APMSX-card: MSX for Apple II – Part 1

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APMSX-card is “Turbo Speed” MSX-computer-in-a-card solution for Apple //e enhanced (ntsc) and Apple IIGS. It doesn’t work in Apple II, II+, //c (no slots.. sorry Javier).

It is deloped by Ian Kim of Apple2.net out of South Korea, who is prominent Apple II hardware developer who have made many other products in a past, like the following :

-SEGA/ColecoVision-card (Z80+VPD)
-Mockingboard 4d (for Apple //c)
-Joypad for Apple II
-Z80 CP/M card
-SD Disk II+ 
-PS/2 adapter
-SD Smart Drive
-SD Music Card
-Hyperion 512k RAM-card

Ian used years in order getting it all together. Being in edge for abandoning whole project but with strong will he pulled it together! That was major task. It was risky project as it was known it would not be cheap card to develop, produce or sell.

What is MSX?

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MSX was a 8-bit home micro computer standard founded by Microsoft and ASCII in 1983 trying to create standard for home computers like VHS was at home video tape machines.

MSX was specially popular in Japan even it was sold around the world – being moderately popular in europe, specially The Netherlands. 

MSX hardware was built around Zilog’s Z80 processor and usually 64k of RAM.

More can be read from : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSX

MSX is also very much alive among hobbysits around the world, with new hardware and software coming out all the time. 

My first computer was Spectravideo SVI-728 MSX so this is like coming to the roots for me. The SVI-728 MSX was quite popular in Finland at the time, but nothing like Commodore 64 was. I only had the MSX for some years and it got replaced with Commodore 128 soon after and shortly with Amiga 500. The games i remember playing with the MSX were “Yie Ar Kung Fu 2”, “King’s Valley”, “Zoids”, “Oh Shit!” (later renamed to “Oh No!” for obious reasons) and some games translated from Spectrum. Getting games was difficult in my circles as everybody had Commodore 64.. so i was kind of was forced to get Commodore. I did like those Konami module games (even expensive) they were really smooth running.


APMSX:

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APMSX comes with:

– APMSX-card
– Joypad and extension adapter-cable  
– PS/2 extension cable for PS/2 keyboard (for full MSX usage)
– Video cable (APMSX to Apple //e)

You need to supply your own video and audio cables.

Originally APMSX-card was supposed to have slot for cartridge games but it was dropped due high cost and not 100% proven compability. That would have been really amazing if that could have worked for sure.

The APMSX-card can be used in many ways and purposes:

1) MSX computer with loading .ROM images directly from card reader.
2) MSX computer with HDD support (SD Disk II+ is needed)
3) Z80 Softcard Compatible CP/M 80 card.
4) 512k RAM card for Apple //e (even during the MSX runnning software)
5) Z80 CPU as co-prosessor, graphics accelarator or sound processor … etc etc…

The processor can be run in different speeds (MSX software) 4MHz, 8MHz and 16Mhz. The 3.58 and 7.16Mhz work only with DMA access of Apple II BUS (i.e. accessing SD Disk II+ in HDD mode).

Conviniently the MSX and Apple II can run at the same time. APMSX basicly is overclocked MSX computer up to 16MHz!

 

APMSX V1.23a
-MSX1 compatible
-VDP: TMS9918 (NTSC)
-PSG: AY3-8910
-RAM: 512KB SRAM
-CPU: Z80 Clock speed; 3.58Mhz, 7.16Mhz, 4Mhz, 8Mhz, 16Mhz.
-Mega RAM Mapper support: 256KB Mega RAM Mapper
-Mega ROM Mapper support: 256KB Mega ROM Mapper (Konami ROM Mapper, ASCII 8K/16k)
-DMA BUS share of Apple II resources RAM and I/O peripherals.
-Keyboard: 1 x PS2 Keyboard port
-Joystick: 1 x MSX DB9 standard port

Compatible with *NTSC* Apple //e enhanced and IIGS. With IIGS it however have some limitations with dual working with APMSX, limited memory card access, but general running MSX games or programming doesn’t have a problem on IIGS.

