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Everything posted by david__schmidt

  1. You mention Ultima - and there is a really excellent blog by the Digital Antiquarian (Jimmy Maher) that does a fantastic job of diving deep into the history and reviews aspects of the whole series. I highly recommend having a read. The Ultima series starts here: http://www.filfre.net/2012/02/ultima-part-1/ He also does lots of research into other historical games of great import - you can view the table of contents here: http://www.filfre.net/sitemap/ Those should give you some interesting pointers to important games as well as their histories... which definitely enriches the experience beyond the "pew pew pew."
  2. There are lots of good games, even iconic games, in lots of different genres. What someone considers "really good" depends a lot on what kinds of games that person likes - or maybe even what games he or she had fun with back in the day, and wants to relive. What can you tell us about the kinds of games you like?
  3. Hi, Tony - don't believe the automatic calculator, it's notorious for over-estimating international shipments. You've done the right thing by making contact via email.
  4. A typically-configured system will have a 5-1/4" and 3-1/2" disk drive. If you want to get into GSOS (the Mac-like GUI) you will need some sort of mass storage device. That might be a SCSI drive (which relies on spinning rust particles) or one of the newer devices like the CFFA 3000 or other memory card-based storage devices. A ROM03 version comes with a little more than 1 MB of memory, which is just barely enough to get GSOS booted, but of course is plenty to play 97.2% of the games written for the entire Apple II line. A ROM01 machine comes with less memory onboard, so you'll feel more of a need to expand its memory; ROM01's are also electronically noisier (you literally hear more noise coming from the speaker, reflecting activity in the system). The box itself will need an ADB-based keyboard (and mouse for GSOS), a technology shared with the old-world Macs; they're pretty easy to find if your machine doesn't come so equipped. There are cards as well as circuit plans available to expand the mono sound created by the system into stereo; a Mockingboard (including modern clones) is also an option to play synthesized stereo music generated by a few game titles. But most folks just stick with the basic sound output by the internal speaker (recall that "GS" refers to Graphics and Sound, greatly expanded over the original Apple II).
  5. Yes, any TV with video-in, aka composite (not component) will work. You know, the yellow RCA plug. Turn it on and look at the copyright message and stuff at the bottom of the screen. Does it say ROM 01 or ROM 03? Or does it make no mention of ROM whatsoever (and so ROM 00)? That will have a bearing on whether or not you should be looking for more RAM or not. ROM 03 = about 1MB, enough to run most normal stuff. ROM 01 = about 256KB, not enough to usefully run GSOS without expansion. ROM 00 = look for a ROM 01 chip. About the mouse - you will need an Apple ADB mouse, specifically. The kind that Apple used before USB was a thing.
  6. One would write 100% of the software in existence that would run on it.
  7. Well, not just comparable... there are modes where you can have colored text (more like, say, the color Commodore computers of the era).
  8. No kidding - the weight alone... Successful shipments to me consisted of tightly wrapped, dense bubblewrap. And a HUGE box.
  9. You can play with a virtual one for free... a fairly recent MESS version came out that is very, very good. There's a wrapper for it called Apple3rtr (Apple /// Ready-to-Run) that makes it all really simple, and is better outfitted than most real ones: https://github.com/datajerk/apple3rtr
  10. What key would you propose to use for that? Again, try any letter key - I believe it zooms to the first file starting with that letter. I seem to recall there being situations where 'a' and 'z' did page up and page down, but I can't remember where that was.
  11. Try hitting a letter key to zoom to the first file starting with that letter. Or... try segmenting your files into directories. Yes and no. Most do, but it also depends on your setup on your IIgs: what order have you set slots to boot in your control panel will affect that. By default, the Apple II boots from slot 7 and works its way down until it finds something to do. So even if you have an image in slot 6 that could autoboot... if slot 7 is occupied by the CFFA3000, that will get in the way. DOS 3.3 shouldn't be an issue. If you have the image set up and you (for example) PR#6, it should just boot. Assuming you've also set the "virtual" Disk II to be in slot 6... Have you gone through the intro video?
