starts on page 3 of the article.

(HT: A.C.)

February 21st, 2012

Bill Garber opens SEPA Electronics

Several years after closing his GarberStreet Electronics business, Bill Garber has announced that he is re-opening his web-based store under the “SEPA Electronics” name.  Currently, the only thing you can order there is the 12-bit VGA board for the Carte Blanche card, but according to Bill’s csa2 announcement, more will be added soon:

The web site isn’t much yet, but I’ll be working on it over the next couple weeks, adding back the old stuff and putting in some new.

As far as files, I don’t think I will be building an archive, but I will have whatever is needed to enhance my products.

I’ll be selling some things: floppy disks, hardware, and if I get off my duff, some software, hopefully.

Thanks and Enjoy

You can visit the new site here.

February 21st, 2012

A2Central Google Currents edition republished

At some point over the weekend, the Google Currents edition of A2Central disappeared.  No warning, no follow-up explanation from Google – just gone.  I republished the edition this morning, but you’ll need to delete the old version in your Currents client (if it’s still there) and re-subscribe by visiting this new link in your device’s browser:


February 21st, 2012

Brian Fargo to fund Wasteland sequel through Kickstarter

According to this article over at IGN, Brian Fargo, the man behind the original Apple II hit Wasteland, wants to create a sequel and he’s looking to fund it through a Kickstarter campaign.  Plans are still vague at this point and the campaign has yet to go live, but you can read Brian’s thoughts on the project here and here.  From the IGN interview:

He doesn’t know if it’d be straight up called Wasteland 2, but he repeatedly emphasized that, despite having thought about it for only 48 hours, it wouldn’t be a crazy genre change up. Wasteland, whatever its called, will be "100% faithful to its roots." This means a Wasteland game that "would be focusing on top-down, probably isometric, party based, skill based — where if you’d just finished playing Wasteland and moved onto this you’d feel comfortable."

Apple II Wasteland gameplay video
February 19th, 2012

The Not Another Apple Podcast episode #1 posted

David Greelish and Blake Patterson team up to bring you a new Apple-related podcast.  The first episode, which focuses on Apple Retail Stores, has been posted and you can listen here, or subscribe in iTunes.

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