ROM images can be load from ProDOS .HDV hdd file where they can be launced from any suitable sd/usb/cf-card that supports HDD images.

To use the HDD in MSX mode, you need SD Disk II+ device, as there’s drivers/support only for it.

 
Installation:

apmsx_card_installed_1_s

I installed it to my Apple //e enhanced (ntsc) with just minimal cards on it. The power supply is pretty strong (AE Heavy Duty) but i do not remember if it was recapped or not.. so ..

– Apple //e enhanced (ntsc).
– My LG LCD/TV does not accept correctly the NTSC color signal. Some games did load with colors occationally,  but the colors are not correct in all titles. Need one that does PAL and NTSC correctly..
– APMSX works in any slot expect 3) but but suggested slot to use is 4 as the ready loaders (made in basic) are assuming slot 4. Easy to change however. I had the free slot so i went with the slot 4 here.

AUX – RamWorks8M (a2heaven)
SLOT 7 – Apple disk i/o card
SLOT 6 – SD Disk II+ (4GB SD-CARD) + ext. dial with display unit 
SLOT 4 – APMSX 

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SD DISK II+ for HDD in MSX mode support.

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Connections to be made:

-Joystick – extension cable with adapter to joystick 
-Audio OUT 1.5mm
-Video OUT RCA 3.5mm
-PS2 keyboard – Keyboard PS/2 connector for external keyboard
-Apple II video in – Video IN  > connected to //e board mudulator output
-Choose between IIgs/IIe

I used composite-SCART adapter to get video and audio to my LCD/TV.

 

Using the MSX:

PS/2 keyboard is needed if you need any keys pressed for the software/games or you want to use the card as actual MSX-computer.  The PS/2-USB adapter will NOT work. Luckily the PS/2 keyboards are still pretty easy to get. I obtained two different models, both basicly new. Sadly they were swe/fin layout so it’s hit-and-miss using it. If there would be more frequent use i’d get US/UK layout model for sure.

Ian Kim, the developer of the APMSX-card, provides few sample .hdv images to buying customers only as well complate user’s guide.

“APMSX.HDV” HDV-image is for starting the APMSX card. It is Prodos format including lots of .rom and other MSX-files.

If you want to use the MSX hard disk image, you need to connect it to D2 to be used by SD Disk II plus-device (no drivers for other hardware card reader solutions as of yet).

It is possible to use both computers with their own displays! This is somehing i didn’t yet test of. I only focused on playing games from the .rom files 🙂

 

MSX software:

As my display does not display NTSC correctly some colors are not correct. As well for some reasons, occationally starting the games they were black/white. Not correct sync on NTSC signal. This is something i need to invest on.

Switching from MSX mode back to Apple II is done by CTRL+RESET.

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With colors (not correct ntsc) – Black & White (ntsc)

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But playability on games such “Yie Ar Kung-Fu II” (Konami) was absolute fun! This game i had as a cartridge back in the day. And yes i’m not that good on it even after all these years… These popular kungfu games were all bascily the same, fighting against enemy screen by screen and finally the big boss. The graphics just changed as well the movements. These cartridge games by Konami are really top-notch quality!

Video in youtube: https://youtu.be/tOPQe0SgrLs

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Another MSX-favorite of mine “Knightmare” played great. It have very clear and arcade styled graphics and very enjoyable gameplay. This is one of the games i come back and play few rounds with.

 

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There were even some MSX-demos on hdv image file. I’ll need to find more of these – i have not followed the MSX-scene for years..

 

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“MSX unleashed” – demo.

 

Thoughts?

The card is NOT cheap investment if you want to use it for gaming and in real MSX-computer mode, you’ll need the SD Disk II+ device as well. With that money you can actually buy an real MSX/MSX2 – computer, not sure what those MSX sd/usb solutions cost but possibly still cheaper. But remember, it took years to develop the card as well, building this card is not cheap either. But for simple MSX game/rom playing, you don’t need SD Disk II+ device, just some device that does ProDOS HDD emulation is enough.

