Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Ultimate Apple II Fonts

Reviewer : Bill Martens
Version : 1.0
Date : 2008/12/30
Publisher: Kreative Korporation
Website :
Category : Mac Intel / Miscellaneous / New Release
Cost : Free

About The Program :

A young college student, Rebecca Bettencourt, has creative a beautiful rendition of the Apple II and Apple IIgs fonts. These fonts have been done in True Type format for both Mac OS X and Windows as well as any other system which can handle true type fonts.

The fonts have been very popular with Apple ][ enthusiasts over the years, but this is the first time they have been made readily available on newer systems.

User Experience :

The fonts downloaded and installed quite easily. Rebecca has even gone so far as to create a keyboard layout patch which allows the end user to quickly change from normal font input to inverse character input. The funny part of all this is that she has stayed true to the original Apple II series by naming the fonts with names such as pr number 3 (PR#3) and the keyboard patch as in number 0.

Positive Aspects :

Very few authors these days stay true to the original spirit of the Apple ][ when developing their software. This package has been a breath of fresh air in that realm with fonts that look exactly like they would on the Apple ][ and ][gs. The font maps are clear and complete and shows a great deal of detail work that went into producing the font package.

Once you have copied the keyboard layout to your Keyboard Layout directory and placed the two font files into the fonts directory, you are good to go. The are there and ready for usage.

We loaded the fonts and then tried them out in Indesign 2.0 with our current issue of Call-A.P.P.L.E. Magazine. Not only did the fonts works as advertised but they clearly enhanced the look that we were wanting for the current issue.

Negative Aspects :

No minuses in this package. It is all about look and feel and Rebecca has hit a home run.

Summary :

If you want the true look and feel of your old Apple ][ computer, then you will want to check out this package.

Rating : 5 OF 5 APPLES

Platform 1 : The Ultimate Apple ][ Font Package
Download 1 :

Platform 2 : Mac OS X Keyboard Layout Patch
Download 2 :

Platform 3 : Shaston Apple IIgs True Type Fonts
Download 3 :

About the Reviewer :
Bill Martens is the user group Ambassador for Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and is also the production editor for Call-A.P.P.L.E. Magazine. ( Non-commercial replication of this article is permitted for User Groups.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of another Year

Well, 2008 has come to an end here. As I site here in Japan writing this, we are about 8 hours away from 2009. So what to say about this year.

I for one, finished a half dozen projects and none seem to have gone past the front door. I guess it is a sign of the times when the money stops, the viewers disappear and everyone starts putting their cash under their pillow or mattress.

I finished another football season. Not the way I wanted to end it but it ended none the same. It was an enjoyable season with the team making the second round of the playoffs for the first time in their 27 year history. Hopefully the team can go all the way next year and win the championship.

But then I guess I should stop talking about me and start talking about my favorite subjects. We are still at war (Major bummer) and we still havent gone back to the moon or on to Mars even (More major bummer). When will it be that man begins to explore the universe in earnest and quits trying to destroy each other with the best weapons money can buy.

While I dont have any of the answers, I do hope that all of you, my readers will have a joyous new year and find a way to spread a bit of cheer around to those who share our lives.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and what ever else you celebrate, make it a good one!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa Comes to Town Screen Saver -- An A.P.P.L.E. Short Review

By Bill Martens

Well for those of you in the mood for Christmas and santa, here is a package which plays fairly on both the Mac and on Windows. The Santa Comes to Town Screen Saver is a nifty little program that starts out with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and then the rest of the team followed by Santa and his Sleigh.

This is definitely the thing to leave on your screen on Christmas eve as you walk away. It's cute and not playing any obnoxious music so it is probably even safe for the office or the library.

Installation is a breeze with the installer playing nice on all levels. The best part is that it is Free. If you are still stuck on halloween, Raul Silva has a screen saver for you too. My only wish on this screen saver was Santa being more random sort of like the old Flying Toasters was.

4.5 out of 5 Apples

Download the program
Mac OS X Version --
Windows Version --

Friday, December 12, 2008

We are all just prisoners here of our own device

Or so the words of the Eagles song go. But, in light of the trials and tribulations we must face just to get off this rock we call Earth to explore the universe, maybe the problems are too great and are keeping us here.

It is funny to hear myself say that especially since I have advocated manned space travel all of my life. Watching the moon landings in my living room in Maryland during the heyday of the Apollo program and then again in the Shadow of the Air Force Academy during Deke Slayton's mission stirred up a hornets nest of curiosity. Of course, there are many other people who were also inspired by those events of the 1960's and 1970's who have pursued the dreams with all of the fervor that the adventure is deserving of.

However, we still have not gotten far off this planet. And even here on the planet, we continue to face the same issues time and time again that we have virtually no control over. Famine, wars and natural disasters continue to rule our lives and much like the stories we write and read, the ending does not seem to be very easy to achieve.

If we ever are to get off the earth and truly explore the universe, we must first learn to live together and work together. Even best of friends don't seem to be able to do that all the time much less other countries. We continue to kill and plunder each others countries yet, we say things like for all man kind.

We also must get past the hunger issue. If we cant feed everyone here on earth, how do we expect to feed ourselves in the vacuum of space where we cant grow the foods except in enclosed environments. Sure, we would all love to have the TV program Star Trek to spring to life but the realities are that I doubt that any machine could produce enough meals for a major crew the size that we are talking about that would be necessary for colonization of other planets. Also, even if we do grow our own food in space, we still have to process that food and prepare it. This step alone is a major undertaking. The reality is that any food we need in space, we are going to have to take it with us.

