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This month on Open Apple, we sit down with Huibert Aalbers, author of Soundsmith. It’s hard to overstate what a platform-defining piece of software this was for the Apple IIgs. Few people appreciated what the audio system in this computer was capable of, until Huibert unlocked it for the world to hear. Games and scene demos would use his tool for the entire life of the machine. Other music trackers came along in later years, but Soundsmith was always there. It turns out platform jealousy can be a powerful force indeed.

Meanwhile, we talk oranges, Taiwanese ham, dying young, and cramming IIc parts in your Franklin. We blow the lid off the French pirate sneakernet and complain about kids today and their disrespect for bytes.

After that, Mike finds beta ROMs, Quinn loses her sense of humor, and they both find GS RAM cards everywhere. It’s a IIgs themed episode- all the Ensoniqs and FTAs you can stand. If you’re an Atari user*, see if you can spot the backhanded compliment.

You won’t want to miss Huibert’s amazing project involving IIgs Epluché!

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

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This month on Open Apple, we sit down with legendary Apple II programmer, Bill Budge. In addition to being an icon of Apple II gaming and graphics, he is the number-one-requested guest by listeners of the show. Mike and Quinn are very excited he was able to make some time to talk to them, and hope you agree it was worth the effort. Bill is, of course, the author of such seminal classics as Raster Blaster, Pinball Construction Set, and MousePaint. He was an influential force in the golden years of Electronic Arts, and did many good works with early Apple as well.

After chatting with Bill, Mike and Quinn chew the fat about Soviet Apple II clones, slowing down the IIc Plus, and documenting rare II models. Meanwhile, Quinn constructs an impromptu sound studio in a conference room, and Mike waxes nostalgic about harpsichords. Also, this episode marks the most Apple III references snuck in to date. Mike even manages to goad the guest into bringing it up. Don’t miss Quinn struggling to remember the word “Dacta”, and Mike taking a cheap shot at Elevator Action.

A quick update to Quinn’s Floppy Emu Model B review- since this was recorded, Steve has updated the firmware so it now remembers the last disk image you used.

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

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This month on Open Apple we sit down with Peter Lount, co-developer of Gemstone Warrior and Gemstone Healer for the Apple II. Canadian programmer Peter and his partner Trouba broke new ground in video games by combining fast action combat with procedurally generated caves and dungeon content. Gemstone Warrior doesn’t get credit for being the predecessor to Blizzard megahit Diablo, but it should. Peter talks about tuning his rendering engine, including rewriting huge chunks of it overnight to meet a deadline. What’s your reality resolution?

Tune in to hear Mike complain that Gemstone’s monsters are too smart for him, and hear Quinn choke on the most important Apple II announcement of the year. We talk a lot about solid state drives, marvel at underground ‘zines, and bask in the awesome glory of Brutal Deluxe’s tape collection. Audio is still the “best” way to move data after all these years. “A bold statement,” you say? “Nonsense,” you cry? Listen and decide.

Meanwhile, Ultimate Micro continues to kick butt by reverse engineering all that sweet Applied Engineering hardware, Quinn makes terrible “card” jokes, and we catch up on lots of feedback.

Breaking the fourth wall on segment bumpers- good idea, or great idea?

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

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Open Apple #55 (January 2016) : Henry Courbis, UltimateMicro, ProDOS conversions

This month on Open Apple we sit down with Henry Courbis, co-proprietor of Ultimate Micro, serial entrepreneur, and Open Source guy. Henry is boldly going where no hobbyist has gone before, by making Apple II hardware his real day job. If anyone can do it, Ultimate Micro can!

We talk massive modem phone bills, phreaking, warez, and statutes of limitations. You know… for a friend. Henry talks about how hardware first appealed to him, and how he has leveraged his hacking and resourcefulness into development of powerful & complex modern products. Henry is a nexus of collaboration in the Apple II hardware community, and helping to make a lot of things happen. Henry makes cloning the Transwarp GS sound easy, and goes into lots of detail on exciting upcoming UltimateMicro products.

Listen in amazement as Quinn is unable to realize that “qkumba” is a play on “cucumber”. Listen to Mike badger Henry for a Phasor clone, and listen to Quinn’s not-so-subtle attempt to be a beta tester for the IDEA2c. We’ve got emulators, we’ve got hardware vendors, we’ve got crackers, and we’ve got phony museums about to get sued into oblivion. Come on down!

 

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

 

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This month on Open Apple, we round out the year with our annual tradition of sitting around a virtual table with some friends of the show, discussing whatever comes to mind. Mike and Quinn are joined by Randy Brandt of Beagle Bros fame, Charles Mangin of RetroConnector, and some guy named Carrington Vanston.