But it really depends. This is extermely compact and convinient solution with lots of other possiblities for hacker-mindeded persons as the card lives alongside the Apple II. It can be made to be much more what it currenly is in the future. The one minor setback is that only SD Disk II+ card is supported if you want to have HDD in MSX-mode. Somebody for a task to write driver for CFFA3000? 

Playing games was easy. Just needed to boot the ProDOS HDD-image and start the game by loading the ROM. For some games there’s ready made basic loader but with APMSX-loader program you could load any ROM easily. For some reasons they do not always start. I am not sure if it’s my setup or what’s the problem. But Ian’s manual mentions this as well. But after reloading or even rebooting, all the games/software on the image worked and were fast as they should to be playable. I didn’t notise any graphical or audio issues. Only my display lacking the real NTSC support was issue for me. For playing i used either the pad that was supplied with the card or my old-favorite, TAC-2. 

The actual MSX-computer mode i didn’t use much yet. That i will get into later as well the CP/M and using the card as RAM expansion etc. More in Part 2.

..i hope someday somebody would do Atari2600/5200/7800 card as well.. that would be neat as well! Why? Because, why not!

 

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APMSX is available from:
apple2.net

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Applied Engineering: Z-RAM II for Apple //c

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Bought one Apple //c few years ago with Z-RAM II-card installed but i could not get it working. It had broken pins and some were replaced with wiring. It could not get it running so i sent to to Henry Courbis at reactivemicro.com for repairs. He did splendid job and got it working in notime! Big thanks to Henry!

 

What is it?

Z-RAM II is combined co-prosessor and memory expansion card that can be expanded from 384k to 1024k. The basic comfiguration is 256k (soldered to board) so you get 384k of RAM with basic setup. The expanded memory can be used in programs like AppleWorks and many others as well as high-speed solid state (RAM) disk. The card have also a Z-80 prosessor on it so it can run programs from large CP/M program library. The card was originally supplied with CP/AM 4.0B disk.

 

Installation

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The installation is fairly easy. Obiously needed to open the //c and then needed to remove the disk drive and the keyboard to have good access and have everything in sight.

-CPU -> removed and moved to empty socket in Z-RAM II  
-MMU -> removed and moved to empty socket in Z-RAM II  
-Also needed to attach the “pin grabber wire” to TGM chip (pin 2). I found out that the cable had to be covered with tape in order not to intefere the belt of the floppy drive.

Then just insert the card (carefully!) to the sockets of CPU+MMU by pressing the card down. i tried to take extra care and not to bend any pins.

There were one additional connetor for extra RAM but at the moment i do not have such RAM module that would work in this card.

 

Usage?

So what could be done with it then? Addional memory for the AppleWorks usage is obious, if that’s something you would be still doing, as well using the extra memory as RAM-disk – but maybe using the CP/M is more usefull, or is it? Depends your interests. 

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Running CP/AM 4.0B

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RAM-Disk DOS 3.3 options.

ramdrive_prodos_s
RAM-Disk (ProDOS) options.

 

ram_test_s
There’s also RAM-test to ensure your card is running with all RAM working.

I must admit this card is more like collector’s piece, actual usage might be quite limited. But running CP/M is kind of cool with the Apple //c. Ramdrive is quite handy only if it would be backed with battery.. this system had ROM0 on it, i could upgrade it to the custom ROM to have more options enabled.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //c Forever.

 

 

SNES/ATARI – joystick / contoller adapter for Apple II

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This adapter i got from ByteBoosters who recently made this SNES/Atari joystick adapter for Apple II. It basicly works in any Apple II model, but with II and II+ you need 16pin to D9-adapter cable.

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TAC-2 (Commodore/Atari) and SNES game pad.

This revision/firmware 05 works with Atari/Commodore and SNES controllers but with patch cable (provided/installed for later retail revision) it works with SEGA Mastersystem and Genesis controllers as well. I do not have such controllers so i just tested with Atari/Commodore and SNES (thanks to Petri for the SNES controller).

This revision works with digital joysticks only, so games that need values changed smoothly a’la Arkanoid and such, this adapter really doesn’t work well, mostly making them unplayable. There’s development for this adapter or next generation version of it, that will support Playstation 1 and 2 pad’s (with those thumb joysticks).

