08/01/2012: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...no, for 2011 of course!

Well, it WAS that time of year again. You know, Christmas.

But I've been so busy with my new job in the UK and in the lead-up to Christmas, had no time to prepare my usual Christmas cheer!

But fear not, although you've already put away the Christmas tree, here are some things you could have put under it:

François Michaud, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last November, has contributed a few scans from his amazing collection (maybe I'll see it one day!): ShadowDial (now we just need a disk image for this rare IIGS communications program), Show Off, Life and Death IIGS Reference, McGee Reference and Balance of Power IIGS Reference Cards.

For another round of treats for which I can claim no responsibility for, subscribe to Brian Picchi's YouTube channel, predominantly featuring Apple IIGS game reviews, but some other great Apple II tidbits as well. Speaking of which, if you're more into 8-bit Apple II stuff, then check out Highretrogamelord89's channel for some great overviews of Apple gaming goodness.

Another gem I've recently found comes by way of Arnaud Brossard. He's managed to secure what is surely one of the very first CD-ROMs dedicated to the Apple II and released in 1990 - GEM (the Generous Efforts of Many) which was a comprehensive collection of freeware and shareware up to that point, and released in a very professionally put together package. I always love going through archives like this, as there's bound to be a few finds that haven't appeared on other archives. Sure enough, it's revealed a few more shareware games, which I have placed on my System 6 with free games image and the Sports & Unreleased Games image (which also includes shareware games).

Additionally, I've scanned through the NDAs, CDAs, INITS and icons of the GEM disc and included whatever wasn't included in my own System Extensions collection, including:

Xordan BiClock (Human and Alien Clock)
Crayon (change desktop colours)
Dates v1.1 by Joel A. Quejada
File Info by Steven White
Palette Puller by Ed Robisheaux

FixColour CDA (which prevents black and white Apple II desktop programs (like MouseDesk, Publish It!, Springboard Publisher, etc) from going into colour after visiting the classic control panel.

DeskTop Mod INIT by CK Haun
Dr Daily INIT by Guy T Rice (virus checker)

But surely the best Christmas gift we could have ever hoped to receive has come from Stephan Kleinert, who, to appease his girlfriend due to the growing size of his vintage Apple computer collection, has written a brand new game for the IIGS to keep her, and now us, amused! The name of the game is Mitosis, a clone of the existing game Ataxx, a 2 player strategy puzzle game that features cute graphics and sound wrapped in a nice simple interface that follows Apple's standard GUI.

The only (minor) problem with the game is when you quit - it crashes the system. Stephan has been unable to figure out what's causing it and so has included the source code along with the application. If anyone can make any suggestions, it would be most welcome. Hey, we might even turn Stephan away from developing on the Mac and iOS and to make IIGS toolbox programming his full-time ambition if we can solve this ;-)

You can also find Mitosis on the System 6 image with shareware and freeware games.

My new year's resolution is to finish collecting every piece of commercial Apple IIGS software and even every 8-bit educational and gaming software for 2012. Hope you can help ;-)

Oh, and as with last year, you'll notice all the news items from the last couple of years are no longer accessible. However, that's not quite true, although I don't have an elegant solution to present news from 2011 and 2010 at the moment. The alternative is this: Click on the 'NEWS ARCHIVE 2009' button in the right hand column. Then, go to the URL bar. Notice that it's 'http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/news/2009'. Swap '2009' for '2010' or '2011' and you'll have access to those years worth of news again.