The Apple IIe on a Card


The dawn of the personal computer age really
started around 1977 with the introduction of the Commodore PET, Apple II, and TRS-80. These were the first truly affordable computers
that didn’t require a customer to assemble it from a kit. All 3 of these computers had some success
in the education market. But during the 1980s, Apple managed to almost
completely take over the educational market from Commodore, Tandy, and even IBM. This strategy was good for Apple, as it meant
that students who learned on Apple computers might be more likely to buy an Apple themselves
when the time came. The Apple II series was manufactured from
1977 all the way to 1993. That’s around 16 years, a pretty impressive
lifespan. Even the Commodore 64 didn’t last that long. Of course, in 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh,
which they figured would eventually replace the Apple II. However, sales weren’t what they initially
hoped and the Apple II continued to keep the company afloat for many years after its introduction. In 1986, Apple released the successor to the
Apple II, the Apple IIgs. This was a 16-bit computer, and while it does
bear the name of the Apple II series, it’s actually almost a completely different architecture,
featuring vastly improved graphics and sound, a faster CPU, and just about everything about
it was improved. However, there’s one particular chip I want
to bring to your attention. All of the chips on the board are labeled
with their functions. For example, this one says it is for sound. These here say ROM, this one is clearly a
graphics chip, and so on. But what is this chip here labelled MEGA II? Well, believe it or not, this chip basically
contains almost an entire Apple IIe motherboard on a single chip. Now, that doesn’t include things like the
CPU and RAM, but basically everything else. This chip allowed the Apple IIgs to be backwards
compatible with software for the original Apple II series. However, as you can see by the time line here,
the Apple IIgs never entirely replaced the Apple II systems, and in fact, ironically,
it was discontinued a year before the IIe. Apple also had a really expensive desktop
system called the Macintosh II, but it saw very little success in the education market. Many school districts had invested heavily
in the Apple IIe and Iigs systems and the vast majority of the software they used in
the classrooms was designed for the original Apple II. And so it could be difficult to convince some
schools to upgrade to Macintosh computers because they would no longer be able to use
the large library of Apple II software. In 1990, Apple released the Macintosh LC,
which stands for low-cost. This finally gave schools, businesses, and
home users an option for a Macintosh computer that had color and an affordable price tag. But the LC also had something else. Inside it had something called a PDS slot. In time there would be a variety of peripherals
designed for this slot, including ethernet cards, processor upgrades, and of course,
the topic of this video… the Apple IIe card. Taking a closer look at the card, this large
chip here is called the Gemini chip. This is actually a slightly revised version
of the Mega-II chip that I showed earlier in the Apple IIgs. So, again, it’s basically most of the logic
chips of an Apple IIe combined into a single chip. This next chip here is a 65c02 microprocessor. It looks a little different from the earlier
models because it is in a square package instead of the usual DIP package. Over here is 256K of RAM. Apparently 128K is used by the Apple IIe system,
and the other 128K is used by the Macintosh side for some reason or another that I don’t
fully understand. And this chip over here is called an IWM or
an Integrated Woz Machine, which is basically a disk drive controller all integrated into
a single chip. And so that’s all of the important stuff
on the card. What I’m going to do next is go ahead and
install this into my Macintosh LC-II so we can try it out. On the back here it has a proprietary connector
where you can install this breakout cable. One of the cable ends is for connecting to
an Apple II disk drive, and the other end is for connecting an Apple II joystick. I’m going to go ahead and connect up a 5
and a quarter inch floppy drive here since most Apple II software was distributed on
this format. However, these drives can be daisy chained. In fact, you can connect up to 3 drives to
it like this, including the 3 and a half inch drives. And you can also make use of the internal
disk drive as well, which technically makes 4. OK, let’s fire this thing up. I’m going to put in a fresh COPY of the
Oregon Trail. Unfortunately, I don’t have an original
of this disk. And I’ve already got the necessary software
installed on the Mac, so I’m just going to start the IIe application. And there we go. So, there’s a few things I want to tell
you about this. First of all, this always runs full-screen. It cannot run in a window. Plus, the Macintosh is no longer multi-tasking
any other applications during this time. While the card technically is running the
software on real hardware, it’s not an emulation as such, the video however is technically
emulated. The video is drawn by the Macintosh and it
is actually a little slower than the real video system on an Apple II. The audio, on the other hand works a bit differently. I noticed something recently when looking
at the schematics of an LC system that I was troubleshooting. This section here is basically the audio portion
of the schematics. This part here is the main sound chip, and
it’s output goes down here to the amplifier portion of the circuit. If we take a closer look at just the amplifier,
you can see it has 2 sound sources. The first one comes from the Macintosh’s
sound chip, and the second one down here actually says it comes from the PDS slot. So, that means the Apple IIe card produces
its own sound and it goes straight to the amplifier. Anyway, let’s see if we can setup a party
here on the Oregon Trail. I’ll enter my name as the 8-Bit Guy. It appears it won’t accept numbers, so I’ll
have to spell it out. And I’ll need some other people, let’s
add LGR and Techmoan. Then let’s do Doctor Mix… ok, well, that
won’t fit, so I’ll shorten it. OK. And we need one more. How about Look Mum No computer. That sure won’t fit, so I’ll abbreviate
that too. OK. So we’re going all the way back to 1848. I can only imagine the 5 of us trying to survive
in that time. Anyway, if you want to exit the IIe session,
you can press control-apple and then escape. This will bring up the preferences menu. There are actually quite a few things you
can configure here about your emulated Apple IIe. For one thing, you can actually substitute
native Mac sounds for the simple Apple II beep. Over here you can setup memory expansion for
the Apple II, and this will actually use RAM from the Macintosh to emulate a memory expansion
board. You can pick anything from 256K to 1 megabyte. Here you can change the settings for the mouse