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Installation, is easy. Just plug it in the adapter’s D9 connector (Apple //e shown) or use the 16pin>D9 adapter if you’re using II or II+.

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It came with D9-D9 cable so i was able to move the adapter away from the back of the system for easier placement.

There’s few settings in the adapter itself (as of jumper):
-Swap buttons
-Buttons L/R 
-Buttons Y/X

What about the games?

playing_hero_s

I tested some of my favorites (from the great Total Replay hdd-image) and with TAC-2 joystick that had been favorite joystick of mine since 80’s and the Nintendo SNES contoller pad. I played long rounds with favorite games like H.E.R.O. and Choplifter and specially Choplifter became even more (!) playable with SNES pad. I really enjoyed the quick response from the buttons! Choplifter with Fastchip //e + SNES pad is really awesome combination as well Karataka running at 5Mhz 🙂 Playing games like Arkanoid was impossible as it naturally relies on analog values.

These types of contollers and joysticks are much easier and cheaper to get, so the adapter is good investment in my opinion. It’s not pefect as it’s digital only but, for most games it works just as well.
 

Available from console5.com for $39.95 + shipping.

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Let there be S-O-U-N-D! – Mockingboard 4c for Apple //c

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Mockingboard 4c is Apple II mockingboard version specially made for Apple //c. There were Mockingboard D for the Apple //c made back in the day, and it was placed in external enclouse. It however wasn’t 100% compatible with the other Mockinboard-supported software or games. The same goes for the Mockingboard 4c.

mockingboard-d-box-front-b-fixed_s
Mockingboard D (apple.asimov.net)

The Mockingboard 4c works as it would be installed in Slot #4, but does not support the speech-chip. It have also possiblity to adjust the audio levels from Apple //c’s own audio knob, by just soldering one cable. There’s also set of two speakers, you can install inside your Apple //c for stereo output. There’s also a cable provided you can install to have the audio output to external amplifer/speakers.

Mockingboard 4c is developed, manufactured and sold by Ian Kim of apple2.net in South Korea and it comes in complete package with :

-The Mockingboard 4c card with 65C02 installed
-User’s Manual (printed)
-Set of two speakers with wires
-Wiring for adjusting the audio level of the Mockingboard 4c (needs soldering).
-Ext. audio cable 

 
INSTALLATION:

case

-After opening the Apple //c it’s pretty simple and straightforward.

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-If you have model A2S4000 – you need to remove the keyboard bracing due lack of space otherwise and the board wont fit inside. It’s matter of just pushing two connectors and removing the bracing.

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-Remove the 65C02 CPU and insert the CPU to the Mockingboard’s CPU-slot. Mine however came with 65C02 already installed. 
-Solder the supplied wire to UA14 4th pin (red circle) and attach to the board. I tried using “hook cables” but there’s not enough space installing one properly.
-Install supplied set of two, speakers inside the case, front in each side. I used hot glue to keep the speakers in place.

The Mockingboard 4c is actually installable to Apple //e as well (confirmed by Ian Kim) you just need 40-pin DIP-connector cable to move the board further away from the processor slot itself as there’s no space for the board. Why would you do it is then again an another question.. but it could be done. It could save you a slot in //e..

I tried replacing the 65C02 with ZipChip 4000 but i could not get it to boot. It went totally garbage screen directly either 4MHz or 1MHz modes. There’s no space either for it under the keyboard, even with the braces removed.

My setup: Apple //c (PAL, Nordic):
+ Custom ROM 4x (by https://github.com/mgcaret/rom4x/blob/master/rom4x/README.md)
+ Mockingboard 4c with two speakers (by apple2.net)
+ A2CVGA-adapter (by a2heaven.com)
+ wDrive (by kboohk.com)
+ Internal-External Drive Switcher for Apple IIc (by bigmessofwires) 
+ Laptop replacement powersupply (from ebay)

 

USAGE?

Some software/games needs patching to work correctly, mainly those with hardcoded Mockingboard slot-coding (5 instead of 4). Ian have released many of these at his webpage : http://quick09.tistory.com/search/mockingboard?page=4 in .nib format.

