Category Archives: Software

Roadtrip: Swedish Apple’s

It all begins when i was contacted by Peter Fuks, who was an Chairman of the AUG (Apple User’s Group Sweden) in 1999-2002.

http://A2central.com
Apple User Group of Sweden – formed in the early 1980s, the AUG still has 30-35 enthusiastic members. The group usually meets twice a year in Stockholm and Gothenburg, usually 5-10 people each, and has an extensive software library, ”mostly older games on 5.25? disks. To join the group, the fee is 150 Swedish crowns (US $10) per year. For more information, visit the group’s web site at http://www.appleusergroup.org.

So Peter offered some Apple ][ material he needed to dispose due need of space and lack of time as well other hobbies taking time when he got retired and he knew i could preserve the software and if there were, anything else, paper material for the other users and for the future.

I was very honored and we figured out the dates as i’d need to travel from Finland to Sweden with ferry and take my car with me. It took some months to find the suitable dates and i booked the tickets to Viking Line-ferry that goes from Helsinki to Stockholm. It’s about 16.5 hour per side with the boat so it would take about two days for the trip in total.

Leaving: “It was Roadtrip time!”on_boat_s
So it was roadtrip time! My friend Marko joined me to the trip and i picked him from train station and we headed to the ferry. I booked the tickets so i could drive the car in the boat first, and get out, first. That would save time and nerves.

leaving_boat_inside_s
Lots of cars and trucks use the ferries to get over the sea to Sweden.

Arriving: “Så här är vi i sverige”
Arriving at 10:00 to Sweden. Weather was nice but slightly clowdy. Nice and dry compared to Finland when we left..

Driving to: “On our way to Järfälla”
Järfälla is about 20km away from downtown Stockholm to north-west so it’s rather easy task to drive there and back. There’s not that much time as the boat leaves back in afternoon but enough for quick round trip there. Or so we thought.. My GPS-navigator is about 10 years old that was however ok, it did work out well. Just IF i would have believed the route it offered.. I tried to use my own very easy, very fast route that i could now however track from the GPS-device itself…  so we drove some 15km to wrong direction first then i started to actually pay attention to the GPS and changed the route… and we found the place. Rather easily in the end 🙂

At Peter’s home: “Meeting Peter”
jorma_peter_marko_s
Me, Peter and Marko:

Peter and his wife, Gunnel, were waiting. So we drinked some coffee, talked about the tech in general (Peter collects old radios and those are so beautiful!) and the loaded up the car. We were sadly bit on a tight schedule so there were not so much time i was hoping. Peter and Gunnel were as nice people as you could think of.

Peter’s Computers:
peter_fuks_s

Peter have/have had, lots of Apple ][ computers over the years. He had kept two i think, of Apple //e’s. The main unit he had was really COOL hacked one with just motherboard inside, external keyboard, HDD, 5.25″ and 3.5″ drives with powersupply in another external case!
He had Slotbuster, Phasor cards on his board among PC Transporter setup. What an great period perfect hack-unit!

peters_apple_iie_s
Inside of the Peter’s Apple //e with SlotBuster-card.

 

Leaving: “Heading back to Stockholm”
apple_ii_from_sweden_packed_s
Car packed with Apple ][-goodies..

leaving_sweden_s

Getting back to the ferry thru downtown Stockholm was easier than i tought. The GPS took us thru the oldtown of the Stockholm and thru the  construction area of Slussen, but the route was so FAST. We got in time to the ferry and even had to wait quite a bit to get in.

getting_into_ferry_s
Waiting to drive the car inside the ferry at Stockholm harbor.

At home:
Roadtrip was over! Took about 40 hours for the total trip or so.

Of cos when getting home, i unloaded the material to my work/hobby/mancave-room but only few hours later, had time to start looking into them (i was exicited of cos).

What were there?apple_iis_s
Apple ][-case : REAL ][ but no serial number on bottom for some reason, only reads “2000”, Apple //e (taiwanese clone), Apple //e.

pineapple_board_s
Pineapple : Apple II+ clone motherboard + ROM card

boards_cards_sApple //e international NTSC board, CP/M card (Microsoft card clone) with Microsoft Softcard manuals & floppies. The //e board reads “broken” so it might need some work to get it working again.

user_news_swedish_s
The Swedish Apple User’s Group (AUG Sweden) “User News” – magazines from 1982-1983.
These are very interesting! These all will be scanned of cos.

books-catalogs_2_s
Manuals of all kinds and some game manuals for various games (copied), Apple II books etc. Some of the books “Bag of Tricks” and “Beneath the Apple DOS” seems to be Taiwanese/Hongkong copies. Deep Dark Castle Magazine’s are interesting, somesort of BBS-user’s magazine i think?

