April 4th, 2017

Open Apple #69 (March 2017) – Craig Peterson, KansasFest, Computer Show!

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Craig Peterson, who got involved with hardware and software development very early in the life of the Apple II. Craig integrated Apple II computers with a numerical control manufacturing system, producing G-code for the cutting machines in a factory. He was a pioneer in using the Apple II for what computers are actually good at- moving data around in an automated fashion and abstracting away sources of human error in a complex process.

Craig wrote technical articles for all the major Apple magazines, which led to him getting involved with Chinook. Craig wrote diagnostic and utility software for Chinook drives in the then exciting burgeoning new field of SCSI devices. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the need to precisely time SCSI drive interleavings prompted Craig to create a universal driver for the No Slot Clock.

KansasFest Early Registration is now open! Sign up now, because attendance is limited to 100 this year.

Meanwhile, listen as Quinn confirms that French people are from France, Mike spots the only Apple III in a hundred mile radius, and another boring Apple I auction happens. There’s double-hires, there’s outgoing preservationists, and there are lots of Australians. So many Australians.

A new episode of Computer Show! A new episode of Computer Show! A new episode of Computer Show! A new episode of Computer Show! A new episode of Computer Show! A new episode of Computer Show!

March 31st, 2017

KansasFest 2017 opens for registration

KansasFest 2017, the 29th annual Apple II convention, is now open for registration.  Antoine Vignau and Olivier Zardini, the French Brutal Deluxe Software programming team known for countless original Apple II programs and archiving efforts, will join us in Kansas City, Missouri from July 18 – 23 with a keynote presentation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apple II. Space is limited to 100 people, so register soon to reserve your spot.

Attendees are encouraged to share their knowledge by presenting their own hardware and software sessions related to the Apple II. All KansasFest sessions are presented by the attendees, who are known for unscheduled events and debuts, too. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at new software, preorder opportunities for new hardware, a hands-on workshop, a podcast recording session, The Tinies game tournaments, or an athletic round of Bite the Bag, there are experiences to be had and memories to be made at KansasFest that aren’t possible except in the company of surprising, brilliant, diehard Apple II fans.

Register by May 31 to guarantee a price of $385 for a double room or $455 for a single, which includes admission to all sessions as well as most meals. After that, prices rise. Official KansasFest shirts are extra and optional and must be ordered by June 18; registration for staying on-site closes July 1. To register, please visit the official registration form.

KansasFest invites any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends to attend the longest running annual Apple II conference. For photos, videos, schedules, and presentations from past year’s events or to sign up for the email list and for inquiries, please visit the event’s Web site.

March 28th, 2017

WOzFest PR#6 Announced for 29 April 2017

From the europlus blog:

I’m exceedingly pleased to announce that the next WOzFest, WOzFest PR#6, will be held on Saturday, April 29 2017, starting around midday Sydney time (UTC+10:00).

The theme of the day will be “Preservation”, with a special emphasis on grass-roots preservation efforts.

Four Skype video sessions are currently planned with enthusiasts from around the world who are known for their preservation efforts.

A book scanner is also planned to be on hand for a demonstration of non-destructive digitisation of bound publications.

Details on the announcement post, and updates will be posted under the europlus blog’s WOzFest tag.

March 18th, 2017

Apple-1 to be auctioned by Breker on May 20

On May 20, 2017, another Apple-1 will hit the auction block. MacRumors reports that it will include "the original manual and documentation, the receipt for the motherboard and cassette recorder, and even a record of telephone conversations with Steve Jobs and Wozniak." It appears to be Apple-1 #14, as detailed in Mike Willegal’s Apple-1 Registry.

This is not the first time an Apple-1 has been sold by German auction house Breker: they sold one in November 2012 for $640,000, and another in May 2013 for $671,400. Expect this one to fetch a similarly high price.

UPDATE (May 22, 2017): This Apple-1 sold at auction for only €110,000 ($130,000).

March 17th, 2017

Alien Downpour preorders now available

Michael Packard of Snacking On Software has announced the imminent availability of his new 8-bit shmup, Alien Downpour — "a fast-action arcade-style shooter". It is developed in assembly language and will run on any Apple II with 48K of RAM.

Alien Downpour will be available mid-April 2017 in disk image format. Additionally, a limited run of DOS 3.3 cassettes and 5.25" floppies, packaged in Ziploc bags, will be sold for $20 each, including shipping anywhere in the world. Preorders are being accepted via PayPal.

March 16th, 2017

Dagen Brock releases GSplus, buckshot & ksynthed

Dagen Brock, prolific software developer and host of the GS Programmer’s Home, recently produced a software hat trick of Apple II tools he’s developed.

