Articles tagged with: Mac

News Round-up: November 10 - December 5

mossy_11 on Sunday, 05 December 2010. Posted in News

apple-logoIn Apple and Mac gaming news, iOS 4.2 was released two weeks ago, bringing “multi-tasking” functionality to the iPad; a Steam hardware survey suggests that most Mac gamers are using laptops; Feral Interactive has released a Mac port of popular action-RPG Borderlands; Aspyr’s Mac port of Civilization V has landed; Telltale has released a poker game, Poker Night at the Inventory, with Max (from Sam & Max), Strong Bad, The Heavy (from Team Fortress 2), and Tycho Brahe (from Penny Arcade) as the opponents; id Software’s Rage has hit the current generation of iOS devices; and the Grand Theft Auto 3 trilogy has finally made its way to OS X.

stellaAtari 2600 VCS emulator Stella received a big update last month. Version 3.3 lists around twenty bug fixes, improvements, and additions to graphics display, application performance, debugging, and more. See the official Stella news page for release notes and the main site for the latest download link.

MacifomCycle-exact and Cocoa-native NES emulator Macifom has been updated to version 0.15. This new version adds support for games that use the MMC3 mapper on TxROM boards and games that were designed for SUROM boards, in addition to providing various other improvements. See the official site for full details.

More updates after the break.

Interview: John Calhoun on the Origins of Glider (Part 1)

mossy_11 on Saturday, 27 November 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn


John Calhoun's Glider games hold a special place in the history of Mac gaming, acting almost as an icon of the platform through much of the 1990s. They spawned a hugely dedicated fan base, which produced a ridiculous amount of original content both for and about Glider -- especially Glider 4 and Glider PRO, the later versions.

I caught up with Calhoun over email recently, and quizzed him on the origins and development of the series. This is the first part of that interview. Read on to discover where the idea for Glider originated, how the game came to exist, and how it dramatically altered Calhoun's future.

And also be sure to check out Dreaming of a Thousand-Room House: The History and Making of Glider, which provides context and a narrative for this interview.

Dreaming of a Thousand-Room House: The History and Making of Glider

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 23 November 2010. Posted in Mac Classics Reborn

Imagine a house filled with thousands of rooms, each unique in some small way. Now pretend that its occupants are mysteriously absent, yet the house is teeming with life, and there is no connection whatsoever to the world outside -- not even a single window. Goldfish jump in and out of their bowls, which are haphazardly placed high and low all around. A nearby basketball bounces of its own accord. Elsewhere, an exposed pipe drips water in a darkened room and balloons magically rise through the floor.

GliderIconPaper helicopters materialise out of the ether, only to disappear just as suddenly, while two slices of bread hop up and down in a toaster that sits on a small table. And you are a paper airplane, at the mercy of air currents, whose very survival depends on the avoidance of these strange and wonderful -- yet simultaneously mundane -- household objects.

This is the world of Glider, a classic Mac game with a devoted fan base that remained strong for over a decade. It spawned from the mind of John Calhoun, whose childhood was filled with dreams such as the one described above. His dreams took on a kind of reality with the release of Glider 1.0 in 1988, although this first version was rather simpler.

The game evolved considerably over the following decade -- growing in depth and complexity, expanding its fan base, adding a level editor, and even picking up a commercial release. This is the story of the origins and evolution of Glider, from its humble beginnings as a mere experiment to the aftermath of Glider PRO -- the final version of the game.

News Round-up: October 8 - November 9

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 09 November 2010. Posted in News

mac_os_x_lion_bannerThe next major version of Mac OS X will be called Lion, it was revealed at a “Back to the Mac” media event on October 20. Due for release in mid-2011, Lion promises to bring dozens of features and ideas from the iOS devices. It remains to be seen how well these features will work with the larger Mac screen and a keyboard/mouse set-up.


But the big talking point has been the Mac App Store, which will be similar to the iOS App Store. Many (including myself) predicted this move to a central repository for Mac software, and the general consensus seems to be that it is a good thing -- provided the Mac App Store remains just one of many ways to obtain software for your Mac. Apple is soliciting submissions for the store, which is due to launch early next year.


In other Apple news, the new 11” MacBook Air fills a long-vacated hole in Apple’s laptop line-up -- last occupied by the 12” PowerBook. The base price of US$999 makes for a very tempting deal. Xserve, Apple’s rackmounted server line, will be discontinued on January 31. Apple has provided an "Xserve Transition Guide" to help existing users migrate to the Mac Mini or Mac Pro server solutions. Apple also revealed that its port of Java for Mac OS X is officially deprecated.

apple-logoApple also reported a Q4 revenue of $20.34 billion, an all-time record for the company. Year-over-year Mac and iPhone sales increased by 27 and 91 percent, respectively, while iPod sales dropped 11 percent in the same period. Check out the press release for a full run-down.