emulation. Although, I am not even sure I have any Apple
II software that uses a mouse to even test this with. There are various other things you can configure,
this is one of the more interesting ones. Slots. This allows you to select a startup slot. But more importantly, you can move things
around. So these slots represent the 7 expansion card
slots you would have on an Apple II motherboard. You can move things around to better suit
certain software configurations, although most software is standardized on a certain
layout, so I’m just going to leave it as-is. And here is smart-port. This emulates a smart-port card and you can
select what sort of drives you would like the Macintosh to emulate. Right now, drive 1 is the internal drive on
the Macintosh LC and then I have two ProDOS partitions mounted as well. Anyway, let’s try some other software. Here’s Donkey Kong. I actually can’t figure out how to control
this. I think it requires a joystick, which I don’t
currently have plugged in because at the moment I can’t find my Apple IIc joystick. Well, let’s try something other than a game. I want to see if AppleWorks will load. We actually used this software back in my
Junior High in the computer lab on our Apple II systems, mostly for the word processor
feature so we could type in our essays and things like that. However, it does work in 80-columns mode and
I wanted to see how that looked. It wants me to put in a date. I guess this is a good opportunity to see
if AppleWorks is year-2000 compliant. So, I’ll put in August 22, 2019. And nope. It doesn’t like that. So I guess we’ll put in March 20, 1986. Ok, well, other than that, it appears to be
working fine. The 80 columns is actually more readable here
than it would be on the original composite monitors. Of course, that’s the thing about the video
here. The video looks almost too good. That’s because it’s being emulated and
thus it looks almost just like a modern emulator. So, I want to try a few other things, including
BASIC. I’ll just write a little program here. OK. Now one of the things I wanted to try was
increasing the speed. So, apparently the emulated Apple II can run
at 1 MHz or 1.9 Mhz. So I’m going to put it into fast mode. Surprisingly, I don’t see much difference
here. And I suspect that’s because the bottleneck
here is the screen drawing routine, which I have read is actually slower than a real
Apple II. So, maybe some other programs that do more
number crunching would speed up more. There’s another interesting feature I want
to try. I’m going to load up Ultima IV here. And this looks really great, better than it
would on a real Apple II, I believe. Anyway, you can change it to a monochrome
monitor, which would certainly be useful for some applications. But I just wanted to see how Ultima would
look. And yep. This is exactly how I would expect it to appear
on a monochrome monitor, with the vertical striped lines instead of colors. I did a whole episode on how Apple II graphics
worked if you haven’t seen it, but it’s really bizarre as all of the color is achieved
by NTSC artifacts and timing gimmicks. And, of course, the software here is having
to emulate that effect on this RGB monitor. But it is really convenient to be able to
change it on the fly like this, it’s almost like having two different monitors for your
Apple IIe. Speaking of monitors, the Apple II series
had a resolution of 280 pixels across by 192 pixels tall. Or, if you had the 80-column card, it could
technically be double the horizontal resolution making it 560 pixels. However, this creates an interesting situation
with the LC series computers. While they can technically display 640 by
480, the default and most common monitor used with the LC can only display 512 by 384. And so, if you look at the numbers, you can
see that the vertical resolution is perfect because the Mac is exactly double that of
the old Apple II, so this is easy to scale. But the horizontal resolution is a different
story. In fact, the LC monitor technically can’t
even display all of the pixels of the Apple IIe’s 80 columns mode. They won’t even fit. Steve Jobs was very picky that Macs have square
pixels, and with an aspect ratio of 4:3, that means you have to have 512 pixels to match. So how, then, was this situation handled,
as you can clearly see the 80 columns mode working fine in AppleWorks as I showed earlier. Well, it turns out, the LC and its monitor
have a hidden graphics resolution of 560 by 384 and the only thing that can access this
resolution is the Apple IIe card. Of course, the LC series was not the only
computer that could run the Apple IIe card. In fact, another popular computer that has
a PDS slot is the Macintosh Color Classic. So, I’ll show you how to put the Apple IIe
card inside the color classic. Just turn it around to the back, and this
little cover pops off. Then you just grab and pull. It requires no tools, similar to the LC series. This particular board has an ethernet card
sitting in the PDS slot. And since there is only one slot you sort
of have to decide which card you’d rather have. For the moment, we’ll just put the Apple
IIe card in its place. Then just shove the board back in, and replace
the cover. And here we go. The color classic up and running. I already have the IIe application installed
so we’ll just start it up. I still have Ultima IV in the disk drive. And here it is on the tiny little color screen,
and it looks absolutely fantastic. Very sharp and bright. Again, this looks actually better than on
a real Apple II. There’s one thing I want to show you. This happens really fast, so I’m going to
do a freeze frame right here. Notice that the screen appears to shrink and
move to the left very briefly? Well, this is the Color Classic also entering
the special 560×384 mode, which was designed into the computer specifically for this purpose. So, which other models will it work with besides
the LC series and the Color classic? Well, it also works with the Quadra 630, and
the all-in-one LC520. However, one limitation is that it does require
system 6 through 7.5.5. So, it won’t run on anything newer. Also, there are some other Macs it will physically
fit inside but is not actually compatible due to those Macs being 32-bit or PowerPC
Macs. This card sold for $250, which was actually
a pretty good deal compared to buying an entire Apple IIe setup at the time, which could easily
cost 5 or 6 times that amount. And it’s a pretty nifty piece of hardware
and it probably did help convert quite a few Apple II customers into Macintosh customers,
which was part of the goal of this card. It’s actually kind of a pity that Commodore
didn’t have a similar device for the Amiga like the 1000 or 500 that would allow it to
run Commodore 64 software. I think that would have gone a long way towards
helping to convert the Commodore 64 base into Amiga users a little faster. Anyway, that about wraps it up for this episode. So, as always, stick around for the next one
and thanks for watching.

