April 30th, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brutal Deluxe!

On the 20th birthday of the French IIGS programming group, Open Apple podcast co-host Ken Gagne sits down with Antoine Vignau and Olivier Zardini to chat about the group’s history, what the Apple II and BBS scenes were like in France in the 1980s, how they acquired the rights and assets to popular licenses and ported them to the Apple II, their open source philosophy, and news from other French developers.

You can listen at the Open Apple Web site, or download the episode from iTunes.


April 27th, 2012

Project WALTR Update

Back in January, Australian Apple II user and blogger Lukazi introduced Project WALTR, a hardware hack designed to create a robot that could be controlled with Logo commands.  This week, he(?) updated us with a progress report and the final product looks really cool!  In Lukazi’s words:

“WALTR is a Parallax Scribbler 2 (S2) robot that takes in direct action or interpreted Logo movement commands via a serial connection and executes them. Although I designed WALTR to be run from an Apple II computer any computer with a serial port and a Logo software package that supports serial communications can be used. WALTR can still be used as a Logo robot even without its pen lifter and Bluetooth enhancements.”

WALTR has come a long way since its introduction in January.  Check out everything WALTR can do at Lukazi’s Apple II Projects blog.

April 17th, 2012

Prince of Persia source code posted

Want a peek at the recently-rescued Prince of Persia source code?  Head on over to Github, where Jordan Mechner has posted it.  Download a copy and peruse at your leisure!  The posting includes the original source, the disk routines, and Br0derbund’s disk protection routines.

April 17th, 2012

Wasteland 2 Kickstarter raises nearly $3 million

Brian Fargo’s Wasteland 2 Kickstarter project closed this morning with a final tally of $2,933,197 pledged from 61,289 backers.  That’s more than triple the original funding goal of $900,000.

April 17th, 2012

AppleCommander gets Apple GEOS file support

The Java-based AppleCommander disk image handling application has been updated to add support for Apple GEOS files.  According to the comp.sys.apple2 post by David Schmidt:

AppleCommander command line support has been added to properly place cc65-produced GEOS files on ProDOS images.  John Matthews has posted the build in the AC download page:

This pico-release adds the -geos argument.  Given a GEOS file in Oliver’s CONVERT format:

AC can be invoked like so to place that file on a disk image:

java ac.jar -geos disk.po < file.cvt

Since the CONVERT format includes a filename and other ProDOS atributes as part of the specification, there’s no need to add anything more on the command line.  If you like to do things by hand, though, you can achieve the same result this way:

java ac.jar -p disk.po foo GEO < file.cvt

Again, since the CONVERT spec includes all of the ProDOS attributes, the filename (foo) and filetype (GEO/0x82) are actually overwritten and/or ignored as part of the process.  But the presence of GEO as filetype is the thing that triggers the special GEOS handling.

April 16th, 2012

BREAKING: Prince of Persia source code rescued!

According to this tweet from Jordan Mechner, the Prince of Persia source code has been successfully recovered!

April 16th, 2012

Selling the Apple II: Three true stories

CNET’s Rafe Needleman celebrates the 35th anniversary of the introduction of the Apple II with a few anecdotes from his days as a high schooler selling computers as a summer job at the local Computer Connection store.  Discussed are Dan Bricklin’s killer app, VisiCalc; Todd Rundgren’s Utopia Graphics Tablet System; and a Corvus 10 Meg hard disk system that literally flamed out in spectacular fashion.

April 16th, 2012

Drift released

Daniel Kruszyna today announced the released of a disk of Apple II music called ‘Drift’.  The artists who contributed to the collection are Daniel, Antoine Vignau,Wade Clarke and Melissa Barron.  Visit this page for more information, or download the emulator-ready disk image here.


April 16th, 2012

Prince of Persia source code rescue

The attempt to rescue the Apple II Prince of Persia source code from Jordan Mechner’s original diskettes is scheduled to happen today.  Digital archivist and indy doc filmmaker extraordinaire Jason Scott volunteered to fly out to California today to make the magic, and also conscripted 16sector’s Tony Diaz to assist.  You can read up on the background at Jordan’s blog and then follow the live, blow-by-blow action on Twitter with the #sourcecode hash tag.

Update:  Due to the continuing popularity of Jake Gyllenhaal’s recent movie, the PoP source code rescue project is now live-tweeting under the #popsource hash tag. (HT Ken Gagne).

April 16th, 2012

Time.com: 14 Ways to Celebrate the Apple II’s 35th Birthday

Over at Time.com, Technologizer’s Harry McCracken has listed 14 great celebration ideas to commemorate the 35th birthday of the Apple II.  Our favorite?  #13: Attend KansasFest!  Also worth a read: Harry’s 35th Anniversary Tribute to Apple’s First Iconic Product.  And check out the photo gallery while you’re there.

(HT Ken Gagne)

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