Ever wonder what the comforting buzz of your modem is trying to say? I certainly do, and a fantastic picture and post from Oona Räisänen sheds some light on this.
David Greelish recently posted an interesting interview with Alan Kay, a visionary behind the modern graphical user interface. Interestingly, Kay argues that modern computers fall far short of the original vision and potential. For all media, the original intent was “symmetric authoring and consuming”. So much of our culture is about consumption. In some ways, [...]
I recently visited the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, MT, which includes exhibits like an Apple I, assorted Apple IIs and Macs, two models of Altair systems, a PDP-8S, an IMSAI, electronic and mechanical calculators, many personal computers, and a Minuteman missile guidance computer. Check out my photos here.
What does it take to interface the F18A, a modern FPGA-based clone of the venerable TM9918A Video Display Processor (VDP), to an Apple II? Short answer: not much. Here’s the long answer. Let’s start with analyzing the design of the E-Z Color Graphics Interface, a TMS9918A-based “sprite board” with the design published in the August [...]
The Apple II, first announced in 1977, had in-built color graphics capabilities. Certainly, these capabilities are rudimentary by standards even five years later, but graphics capabilities were a big deal in 1977. Previously, hobbyist accessible computers like the KIM-1 and the Altair 8800 had absolutely no video or graphics output. At best, the owner could [...]
HackFest is both a tradition at KansasFest and for me personally. I find that as I attend more KansasFests, my HackFest projects get smaller simply because I’ve discovered all the fantastic off-schedule activities. At my first KansasFest, I’d retire to my room between sessions and after meals. But, some of the best discussions and discoveries [...]
Transferring data to and from your favorite Apple II is easy, thanks to technologies like ADTPro, the Uthernet adapter, FTP, and the CFFA3000. In fact, these technologies make data transfer too easy, hopelessly ruining the retro experience where 1200 baud is fast and data is supposed to spin in tiny circles at 300 RPM. I’m [...]
I just received the latest issue of Juiced.GS and found this stamped on the envelope. This is 2012. Almost nobody even knows what “magnetic media” is anymore. This stamp could be a foreboding sign: You’re walking down a dark alley. Rats, scratching for a bite, scurry behind the overflowing dumpsters. Somewhere in the shadows there’s a [...]
KansasFest was a non-stop blast of fun, knowledge, and friends. I presented a session on solar powering an Apple II. To make room for luxuries like cups and water in my 70 square foot van, I had to put my Apple IIs in storage. Due to a bit of luck, I managed to find an [...]
I gave two presentations at KansasFest 2011, the first an introduction to the Logo programming language and the second a survey of small turtle robots contemporary with the Apple II. Ken Gagne recorded the presentations and has kindly made the videos available. Turtle Robots LOGO: History and Programming