New version of the iCade on its Way!

The ever popular iCade cabinet from ThinkGeek has been totally re-designed.  The newest design loses the cabinet and is a sleek docking station along the lines of the Atari Arcade.  The primary difference is the fact that this version will support landscape mode as well.  The launch of the product is expected to be sometime during 2nd quarter 2012.  While the cabinet is no longer part of the unit, the new product will still likely cost $100.00 USD

Source: Engadget

Eamon Deluxe v.5.0 Beta Testers Wanted

Frank Kunze has put out a call for beta testers of his latest version of Eamon Deluxe.   Eamon is an adventure system originally created by Donald Brown in 1979.  The system has gone through several renditions and currently has over 255 adventures created by various authors globally.

The Eamon Deluxe system was created by Frank Kunze to enhance the capabilities of the Eamon Adventure system and is now available for users of Windows Vista, Windows 7 in 32 Bit mode, and Mac OS X.

For more information about the Eamon System, you can check out the Eamon Adventures Guild Online website.  To volunteer to be a beta tester for Eamon Deluxe 5.0, check out Franks post to the Eamon blog at:

http://eamon-guild.blogspot.com/2012/01/needed-playtesters-for-eamon-deluxe-v50.html

Washington Apple Pi Apple /// DVD Now Public Domain

An announcement on the Apple II Scans website brought word that Dave Ottlani, creator of the Washington Apple PI Apple /// DVD, has made the entire collection public domain.   He released this collection “so that the information there can be freely accessed.

You can read the announcement in its entirety at:

http://apple2scans.net/apple-iii/washington-apple-pi-apple-dvd/

You can download the .iso of the DVD from here:

http://apple2scans.net/files/apple3/WAP_DVD/A3DVD.iso

The news release also included the corrected version of the corrupted file A3 and can be downloaded from here:

http://apple2scans.net/files/apple3/WAP_DVD/A3%20–%20WAP%20Disk%20Library.zip

Apple ][ Game Server Updated to Version 0.5

Egan Ford has been busy with finding new ways to utilize the cassette port on the Apple ][ computer.  His Apple ][ Game Server is now at version 0.5 and has a number of improvements in speed and methodologies of loading the programs onto real and emulated Apple ][ computers.

Version 0.5 includes the following updates:

  • Boosted audio volume from 50% to 75%.
  • Added MON download option (Apple Monitor text for pasting into emulators). Right-click to save it.

You can download the games from the Apple ][ Game Server at:

http://asciiexpress.net/gameserver/

Apple /// Dealer Docs Posted Online

Mike Maginnis has posted a nice collection of Apple /// Dealer docs online in PDF Format.  The collection, which he recently acquired, contains a number of interesting items including the original announcement of ListServe /// as well as a letter from David Fradlin talking about the Apple ///.  Mike has posted them because as he says, “I am unlikely to successfully auction them for $1.6 million (or even the original estimate of $25,000 to $50,000)”.

You can download the entire collection from the Apple II Scans website at:

http://apple2scans.net/apple-iii/apple-iii-dealer-document-collection/

JACE Emulator Source Code Updated, Build Coming Soon

Brenden Robert has updated his JACE Emulator (Java Apple Computer Emulator) Source code to revision 150 and has said that a new build is coming soon.  The delay in the update was attributed to  several bugs which were preventing a build from being submitted.  According to Brenden’s post on CSA2, “I still have some issues with getting the code to run really well when full-screen, but that’s a video generation/scaling problem and I need to profile the code further to track down what’s going on there to nail it.

Some things fixed are: Video null pointer error on start, Removed program counter from configuration screen to fix crashes when reconfiguring the emulator, better prompts when loading media, and the intro text now correctly indicates the keys for loading disk and hard drive media (was incorrect previously).

Oh, and I fixed the bug that caused sound to not work in games like Moon Patrol (which uses a STA $C030 instead of LDA or BIT) so now sound is pretty much 100% but still kinda choppy if you full-screen. Still, no random crashes or freezes so that’s good.

I would like to have better joystick support but really that’s not going to happen in Java without native libraries, something I’ve been trying desperately to avoid.  Since the configuration system is very modular, it may be possible to have a mod system, similar in fashion to a lot of modern games like Minecraft and the like.  That would allow the base copy of Jace to be dependency-free and allow those who want different emulation options another way.  Come to think of it, I could add an RXTX-based SSC implementation too if needed.”