GSplus is an open-source, cross-platform Apple IIGS emulator based on KEGS and GSPort. Despite still being in alpha, the latest build supports drag-and-dropping disk images onto the emulator to have them show up in the Finder desktop.

buckshot is an open-source, cross-platform image conversion utility. It takes modern image formats (PNG, JPEG, BMP, etc.) and converts them for use on the Apple II.

ksynthed is a small music editor and player library for Apple II, based on ksynth. The player library can be loaded into Applesoft BASIC, then CALLed to play songs (or notes).

Brock demonstrates all three tools in this YouTube video in which he uses GSplus, buckshot, and ksynthed to create an Apple II game called Applezini:

March 15th, 2017

Found internal Apple memos about Apple II copy protection

Ben Vandermeer, an Apple enthusiast in Seattle, was at a Goodwill thrift store when he discovered a stack of Apple’s internal memos from 1979 detailing "Software Security from Apples Friends and Enemies" (SSAFE), a form of digital-rights management (DRM) that Apple was developing. Writes Vandermeer:

This was a proposal to bring disk copy protection in-house to sell as a service to outside developers. Inter-office memos, meeting notes and progress reports all give a good idea of what a project lifecycle was like. Different schemes and levels of protection are considered, as well as implementation primarily on the Apple II+ and the upcoming SARA (The Apple ///) and Lisa computers. Randy Wigginton is featured prominently throughout, along with mentions of Woz and many other familiar names.

All 116 pages of memos have been scanned and made available in the Internet Archive.

March 14th, 2017

A glimpse at Nox Archaist

Mark Lemmert of 6502 Workshop recently blogged about the current development status of Nox Archaist, the upcoming 8-bit tile-based RPG, and what the game will be like when it launches later this year.

The post includes a discussion of the tone of the game, a preview of a few villains players can expect to encounter in the adventure and details on expected combat system mechanics. Some highlights:

  • The game engine is approximately 75% complete
  • Programming for the combat system is about 50% done
  • Players will be able to:
    • Place spell casters and archers behind fighters
    • Select a specific mob target for each player attack
    • Aim area of effect spells at large groups of mobs
    • Collaborate between thief/assassin and fighter types for increased critical hit chances
  • Nox Archaist will be a fairly dark game, featuring such foes as demon lords and death knights
  • Characters will be able to choose separate armor to protect their head, torso, feet, and hands
  • Dungeon graphics are being designed by Hollywood animation artists Bill Giggie and Robert Padovan
  • Gameplay will be balanced between combat and non-combat activities

For a more in-depth preview of this game, read the entire blog post.

March 8th, 2017

Oz KFest 2017 – August 30th – September 3rd

The next Australian multi-day retro computing gathering, Oz KFest, will be happening on Bribie Island near Brisbane, Australia, August 30 through September 3, 2017. Come join us down under for a few of days of retro inspiration, Aussie ingenuity and camaraderie!

The goal of the event is to provide a user group style environment to exchange ideas and discuss new developments in retro computing hardware, software, preservation, emulation and other related topics.

There will be a few attendees of past KansasFests and Oz KFests in 2009, 2013, and 2015 and we hope to imbibe the spirit of these events into Oz KFest once again.

Having grown in numbers of attendees over the previous 3 events, this year’s event will take place at a venue that provides onsite accommodation and catering which will further facilitate interaction between participants and provide an experience very similar to the well known and loved KansasFest.

The presentations during the weekend will come from the participants and therefore an invitation is extended for session proposals to be made via email to ozkfest@gmail.com

If you have an idea for a session that you’d like to present, please let us know so we can allocate a time slot for you. If you would like to learn something, let us know what that is and we will try to find a presenter for that topic.

Registration for the event is not yet open. However, now is the time to block out the dates in your calendar, arrange how to get there and plan your session topics. If you need help, let us know how we can help.

For event details, see http://ozkfest.net and for breaking updates follow @OzKFest on Twitter.

Reminder that the ‘Downunder Chat’ happens every Friday night from 9pm Australian EST in irc.a2central.com #a2.chat

March 4th, 2017

Open Apple #68 (February 2017) : Emulator Updates, EDD, Softalk #3

This month on Open Apple, Mike and Quinn sit down with each other and catch up on all the news they’ve been neglecting lately. We discuss the disappointing 8BitDo controller, get excited about remanufactured printer ribbons, and pretend to know anything about EDD. Follow along as we review Softalk volume 1, number 3. The ads are always the best part! Meanwhile, we manage to sneak in one more Kevin Savetz reference, and a Boo Atari in the same breath. That’s the Open Apple Way™. You won’t want to miss this month’s Apology to Call A.P.P.L.E segment. We’re going to need a bumper for that (and the Australians) soon.


Open Apple podcast

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