[Blindapple] Exciting news for the Blind Apple II emulation community!

Jayson Smith jaybird at bluegrasspals.com
Tue Aug 27 20:37:26 EDT 2013

Hi all,

It's finally happened, what we've all been waiting for. I didn't know 
about it until a week or two ago, and I got it working this morning. I'm 
talking about the MESS project emulating the Apple II systems. Not only 
that, but someone decided to add Echo II emulation! Yes, you heard 
right, at long last, you can get a feel for how the old systems really 
worked for us blind folks back in the 80's without ever buying any Apple 

Disclaimer: The file I'm about to link to includes ROM images. It is 
illegal for anyone to possess these ROMs unless they own the original 
hardware, in this case, an Apple IIe Enhanced and a Disk II controller 
card. However, since these files are absolutely necessary for the 
emulator to do anything at all, I've decided to make things easier by 
providing the ROMs.

If you'd like to take this emulator for a spin, you'll need to be 
running Windows. MESS runs on many platforms, but Windows was the system 
I chose for this quick distribution since it's what I most often use. 
Download the following file:

Unzip it somewhere. In the disks folder are a few talking .dsk images 
for you to play around with. To start the emulator with one of them, do, 
for example,
mess apple2ee -flop1 disks\egames.dsk

Yes, you do need to write apple2ee with two e's, since we're emulating 
an Enhanced IIe. This system has an extended 80-column card, an Echo II 
in slot 4, and a disk controller in slot 6. Once the program starts, you 
may have to hit Enter to start the Apple. You'll notice that the Echo 
speech sounds a bit fast, I noticed that too.

For the most part, things work like you'd think. F12 is the reset key, 
left and right Alt seem to be open apple and closed apple. To quit, hold 
down scroll lock, press Insert, and release both keys, then press 
Escape. To make this work, if you're using Jaws, you'll need to 
passthrough or have Jaws go to sleep or unload it. Same goes for Control 
key commands in the Apple. I don't know how the arrows are emulated, so 
I use the Control key equivalents, Ctrl+H for left, Ctrl+U for right, 
Ctrl+J for down, and Ctrl+K for up.

I don't know of an accessible way to switch disks during a session, so 
you probably don't want to use this to play Eamon. The MESS UI doesn't 
seem to be accessible.

Hope you can get something out of this! I certainly have enjoyed it.

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