Software

Lode Runner Creator Douglas E. Smith Has Passed Away

screenshot_0_Lode Runner (alt) (Disk 1 of 2)_0

The developer of one of the most popular platform games of the early 1980’s has passed away.  Lode Runner was an overnight success for Douglas E. Smith and had heavy competition from several publishers after he submitted the game for evaluation.   The game originally was developed on the Apple II and became so popular that it has appeared on many of the later gamin platforms.

screenshot_0_Lode Runner (alt) (Disk 1 of 2)_1

His latest incarnations of the Lode Runner game were being published through Tozai Games.

Nibble Magazine releases complete 12 years of Apple II Programs on disk

nibble26

Mike Harvey has announced through his website, the immediate availability of all of the programs from the full run of Nibble Magazine.   Apple II hobbyist Stavros Karatsoidis has spent the better part of 3.5 years typing all of the programs from the magazines into an iPad.  The result is more than 1200 programs on a total of 69 floppy disks.  The complete disk collection is downloadable for free from the Nibble Magazine Disks page at:

http://www.nibblemagazine.com/nibble_disks.htm

A complete program index is also available from the Nibble Magazine website at:

http://www.nibblemagazine.com/new_page_2.htm

ADTPro 2.0.0 Released

ADTPro

ADTPro, the vintage apple disk imaging software, has been updated to version 2.0.0.  ADTPro allows users to image floppies from Apple II and Apple III series computers and allows boot strapping of machines directly from a disk image over bare wire.  The software handles a number of emulator image formats and supports many of the newer hardware items produced for the Apple II and Apple II series computers.

New features in 2.0.0 included as specified in posting by David Schmidt on CSA2:

New protocol (code-named “Wide”) that makes transport more reliable  and significantly faster with tunable payload lengths
[Client] Arrow-and-Return interface for choosing a file to receive
[Client] Arrow-and-Return interface for the main menu
[Client] Directory listing allows for wildcard filtering of files, paging forward and backward
[SOS Client] Slow driver-based screen I/O subsystem replaced with custom code, significantly speeding up display
Separated ProDOS and SOS boot disks for ADTPro client; VDRIVE boot disk remains common to both

Bug fixes included in this version:
When the server decides to abort, the new protocol will not react  to the “spray of commands” when the client (re-)sends data that isn’t supposed to be commands
[SOS Client] Keyboard interaction works correctly
[SOS Client, SOS VSDrive] Changing serial connected-ness to the Apple /// no longer causes fatal SOS $02 errors
[SOS Client] Bare-metal bootstrap more reliable with timeout logic borrowed from Speediboot and made prettier with a logo and better display management
[Client] Hitting the escape key on the configuration screen truly aborts changes; this prevents DHCP from requesting a new IP address, for example
[Build] Re-architected ‘Ant’ build system to be completely dependency-driven; allows complete granularity of build target

For more information about ADTPro, including usage and setup videos and instructions, check out the ADTPro website at :

http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/index.html

Skype group video calls now free

Skype

Skype

Posted on the Skype blog is the announcement that group video chats are now free.

The blog goes on to say, “For the last few years, we’ve offered group video calling to Premium users on Windows desktop and Mac and more recently Xbox One. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re making group video calling free – for all users on these platforms. And, in the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost.”

Up to 10 simultaneous video exchanges are allowed on the Windows and Mac versions of Skype. Premium Skype accounts cost $5 per day or $9 per month.

Karelia Buys Purchases Potion Factory

Potion Factory, Publishers of software Mac based hits such as The Hit List and Tangerine has been acquired by the company which make Sandvox, the web production software for the Mac.

Karilia-Potion-Feactory

BMP2SHR Version 2.0 – Convert BMP’s to SHR and VOC files and more

Bill Buckels, curator of the Aztec C Museum has released a new image comverter for the Apple IIgs.  According to the announcment on CSA2, “BMP2SHR is a command line utility to convert BMP files to Apple IIgs SHR Files. Please see the User’s Manual and the Tutorial for information on using BMP2SHR.

If you have BMP2SHR Version 1.0 upgrading to Version 2.0 is well worth the effort. If you want to learn more about the SHR (Super Hi-Res) display on the Apple IIgs or on the Apple II VOC (Video Overlay Card) or you want to work with either, downloading BMP2SHR is likely worth the effort as well, especially for Windows Users.

The BMP2SHR utility is provided with source code and 3 flavors of executable program(s):

B2S16.EXE – MS-DOS Executable

Built under Large Model 16 bit Microsoft C (MSC) Version 8.00c Note: Run in an MS-DOS emulator like DOSBox if you can’t run it raw.

