Archive for February, 2011

Introducing the Open Apple podcast

February 7th, 2011 3:37 PM
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February 7, 2011 — Mike Maginnis and Ken Gagne, two long-time Apple II users, are proud to announce the Apple II community's first co-hosted podcast. Open Apple, a monthly show dedicated to Steve Wozniak's most famous personal computer, begins broadcasting today at http://www.open-apple.net/ with a new episode to come every month.

"When we got home from KansasFest 2010, we didn't want the experience to end," said Gagne in the show's first episode, referring to the annual Apple II convention. Added Maginnis, "One of the great things about the Apple II is the community that surrounds it. Having a podcast where we can chat with other Apple II users fosters that community feeling you get at events like KansasFest." In keeping with that theme, the two co-hosts are joined in their first episode by KansasFest veteran Andy Molloy, the first of many guests to appear on Open Apple.

The Apple II was the first personal computer produced by Apple Computer Inc. after its founding in 1977. More than eight models and five million units were sold before it was discontinued in 1993. Nearly two decades later, the computer still enjoys regular releases of new hardware and software, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of both loyal fans and retrocomputing newcomers.

The Open Apple show aims to spotlight that vibrancy and serve that community with regular segments that include "II News", a roundup of the latest Apple II activities and announcements; "Retroviews", a look back at classic hardware and software; "Apple Pickings", which spotlights Apple II sales on eBay and Craigslist; and "Name the Game", an audio trivia challenge in which listeners can win prizes.

"There are plenty of other great retrocomputing podcasts that we enjoy listening to," said Maginnis, "but none dedicated to the Apple II is produced on a regular basis, and nothing that consistently features multiple voices from the community. With this show, Ken and I are looking forward to keeping in touch with each other and other Apple II geeks every month."

Mike Maginnis blogs about Apple's pre-Mac computers on his blog, 6502lane.net. Ken Gagne is editor and publisher of Juiced.GS, the Apple II's longest-running print publication, and is marketing director for the community's annual convention, KansasFest.

The Open Apple podcast is available immediately at http://www.open-apple.net/ where it can be streamed live or downloaded.

The portable Apple IIc

February 3rd, 2011 10:50 AM
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Last month, we saw two reviews of the Apple IIGS, but it's this model's less powerful siblings that tend to garner more media attention. Two different Apple IIc computers selling on eBay for four digits in the last three years proved sufficient for Matt's Macintosh, who provided one of the previous IIGS reviews, to turn its attention back to the pre-Mac era with this review of the Apple IIc:

The Apple IIc was a powerful and revolutionary computer. As Steve Weyhrich of the Apple II History site told me for another story, "The Apple IIc was to the Apple II platform what the PowerBook was to the Power Mac: a more portable version of a desktop computer — not as elegant as the PowerBook, but pretty good for 1984." Yet its lack of expansion slots that so defined the rest of the Apple II line has often left it overlooked by peripheral developers. Could the recently announced CompactFlash interface give the model some much-needed love?

(Hat tip to Mike Maginnis)