Apple II - Rumors, Facts and Fables - Part 2

By Charles T. Turley

As I point out in Apple II - Rumors, Facts and Fables - Part 1, presented in the
Summer Issue of II Alive, It's often been said that rumors, facts and fables are
closely related, if not interwoven with each other at times. The following
contents are not clarified as being either; rumors, facts or fables, (unless
specifically noted). Each item discussed does fall into one of those categories.
The interpretation of this articles content are left entirely up to the reader!

FACT: I guess the biggest and most exciting - FACT - to relate to all of you is
the formation and founding of US-A2WUG - 'Unity Services - Apple II Worldwide User
Group'. Founded by me, with the gracious assistance and generous help of Steve
'The Woz' Wozniak. This is indeed a FACT! Steve has allowed the use of his name
(Honorary Title) - as 'US-A2WUG Founding Good Will Group Ambassador'. The URL is: and you're invited to review the
contents. The formal public announcement was made - onthe 10 th Anniversary of the Apple IIGS,
Sept. 15 th, 1996.

I wish to make it clear to everybody that Steve Wozniak is only providing the use
of his name as an 'Honorary Title' and will have no active part in any of the
US-A2WUG activities or WWW efforts - other than his providing
premissing with the use of his name as our 'Honorary Founding US-A2WUG Good-Will Group Ambassador!
He plans to retire in about a year - to enjoy his time with
his family.

The reasoning and motivation for founding US-A2WUG was simply to provide a FREE
Internet/WWW site and worldwide 'NOT-FOR-PROFIT'' user group for the Apple II computers and their
users. For your review I'm presenting a general overview of the functions and
outline of the US-A2WUG, with a listing of our Founding and Charter Members,
available in full within the US-A2WUG web site folder.

The purpose of this group will be to foster and promote 'Good Will', contact and
help - between all US-A2WUG members and all Apple II users - worldwide - to provide; help, assistance, referals,
advise, etc. - with respect to any and all user groups, their member needs and general assistance to all Apple I users worldwide - including -
but, not limited to; software and hardware, programming and development. Let me
make it clear that no fees or dues of any kind or type are required or expected.
Everything is to be offered FREELY! Any related ftp sites or web sites and their
software library contents are to be accessable by all members FREELY, without
restrictions. All that is expected of any members (including Founding Charter
Members) is nothing more than they care to provide for other US-A2WUG members.

Requirements for US-A2WUG membership are simple. All any person needs to do to
become a US-A2WUG member - for life (termination per their request) is send me an
email request and be either an owner and/or user of any Apple II model of
computer or clone.

Of course I'd reserve the right to revoke any membership or association, etc. of
any US-A2WUG member - that does anything to bring disgrace or any form of public
embarrasement to the US-A2WUG name and/or public functions, including but - not
limited to any illegal acts - done by willful intent, etc. In other words, all
members are expected to abide by all standard protocal, with good will concerning
all US-A2WUG activities, in public - that are in any manner associated with the

I'm planning to design and provide some form of web site CGI in the future, that will allow an
interactive online chat and discussion area and service with a user group meeting (the time, dates
and frequency - to be determined). Also the web site for US-A2WUG will be so
designed to provide; links and pointers, an information DATA bank of useful FAQ
and Usenet newgroup links, posts, etc. - to all locatable and informative Apple
II related vendors, web sites, ftp sites and any other WWW link/site that can
provide useful and worthwhile information, references and services to all of the

Specific attention will be provided for the NEW - STYLED computer,
(TheTiger Learning Computer)
licenced from Apple Computer, Inc. - with the Apple
IIe design and technology as the basis of its design - by Tiger Electronics, Inc.
- with all information on it available, when it will be released for sale to the
public and where it can be purchased, along with all software cart's that will be
available for it - with information, specs. retail pricing, data and WWW links
for the software companies that provide programs with such carts. for it. I also
plan to provide any information and WWW links for any hardware products and/or
devices that might be designed for use with it by third party developers. (i.e. -
disk drives, hard drives function enhancement cards, etc.)

