RetroChallenge 2021 Summary Jeremy Barr-Hyde

The aim of this blog post it to highlight the availability of over 400 images that have been scanned from the DEC Computer archives and Apple Computer, Inc. posters from the mid 1990s.

DEC Computer museum content – rising from the ashes but not quite a Phoenix

Source: My understanding is the DEC Museum of Australia held these slides and were maintained by Max Burnett Part of the challenge was ensuring slides were scanned and put back in the original order, and hand-written notes kept.

Most people will be viewing these online (opposed to TIFF files) so I’ve come up with a non-destructive watermark solution that captions each photo with the file name. This applies to the online gallery photos only – the originals are not watermarked and will be made freely available soon. If Max left a note like “CSIRAC Launch Group” then that will be displayed on the lower border.

The workflow is easier as I have decided upon a file naming convention and border/watermark process. However approximately 200 more 35mm slides remain to be scanned. Interestingly they are of DEC Computer employees and not just hardware photos. I believe when finished, this archive will be an unique resource for nostaliga over the legacy of hardware and the team that built it. So often we see photos and collections of hardware and not the effort behind them.

The initial gallery is publicly available via the official ACMS Facebook group/photo gallery:

Note: A great deal of consideration has gone into the physical scanning of these slides but dust and debris remain. This is due in part to some being interpositives. Meaning they are not directly from a camera, but duplicates from a master set.

Alongside the scans of 35mm slides was all the printed materials found in the folders, for example Maxwell Burnett’s slide notes that accompanied one of his many DEC presentations. I will be looking for volunteers to rename the PDFs when made available.

Apple Computer, Inc – Mid 1990s Posters now available for high resolution download or PDF

Michael Patterson of Canberra, Australia, kept a wonderful range of Apple developer resources from his time working as a programmer and university IT manager. I was fortunate enough to pickup hardware, software and printed materials from his estate and have been working in my hobby time to digitse what I can. A recent A3 scanner purchase has enabled me to tackle these huge foldout brochures and posters. I believe they are presented online for the first time and are freely available for direct, high speed download via the Google Drive link. Search for folder Apple Brochures; Posters; Stickers and employee business cards.

The RetroChallenge was motiviation for me to do the post processing work (e.g stitching, descreening) and ‘get them done’. 1200dpi TIFF files and 8 parts to stitch together isn’t always fun but we go there and the results speak for themselves. New for this month include and single page examples:

  • Apple – How you can use Macintosh color separation process poster (foldout 8×8 A4)
  • Apple Color Design poster 1994 – A2 double sided
  • The Human Mind – Apple HyperCard Freedom to Associate (2×2 A3 promotional booklet)

I hope someone will engage with the links or content and find happiness in these relics being brought to life.

Raft Away River, Australian Apple II software with manual

Update 2020-07-26: Newly restored front box art and new scans of manuals from originals at 600dpi.  Title screenshots updated. 

Raft Away River by Jacaranda Wiley
Presented here are

  • Apple II disk label scan
  • Front artwork as restored by Jeremy
  • Teacher’s manual and student’s guide booklet scans from originals
  • Apple II disk image (140kb DSK)
Navigate through the folders:  Apple II Software -> Raft Away River, Jacaranda

Raft-Away River front JBHRaft Away River 002Raft Away River 001

This Apple II software is easily ran or played directly in your browser using’s one-click emulator here:

Raft-Away River is a game for 2 to 6 players. It is a special
sort of game called a simulation. This means that the
computer shows you a model of an adventure and you can
experiment to see what you could do if you really had such
an adventure. But, unlike the real thing, you can’t come to
any harm in a simulation. So, if your plans don’t work out
as they should, you have a chance to try again using some
different ideas. If you think hard about why your plans didn’t
work, then you might learn why some plans fail. Of course,
you will also learn how some other plans work’

First published 1984 by
65 Park Road. Milton, Old 4064
140A Victoria Road, Gladesville, N.S.W. 2111
90 Ormond Road, Elwood, Vic. 3184
4 Kirk Street, Grey Lynn, Auckland 2, N.Z.

A product of Jacaranda Software
Program designers: Rosanne Gare and David L. Smith
Production editor: Wynrie Webber
Apple version programmed by Gerald M. Wluka
BBC version programmed by David L. Smith
Commodore 64 versions programmed by Philip O’Carroll
Microbee versions programmed by Gerald Preston·

Electronics Australia – A Basic Guide to Colour TVs and VCRs

PDF available by nagvigating through Scanned Book and Magazine Collection -> Repair


Presented online is the Electronics Australia publication of A Basic Guide to Colour TVs and VCRs by David Botto.  “An in-depth look at the operation of both colour TV receivers and video recorders”.

I scanned this so that people getting back into cathode ray sets and VHS machines could have a reference book about PAL colour signals and using a scope to measure ranges.  Certainly a niche publication but valuable none the less.  I can’t think of any Australia broadcast reference materials that are online.

