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.


Silvern Castle Updated to 9.5.1

Silvern Castle was reported to have an update bug in it which was preventing users who had version 9.4 from upgrading to 9.5.   The bug did not affect other users, however, the author has chosen to release and update of the program.  According to his email, ”
This release fixes the issue that prevented running the game after
updating from v9.4 that was introduced in the original v9.5 release.”

The  V9.5.1 release is available at the following websites:

Former Editor of Softtalk Magazine to Keynote Kfest


From the Kansasfest Comittee announcement:

“KansasFest 2014, the Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 22 -27 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II.  At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use.  Later, Softalk Publishing produced magazines for the emerging Macintosh and IBM markets, ST.Mac and Softalk for the IBM Personal Computer.  Softline, a game magazine begun by Ken William’s OnLine Systems and later renamed to ST.Game, was Softalk Publishing’s second longest-lived magazine.  Softalk Books published several books by the magazine’s columnists and a Mac book by Doug Clapp.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication.  In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues.  The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2014. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/.


KansasFest 2014


Silvern Castle Author Reports Update Bug in 9.5

According to the author of Silvern Castle, Jeff Fink, the latest release of Version 9.5 has a bug in the program which affects the update from Version 9.4 to 9.5.  According to an email received by A.P.P.L.E> from Jeff, “It has come to my attention that if you update to v9.5 from v9.4, then it may fail with error #107-1190 when you start the game.  The reason is simple. At the following line numbers I entered 9.4 instead of 9.5:

SILVERN.CASTLE – line 1047

One solution is to edit the above lines after you extract the files from the v9.5 update. Or wait until v9.6 is released.  Another way to check is to look at the STATUS text file. If you see v9.4 near the beginning, you are affected.

To recap:
If you have installed v9.4 from new, you cannot update to v9.5 unless you perform the above edits or wait for v9.6.  If you have installed v9.5 from new you are not affected. If you are updating from v9.3 or earlier, you are not affected.

If you have v9.4 that was updated from an earlier version, you
may be able to update to v9.5 if you did not run the resize roster
menu item. In any case, always backup before updating in case of any

For more information or to download the Silvern Casstle program go to:

AppleIIGo Java Based Emulator Updated


AppleIIGo version 1.0.9 has been fully implemented.  AppleIIGo is the emulator which currently runs the Java based version of the Virtual Apple II pages. Updates to the emulator include:

– fixed disk speed-up bug (Sherwood Forest reads with the drive motor off)
– added check for 2IMG header ID
– fixed processor status bugs in BRK, PLP, RTI, NMI, IRQ

The source code for the emulator will be available once we confirm that there are no issues with this release.  Thanks go out to Nick Westgate for the fixes and changes in the emulator


To download the current JAR or the latest source code for the emulator, go to:



Margot Comstock will deliver keynote at KFest 2014

Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation at KansasFest 2014, which is scheduled for July 22 –27 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II. At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication. In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues. The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

Learn more by visiting the KansasFest web site

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

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


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::

The User’s Manual can be downloaded from the following URL.  (If you downloaded the zip file listed above, the manual is included):

The user tutorial can also be downloaded at the following URL (Also included in the .ZIP file with the application):

Kansasfest Committee releases logo for 2014 event


The Kansasfest committee has release a teaser email containing the 2014 rendition of the Kansasfest Logo.  Kansasfest is an Apple II centric enthusiast convention which happens each year in Kansas City, Missouri.   The event draws hobbyists from around the globe and is usually inundated with advancements in the hardware and software on the Apple II series platforms.  The 2014 Kansasfest will take place July 22nd to 27th.  For more information, check the Kansasfest website at: http://www.kansasfest.org

Virtual Apple ][ Releases Database Update


Virtual Apple ][‘s database has been updated this week with the release of Version 1.22.  Current efforts include adding the blurbs of all of the games in the system as well as adding a new EBay pricing guide with the High and Low prices for items being sold on Ebay.   The current database sports nearly 1500 records and is expanding daily.  If you have the iOS version of the ActiveGS app, just click the update button at the top of the screen and the database will be downloaded.

For more information, see http://www.virtualapple.org

Bill Buckels Makes Aztec C Manuals Available in Searchable Format

Thanks to Charlie Reiman, the following typeset Aztec C Manuals originally scanned by the late Paul R. Santa-Maria have been reformatted (they are now smaller and searchable and pastable as plain text), and are now available for download at the following links:

Aztec C 65 Version 3.2 cross-compiler

Aztec C 65 Version 3.2 ProDOS native-mode compiler

ProDOS Aztec C Unix-Like Shell

Charlie did a great job with these.

Before Paul passed-away (June 19, 2010), he did a great deal of work scanning manuals for the Apple II and other retro-computing platforms like CP/M. He sent me boxes of books including these manuals, and CDs of his work a few months before. Some of his work was also uploaded to the csa2 account.  These newly reformatted manuals are part of that csa2 account material.

Paul Santa-Maria provided the PDF Manuals for CG65 and C65. Dean Phares  created the standalone SHELL manual from part of one of Paul’s PDF’s.  Charlie Reiman made them searchable/pastable as text, and made Paul’s work smaller in file size. Dean’s work is a little larger now, but searchable/pastable as text.

In December 2009, after I received one of my boxes from Paul, he wrote to me “Sometimes you’ll see the stuff I posted online in two parts.  That was to break the file into parts less that 10MB each, which was a limitation on an email system I was using at the time…” (He also added, “The Merlin stuff should be on the csa2 gmail account…”.)  On February 5th, 2010 Paul sent me another box of goodies. On April 2, 2010, Paul emailed me an almost complete html version of the CG65 manual for proof-reading. I have yet to find the time to get to this.

Other Aztec C Users have helped as well, scanning and forwarding documentation. Obviously Al Kossow at bitsavers.org has done more than his fair share including for Aztec C’s CP/M 80 side which is also a part of Apple II history.

Michael Evenson has access to an HP L7600 with paperport and recently scanned the Aztec C80 CP/M 1.06 manual (hopefully soon to be searchable as I get my act together on this part of my projects). I hope to draft Micahel and his scanner again in the months and years ahead.

In my view, retro-manuals for Aztec C and other tools are better than what we get with modern compilers. Don’t take my word for it. Take a look for yourself.

As far as new documentation goes, David Finnigan’s New Apple II User’s Guide is royally well done and shares my night table with Steven Weyrich’s wonderful Apple II History. I haven’t got the Wozpak yet, but it’s on my list. Rest assured Bill Martens that I’ll give that a go too, time willing.
New books are very cool. New manuals in html and so forth are necessary and cool too…

However the old retro Manuals cannot be beat, just as the old tools have persisted in their excellence, which in the case of Aztec C on the Apple II and the manner that it has allowed itself to be extended even without compiler source is a testimony to the developers of the times, and the fact that the excellence of all of this is unparalelled and peerless on the Apple II to this day.

An army of developers of modern compilers cannot alter Apple II history, nor erase it; of course they can add to it if they work with it and not the other way around. But in my view it needs to be about the Apple II and not about some other computer with the same processor, and about preserving what was good and better instead of substituting something newer but lamer in the retro-sense (and even in the present tense).

Apple II Forever!
csa2 forever!
Aztec C Forever!

Best Regards,



PS – Thanks to Jeff Hurlbert (Rubywand) for the Manx Aztec C Mini-manual for DOS 3.3. Thanks also to Michael J. Mahon for correcting some errors in this.  Many thanks to Mike T. (BluPhoenyx) for providing the content for the Apple II Aztec C65 ProDOS html manuals and to Frank at Phade Software for providing them to Mike in their original manpage format.