Brutal Deluxe Software Releases CADIUS

Brutal Deluxe Software has released a new command line too for managing Apple ][ Disk image files in Windows.  According to the press release from Antoine Vignau of Brutal Deluxe Software, ”

Brutal Deluxe Software is proud to announce the release of CADIUS, a command-line tool for Windows to manage Apple II image disk files (.2mg, .po, .hdv).

The first purpose of Cadius is to write the output of the 65c816 Assembler directly into an Apple IIgs disk image (usually a .2mg) in order to quickly test the result, avoiding many keyboard & mouse manipulations.  Cadius may also manage Source Code files, by setting/cleaning the High Bit and formatting the Source Code to make it easy to read and edit in the Windows world.

Cadius is part of Brutal Deluxe’s Cross Developpement Tools Project, a full set of utilities available on Windows (and other) platforms to enable the creation of new Apple IIgs software : 65c816 Assembler, 65c816 Desassembler, 65c816 Simulator, Graphic File Converter, Resource Catcher…

You can download CADIUS from Brutal Deluxe Software’s website at:

http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/crossdevtools/cadius/

Google Chrome Browser Now Available for iPhone and iPad

Google, Inc announced today that it has developed an iPhone and iPad compatible version of its popular Chrome web browser. The browser, which is available now in the App Store, offers many of the same features from the desktop version of Chrome, including synchronization across devices of bookmarks and tabs, as well as private “incognito” browsing.

Google Chrome currently has over 310 million active users. The announcement was made on the second day of the Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

The Editor Bytes Back –Is Passbook on iOS 6 a Good Idea or Dangerous

The introduction of Passbook in iOS 6 this month was interesting in that it brought Apple up to the level that many companies have already been at with their offerings.  While this introduction was good in one respect, it also left me once again pondering what this means for the world of personal information security.  It has a number of us actually pondering what Apple is thinking about other than ease of use.

Passbook gives the user a really easy way to keep track of airplane tickets, prepaid cards, rewards memberships and other items of personal data.   It is a forward thinking method of payments and finally implements many of the realities of the world around us.   That means, in and out of stores within  a matter of minutes and with the least amount of hassle, making our shopping and customer experience a much better one over all.

Even though the concept is streamlining the shopping experience, the application idea of Passbook is not new and actually has been used in Japan for a number of years with Japan Railways View cards being part of the NTT Docomo Cell Phones.   Just swipe the phone at the train entrances or at stores where the card is accepted and the funds are automatically deducted from your card via the cellular phone.   Simple, easy to use but also a major pain if you happen to lose your phone or have it stolen.  While the later issue is not so prevalent in Japan, it is still an issue even here.  Unfortunately, theft has been a problem since the introduction of the iPhone and the iPad is that many elements of the criminal world have targeted these items as must have.  This is especially prevalent in major metropolitan areas where gangs of tech toy thieves sole purpose is in stealing the devices and being what they are, they have been easy to fence.

We as technophiles have contributed to this surge in crime when  put our hard earned money into owning the latest and the greatest of the devices, nearly as soon as Apple introduces them.  Just as a new device is released to the public, thieves begin targeting the devices.  Even with the new finder apps being installed and activated, many of these devices are never recovered.  Apple has been keen to make strides in the security department for many years with the Find my iPhone app and other means of tracking our prized possessions.   While these apps do help, Apples policy of not questioning when a phone is turned in for a new one or asking for ID makes the recovery of stolen phones even less likely and it makes the thieves ill gotten gains nearly permanent and untraceable.

Now with the introduction of Passbook, there is  one more reason out there for thieves to target these devices.  Now users will be loading their iPhones and iPads with the details that so many of us work so hard to protect.  Our credit cards, our Starbucks cards and many other monetary devices will be in the iPhone ready for the thieves to use.   This fact alone will make the iPhone even a bigger target.

Apple must change their policy and start requiring ID for exchanges.  Especially if people are putting their personal monetary information into the devices.   Phones must be attached to an ID in order to not only protect the user but also to protect Apple.

However, that being said, Apple cannot be the brains for every iPhone user there is.  iCloud is a  nice feature as is Find my iPhone, but the things we carry in our phones is what we must think about.   We suggest that everyone use Find my iPhone and make sure it is turned on.  We also recommend that users add a personal pass code to their phone.These two security measures alone will help with securing your data but obviously it will not do everything.

