20/12/2016: Knights of Legend Has Fresh Disk Images...But challenge to get 3.5" Installer Working Remains
The Knights of Legend archive now also includes recently made disk images by Jeremy Barr Hyde. Using Passport to crack original disks, we now have some nice new clean cracked disk images. I've progressed further with the 3.5" disk installer, but unfortunately I haven't been completely successful in making this work.
Ultimately, I think the 3.5" disk installer is supposed to copy all the contents from the 5.25" floppes A5, A1, A2, A3 and A4 (in that order) [A6 is just the opening animation, which can be skipped during master disk A's bootup holding down the space bar]. It also looks like the 3.5" installer places character disk info onto the 3.5" disk as well. This would mean you'd end up with a single 3.5" 'Region' disk, but you'd still need to play with Master A and Master B 5.25" volumes - but it would negate any disk swapping if you have two 5.25" drives and a single 3.5" disk drive (and potentially, with a FloppyEmu or CFFA3000 you'd have the necessary hardware to run in this configuration).
When installing the Region from the game's main menu, the game certainly checks the 3.5" disk drive and seems to find disk A5 from there from the 3.5" disk I've produced with the 3.5" Region installer, but then it asks to find A1, which it then can't find from the 3.5' disk! If only documentation was included with the 3.5" disk installer to make this process clearer! Or maybe it's just my configuration (Apple IIGS ROM01, CFFA3000, one 3.5" disk drive) that's causing problems? If any one else wants to have a go with it, be my guest by downloading the updated .zip image with all the necessary disk images and please share your findings with the rest of the Apple II community.
Additionally, the Apple II Reference Card and Player's Handbook are now included so regardless of whether anyone can get the game going with a 3.5" Region disk or not, that should help. Major thanks to Jeremy Barr Hyde for doing this, which came about after discussion on the Open Apple Podcast.
14/12/2016: Gold Rush Disk Images Taken Offline
Sunlight Games, a German games developer, has informed me they have owned the intellectual property rights to Gold Rush, the 1989 3D animated adventure game by Sierra, for the last 10 years. They have created an enhanced edition of the game, as well as a sequel that are still being sold. Being the rights owners to the property, they've politely asked for the disk images to be removed and I have complied with this request. An entry still remains for Gold Rush, and the PDF based documentation will remain available as well. A link now points to Sunlight Games' official site from the usual link for the disk images on the Gold Rush page.
13/12/2016: Open Apple Podcast Guest Spot with Yours Truly
If you're not already subscibed to the Open Apple Podcast, the most regular podcast devoted to the Apple II, well, you've now got another reason to check it out. I recently joined hosts Quinn Dunki and Mike Maginnis for a chat about all things IIGS, how I got started with the platform, how I got started archiving IIGS software and various bits in between. I had a lot of fun – I hope you will too by listening.
You can also find the Open Apple Podcast and subscribe through iTunes or the iOS Podcast app.
14/11/2016: More 8-bit on 3.5" Disk Software Added and Just in Time for Christmas
Antoine has procured even more never before archived titles:
Wordbench - an 8-bit comprehensive word processor by Addison Wesley that came on 2 3.5" disks (as well as multiple 5.25" in the same package).
Computeach's Studymate - a nifty way to create tests for students and record their results.
Cannoli Computer Graphics' Christmas Time, another Toy Shop / Hometown USA / Paper Models the Christmas Kit style set of graphics that you can print from almost any paint program, fold and put together for Christmas themed paper toys.
I've also got to recognise that Antoine's taken scans of ALL of the disk labels for these titles (as well as Springboard's GSNumerics and Orange Cherry's Newspaper Maker) - I've yet to develop a method of including them under a new field on What is the Apple IIGS?, but they should be available one day. Thanks again Antoine - the hardest working person dedicated to the preservation AND future of the Apple II.
12/11/2016: Jigsaw Deluxe Recovered and Released After 27 Years
Antoine Vignau, never to shy away from a challenge, has been able to restore the contents of Huibert Aalbers' old hard drive; the same drive used during the developement of his programs Jigsaw, Laser Force and SoundSmith. A hard drive that's been in storage since the early '90s.