Every person that reads this article - who owns and/or uses an Apple II computer
or a clone of such, is invited to become a US-A2WUG member - by simply sending me
an email or surface mail requesting membership. Remember, there are no fees to
become a US-A2WUG member and no membership dues of any kind are required or

Please send your request by email to: (or)
If you don't have email abilities then please send your request by surface mail to:

115 Santa Clara St.
Brisbane, CA 94005-1736

Now, back to the 'Apple II - Rumors, Facts and Fables - Part 2'. I've been
working long hours and very hard, trying to bring formally commercial (but,
abandoned) software to public access as; shareware, freeware or public domain, by
requesting the copyright holders to reclassify it as such. I've had some very
positive results - so far, with many more of these efforts pending a reply and
response. I've been able to release many of the programs - with their source
codes, from Karl Bunker and Paul Benson. Also, Medley GS and Lisa 816 are
no-longer classed as commercial and have been released as freeware to the public.
I'm currently waiting for replies from Soft Key Software (now known as TLC), who just bought MECC, to reclassify all of the Apple II educational software titles - from commercial
to either; shareware, freeware or public domain.

With an emphasis on the enhanced abilities of the Apple IIGS, for its graphic and
sound potentials, consider the following tidbits of information I've gathered
from a multitude of reliable and well informed sources, over the past year. In
many cases this information was obtained by me directly from the programmers in
tel-con or email interviews. To bring you up-to-date on eveything from Part 1,
please read on!

The rumored update of Prism v2.0 by Ron Mercer, is still not ready for a release
with support for jpeg color conversions and lots more new options - YET, as of
this writing. And, another little known 3200 color IIGS graphic program from Ron,
that's been under progressive development off and on for the past few years is
Emerald Vision v2.0. Even the very early beta I saw 2 years back was more
impressive and an lot more user friendly than our current 3200 IIGS program,
DreanGrafix! It too - is still NOT READY for release! Come on Ron, what's the
hold up? We're all still waiting for these great IIGS program releases!

Need more info on these? Then send Ron an email: (Ron Mercer) The
more request and feedback he gets from the Apple IIGS community, the sooner he's
inclined to finish these up for release.

I didn't attend KansasFest - '96, as much as I wanted to. But, I've been told by
friends that did attend and read via, Usenet posts and visits to WWW pages that
it was a big hit and lots of fun for the estimated 90 plus seasoned and Apple II
VIP's and old time Apple II devotees that did attend. I do plan to attend the
next KansasFest - '97, which is already confirmed to be held July 31 - August 2,
1997 at Avila College in Kansas City, MO.

The highlight of KansasFest - '96 was the public review and showing of Gus, the
IIGS Emulator from Apple Computer, Inc. - developed by Dave Lyons, Andy Nicholas
and many others. I've been a seed developement team evaluator for Gus from
October of 1995. I can tell you it's a fine IIGS emulator for the PowerMac only!
It's rumored to soon be available from the Apple Computer ftp site,
as a public beta.

I just received word from Dave Lyons - the main author of Gus, that it now
supports disk images, actual 800k and/or 1.4M ProDOS disks for read/write and
Ensoniq emulation, for sound, without the ability to record by input. My biggest
let down and disappointment was Dave Lyons informing me that it was (most likely)
never going to be supportive for the Mac 68k series of computers. Thus if you
don't have a PowerMac, Gus would be useless for your IIGS emulator needs!

There are also at least six more IIGS emulators now under development. I've seen
and used two of them; GSx from Tony Morales (for the Mac 68k and PPC models) and
X-GS from Joshua Thompson (for the X-Windows and the Unix/PC computers), both of
whom are Founding & Charter Members of the US-A2WUG. Both of these IIGS emulators
are just as impressive as Gus (IMHO). Both are in beta testing and should both be
fully developed and available to the public by mid-1997. And, then there is the shareware, now under development - Fast Eddie for the PowerMac

Joshua Thompson is furnishing the C source codes with the release to the
public for X-GS (now up to v0.40), thus it's only a matter of time before other developers do a
port to other compute platforms. By this time next year, virtually every computer
platform you can name (most likely) will have a IIGS emulator, that functions
just as well as a real Apple IIGS and in most cases with more RAM potential.
Just imagine the number of computer units that
will make, that can run Apple IIGS programs!