Entering personal data into a phone requires some though on the part of the individual users.  Users certainly do not want to put their debit card or credit card along with the PINs into the phone and even when you do add cards such as Starbucks, you should make the amount of funds attached to the cards limited in funds.  Personally, I usually limit the content of said cards to 20-30 USD when I do use them in the real world so in the digital world, this policy should not change.  Users must be smart in using not only their phones, their data but also in what information they enter into Passbook.

Apple ][ Scans Makes Guide to your Apple III Available

Apple ][ Scans has completed scanning the entire Obsorne / McGraw Hill Guide to Your Apple /// available on their website. According to Apple ][ Scans Curator, Mike Maginnis, the original scan had “the first two chapters of this book and made it available online.  It had some great notes from Dave Ottalini inserted in the PDF, but for whatever reason, it wasn’t the whole thing.  This new scan is the complete book and is higher quality than the first one, but doesn’t contain Dave’s excellent notes, so don’t delete that other PDF.”

The guide covers many aspects of using the Apple /// computer and is a good place to start if you are trying to use an Apple /// emulation package.  The entire book has been completely re-scanned and is now available in PDF format from the site at:

http://www.apple2scans.net/apple-iii/the-osbornemcgraw-hill-guide-to-your-apple/

JACE Apple II Emulator Updated

Brendan Robert has updated the Java Apple Computer Emulator, also known as JACE.   JACE is a free ware emulator which is Java 6 based and intended to be executable on multiple platforms.  In the latest update, Bendan has announced the following changes and fixes:

+Prince of Persia cheat module is included, but not active by default.  Enable from configuration menu (F4)
+Obligatory cheats such as infinite health, start with sword
+Crazy insane cheats using mouse such as “click to teleport” or “click to open gates” or “click to kill enemies” also work.
+Should work with any version of PoP because I used Mechner’s code to write it.  (THANKS JORDAN!!!!)

+Joystick support for keyboard arrow keys added, also with optional “hog” mode which means the arrow keys are hogged by the joystick and not passed to the emulator as keystrokes.  This makes games like Prince of Persia play extremely well!

+Fixed bug causing lo-res graphics mode to show on boot instead of text mode.

+Prodos-ordered (.po) disks now work for Disk ][ Controller (actually, they also work for mass-storage as well for some reason)  Thanks to the KEGS team!

+Extensive command line options now added.  See “Config” section for details. This enables joystick “0″, puts a disk controller in slot 6 and inserts a disk: -joy0.enabled -computer.s6card disk -s6.d1 /some/disk.dsk

+20% more efficient and less glitchy audio.

+Only partial support for Mockingboard, not complete yet unfortunately (but hopefully one day…)

+Passes all ram, rom and hardware diagnostics as if it were a real machine.

You can download the latest version of the JACE Emulator from the website at:

https://sites.google.com/site/brendanrobert/projects/jace

R&D Automation Makes 500 Units of the CFFA 3000 Available

Rich Dreher announced the availability of 500 more units of his popular Apple II card, the CFFA 3000.  The CFFA 3000 allows Apple II and /// series users to store programs on  compact flash and USB thumb drive, making the 8 bit Apples a seriously fast machine.  Programs and hard disk images can be easily transferred from PC to Apple II / III via the CF and USB thumb drives and the cards, bringing these old machines into the 21st century.

The initial run of the CFFA 3000 cards sold out in a matter of three days.  For more information, go to the CFFA Project website at:

http://dreher.net/?s=projects/CFforAppleII&c=projects/CFforAppleII/main.php

Google to Close Dedicated Mac Blog

Google has had a dedicated Mac Blog for the past five years  run by Scott Knaster, a programmer and writer since 1980.   While many places are ramping up their Mac based offerings, Google seems to be stepping off the platform in favor of pushing their own Chrome platform.  Scott announced the end of life for the Google Mac Blog in the latest posting to the blog.

Scott’s final post on the Google Mac Blog states that “Our Mac and iOS support has now become so mainstream that we realized we just don’t need to keep Mac news on its own blog, so we won’t be posting here any longer.

The end of life message for the blog was also the first posting to the Google Mac blog in nearly 9 months, making it almost a foregone conclusion that something was up.