Leading Mac emulation headlines is the news that PowerPC Macintosh emulator SheepShaver has been updated twice in as many weeks. The new build offers a number of ‘under the hood’ changes, partial support for bin/cue files, and 64-bit mode for Snow Leopard users. See the E-Maculation forums for a download link and additional information. [Thanks WatchSmart for the tip.]

More emulation news after the break...

Ceremony of Innocence

mossy_11 on Monday, 18 October 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

ceremonyThe rise of the CD-ROM in the 1990s brought great excitement to artists and storytellers interested in the digital medium. At last they could explore the concept of multimedia -- sound, animation, text, and graphics could be put together in one coherent piece of artistry and shipped out to millions of people.

It worked in theory, but not so much in practice. Most multimedia CD-ROMs released commercially were awkward to use, uneven in their artistry, and downright boring to explore. Many tried to cross the line from “interactive multimedia” to “game” -- to mixed success.

But one in particular was always likely to be an exceptionally successful -- in quality if not sales numbers -- piece of interactive multimedia. It was Ceremony of Innocence, an adaptation of artist and author Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine trilogy.

News Round-up: September 3 - October 7

mossy_11 on Thursday, 07 October 2010. Posted in News

pd6fm_box_161x166pxParallels Desktop 6 for Mac is now available. The new version boasts enhanced performance, remote access via iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, easier setup, up to 80% faster 3D graphics performance, and Surround Sound 5.1 support, amongst a wealth of other features. Check out the official website for more information.

jpcsp_logoJava-based PSP emulator JPCSP has made considerable progress in recent months, with the latest release (0.6) offering a host of new features and major improvements. The developers boast compatibility with more than 70 games (commercial and homebrew). See the release notes for full details on the update, and the homepage for more information about the emulator. [Thanks dickmedd for the tip.]

DapplegreyQuickfire updates have been released for DOSBOX front-end Dapplegrey, which is now at version 2.16. Changes include more freedom to choose which DOS executable file to use when starting a game, in addition to a few related tweaks to the interface and behaviour.

mini_vmacAn alpha build has been released for Macintosh Plus emulator Mini vMac’s upcoming 3.2.1 update. Described by the developer as the “netbook edition,” the update promises more accurate timing in CPU emulation, while a new feature called “AutoSlow” allows users to conserve battery power by reducing the emulation speed to 1x when no input or output occurs for two seconds. See the Mini vMac website for more information.

More updates after the break.

Civilization 1 & 2

mossy_11 on Monday, 04 October 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

For much of my existence on this earth, I have been an unashamed Civilization addict, Sid Meier's historically-themed strategy masterpiece. The series has done more to cultivate my interests today than anything else, helping to determine my majors in school (history and computer science), my fascination with interactive systems, and my goal of a career in game design.

I was only four years old when the original Civilization came out in 1991, and I knew nothing of the game until a few years later, when my brother entered private school. He came home after school one day with Civilization installed on his laptop and showed it to me. I was hooked instantly -- before I’d even played it. The developers had abstracted an entire alternate history of Western civilization into this simple game that offered so much emergent complexity.


Apple's Interesting 3rd Quarter

Kuribo on Wednesday, 21 July 2010. Posted in News

apple-logoApple recently released the report on its third fiscal quarter, telling of their most recent trends, profits, and deficits. The results were surprisingly positive, according to the mammoth company's predictions. What's your opinion on their recent growth? Do you absolutely oppose iPhone 4? Let us know, and read on for the Q3 details...


  • Apple's net quarterly revenue was $15.7 billion, surpassing last year by $5.97 billion.
  • Fifty-two percent of all sales came from international purchases, indicating a reduced dependence on the United States alone.
  • The iPad, although only recently introduced, sold almost as many units as the Mac computer. There were 3.27 million iPads sold, compared to 3.47 million Macs.
  • Mac sales have increased to approximately ⅓ of the size reported last year.
  • iPod sales have dropped by eight percent from the last year, despite still being the unit in highest demand.
  • The recent iPhone 4 has proved cumbersome with its antenna issue (users are being compensated for their troubles with free cases, fixing the strange bug). However, sales were reported at 8.4 million iPhone 4 units. 

Generally, Apple representatives appear extremely pleased at the results. However, are you surprised by the details? What do you think about the iPad and iPhone 4? Do you absolutely love Apple's current direction? Do you feel the need to beg them to accept emulation apps in the App Store?

Feel free to voice your opinion!

[Via World of Apple.]