On that drive was the unreleased Jigsaw Deluxe, a sequel of sorts to Jigsaw, but featuring lots of improvements that Huibert would have preferred to include with the original Jigsaw release, such as 2 player mode, saving games, music, greater degrees of difficulty and other improvements.
It's a pleasure to add a new archive entry with a disk image in the unreleased section of this archive after quite a long while! Enjoy everyone.
Note that Jigsaw Deluxe doesn't come with any new images (apart from the European Software Partners screen and title). Check out the Graphics & Animation 32meg volume in the 'Images.16' folder and others to use as puzzles, or you can always use the images from the original Jigsaw.
23/10/2016: Updates! 8-bit Games Collection! Ultima III Box Scan! KidTalk new version! Computer Eyes GS Newer Driver!
I've been making some updates to my 8-bit collection of games, thanks to newly released ProDOS conversions of some classic 8-bit games by qkumba. I received feedback that booting from the 8-bit games volume on any Apple II compatible machine other than a IIGS results in a ‘APPLE IIGS REQUIRED' message and then quitting to the new Bitsy Bye (part of the ProDOS 2.4.1 release). This might indicate that my setup for this doesn't work at all on a IIe or IIc/+, but it's not quite the case. Only a IIGS is required to run the P8CDA program, which allows Classic Desk Accessories to launch without ProDOS 16 or GS/OS booting and that provides some useful CDAs on a IIGS playing with these 8-bit games. But you can still select the ‘Boot.system' to play games with DOS 3.3 Launcher or the ProDOS converted games. If you want the ‘APPLE IIGS REQUIRED' message to disappear altogether, just delete the ‘P8CDA.SYS' executable. I'll keep updating this volume when more compatible games come in, but recent additions include my all time favourite 8-bit game, Airheart (complete with high score support).
Eduardo Correa Lima has provided a scan of his recently acquired fully boxed copy of Ultima III Exodus. Thanks Eduardo, it's now had a little Photoshop pixel dust thrown over it and is looking better than ever!
KidTalk - a new disk image from 4am that features a newer version of the program now works from System 6 and a hard drive and comes with an icon! I've updated the specific archive for KidTalk and the 32meg image including all IIGS specific Reading and Mathematics programs - look in the KT folder for the new version. 4am's also scanned manuals for KidWriter Golden Edition, Storybook Weaver and Storybook Weaver World of Make Believe.
The Computer Eyes GS driver software has been updated to version 3.20, which improves stability while capturing images.
16/10/2016: Day 5 of Apple IIGS 30th Anniversary Celebrations: Illustrating the Past
Am I continuing Apple IIGS 30th anniversary celebrations? Yes, yes I am. Depite this update coming much later than the previous ones (which weren't all on consecutive days as I'd originally hoped) for that shouldn't stop new ways we can enjoy the IIGS during it's 30th, or in this case, how we remembered the IIGS.
Jeremy Sears wrote in to tell of his initial IIGS experience, or to be more accurate, lack of it. I'll let Jeremy explain in both prose and illustration, but while I was always happy I got an Apple IIGS when I was all of 11 years old, I've recently acquired an Amiga 500+ and an Atari 1024ST, and I feel like I can have fun exploring alternative universes had I got one of those machines instead of the Apple IIGS.
From Jeremy:I have an unusually clear memory of the 1st Apple IIGS computer I'd ever seen (or heard about), as a kid.
I remember it was set up on its own separate display table, in an alcove, off of my local computer store's main sales room.
Wandering away from my family and the sales people, I walked over to this incredible, new machine!
It was running software, that automatically was showcasing the IIGS's (whole new!) level of sophistication, in exciting graphics and sound capabilities.
This was in late-1986. And the 1st IIGS computers weren't going to be available for sale, for another few months.
I'd been wanting an Apple IIe for (what seemed like) so long--
and I just wasn't willing to wait another 3 months to get the IIGS instead of the IIe Enhanced.
