06/02/2017: Futureshock 3D Now Playable with a Joystick!
Dagen Brock and Antoine Vignau have patched the game Futureshock 3D so it can be played with a joystick. Why is this particularly news worthy? Futureshock 3D is only fully playable with the accompanying FuturePad, a peripheral for uniquely taking control during gameplay. However, very limited quantities of the Futureshock 3D and FuturePad combination were sold, but of course everyone has access to a mouse on a IIGS (don't you?) and also likely to have a joystick. And now you can use the mouse and joystick to fully play Futureshock 3D.
01/02/2017: Patented Post Christmas Gift 6 - Fresh Cracks from Logo & TRex + New Uncracked Disk Images
This has been a long time coming and I apologise to Antoine for the delay in sharing them with everyone. Basically, Antoine has created fresh cracks for many IIGS games over the last year or so and I've now finally updated each title's archives to include them:
Arkanoid II (Now also includes the classic FUCK crack)
Great Western Shootout
Laser Force (as well as development version ‘Laser Man')
Sea Strike (modified version runs from System 6 (but only from floppy, currently)
Task Force (which now also includes an unlimited health option thanks to Mitch Spector)
Thexder (version 1.0 non joystick version available) (Modified version uses shadow memory, but introduces bugs?)
Tunnels of Armageddon (Also includes the FUCK crack, with many differences)
Ancient Land of Ys
The Bard's Tale
Keef the Thief (this version only requires that you need to enter only ONE card selection to enter the game. The last cracked version made you select three.)
Tower of Myraglen
War in Middle Earth
4th & Inches and Team Construction Kit (as well as development version)
Hardball! (Modified versions doesn't work properly, unfortunately, but tried to work from System 6)
Serve and Volley
Street Sports Soccer
Superstar Ice Hockey
World Tour Golf
In addition to Antoine's new cracks, I've also included fresh / UNCRACKED disk images from my collection of original disks for the following titles:
Warlock - Error reading Block 7: I/O Error
Great Western Shootout - Error reading Block 1,599: I/O Error
Laser Force - Error reading Block 1,599: I/O Error
Thexder - Error reading Block 1,588: I/O Error
The Three Stooges - Error reading Block 269: I/O Error Dk1, Error reading Block 857: Error $67 (second pass, no errors) Dk2
Dungeon Master - Missed the error message!
Task Force - Error reading Block 1,597, 1598, 1599, Number of failed blocks = 10 : I/O Error (same result after two passes) Dk1, No Read Errors Dk 2
Rastan - No Read Errors Dk 1, Error reading Block 77: Error $67
Xenocide - No Read Errors
Zany Golf - Error reading Block 77: Error $67
Dream Zone - No Read Errors Dk 1, Error reading Block 32, 33, 34, 35 Number of failed blocks = 12 : I/O Error (same result after two passes) Dk 2
Skate or Die - No Read Errors
Destroyer - Error reading Block 1317, 1336, 1357 Number of failed blocks = 4 : I/O Error (same result after two passes)
The Bard's Tale - No Read Errors
Bard's Tale 2: Destiny Knight - Error reading Block 1599: I/O Error
Fast Break - No Read Errors
Mean 18 - No Read Errors
Test Drive II - No Read Errors
Rocket Ranger - No Read Errors for Dk 1 or Dk 2
Winter Games - No Read Errors
World Games - No Read Errors
The Last Ninja - Error reading Block 1599: I/O Error
Vegas Gambler - No Read Errors
Silent Service - Error reading Block 7: I/O Error
Shadowgate - No Read Errors Dk 1, Error reading Block 7: I/O Error Dk 2
Downhill Challenge - No Read Errors for Dk 1 and Dk 2
Keef the Thief - No Read Errors Dk 1, Error reading Block 3: Error $67 Dk 2
Space Quest II - Error reading Block 1588: I/O Error Dk 1, No Read Errors Dk 2
Police Quest - Error reading Block 1266: I/O Error (2nd pass, 2 weeks later, no errors) Dk1, Error reading Block 1266: I/O Error (2nd pass, no errors) Dk 2
King's Quest I - Error reading Block 1588: I/O Error Dk 1 and Dk 2
King's Quest III - Error reading Block 1588: I/O Error Dk 1, No Errors Dk 2
King's Quest IV - Error reading Block 1588: I/O Error Dk 1 and Dk 2, No Read Errors Dk 3
Leisure Suit Larry - No Read Errors (this came in an original box, but disk 1 looks like a copy, that would have had its protection removed) Dk 1, Error reading Block 1588: I/O Error Dk 2
Hover Blade - No Read Errors Dk 1 and Dk 2
Serve & Volley - No Read Errors
Silpheed - No Read Errors Dk 1 and Dk 2
Pipe Dream - No Read Errors
Arkanoid - No Read Errors (1st pass had LOTS of read errors though)
Tass Times in Tonetown - No Read Errors
Ancient Land of Ys - Forgot to Record any read errors!
