RetroRetrospective – Fun today with yesterday’s gear……..
Archive for the ‘Apple2’ Category

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.

  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”

No 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. It was published to Floppy Days this week. If you’d like to hear it, here are three links you can choose from: Floppy Days Feed (mono):…/65FloppyDays_2016_10_Week_of_th… 320kbps MP3 (stereo): M4A (stereo / uncompressed):

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 home for i = 1 to Counter%    Co% = centre_text(Characters_Per_line,String$) next  Print “String$ [“;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$)/2))    htab start_character : print text$ return(start_character) 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.

Thought I’d get a jump on the rewriting of S-Basic in S-Basic by dumping the S-Basic Applesoft code to a text file, then reformatting it as S-Basic, then running it through S-Basic5.3 on my disk image. Great idea, but . . . . . The code is just too unstructured.  Too many unexpected terminations within a routine using a GOTO that drops you part way into another routine.  Arrrrrrrrgh! I love structure, indenting, flow control, so looks like I’ve got to do it myself then. So back to my original plan of writing from scratch using the Applesoft listing as a guide only.

OK, so it’s summer here in Australia, so what is this “Winter Warmup” thing.  2014WW 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.”

August 23rd, 2013

The AppleII Monitor Peeled

No Comments, Apple2, Manuals, PDFs, by Michael.

You never quite know what you will find when you go browsing on eBay.  A couple of weeks ago I came across “The Apple II Monitor Peeled” and the old style presentation of it intrigued me, so I put a bid on it, and won it for pretty much the hand written price in the corner of the front cover.  Its ye olde charm, and printed on 3-hole paper with a two staples binding, it was too much to resist and just had to add it to my bookshelf. A typewriter composed book written in 1979 (2nd printing) by William E. Dougherty, and perhaps his forward to the book would be the best description.  

January 1st, 2013

What Do You Do On New Years Day?

No Comments, Apple2, by Michael.

What do you do on New Years Day when you’ve got too many unfinished projects?

I was tidying up my desk and found my copy of “Creating Adventure Games On Your Computer” by Tim Hartnell, I’d recently purchased off AbeBooks, and the little voice in the back of my head said, “This is it.  This is the Macrosoft project you’ve been looking for.”

October 26th, 2012

My First Macrosoft Program

No Comments, Apple2, Programming, by Michael.

The time had come. Time to use the Macrosoft programming language for my MindCraft Assembler. Time to realise I’d forgotten more about ProDOS than I’d thought! Tried booting the Macrosoft disk image on my Virtual][ emulator, only to find that it is not a bootable disk. What’s going on here? Tried the Assembler disk, and that booted up fine. Surely I couldn’t have been supplied a faulty disk image. Surely not? Desperate times call for desperate means . Yes, time to read the manual. (Technical types are permitted to cringe)