books-catalogs_s
Few books, catalogs, Beagle Bros. manuals, Pineapple catalog/magazine.

books-catalogs_3_s
Apple Answer Books Vol.1 and 2 and some manuals and catalogs.

softcard_s
Microsoft Softcard manuals with disks (13-sector).

original_software_s
Original games (EPYX)) and Apple Special Delivery title and even one Apple /// software.

software_tapes_s
Early (1979) original games in casette with boxes (!). These things are quite rare.

magazines_sMagazines of all kinds: Call A.P.P.L.E., Nibble, Byte, InCider, User’s News (Swedish) etc.

broderbund_sBroderbund – catalogs.

hdd_s
Heavy-beast, HDD-drive (assuming 5MB) with the interface card. Never have had an “real hdd” with Apple ][ before.

hdd_back_s
Connections in the back. Made in Sweden i’d say.

card_connection_s
Interface-card.

scsi_card_s
Model/number.

floppies_s
Floppies : about 50 pcs (Apple II and CP/M).

Lots of material to be preserved! It’s like christmas for geeky Apple ][ guy like me.

FinApple 2017 (c)
Apple ][ forever.

 

Preservation: To have floppy-disks in 2017 is normal?

I Received bunch of Apple II (5.25″) and IIGS (3.5″) floppies from Germany, bunch being an about 66 kg of them in total! In year of 2017 to receive floppies in mail, is perfectly normal isn’t it? Feels very much like  golden days of 8/16-bit piracy in 1980’s in a bit larger scale however. Not all 80’s software pirates used BBS’s, specially in europe..

floppies_s
5.25″ floppies for Apple ][

3_5-floppies-from-germany_s
3.5 ” floppies for Apple IIGS

My estimation is somewhere around 600-700 of 5.25″ and 1600-2000 for the 3.5″.
To my amazement 99% of the 3.5″ floppies had printed labels with numbers and excat listing what was on them. This is precise!  Not just typical, common home pirate there. However the 5.25″ floppies were more of a mess (like often they tend to be).  Not everytime anything written on the label, or some had an paper note inside the sleeve to indicate what the floppy might have written to.

karateka_floppy_label_in_box_s
Every collection must have atleast one copy of “Karateka” and rare “Loadrunner” 🙂 (Typo: Loderunner).

3_5_floppy_labels_s

For the 3.5″ floppies, some of the software seems to be even for the 8-bit Apple as they’re listed as “IIe Spiele” (IIe games). Those game collections were made with using “UniDOS” by MicroSPARC Inc. which allowed you to use 800k disk space on 8-bit computers and of cos, you then needed the UniDisk 3.5″-drive or Apple //C Plus or GS. This was very handy.

I am aware most likely big persentage of the material on floppies is already preserved, but that doesn’t stop me. It’s too temping to go thru them all to find hopefully, something that is not preserved yet. There are probl. lots of Cracks made out of Apple II software in specially Europe, which are not preserved yet. Maybe crack made by neighbor kid who happened to use name “Krackman” or “WarezLord5000”. Who knows. It’s history and it needs to be preserved.

WHY TO PERSERVE? WHY BOTHER?
For some, obtaining old-obsolete floppies may sound like crazy, but there are valid reasons for doing this, unless you’re preserving your own personal AppleWorks floppies from the 80’s with your personal data:

-Not all Software is preserved.
-Not all Versions of the software is preserved.
-Not all Cracks of the software is preserved. No, they are not.
-We are running out of time. The magnetic media is on it’s end of it’s lifecycle, not much longer they are readable by decent way, or at all.

-And for me, to find local, Finnish Apple II software is the holy grail of it all. As Apple II wasn’t very popular in Finland, finding anything programmed or released in Finland, is very important and interesting for me.  But i am interested as well anything published in Europe.. or elsewhere.

kid-niki-crack-screen-green_jpg

I recently scanned bunch of game manuals from Taiwan, them being in Chinese of cos. Those are not scanned to my knownledge so it just had to be done.

THAT’S WHY.

 

As our community’s favorite archivist, Mr. JASON SCOTT would put it :
“The House is on Fire, the Fire Trucks are on Fire, The Fire is on Fire.”

 

SO THE GUESTION IS, HOW TO PRESERVE THESE?
I’ve used few different ways to preserve software in the past, but in this case, there’s most likely, not much of a problem with different copy protections so basic setup is enough. In this way you can name the file already what’s there for easing up the post-image processing. There surely is more ways to do this, specially when using GS, but let’s focus here on these options, specially on 5.25″ floppies. Basicly the same workflow works for preserving the 3.5″ disks.

HARDWARE FOR PRESERVATION WORK:
destop_of_apple_iis_2_s

You can use just Apple IIGS if you want for preserving either format. But i don’t have 3.5″ disk controller for my Apple //e so i am forced to use GS for 3.5″ preservation.

