Apple II Presentation

A co-worker used an iPad to give a presentation. I thought: why take a machine as powerful as an early Cray to do something as low-overhead as display slides? Why not use something with much less computing power? From this asoft_presenter was born.

The code is a series of C programs that read text files and generate a large Applesoft BASIC program that actually presents the slides. All the code can be found in my dos33fsprogs package.

The venue was the ICL Lunch Talk. ICL is a high-performance computing group; you've probably heard of the Top 500 Supercomputer list that they release each year.

They have a 3-projector setup for talks. The Apple II hooked into the composite input of the center, while I used an eeePC to project "higher quality" slides to the outside two screens (mostly in case people wanted more details on the graphs). This worked well.

The machine I used was an Apple IIe Platinum. It has a CFFA3000 card in it instead of floppy disks. I did the initial code development under Linux and an emulator, but used a real live Apple II at the talk.

The talk itself was on measuring Power and Energy with the PAPI library.

Source Code:

The code to generate the slides can be found here.

The BASIC file generated by the tool and used for this presentation is here: asoft_slides.bas.txt (22k)


This video shows some background on the Apple II, how the slides were made, and a brief runthrough of the presentation. It's not a video of the actual lunch talk (that would be much longer and less exciting).

The video was amateurly put together using KDEnlive in a bit of a rush. No one called me out on the left/right mistake toward the end of the video. All Apple II sequences were recorded using a video capture card gathering actual Apple II output.

Slides from the talk:

Images from the talk

I apologize for the poor quality; they were captured with the built-in webcam on the EeePC that was driving the non-Apple-II slides.

The title:

A 40 column text slide:

An image rendered in 280x160x6 colors

A plot, made out of HPLOT commands and some shapetable magic for the labels.

Some plots that were just BLOADed image files:

Afterward some co-workers enjoyed playing a round of Oregon Trail.

We never made it to Oregon, I forgot to set things up so that we could flip the disk at the halfway point.

It's fun to see some of my other projects on the big screen (before they dimmed the lights)



Press Mentions


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