Programming the F18A: Tiles

In the first part of this series, we learned how to program the F18A using the AmpArcade library.  We looked at loading the library, initializing the video hardware, and changing the backdrop color.  While a good first step, that’s hardly interesting.  In this part, we program the tile layer.  The tile layer is versatile and …

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Programming the F18A: Getting Started

This is the first part of my tutorial on programming the F18A installed in an Apple II.  I cover installing the card and finding software.  Future parts will cover more interesting topics, such as the tile layer, sprites, and F18A-specific features. Throughout, I’ll use VDP (Video Display Processor) to refer to the original TMS9918A, F18A …

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ImageWriter II: Essential hardware for every system

Back when my Apple IIc+ was my only computer, I really wanted an ImageWriter II printer.  This was “the” printer to own.  It was reasonably fast, compatible with nearly all Apple II software, and printed in glorious color.  Unfortunately, I was a kid with no job, and an ImageWriter II cost over $500.  Needless to …

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Living Computer Museum

The Living Computer Museum opened October 2012 in Seattle, WA.  Unlike most museums that strive to preserve artifacts how they find them, usually broken and powered off, this museum keeps their machines alive.  They’re in working condition, complete with the strangely beautiful sounds of teletypes, Disk ][ drives, paper tape, and raised-floor cooling.  The museum …

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