Minecraft notes:

Minecraft is an on-line game where the players run around mining for certain minerals, build structures, combat monsters as well as each other. and generally explore an expanding world. It is divided into two components. Namely on-line servers as well as clients to access the servers. Both components are free however to make full use of the capabilities of the client, a non-free (premium) account must be used. The game components are available for the “big three” operating systems (Linux, OS X, and Windows) and may run on systems with up to date JAVA installed.

Installation is simple but a lot of people have experiencing problems with getting the free accounts running. The simple solutions to most of the problems are pretty standard. Make sure the client is updated (if possible). Make sure at least JAVA 6 is installed. Make sure opengl is also installed and current. Sometimes deleting the bin folder in the .minecraft folder helps (depending on the problem the entire folder may not need to be deleted).

Here are some of the problems I encountered along the way.

- Initially I had the “Done Loading” error on all my machines. After trying all the common solutions suggested on the web I found I had to create an account (free) and tell the client to play from the web browser (a link on their web page). This fixed the problem for me. I was able to get in and play the demo. Apparently the other way is to sign in with a premium account.

- Some Windows computers don’t have up to date opengl drivers. I was able to login with a Dell SX 280 only to get a black screen. After looking at some error messages I determined I had to go and get the latest drivers from Dell. No joy there. The XP drivers stopped being updated around 2009. Since it is a borrowed machine (to be used in a different demo for a computer club) I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it anyhow.

- The free account uses a built-in server apparently and will not connect to other servers even on the same box. All the player can access is the same demo world. There is a time limit of about 100 minutes, but the player can start over at the end. I was thinking it would be nice to allow the player unlimited access to their own server (on their own machine). Connecting to without restriction would help people who want to be game developers/programmers and don’t wish to buy a premium account.

Other than that it is pretty much a matter of downloading the programs and running them. I personally wouldn’t go out and get a premium account but for those who would I can see where it would be a fun game.

Good Old Games Offers Entire 32 Game Interplay Bundle for $34.99

Interplay has long been the one focus of many a user in the gaming world.  Their games, including the classics Battlechess, Fallout, and Conquest of the New World led the way in the Apple gaming world of the 1980′s.   Now, Good Old Games is offering a “Pay What You Want” type bundle where you can pay as much as you want and based on that payment collect an appropriate number of games.   The initial level is set at 8 games and if you pay more the the average amount, you get 20 games.  However, should you give GOG more tan 34.99 USD, then they will give you the entire 32 game lot, along with a long list of goodies to accompany the package including 21 soundtracks, manuals and all of the other relative digital items.

The bundle of games is currently available for the next five days.  For more information or to purchase the bundle, check out the Good Old Games website at:

Evernote releases new Video outlining Evernote 5 for Mac

Evernote Corporation has released a new Video and specs page on their website outlining the new features in their upcoming release of Evernote 5 for the Mac.  The new version of the software has over 100 new features implemented including:

  • Better Notes List
  • Snippets View
  • Cards View
  • Note Editor
  • Change a Notes Location
  • More Keyboard Shortcuts

The site includes many more features that will be in the new version, however, no official release date has been announced for the full package yet the beta release is expected within the next week.  For more about this, check out the evernote blog at:

Don’t Run With A Plasma Sword Now Free Download

Xperimentalz Games has announce that the popular runner game, Don’t Run With A Plasma Sword for iOS devices is now a free download.  The game, which features five level of story and boss levels as well as five levels of endless play, allows the user to gain points through the play and upgrade the runner’s abilities, outward appearance and revivability.  This game has been featured on Call-A.P.P.L.E. a number of times and is one of our favorite games for the iPhone and iPad.  The game is currently available in English and French.

You can download the program from the Apple iTunes store at:

MacHeist Announces new Bundle of 15 Apps for $29

The folks behind one of the most successful charitable application bundles, MacHeist, have announced a new grouping of 15 applications.  MacHeist 4 includes 15 applications for the Mac, priced at $29.00 USD for the entire bundle.   MacHeist donates 25 percent of all sales to charities specified by the purchaser. Past MacHeist events have raised over two million dollars for a variety of charities.

The last three apps of the bundle will be unlocked for all users as a specified number of bundles being sold, with the first one set to open at 25,000 bundles.  The “Heist” lasts for 10 days and can be purchased by going to the MacHeist website at:

ADTPro 1.2.5 Released

A note from David Schmidt on CSA2 announced the arrival of the latest rendition of the ADTPro Disk Imaging software.

Ok, here’s a few more goodies.  The time and date is synchronized with the host, and there’s two versions of the serial driver: one that hides between the BI and buffers, and another that stomps on the Disk II driver.  The latter is compatible with ProDOS utilities.

There’s a little bit in there just for me – I don’t expect anyone else will need it, so I’m not even adding a button on the UI for it.  But for those that need to unit test ADTPro, if you start it with the parameter ‘localhost’ you can have it serve the virtual serial ports (that are mapped to IP ports) of emulators.  So far it works with AppleWin and JACE.

I needed to stop chopping wood and sharpen the axe… so I could test the serial version of the virtual drive.  It was just taking too long to make real disks and test on hardware.  The bug I was shooting: later versions of ProDOS hid the Disk II driver at $d800, not $f000…

Anyway, there’s a few bug fixes for all the Daves that use the Ethernet version, too.  And all executables are SYS files now.

