April 28th, 2017

40th Anniversary Reissue of The New Apple II User’s Guide Announced

The Apple II computer celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer and to celebrate, The New Apple II User’s Guide by David Finnigan is now reissued under new 40th anniversary covers.

The New Apple II User’s Guide with 40th Anniversary cover is available to order from Amazon.com for $25. This special 40th anniversary cover will only be available through the end of 2017. An ebook edition is also available for sale directly from the author. Visit the companion web site for more information.

The book has received praise and accolades from dozens in the Apple II community, including Steven Weyhrich, author of Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life and Times of the Apple II Computer; Chris Torrence, editor of Assembly Lines: The Complete Book; Eric Shepherd, well-known Apple II programmer and shareware author; and Open Apple, the Apple II podcast.

This book covers all models of Apple II, and contains everything that the new user needs to know to get started using and programming his Apple. Learn how to setup and start using the Apple, then learn how to program in BASIC. Further chapters cover graphics and sound, the disk system, networking, printing, and much more. This book is completely up-to-date and covers all recent advancements and developments in the Apple II world.

April 21st, 2017

Nox Archaist combat module completed

6502 Workshop announces a major milestone in the development of Nox Archaist, their 8-bit, tile-based RPG: the combat module has been completed, as showcased via the short narrative video Cow-A-Pult (Part 1) using the Nox Archaist engine.

In the previous episode, the wizard Ojithar warned that the nearby ruins contain a great evil. Of course, that’s where the party is headed today, as there’s bound to be treasure!

This video demonstrates several new game features:

  • Combat scenarios
  • Spellcasting special effects
  • New tile graphic animations
  • NPCs outside of towns

Look for more details about Nox Archaist’s combat in the June 2017 issue of Juiced.GS prior to the game’s release later this year.

April 18th, 2017

Open Apple #70 (April 2017) – 6502 Workshop, 1st-Person Lo-Res, Softalk #4

This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Mark Lemmert, co-founder of 6502 Workshop. Him and his partners (Mike Reimer, Bill Giggie, Robert Padovan, Gordon Mackay, and Galactagog) have been building Nox Archaist, a brand new story-driven tile-based role-playing game in the classical Ultima style. They’re pushing the hardware as far as they can with this new engine, working to break new ground in scope, story, animation, sound, and music. Early builds look great, and we’re really excited to see more!

Mark’s journey with the Apple II parallels a lot of us. The machine sparked an interest in programming, and a fascination with RPGs and tile engines in particular. Nox Archaist is the fulfillment of that childhood dream to build such a game from scratch. Mark shares his war stories (that many of us can relate to) of strewing our childhood computers with half-baked game engines that were doomed from the start. As he and his team are proving, it’s never too late to revive and achieve that dream.

KansasFest 2017 registration is now open! Early bird rates in effect as of this posting, so don’t wait. Attendance is limited to 100 this year. Sign up now! Mark will be there and likely demonstrating Nox Archaist, so you won’t want to miss that.

Meanwhile, Mike and Quinn yammer on about new hardware, new old games, old new games, and of course Woz. Also back this month is the controversial Softalk segment. Read along with us in issue #4!

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.

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