RetroRetrospective – Fun today with yesterday’s gear……..

Well here we are again. I’t’s RetroChallenge time and my project will be a strategy game in the 1980s style in the likes of SSI or Avalon Hill. So why the picture of ol’ George Washington?  He’s going to be the central character of the game, the Commander-in-Chief has to rebuild the Continental Army, garner support of the States and their  Militias, battle internal strife of  those that wish to see the the newly founded Union bought down with the assistance of foreign powers.

The ink on the 1783 Paris Treaty is barely dry, can George Washington save the nation? Of course there’s a twist, I’m writing the game 😉

1786! Awaits.


Computer Education Apple IIe & IIgs

Computer Education Centre

It’s not every day an Australian Educational software set appears on eBay just begging to be imaged.  This is the “Basic Skills Software Resource Collection” by the Computer Education Centre (CEC).  This is the main collection of 16 single-sided 5.25″ diskettes, and the bonus double-sided 17th diskette.


Diskette Images (DSK Format)

Saturday 29th April 2017 was WOzFest PR#6 where the theme was preservation, so I had the perfect candidate for the project in a recent acquisition of Sunburst’s “Learning To Cope With Pressure”, of course it comes with a 5.25″ floppy with protection, but they did generously include a second spare master diskette.



AppleWin Start Screen

AppleWin Start Screen

Yes, you read that correctly – AppleWin for the Mac.  Well, not quite.  It is the same current release of AppleWin for Windows users, what I’ve done is use WineBottler to package up the download into a self contained app that uses Wine to provide the Windows API support.

If you don’t want to compile Wine yourself, there are pre-compiled Wine installers on the WineBottler download page.

So, why would I want to do this on my MacPro? That’s a very good question.  Most of the time I use Virtual ][ to emulate an Apple][, but when rebuilding my development environment to the MacPro I could find my license key, and as I was doing clean installs of my software that became a bit of a problem, so I’ve emailed and asked if it would be possible to retrieve my license keys (fingers crossed that comes through), but back to this story.


October 9th, 2016

“Week of the Kfest”

5 Comments, Apple2, KansasFest, by Michael.

Greetings Kfest fans,  my good friend Mike has produced an audio travelogue about KansasFest 2016 called “Week of The KFest.”

In the presentation Mike includes sound bites from many of the attendees of this year’s (2016) week-long KansasFest Apple II event.

Floppy Days

It was published to Floppy Days this week.

If you’d like to hear it, here are three links you can choose from:

Way back in the day on of my favourite programming tools was Nibble BASIC from the Nibble Magazine.  It allowed you to write Applesoft programs without line numbers, and added additional commands such as If/ElseIf/Else, and Loop/EndLoop, as well as Goto and Gosub labels rather than using line numbers.

I added extra commands such as Repeat/Until and While/EndWhile, and “Turtle” like graphic commands.

In a previous RetroChallenge I was going to re-write Nibble BASIC in itself, but my project this time is to write an external “compiler” to take an enhanced Applesoft like script and convert it to run on an Apple][.

My target script is a version of the traditional “Hello World” program below:

# RetroChallenge 2016/10
# Hello World Program

my String$  = "Hello World"
my Counter% = 10
my Count%   = 1
my Co%      = 2
my Characters_Per_Line = 40


for i = 1 to Counter%
   Co% = centre_text(Characters_Per_line,String$)

Print "String$ [";String$;”]”
PRINT "Counter%>";Counter%
?     "Count%  >";Count%
print "Co%     >";Co%

sub centre_text
   my line_size = shift
   my text$     = shift
   my start_character = int(len(text$)/2))
   htab start_character : print text$

So, in a nutshell, declared variables with full name support, not just up to the first two characters, called subroutines passing and returning  values (no recursion support) , and case insensitive commands.

If time permits, I’ll add additional Applesoft commands to the parser.

. . . Also known as Retro Procrastination:

Things Achieved:

  • Sorted out back section of the 8Bit Bunker
  • Laid 2 boxes of carpet squares (10 sqm) in tidied up area
  • Setup Lounge on carpeted area
  • Setup very retro CRT TV to watch the tennis
  • Cleared and setup second desk to provide work-space for  RetroChallenge programming

Things Not Achieved:

  • RetroChallenge programming

Stay tuned for further Retro Procrastination Updates.

January 4th, 2015

2015/01 Retrochallenge

4 Comments, Uncategorized, by Michael.

OK.  I’m a glutton for punishment.  I’m going to give my S-Basic project one last shot as a Retrochallenge project.

Outline of of amended revised simplified easier goals coming to this post soon (I promise).

June 12th, 2014

2014 “Summer” Challenge

4 Comments, Uncategorized, by Michael.
Nibble Programmer 1983 Issue 06

Nibble Programmer 1983 Issue 06


 OK, so it’s winter here in Australia, so what is this “Summer Challenge” thing.  2014SC is the Retrochallenge and to quote the site:

“In a nutshell, the RetroChallenge is a loosely disorganised gathering of RetroComputing enthusiasts who collectively do stuff with old computers for a month.

The event is very much open to interpretation… individuals set there own challenges, which can range from programming to multimedia work; hardware restoration to exploring legacy networking… or just plain dicking around. It really doesn’t matter what you do, just so long as you do it.

While the RetroChallenge has its competitive side, it’s not really a contest… it’s more like global thermonuclear war — everyone can play, but nobody really wins.” More

February 24th, 2014

It’s not an Apple][ !

5 Comments, Dick Smith, Random Thoughts, VZ200, by Michael.


Boldly stepping into the retro world that is not Apple][ related.  Just arrived is my ‘new’ Dick Smith VZ200.

I still need to find an old cassette player recorder to go fully retro, but in  the meantime I intend to digitise the tape, and play the audio file from my iPhone to the the input port of the VZ200.   Should be able to save files by recording to the iPhone.

I’ve downloaded a VZ200 emulator, so I can at least look at the basic programming in my spare moments.