1.2.5 – September 22, 2012

New functionality:

  *  [VDrive] ProDOS date and time is set when communicating with the ADTPro server

  *  [VDrive] Serial driver installs over the floppy driver by default

  *  [Server] ADTPro server serves a hybrid serial-over-IP for emulators – enabled with startup parameter ‘localhost’

Bug fixes:

  *  [VDrive] Ethernet driver is now more “reentrant,” allows for restarting if the “ping” message doesn’t show up right away

  *  [VDrive] Aborts via escape key are more reliable, Ethernet now recovers correctly

  *  [VDrive] Device driver installer filetypes changed to SYS

Duplex printer tip:

A couple of weeks ago I noticed my HP printer was no longer printing two sided pages. Strictly speaking this was with Linux but it could happen with the Mac as well since they use the same printer driver software… I figured it was an application problem with Thunderbird and Firefox since all the other applications (and computers on my LAN) worked fine. It never occurred to me it was a driver problem.

Thanks to some prodding by Adam T. at one of the computer clubs I attend, I thought I’d give it a try since there was nothing else left to try. I found some information at which seemed relevant. On this page they suggested accessing the CUPS driver directly by accessing the HTML page at http://localhost:631/. This opens the page on the local computer rather than heading out to the internet…

From there I found the defaults were altered by an update. Sure enough CUPS thought it was a single sided printer. I told it to set the default to print on both sides of the page. It whined and said the duplexer was not enabled. The next thing I did was to enable the duplex unit. At that point it accepted the changes.

So far I was only able to print a single six page document from Firefox, but it looks like this solved the problem.

Brutal Deluxe Software Releases DeluxeWare CD-ROM as Free Download

Brutal Deluxe Software has announced that their January 1996 version of the DeluxeWare CD-ROM is now available as a free download.  The DeluxeWare CD-ROM contains over 650mb of Apple IIgs related software and was the first French CD-ROM dedicated to the Apple IIgs.

COntents of the DeluxeWare CD-ROm include:

  • Apple programs
  • Documentations
  • Creative visual
  • Hypermedia
  • Games
  • Music
  • System
  • Utilities

The CD-Rom is available as a 311.5mb zipped file and includes all of the software on the original disks.  Also the CD Jackets are available on the DeluxeWare website.  According to the website, the system requirements for the CD Image is:

  • Apple IIgs ROM 01 or 3, cd-rom 1x or 2x speed with the associated extensions. Some software require the use of System 6.0.1.
  • The disc is in HFS and can be played on a IIgs or a Macintosh computer.
  • The shareware on this disc must be paid to their respective authors.

While the third requirement is that the shareware authors be paid, it is unknown how much of the Shareware titles are still being maintained by the authors.  The CD is a wealth of information from the 1996 time frame and is available from:

Stable version of JACE – Apple II emulator – Released

Java Apple II emulator author Brendan Robert was quite understandably pleased to announce that his JACE emulator has reached a new milestone.

Said Mr. Robert:

This is the first major release, bringing this emulator within a hair of my original vision for what I wanted it to be: it is a complete recreation of the computer I had growing up. (yaaaaaay!) There are a few bugs left to fix, but the only people in this world that claim software is ever complete are sales people. In spite of its flaws it’s ready to get some heavy use: I took the BETA label off the sourceforge page.

# Several timing and deadlock fixes, this not only spells more stable but also a lot more efficient in some cases.

# AE RamFactor card implemented and working. You will need to install the AE Ram Expander for Appleworks to see the extra storage.
*There is an additional option to max out the speed of the emulator when the ramfactor is in use. This means that any applications using Ram for cache or extra storage will speed up dramatically.

# Mockingboard works perfectly with Ultima 5.
*AE Phasor support has been implemented, but it isn’t working right just yet. For now, just use Mockingboard mode.
*Note: Only use ONE mockingboard. Using more than one will cause the timing issues and sound horrible.
*You can use a mockingboard at the same time as a Passport MIDI card. It has a strange syncopated sound to it. it does reveal, however, that the mockingboard playback is pitch-perfect. :-)

# Visual UI completely overhauled: Now fullscreen is possible (press F9)
*Pressing F8 while in fullscreen will toggle aspect-constrained or stretched displays.

# Indicator icons now appear for:
*Disk II activity
*Mass storage activity
*Mouse activation
*SSC activity
*RamFactor activity

Visit the JACE Web site

JACE is free open-source software, licensed under the LGPL. It emulates an Apple IIe with 128K of RAM and an 80 columns card. It supports a disk drive, joysticks, Super Serial Card, AE RamFactor, mass storage, and many other features.

The emulator is compatible with all major computer operating systems.


Photo printing tip:

Here is the situation… My father was asked to take some pictures for a club he attends every week. He generally prints them out when ever someone asks for a copy. He also prints out a series of thumbnail pictures on a single page. I gather this is called a contact sheet. This time around the Windows program he used decided not to recognise the network printer. This was very odd because all the other programs on his machine saw it. In fact the program he was using also knew it was there but it refused to print to it. After a few days if frustration he asked me to see what I could do about printing a contact sheet for him.

Normally I would have used iPhoto on the Mac to do this. I think I did this once before. Unfortunately I had used the upgrade DVD to go from 10.4 to 10.6. The upgrade DVD didn’t have the iLife package on it and I am paranoid about using Apples online store. Particularly since I am not going to go around giving out credit card numbers to anybody. Although iLife is apparently free (and discontinued with 10.7 or 10.8) the only way to get it was to install from the old 10.4 DVDs and risk wiping out 10.6. In other words I was out of luck (for the moment).

I decided to see what I could find for Linux. The problem with Linux is almost all the programs are free and it is easy to install half a dozen of them without thinking. This time I was lucky and found one on the third try. The program is called Geeqie. I haven’t used all the features, only the print function. To print a contact sheet go through the following steps…

  1. Locate the files to print (it’s better to have them in the same directory).
  2. Select all the pictures to print.
  3. Click on File and select Print.
  4. Click on the box next to Proof Sheet.

From there the program will print multiple thumbnail pictures per page. There are more options in the print menu and they look like it might be worth exploring.