Explore-Australia (1988), Australia educational Apple II software

Presented here are links and screenshots to feature Explore Australia.  This educational game makes good use of the Apple //e feature-set of higher resolution colour and smooth mouse control.  Animation is used throughout and reminds me of Commodore 64 graphics.  The Apple ColourComposite //e display is best designed to handle this graphics style.  Gameplay screenshots are from Virtual II as Open Emulator does not support Mouse cards (if it does let me know!).

Read my writeup below or download the A2R + WOZ formats by searching WOZ or easily navigating folders Apple II Software, scroll to E for “Explore Australia, Datamost WOZ” :

Update: @4am has published a crack and will post files on soon

Users select from a girl (Kate) or boy (Neil) character to read through history or explore the globe.  Navigating the game is done by turning the page (click top right corner), with graphics on screen being interactive which I think is a great feature considering the hardware constraints (It really needs 2mHz).

Indigenous Australians are featured in the history section and the topic can be expanded on by clicking on ? icons to read more about the Aborigines dream time stories being passed down through generations going back 40,000 years.  Animation is used to bring features of dreamtime stories to life and tells the player to read a story in the student book.  Unfortunately no printed materials were available to me, only the disk.  This is the same crap we’ve seen before from the National Library of Australia (NLA) (via Trove search).  I have the disk saved from a church in Henty and the NLA have it in their catalogue but it’s missing.

The next 6 pages show immigration from England and Scotland for white settlement and establishment of farming.  Again I am very impressed at the level of interactivity on the slides which I think was best done many years later on the Macintosh with ‘Once Upon a Time’ by Computeach.  Disk 2 is required to progress.

Program credits:
Animation graphics by Laura Koller
Programmed by Rob Shaver & Peter Andrews
Published by Datamost © 1988 on two sides

Explore Australia - Disk 1, Side A 001

Explore Australia2.gif


The Australian Government Database, Know Ware [Complete]

Navigate to Apple II Software, scroll to T for The Australian

Presented online is a complete archive of the Apple II software, The Australian Government Database by Know Ware (1991).

I found the software very easy to use and is even more relevant in 2019 as the country seems to be ruled by politics opposed to traditional governance.  One fact was I did not know Australian took the best established policies from nations such as America and Switzerland and distilled them into our constitution.

This software is a real gem in Australian software, lost to world and not even held by the National Library of Australia. No holdings exist.  Although my mother did say ‘If you want something done properly, you best do it yourself!’.

Google Chrome001.jpg

In addition to the disk images, a full scan of the folder cover, manual and disk labels are included.

Donated by Ashley Snare.



Australian Oregon Trail – Outback Explorer, Dataworks [Complete]

Navigate to Apple II Software, under A for Australian

Making its online debut is Outback ExplorerAustralian’s clone answer to the wildly successful multi-platform Oregon Trail.   I say this as you plan for an expedition by purchasing live stock, water and equipment against a budget and time.  I am unsure if you can die from dysentry though!  Please play through it and let me know how far the similarities extend.

I chose to type sections from the manual to help detail bibliographic information

The author – Ian Holowoko, former deputy principal for the Victorian Ministry of Education.  Bachelor of Education degree from La Trobe University.  Other software includes Working with Words – Thesaurus Generator and Developing Living Skills.

Note: I would be so happy if these software titles surfaced!

The programmer – Grahame Willis of Monash University.

3.01 Introduction.  Outback Explorer simulates the exploration of unknown lands. Students must form and equip an expedition part and then set off on their adventures.  … You might be looking for gold or for new grazing land … or rescue survivors of a shipwreck.

Donated by Ashley Snare


Outback Explorer, Dataworks001Outback Explorer, Dataworks002Outback Explorer, Dataworks003

OpenEmulator001Outback Explorer resconstructed coverOpenEmulator002OpenEmulator003OpenEmulator004OpenEmulator005OpenEmulator006

Australian software manuals added

Ashley Snare of Canberra, Australia has donated Apple II software to JB Retro Collect for archiving.  New, unpreserved software titles were imaged and I’ve been able to scan manuals to existing titles, which is significant as the educational software market was big on teachers resources.

Previously disk imaged titles now completed with manual include:

  • Solar System Database now has the original folder art and manual.
  • Outback Explorer by Dataworks (an Australian Oregon Trail clone)
  • The Explorer’s Database by Know Ware
  • The Riddle Of Trumpalar is complete with student black-line masters, teachers resources, original novel and map.  Also included are 140kb disk images with label scans
  • The Australian Government Database, another new title complete with folder art and manual
  • StoryTree by George Brackett, Published by Scholastic Wizware – manual only as the disk is unreadable
  • Windows Into Literacy – Magic Animal Frog Dog, Dataworks

Michael Saunders of Sydney, Australia has donated an Australian software package designed to promote literacy in Dyslexic children.  It is called DIRECT Helper.  This is complete.

Direct Helper folder coverFinder001Finder002Explorer's Database (1987) folder frontFinder003Finder004Learn about insects001Outback Explorer resconstructed coverSolar System Database folder frontThe Australian Government Database folder cover

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