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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.

 

Keycaps 0.95 by Greg Betzel

 

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 TelstraViaTel 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.

 

ViaTel Terminal Emulation with ViaTerm II on the IIGS

 

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.

 

SoundSmith v2.0b mapping to surround sound

 

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.

 

System 6.0.4

 

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:

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

 

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