  12. I've got a few. As a programmer, it's like an Apple II on steroids. It's got a bank-switched architecture where 32k chunks are swapped in and out a the flip of a softswitch. It's got an extended addressing mode that gives a program access to storage all over the place. And it all still happens with the 6502 (which itself can be switched between 1 and 2 MHz). Plus, basically all off the II+ stuff you know and love is still there - the screen memory, keyboard interaction, etc. can be done at the hardware level. SOS abstracts that away, which itself is innovative with its loadable device drivers. And my favorite part: the arrow keys have two rates of repeat, based on how hard you push them. People badmouth it, but to me - it's a technical tour de force given the environment and era it came from.
  13. I can't imagine this being useful, in practice. It's a little like OCRing a program from a scan... you have to proofread the whole thing anyway after the conversion. Due to the typical screen-handling control characters (and goodness knows, all the peeks and pokes) it doesn't make a ton of sense to do an automatic conversion of BASIC, even though retokenization will get you 80% of the way there, text-wise. You still have 95% of the work ahead of you to get the rest working sensibly. It makes much more sense to just analyze the program at hand and re-engineer it as you go when re-coding for a new platform. Very little software was vanilla BASIC that took no advantage of the target system's capabilities.
  14. That's the most pretentious outer box I've ever seen.
  15. Right, because the ?FORMULA error is all about string expressions, not arithmetic ones. You'll get the same error with Applesoft. It certainly is. The message got much more clear with the later MSX and GW BASICs.
  16. Looking at the code (http://jamtronix.com/files/applesoft.html) it appears it's only triggered during formulaic string evaluation, even though lanuage references often speak about the error being possible during normal math. Of course you can concoct all sorts of oddball concatenation situations... and the solution is, if you run into the limit of temporary string holding areas (3), you can always simplify by splitting your formula up into smaller pieces.
  17. Certainly. No, not really; an incompetent or careeless programmer could cause all sorts of random crap to happen if he/she starts POKEing where they don't belong. Here's an example program that triggers ?FORMULA TOO COMPLEX on both Apple and Commodore BASIC (which of course both descended from the same MS BASIC): ]LIST 10 A$ = "ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM" 20 B$ = MID$ (A$,2) + ( MID$ (A$,4) + ( MID$ (A$,6) + MID$ (A$,9))) ]RUN ?FORMULA TOO COMPLEX ERROR IN 20 ]REM WITHOUT FANFARE: ]A$ = "A" + ("B" + ("C" + ("D"))) ?FORMULA TOO COMPLEX ERROR ]
  18. Reference this page: http://www.calormen.com/jsbasic/reference.html#errorcodes
  19. If you need ImageWriter support Right Now, GSport (an Apple II GS emulator) offers that: http://gsport.sourceforge.net/printer.html
  20. The Laser 128 is a little sensitive to how long you hold the keys down. Too long, and it goes into the full reboot cycle. So experiment a little with holding down Ctrl, but just quickly tapping the reset chicklet.
  21. Yes, because the internal 3-1/2" drive is on (virtual) slot 5, and the external 5-1/4" is on slot 6. So the drive is where it's expected to be.
  22. The IIc+ is pretty sturdy. Being among the "newest" in the Apple II line, it has the benefit of a little newer chips than most. :-) The thing you'll be concerned about the most is the lack of a 5-1/4" drive, and hence being cut off from a lot of Apple II software. But you can pick up an external one and plug it in the back and still have all the normal function on slot 6.
  23. The GS is probably your best bet, if your objective is to play the most games possible. It is by and large backwards compatible with older models; you would run into trouble with some that required, for example, the audio jacks or had really hardcoded dependencies on the firmware. But there's a whole class of GS games that came out in the late 80s that are of course completely inaccessible to the earlier models. So unless you're talking about a few games that came out in 1977... the GS is probably what you're looking for.
  24. Yep, there is an issue somewhere along the line with memory that is invisible to some 64k programs, but it prevents ProDOS from working correctly.
  25. If ProDOS says "RELOCATION / CONFIGURATION ERROR" that means ProDOS is not able to load itself into the upper 16k of RAM - which would also be a problem for ADTPro. So there is a possibility there is trouble with that upper 16k of memory.
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