Update to Release of What’s Where in the Apple

This past week, we mentioned (http://www.callapple.org/2012/06/20/whats-where-in-the-apple-ii-is-returning/) the forthcoming re-release of William F. Luebbert’s popular Apple ][ book, What's Where in the Apple in eBook format.   Today we have further news and more accurate pricing schedules based on information we received from the publisher, Robert Tripp:

1.  The price is going to be $19.95 but people who "pre-order" (as simple as pressing the "pre-order" button on the web site that sends us an e-mail) can get the book for $15.00.  They will received an e-mail when the book is released and have ten days to complete the purchase through PayPal.  No money until the book is released.

2.  We have added a short-cut to the web site:  www.eWWA.us  where it stands for Electronic WWA.  The web site now has Chapter 1 of the Guide, Page 2 of the Atlas and Page 3 of the Gazetteer as samples plus Luebbert's original eight-page article from the August 1979 issue of Micro -- The 6502 Journal has been converted and posted on the site. (Note:  I have not fully proofread it yet so it may have some minor errors -- to be corrected.)

3.  The book will be published as an Adobe PDF that should be readable on every computer.  The Adobe Reader supports a lot of useful functions such as highlighting, printing and searching.

Of course, reproducing a work which is more than 30 years old and has no original files that are available for conversion presents the reality that one must essentially start over on a project such as WWA.  It is not an easy process even to merely scan the book and have it look good.   This scanning process also is not enough for today's discerning customer who wants a quality book for their eReader with complete searchable text and easy to read, clear pages.

The production generally must be thorough, inclusive of all items from the original and textually correct.  This desire is the thing which drives the project in the manner with which it has been approached.  Robert talks about this process and  what went into the production of the new ebook in another email, saying "

The "production  process" is a bit messy.  It starts with me scanning in all of the pages from the Blue Edition which is spiral bound and opens flat without destroying pages.  These are then uploaded my DropBox where they are picked up by a company in India that specializes in text conversion.  They to the optical character recognition -- which is fairly easy -- but also do the quite difficult proofreading to find OCR errors and to make sure that the electronic text matches the originals from the scanned jpegs.

That is not too difficult for the straight text portions of the 150 page Guide, but is a real challenge for the Atlas and Gazetteer.  Those sections were not actually done as spreadsheets in the original, but rather tables that used special symbols to delineate the fields:  (1234~5678) for decimal location, [name] for names, \PB\ for type.  These all must be removed.  Also, the type used was intended to mimic a line printer and is not the best thing for OCR.  A lot of mistakes occur such as ‘O’ for ’0′, ‘S’ for ‘$’, several different substitutions for the ‘~’ used to separate numbers, etc.  After errors are corrected, things need to be moved into columns in an Excel spreadsheet.  After all of that, there is more proofreading.

The final major task is that the figures and tables in the Guide were much too small and difficult to read in the printed copies.  These do not OCR well.  We have taken to enlarging the .jpg files before the OCR and that helps some, but it would almost be easier to retype them.  Once the figures and tables are done and carefully checked, we need to put everything back together and then generate PDFs.

According to Robert, the plan is to release the new eBook version of WWA on or before 1 September 2012.  For more information about this product, be sure and check out the What’s Where in the Apple website at:

http://www.ewwa.us or http://www.whatswhereintheapple.com

Starter Kit Simplifies Apple IIgs Emulator Use

Well-known Apple IIgs programmer Ewen Wannop released a starter kit for the popular Sweet16 emulator which runs on Mac OS X and emulates the Apple IIgs computer. This kit simplifies the process of using the emulated Apple IIgs to access the Internet, including email, Usenet newsgroups, and FTP sites.

The starter kit includes the latest versions of Wannop’s Apple IIgs Internet programs, SAM2, SNAP, and SAFE2.

The starter kit is available from the following URL: http://www.wannop.info/speccie/

Proof of Conecpt for new Apple iTunes Vulnerability

If you haven’t updated your iTunes to the latest version yet, you might want to think about doing it relatively soon.   A new proof of concept shows that a malicious playlist could execute any code it wants on your Mac.  At this point, the vulnerability is only a proof of concept and no real world application of the issue has been seen yet.  For more on the vulnerability, you can check out SC Magazine posting on the topic:

http://www.scmagazine.com/itunes-vulnerability-may-enable-remote-code-execution/article/246207/

The latest version of iTunes released this past week addresses the issue.   You can update iTunes by going to the Software Update option under the Apple menu or by downloading it directly from the Apple support page at:

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1426