Mockingboard 4c uses the Slot 4 but the //c is already using it permanently. It needs to be configured when Mockingboard 4c is wanted to be used.

From applesoft:
POKE 50179,255:POKE 50100,255

or from monitor:
]CALL-151
*C403:FF FF

Restart:
PR#6 
or *C600G 

for booting the Floppydisk or Diskimage.

I played several games that had Mockingboard support on them and they worked fine and sounded as good as they should. Also tried several of music disks/demos as well and most of them worked as well. 

The small speakers are not very high quality but you can install the cable and use external speakers as well if you want. I didn’t install that as i wanted to kept the setup minimal by size, everything installed inside. 

THOUGHTS ?

It is great that also Apple //c user’s can enjoy better sound quality in form of Mockingboard 4c, eatleast in some extent. Some software however do require patching in order to work or manual configuring before booting. So it’s pretty much matter of trying how to get the title running and working. 

Installation is not that difficult if you follow the instructions. But it does block the possibity to use memory expanions or clock-chips. 

My unit does make some static hum when it’s turned on. Not sure what causes it, the design, installation or vintage parts being just old.

There’s something so cute to have Apple //c with mockingboard installed!

 

LINKS:
Video: https://youtu.be/9QXbLK3mdUQ
Mockingboard manual & disk images at: http://wwww.apple2.net 

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Mockingboard 4c is available from http://www.apple2.net or http://www.ebay.com 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //c Forever.

Aapi Juntura – interview:

I thought of interviewing a long-term Apple II user, Aapi Juntura, to my blog and to collect his thoughts and memories of early Finnish Apple II history and his career with Computers, hardware and Information Technology.

I sent few questions to Aapi by email. This is rough English translation from the original Finnish interview. 

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AAPI JUNTURA

Who are you and where you come from?

Aapi Juntura: Siina Maria Keskinarkaus gave birth to me in April 1943. My father Otto Jalmari was a small farmer. A total of 11 children were born into the family, of wich seven are still alive. I am the middle one.

I attended elementary school in Peurajärvi in 1950-1956, secondary school in Ranua in 1956-60.

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google maps

I got into TVH (Road and Civil Engineering Authority) as a trainee in summer of 1960 and after that i took map drawing course. In the spring of 1961 i took engineering job at district of Kemijärvi where a giant company Marion dug a new riverbed in the Kemijoki river. Served in the Finnish Army in the Oulu Artillery Regiment 1962-1963. I was a rookie from Ranua, who protested against the superiors.. According to the military passport i’m a sergeant.

I applied for Oulu University of Technology in 1960, and i got to choose wether to start in 1961 or 1964. So I rented a room in downtown from a elderly person. He heated the oven and kept the washing water in the enamel containers. In addition, he often talked about nice things about human life. In the dances of the workers house 1965 I met a postwoman who worked with IBM punchcards and got even paid for doing so. I didn’t want to live together because she was moody and only 18 years old.

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Reindeers in Lapland

I graduated as a civil engineer in 1968. I went in the summer of 1968 to Sodankylä to work as a foreman on a forest road road construction site. Engineer Esko Valtanen from the district asked me to apply for a job in the engineering district and there i designed bridges, forest roads, drains etc. I handled the checkups of water passages in Lapland. Mikko Puronlahti advised to become a vocational school teacher for techical/map-drawing. In Lapland, vocational school students were in 1960s and 1990s the most eager to learn in my opinion. The work as of a teacher was very rewarding, the teacher learns the most. A couple of times they asked me to apply for a principal’s post but that would have ment less summer vacation time and the daily race for resources and have pecking order i didn’t care much of.

 

What was your first touch to computers and when?