B2S32.EXE (bloatware) – Win32 cmd

Built under Visual Studio 2005 Microsoft (R) 32-bit C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 14.00 for 80×86

B2S.EXE – Win32 cmd

Built under MinGW 5.1.4 (gcc). This EXE was used for most of the testing. This builds properly under MinGW’s gcc GNU c compiler also widely used in
Linux.

Build environments and source code are provided with all the above.

SubDirectories:

These have changed for BMP2SHR Version 2.0.

bmp – I no longer provide all the BMPs that I have used to prepare the Demos and Documentation. A small number have been placed in this sub-directory to keep from cluttering-up the main directory. Serious users of BMP2SHR are unlikely to want my BMPs anyway so I see no point in making this distribution any larger than it already is for the sake of providing the source of the graphics content for the likes of demos and documentation, since BMP2SHR’s finished output is already included with the demos and docs.

bmp2shr – Source code and build environments for BMP2SHR’s various target executables distributed in the main directory and noted above. See the documentation also noted above for more details on what you can do with these. See the source code and source code comments, etc. to find-out more about how the implementation works. This will likely only be of interest to programmers.

code – This sub-directory contains the Aztec C65 Version 3.2b source code and AppleX build environment for some of the Apple II programs included on the demo disks. In fact the main B2S directory is designed to be “unzipped” below the AppleX\PROGRAMS directory on your own AppleX installation. This will provide you with the ability to compile the AztecC65 programs included.

disks – Disk Images of demos etc. in 2mg format. Note that I have provided copies of 4 Versions of an 8 bit SHR viewer by Ron Mercer called SHRView as well as my own demo viewers in Aztec C65. Ron’s program is distributed as ShareWare. Recent attempts to contact Ron to register my own copy have failed. Aside from that, since SHRView loads Brooks Format SHR files as well as the PIC and PNT formats that my demo loaders also load, I am using Ron’s viewer for my slideshows of some of BMP2SHR’s conversions.

Read the SHRView docs (on disk) for more info about SHRView. For that matter, review the contents of these disks (using a disk explorer like CiderPress) for more info about any of them.

docs – The User Manual and Tutorial, and other related documents live here. If these documents do not give you all the information that you need to use BMP2SHR, they will certainly provide a starting point. There are limits as to how much information should be included in a distribution like this. I have many more related documents which are available on request as time permits, if this is not enough, and if Internet searches etc. are not giving you the extra info you need.

I hope you enjoy using BMP2SHR. Please distribute what you have here freely and in its entirety if possible. BMP2SHR was written for fun and is free for all to use.”

To download the application, go to::
http://www.aztecmuseum.ca/extras/B2S.zip

The User’s Manual can be downloaded from the following URL.  (If you downloaded the zip file listed above, the manual is included):
http://www.aztecmuseum.ca/extras/bmp2shr.pdf

The user tutorial can also be downloaded at the following URL (Also included in the .ZIP file with the application):
http://www.aztecmuseum.ca/extras/bmp2shrTutorial.pdf

Brian Picchi announces his latest Apple ][ Game

retrofever

Brian Picchi, the author of Lamb Chops, has announced the release of his latest Apple ][ Game.  Retro Fever is the first release of 2014 for the Apple ][ series computer and is Brian's second foray into the realm of Apple ][ action games.  According to the release on Facebook, " For this game I teamed up with programmer and friend Brandon Bogle of retroswitch.com (some of you may know him as the creator of the Flyer Internet Modem for the 8-bit Commodore line). In the game you play as an Apple II enthusiast trying to add to their collection. Objectives include collecting the computers from a recycling center, fixing them in a repair shop, and protecting them from the yellowing effects of the sun! Standing in your way is an evil businessman who only wants the computers to resell on ebay for inflated prices. You'll also need to avoid reckless drivers, overgrown lab rats, and your angry wife who wants you to sell your "junk". This game has it all! "

As was the case with Brian's previous effort, the floppy version in a baggie will be available as well.  He goes on to say "The disk image is 100% free so please try it out (and report any bugs!), but I'm also making a physical version available for purchase that includes the 5.25" disk, a quality manual, and a genuine zip lock baggy"

To download the game or to purchase the physical format of Retro Fever, check out the Tanru Nomad Games website at:  http://tanrunomad.com/official-games/

System requirements for Retro Fever is any Apple II series computer with 64k memory. Both Keyboard and Joystick control are fully  supported.

You can play the game online at the Tanru Nomad Games website or on the Virtual Apple ][ website at:

http://www.virtualapple.org/retrofever.html

Silvern Castle RPG v9.5 released

Silvern Castle

Silvern Castle v9.5

The Silvern Castle RPG by Jeff Fink has been updated to version 9.5.  Silvern Castle is the longest running RPG specifically for the Apple II series computers which still recieves regular updates.

