Software

Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator Updated to 1.701

Artemis

Thom Robertson, the guru behind the popular multi-player game Artemis and owner of Incandescent Workshop, has released an update to the iOS version of Artemis to match his PC version of the game.  Incandescent Workshop released version 1.701 includes a number of fixes, new features, and changes including:

  • All references to USFP have been changed to TSN.
  • Engineering damcon systems have been adjusted, so they (hopefully) don’t fall out of sync with the server.
  • Collisions have changed, from a soft bounce to a hard bounce. This changes how space objects bump against each other, in a subtle but significant way.
  • Vector normalizing code was changed to trap a zero-normal condition
  • Removed “invisible to sci” from Skaraan abilities
  • Changed the way torpedo unloading is handled. “tube lock” should no longer exist.
  • Enemy fighters often showed up with USFP textures and science details. This has been fixed.
  • The ship option controls on the Helm and Main Screen consoles (when NOT playing) have been changed. there’s no longer a “submit” button; changes are automatically submitted.
  • Show/hide arcs in weapons now also has the option to show player arcs only.
  • Made drones fall into black holes.
  • fixed problem with comms text color over time.
  • DAMCON Team Replenish message always poped up when docking, even if no teams took casualties. Fixed.
  • The warp slider has been recalibrated, so you have to drag it all the way up to reach warp 4.
  • Clients and servers both now have a toggle button called “3d Chase Camera” that lets you choose a chase cam OR an “out-the-window” view.
  • On the client login screen, there’s now a bit more information about the status of the login attempt.

For those of you who have never played Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator, the game is a multi-player game in the truest sense of the word.   The game is played with up to 6 players per “Team” all in the same room.  One major difference between normal multi-player games where the gamers can be anywhere, this game requires their physical presence, communication and teamwork to be shown in person.

Artemis1

So called “Artemis Parties” have been popping up since the inception of the game, mainly at gaming conventions or Star Trek fan club group meetings.  Artemis gives the users the experience of operating an actual star ship bridge as many have only seen in the now famed Star Trek series of television shows and movies.   Each player of the team fulfills a particular role within the team.  They include:

  • Captain
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Weapons
  • Helm
  • Communications

Each role require the player to focus on their area and fulfill the captain’s orders as given by the player in that role. Communication between the team members tends to be very military like and the team that is able to communicate with the shortest amount and clearest of words, generally does better.  In many parties, people switch off on the roles to gain as much experience as possible over each role of the game.

Artemis Manual Cover

The 56 page manual (PC Version) which is available for free download from the Artemis SBS website, gives the player a good basic understanding of all of the things that this game entails including methods of communications and terminology used within game play.  Artemis SBS comes with 11 built in levels and really anything over 4 starts to challenge most teams.  It takes a highly trained and experienced team to beat Level 7.

Artemis2

One feature of the iOS version of the game is the ability to use a single iPhone as a server.  this feature makes it easy for those who have multiple iOS devices to setup an Artemis Lan Party quickly and almost any where there is a space for 6 people, even in the middle of the park really.

Many people who come into the game thinking that this is an easy game to play are soon overwhelmed by the amount of actual time it takes to operate smoothly as a team and to understand all of the idiosyncrasies of their position within that team.  Some people have in recent days taken to specializing in the roles and replaying them with each successive party they attend.

Artemis3

For more information about Artemis, check out the Artemis SBS website at:

http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

You can also follow the updates for Artemis on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/ArtemisSBS

If you have developed your own team and wish to open or announce your Artemis Parties to the public, you can do so by registering on the Terran Star Navy events website at:

http://tsn.eochu.com/

 

ChronoAgent For Mac Updated To Version 1.4

ChronoAgent v1.4

ChronoAgent

Casselberry, Florida – Econ Technologies updates ChronoAgent for Mac to version 1.4. This update features the addition of ChronoAgent to the menu bar and the transmission of sync and backup results sent directly to ChronoMonitor running on an iPhone. ChronoAgent 1.4 is $10 and as always, all existing ChronoAgent users update for free. No user is ever left behind.

Now you can display ChronoAgent on the menu bar providing you with instant notification of ChronoAgent’s status. Know at a glance if ChronoAgent is running or not and receive alerts for active connections, errors, and updates. Turn ChronoAgent on or off and update ChronoAgent directly, all from the menu bar. Additionally ChronoAgent now transmits the results of any syncs or backups between ChronoSync and ChronoAgent directly to ChronoMonitor on an iPhone. For a complete list of all the changes included in ChronoAgent 1.4 read the Release Notes online.

ChronoSync runs on the source Mac and ChronoAgent runs on the destination Mac giving you a direct connection between two Macs. With ChronoSync on your Mac, you can synchronize, backup, and create bootable backups. ChronoSync can synchronize or backup to anything you can connect to your Mac. Add ChronoAgent to a destination Mac giving you a direct connection between two Macs for safer, faster, and more reliable syncs and backups. Add ChronoMonitor to an iPhone and keep tabs on all your syncs and backups. If you’re synchronizing two Macs, sharing a folder on a Mac server between Macs, backing up one or more Macs to a Mac server, or even maintaining a bootable backup over a network, then the combination of ChronoSync and ChronoAgent is the answer.