HARDWARE FOR THE 3.5″-DISKS:
-Apple IIGS + 3.5″ floppy drive(s)
-ADTpro + Uthernet II -> ADTPro host on modern computer (in this case, OSX) to receive & save the floppy to image file.
-Cleaning 3.5″ floppy + bottle of isoprophyl alcohol for cleaning the drive head. Essential.

HARDWARE FOR THE 5.25″-DISKS:
Either:
-Apple IIe + 5.25″ floppy drive (Disk ][)
-Apple IIGS + 5.25″ floppy drive
disk_ii_open_s
..just keep it open. You need to clean the R/W-head often anyway.

Options:
-CFFA3000 -> read directly to .dsk image (USB/CF)
-ADTpro + Uthernet II -> ADTPro host on modern computer (in this case, OSX) to read the floppy to image file.
-Sometimes the need is to save up an .nib file from problematic disks.
-Bottle of isoprophyl alcohol and cotton stubs for cleaning the drive head.

 

SOFTWARE:
ADTpro v2.0.2 (Client on: Apple II, /// and Host (server) on: Windows, Linux, OSX etc).
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net

-Automated cleaning program for cleaning the 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppies for Apple II & GS:
“You, Dusthead!” by Brutal Deluxe Software.
http://www.brutaldeluxe.fr/products/apple2/dusthead/index.html
It’s available in 140k (5.25″) and 800k (3.5″) disk images as download.

CLEANING THE R/W-HEAD:
Cleaning the drive’s read-head is important.
bad_floppy_s
Old floppies vary in quality, they can have mold, dirt, whatever which really doens’t belong there.

dirty_floppy_read_head_s
When the floppy rotates inside the sleeve, the dust, dirt stucks on the head and blocks the readout results. Sometimes the whole inner disk can stuck inside the whole sleeve and cause the whole drive to slowdown in speed.
disk_ii_cleaning_drive_head_s

MY WORKFLOW:
For 5.25″ floppies my workflow is pretty easy and straightforward:

Reading the disk images:inside_apple_iie_s-I use the Apple //e platinum with Disk ][-drive(s), CFFA3000 and USB-memory or ADTPro.
cffa3000_import_floppy_s
-Read the floppy with CFFA3000 to -> .dsk in USB-memory, name accordingly. I usually use some prefix-for the job, i.e. GERMAN001~
cffa3000_reading_floppy_bar_s
cffa3000_reading_floppy_bar_errors_s
Sometimes the reading fails. Either: adjust your drive speed closer to optium, the disk is bad, or it’s copy protected. Just put it aside and look at it later.

OR:

adtpro
Read the floppy with ADTPro -> your modern computer. Name accordingly. ADTPro allows you to read .nib files from the floppies as well. Sometimes that’s needed to get working image from the floppy.
adtpro_select_connection_type_s
I am using Uthernet-II card.

adtpro_configure_sSettings for the network:

adtpro_send_image_choose_drive_sChoose the volume and then you can choose either standard (S) .dsk image or (N) nibble .nib.

adtpro_send_image_sAnd send the image.

adtpro_sending_file_s
Transfering the image.

-Sort the actual real-life floppies:
-If the floppy is non-readable, it gives too much of errors when reading, i place it in “to be checked”-box.
-Good ones i put aside so long i’ve tested the images in emulator/real hardware to be working.

 

POST-IMAGE PROCESSING?

Working or not?virtual_ii_s
-To check the image that it works, what’s on them, it’s easiest to use an Emulator.
-Either one will do, but basicly i’m using Virtual II (OSX) and AppleWin (Windows or OSX under Wine).
-So, test in Emulator. Name the file. Sort accordingly in folders on your HDD (sorted, upload etc. your call here).

What is on them?ciderpress_s
-For checking the contest of the created image, easiest way is to use Ciderpress (Windows, OSX under Wine) wich allows you to take a look of the files in the disk image- if it’s in normal DOS 3.3, ProDOS-format.

ciderpress_new_image_s
-Sometimes if the image wont boot, you can just copy-paste the files to new empty disk image (.po/.do).

To upload or not to upload?
-I dont upload images with personal information on them, so check the image thru before uploading please. Somebody’s business records or loveletters from the 80’s really doesn’t belong to the internet.
-Upload non-preserved images for the community to be enjoyed.

 

SOFTWARE/LINKS:

Ciderpress v4.0.1 (Windows)
http://a2ciderpress.com
-Tool to process the disk images. Sometimes you can just copy the files off the image and put them in a fresh new image and save it up.

AppleWin v1.26.0.6 (Windows)
https://github.com/AppleWin/AppleWin/releases
– Emulator for Windows.

