microM8 Update: Virtual Modem ProTERM 3.1 ANSI BBS Support & DHGR Mixed Mode

"Call" bulletin-board systems the Apple II way!

A little while back we implemented a “virtual modem” that allows users to telnet to a large directory of Internet-connected BBSes from inside Apple II terminal programs. However, we didn’t emulate enough of the Apple Super Serial card for the only Apple II terminal program to support ANSI, ProTerm 3.1, to work properly.

That’s now changed. While Apple IIs don’t support colour text (or most IBM graphics characters), cursor positioning and other vital ANSI capabilities are now available via ProTerm 3.1. You can access an appropriately configured ProTerm directly from the microM8 main or hamburger menus, and visit BBSes the way you would have on a real Apple II!

Other improvements in this release include:

  • DHGR softswitches weren’t working correctly and Sierra On-Line games had corrupt graphics as a result. This has been fixed, and support for “mixed mode” monochrome / colour DHGR graphics has been added, which makes text sharper in the aforementioned SOL games.
  • Visual feedback has been added to the drag-and-drop disk function, which notes that dropping a file on the right-hand side of the window mounts it in drive 2.
  • .NIB files weren’t working consistently after the .WOZ upgrade, due to a limitation in the NIB format that prevented accurate conversion to a bitstream. A compromise was reached and both nibble-based drive emulation and bitstream-based drive emulation are now available, and selected based on the disk file format. DSK files are converted to bitstream (and stored as .WOZ).
  • Various minor fixes and feature enhancements which improve stability and user experience.

You can download the latest release from the microM8 download page or if you have an existing copy of microM8 it should automatically self-update upon opening.

The focus for the next major release is on BBC Micro / Acorn Electron emulation.

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