VTT (technical research centre of finland) had purchased computers of the size of a closet and there Pekka Malinen taught us FORTRAN-programming at TEKU (University of Technology) in the spring evenings. The first print of the program that was run, we got “SYNTAX ERROR”. It was just colon being incorrect.. A third run produced a table with a line printer moments at different points in the beam. At that time, there were electronic calculators with the tube screen and they were able to calculate trigonometric calculations as well. The real big change happened in 1972, the HP35 calculator made spreadsheets unnecessary. It’s reverse Polish logic RPN was handy in my work for at least a decade. Popular Elektonics-magazine i found through a family friend, Hannu Ylioja. There were ads for devices and components and wiring diagrams.

hp35
HP-35 calculator

Vocational school had electrical and radio engineers and i was also interested what they studied. The first radio I built in 1974. That’s where my Electronics hobby began. In 1977 there were rumors of memory circuits and microprocessors. So the school acquired a microcomputer building kit in 1978.

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Apple II setup for drawing and printing

The first Apple II came to Lapland central vocational school in 1980 by a new teacher of telephone dept. Four programmable SHARP-calculators were networked in it.

At school, Markku Siivola (a psychiatrist from Muurola) held Apple evening courses about Word Processing and Spreadsheets, Magic Windows and VisiCalc. Then it became clear in seconds that typing had taken a giant leap. No scratching or correcting but proofreading and editing on screen before printing. Cost estimates and lists were redone due to minor changes. All you need to do is make changes to the spreadsheet and at the same time the total amount is done. Maybe a 90% improvement compared to the mechanical calculators.

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Watanabe digi-plotter, map of land division drawn (1982).

In addition, with Apple II’s graphics tablet most maps could be digitized and then edited in many ways, the scratch pen and knife became obsolete. The Watanabe Digi-Plotter was able to print A3-size illustrations. The print scale and details could be selected or added. Lots of development opportunities at once!

I was a map drawing teacher and immediately made a purchase proposal for Apple ][ despite the fact that back in 1972 the acquisition of an electronic calculator (HP35) the Principal found it unnecessary. I remembered this in my purchase proposal presentation, total cost: 40,000 FIM. The normal annual purchase limit was 2000 FIM. To my surprise, there was no quarrel and a year later, in 1981, we reached the digital age with the students. 

The jobs for the following years had been selected. I programmed just about everything about map and document production on a computer, if a good program didn’t exists. There were thousands and thousands of BASIC program lines. 

As a tool for teaching and learning, the Apple II turned out to be a great tool for about five years, the limits came against the limitations of speed, display and memory at the end naturally.

Graphics charts were used as a basic tool for digitization for surveying training in mapping. In this case, the map on paper became adaptable and versionable for different uses. Although the accuracy of digitization was not good, it was a good fit for teaching assignments. In addition to the lines were needed map characters, text size and gradient variation, color rendering was needed. Areas were created when the pattern was digitized to be closed.

Splitting the map into sub-drawings came at the same time, so it could print separately, borders, roads, buildings, fields, plots, landmarks, etc … I needed to control the printers one by one, for example the HP-GL had to be learned. The mapping software expanded to PC’s, including terrain measurement and related computing. The whole project i was able to sell to other schools for 5000 FIM from wich the taxation took 60% off …

When you obtained your first computer and what was it?

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Ohio-Scientific

Ohio-scientific was in used before the first Apple ][. Ohio Scientific’s motherboard ad was on the back cover of Popular Elekronics Magazine. It could be ordered from the US and paid with a VISA card. So I immediately got a credit card and an import license from the License Office, which was then needed for foreign trade. I remember the device arrived in a few months in 1980. The price was less than a thousand marks.

In addition to the boot rom, the motherboard had a BASIC interpreter. Similar to Apple without line drawing capablity. The only block graphics was the ASCII extension 128 … 255. The display has 24 rows and 24 columns. There was 8 kilobytes of static RAM-memory but the expansion seemed troublesome to get done.

The tape recorder was 150 baud for the Kansas City code, which almost could be read in the contents of the download code on screen. It took about 8 minutes to fully load the memory.

There were games from around the world, Aarvark from Canada had done a couple of cassettes of shooting games. Within a couple of year i had about a dozen of casettes

It could be used to learn the basics of programming just like any other system of its time. The children were also interested in it. Neighbors (religious) denied visits by their own children when they heard about the computer.

As a monitor i used a 14 “mobile TV which i modified with capasitor after the video selection circuit. The school’s TV-dept teacher Eero Niemelä told me how to do the modification and not get killed by electricity. TV-deflection requires a voltage of 25 kV.

