04/09/2011: GSTape! Alge Blaster Plus! Sweet 16 v2.3.1! Lots more manuals!

We've got more goodies to fill out the archive quite nicely this month.

Antoine Vignau, busy as ever, has provided a working archive and complete documentation to one very rare utility: GSTape, which allows you to back-up to tape drives via SCSI on the IIGS (see docs for what SCSI cards and tape drives can be used). Also adding to utilities, are So What Software's batch of little useful programs: DiskTimer v2.1 (for benchmarking performance of IIGS hard drives), SCSI Hacker (for those who want to mess with SCSI configurations at a low level), Screen Thief (for screen capture, similar to Ninja Force's Picture Ripper) and Menu Maker, for use with their Iconix BASIC extender.

Additionally, Antoine's also sent along Simon Says and Women in History, both with their accompanying documentation, adding to the new category of 8-bit educational software on 3.5" disk.

Not only that, but if you can handle a little French (or let Google translator handle it for you) Antoine's also scanned in the manuals for the following titles: Bouncing Bluster II, Full Metal Planete and Photonix II.

He's also provided the docs and a packaging scan for Call Box, the programming framework that allows you to tie together BASIC programming with the IIGS toolbox and also for Prism, the graphics conversion app. Last but not least, Antoine's also scanned complete documentation to Talking Math and Me.

Antoine's also done some digging about what the fate of Ultima VI on the Apple II was, or more specifically, was a IIGS version really in the pipeline? As always, if anyone has additional info regarding unreleased software, be sure to write in so we can set the story straight...and relax in the knowledge that there's nothing to actually pursue in regards to disk images!

Daniel Kruszyna has been able to supply a disk image for Alge Blaster Plus! from his original copy and Antoine has been able to crack it! Keep these Davidson releases coming in people! It's strange to think that such classic software for the Apple II such as these haven't been archived before now!

That's it for content additions, for now anyway.

KansasFest is over for another year, and I'm typically late in reporting anything about it. Some highlights of the event include the release of version 2.3.1 of Sweet 16, the IIGS emulator for Mac OS X 10.5 and higher, its greatest benefit being that it no longer freezes when playing back SynthLab or Diversi-Tune music.

Also, some new hardware was previewed: The long awaited CFFA 3000 card, which works not only as a solid state hard drive like the CFFA cards before it, but also as a virtual floppy drive where you 'insert' disk images from a handy USB stick, was available for pre-order...was being the operative word. 300 cards were produced and already, 300 cards have been pre-ordered! Rich is considering another run in 6 to 12 months time. I myself have pre-ordered a card, even though I won't have access to it until I return to Australia late in 2012! It really will be one of the most convenient additions to a IIGS or IIe, eliminating the need to use and wait for floppies! If you missed out, let Rich Dreher know you're interested by sending an email.

But that's not all: Vince Briel, another hardware developer extraordinaire, has developed the A2MP3, a card that will play MP3s from a USB stick and be controllable from your Apple II! Sheppy is hoping to develop a IIGS New Desk Accessory, so you can play your tunes as you work in GS/OS, but in the meantime, control can be had with any model of Apple II. I love the concept, that the Apple II is simply a 'front-end' for such a sophisticated device (at least in relation to the Apple II) and wonder what else could be achieved with new hardware in this fashion? Perhaps another revision would be to include an antenna that could pick up digital radio?