Bugs Fixed in v9.5:

  • Thanks to Choi Youngjoo for reporting error #53-4035 (and subsequent #53-143 at title page) due to potential overflow of message time delay variable at Red Dragon Inn.

Stuff Changed in v9.5:

  •  Added rarity byte to each monster.
  • Low-level encounters more likely to be patrols or swarms.
  • MicroDot error codes are now reported in the range 256-511.
  • Casting sleep or dispel now displays the total number of identical monsters affected instead of per group.
  • Characters must have stowage containers to carry more than 100 coins without incurring an encumbrance penalty. You may carry as many containers as you have open slots, but to simplify game management, for those containers to be used to carry coins they must be equipped. Encumbrance is optional – see the preferences.
  • Confirmation shown when Equip All selected.

New Stuff Added in v9.5:

  • Stowage containers: Backpacks (2000 coin capacity) and sacks (500 coins).
  • Camp now has a S)towage option to easily manage encumbrance.
  • New status: DYING! When your hit points reach zero or below you are considered unconscious (DYING). You become DEAD when your hit points fall below a negative number equal to your maximum hit points. A DYING character is unable to act and takes damage like a POISONED character until DEAD.

About Silvern Castle
Silvern Castle is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) for the Apple II in the spirit of the classic Wizardry. Unlike Wizardry, which was written in Pascal  and proclaimed as a game “that simply could not have been written in Basic”; Silvern Castle is almost entirely written in AppleSoft Basic.

Purchased by Softdisk Publishing in 1988, Silvern Castle was never published. After Softdisk discontinued Apple II publishing, I requested and received permission from Softdisk to have the rights to the program revert back to me. Released for the first time as shareware in 1999, I subsequently reclassified it to freeware status later in 2000.

To Download Silvern Castle
Silvern castle is available in several formats complete with the manuals.  You can download everything you need at the Silvern Castle website at:
http://webpages.milwpc.com/finkjc/silverncastle/

The program can also be downloaded from:
http://finkjsc.a2hq.com/silverncastle/

Additional Notes:

Recently I’ve gotten well over 1000 hits at the Silvern Castle website
in just a few days – all due to this one blog post:

http://mark.pilgrim.usesthis.com/

Also, see this blog for a recent user experience with Silvern Castle:

http://freedomalleystudios.com/appleslice/?m=200908

 

Brutal Deluxe Software introduces OMF Analyzer

Brutal-Deluxe-logo

OMF Analyzer is a command-line tool for Windows to analyze OMF Files we can find on 16 bits Apple IIgs operating systems like Prodos 16 or GS/OS.

Because OMF files are the core of any executable code on the Apple IIgs system (S16, Exe, CDA, NDA, FST, PIF, Library, Tool…), OMF Analyzer will be helpful for anyone wanting to write an Assembler, a Compiler, a Linker or a Disasembler…

Find more @ http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/crossdevtools/omfanalyzer/

OMF Analyzer is part of the Brutal Deluxe’s Cross Development 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 Disassembler, 65c816 Simulator, Graphic File Converter, Resource Catcher…

ADTPro 1.2.9 Released

From CSA2 Announcment by David Schmidt:  For your consideration this Christmas day:ADTPro 1.2.9 has been released.  There are a few tweaks that came up
under some heavy usage scenarios:

Nibble sends now work in batch mode, and they are a little more tolerant
of communications failures.  This gets really handy when you have, for
example, a pile of 13-sector disks to image.  Linards Ticmanis’
13-sector ADT13 was always an option, but due to the fact that DOS 3.2
and below didn’t actually initialize sectors until you wrote on them,
your drive can end up knocking quite a lot on sparsely populated disks.
Not so any more.

From IvanX’s A2CLOUD work, the VSDrive code has changed to optimize
virtual drive access for speed at the expense of concurrent access from
both server and client.  This should make really big virtual drives
useable on the Pi.

Oh, and finally – after all these years… a Disk II drive will spin up
beforehand in anticipation of reading or writing.  With one optimization
that DOS ADT missed: turning on the drive for the final pass of writing.
It’s not required for the final pass of reading, but is for writing.
It probably doesn’t even represent a measurable improvement, but it’s
there for completeness’ sake.

http://adtpro.sourceforge.net

1.2.9 – December 25, 2013

New functionality:

* Disk II drive turns on a little early to reduce spin-up delay

Bug fixes:

* Nibble sends work correctly in batch mode

* [Client] Nibble sends retry (more) correctly

* [VDrive] Virtual disks are loaded at once at initialization time,
making it much faster for huge drives (but much less dynamic)

* [VDrive] Serial driver installer quits to where it came from,
allowing an invocation from the launcher to return there, this
time with the driver in place