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92 thoughts on “The Apple IIe on a Card

  1. I have the old II+ and later picked up the 1meg hard drive, the slimline 5 1/4" drive and a few extra II+ and IIe's.  Only have 1 working power supply, but do have the Sam's Photofact service schematics.  So I could probably get them working again.

  2. I had to take a moment to stop laughing, when you mentioned the maximum amount of RAM the card could be configured to use. One whole megabyte!

    Modern computers use way too much RAM, just idling with only the OS related things running. What all is it even doing with that much RAM?! Displaying a desktop can't be using all of that. What if you were to run Windows 10 without a GUI? How much RAM would it still be using? I bet that the basic calculator program that comes with the OS, uses more than 1MB nowadays.

  3. I think that monitor on the Apple II in your "1977 Trinity" display is anachronistic, is it not? It looks like an Apple //e monitor. Apple originally did not sell monitors, and back in the "][" rather than "//e" days my school, like many others, used a Sanyo VM-4209* or similar 9" monitor, which left room for the disk drive(s) to sit beside it on top of the computer.
    *https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/a/11283/7208

  4. March 20th 1986

    Well damn I wouldn't have been able to remember much as I was 14 days old loll 😁
    I feel old now

  5. I'd love to see that card used in a stand-alone fashion. With some other basic hardware to provide the necessary interface. I wonder how much dependency that card has on the host system?