Find out more about ChronoAgent

 

The Long Fabled SimCity for the Apple IIgs Exists!

Sim-City_GS

A posting in the Apple II enthusiast group on Facebook this evening from Antoine Vignau shows a video of the game play from the long fabled SimCity for the Apple IIgs.  Although originally written in 1994, the game never saw the light of day due to the fact that the Apple IIgs had been discontinued by that time and EA’s reluctance to release it as freeware.  To this day it remains unreleased.

If you want to check out the Apple IIgs version of SimCity and what might have been, this video is a nice walk through the unreleased product:

Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator for iOS Available

Artemis

The Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator for iOS was released by Tomas Robertson this month.  Incandescent Workshop LLC was the programmer of the port of Artemis, a Starship simulation which requires more human interaction than it requires actual computer.  Run by teams of 4-6 players, the game presents one starship control per player with 6 players being the optimal number.

Artemis1

 Just as a starship cannot be run by one man, neither can Artemis.  Artemis gives you have the Helm Control, Weapons Control, a Science Screen, Engineering, Communications and of course the Captain.  The Captain makes the calls for all moves on the ship, doing his best to get all of the human components to work together seamlessly. All players except the Captain connect their machines to the local area network and then connect to the Artemis server.  While the Windows version of the Artemis program is a 6 person license for $40, the iOS version is $2.99 per station.  However, the iOS version allows even an iPhone 3GS to be utilized as an Artemis Server.

Artemis2

The iPad version is intuitive with all of the same controls as the windows version with some distinct advantages.  One such advantage is Helm Control is much easier to use with turning of the ship with no clunky keyboard or mouse controls.  just touch and slide for control.   touch a button to engage shields, request docking with the space station or crank up the warp to take off out into the void.

Artemis3

Most multi-player games in this era focus on the singularity of player on player, but Artemis gives you the human factor and requires actual communication as well as precise control.  Artemis Parties are famous for their 6 man look and yelling and screaming, all with the goal of vanquishing the computer generated enemy ships or another team of Artemis players.

For more information or to download the app, check out the Artemis home page at:

http://www.artemis.eochu.com/

Google Releases Google Maps App for iPhone

GoogleMaps

Google has released their Google Maps application for the iPhone.  After Apple’s most recent public debacle with their own Maps application, they really had no choice but to allow Google to pass their Maps App through the Apple verification process.

The new Google Maps is a free download from the Apple App Store.  For more information, check out the Google Maps Apple App Store page at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-maps/id585027354?mt=8

Over the past 24 hours, the Google Maps app has become the number one download on the App store, displaying quite appropriately what is user disdain with the current Apple offering.   Where Apple will somehow give up on their own App or not remains to be seen.  However, while many have already given up their Apple apps, the Google Maps app seems to be prone to similar issues with occasional drop outs of the app, the app not able to read foreign street names and a serious re-routing issue.

 

First Order of business for Apple: Fix Apple Maps Now!

maps

This past week, Australian police put out a warning to drivers: DONT USE APPLE MAPS!   This story really brings the adage “You can’t get there from here” to mean a whole new thing.  Users around the globe have been complaining about the way Apple Maps handles some of the images and placement of items ever since its release with iOS 6.0.

While most user experiences are a simple matter of a few meters to about 1 kilometer in difference, or the occasional warped or misplaced bridge or building, the Australian version of the app put the town of Mildura in the middle of Murry Sunset National park, a difference of more than 70 kilometers.  This put some users of the App in a real life life and death situation due to the fact that it is mid summer in Australia, nearly 46C in the park and no water to be had for kilometers around.

It is now apparent that Tim Cook’s re-shuffle of his cabinet at Apple was right in the removal of Scott Forstall from the Apple governing committee was to punish Scott for the failure Apple Maps.  Whether Eddie Cue can do any better with it will only be shown in time and new releases of the app, although none have been shown to be in the pipeline quite yet other than the fix to the Australian issue with Mildura.

Frankly, I am glad that my own recent experience with Apple Maps was only a kilometer off and I was able to ask local folks for actual instructions to the location I was trying to find.  Apple did get on the ball and fix the Australian issue quite quickly yet I doubt they will be fixing the whole app anytime soon.   They are still taking the attitude that their Maps app will be better than anyone else can create including Google, however, other map applications such as MapQuest is passing them by while they twiddle their thumbs.

