Archive for ◊ April, 2012 ◊

23 Apr 2012 Apple II Guide
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News today about another Apple II book that is in the works. Here is the press release, as posted at the VintageComputer forums:

Lincoln, IL – Apr. 20, 2012 – David Finnigan and Mac GUI Vault announce today the first paperback book exclusively about the Apple II to be published in over a decade.

The New Apple II User’s Guide, which is to be self-published on Amazon.com as a trade paperback book, includes over 650 pages. It is intended for all Apple II users, from the absolute beginner to the experienced veteran. The purpose of the book is to serve as a guide to all models of Apple II, and explain the basics of setup, programming, networking, and other specialized topics.

The first chapters deal with identifying each model of Apple and common peripherals and accessories. The next chapters are a complete introduction and coverage of how to program in BASIC. Further chapters detail advanced programming topics such as screen formatting, graphics, sound, and printing. The later chapters complete the book with specialized topics including the disk system, networking and the Internet, using the low-level machine monitor, and subjects specific to the Apple IIgs.

Many appendices hold miscellaneous information of use to programmers, including a summary of all BASIC and disk commands, error messages, ASCII charts and other tables, repair and troubleshooting tips, and how to use software to transfer disks to a modern computer. The book includes a full glossary and index.

No publication date is set, but Mr. Finnigan, the author, hopes for a May date. The book is expected to sell for around $28.

The official book web site is offered in English:

http://macgui.com/newa2guide/

and in French:

http://macgui.com/newa2guide/fr/

Mac GUI Vault, the creation of David Finnigan, is an online source for retro Apple II and Macintosh enthusiasts. It features a fully cataloged and searchable database of software files, pictures, text and PDF files, and Usenet posts. The site has become a popular destination, having over 100,000 visitors and over 50,000 files downloaded last year alone. The New Apple II User’s Guide is its first physical product offering.

Mr. Finnigan may be contacted by email: df@macgui.com

It sounds like a great book! Go get it; watch the count down at MacGUI.

20 Apr 2012 Game Recovery Mode
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Just had to post the link to this great story in Wired. Jordan Mechner, author of Prince of Persia recently discovered his old disks of source code, and utilized the service of master Apple II collector Tony Diaz (to recover the data from very old floppy disks), and master archivist Jason Scott to put the code on Archive.org for all to see. See the story here.

Prince of Persia recovery

Jason Scott, Jordan Mechner, and Tony Diaz - Photo credit: Wired

16 Apr 2012 Better Late Than Never
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I’m obviously late to the Apple II 35th birthday party. Being busy with life and writing and such drives those calculations right from one’s mind. Hope this bowl of fruit and bag of M&Ms from Wal-Mart helps…

As many others have posted today, this is the 35th anniversary of the First West Coast Computer Faire, at which Apple Computer, Inc. made its grand introduction of the Apple II computer. Harry McCracken has been the most prolific, with no less than three well done posts about this event:

Perhaps this summer at KansasFest we’ll have some additional 35th birthday celebration!

15 Apr 2012 ***Microsoft Word 2011 ERR
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After my last post about the help I got at the Apple Store in recoving files lost when Microsoft Word misbehaved, I have had at least five additional episodes of Word causing disk errors on my boot drive. I tried doing my editing on a flash drive; still had it happen. Put a partition on the hard drive and worked with me file there; still had it happen. After about seven restorations of my files from a Time Machine backup after Word trashed my hard drive, I learned that if the “Always create backup copy” and “Save Autorecover info every xx minutes” boxes are UNchecked, the only error that occurs is an error where Word complains about the file being busy, but then lets me save it with a new name (and an additional error message before it successfully saves it).

As a result, it was not until the middle of last week that I really got going again with revisions. I am still in the Magazines chapters, revising and updating info. I also took a side trip down a path I had not yet documented in this history: The topic of Apple II viruses. That now makes up a chapter of its own in the History, bumping the last chapter up one number. If you’ve ever wanted to know everything there was to know about Apple II viruses now you have it all in one convenient place.

(By the way: The latest update of Word 2011 to version 14.2 does not fix the problem with saving this very large file. That’s okay; at least turning off those backup options has protected my hard drive!)