-Virtual II v7.5.4 (OSX)
http://www.virtualii.com
-Emulator for Mac OSX.
-Limited (free)
-Full licence 40€, limited 18€

-OpenEmulator (OSX)
-Now supports Apple //e (128k)!
-Also supports .fdi files made from .edd files (Paul Hagstrom’s python script).
-Download: (not released yet)

The Internet Archive : “Where everything belongs”
http://www.archive.org

Textfiles (Jason Scott)
http://www.textfiles.com

 

 

SPEND YOUR TIME WISELY AT 4AM :Crash-course to: Preservation for Copy-Protected floppies?

These can be either original floppies or just badly cracked/bit copied floppies you have obtained.

passport_menu_1Where you absolutely need to start this with is, to try running Passport by 4am first to the disk.
Either using some CF/USB/SD-card solution as bootup device or just plain floppy-to-floppy solution. Note: Picture from Emulator so Slot 6 is been used only.

What Passport does is it reads up the original and if the protection scheme is supported by the Passport, it uses the disks own RWTS-routines to read up the floppy and write the resulting disk image (.dsk) without the protection. Easy. Quick. Perfect!

With CFFA3000 you can easily do it as follows:
-CFFA3000 in Slot 7
-Disk II interface card in Slot 6
-Empty virtual floppy image (.dsk) in Slot 5

-Boot up the latest Passport from S5,D1 and have an empty .dsk image in Slot S5,D2.
-Check the Slots are chosen correctly at Passport (S6,D1 -> S5,D2)

passport_verify
-You can run verification to the original floppy by pressing “V”.

passport_crack-If the floppy is ok, you can try cracking it with pressing “C” for Auto-Cracking.
-If the protection scheme is supported by Passport it’ll report the result on screen and produce an unprotected .dsk file.
-Also if the protection scheme is not supported, it’ll report the result on screen.
-Boot the cracked .dsk with CFFA3000 or in emulator to see if it works.

If the Passport can’t crack your floppy, then you have to manually crack it, which then requires more knownledge, time and coffee. Sometimes such help can be found from the community..

LINKS:

Passport by 4am:
https://archive.org/details/Passport4am

Apple II software library by 4am:
https://archive.org/details/apple_ii_library_4am

 

> I ACCEPT APPLE II FLOPPY DISK & HARDWARE DONATIONS. <

 

Get your Retro Apple ][ – products from :a2heaven_logo

 

 

Apple NPL II Information Management System (A2D0053)

Got an donation this summer for this software package, “Apple NPL II Information Management System” (A2D0053). I have not tried it what it would do however.. but it says it’s NonProgrammers Language which kind of sounds silly.

2016-12-08-07_47_28-infoworld-google-kirjat

apple-npl-ii

img_20160607_183540

img_20160607_1836102
4950 FIM would be around 850€+ thesedays. Not too cheap.

Disk images at:
http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/productivity/database/Apple%20NPL%20II%20Information%20Management%20System%20-%20Disk%201%20-%20NPL%20-%20%28A2D0053-689-0017-A%29.dsk

http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/productivity/database/Apple%20NPL%20II%20Information%20Management%20System%20-%20Disk%202%20-%20Utility%20-%20%28A2D0053-689-0018-A%29.dsk

 

 

Apple II : System Capabilities Demo #2 (8-78)

I once got this interesting (13-sector) floppy which had an label from CASETTE version of the very same, early Apple ][ software.  But the code P/N A2D0002 shows it’s an floppy product.
I somehow suspect this floppy originally came from Apple Computer Finland.

logo_1
It sure is an label from a casette version.

img_20141216_234221
Screen capture of the contents of the floppy.

Kalle kotipsykiatri

Kalle kalle_screen

Kalle Kotipsykiatri (“Galle Mindhelper”) was an home-psychology software written for Apple II by Pekka Tolonen in 1984. It was based on Eliza by Joseph Weizenbaum (1966).

Later he translated the software to VIC-20 and Commodore 64 version was done by Jyrki J.Kasvi. The Commodore 64 version was censored by local Micro-Computer magazine “Mikrobitti” due use of cursewords, so the basic listing on the magazine never really worked. They had to update the listing several times to get it fixed. It was later also converted to Spectravideo SVI-328 by Mikroilijat Ry – and possibly other platforms as well.

Other programs based on “Kalle” were “Yrtsi” (Punk Rocker) and “Lulu” (Exotic). Lulu was introduced in Scienece-Center Heureka in Vantaa, Finland, in “Do computers think?”-exibition and demonstrated the possibilities of interactive picture/voice/synthesis on Atari computer.

Apple ][ (.dsk) image:
http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/non-english/finnish/Galle-Mind%20Helper%20AKA%20Kalle%20Kotipsykiatri%20(Mikrobitti%201984%20Pekka%20Tolonen)%20-%20FINNISH.DSK