Twilight II v2.0 released by A.P.P.L.E.

Seattle, Washington — July 24, 2020 — Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) is proud to announce the availability of a beautiful new 127 page manual for “Twilight II: The Ultimate Screensaver for Your Apple IIGS.” Twilight II was programmed by Jim R. Maricondo in 1993 and went through several revisions, eventually reaching a 2.0 beta.

The new release 2.0 is the culmination of many efforts, with Antoine Vignau fixing bugs and compiling this final version in 2020. Bill Martens has been the project leader, working with multiple aspects of the release. Brian Wiser designed and edited the new manual and cover, like he does for other books.

For the first time, over 65 modules are included to make the screensaver even more fun and useful. Extensive technical documentation to help with programming new modules has been added.

Nothing else can match the variety of effects included with Twilight II, the ultimate Apple IIGS screen saver!  What good is a screen saver that comes with only a few meager effects?  We include over 65 different, colorful and stunning screen saver modules.  Twilight II works with most GS/OS System 6.0 desktop programs.

Availability

“Twilight II: The Ultimate Screensaver for Your Apple IIGS” is available through the A.P.P.L.E. bookstore with production and fulfillment by Lulu.com.  A disk image is available on the Apps page. Source code for Twilight II is available from our A.P.P.L.E. Github page:  https://github.com/callapple

Features

Authors

Jim R. Maricondo – got his first computer, an Apple IIGS, in 1989 after falling in love with the Apple II in school.  After teaching himself AppleSoft BASIC he desired to write IIGS applications.  However, he did not like Pascal and could not find a book teaching C for the IIGS, so he decided to start with 65816 assembly.  He started out reading Computist and cracking a few copy-protected games, but desired to write something himself.

Around 1991, he met another teenager online, Jonas Stich, and together they wrote the original Twilight screensaver, inspired by After Dark on the Mac.  There was no Apple IIGS screensaver available at the time, so this was a big market opportunity.  (A little while later, he also banded together with a few other teenagers he met online to create DYA, the Digital Youth Alliance, with the goal of writing demos and software for the IIGS.  Unfortunately, DYA only had one release, a self-booting slideshow for the IIGS.)  The first Twilight was $10 shareware and Jonas and Jim agreed to split the revenue (from probably around 100-150 paying users in total).  Unfortunately, after about a year Jonas went off to college and the checks from Jonas, who collected the money, stopped coming in.  Meanwhile, it became apparent there were a lot of bugs and areas for improvement.  

Jim decided to rewrite the app himself, naming it “Twilight II” and sought to have it published commercially.  But this was 1992 right when the bottom was falling out of the Apple II market.  So, he decided to publish it himself, founding DigiSoft Innovations in the process.  Matt Keller and Derek Young from DYA helped contribute art and effects modules.  Critically, Jim met James C. Smith online and James went on to author the most famous modules such as Fractal Mountains, Fireworks, SLED (Super LED Sign).  To write the manual, Jim borrowed a Mac Classic from James which was shipped from Wisconsin to Connecticut so that he could use the booklet making plug-in module for Aldus PageMaker, and had it printed at a neighborhood print shop that he actually toured originally in preschool.  Originally 1,000 copies of the manual were produced, but eventually a second printing was required.  Jim sold many copies directly, at trade fairs (including its [beta] debut at Apple Expo East 1992, and later Apple Expo West in April 1993), and through distributors like Big Red Computer Club, offering “competitive upgrades” from Signature, the only real competition, and discounts for user groups and referrals from groups like Shareware Solutions.  It is estimated that around 1,250 copies were sold in total, to the last batch of loyal Apple II diehards.  (“II Infinitum!”)

Some other tidbits:  Jim was always concerned about performance, that having Twilight II running in the background would not slow down the speed of the computer too much.  Of course, when a screen saver is running, the original program stops (except for the background mode, which just dims the screen but lets the original program continue running, by changing the color palettes.)  By far, the most popular animation on After Dark on the Mac was the Flying Toasters.  Jim didn’t want to publish an outright copy of it, but eventually someone cloned the graphics to create a custom animation using the YouDrawIt module (which lets you draw your own frames in a template which is later animated.)

