Nothing runs like a Beagle!
December 30, 2004 12:37 PM   Subscribe

The Beagle Bros Software Online Museum - "a tribute to the coolest software company of the 80's." These guys made my Apple II childhood just a little more magical. The museum includes their ever-informative diskette care warning labels and a less-than-useful but inside joke-filled FAQ. The Beagle Bros Wikipedia entry also has a lot of fun tidbits.

They also had very funny and clever ads (found on this great Apple II history page). The ads always contained these amazing little 2-liners, Applesoft BASIC programs that made my 11 year-old head spin trying to figure out the PEEKs and POKEs that turned Applesoft BASIC from a toy into a pretty powerful tool.

This bout of nostalgia started when I discovered, via this boingboing post, that you could play I/O Silver online (ActiveX)! (only the greatest puzzle game I've ever owned. And hard as heck, too.)
posted by Space Coyote (18 comments total)
PS. To play I/O Silver, you have to hold down the Shift key and use I, J, K and M to move your man, the object is to punch the blocks so that blocks of the same colour combine together, and you get as close to clearing the level as possible.

Also be sure to check out the collection of 2-liners in the "Other Stuff" section.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:39 PM on December 30, 2004

It's no secret I love retrocomputing, but I love Beagle Bros. stuff especially. So much that at one point I purchased their products even though I didn't have Apple hardware to run it.
posted by majick at 1:10 PM on December 30, 2004

My god! I had a II-C back in the day and used to program all sorts of things for it, but its been so long I think I've forgotten what any of this means! Talk about bit-rot, my memory for apple-basic is GONE!
posted by Pollomacho at 1:20 PM on December 30, 2004

I cut my teeth with LOGO on the II+ in grade 2. Then the IIe arrived and it was so awesome. I taught myself BASIC, and then 6502 assembler (when I was 11); the mini-assembler was the coolest thing ever.

Before my parents bought us a IIc, I would write programs on a steno pad and then get special permission to stay inside at lunch hour to type them and run them. I had to get really good really fast because I had only 1 hour a day to do this. I never thought that these skills would be crucial in helping me earn a living; I always thought I was going to be a famous author... or a construction worker.

Those sites brought back a ton of memories. Thanks for the links.

I'll have to go and dig out my old copies of Nibble and re-read how to create a double-hi-res paint program. Those were the days.

(I still hate my parents for never buying me a proper assembler! :-) )
posted by C.Batt at 2:30 PM on December 30, 2004

I can't get Ultima I to run. But then, it always was kinda buggy.
posted by bingo at 2:40 PM on December 30, 2004

Donated my 3 Apple 2+ computers to a non-profit some years ago, but still have some Apple 2 software, books, manuals and accessories gathering dust in storage. For instance, a Hayes Micromodem II 300 baud modem and Little Brick Out on a cassette tape! Remember dBase with a CPM card?
posted by redneck_zionist at 2:58 PM on December 30, 2004

Damn those Beagle Boys! Leave Uncle Scrooge and his money bin alone!

Hmm, what? Oh. Nevermind.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:12 PM on December 30, 2004

I can't get anything on virtualapple to work. They have drol there! Good god, I must play it! What am I doing wrong? I'm on an iMac G5, is that the problem?
posted by interrobang at 3:55 PM on December 30, 2004

Interrobang, that particular emulator is just a Win32 application wrapped in an ActiveX control.

There are plenty of Apple II emulators for the Mac, though, here might be a good place to start.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:18 PM on December 30, 2004

Ah. Thanks, Space Coyote.
posted by interrobang at 4:21 PM on December 30, 2004

Interrobang, the reason it's not working is because the website has an embedded Apple 2 and Apple2GS emulator written in ActiveX... ActiveX is Intel-only.

But you can still play the games by downloading the disk images and then using a Mac-specific emulator to play them.

There is an emulator called OSXII here. Note that you will also need an Apple 2 ROM. You should be able to get one from any number of sites, like The program Applewin comes with several of the old ROMs, if you can't find any other source. (Applewin itself won't run on your Mac, but I think the ROMs would still work.)

If you don't like how OSXII runs, there may be other emulators out there, look around. That was just the first one I ran into.

Good luck!
posted by Malor at 4:31 PM on December 30, 2004

Man, I totally forgot about this. Another great flashback, thanks.
grinding teeth to get the emulator to run in anything

On preview: A-ha!! My buddies are going to love this.
posted by bdave at 4:36 PM on December 30, 2004

Holy flashback, Batman! Back when (and I am showing my age, it would seem), I *won* a free Beagle Bros. disk for a two-liner I wrote. I was in high school at the time. I don't know if it was ever published, though, since it was near the end of their run. I LOVED those guys!
posted by paladin at 4:42 PM on December 30, 2004 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Malor. I'll give it a try.
posted by interrobang at 5:00 PM on December 30, 2004

Those guys had a great sense of humor - their catalogs and manuals were a hoot. I remember a picture of a pig "speaking" a convoluted BASIC computer program. Naturally, I painstakingly typed it all in. I ran it, and it printed the following:


Of course, the code was obfuscated so as to not give away the joke.
posted by O9scar at 5:26 PM on December 30, 2004

Does this not work with firefox?
posted by bingo at 7:11 PM on December 30, 2004

Like some others, I grew up with Beagle Bros. software. One of the most remarkable aspects of their success is the fact that they never copy-protected their floppies (the source code was always available anyway), but nobody I knew ever gave away copies of their programs. Even pirate BBSes wouldn't let them on their servers. There was that much respect for them. I had some pirated games and other stuff for my Apple IIe, but I always bought Beagle Bros.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:42 PM on December 30, 2004

This is the best post to MetaFilter in weeks. I have fond memories of learning AppleBasic on my //c and swapping games with friends. Beagle Brothers were a big part of the 'coolness' factor that Apple had for me, even against the superior sound and graphics of my Commodore 64-owning friends.
posted by rks404 at 9:12 PM on December 30, 2004

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