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

March 3rd, 2017

DarkSound by ByteBoosters

Alexander Krauss of ByteBoosters writes in to let us know that their Apple IIGS Stereo Sound Card and Digitizer with line-out is now available:

DarkSound by ByteBoosters. Take full potential of the IIGS Ensoniq sound chip by enabling Stereo output. Furthermore use the Audio Digitizer feature to sample sound and use them on your IIGS with virtually any IIGS digitizer software such as AudioZap.

Head on over to eBay to get yours now!


March 2nd, 2017

Brutal Deluxe to deliver KansasFest 2017 keynote

KansasFest 2017, the 29th annual Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 18 – 23 in Kansas City, Missouri. 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 with a keynote presentation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apple II.

Vignau and Zardini founded Brutal Deluxe Software in 1992 focusing on 16-bit software. The team created programs, such as the Convert 3200 graphics tool, and adapted games like Bille Art, The Tinies, Cogito, Blockade, and LemminGS. The team remains active and has since released numerous titles, including Cadius (disk image utility), Merlin 32 (cross-assembler), You, DustHead! (disk head cleaning utility), i’m fEDD up (disk archiving), MountIt (disk image tool), and Fishhead (file copier). They also created comprehensive archives of cassette tapes, French cracking and underground groups, machine serial numbers, and unique documentation.  This year, Brutal Deluxe published demonstrations and tools for playing quadraphonic and octaphonic sound on the Apple IIgs. A quarter-century of continuing Apple II innovations and personal perspectives on the European computing scene are sure to delight and inform KansasFest attendees.

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, and registration will open on March 31. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site.

Brutal Deluxe

(Warning: Picture from 1994. Products shown may vary from actual products.)

March 1st, 2017

Juiced.GS Volume 22, Issue 1 now available

Juiced.GS Volume 22, Issue 1 (Mar 2017)Volume 22, Issue 1 (Mar 2017) of Juiced.GS, the longest-running Apple II publication in print, has now shipped. This issue features a tutorial for telnetting to bulletin board systems from your Apple II; reviews of the AP40 wireless Bluetooth game controller and the Floppy Emu storage device; an interview with Joe Santulli, co-founder of the National Videogame Museum of Frisco, Texas; a behind-the-scenes look at ProRWTS, the filesystem controller by Peter Ferrie being used in the game Nox Archaist; and much, much more!

This is Juiced.GS‘s first quarterly issue of 2017, its twenty-second year in print. The complete 2016 volume is now available as a bundle. Subscriptions for 2017 are $19 each for United States customers, $24 for readers in Canada and Mexico, and $27 for international customers.

February 9th, 2017

T2A2 – The transputer is finally here!

Axel Muhr from Germany has released his T2A2 card, a transputer card for the Apple II. Read his announcement and get yours soon!

 

Hey a2central gang,

I’d just like to send you a quick heads-up, that my T2A2 (“Transputer to Apple II”) interface finally became a real PCB – 6 years after you ran a news-line about the prototype (http://a2central.com/2683/t2a2-apple-ii-transputer-interface/). Well sometimes it just takes a tad bit longer :-D

http://www.geekdot.com/t2a2-for-everyone/

I ran a first initial batch of 20 as I have no idea how big (or small) the interest is, as this is really something, uhm, ‘special’ ;-)

T2A2 Transputer

February 2nd, 2017

Open Apple #67 (January 2017) : Year End Roundtable!

This month on Open Apple, we round out the year with our annual tradition of sitting around a virtual table with some friends of the show, discussing whatever comes to mind. Mike and Quinn are joined by Jeremy Barr-Hyde, Jorma Honkanen, Kate Szkotnicki & Chris Torrence.

We have a really fun mix of Apple II fans from all walks of life and all parts of the world this month. Sit down with us as we discuss our history with the machines and how they fit into our lives today. Can retrocomputers be teaching tools for kids today? Can an Apple II serve a practical role in modern life? What was your unicorn accessory or software package back in the day? How do we get new faces to KansasFest? We chat about all this and more, so don’t miss it!

January 30th, 2017

Sweet16 status update

Eric Shepherd, author of the Sweet16 emulator for the Mac, posted an announcement today about the status and future plans for Sweet16. He starts with a comforting “this isn’t a death announcement!”, then continues:

With that out of the way, I know it’s been a while since the last update to Sweet16, and that it is in need of one. Here’s what’s going on right now.

First, my health has been troublesome for the last several years, as many of you know, with some issues gradually worsening even while others are being controlled through treatment. This has been a drain on my time, and the treatments have tended to leave me with little energy for work on anything non-essential, so I focus on my day job and my family the best I can.

Second, there are technical issues at play. I have started work on a major update to Sweet16 which involves rewriting parts of the code from the old Carbon API into the modern Cocoa one, since Carbon is deprecated and pieces of it are increasingly unreliable. The code as it stands is not a shippable product because of its partially-converted status.

I have become aware of certain issues with the currently available version of Sweet16 (3.0.3) that make it hard to use in certain cases. I am going to attempt to get things situated so I can do an update to fix at least some of these problems sometime before the June solstice.

The sticking point there is that the version of Xcode I used to last work on Sweet16 doesn’t run on the version of macOS I run anymore, and the code won’t build on the current Xcode. So I have decided to set up a virtual environment to use for future work on older versions of Sweet16 so that I can get these updates done.

I’m aware of a few issues I will try to address in this winter/spring (Northern Hemisphere) update.

The latest discovery: I’d gotten some reports of the command and option keys not working right, but hadn’t been able to reproduce it until I realized that this is happening only in software checking them by reading the joystick button flags. That led me straight to the correct solution: the code handling this is looking for a game controller to be present; if one is, then that controller is checked. The keyboard is only checked if there are no game controllers (joysticks or gamepads) connected. I will update the code to check both regardless and report the button down if EITHER or both are down.

I will try to resolve issues related to game controllers not working reliably, but I make no promises. The libraries for this changed over the years and I may not be able to fix this until I resume work on Sweet16 4.0.

I’ll also make some changes to handling of disk images to allow any .po image to be created and used instead of only allowing them for floppy-sized disks. When this code was first written, .po was strictly used for floppy disk images, but that’s changed over time and Sweet16 didn’t keep up with that change (mostly because I didn’t realize it had happened until long after it had — oops!).

There are a few other issues that I’ll look at. The goal is to go after stuff that’s either extremely critical or easy to fix only, just to ensure I get something out. The more I try to put into this update, the more likely it is to get delayed by my health issues.

I’m sorry that work on Sweet16 has been so slow. I have big plans and am pushing hard to get my health situation on track but it’s difficult. I will get this smaller update out, though, no matter what it takes, as soon as humanly possible.

Thanks for your support, and Apple II forever!

Hopefully he’s able to make this happen. He’s missed some planned and hoped-for release dates in the past due to his health, but let’s all hope for the best, and that he is also able to get back to work on Sweet16 4 as soon as possible!

January 13th, 2017

A 65816 in a PAL //e

a2heaven.com has just revealed one of their projects: a microprocessor replacement for the PAL Apple //e. Switch from your current 8-bit 65(c)02 to the 16-bit 65816 one. You are still running at 1 MHz and access 64 KiB of RAM — but is that the first step before a modern accelerator interface card similar to the one a2heaven.com has recently announced for the Apple //c?

 

65816 in a PAL //e

January 11th, 2017

Portal for the Apple II – A Cake-acquisition Simulator

Vince Weaver has written an Applesoft rendition of Portal for the Apple II.

“While attempting to travel to the future to get a copy of Portal 3. I accidentally traveled to alternate-1987 and obtained a copy of Portal 1 for the Apple II!”, Weaver says.

“In actuality I originally just planned to do the end credits. But the Apple II high-res mode has the perfect Aperture Science orange and blue colors, and one thing led to another… ”

Of course this project is just for fun and is in no way endorsed by Valve, etc.

Check out the Kerbal Space Program port by Vince as well!

January 5th, 2017

Brutal Deluxe Software announces i’m fEDD up v2.2

Brutal Deluxe Software announces the maintenance release of i’m fEDD up, their copy/preservation utility program. Now at version 2.2, the program can export 5.25″ disk bitstreams in a .FDI file. If you own an Apple IIgs, the copy process runs in a single pass. A faster copy means more chance to reliably preserve track sync’ed titles. For easier convenience, the prefix command displays all files and is able to delete unlocked binary files to make room on your destination volume.

 

Download the latest version at http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/apple2/imfEDDup/

Antoine Vignau & Olivier Zardini

Brutal Deluxe Software

http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/

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