Open Apple #25 (Mar 2013): Egan Ford, 8088, Voyager, and abandonware

Egan FordThis month on Open Apple, Mike and Ken chat with Egan Ford, aka the datajerk, the Apple-1 and II programmer extraordinaire responsible for the Apple II Game Server Online! Egan expertly demonstrates which CPU is faster, the 6502 or 8088, running circles around everyone listening. Laurie Spiegel is an Apple II user you may not have heard of, but extraterrestrials have, thanks to her contributions to Voyager’s Golden Record; we have some of her music for you to listen to. Courtesy Facebook and scanners, we save Don Worth’s magazines from the trash and Softalk from extinction, but we can’t save derelict hardware from abandoned buildings. Will Steve Wozniak be as good a commencement speaker as the late Steve Jobs? Having heard Woz at KansasFest, we weigh in.

(Please also note a correction to this episode.)

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Open Apple #23 (Jan 2013): 2012 year-end roundtable

Open Apple roundtable 2012's panelistsHaving gathered the treasures of 2012 and being tempted by the promises of 2013, the hosts of Open Apple are joined by Andy Molloy of Juiced.GS, Peter Neubauer of KansasFest, Vince Briel of Briel Computers, and Antoine Vignau of Brutal Deluxe to reflect on all that has happened with the Apple II and its community in the past year. We pick our favorite products, share memorable events, and make predictions for 2013. Topics include Apple-1 auctions, Kickstarter-funded sequels, progress in emulation, and more.

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Open Apple #20 (Oct 2012): Ewen Wannop, Spectrum, the next Apple II, and Mac Mini

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.

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Open Apple #14 (Apr 2012): Brian Picchi, GameFest, Prince of Persia, and gadgets

Brian PicchiThis month on the Open Apple podcast, our hosts chat with world video game record holder and Apple II game critic Brian Picchi, whose YouTube channel showcases the best and worst of Apple II entertainment. It’s a good time to be a convention-goer: registration has opened for KansasFest 2012, the lineup for Vintage Computer Festival East 8.0 has been announced, 8 Bit Weapon played at the Smithsonian’s opening of the Art of Video Games, and Jordan Mechner is keynoting PAX East. Kickstarter continues to be popular for reviving classic franchises, Ewen Wannop updates SNAP and SAFE on a shoestring budget, and Jordan Mechner unearths his Prince of Persia source code. On eBay, we found a rarer-than-the-Apple-1 copy of Akalabeth on cassette, a rare Apple IIGS-specific wristwatch, and a potential CFFA3000 scalper. Finally, we look at some gadgets that are new to us, including old iPads, new iPads, and DSLR cameras.

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Show #9 (Nov 2011): Melissa Barron, Britannia Manor, floppy drives, and iOS

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.

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Show #8 (Oct 2011): Kelvin Sherlock, Kickstarter, BASIC, and BCS

Kelvin SherlockThis month in Open Apple, Mike and Ken talk with Kelvin Sherlock, prolific Apple II programmer of GShisen, Silver Platter, ProFUSE, and more. Ken builds the suspense before revealing the identity of KansasFest 2012’s keynote speaker before we look at the latest Kickstarter fundraising projects that appeal to Apple II users. We ask ourselves, “Why are Apple II users different?” when sharing knowledge, products, and magazines. On eBay, we’re looking at soundtracks, CP/M cards, compression software, and defunct user group newsletters, before engaging in a smackdown of BASIC programming languages. Finally, we enjoy classic Apple II games on iOS and challenge Kelvin to explain why we can’t port Portal to the 6502.

Congratulations to Sal Bugliarisi, who named the game as Choplifter! He won a $20 credit to the Juiced.GS store, courtesy publisher Gamebits. Our next winner gets an autographed copy of Bob Bishop‘s Bomber on cassette.

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Show #7 (August 2011): David Schmenk, KansasFest 2011, CFFA3000, and buttons

Escape from the Homebrew Computer ClubThis month in Open Apple, Mike and Ken keep the KansasFest vibe going with first-time attendee David Schmenk, getting his perspective on the greatest products, sessions, and experiences of last month’s Apple II convention, from the CFFA3000 to Sweet16 and more. Ewen Wannop’s publication of an online magazine archive leads to a brief discussion on the creation and consumption of PDF scans, after which we get Tony Diaz on the line to clarify a hardware matter. On eBay, we like pins, buttons, and games, before getting ready for a special guest at this month’s Denver Apple Pi user group meeting.

Congratulations to Antony Mauget, who named the game as Hard Hat Mack! He won a complete collection of 300 Baud magazine. Next month’s winner of the easiest Name the Game contest ever gets a $20 gift certificate to the Juiced.GS store.

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