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Keatah

Your personal Whiz-Bang moments in Apple II computing

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Your personal Whiz-Bang moments in Apple II computing, what were they? What made you stand up and go ohhh wowwww! What totally amazed you about the Apple II in its day & age?

 

One of my moments was plugging in setting up my a Sider HDD. A whopping 10Meg jobber too! I was quite taken with how fast all my single-file "brun" games loaded. And I didn't have to swap floppies to do it either! I could put millions of these games on it and have room to spare!! I swear I was entering into the realm of mainframe computing back then.

 

After the gaming stint, and less "oh wow" but equally impressive was transferring BBS operations to a fixed disk. This opened up enormous speed improvements in log processing and program editing. I'm one to make 20 changes to program then save it. And repeat. So the savings in load/save times were great.

 

Another magic moment in Apple II computing was adding in a clock card. After hours and hours (no pun intended) of fussing and mussing I decided on the Applied Engineering TimeMaster II H.O. I felt (however stupid it might seem) that I increased the intelligence factor of my rig. It was now aware of the passage of time. And incorporating it into BBS activities was a real hoot! I had time and date stamps everywhere it seemed.

 

And a user could now only spend X amount of time in this or that section unless they upload to gain more time. Great stuff! But I mostly let that slide when I tallied up the logs.

 

I always wondered where the H.O. (high-output) designation came from. I understand it was a generic marketing term used by General Motors to trump up anemic V6 or V8 engines in the Camaro lineup. The Ford Taurus IIRC went beyond that with S.H.O.

 

So what were your magic moments?

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first time I saw one of those monochrome scanners you plopped in place of the imagewriter ink ribbon, I had seen photographic like images before, but to take a drawing and BAM! there it was was outstanding

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Thunderscan I think it was called??? Anyway, that was kual..

I didn't have an Apple II BITD, but my friend in high school did. I had a Vic-20, which I enjoyed.

But went to my friends house and he had an Apple ][+. Played Canonball Blitz, a space invaders type game and....

 

He had Ultima II....

 

OMG!!

 

That was my first Apple WOW moment (and my first ULTIMA - WOW moment!!)...

 

Then I had to go back to my Vic-20 and play Omega Race...

(Which is a great game, but no Ultima..)

 

desiv

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I remember Thunderscan. I wanted one, and couldn't afford one. And I didn't know what I would do with it after I scanned in like one or two pictures. Despite having everything else, I never got one of these even today.

 

Another cool thing was when Apple II games got filled-in graphics in action games. We used to have things like Space Invaders and Lunar Lander and Bill Budge's Pinball as our first games.. Many of these early games had small "sprites" and play objects. But I was impressed when things would get filled in like the terrain in Pegasus 2. Or the scrolling bottom in Eggs-it. Or the walls in Creature Caverns. Star Maze and Way-Out were cool too, with the scenery moving around you. There are many more examples, but this is what came to mind right away. And despite it being standard faire on consoles like the VCS. It was magic on the Apple II.

 

Incidentally Cavern Creatures was one of the first games I discovered cheat codes for. After that, I never quite enjoyed the game the same way. Felt like I already finished it.

Edited by Keatah

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Playing games was, and still is IMHO, a great deal of fun on the Apple II. I think my "wow" moment was using my Apple II+ and Newsroom to print a newsletter that we distributed to the F-4 squadrons at the USAF base I was stationed at in W. Germany in 1985.

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The speech in Wolfenstein

The music in Bruce Lee

The 3D graphics in Hydra

 

UPDATE: I can't find any reference or images for Hydra. Maybe I got the name wrong. It was 3D like Wing Commander.

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I had a IIgs. No games so I did a lot of basic. Apple basic didn't allow for real time keyboard input. The input and getkey commands break the program until the user enters input. I had to learn machine language commands to get real time input for my pong clone. This was extremely difficult for me to learn at that age, but felt like a truly amazing achievement when I got it to work!

Edited by Dripfree

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Applesoft basic let you monitor keyboard through peeks & pokes while your program was running or looping.

Edited by Keatah

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When I figured out how to display the images from Strip Poker without playing the game.

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The speech in Wolfenstein

The music in Bruce Lee

The 3D graphics in Hydra

 

UPDATE: I can't find any reference or images for Hydra. Maybe I got the name wrong. It was 3D like Wing Commander.

 

I was totally wrong. The 3D game was Hadron:

 

That was my first spark of admiration for those people able to squeeze the seemingly impossible out of simple hardware.

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