Let's face facts: the 640 x 200 pixel super hi-res graphics mode is as Woz-like ingenious as it is frustrating.
I've always loved playing Thexder, Silpheed and especially, Ancient Land of Ys on the Apple IIGS. But with equal enjoyment came equal fascination: where exactly did these games originate in Japan? Research to answer this question lead me on a wonderful retro computing journey of discovery that, quite to my surprise, came full circle and ended up back to the Apple II again.
Quite simply, I love pixel art...truly, madly, deeply (4-bits of it to be precise).
OK, so creating a runtime environment for Lucas Arts adventure games for the IIGS is no walk in the park. How about something that's hopefully easier, but still for the truly adventurous at heart?
At 36886 feet, 868 kilometres per hour and over Indonesia to be precise.
I'll admit it: I'm no expert with hardware. While many Apple II faithful are handy with a soldering iron and can boast to have modified their TranswarpGS or ZipGSX beyond their default clock rate, I'm very cautious with anything that's green with gold teeth. Additionally, having never upgraded my Vulcan hard drive before moving onto a Power Mac, I've never used SCSI (similar to the CFFA in some respects) on the IIGS and with it, setting up and managing multiple 32meg ProDOS partitions.
Upon reflection, one of the many things I enjoyed about the IIGS back in 1987 as an impressionable 11 year old was not having one. That's right - the wait itself, although painful at the time, was made thrilling knowing this was the computer we were going to get after visiting the local Apple Centre and seeing various ‘multimedia' examples of what the machine was capable of.
What a bumper year it's been for IIGS hardware: The custom built IIGS portable, version 2.0 of the CFFA card (review coming soon!) and the updated Focus Controller and Sirius RAM by Tony Diaz. It's certainly felt there's been a resurgence of interest for the IIGS in 2008.
Hello Apple II and digital restoration fans!
At the same time as I’ve been collating and preparing the new ‘What is the Apple IIGS?’ website I’ve also been preparing a coffee table book of the same title.