  6. You could make a follow-up video with the Quadlink card. Quadlink was a full-sized ISA card that let you run Apple ][ software on an original IBM PC.

  7. Hi Dave, I have an interesting issue, I have a PDi led back lite tv that no longer functioned as a tv but the back-light still worked, I removed it and the power supply board but when I tried to power it up it would not light up unless it was plugged into the main board with nothing else connected to the main board so what gives it the on signal? I looked at the power supply board and the outputs to the main are 12v,12v,on/off,adj,grd,grd. I was thinking it was like a computer smps power supply that needs a load to bring it on but I was not sure. the back light has 72 leds on it so it is nice. In any case just thought you may shed some "Light" on the subject. Thanks Joe

  8. Could you do an episode on the Cynthcart? I am confused about this thing, as it's always presented as a piece of expansion hardware, while I can't see any hardware features on that thing. Isn't it just a software that's exclusively being published on a cartridge? And why do they call it analog? It isn't more analog than the SID's usual filters, isn't it?

  9. Strange, I have 3 Apple IIe cards for the LC and one of then has the Apple Chip labeled as a Mega and the other two labeled as you mentioned here. Also my cable is different from yours, it was Disk Drive, Monitor (RGB), and 2(?) Printer(s) ("Super Serial" card compatible) ports. I'll repost it when I pull it out of storage and verify what I have in that cable.

    The Apple IIc+ Also uses the same/similar Mega chip to run the Apple IIc in 1MHz Mode or 5MHz. This I find odd that an Apple IIc+ would have 2 Apples in it – literally.

  10. As for your comment about Apples being #1 in schools, that is not true. That depended on the school system and their budgets. Here in NYC, it was Atari, Commodore and then Apple and later in the 1990s Macs and PCs. TI 99/4 and Radio Shack Coco's were also used in NYC (as well as TRS 80 Mod III & 4 in some high schools) and Some schools with Apple, used the IIe Card but it was like 1 card for every 10 Macs.

  11. Step 1. Go to YT Search

    Step 2. Search this keyword: Mimi Kid Art

    Step 3. Enjoy!

    The Apple IIe on a Card

    find out a lot about myself by sleeping. Dreams, they are who I am when I’m too tired to be me. “The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that. “We are all born sexual creatures,thank God, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift. “If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist? “Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong. “If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.You leave the same impression Of something

  12. Ultima IV <3 … I had that for the Atari ST. Or was it the 486? I don't even remember… I had the ankh and everything 😀

  13. Yea it was also really cool that the Amiga had both Apple and PC cards so you could run all three operating systems in a single machine.. arguably it did a better job in some cases than dedicated machines not counting the fact that it was multitasking..

  14. my elementary school computer lab had apple ][gs systems when i was a kid. they definitely used them into the mid 90's.

    i called them "apple toogs"

  15. David, AkBKukU has created some Plastic repair with baking soda and glue
    Check his video, because you should defenitely do this type of repairs: https://youtu.be/n1meoZaHYZo

  16. The Amiga being basically built by former Atari people, creating a C64 emulator was really not a topic. They wanted to create the best gaming machine, and that's what they did.
    And then I bought an AtariST (built by former Commodore people) because it was cheaper.
    😂

  17. I saw that wrist strap and first thought it was one of those fake wireless static wrist straps. Then I saw it was your watch.

  18. Apple was always a joke for the retarded masses. Now they have an entire generation of retards ahem, I mean customers. Programmers bought the real computers. Just like now.

  19. When the full-sized c64 clones come out are you going to be reviewing it? I liked your mini-review. P.S. I appreciate your lack of profanity. I can watch your show with the kids around.

  20. Sounds like my oldest Mac was probably too new for this card. My Mac Performa had 3 Nubus card slots, which remained empty. I added several SCSI external devices instead. But couldn't this have been done by 100% software emulation? Of course software can not replace actual needed physical ports.

    I actually went through the effort to use ResEdit on my Mac, to create my own Apple // bit-mapped 96-character font, for purposes of displaying computer code from my Apple //e on my Mac with a non-proportional font that looked better in my view, than Courier. I used a serial adapter cable to send the text, I think is how I did it?