The other rumored IIGS emulators, that I've not actually seen, I have my serious
doubts of their reality are the others for
X-Windows from somebody with the first name of Steve (who uses two different last
names??) and two secret IIGS emulators rumored to be under development for Windows
NT and Windows 95.

Graphics, music, games, main application programs and utilities have always been
a strong aspect of the Apple II's in abundance and they are still many new
releases and many programs under current development. In fact - there are so
many, it's impossible to name them all in part 2 of this article.

The follow are just a few of the many releases or programs nearing final
development and/or new updates; Spectrum GS v2.1, GraphicWriter III v2.0, Super
Convert v4.0, The Manager v1.5, GNO v2.0.6 (no the rumored v2.0.7 - mentioned in
a Usenet post is just that - a false rumor and nothing more) GNO v 2.0.6 should
be released to the public for commercial sales - relatively soon now. And,
it should also have the much anticipated IIGS tcp/ppp bundle released and
available for use with it also, for sale as a seperate bundle.

All the hoopla over the status of the release of Wolfenstein 3D for the IIGS, is
it every going to be released and if so - as commercial shareware or freeware -
provoked me into calling the CEO of ID Software, Jay Wilbur - to have a long
conversation with him about the release of the program as a FREE gift for the
IIGS world! He assured me that the only manner he would permit its release for
the IIGS - was exactly as first arranged with the IIGS development team for it -
as a FREEWARE! And, I'm very happy to announce - Wolfenstein 3D for the IIGS, is
now going to beta soon and as a FREEWARE, according to the web site for it - will be available by Christmas.

Many more great freewares have been released such as; Proton, Python GS, DOS 3.3
Launcher v2.2, GS Telnet, Photo CD displayer, Kanji Edit, View & print systems,
(with English translations of the documentation - by Arekusu - Alex Eddy), Type
Changer and SysFont NDA's, IJG(Jpeg/PPM) Convert v2, JM, FEP, Gsk-Term, NekoGS
and NyankoSwp NDA's, ViewDL v2.0. Rolf Braun and Sassy Software has released a
freeware update with CoolWriter v3.0 and a nice new update of the IIGS MegaBox
NDA music player and the list just goes on and on!

I recently payed a visit to Alex Eddy (Arekusu), a really impressive NO-TOOLS ACE
programmer, age 18 - who uses Merlin. He's been developing an amazing IIGS Music
program called AceTracker and with two other programming and artist partners, is
also developing a very impressive IIGS 'Super-Fast 3D animation game - based on
the Super-Mario series. Both are destined for release as freewares! And, from
what I saw of them both on his IIGS - in his home -in Santa Cruz, CA - they
should knock your socks off and really dazzle your eyes and ears - when completed
and released.

There are a few other IIGS games that should be released by the time you read
this. One from the NinjaForce Group - which (I understand will be a freeware) and
then there is the other rumored commercial game port (Lemmings) from Brutal Deluxe, which is
restricted, when released to only those that bought their 3200 Convert program -
something I can't see any logic to the market theory of.
But, then that's Brutal Deluxe for you!

Many new sharewares are also now available such as; SwatDisk by Nathan Mates.
It's an astounding IIGS NDA utility that allows you to have a multiple of RAM
disks allocated in virtually any selectable size, even providing the abilities to
copy 5.25 disks to seperate 'Virtual' RAM disks - to allow them to actually be
launched via GS/OS.

Nathan has been very busy with his new programming job for the other game
industry machines that use the 65816 CPU, but still has time to dominate the Apple
II Usenet newsgroups and provide many useful tips, helpful suggestions and
maintains an extrodinary and very complex 'Apple II Resource' WWW site, with a
multitude of valued information and FAQ pages for virtually every aspect of the
Apple II users needs.

With the recent price decline in the CD Players for use with the Apple II
computers, many new CD titles and collections are poping up all over the place -
at very reasonable cost, loaded with very useful programs, graphic files, music
and sound files, too many in fact to list here!

On a sad note - I have to inform you that Tim Meekins has no more plans to do any
development updates for his Image Quant program for the IIGS nor with any other
IIGS development. In a conversation I had in Mid-August with Tim - he informed me
of this and also confirmed that he had never done anything with respect to the
much rumored and so-called rewrite/updates for Quick Draw II for the IIGS. His
efforts for the IIGS will really be missed!

