December 31st, 2012

AppleWin emulator updated to version 1.22.0.0

AppleWin, the popular 8-bit Apple II emulator for the Microsoft Windows platform has been updated to version 1.22.0.0. According to the announcement posted to comp.sys.apple2 earlier today, the following changes and fixes have been implemented:

Changes:
. [Feature #005557] Support DOSMaster image created by Apple Oasis.
. [Feature #003272 and #005335] Support 2x windowed mode:
– Toggle between 1x and 2x by using Resize button (or F6).
– Full screen now enabled by CTRL+Resize button (or CTRL+F6).

Fixes:
. [Feature #004346] Don’t show mousetext for original Apple //e.
. Fixed HDD firmware to allow epyx_californiagames_iicplus.2mg to boot.
. HDD firmware: Added support for SmartPort entrypoint.
– “Prince of Persia (Original 3.5 floppy for IIc+).2mg” now boots
. [Bug #018455] Improved rendering speed of debugger view.

Download it here.

December 31st, 2012

New Silentype Font released

If you’re looking to add a bit of that retro touch to your documents, you could do worse than Sean McNamara’s newly released Silentype Font 2.0 (version 1 was never publicly released).  From Sean’s blog entry:

I have great pleasure in announcing that v2.0 of my Silentype font is now officially released as a New Year gift to the Apple ][ community…

The letterforms were all independently created by me in 2003 and 2004, with recent modifications to accommodate later OS X versions’ predilection to fill in the counters on the letters “o”and “O”, the number “8″ and the ampersand (“&”). I recognise what it is about those characters’ counters that is common to them and not with other characters with counters, but I don’t know why that particular attribute caused the counters to fill in current versions of OS X when in 2003 and 2004 OS X as it was then was quite happy to display the characters correctly.

Oh, and I’ve added a (very) low-res Apple logo to the font at the appropriate location. I may extend the character set further during January, but don’t have any firm plans on that front at the moment.

Silentype Font 2.0 is released under the SIL Open Font License (OFL).  Stop by Sean’s blog to read the announcement and download the font.

 

December 29th, 2012

Juiced.GS Volume 17, Issue 4 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 17, Issue 4 (Dec 2012)Volume 17, Issue 4 (December 2012) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has been mailed to all subscribers. This issue features a behind-the-scenes look at Randy Brandt’s work with AppleWorks for Superior Watch Service; a tour of Seattle’s Living Computer Museum; a guide to cleaning your Apple II hardware with Retr0bright; reviews of Terrible Nerd and Structris; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s last quarterly issue of 2012. Subscriptions for 2013 are available at $19 for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers, with several free sample issues available as PDFs.

December 26th, 2012

Apple II history book announced

Dr. Steven Weyhrich of apple2history.org has announced, “Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life & Times of the Apple II Computer“, a book based on his extensive and meticulous research into the history of the Apple II.

…for the past year, I have been working on revisions and updates to the history, and a re-ordering of the information to be able to offer it as a book. The result is the best version of the History than I’ve ever had, and with the rising interest in retrocomputing in general, the time is opportune to produce a print book.

I am pleased to announce that I have a publisher. Variant Press (their web site is not currently working, or I’d include a link), of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has agreed to print the Apple II History as a book. Entitled Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life & Times of the Apple II Computer, the book is scheduled to be available in April 2013, running over 500 pages. It will have the text of the Apple II History as found on this web site, including some revisions not posted here, many of the pictures that appear here in the various chapters (as well as a few not found on the web site), and include a never-before-released chapter dealing specifically with KansasFest and the Apple II story in the years after Apple abandoned the platform.

Read the full text of the announcement here.

December 21st, 2012

Activision releases “Lost Treasures of Infocom” for iOS

This isn’t the first z-machine interpreter for Apple’s mobile operating system, but Activision’s just-released “Lost Treasures of Infocom” for iOS is the first official way to play many of Infocom’s classic text adventures on your iPhone or iPad.  The app is available for free from the App Store and comes with Zork I: The Great Underground Empire included at no extra charge.  To play the other 26 titles Activision is including, you’ll have to fork over $2.99 for each additional five-game theme collection (or get them all for $9.99), as in-app purchases, so “free” in this case is perhaps somewhat dubious.

 

 

“LTOI” also comes with InvisiClues and maps (each a $0.99 in-app purchase), game manuals, photos of the original game packaging and in-box “feelies” for each title; and promises, “new interface enhancements” which presumably make playing text adventures easier in a touchscreen environment.

If you’re considering checking it out, keep in mind this isn’t the complete back-catalog of Infocom titles.  Missing are Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Bureaucracy, Shogun, Nord and Bert, Beyond Zork, Zork Zero, Sherlock: Riddle of the Crown Jewels, Arthur, and Journey.