Ohio Scientific had to switch to an EPROM-monitor program. It allowed you slightly editing the editable line.

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Self built Apple II clone.

Due limited memory and display in Ohio Scientific, a better system had to be purchased. It was Apple II that was available as components and with floppy drive from Germany. Paying for an order in advance by check annoyed me greatly. Risky business so to speak.

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Self built Apple II with Silentype printer.

The pictures above shows the first Apple II clone built by myself from components on a circuit board. The cases were self-made with using the school’s edge machine and a cutter (damper cost 10mk/m2). Joystick has two potentiometers joined (i wrote article how to buld it at Omenahyve magazine). There is a film of both sides of the circuit board in my storage. I still could make the circuit board.

I ordered the components from Germany in 1980-81. I waited a couple of months. The guy sent a paper picture of the device and was going to ship as soon as he got all the parts (about 150pcs). The import license had to be obtained from the licensing agency. In Germany i had to pay “Vorkasse Schek” in advance 4000FIM (back then Apple II cost about 10.000FIM). When the delivery was delayed and customs numbers had to be given to customs i felt anxious. The announcement i saw in German-language magazine MC (Micro Computer).

Later, my wife’s sister’s husband was working in England at the time. He bought a used Apple II and sent it to Finland. I bought Finlux TV and a MiniTel-text terminal as a scrap in Kajaani to be used with it.

aj83_s

In this picture (from 1983) shows a used Apple II i purchased from England (it had unstable power supply). Also the 12″ green monitor came from England. The thermal printer printed on 5″ paper, but paper availability was poor. Print accuracy was moderate (the cord was twisted around the axis as on old radios).

apple-finlux_s

Pictured here is my work horse, Apple II 64KB RAM, PAL, Color TV, MV Monitor with 80 characters / line custom sync, joystick (self-made), thermal printer (silentype), 2 * floppy 143 kB Sheet metal enclosures made from 1mm sheet metal by my self.

a2-86_s

I built the last Apple II around 1985-86 for nephews as a gaming machine. I also made the power supply myself.

 

Apple II, why Apple II? What was best on it?

Apple II was selected by needs and features it fullfilled:

  * Line drawings or graphics are required.

  * Expansion, 7 slots

  * Easily expandable memory.

  * Sounds and games.

  * Applesoft was well documented and easily usable.

  * Support, that is, the network of user’s existed.

  * Clones and motherboards readily available and ROM-copying easy.

  * Peripherals available: printers, plotters, graphics tablets, PAL and RGB-color cards, etc..

  * A wealth of articles in German, English, Italian …

  * Large variety of good usefull software: VisiCalc, DB master, Word Processing.

  * Lots of pirated software available.. and copy protections easily defeted.

  * Lots of enthuastic users!

 
I actually borrowed the school machine for the weekend and came with the boys to the conclusion that we had to get it, it had colors and audio!

 

Was it difficult to get programs or hardware from Finland at the time?

A few programs were purchased with VISA from USA, for example: DB master, Spredsheet, Magic Window, Copy II Plus. There are not many original packages left. Mainly programs were exchanged with acquaintances. Cracked programs were bought from Singapore, for example.

Popular games included : Karateka, Boulder Dash, Choplifter, Chess, Space Invader, Spider, Sammy Lightfoot, The Spy Strikes back, One on One, Minit Man, The Quest, IFR Flight Simulator, Starblazer, Ultima IV..

 

What did you do with your Apple II?

Maps, databases, programming, gaming .. hardware building.

I was on vacation in Italy in 1981 and it was raining so I went around bookstores and found Applesoft the book had a whole bunch of interesting program examples. Magazines had examples of voices programming and drawing a plot map. Fine coincidence and generous rain. 

 

You have also lectured about information technology? 

In southern Finland I went to give few presentations around 1983-85 about Apple II and computer-aided design and digitalization. Some listener was amazed about where i came from. Some people were amazed that somebody from Lapland arrived and acted like expert on such matters..

