The Last Jedi trailer

July 10th, 2017 11:49 AM
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Filed under Mainstream coverage;
1 comment.

Like most people reading this blog, I'm a Star Wars fan. Not obsessively so — I reserve that level of dedication for Star Trek. But I'm definitely one of the first people to see any new Star Wars movie, which includes Episode VIII, releasing this December 15, 2017. My enthusiasm's been especially high after the first official trailer released this past February.

Another fan who resides at the intersection of Apple II and Star Wars fandoms is Wahyu "Pinot" Ichwandardi, and his dedication to that combination outshines us all. Using an Apple IIc, KoalaPad graphics tablet, the Dazzle Draw paint program, 44 floppy disks, and Steve Chamberlin's Floppy Emu, Ichwandardi recreated the above trailer as 288 monochromatic 8-bit frames.

By pressing "Play" on the above two videos simultaneously, you can see how closely Ichwandardi's work follows the original. A follow-up tweet detailed the process and equipment Ichwandardi used in this three-week endeavor.

This masterpiece isn't simply the result of a modern artist deciding to be bohemian by incorporating retro technology into his craft. Rather, it's a return to form for Ichwandardi: 33 years ago, as an elementary school student, he worked the same magic on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. While that original work no longer exists, the skills he honed on his Apple II have aged well, it seems.

My hope is that Ichwandardi will find other impressive ways to use his Apple IIc, and that we'll see even more art coming from him soon — lest The Last Jedi be the last!

(Hat tip to Yvette Tan via Charles Pulliam-Moore and Brendan Robert)

Floppy preservation

July 8th, 2010 12:31 PM
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Filed under History;
7 comments.

There seems to be an emerging number of technologies for salvaging old data — not only the recent FC5025, as reviewed in the latest issue of Juiced.GS, but other methods that continue to enjoy developer support, such as ADTPro. I first used ADTPro after setting up an Apple IIGS in my office and wanted to make backups of its aging hard drive. Having done so, it's now occurred to me that I have overlooked a trove of much older data.

Box of floppies

So much data, yearning to be preserved!

A brief perusal of the disks reveals several Apple Writer and Dazzle Draw data disks. Neither appears to be a format supported by MacLinkPlus, but the original Apple Writer is a free download courtesy the Lost Classics Project. In the worst case scenario, perhaps I can use Sweet16's text screen capture function to convert some of the text, and standard screenshots for the images.

My collection also contains several games that aren't exactly lost treasures. Every Apple II user seems familiar with the likes of Ultima or Tass Times in Tonetown, but I've never heard anyone sharing fond memories of Ardy the Aardvark — and I can find no online reference to Pylon Racer and Electra Laser. The clamshells for those latter games don't even have screen shots; I'll need to boot them in an emulator to stir my own memories.

Finally, my collection doubtless includes numerous pirated programs, as we were all younger and stupider at the dawn of the personal computer era. Though I cannot in good conscience enjoy these programs now, I am glad for the opportunity to preserve them for posterity, should legitimate copies prove extinct. With magnetic media subject to decay, now is the best time to save this data before it is too late — assuming it isn't already.

I expect to convert these programs into disk images over a period of several lunch breaks, with cataloging of their contents to come later. A disadvantage of ADTPro over the FC5025 is that it requires a working Apple II computer. But since I have that hardware, I appreciate the advantage of having access to both 3.5" and 5.25" drives connected ot the Apple II. Access to both formats from a Mac or PC is possible but require different approaches, whereas ADTPro can handle both with ease.

Who knows what lost classics of my own I might discover?