Category Archives: Computers and Technology

App store iPhone/iPad app, Best of FTA is a fully functional Apple 2gs emulator

This won’t be very useful for most people,  However it turns out that the “Best of FTA” app store application is actually a functional Apple IIgs emulator based on ActiveGS.

I used a Jailbroken IPAD to perform this,  but I quickly looked at the file contents of the application and discovered all of the embedded games in the menu were disk image files 2MG,  I also noticed another hidden file,  a system 6 image,  which booted when I renamed it to XMASDEMO.2MG

Now, understand that this is of little use on a non-jailbroken IOS Device,  however I’ve been waiting a long time and done some fun attempts at getting an apple II emulator to work on the IPAD 

I’m not sure if there is an easter-egg to launch System 6,  but it appears to have everything except the line item to launch it in the app.

I haven’t bothered looking for the configuration settings or anything else for the application to see if you can mount other images, or how complete the emulator is, but it appears to be a full port.

At first I was suspect that this was an embedded web browser that went to an emulator,  but it appears to be running within the app (it could still be an embedded web app though)

This is not any new news, I’ve known about an effort to get ActiveGS ported to the iPhone/iPad but I was surprised to see it in the app store.

I’d guess that this app might get pulled if there is an easter-egg to enable the original functionality that the group created,  But the other question I have is whether or not Apple cares about the older roms and intellectual property if it even made it into the app store in the first place,  or it slipped completely under the radar.  I’m hoping theres a Cydia version but I haven’t looked for it yet.

Application Link

UPDATE: It looks like if you swipe the title bar or an empty list item,  it will boot to applesoft if you have no disk image selected to boot.  The button itself won’t let you do that.  Control-Option-Reset brings up the control panel just as the original apple IIgs did.

UPDATE 2:  There is a file called list.activegsxml that has all the list items,  Too bad its missing the (whether its hidden or not) buttons at the bottom that lets you set Apple II emulation, or GS emulation, along with mounting different images while its running without performing a reset.

UPDATE 3: I added a few items to the list.activegsxml config file,  system6, which starts up with a disk error, presumably because its read-only.  I haven’t yet found any shortcuts to add/update a disk image to a running machine, and the images are in the .app directory, when they should at least be in a document or other subdirectory.

UPDATE 4: Thanks to a few bits of feedback, I was informed that you can use iPhoneExplorer to add/update the files. Presumably that was the reason the images were placed in an area that could be reached in an un jailbroken device. I definitely didn’t catch that because my devices were jailbroken.

Emulating an Apple //e on an Apple iPhone 4

Okay,  since iDOS has been release and pulled,  I was recently playing with DOSBOX,  I’m a huge vintage computing fan, and I have all of my old PC and Apple hardware,  plus I’ve taken the time to emulate these older systems to show off my older efforts (I was a huge BBS enthusiast when I was younger, since roughly 1982)

I was inspired by someones comments to make a Apple ][ emulator for iOS (which I’d love to see KEGS or something else ported)

What better way to show off a little than to install DosPAD (aka iDOS, based on the DOSBox emulator) on my iPhone.

One really cool thing about DosBOX is the several interesting ways that networking can be emulated.  Being a BBS enthusiast, the way it emulates a modem (and listening on a TCP port, when a connection is detected, it “rings” the modem) led me to set up my older BBS programs that ran under DOS,  MajorBBS, Renegade, Synchronet, all work.

But my enthusiasm started with the Apple ][ and //e computer, and thats where my BBS obscession started.  So I started looking for something along the lines of KEGS or some other apple ][ emulator being ported to Mac osX and perhaps to iOS.  No luck, and I’m not yet proficient enough to port the code myself.

BULB GOES ON..  See if one of the older 16 bit Apple 2 emulators will run in DOSBox!  I started  by getting DOSBox running under my trusty Ubuntu Netbook.  So I gather some of my stuff together, copy APPLEPC to a path and mount it in DOSBox, OOPS! Forgot to get a ROM for my Apple //e.  I find a rom and copy it over.  It boots and hangs, OOPS, need an apple boot disk.  So I created a prodos disk image from one of my original disks.  BINGO it boots!

