Apple II, Classic, Development, Networking, Raspberry Pi, Retro, Update, Vintage

Even More Uthernet II BETA Testing

July 16, 2018

So far, all of the testing that I have done on the Uthernet II card has been in my ROM01 IIgs. It is my go-to machine for retro computing and so naturally, I installed the card in that machine. This week I was asked to do some testing of the card in an non-enhanced IIe. Well, it just so happens that I have one here – an early model from Eastern Europe with a Germanic keyboard. I like it because it has all of the stylings of a early version of a IIe, but it has that keyboard that is not standard to us here in the USA. There is a little switch underneath of the keyboard that can switch the layout from US to German too.

Anyhow, I installed the card into the IIe, downloaded the disk images necessary to do the testing, and I was off to the races. The disk images that I was going to need for this test were:

  • IP65.IMG – A suite of IP tools for Apple II
  • HIRES.IMG – A test program that writes to every memory address on the card and then reads it back again.
  • TELNET65.IMG – A functioning telnet program for Apple II

Once I downloaded these images, I transferred them to my Pi, and used ADTPro over serial to make them into actual floppy disks. Now I needed to install my UII card into the IIe. I installed it in slot 3 (recommended by Glenn Jones) and proceeded to boot IP65. Once booted, it detected the card and contacted my DHCP service on the router and, just like that, it was online! Simple and effective!

 

After a quick test of pinging the router, I looked at the contents of the IP65 disk and found one app that claimed to be a web server. Yes, a web server program for your Apple II! I just had to try it out. I used my phone connected to my WiFi as a client.

     

 

It worked great! I was able to serve a webpage to my phone’s browser and it was a form to be filled in. I filled it in, and submitted the form. My submission showed up on my IIe screen, just like the test was designed to do! My testing was off to a great start!

But what to do next?…

I fired up telnet65 because my favorite thing to do online with an Apple II is telnet BBSing. This program was no exception to the rest of the IP65-based suite. It ran without any glitches and handled everything that I could throw at it. I checked out my favorite BBS sites and left a bulletin post on them, letting them know what I was doing and how I was getting there this time.

     

With this out of the way, all that was left to do was to run the HIRES test to make sure there were no memory address conflicts between this early model IIe and the Uthernet II card. I switched the disks out and booted into ProDos. For this test, I first ran the file HIRES3.SYSTEM, which means that we have the card in slot 3 and we are going to test the corresponding memory addresses for that slot.

     

This ran perfectly, although it didn’t tell me whether the test was successful or not. I checked with the BETA test group and asked them to verify my results. Glenn informed me that this screen running all the way through without registering a failure means that it was a success. Perfect. I powered everything down and moved the card to the next slot, fired it back up and ran HIRES4.SYSTEM – it also was a success. I repeated this test using every slot in the IIe and every time I got the same result – perfect, no failures! I reported back to the group and sat there for a minute contemplating things…

Tonight I used a 1983 Apple IIe to connect to telnet BBS sites over the Internet. I ran a web server that I was able to browse and interact bi-directionally with on my 2018 iPhone X. I sent messages to my friends, and I helped test the next release of the hardware that is making all of this possible. How amazing is that?!?

One more, unrelated thing to blog about here…

This week I also did something that I have been wanting to do for quite a bit of time now. I played all the way through Zork I – The Great Underground Empire. I have played this game many, many times. Every time, I get somewhere and my lamp dies (eaten by a grue, anyone?), or I get somewhere and realize that the thing I was supposed to grab was stolen by the thief, etc., I don’t want to spoil it for you. Anyhow, I decided that the next time I play it I was going to use a walk-through. I have logged hours and hours on this game in the past, and I just don’t have the time these days to fumble my way around and figure that stuff out on my own. The walk-through that I used is here – http://www.gameboomers.com/wtcheats/pcZz/Zork1.htm and it was very good. This walk-through does not take you to every place in the game, and for me that was ok because I have already been every place in the game. That being said, if you have not played it yet, you really should do it without a walk-through the first few times, just so that you can truly experience all of the feels that the game designers at Infocom meant for you to feel. And then, after a few hours of painfully dying in ways that you never thought possible before, go get a walk-through and finish the game.

Written between 1977-1979 on a DEC PDP-10, Zork I was really one of the very first adventure games ever written. It is a testament to the ingenuity of the creators of this game that it has stood the test of time for this long. Anyhow, I may do a full review of the game in a future blog post, but for now, here is my victory screen.

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