February 21st, 2014

Margot Comstock to deliver keynote speech at KansasFest 2014

comstockKansasFest 2014, the Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 22 –27 in Kansas City, Missouri. Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II. At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use. Later, Softalk Publishing produced magazines for the emerging Macintosh and IBM markets, ST.Mac and Softalk for the IBM Personal Computer. Softline, a game magazine begun by Ken William’s OnLine Systems and later renamed to ST.Game, was Softalk Publishing’s second longest-lived magazine. Softalk Books published several books by the magazine’s columnists and a Mac book by Doug Clapp.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication. In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues. The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2014. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/.

February 17th, 2014


KFest2014

 

February 15th, 2014

Krüe releases stitch, a 4 channel 1-bit music tracker for the Apple II


stitch

Get it here.

February 5th, 2014

Open Apple #35 (Feb 2014): Sean Fahey, Uthernet, Silvern Castle, and the Mac’s 30th

Sean FaheyThis month on Open Apple, the Apple II community’s only monthly podcast, Mike and Ken chat with Sean Fahey, proprietor of A2Central.com and KansasFest committee member. Sean and James Littlejohn distribute a plethora of Apple II hardware and software every year to KansasFest attendees, and next year’s haul will be bigger than ever — we have the details why. Glenn Jones is working on a new Uthernet card, and we can’t wait to see what new software it makes possible. The Mac turned thirty years old last month, and we reminisce about the first time we added a non-Apple II Apple to our inventory. Madden NFL, the football game that got its start on the Apple II, is the subject of both preservation and litigation — but we’d rather be playing Silvern Castle.

Find the show at the Open Apple Web site or in the iTunes and Zune podcast directories.

January 30th, 2014

G. George Ostrom needs an Apple II

George Ostrom, noted columnist for the Columbia Falls, Montana Hungry Horse News needs an Apple II to replace his (currently malfunctioning) machine so he can look up archived data and stories for his column. If anyone in the northwest USA region can help him out, please contact him. He lives in Kalispell, MT. You can reach him via feedback to his column, or through the paper.

January 30th, 2014

Uthernet II progress report

Glenn Jones reports that he and Oliver Schmidt are working on the next revision of the highly successful Uthernet card. The appropriately named ‘Uthernet II’ will be based on the Wiznet W5100 chip, which will require a new packet driver and support software. Key developers Oliver Schmidt (Contiki driver), Jonno Downes (IP65 W5100 support), David Schmidt (ADTPro) and Ewen Wannop (Marinneti/Spectrum) are reported to have already added or promised support for the new card. Alpha/Beta boards are anticipated to be sent out to a few testers sometime in February.


UthernetII-300x170

Are you interested in getting your hands on a new Uthernet II card when they start shipping? Send Glenn an e-mail and get on the waiting list!

January 28th, 2014

Mike Willegal to lead ‘BYO SwyftCard’ workshop at VCF East 9.1

EDIT: Mike wrote in to clarify that he’s custom making a reproduction of the SwyftCard and that it won’t be based on his SuperProto hack. Given Mike’s eye for detail, it’s going to be every bit as good as the real thing.

Good news for SwyftCard enthusiasts, Mike Willegal has implemented the SwyftCard using his SuperProto board. In addition, he will be offering a workshop to build a reproduction SwyftCard during VCF East 9.1, April 4th-6th at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey.

The SwyftCard is the brainchild of Jef Raskin, who started the Macintosh project while at Apple. They’re relatively hard to find and some enthusiasts consider them collectible, along with it’s successor the Canon Cat. Mike has a nice write-up of the SwyftCard here.

January 27th, 2014

Brian Picchi releases Retro Fever

Brian Picchi (and friend Brandon Bogle) have released a new game for the Apple II series, Retro Fever. The game’s premise should be a familiar one – you’re an Apple II collector trying to obtain more items for your collection while overcoming obstacles and baddies.

Brian’s announcement is attached.

Introducing a new hi-res arcade game for your favorite old school computer. For this game I teamed up with programmer and friend Brandon Bogle of retroswitch.com (some of you may know him as the creator of the Flyer Internet Modem for the 8-bit Commodore line).

In the game you play as an Apple II enthusiast trying to add to their collection. Objectives include collecting the computers from a recycling center, fixing them in a repair shop, and protecting them from the yellowing effects of the sun! Standing in your way is an evil businessman who only wants the computers to resell on ebay for inflated prices. You’ll also need to avoid reckless drivers, overgrown lab rats, and your angry wife who wants you to sell your “junk”. This game has it all!

The disk image is 100% free so please try it out (and report any bugs!), but I’m also making a physical version available for purchase that includes the 5.25″ disk, a quality manual, and a genuine zip lock baggy. You can obtain it here: http://tanrunomad.com/official-games/

Game play video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsnV1BGMSfY

Retro Fever will run on any Apple II with 64k memory. Keyboard and Joystick both supported. Enjoy!

January 24th, 2014

News from UltimateApple2

Anthony Martino dropped us an update on their re-opening and future plans.

What is up with the Apple2Pi…..

It’s been some time since any news about our new card, the Apple2Pi (or A2Pi for short) for your beloved Apple2 has been announced. We wanted to thank everyone for their support and encouragement. We are happy to announce that we have due to be delivered to the UltimateApple2.com office in New York on or around February 15th, 2014 the final production boards.

We originally wanted to launch in January, but the reason for our delay is two part. One is that we have made a few slight changes on our proto boards here and wanted to be sure that all of these improvements were successful and passing with flying colors! The second part for the delay outside of our regular lives as this isn’t our full time jobs is that China has their new year celebrations this week and next. This shutdown effects any of our orders and are forced to wait until they reopen and resume their daily regular working activities.

So that being said, if they do arrive on our office doorstep, we will immediately test our items that we received. If everything is perfect which is expect to be the case since every design since we started this project has been working fine, we can expect to open the “2store” immediately which should be around February 16th, 2014. Set your calendar reminders!! If our order is processed quicker than they projected for us to receive, then expect this date to be moved up. If we can get these back any sooner and release them any sooner, we will.

Some other re-release announcements….

On the same day as the A2Pi gets released, we will once again open up ordering for two other items that we had for sale a few years back. One will be the EDD4+ card and the other will be the DB19 crimp connectors. These are VERY limited supply so act fast!

Collaboration projects for 2014….

As for some collaboration work with our trusted partner company ReactiveMicro, we are expecting them to get up and running sometime soon. As of now, we are not totally sure when, but we do expect them to be back online in some way, shape, or form and offering some of those very hard to find items. There has been some discussions as how this will launch and it is finally starting to take shape. Stay tuned to both websites and most importantly here at A2Central for more information.

Looking ahead for the rest of 2014…..

As we mentioned ReactiveMicro already, even though their online store is not open at this time, this doesn’t mean that they are not actively working behind the scenes. We are working closely with them to bring to market two great items this year. We would hate to give a time table, but, if things progress the way they have been progressing, expect to see two great projects released we hope around Kfest2014…again, if everything stays on track…we are keeping our fingers crossed!

Will we attend Kfest 2014…..

We are always hopeful that we will be able to attend Kfest. It is always a great escape from the East Coast during some of the hottest days in the summer! This year, if we can attend, we already said that we would try to host a hands-on workshop. We haven’t worked out these details yet as we are not even 100% sure that we can attend. We will announce on UltimateApple2.com once we have a better idea about our availability.

January 24th, 2014

Happy 30th Birthday Macintosh


The Apple II is still better than you’ll ever be.

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