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End of an era August 16, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Apps, FOSS, Legacy Software.
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You young whippersnappers who use OpenOffice today (or even Office 2007 if you’re so blessed) never knew the simpler pleasures and wonders of Appleworks, Apple’s original office productivity suite of apps. It had/has a word processor, spreadsheet and database program all rolled into one, and more stuff like painting and drawing apps were added on in later incarnations.

Appleworks used to come with older Macs and other Apple computers (yes, young Virginia, there were Apple computers outside of Macs before – like the Apple II, GS, Lisa and one or two others) as part of the software bundle, or sold separately. At one point it lived life as Clarisworks, but it’s still on some store shelves today.

I did a lot of my early work in the mid-80s on the first versions of Appleworks on my Apple II before moving to heftier word processors like WordPerfect. Despite being a Swiss Army Knife of apps, Appleworks wasn’t exceptionally good at any of its component apps, but Apple veterans cut their teeth on this office suite.

Appleworks has been ubiquitous, lurking faithfully in the background while we all turned to other, more capable (and expensive) software, but in a pinch it was always there to save the day. Mostly forgotten, it lasted up until Version 6 for OS X, but now, with the release of iWork ’08, Apple seems to be retiring the venerable old suite for good.

Apple isn’t selling it anymore (although support still exists – you can get the latest update here), but the final nail in the coffin has been hammered in: go to the Appleworks portion of Apple’s website, and it takes you to the iWork page.

To be sure, all its functions are already in iWork, now that the Excel-like spreadsheet app Numbers has been added to the mix, and there is no longer any reason to have the old fogey Appleworks hanging around. Sigh.

With this, Mac-A-Doodle officially joins the call to pressure Apple to turn Appleworks into FOSS, so that people can continue to support and develop it, and give Mac users a free alternative to the buggy and bloated OpenOffice. Least we can do.

More iPhone game goodness August 15, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Games, iPhone, Legacy Software.
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A kinda-sorta new version of a Nintendo Entertaiment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone (inexplicably dubbed the iPhone NES Emulator) has been released on the heels of the previously announced Doom port.

Dubbed Version 0.20.1, with the right ROM files you can get to relive 8-bit gaming glory with titles like the original Metroid, Super Mario, Megaman 2, Punch Out, Legend of Zelda and a host of other blasts from the past. Unlike Doom, this NES emulator has sound (although only through the earphones), and can be controlled with precision through a mock gamepad.

Like the DOOM install, it requires a bit more skill to install. If you must have it, get the NES Emulator and some games directly from here, and have more fun with it than you can with that Doom thing (proving once and for all that NES is more.)