PLASMA Version 1.0 Officially Released

PLASMA, the modern programming language for the Apple 1, II, and III series computers has been officially released. Version 1.0 was announced today by the developer, David Schmenk. The new version includes disks which will run on a variety of Apple platforms including the entire Apple II series as well as the Apple III. While the program does not run on the Apple-1, it does provide the means by which to develop programs for it as well.

According to the official PLASMA webpage,

Apple 1

The Apple 1 is a very constrained system compared to the ][ and ///. It is required to have the CFFA1 disk adapter installed to provide file storage and a full 32K od RAM. To get the files onto the CF card required the use of CiderPress and they must be placed in one directory. Most PLASMA programs won’t work on the Apple 1 due to limited filesystem support, video/graphics capabilities, and lack of audio output. It does, however, make a good place to start when porting PLASMA to a new platform.

Apple ][

To boot directly into PLASMA, you will need to put the system files in the root prefix of the boot device and make sure PLASMA.SYSTEM is the first SYSTEM file in the directory. Otherwise, start PLASMA.SYSTEM from your program launcher of choice. All Apple ][ models with 64K and two floppy drives are supported up to a maxed out IIGS with accelerator and hard drive.

65802/65816 Support

PLASMA can utilize the 16 bit features of the 65802 and 65816 processors to improve performance of the PLASMA VM operation. This is transparent to the programmer/user and doesn’t make any additional memory or capabilities available to PLASMA. Launch PLASMA16.SYSTEM to use the 16 bit PLASMA VM. If you don’t have the right CPU, it will print a message and restart.

Apple ///

The Apple /// gets the environment it always wanted: The ability to navigate the filesystem with a command line interface. The Apple /// always boots from the floppy drive, even if a hard disk is installed. The PLASMA.SOS floppy should be updated with the SOS.DRIVER configured for your machine. Once booted, type S /HARDISK/PLASMA (or your install directory of choice) to change to, and set, the system directory. This can be automated by creating an AUTORUN file on the boot floppy with the above command in it.

There are four floppies included with PLASMA for users to download.  The fourth one is specifically for the Apple III and SOS.   You can download them from:

PLASMA 1.0 System

PLASMA 1.0 Build Tools

PLASMA 1.0 Demos

PLASMA 1.0 Apple /// SOS Boot

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About the Author

Bill Martens

A.P.P.L.E. Chairman of the Board and Club president -- Bill worked for the founder, Val J. Golding and A.P.P.L.E. from 1981 to 1982. In 1999, he began archiving the materials which were distributed and sold by A.P.P.L.E.. That project led to the group that remained of A.P.P.L.E. Bill was involved in the financial industry in Tokyo and has over 20 major office infrastructure projects to his name. In March 2001, he retired to write books and to spend more time pursuing personal interests. As the president of the users group, Bill is in charge of distribution of Call-A.P.P.L.E. magazine as well as the organization of this web site. Bill currently resides in Tokyo, Japan and Shelton, Wa splitting time between the places.