In a move that’s sure to delight many Apple II enthusiasts, Mark Percival’s DiskMaker 8 software has been set free as open source! This announcement comes as a result of a collaboration between Mark Percival and David Schmidt, with the goal of preserving and extending the life of this classic 8-bit Apple II utility. The source code for both ORCA/M (8-bit) and ca65-based versions of the software are now available on GitHub.
DiskMaker 8, originally inspired by Eric Shepherd’s 16-bit DiskMaker, made its debut in 2006 as a $5 shareware package. However, in August 2021, it was reclassified as freeware by Mark, opening the doors for more enthusiasts to experience its features.
Among the features that DiskMaker 8 offers are:
Disk Image Creation: It can create physical disks from disk images and format the destination disk if needed.
Intuitive User Interface: Sporting a GSOS File Manager-like interface, it makes navigating through volumes and directories a breeze.
Mouse Support: For those who prefer using an Apple mouse, the software offers optional mouse support for ease of use.
Versatile Image Format Compatibility: DiskMaker 8 supports multiple image format conversions, including .dsk, .po, .hdv, .2mg, and DiskCopy 4.2-6.
AppleShare Integration: Users can retrieve image files from AppleShare volumes, expanding its utility.
Hardware Support: The software fully supports Disk ][ and SmartPort block devices for writing images.
Volume Control: It displays volumes matching the size of the selected disk image, with the option to override.
DOS 3.3 Compatibility: DiskMaker 8 has seamless compatibility with DOS 3.3 volume numbers.
Boot Options: Users can choose to boot directly to their newly created disk, streamlining the process.
Mark Percival’s DiskMaker 8 going open source is not only a nod to the vibrant Apple II community but also a significant step in preserving and extending the legacy of some of the best Apple II software. This open source release helps pave the way for future enhancements, collaborations, and ensures that this valuable piece of computing history remains accessible to all Apple II hobbyists.
One note from Mark about the power of this package comes to us from his Internet Archive posting:
Please take care with what you are doing. This software allows you to overwrite any non-write protected volume on your system. DiskMaker 8 will warn you if are doing something questionable but you can override most of these warnings.
For more updates and discussions on this exciting development, stay tuned to the Call-A.P.P.L.E. website.