We talk about connecting old things to other old things, connecting old things to new things, and how to pluralize German surnames. Mike manages to make several Apple III references, Carrington imagines nonexistent 8-bit games, and The Third Apple Guy is discussed at some point. It’s a deep, intellectual examination of all things Apple II. Stay tuned to hear why Quinn’s mom hoards peoples’ IIGSes for some reason. You won’t want to miss a moment. Also, Quinn makes a 65C02 joke that nobody laughs at. You’ll know why.

 

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

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This month on Open Apple we sit down with David Schroeder, author of classic Apple II games such as Crisis Mountain, Dino Eggs, and Short Circuit. We talk about the randomness of our passionate brand-loyalty, the logistical realities of early Apple II development, and the magical era of “one-person, one-game”. We get into a lot of the technical details of Crisis Mountain and Dino Eggs, so you might pick up some tips for your own Apple II projects! David also has great memories of the economic and design realities of the time, where everyone was scrambling to figure out what a computer game was, and what players really wanted. Game developers are still fighting that battle, but at least we have a definition of “video game” now.

We’re sharing David’s games in the show notes below, with his permission! In exchange, he asks that you patronize, share and support Dino Eggs: Rebirth.

After that we jam through some quick news, bask in the fallout (see what I did there?) of the GEOS episode, and we get down and dirty with rodents. Do you have the GS with the bigger Em Bees? Trust us, you want the bigger Em Bees.

You might notice that we’re continuing to tighten up the show. Let us know how you feel about this trend in our show length! Do you like the shorter episodes? Miss the epic three hour monsters? Email us at feedback (at) open-apple (dot) net. We have social media too, but we can never remember which ones.

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

 

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This month on Open Apple we sit down with Robert Bowdidge, one of three interns at Berkeley Softworks who ported GEOS to the best line of 8-bit computers. We talk about what a great place Berkeley Softworks was, along with the power of good tools and proper software engineering. Robert has great memories of the culture there, the GUI technology they had built, and the brilliant people who built it. Apparently GEOS existed for some other 8-bit computer as well, but we imagine it was slow and child-like. Users probably bought it at K-Mart or something.

After the interview, Mike and Quinn delve into their personal memories of GEOS, along with a couple of new projects they both did with the environment. Mike works on GEOS file conversion, and Quinn sorts out all the drivers so you don’t have to. We’re even having a contest this month! Download Quinn’s Ultimate GEOS disk image and find the secret phrase. First person to do so and email us at feedback (at) open-apple (dot) net wins nothing at all!

We also talk some news- lots of really great hardware is coming down the pipe. You won’t want to miss Javier Rivera’s hands-on with Plamen’s IIc VGA adapter, and the Uthernet II is now available. Don’t miss out! We talk some Woz, we talk some French Touch, and we revisit KansasFest yet again.

Celebrate GEOS with Quinn and Mike this Hallowe’en!

GEOS Disk Image guide:

  • D1S1: Boot / Desktop disk
  • D1S2: Demos
  • D2S1: Drivers
  • D2S2: More Drivers
  • D3S1: GeoWrite
  • D3S2: GeoPaint / Desk Accessories
  • D4S1: GeoSpell / LaserWriter tools
  • D4S2: GeoDictionary

 

A quick sidebar on show length- yes, this episode is almost 3 hours again, but we really did try to make it shorter. We’ll continue to try and compromise a bit on this, so thanks for your patience!

More information on everything discussed in this episode, after the jump.

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This month on Open Apple we sit down with Mike Westerfield, of The Byte Works’ fame. We talk about his adventures writing assemblers & compilers for 8/16 bit computers, and we see what he’s up to nowadays. We talk about small-system compilers, Logo, the perils of open source, and where to go for Byte Works’ products. It’s a compiler and assembler-themed episode of the one-and-only Apple II podcast.

Tune in to hear Mike pine longingly for Lawless Legends, and hear Quinn achieve maximum Boo Atari Density (BAD). We find amazing new hardware and unauthorized museums. There are wacky Australians, wacky Russians, wacky Brazilians, and wacky Germans. There are Arduinos, headphone jacks, and realtime clocks, oh my! You won’t want to miss Mike dropping a Murphy Brown reference. Take that, Millenials!

Please support us by becoming a Patreon Patron.  The size of our audience means we have substantial bandwidth costs, and a few bucks from a few of you would really help us out. We have no advertisers and we run this show entirely on our own dime and our own time. Thanks for anything you can pitch in!

Stay tuned for a couple of genuinely weird games, an introduction to copy protection, and lots of user feedback. Some of you feel the show is too long. Does everyone feel that way? Email us at [email protected] and let us know.

More information on everything discussed in this episode after the jump.

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