December 20th, 2012

Ewen Wannop announces ByteBagger, updates SAFE2

Ewen Wannop has released ByteBagger, a new NDA for the IIGS, and updated his popular SAFE2 FTP program.

Announcing the first release of the ByteBagger NDA

  • ByteBagger is an NDA that lets you view the raw data from either the data or resource fork of any file, and search for target strings within that fork using either Hex or ASCII data.
  • ByteBagger optionally allows you to edit the data using either Hex or ASCII data fields, and then write the changed data back to the file.
  • ByteBagger can change the filetype and auxtype of a file.
  • ByteBagger has a low memory impact, so can be used while other memory intensive apps are running.
  • ByteBagger is supported directly by SAFE 2.2.6 onwards.

SAFE 2.2.6 Update

There have been several bug fixes, which are listed in the Version.History file included in the archive. There are also a number of new features and interface improvements, of which the main new features are:

  • Reworked the ‘Retrieve File’ download function to a ‘Download Linked File’ function. This now allows downloads from both FTP and HTTP servers.
  • The Home and Away file lists are now sorted, are targetable, and can be navigated using the character or arrow keys.
  • You now move an item in the Favourites editor directly with the arrow keys.
  • The Balloon NDA is now directly supported for automatically unpacking downloaded files.
  • If you double click a file name in the Home folder, SAFE2 will now send out an IPC call to see if any NDA can handle that file.
  • SideClick is supported for many of the dialogs, for instance to allow copying of full paths and URLs.
  • Encoded characters in a command string will now be decoded before sending.

To get either of these applications, and their PDF manuals, as well as my other software, go to:  http://www.wannop.info./speccie

Cheers – Ewen

December 20th, 2012

Zork co-creators to be honored

Wired is reporting that Dave Lebling and Mark Blank, two of the co-creators of Zork and co-founders of Infocom, will be honored with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ Pioneer Award at the DICE Summit in February.  Read the whole announcement here and then check out an interview conducted with Lebling by Wired writer Chris Kohler.  In an interesting twist, the interview is presented as a playable text adventure using Playfic, an online community that lets you write, remix, share, and play interactive text-based games with the world.

 

December 17th, 2012

Randy Wigginton to keynote KansasFest 2013

The KansasFest committee today announced that Randy Wigginton, Apple employee #6, will keynote the 2013 edition of the annual Apple II convention in Kansas City.

KansasFest 2013, the Apple II convention scheduled for July 23–28 in Kansas City, Missouri, comes on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Disk ][ disk drive, Apple DOS, and Applesoft BASIC. To celebrate this anniversary, Randy Wigginton, Apple employee #6 and engineer who worked on all three of these innovations, will be the keynote speaker.

Visit the KansasFest web site to read the complete announcement.

December 16th, 2012

Author of “Elk Cloner” Apple II virus interviewed

“Elk Cloner,” largely believed to be the first computer virus released outside a lab environment, turned 30 this year and tech news website The Register took the opportunity to interview its author Rich Skrenta, who was just 15 at the time of its release in February, 1982.

The boot sector virus was written for Apple II systems, the dominant home computers of the time, and infected floppy discs. If an Apple II booted from an infected floppy disk, Elk Cloner became resident in the computer’s memory. Uninfected discs inserted into the same computer were given a dose of the malware just as soon as a user keyed in the command CATALOG for a list of files. Infected computers would display a short poem, also written by Skrenta, on every fiftieth boot from an infected disk:

Elk Cloner: The program with a personality
It will get on all your disks It will infiltrate your chips Yes it’s Cloner!
It will stick to you like glue It will modify ram too Send in the Cloner!

According to Skrenta, who wrote the program as a prank, “Elk Cloner created a rattling noise when the program started. If a disc was infected you could hear it. If you inserted an infected disc in an Apple II you can hear the head swoosh sound, an audible signature. It would infect a new disc if machine wasn’t rebooted. If an Apple II was rebooted every time, Elk Cloner wouldn’t have spread. But, given people computer habits, it spread like crazy.”

Wikipedia has a brief description of the virus here, and Skrenta maintains a page of information about Elk Cloner, including historical articles, an alt.hackers Usenet post from 1990, and source code for the program.

 

December 12th, 2012

Eamon Deluxe 5.0 Public Beta now open, “Stronghold of Kahr-Dur” released

According to the Eamon Adventurer’s Guild Online blog, the Eamon Deluxe 5.0 Public Beta has been released.  Additionally, the previously announced “Stronghold of Kahr-Dur” by Derek C. Jeter is available for the first time.  Find all the details and downloads here.

 

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