There is also the problem of other consumables. Recently the International Space Station received a water processing plant which turns urine into drinkable water. But that is only one system and relying on a single system would be foolhardy at best. Redundancy again is needed. Also when the toilet clogs in space, its not like here where things just stay in place. They truly go all over the place. Smells also are not alleviated easily as in an earth borne environment.

I don't know about you but the idea of living inside a bubble anywhere we go as humans doesn't seem all that appealing. Until we find another planet with an environment that is close enough to Earths, we will always be living inside a bubble. That bubble is prone to failure both from the inside and from the outside. We have a long ways to go in being able to make a planet livable without the aid of enclosed environments.

The ultimate goals in all of the science we pursue in the exploration of space needs to be applied to all mankind and not just the select few that are enjoying the fruits of it right now. Sure, all of the films are inspirational and continue to motivate those of us who think that space is truly worth the money that our governments put into it, but until we do figure out how to solve all the big problems, then we are all "just prisoners here of our own device."

Yule's Christmas Quest -- An A.P.P.L.E. review

By Bill martens

Candlestone Productions has released a nifty little Christmas game / adventure game which is directed primarily at kids. Yule's Christmas Quest is a freeware package that focuses on the idea of finding all of the gifts from the twelve days of Christmas. Santa apparently forgets where he puts things and it is up to you to help Santa's helper puppy, Yule, find the gifts so that they can be delivered. The program is available for both PPC based Macs as well as the Intel machines.

Installing the Game

The game comes in a zip file and unpacks to a single file, making it easily transported around your machine. The lightweight 6.5 mb program is refreshing since most programs these days take far more drive space and accomplish far less. But then you are up and running in two minutes. Perfect instant entertainment installation.

Game Play

The controls off the game are run by moving yule around the screen collecting the different items on the screen. There are blue bears that will run into Yule and send him back to the point he started in the current screen. The timer also must be renewed with the clock icons around the game board. As each item is collected, there is a counter beside the particular item that will increase. Once all items of a particular item are found, the item becomes highlighted.

This game should have had a nice little game ending such as some type of musical act on the screen. However, it abruptly ends the game and returns to the game start screen. This could be particularly disheartening for a kid who has just sat there and collected everything essentially winning the game but no prize. The one aspect of the game that is definitely appropriate is the time out screen with Yule's face coming up in a frown with a clock in his hand.

While the graphics are cute and will draw children's attention, the actual play is a bit too precise in its required movements at points. The game also did not quit gracefully and I had to force it to quit. There is definitely room for improvement in this game but it is a good first effort worthy of mention.


Candlestone Productions Website :

Intel Based Download :

PPC Based Download :


3 out of 5 Apples

About the Author

Bill Martens is the user group Ambassador for Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and is also the production editor for Call-A.P.P.L.E. Magazine. ( Non-commercial replication of this article is permitted for User Groups.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mailplane Version 2.0 Reviewed

by Bill Martens

As the amount of spam being received by our accounts increased, the more I redirected the accounts to a GMail account, allowing much greater SPAM deletion prior to receiving mails. This method of SPAM filtering unfortunately produced the side affect of needing an application which allowed control over multiple GMail accounts. Then came Ruben Bakker's Mailplane application to the rescue.

Over the past year or so, I have steadily followed the progress of what I consider to be the best GMail reading app developed. The Mailplane program is not only intuitive but allows easy control over all of the email accounts that I manage. It has allowed me the peace of mind that none of the SPAM that gets sent in will ever make it to my inbox. But in spite of the program being great, Ruben did not rest on good enough. Now he has released version 2.0 and made it all that much better

41 new updates were made to the program including Quick Links, Video Chat Support and full support of GMail 2 features. While most of us think this many changes could only come from Apple, think again. The new application is bright, fits into leopard nicely and even looks good now.

We started from version 1.6.x of the application and upgraded via the upgrade feature in the Mailplane menu. Not only did it pick up the upgrade immediately but it upgraded the application in less than 60 seconds.

Once restarted, the application came up and showed an email with a list of all of the new features included in the application. This allowed me to easily go through the feature list and see if there were any in particular that enthralled me. One such feature was the new Attach Folder and File Bundles feature in composing emails. No more clunky single file attachment nightmares. Now it can be performed in a single swoop.

Growl also seems to play much nicer with the application now. Many features related to notifications are among the half dozen items in the program related to notifications that been update. This in turn has made the application much less annoying when mail items come in while working.

While, I would like to say everything is wonderful, there is one new item that I do not like whatsoever. If you have any accounts that have over 999 new mails in it, the accounts tab shows the number as something that is not really readable. It puts the thousands digit followed by a comma and "..."; i.e. 1,.... I have a few accounts that have system notices in them and this was the one negative thing I found during my experience with the latest version.

Other than that, this version of the Mailplane application is not only a solid application but a well thought through and complete application. It certainly makes my life easier and I am sure will make yours easier too if you have numerous Gmail accounts.

What is best about this application is not just that it is useful but also that the cost wont break the bank. At $24.95 for a single license, it is well worth your hard earned money. If you have multiple machines like I do, you will particularly like the $15 family option that Uncomplex Ltd offers. The system requirements for the program make it easy to handle too. The program runs on either Mac OS 10.4.11 or 10.5.5 meaning it should work comfortably on any G4, G5, or Intel based Mac.

For those users who are still using Windows, I know that Ruben has been considering a version specifically for the Windows platform. ( Obviously he is awaiting feedback from users prior to building that version though.

You can download the Mailplane application from the Uncomplex Ltd. website at:

Rating: 4 out of 5 Apples

About the Author

Bill Martens is the user group Ambassador for Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) and is also the production editor for Call-A.P.P.L.E. Magazine. (