JACE is primarily being developed by Brenden and Nick Westgate and is one of the few emulators which has Full 128K Support and Double Hi-Resoluition graphics capability.  The features of the JACE Emulator are as follows:

  • Full 128kb support, double-hires and 80-column
  • Disk emulation (dos ordering, NIB)
  • Speaker emulation
  • CPU-saver features (diables sound/video updates when possible)
  • SSC-over-TCP/IP emulation
  • Open-ended design makes it easier for developers to add additional hardware emulation
  • HDV/2MG image support
  • Joystick emulation (using mouse)

While the project began in 2007, the initial release to the public did not occur until January 2011.  For more about the JACE Emulator or to download the source code, go to the website at:

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

Or you can directly download the source code from the Sourceforge site at:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/java-ace/

Agat Emulator V.1.22 Released

The latest version of the Soviet era Agat computer emulator has been released.  The Agat is an Apple ][ compatible computer which was developed in the Soviet Union and runs a good number of Apple ][ titles.

Improvements in Version 1.22 are as follows:

  • Implemented floppy drive controller for Acorn Atom system.
  • Added support for extension ROMs for Acorn Atom.

The Agat Emulator is made for Win32 based systems and can be found here:

http://www.emucr.com/2012/01/agat-emulator-v122.html

Apple Event Rumored to Be in New York in January

There are currently several rumors floating around about a supposed event which Apple will be holding near the end of January.  Speculation is ripe that the even will be help in New York, site of the recently opened grand central station Apple Store.  Many sites are speculating on whether this is the release of the iPad 3 or an event scheduled to introduce a new iTV product, yet we have been doing a bit of research on this and have found that it is likely to be education related.

Recently the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the advent of their new Online Learning Initiative or MITx.  This is not unlike that which MIT and Stanford have been doing for years with OpenCourseware, however, this time, participants will be allowed to test and receive certificates of completion of the courses.  It appears that Apple will attempt to capitalize on this with their own initiatives involving iTunes and the current setup of the available courseware. This is a logical extension of the current program and it is possible that Apple will even include their own testing system in order to best facilitate the usage of the MITx courses.

Another area that Apple is likely to announce some type of publishing system, not unlike that which Google announced this past month with Google Currents.  We have labeled this new system iPublisher for simplicity sakes but expect that it would be a system which implements similar style publishing to that which Google and Flipboard have implemented. We also are expecting that the iPublisher would likely be a full blown book and magazine publishing system which can be utilized by the general public. iPublisher would be integrated tightly with iTunes, ISBN Sales from Bowker and the Apple Book Store.

As the time draws near to the event, there is sure to be more rumors about hardware and software, however, the likelihood that hardware would be released is low being as Apple just released the iPhone 4S and would not likely undercut their sales unless another vendor has something vastly superior on the market.  The nearest thing to hardware we would see this month is an update to the Desktop systems or possibly a faster CPU based MacBook Pro.

4.2 Million iPhones Sold by Verizon

During the fourth Quarter 2011, Verizon sold a total of 4.2 million units of the latest rendition of iPhone.   This number was more than double the number of units sold by Verizon during the third quarter.   While this is good news for both Apple and Verizon, the news has not particularly been good for the stock where their price is currently at $39.21o USD or down 1.309% for the day.

The stock had over 2 million share trade today but with the news of the sales, everyone expected much more of Verizon (VZ), however, the smaller margins on sales of the iPhone caused the stock to slip.  Apple (AAPL) on the other hand is soaring and closed the day at $413.440 USD or up over 1/2 a percent.

Brutal Deluxe Software Starts New Cracking Series Videos

Brutal Deluxe Software has published the first three videos in a their Apple II Cracking Senses series.  The video series is designed to teach the current generation of Apple ][ fans what it takes to crack old software from the 1980's game by game.   While much of this software is long abandoned through either non-existence of the company that made it or through the loss of the original code by the author, it is an interesting insight into what these publishers and authors did to prevent or at least slow down people from copying their software.

You can watch the entire Apple ][ Cracking Senses series at:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2AF40F3DB52FFA22

UPDATE: Antoine Vignau has posted three more videos to the series.  He has also posted a sample unprotected disk for those who wish to try their own hand at the cracking.