None the less, It's really amazing, when you stop to think about all of this just
how much is still being developed, updated and released for the Apple II and
IIGS, by so many individual and devoted Apple II programmers and simply casual
Apple II users, even if they are not produced any longer! The users needs,
devotion and desires keep it ALIVE!

Here's an astounding bit of information for you to ponder and (hopefully) help
with! I recently decided to contact NetScape concerning the possibility of their
developing and releasing as either; shareware or freeware - a scaled-down version
of NetScape for the Apple II and IIGS. I was very impressed with the results of
my discussion with them. I strongly suggest you all contact them with your
feelings on their doing such development with Netscape for the Apple II and IIGS!

Seriously, you should either give them a voice call or an email urging them to
develop NetScape for our Apple II computers. With the release of the GS TCP/PPP
bundle, the updated v2.0.6 release of GNO, the current development of display
programs for GIF and JPEG, as well as the MPEG development and release for the
Apple IIGS,such a thing is very doable! So, please contact the NetScape Ideas
Group by Voice: (415) 937-3944 and by email at: Remember your
call and/or email could make it all happen!

The Tiger Learning Computer - update information (FACT)

Vernon Hills, IL -- Tiger Electronics is launching a diverse line of innovative
learning andentertainment products highlighted by the Tiger Learning Computer,
featuring technology licensed from Apple Computer, Inc. The system will retail
for only $149.99.

The Tiger Learning Computer utilizes Apple's IIe technology from Apple Computer,
the most broadly recognized computer name in schools throughout the United States
for the past 15 years. The laptop-styled unit houses 2 solid state cartridge
slots to accommodate dozens ofsoon-to-be-converted Apple IIe licensed software
programs. The new cartridge system will makehandling easier for children while
holding all of the same information the original floppy disks contained. The
system will even provide children text-only use of the Internet.

More than 40 licensed Apple IIe titles will be available this year with licensors
eager to see their programs revitalized by the system. Already on board are
software giants: Scholastic, MECC, and Optimum.

Randy Rissman, president of Tiger, said this computer is designed to provide all
families a learning tool with some of the best educational programs ever
available. It also opens up the world of computer learning to many families who,
otherwise, would not be able to afford a system.

Tiger has eliminated the expense of a monitor by making the system work with a
standard TV. In some cases an inexpensive RF Modulator may be necessary. The unit
will also work with many regular computer monitors.

Solid state RAM cartridges allow users to save information without the need for
expensive memory.

Tiger will also be unveiling the company's first introductions in CD ROM with
proven educational toy and game titles like Quiz Wiz, Lights Out and Speak and
Spell. Tiger Toyware, the first ever marriage of brilliant stand alone toys and
CD ROM are also available.

Tiger Electronics is one of the premiere game and entertainment companies in the
world. Originally best known as the innovator in licensed electronic games, the
company has fast diversified into a leader in Educational Learning Aids and a
force in the gaming world.

Based in Vernon Hills, IL, the company has offices in Hong Kong, The United
Kingdom, Germany and France.

I'll add to this with information provided to me via a recent telephone
conversation with Tiger Electronics. They informed me that the goal of Tiger is
to release on Nov. 1st. Reportedly - 20,000 Tiger Learning Computers will be offered for sale to the public via select marketing outlets around the USA, such as; TOYS-R-.US and WALMART.
I've seen the prototype of the computer and it's very
impressive - as it looks very much like a Mac Powerbook to me! The 74 key
keyboard has 11 function (fkeys - at the top) with an elegant style and a compact
design. Mouse and AC adapter are included.

With many potentials for expansion via third party devices to allow it full
support for many devices such as 5.25 disk drives, hard drives and virtually any
other add-on that could be developed for use with a ser. or par. port. The Tiger
Learning Computer features; 128k bytes of ROM, 128k bytes of RAM, enhanced Apple
IIe system technology, 3 display modes; text mode: 40 or 80 columns x 24 lines, Apple IIe
graphics mode, enhanced graphics mode - resolution: 280 x 192 in. - 16 colors -
with sprites and screen background scrolling, printer port, 2 cartridge ports,
joystick port and Speech/Sound capabilities.

In closing I'd like to state - It still looks like the Apple II is very much

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