Captain Blood - Forgot to Record any read errors!
Ideally, disk image archives should include untouched versions so if cracks that compromise the original program are found, we could work upon a new crack that hopefully doesn't affect anything from the original design of the application, and then archive that. A good example would be with Triango - Antoine's recent crack was an improvement on the older crack, as the older effort still presented a dialogue to ask for a word look-up in the manual. You could enter ANYTHING and it would then allow you to play the game, but Antoine's crack bypasses the dialogue altogether - why need to display it when whatever you type is going to get beyond it anyway? The crack makes it redundant. But the original, untouched disk image will still have the dialogue AND the working word look-up protection, for anyone that wants to see how this specific form of copy protection works.
UPDATE 1: Antoine's write-ups for cracks (and others) are all on Hackzapple if you'd like a go at learning how to make your own cracks to 8-bit and IIGS specific software.
31/01/2017: Patented Post Christmas Gift 5 - 8-bit on 3.5” Disk Updates
We also have 3 more ProDOS compatible versions of classic 8-bit games thanks to qkumba (Lost Tomb, Mr Cool and Orileys Mine). There's also the Star Trek First Contact 3.5" and hard drive installable hack by Marco Verpelli. These two are available on the 32meg 8-bit Games archive. Last but not least to 8-bit gaming on 3.5" disk, a box scan for the 8-bit re-release of Ultima I by Eduardo Correa Lima.
In the applications arena, a Discover CAD disk image and manual scan has been submitted by Karl Horster. Peter Puskarich had previously provided a different disk image archive, so we now have two different versions of Discover CAD. Thanks Karl and Peter!
30/01/2017: Patented Post Christmas Gift 4 - New System Add-ons
Thanks to Antoine for imaging a range of disks from the Shareware Solutions II collection, we've found some additional items to include amongst the INITS, CDAs, NDAs and CDevs of the System Add-ons volume.
Fielder INIT - allows you to move up and down using the arrow keys between fields (although I always thought you should be able to use tab to move between fields? I do vaguely remember some older IIGS software not accepting tabs to move between fields, perhaps List Plus or Softwood GSFile).
KeycapsGS NDA - a beta version of the best looking keycaps NDA I've seen for the IIGS. If this reached version 1.0 from this v0.95, I'd love to know about it.
SHR ScreenSaver CDA - this one allows you to set a time interval from setting the screen grab off.
Magic Cursor INIT + App combo - I had v2.0.1 on archive, however it looks like some files were missing - an icon file containing sample cursors and the application to edit them together. Looks like you can set some cool system wide colour mouse pointers.
Updated Key Notifier CDev by Eric Shepherd to v1.3 from v1.2.
Even MORE Zip disk and drive icons!?!
There could be some other additions from these Shareware Solutions II disks - it might be worth re-downloading the Utilities & Aural Creative and Productivity & Visual Creative 32meg volumes to make sure you're up to date.
I've also discovered two terrific shareware programs written by French author M Tornereau - RapidoGraf (an excellent graphing program that does it's job so much better than the commercial Visualizer application) and Catmania (a cataloging program that will record full path directories of any ProDOS formatted volume. Non-mounted archives can be referred to from Catmania's database, so you can know where all of your files are without having those storage mediums online). However, we only have the trial v0.9 versions in English, and the full v1.0 of Catmania in French only). These rare, well written apps are System 6 savvy and follow Apple human interface guidelines well. If anyone has the registered v1.0 variations of these programs in English (and in French for RapidoGraf), please submit them and I'll create full archives for these two releases.
29/01/2017: Patented Post Christmas Gift 3 - ViaTerm II
ViaTerm II may well have been the first IIGS specific communications program developed and ironically, it's the last one to be archived (thanks to Andrew Roughan (disk imaging/packaging and manual scans and Antoine Vignau (crack).
This rarity was only released in Australia to use with Telecom's (now Telstra) ViaTel service. ViaTel was a VideoTex service, an early protocol for two way terminal based communication (Teletext was the variation built into the TVs that allowed only 1-way communication i.e. data sent to your TV along with broadcast channels you'd pick up via an aerial/antenna). The MiniTel system deployed in France showed the greatest uptake of VideoTex, as terminals were provided to homes in France for use if those home no longer received the white pages directories, therefore saving printing and distribution costs for years to come.
So in theory, perhaps, ViaTerm II could have been used as a MiniTel client (as an alternative to ShadowDial). We're not likely to know anymore, as MiniTel was retired in 2012. Is anyone running a VideoTex service via the internet? A quick Google search has revealed nothing for me.
In any event, ViaTerm II was to access ViaTel in Australia and of course that service wound up by the '80s, but not after being renamed 'Discovery 40', based on the number of columns of text available. ViaTerm II perfectly makes use of 320 mode super hi-res graphics mode of the IIGS to perfectly emulate VideoTex and its 40 columns of coloured text and blocks that could form low resolution graphics. 'Discovery 80', using 80 columns of text, must have been similar to ANSI terminal specs, for which the IIGS has to compromise by using the 640 super hi-res graphics mode, where the resolution can achieved but colours can only be dithered or potentially stick to 320 mode, but have text characters not as well defined with the lower resolution.
