Virtual Apple II Updates Database to 1.25

Virtual_Apple_II

The Virtual Apple II website has updated their database to version 1.25.  The latest version contains dozens of new box blurbs and box covers as well as a number of new games including Daniele Liverani’s new game, Genius – A Rock Game. The Virtual Apple database is used by the ActiveGS App and other Apple II emulator apps to supply all the game information and disks to their apps.  To download the latest version of the app, click the update database button within your app.

For more information about this database, check out the Virtual Apple II website at: 

Second Section of Ben Heck’s Apple-1 Build Posted

Bonham-Apple-1

Ben Heckendorn has posted the second episode of his retro build of an Apple-1 clone.   This episode covers adding the keyboard and display of the data to the build.

For those of you who missed the first episode, you can catch it in an earlier posting here at:
http://www.callapple.org/hardware/ben-heck-building-an-apple-1-from-scratch/

The third episode is scheduled for next week and will complete the build with the case and other final adjustments to the build.

Episode 2:

Famed Apple Programmer Bob Bishop Passes Away

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According to reports, famed Apple programmer Bob Bishop passed away September 29th.   Bob was known for many early Apple II programs which highlighted the capabilities of the Apple II computer and was constantly pushing the boundaries.

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison receiving his PhD.  He went on to work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and his missions included working on Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon.

He published a number of titles for the Apple II including ROCKET PILOT, STAR WARS, SAUCER INVASION, and SPACE MAZE.  In 1978, he was invited to work at Apple by Steve Wozniak himself.  He joined Wozniak in the Apple R&D department which at the time consisted of just Bob and Woz.  After retiring from Apple in 1981, he went on to publish another Apple II game, Beware of The Money Munchers through Datasoft.

Bob was best known in the Apple world for Apple-Talker, the first program ever to create human speech on the Apple computer as well as for Apple-Vision, a demo program for the Apple II.  For us here at A.P.P.L.E., Bob was a prolific author who wrote more than a dozen articles for us over the years.

An interesting Look back at Apple Standards

Apple_Standards

Apple Computer Inc went through many versions of standards with their brand, products and product presentation over the years.  A recent Acquisition by Apple II Enthusiast Javier Rivera shows the standards which were followed when presenting the Apple brand from the early 1980’s in a much clearer light.

This 42 page book is a gold mine of information and shows the purest essence of the Apple II and the beginnings of the company we know today.

To download the PDF, check out the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/download/1555645538005008/Apple%20Brand.pdf

President Obama Proposes Strong FCC Net-Neutraility Laws

While we don’t often comment on politics, earlier today, president Obama laid forth a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission to enact the toughest Open Net-Neutrality laws possible.  His commentary that the Internet should remain unregulated with respect to control of content access is the first real proposal for such openness from his administration.

Obama’s detailed proposal came through an open letter to the people on Whitehouse.gov and is as follows:

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.

The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:

  • No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
  • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
  • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
  • No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.

The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.

So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.

Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation. If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.

The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks. In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and future generations to come.

While the FCC has come out in opposition of what the president proposed, the president’s words carry quite a bit of weight with those in the Net-Neutraility realm and the fact that over 4,000,000 signatures were garnered in the run-up to the announcement, shows that the president also has the backing of a good number of those Americans who use the Internet in their daily lives.

Ben Heck building an Apple-1 From Scratch

Bonham-Apple-1

Ben Heckendorn’s latest video series is now covering the building of an Apple-1 computer from scratch.  The Apple-1 was Steve Wozniak’s first commercially available computer and was sold initially by Steve Jobs through The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California.  Ben Heckendorn is famous for his hacks of vintage and modern gaming and computing platforms.  His videos over the past few years have come to represent the leading edge of hacks for these platforms.

The Apple-1 shown by Ben in his video is built on a relatively small board with significantly lower number of chips compared to an original Apple-1.  However, this small replica has 32K of RAM while the original had 4K.

For more on the Apple-1 Replica build by Ben Heckendorn, check out his Video at:

To check out more of Ben Heckendorn’s hacks and videos, check out the Ben Heck website at:
http://benheck.com/

French Touch Releases New 3D Demo on the Apple II

fond-FT

The programming group, French Touch, has released a new 3-Dimensional demo on the Apple II.  The Unlimited Bobs demo was programmed on a Standard 1 MHz Apple //e computer and is shown in the video below:

The demo will run in emulation on Applewin, JACE, and ActiveGS. For more information about the French Touch or Unlimited Bobs, check out the French Touch home page at :   http://www.ctrl-pomme-reset.fr/french-touch/

You can also download the disk image in Emulator format from the Open-Apple-Reset website at:
http://www.ctrl-pomme-reset.fr/wp-content/uploads/french_touch/BOBS.dsk

New game released for the Apple II — Genius

Genius-Apple2

A new Apple II game, Genius, has been released by Daniele Liverani.  The game was primarily written for performance with emulators but has been optimized to run on the original hardware as well. You can try the game out on the Virtual Apple II website at:

Genius is currently available for free download from:

The source code for the game has also been released and is available in an RTF format document at:

For a visual introduction to the game, check out the Youtube video below:

The author is asking for feedback on the program and for any reports of anomalies with the game play.  Reports can be submitted to:

Another Apple-1 Goes On The Auction Block

A fully operational Apple computer that Steve Jobs sold is seen in this undated handout picture courtesy of Christie's

REuters is reporting that an Aple-1 computer originally owned by Charles Ricketts is going on the auction block at Christies Auction House.  The Apple-1 is fully functional and comes complete with the cancelled check from the purchase in July 1976.  Estimated to go at about 600,000 USD, this particular Apple-1 has been owned by three people including Bruce Waldack and its current owner Luther Roberts.

While other auction houses have had better luck with selling Apple-1 computers, Christies has only been able to get 133,000 YSD from one in 2010 and another in 2012 did not sell and was sold to a private collector.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/03/us-auction-apple-idUSKBN0IN0ZX20141103

A.P.P.L.E. User Group Director Mike Pfaiffer Passes Away

mike

We learned today that one of our directors, Mike Pfaiffer, has passed away.   Michael was a programmer, editor of Call-A.P.P.L.E. and The Digital Civilization, as well as A.P.P.L.E. President.   He passed away at his home in Manitoba Canada.  Mike was a driving force behind the rejuvenation of A.P.P.L.E. in the early 2000’s and will be sorely missed by all of us.