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

Jayson Smith jaybird at bluegrasspals.com
Wed Aug 28 07:18:21 EDT 2013


You're right that you can't read those disks with anything modern. There 
is a device that lets you image 5.25 disks, but you have to have a 
specific type of PC 5.25 drive. The best way, imho, is to image them 
using actual Apple computers. You run a serial cable from your Apple to 
your PC, assuming it still has a serial port, and use a program called 
Apple Disk Transfer to image floppies. Of course this assumes you still 
have working Apple hardware. If not, the only solution is to send the 
disks to someone who does, and get that person to image them for you. So 
I'd say you're doing the right thing not throwing those disks away, you 
might find a way to read them some day. I'd offer to help with imaging 
disks, but based on the timezone of my original message from your 
perspective, it looks like you're not in the US, which would probably 
pose some problems with international shipping and whatnot.

On 8/28/2013 5:57 AM, Rachel Keyte wrote:
> wow, I have fond memories of some of the Echo games - one that comes 
> to mind I loved was where Echo would announce a key on the keyboard 
> and repeat it getting higher in pitch til you pressed it. If you 
> missed, it would explode.
> Also remember wordtalk?
> I still have all those floppy discs; guess they're no good now but 
> just can't throw them out. Lol
> I'm worried I'm not technical enough for the below but I might 
> certainly give it a go. :)
> At 10:37 AM 28/08/2013, you wrote:
>> 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 hardware.
>> 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:
>> http://bluegrasspals.com/messapple.zip
>> 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.
>> Jayson
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