    I was able to successfully duplicate a Mac disk using my 800K Apple //e 3.5-inch disk drive using the normal disk copy mode. This told me something profound. If I could have ever written my own OS for the Apple // computers, it could have been able to access at least some filetypes of the Mac, such as being able to use Mac fonts. Because the Apple // can read and write Mac disks, but without adding the needed software, can not see the Mac files.

    I wish I had had more time to play around with that stuff back in the day.

  21. Nice! Could you do a video on the PC Transporter? I have a board but I'm not sure it's working – not a lot ot free time lately. It's a board that adds a 8086 to the Apple IIgs. Here's a page about it: https://ae.applearchives.com/all_apple_iis/pc_transporter/

  22. Do you still need a color quick cam?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Connectix-Color-Quick-Cam-VC-Open-Box/293201494730?hash=item44442bc2ca:g:zUsAAOSw5hddXZl9

  23. Oh holy cow – how beautiful this screwless screw system is at Apple! Just remove the cover and pull the board towards you =)))

    Damn – this was the last video! In recent days, only your channel has watched … and it was wonderful! Thanks again for your work!

  24. I used to watch this channel all the time. Until I realized he doesn't really care about the people who watch his videos unless they're a well established YouTube channel, a patreon, or someone who can give his channel exposure. Look at the comments, he offers no feedback to anyone who comments. Even though us peasants are the ones who helped him get where he is today.

    Ah well, what can you do?

  25. 8 bit guy, It would be great if you create an ARDUINO project with the commodore or IBM 8086 etc, a hack on arduino would be great to your channel, Basic is good, but Python is very good also, it would be great an arduino hack!

  26. When are you building further on your dream computer? There is an new raspberry pi. The 4th pi with A lot more power

  27. I'm not a Mac User but and I remember back in elementary school all the Macintosh is being connected with telephone cables. Was that an early form of networking the computers together?

  28. AppleWorks does recognize the year 2019. However you need a version of ProDOS that also does, as it looks for ProDOS to interrupt the dates.

  29. David this is yet another excellent video. question; why would one use 3 or 4 floppy drives? I could imagine two but four? i have never seen either in action. thank u 🙂

  30. I just now realized the meaning of your intro. Never paid attention to it before. You "load" the episode just like a game disk. mind blown lol

  31. Hey man, digging the videos. I have a question for you, I just got my hands on a bunch of C64 things but unfortunately it didn’t come with a C64. I was wondering where would be an ideal place to buy a 5 1/4 drive to test the games via emulator. Also the best place to sell the games that still work? Cheers, hope to hear from you soon.

  32. Not working in other Macs because they're 32-bit doesn't make sense; all of the non-PPC macs are 32-bit. The problem is more inherent to how the PDS slot works. It's not actually a card slot standard per se like you'd expect from nubus or pci or whatever. It's a direct interface to the processor's bus. Thus, the compatibility is indeed specific to the motherboard and processor, but not an issue of how many bits the processor has or anything like that.

  33. The-8BitGuy: Tries to enter 19 into the year
    Apple IIe Emulator: Plays a note
    The-8BitGuy: Does it Again
    Apple IIe Emulator: Plays the Skype call song

  34. I learned how to code on an Apple 2c. It was at the school I cleaned. I used my lunch hour and breaks to use the lessons that were with the computer on how computers work and how to write code.

  35. I remember throwing out 32 class room Computers. They were a year old and worked with a master computer. They were slaves but could have easily been up grades. Because they were privately donated and not purchased by the schools to operate on the new school servers they took them all and just threw them all in the dumpster. This included monitors and keypads as well as the wiring that connected them to the main server or computer( master). At the time I really wasnt thinking or I would have loaded them up and brought them home. Once they were in the dumpster, they were considered trash. That's what I was told. I know because after that, I cleaned up on a BUNCH of other stuff being tossed. Most of it I sold and made a good amount of money from. Now days, they would bust you for even touching the dumpsters.

  36. Lol, company that made things that "requires no tools" to disassemble back in the day now makes things that shouldn't be serviced at all.

  37. A problem with Apple is that wouldn't allow clones that IBM PC had and also they don't allow their OS to be installed on any computer the way Microsoft does with Windows

  38. li catzo, play grettzo due aith englis traslation

    links at the bottom, sorry about it, but its not mine to spam this

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grezzo_2

  39. There were CDEVs that could get NUBUS Macs that used the standard Apple videocard to use the overscan area of the monitor to get ~100 more horizontal and vertical pixels.

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