Unfortunately, in 1994 like Jonas before, Jim also went off to college and Twilight II development ground to a halt.  Jim started an upgrade to Twilight II but unfortunately never managed to finish it.  Nathan Mates offered to complete it, so Jim provided him the source and later forgot about it.  The source of the Nathan Mates version is probably lost to history.  In the late 2010s, Bill Martens got Jim to dig up the version 2.0 beta source from his old hard drive so it could be archived and re-released in 2020.  Special thanks to Bill Martens, Brian Wiser, and of course Antoine Vignau for this release!

After Twilight II, Jim worked as a software engineer writing Internet security software, financial trading systems, and eventually Web apps, in Silicon Valley in Japan, before eventually transitioning to a career in business development and technology evangelism.  He currently resides in Japan and is passionate about blockchain and cryptocurrency.  Some of Jim’s projects are available at:  https://tezmania.jp

Antoine Vignau – discovered the Apple II at the age of 10.  After months of discoveries, he wrote his first assembly language routines.  Later on, he became interested in copy protection schemes.  In 1992, he founded Brutal Deluxe Software with Olivier Zardini.  They have released numerous top-notch programs for the Apple II and IIGS, encompassing entertainment, utilities, and software preservation.  Noteworthy titles include LemminGS and The Tinies.

Antoine is also the curator of the Apple II Documentation Project which aims to preserve all hardware-related items for the Apple II computers.  And, he has made contributions to numerous projects by recovering, compiling, and enhancing legacy source code for key programs such as Twilight II, DOS 4.4, GS/OS System 6, GBBS, and Sword of Sodan.  Today, Antoine works in IT where he has held different positions in large industrial companies.  Read more about Brutal Deluxe and Antoine’s archival projects at:  https://www.brutaldeluxe.fr

Producers

Brian WiserApple consultant, historian and archivist.  Designer, editor, and co-producer of many books including: Graphically Speaking: Enhanced Edition, Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From the Computing Revolution, The WOZPAK Special Edition: Steve Wozniak’s Apple-1 & Apple II Computers, The Colossal Computer Cartoon Book: Enhanced Edition, and What’s Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition.  Producer/Director of the documentary film Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity, Beagle Bros and Applied Engineering web sites.  Brian also co-produced the retro iOS game Structris, and is a co-producer/writer for CallApple.org and Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine.

Bill MartensApple historian and enthusiast, Programmer, President of Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and co-producer of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine, and books like Cyber Jack, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints, The WOZPAK Special Edition, and What’s Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition. Bill also co-produced and co-programmed the retro iOS game Structris.

Publisher

Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) has been a global Apple user group since 1978, with membership peaking near 50,000 in 1985.  Offering many services, A.P.P.L.E. is also a book publisher and game developer, and has produced over 40 new book titles since 2013 in addition to over 100 Apple software titles.

A.PP.L.E. produced and published the The WOZPAK Special Edition – a detailed book containing Steve Wozniak’s restored handwritten notes and printouts about his Apple II computer, as well as a forward from Steve Wozniak and other Apple legends. They also publish titles such as: Graphically Speaking: Enhanced Edition by Mark Pelczarski, Tome of Copy Protection,  Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software, Synergistic Software: The Early Games, Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From the Computing Revolution by Mike Harvey, What’s Where in The Apple: Enhanced Edition, The Colossal Computer Cartoon Book: Enhanced Edition by David H. Ahl, The A.P.P.L.E. 1978 and 1979 Compendiums, and the retro iOS game Structris.

Press information is available at: www.callapple.org/press

Books are listed at: www.callapple.org/books

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About the Author

Brian Wiser

Brian is an A.P.P.L.E. Board member and Managing Editor of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine. He is a long-time Apple consultant, historian and archivist. Brian designed, edited, and co-produced several books including: "Cyber Jack: The Adventures of Robert Clardy and Synergistic Software", "Synergistic Software: The Early Games", "Nibble Viewpoints: Business Insights From The Computing Revolution", "What's Where in the Apple: Enhanced Edition", and "The WOZPAK: Special Edition" – an important Apple II historical book with Steve Wozniak's restored original, technical handwritten notes as well as a forward from Steve Wozniak and other Apple legends. Brian also co-produced the retro iOS game "Structris." Brian was an extra in Joss Whedon’s movie “Serenity,” leading him to being a producer/director for the documentary film “Done The Impossible: The Fans’ Tale of Firefly & Serenity.” He brought some of the Firefly cast aboard his Browncoat Cruise and recruited several of the Firefly cast to appear in a film for charity. Brian speaks about his adventures at conventions around the country.