Other interesting notes about ViaTerm II is that it uses its own operating system, presumably to meet the rather conservative memory requirement of 256k, and leave as much memory as possible to run the program and allow for a reasonable amount of scroll back. If more memory is found, scrollback can be greatly enhanced - at 256k only 24 screens can be recalled, with 512k 168 screens be found and at 1.25meg, 672 screens can be called back. You could also save screens for later reference, which is great and really the only way we can see how the IIGS handled terminal emulation with the provided examples already saved on disk. Recalling saved screens can be done with open apple-L, which is how screen grabs were obtained. Thankfully, along with the disk image provided by Andrew Roughan and cracked by Antoine Vignau, Andrew's also been able to scan the short but concise manual, as well as the plastic case the software was packaged in and the disk label. It's all available from the program's archive.
From the beginning of the tail with telecommunications applications, to the end - I got in touch with André Horstmann via Twitter, asking if he had any copies of his VideoTex terminal program, ShadowDial, and he's graciously sent a scan of the packaging. This means we now have scans for all IIGS specific communications programs! Additionally for ShadowDial, I've included some corrected information (I was getting confused between VideoTex and TeleText).
28/01/2017: Patented Post Christmas Gift 2 - SoundSmith v2.0b
SoundSmith v2.0b has been released! Thanks to Antoine Vignau, this has not only been restored (from Huibert Aalbers badly damaged hard drive), but also given new features to take advantage of brand new hardware - specifically, to provide sequencing across the new channels available (for surround sound) that the 4soniq card can provide.
There's also preliminary (read, imperfect) support for loading wavebank files, i.e. the single document that includes all the instruments necessary for playback with the sequence. Instruments can be extracted this way, not to mention making edits to SoundSmith sequences that only have wavebank data available instead of individual instruments.
The SoundSmith archive on WITA2GS? has been amended to include the new version 2.0b and the new Tool 219, along with all the existing versions, songs and instruments previously available. Or you can download the standalone release from Brutal Deluxe's site.
27/01/2017: Patented Post Christmas Gift 1 - System 6.0.4
System 6.0.4 is out! The 'illuminati' have been busy and there are some nice updates here: Fixes to filetypes of SCSI drivers and other system extensions after being discovered in System 6.0.3 that were causing problems. Also, there's no switch to text mode just before the Finder loads at bootup, which bugged me (and probably no one else on the face of the planet). I also quite like how double clicking on rSounds in the Finder will now play them without any additional system extensions, making the most of the Sound CDev with a simple update. I also like the additional system sounds coming from Mac OS 9 and It'll be interesting to play around with some of larger font sizes included. It feels slightly snappier - this may be down to the OMF record packing improvements...or not. I've quite often felt various versions of Mac OS X felt faster after point release updates, so it's possible it's just a placebo effect it has on me! All this and the bundling of John Brooks' fantastic updates for ProDOS 8 v2.4.1. For more details on this release, check out the release notes included with the archive or the original announcement on a2central.com. You can also download my preinstalled System 6.0.4 Hard Drive Image, which not only includes the most recent system update, but every tool and font required by IIGS programs, as well as filling the remainder of the 32meg image with freeware and shareware games.
It's certainly easier said than done, but I'm still hoping that future versions of System 6.0.x will fix everything that GUPP patches, that the Softdisk GS ‘Disk Count' CDev fixes (incorrect number of 5.25" drives on the desktop), incorporate II Not Disturb for better time keeping performance, Sheppy's List Manager patch for problems with the List view in the Finder, the SANE fix patch, the Fix Disk Mount bug patch and the Fix ROM Blaster INIT patch. Whew. That should leave a cleaner, leaner System 6 without having all these patches installed taking up memory and disk space.
Also of note, I've added SCSI drivers to get my preinstalled version of System 6.0.1 and System 6.0.4 at Eduardo Correa Lima's request. I believe Dagen Brock also made a similar request to get my images working with SCSI hard drives as soon as they've been copied to those drives. Also, Eduardo asked about any official Apple Diagnostics software for the IIGS out there - and we now have on archive thanks to myself and Antoine, multiple versions of the Apple Services IIGS Diagnostics program, which can run a full gamut of tests across different components - tests for ROM checks, System Speed / Interupts, MMU / IOU, RAM, Serial Port, Disk Port, Sound circuitry, Video Pattern, Keyboard and Mouse. All tests can be run or selection of tests set to run, the results of which can be logged back to disk.
It's also that time of year where the previous years (2010 to 2016) aren't easily accessible thanks to poor design on my part. I will have to sort out something better, but for the meantime you can access all previous updates all the way back to 2010 here: