Archive for tag 'interactive fiction'

Charles ManginThis month on Open Apple, Mike and Ken chat with Charles Mangin, the mad scientist who puts Mac Minis inside Apple II cases and inventor of the RetroConnector. It’s our first show since KansasFest, and we share our highlights and favorite products and announcements from the show. The Steve Jobs film is now out, and Ashton Kutcher and Steve Wozniak have words while critics publish their own mixed reviews. However, we have nothing but praise for Walter Isaacson’s biography, and Steve Wozniak gets his own moment in the spotlight courtesy interviews with the Verge and Game Informer. We’re super-psyched that Eric Shepherd has established the S-Prize — how big will the pot grow before some enterprising programmer claims it?

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››

Open Apple #24 (Feb 2013): Jimmy Maher, book publishing, jOBS, and C64

Jimmy MaherThis month on Open Apple, Mike and Ken chat with Jimmy Maher, the historian behind the renowned blog The Digital Antiquarian. A published author, Jimmy provides us with his perspective on the pros and cons of going with a publishing house over the recent trend in retrocomputing toward self-publishing. We gripe about the Steve Jobs film sacrificing historical accuracy for mass appeal and recommend some alternative movies that get it right. We’re still loving iOS as a platform for classic gaming ports, from the adventure game Transylvania to the recently released Lode Runner Classic. Speaking of platforms, which is better: the Apple II or the Commodore 64? The answer may not be as obvious as you think! Finally, we offer a cautionary tale to vintage computer collectors whose inventory may be at the mercy of an avaricious landlord.

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››

Ewen WannopThis month on Open Apple, Mike and Ken chat with Ewen Wannop, British programmer of 16-bit telecommunications programs such as Spectrum, SAM, SNAP, and SAFE. The hosts share feedback galore from the last episode and contemplate how to record a live show. After catching up on some headlines from last month, we plow forward, celebrating the return of an interactive fiction publication and grumbling that even beginner IF can be as obscure as the medium is infamous for. The September 2012 issue of Juiced.GS just shipped, and with it, a look at what features a hypothetical System 7.0 operating system would include. Is it reasonable to consider that a software upgrade warrants a hardware bump, and what the next model of Apple II would look like? Photos of Steve Jobs in his natural habitat show an Apple stronghold as Spartan as ever, but you can decorate yours with Melissa Barron’s screenprints from Etsy. There’s a Disk II floppy drive on eBay that holds within it a working Mac mini — a cool hack, but is it worth a cool grand? We question the value of purchasing free software on eBay and marvel at everything from lighters to thumb drives in the shape of an Apple II.

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››

Open Apple #11 (Jan 2012): David Greelish, Steve Weyhrich, John Sculley, and Steve Jobs

David GreelishThis month on the Open Apple podcast, Mike and Ken chat with David Greelish, co-host of the Retro Computing Roundtable podcast and recently published author of the book The Complete Historically Brewed. In the news is the Retrochallenge Winter Warm-up, which we each want to enter but just can’t find the time for. Larry Marcus has an office full of dead technology we both admire and question, and we offer a similar reaction to a questionable statue made in tribute to Steve Jobs, whereas Ron Wayne we admire and pity. An Apple-1 didn’t sell on eBay, but the Leather Goddesses of Infocom did, with Mike blogging about this and other Infocom games. But the highlight this month is David discussing with noted Apple II historian Steve Weyhrich the role of former CEO John Sculley at Apple Computer Inc. and in the fate of the Apple II — a topic about which David recently interviewed Sculley himself! We recommend you listen to that episode of the Classic Computing podcast first, though it’s not mandatory.

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››

Rob KenyonThis month on the Open Apple podcast, Mike and Ken are joined by Rob Kenyon, a two-time KansasFest attendee as well as a professional programmer and 30-year veteran of the Apple II. We talk about how great it is to be a part of the international community of Apple II users, even if none of us can afford to buy Apple’s founding contract in a Sotheby’s auction. Rob asks, did Steve Jobs purposely kill HyperCard to turn the Mac into a more closed environment? We congratulate Wade Clarke and Andrew Schultz on their showing in the 17th annual Interactive Fiction Competition. Plenty of original Apple II computers are selling on eBay, with Mike and Rob discussing how to distinguish an authentic classic from a modified one. We share our wishes for the holiday season, including for an affordable accelerator card and a CFFA3000, before signing off for the calendar year. Please take our listener survey, and see you in 2012!

[Please note: technical difficulties have resulted in a low volume on Ken’s track, and a loud volume for Rob. Our apologies for the inconvenience.]

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››

Melissa BarronThis month in Open Apple, Mike and Ken talk with Melissa Barron, the Apple II community’s famed tapestry artist. The three relate their experiences exploring the past and future of computer media at conventions and museums in Chicago and Rochester, exploring the methods used to create and preserve history. Further tributes are made to Steve Jobs, while Mike Westerfield reclassifies old BASIC tools and releases new ones. Lord British’s Texas mansion is up for sale — a fitting home for Vintage Computer Festival Southwest? We debate various models of floppy drives and are wary of fake and expensive Apple II computers on eBay but excited about new e-books and iOS apps of interest to retrocomputing enthusiasts.

Congratulations to Todd Holcomb, who named the game as Spy’s Demise! He won an autographed copy of Bob Bishop’s Bomber on cassette, courtesy Mike Maginnis.

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››

Steve WeyhrichThis month in Open Apple, Mike and Ken chat with Apple II historian Steve Weyhrich about strategies and philosophies for scanning, preserving, and publishing the story of the Apple II. Hardware hacks for the Apple IIc and expansion cards making their KansasFest debut caught our attention this month, as did the American Humanist Association recognizing Steve Wozniak, who earned a musical tribute from Jonathan Mann. Watches, shirts, boxes, and Risk topped our eBay auctions, while games ran the gamut from text adventures to Xbox spiritual successors to IIGS classics, with a few decorative posters thrown in for good measure. In addition to Dr. Steve, former KansasFest logo designer Chris Lackey makes not one but TWO guest appearances this month!

Congratulations to Jeremy Rand, who correctly named the game as Out of this World! He wins a $25 discount off KansasFest 2011 registration or a free KansasFest shirt. Next month’s winner will earn a 20% or $50 discount off one ReactiveMicro.com order.

Click past the jump for links mentioned in this episode.

Continue reading this post ››