For the players in the Map Business, there is Google and then there is everyone else.  Google has spent years and millions of dollars building their Maps by driving the actual roads shown on the maps.  They are continually updating their map related systems.  I was recently a witness to the evidence of this updating process in action when I was standing on a street in Japan and a small vehicle with the Google Logo and the camera globe on the roof of the vehicle rolled by.  Two minutes later, the same vehicle rolled by again, obviously taking care to get every element of the road recorded.  Having checked the Google Maps system, I found that the actual update of the road I was standing on has not made it to the system yet as it is too recent, yet it is something that frankly Apple is at this point totally incapable of doing.

If Apple is smart, they will give up on having their own Map app,  go ahead and license Google Maps and quit the bickering between the two companies which at this point is leading to the possibility of real world casualties due to Apple’s desire to keep everything in house.   Not only will this be a win for Apple since they wont have to actually perform updates to the maps, but it will also be a major win for the users who really are screaming at this point about Apples absolutely lousy Maps app.  They would also enjoy the benefit of a working relationship with Google in the long run that could actually benefit both companies bottom lines.

Even though no apparent updates of Apple Maps are forthcoming, I would say to look for the next update near the end of January or early February.  Of course, that may be a bit optimistic and for those who think I have the crystal ball of what is going on at Apple, Inc., I wouldn’t go getting your hopes up too high.

Java Apple Computer Emulator (JACE) Updated

Brendan Robert has released a new version of his JACE or Java Apple Computer Emulator.  The latest update includes a number of fixes and enhancements as per his posting in CSA2:

] Fixed nasty bug that caused crashes when joystick buttons (alt-keys) were pressed.  Airheart is 100% playable again!

] RamWorks support is now available for up to 8 megabytes of memory.  In addition to the RamFactor support it is possible to use both at the same time.  Not that you’d ever use 24mb ram in an Apple //e.  :-P

] CPU can now log warnings if 65c02 extended opcodes are used.  You can enable this to detect old incompatible usages of illegal 6502 opcodes.

] Cleaned up a few improperly implemented softswitches.  MMU implementation is 100% compatible now.

for more information about JACE or to download the program, check out Brendan’s JACE project page at:

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

Mailplane Updated to Version 2.5.10

Uncomplex GMBH has released a new update to their Mailplane App for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Mailplane is an application which allows users to control multiple GMail accounts from a single application.

Over the past several months, they have released updates which separated the Pre-Lion code from the Lion/Mountain Lion code and version 2.5.10 addresses some of the issues brought about by these changes. The Application is $24.95 USD for the latest version and Free for all versions which run on Mac OS X 10.4-10.7.

You can download the latest version of the software from Uncomplex GMBH at http://www.mailplaneapp.com

New Game Lets Users Simulate Gravity to Fly Through Levels

New York, New York – Developer Dr Robert Belluso’s first game, Little Bird combines current technology, exotic landscapes, objects, and contraptions, allowing the player to interact with the game in ways they’ve never seen before! Unlike games that rely on tapping, sliding or swiping, Little Bird 1.0 takes advantage of the latest iPhone technology. The user tilts the device to the right or left, using gravity and speed to build momentum to get through each level.

Before long you will be rolling, jumping, bouncing, flying through the air, swinging in baskets, riding in carts, and shooting out of cannons while avoiding obstacles, booby traps and enemies to help Little Bird collect coins along the path to safety.

“Little Bird brings the simple idea of a real skill arcade game, from which the concept was born, to the next level,” explains Dr. Belluso, the App’s creator. “Little Bird offers a fun, challenging and unique experience that will keep gamers coming back for more. It’s a novel, gravity driven game played with challenging physics-based obstacle courses.

Although developed initially for iPhone, Little Bird is a universal App available on all devices. It combines accelerometer and gyroscope gaming technologies and features 20 unique levels with future levels coming and frequent updates.

Little Bird Game

An A.P.P.L.E. Review: Rovio releases Angry Birds Star Wars

Rovio has been releasing new versions of Angry Birds every few months and once again, they have a new hit on their hands.  After releasing Angry Birds in Space, topping an astronaut on the Internation Space Station performing an angry birds experiment was going to be hard to top.  What better way to top it than licensing the name Star Wars.  Angry Birds Star Wars is a wonderful mix of the previous Angry Birds games and thos items we have come to expect to be associated with Star Wars such as Chewbacca, Light Sabers, and R2D2 and 3CpO.

With two levels built into the Star Wars version of Angry Birds, this game makes for hours more of entertainment, frustration and elation upon completion.   Aptly labeled Tatooine and DeathStar, the first two levels will give the average user two to 4 hours of game play.  But there is a hidden secret within this version of the game.   An in app purchase allows the user to buy the Path of the Jedi section of the game adding another whole section giving many more hours of game play.

We played the game on the iPad and found that the results were not unlike those we experienced in previous renditions.  Rovio has made the game available on all of the major computing and smart phone / tablet platforms. The initial levels of the game for the iPad costs $2.99 USD with the Path of the Jedi section costing an addition $1.99 USD.   If you are a fan of Angry Birds or of Star Wars, then this is the must have app of 2012.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Apples

URL: http://starwars.angrybirds.com