In retrospect, this misaligned timing, apparently left the Apple IIGS in my memory-- as something I really wanted.
In around 2010, after not having thought about the Apple IIGS for many years, I had the inspiration to try to build one-- through buying its components on eBay.
It took over a year to find great condition IIGS components that were affordable for me-- but I was able to build a great Apple IIGS component system!
This also launched the hobby I've been pursuing since then, of building a small, vintage Apple computer & other device collection.
But the IIGS always has remained my favorite vintage Apple computer!
When I considered that September, 2016 was the Apple IIGS's 30th birthday month,
I began drawing on my MacBook, just a sketch of a IIGS's basic shape.
I thought the sketch looked better than I'd anticipated.
So then, over many nights last month, I spent a little time each night, revising & adding to the drawing.
By the end of last month, I'd completed this Apple IIGS drawing!
I had little experience drawing on computers-- and was using the MacBook's default editing capabilities, when you open any picture file on it.
So I was really happy about how the completed IIGS drawing looked!
21/09/2016: Day 4 of Apple IIGS 30th Anniversary Celebrations (Star Saga One Completely Documented)
This is something I've been working on for a while and I'm pleased to share it with everyone now that it's complete.
Herbert Fung, over a year ago, was very generous in sending over his fully boxed, almost untouched copy of Star Saga One: Beyond the Boundary. The package arrived safe and sound here in Melbourne, having come all the way from Herbert's native Canada.
The game is quite rare and particularly sought after as one of the designers behind it, Andrew Greenberg, was one of the designers behind the Wizardry series of RPGs. Something of an influence for all role playing games that followed, if you don't already know.
Normally, having scans of a IIGS game's manual is a nice thing to have, but in the case of both Star Saga games, it's a necessity. The computer is only one part of multiple pieces to playing the game, those other elements being a board where physical pieces are placed to show progress, character information booklets and story booklets only to be read at the right times dictated by the computer...and ideally, at least one other human player to play with, or as the game supports, up to another 5 human players.
Perhaps, with the relatively recent resurgence of board games, this particular game now holds even more fascination. I was hoping to get everything scanned and in optimised and high quality PDF format before KansasFest 2016 (because in previous years, the game was attempted to be played but I think fell by the wayside due to its complexity and the hard to ignore activity of the biggest Apple II gathering on the planet), but better late than never. If you've ever been curious about this game, but didn't have a spare $200 to fork out to buy the game when it appears on eBay every couple of years, then now's your chance!
But this is not all folks! Stay tuned...we may have complete scans of all the required game materials for Star Saga Two: The Clathran Menace to closely follow.
18/09/2016: Day 3 of Apple IIGS 30th Anniversary Celebrations (including the 28th Anniversary of the Apple IIc+)
Alas, this is more than a day late, but I ran into some work/technical/toddler issues that prevented me from getting it out on time.
But the good news is that day 3 is here! And to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Apple IIc+, I've majorly revamped the 8-bit apps on 3.5" disk category - IIGS and IIc+ users get to enjoy it equally (and enhanced IIe owners who've got 3.5" disk drives of some variety connected).
Antoine has submitted PFS Plan, PFS File and Report, MouseWrite and On Balance. Joo Jun has submitted PFS Write. 4am has submitted all major versions of Copy II+ that were available on 3.5" disk. François Michel, from whom I received his incredibly well archived collection of IIGS software back in 2002, can be thanked for the multiple versions of AppleWorks, Family Matters, The New Print Shop, Print Master Plus, Personal Newsletter and VCR Companion. Paul Hagstrom can be thanked for the VCR Companion manual scans. François Michaud can be thanked for the excellent scans of Publish It!
There will be more to come...
16/09/2016: Day 2 of Apple IIGS 30th Anniversary Celebrations
Our second day of IIGS 30th anniversary celebrations involves helping out and then subsequently interviewing the person behind all those excellent Pangea games' graphics - Dave Tripplet.