IMSAI To The Rescue!

In my Languages chapter, in the story about the creation of Applesoft I, I make mention of Cliff Huston and his own IMSAI computer that was used to help Randy Wigginton rework the 6502 Microsoft BASIC that later became the first version of Applesoft, released in January 1978. The Huston brothers, Cliff and Dick, worked for several years at Apple. (In fact, in my last post I announced some additional information about the creation of ProDOS in the early 1980s, and how Dick Huston was the product champion that made it happen.)

The Hustons had placed some of their historical artifacts on the auction market a couple of years ago, including an Apple-1 board. They have just posted an auction for the other Apple-1 board, as well as the very IMSAI computer that Randy Wigginton used in his programming of Applesoft BASIC back in 1977 and afterwards. They tell a very entertaining story about the entire process, and you can read about it (and the auction) here.

I was never an Altair or IMSAI fan to the point where I would want to try for one of these antiques; but if I was ever going to get one, this special unit would be my dream IMSAI system, because of its historical significance.

ProDOS Origins

Dick and Cliff Huston were engineers at Apple who worked on and for the Apple II in the 1970s and early 1980s. They preserved items from their time at the company, and made some of them available to purchase in the past two years. Antoine Vignau of Brutal Deluxe, who is himself an archivist of early Apple history, purchased the Huston’s printout of the source code of the first ProDOS Golden Master. Included with this printout were notes of the development process and preliminary manuals. These notes have been shared with me, and I am grateful to the Huston brothers and to Antoine Vignau for the opportunity to add to the story of ProDOS you can read here. If you’ve never heard of DOS 3.4, DOS 4.0, or XDOS, get the full story!

A Deluge of Magazines

Have finally completed my revisions and additions to the Magazines chapters (part 1 and part 2), barring any further information that comes back as a response to some remaining email inquiries.

Many of the entries have been expanded, and some have been completely rewritten. Additionally, I have more magazine covers displayed, and in the case of disk magazines have included some screen shots.

Even the section about Foreign Apple II magazines has been expanded a bit, thanks to information I was able to find on the Internet that was not available to me 20 years ago. Even so, I have very little information I can find about Peeker (a German publication), and the several Netherlands magazines that have been mentioned in the History for many years; on these magazines, there just isn’t much on the Internet available about them.

As usual, anyone who has information about any of these magazines that I have excluded that seems important, let me know and I’ll see if it can be added.

Now, onward to updates to Telecommunications!

Wolfenstein 3D

The KansasFest 2012 keynote speaker this year is John Romero, who got his start writing games for the Apple II computer, in various magazines, and in the disk magazines UpTime and Softdisk. When he left Softdisk to start his own company and create shareware games, one of the groundbreaking games he helped create established the entire genre of first-persone shooters. Wolfenstein 3D was a reinvention of the older Apple II game Castle Wolfenstein, and although it was not made for the Apple IIGS (or Apple II) in the beginning, it eventually did make its way to the GS. You can read the story in a new Spotlight story here.