Yech its kinda slow,  but it worked!

Next step,  copy the files in my APPLEPC directory to the iDOS emulator on my iPhone…..

BINGO! It works!

Its slow,  opening the super serial card actually works (you get a ring, and can type ATA to answer) and Ascii Express (running tardis) worked perfectly.

Stay tuned for my next steps,  to install my old BBS Hard disk image and connecting to it.

More pictures and updates to follow!

Have Windows notify you if your Home IP Address changes

One of the biggest peeves I have about my internet connection is they never follow up on their support tickets.

I’ve been charged for 2 static IP addresses for a year, and they never have been able to get me the proper settings so I can finish configuring a Linux router I had built awhile back (more on that in another post) My ISP uses PPPoE for configuration, and I’m convinced they just don’t know what their doing, so they can’t get me the info.  I own my own domains, and they are hosted by a company where I have nearly unlimited access to a dedicated server,  which is basically LAMP server.  I don’t use any sort of Dynamic DNS registration because I control my own DNS servers.  So Here is the solution

— getip.php This file goes onto the php web server,  this is probably the simplest page I’ve ever put together.

echo "IP Address= $ip";

–isalive.vbs This file goes onto the PC running windows,  You then schedule your system to run this script periodically (15 minutes?)

'<script language="vbscript">
Option Explicit
on error resume next

call"get", "http://www.yourdomain.goeshere/getip.php", false)
Dim strResponseText
strResponseText = oXMLHTTP.ResponseText
SET oXMLHTTP = nothing
Dim strReturn

strReturn = trim(strResponseText)

'wscript.echo strReturn

Dim fso, outFile, logfile, oldfile
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

Dim GetOldOutput

GetOldOutput = "IP Address="
set oldfile = fso.opentextfile("C:\getip\output.txt")
GetOldOutput = replace(trim(oldfile.readall()),VbCrLf,"")

Set outFile = fso.CreateTextFile("c:\getip\output.txt", True)
set logfile = fso.OpenTextFile("c:\getip\log\log.txt", 8,True)
Dim Splitter

if (GetOldOutput <> trim(strReturn)) then
Splitter = " <> "
Splitter = " == "
end if

Dim OutputMessage

outFile.WriteLine trim(strReturn)

OutputMessage = replace("Old " & GetOldOutput & Splitter & "New " & strReturn, "IP Address= ","")

logfile.writeline Date & " " & time & " - " & OutputMessage
wscript.echo OutputMessage

'Update DNS?? -- I'd love to have a dynamic DNS update script

if GetOldOutput <> trim(strReturn) then
wscript.echo "CHANGED"

Dim objMessage

Set objMessage = CreateObject("CDO.Message")
objMessage.From = ""
objMessage.To = ""
objMessage.Subject = trim(strReturn)
objMessage.TextBody = OutputMessage

Dim objFlds

Set objFlds = objMessage.Configuration.Fields
With objFlds
.Item("") = 2
.Item("") = 25
.Item("") = False
.Item("") = 60
.Item("") = ""
.Item("") = 1
.Item("") = "username"
.Item("") = "password"
End With

set objMessage = nothing
set objFlds = nothing

End IF

set outfile=nothing
set fso=nothing
set logfile = nothing

You have to create a simple file structure,  for me it was c:\isalive  and a subdirectory c:\isalive\log

The end result will be a file that is added to an e-mail and sent to you when your IP changes.  A side effect is if the connection times out, either the server your on, or your connection isn’t working, so you can quickly tell if you have a problem.  But it only e-mails you when there is a change (if the previously stored address is different then the most recently collected)

I’ll add more detail if asked.  This isn’t intended to be a tutorial,  just a solution to a problem that I see many people ask about, but there are few posted solutions.