Articles tagged with: commodore

News Roundup: February 7 - March 4

Niemann on Friday, 04 March 2011. Posted in News

apple-logoApple has released new MacBook Pros, with the new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt connectivity. Early reports indicate that they are much faster than the previous generation machines -- to the point where the new baseline 13" model matches or betters the old 17" model on many speed and performance tests.


overview_missioncontrol20110127It has been revealed that Mac OS X Lion will drop Rosetta, a software abstraction layer which provides support for PowerPC binaries on Intel machines. This is an interesting move that some are labelling premature, as, on the one hand, it forces developers to get their code up to modern standards, but, on the other, it breaks compatibility with some professional software still actively in use. Some of the other features slated for Lion are looking promising, though.


iPad2At a media event on Wednesday, Apple announced a second-generation iPad, complete with a processor upgrade (the iPad 2 sports a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor), front- and rear-facing cameras, Smart Covers, and an option to get it in white colour. The new iPad models will be available in the US from March 11, and in other countries over the following weeks. In the meantime, you can pick up the first-generation iPad at a discount.


Also announced at the event was iOS 4.3, which features some useful enhancements to AirPlay, allows iTunes Home Sharing, improves performance in Safari, and offers the long-demanded iPad side-switch preference (rotation lock or mute). It will be available from March 11, and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 GSM, 3rd-gen iPod Touch, 4th-gen iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad 2 (I guess that means iPhone 3 and 2nd-gen iPod Touch owners should upgrade now).


We've had a quiet month in Mac emulation news, but there were notable updates to VICE, Dapplegrey, and gbpablog, amongst others. Hit the jump for details on these and other minor emulator updates, as well as a couple of Mac gaming tidbits.

News Roundup: January 5 - February 6

mossy_11 on Sunday, 06 February 2011. Posted in News

appStoreThe Mac App Store launched in early January, pulling an impressive one million app downloads in the first 24 hours of operation. The initial lineup of 1000 apps has expanded considerably over the past few weeks. For gamers and emulation enthusiasts, the impact of the store is still unclear. It is certainly good for the exposure of games on OS X, but could potentially discourage people from looking elsewhere for software that doesn't meet Apple's stringent requirements. The only emulator that seems to have made it past Apple so far is MacWise (a terminal emulator).


LugaruHDApple's stringent approval policies have come under fire recently, following the listing of an unauthorised clone of Wolfire's Lugaru HD game which severely undercut the price of the original. The developers of this unauthorised version claim to be within the rights of the GPL2 licence under which the source was released back in May, while Wolfire insists that the assets -- graphics, sound, other artwork -- are protected and may not be redistributed. At the time of writing both versions remain on the Mac App Store. Also see the Kotaku post for a more detailed run-down of the issue.


OpenEmulatorA new(-ish) emulator called OpenEmulator -- not to be confused with Open Emu -- aims to be "an accurate, portable emulator of legacy computer systems." Development efforts are currently focused on implementing a Mac OS X interface and emulating the Apple I and MOS KIM-1 computers, although there is also functional Apple II support. The emulator notably uses a software components framework, which allows the simple addition of expansion devices and peripherals (including virtual monitors). See the official website for more information.


MS-DOS emulator Boxer approaches nearer to its official 1.0 release, reaching 1.0rc1 a few days ago. The 1.0 release promises to be a complete overhaul, with more intuitive game installs, a new interface, support for cover art, better stability and performance, and "much, much more." See the official website for full details and a download link.

More emulator updates after the break.

News Round-up: December 6 - January 4

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 04 January 2011. Posted in News

apple-logoHighlights in Apple news this past month include the announcement that the Mac App Store will open on January 6 and the passing of a new milestone in market capitalisation. Apple’s market cap now stands at over $300 billion, which is still some $70 billion behind Exxon Mobil -- the largest US company. This marks a great year in stock for the company, which passed $200 billion back in March and rose to become the second biggest US company in May (leapfrogging Microsoft).


virtualboxOpen-source x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualisation tool VirtualBox received a major update shortly before Christmas. Version 4.0 provides a major reworking of the GUI, adds support for new virtual hardware, removes the 1.5/2 GB guest RAM limitation on 32-bit hosts, and more. See the changelog for a full run-down and the official site for a download.


boxerIn news we missed last month, MS-DOS emulator Boxer has entered public beta for version 1.0. New builds were released throughout December, with the biggest changes being that games can be imported “painlessly” from CDs or folders, there is a dedicated games folder automatically created, and the program launches with a welcome panel. Check out the official Boxer website for more details.


MAME and SDLMAME were updated three times over the past month. The latest version (0.141) adds support for the games Heavy Unit, Poizone, Silver Game, and Jack Potten’s Poker, in addition to providing a long list of improvements and bug fixes. Check out the MAME website for full details, and grab the latest SDLMAME build from here.

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

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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; 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.

9 iPhone Apps for the Retro Enthusiast

mossy_11 on Thursday, 22 April 2010. Posted in Opinion

The iPhone and iPod Touch App Store is brimming with content for just about every niché (except those that will never meet Apple’s stringent requirements). But so many apps are terrible that it can sometimes be a dice roll whether you’ll find what you want. This is doubly so for fans of retro games and technology, with countless attempts made to trick you out of your money in an orgasmic blast of nostalgia. Some apps actually are what they say, however, so I’ve put together this list of nine iPhone apps worth a look for fans of retro gaming and technology.


2600 Magic / DragstrMagic

From the creator of Pitfall, David Crane’s Technical Wizardry Series has so far spawned just two apps. But both provide phenomenal insight into the work that went into making games for the Atari 2600. Each app describes the internal workings of the hardware, and reveals the tricks used to make various graphics appear on the screen. The language used is very accessible, seldom requiring any technical knowledge whatsoever, and there are numerous interactive diagrams used to illustrate the descriptions. You'll likely finish wondering how anything was made at all, given how difficult every little task must have been.

Cost: 2600 Magic -- $1.99 (a free ‘Lite’ version is available); DragstrMagic -- $3.99.

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