Few years ago, when I bought an old mowing machine, i met a man who said that he was my course back then and had stated to his wife that “it was a futile course”. Now he had changed his thoughts about it and found that their children do everything with their computers from morning to night.

YLE (National Radio/TV) reporter made a story about me on the radio. Later, a TV-program for School-TV was shot at school for a couple of days. The program was aired a couple of times during prime time. MTV (Commercal TV station) also filmed a news clip about house design.

yle
On YLE-TV program

The YLE archive contains 1985 new school tools:
https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2014/08/14/tietokoneet-koulujen-opetuksen-tukena (only watchable in Finland, geoblocked)

There is a video on the use of information technology at the Central Vocational School of Lapland. Our part starts at about 12 min

You have made and published programs for Apple II, would you tell more about them?

aapi_juntura_3d_house_building_s

Because Apple II had better drawing and graphics features, in one Saturday morning a element-housebuilder/salesman (private constructor) arrived to my doorstop and wanted a piece of computer equipment and a program to do everyday routines for him. At the same time, it would be a good selling point in advertisements that it was “computer desgined”. We ate, bathed, and played around with the computer equipment, went to the sauna and the house salesman took the train back home.

I looked at the elements of the house suppliers. They were 30cm wide, then, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 cm. The base images of such are simple and 1/10 size would fit the entire floor plan. First you had to make the elements by manufacturing and then using them (selection, transfer, turning). Texts and dimensions had to inserted. Saving the image as a bitmap and element database was required also. I added more features to the database, such as price. Surprisingly from the ground plan pages and ends and cost estimates were also added and created. I didn’t get the process taught for the element-housebuilder, that he would have sold houses with. Result was, plain zero.

I offered the program to a software bank and set the price at 20,000FIM, same as one Apple II’s price at the time. I was surprised when they paid and so they got their first CAD software (Computer Aided Design).

You also wrote articles to “Omenahyve”-user’s magazine?

artikkeli_ho

The articles in “Omenahyve” were published in 1982-1988 and contained, among other things, the following topics:

-Automatic Drawing (Apple Graphics Tablet, Watanabe digi-plottter)
-Purchasing Ananas (Taiwanese Apple II+ clone)
-Apple for Musical Instrument (La Mela Musicale)
-Joystick building
-Making graphical patterns
-New power supply to Apple II
-Book reviews
-Databases
-TV as monitor
-Building a EPROM programming card
-Micro-Computer assisted House Design
-Terminal for Monitor
-Copy Programs (CopyII+, EDD, Locksmith etc) and protections.
-Game port expansion

Most “Omenahyve” magazine issues are scanned to pdf:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=omenahyve 

Just the file size is unreasonably large, sorry about that.

I also wrote a couple of pages of “Light Pen” magazine about a house design program.

joystickin_tekeminen_s
Article how to build your own joystick/Omenahyve.

 

You are also published author of Computer books?

kirjat

“Mikrotietokone työkaluksi” / Microcomputer as a tool (National Board of Vocational Education, National Printing Center) 1984/1991 editions. 

The Board of Vocational Education asked the school to make a textbook for group work and learning. Others refused but i collected a couple of hundred pages and asked for a opinion from the principal..  but all the material i delivered got lost by him! Maybe it wasn’t good enough, so i did an another draft, and i no longer offered it to others to review.

I wrote, photographed and rasterized the material, text printed through printer adapter of disc typewriter. I glued the rasterized pictures to the openings and my son’s line art clips as well. I sent an A5-size booklet to the subscribers. I remember that the proof-reader was the real pain in the ***. The cover image had been transformed looking like crazy person! What a butcher!

So i did the book a second time. That’s where thousands of copies were sold and taken to print an another edition. I think I got an hour’s pay for this job just like the school cleaners. Jealous double. But i did heard a couple of praises as well. A relative of mine was at the University of Oulu and he was amazed that my book was used as the basis for the lecture. I went to Jyväskylä for a course and there were 20 pages of my book copied for me to study from!

 

What happened after the Apple II?

pc-v30-1984_s
PC-V30

I searched the drawers for pictures and found some. It explains why Apple II was left aside in the end. It was better than the IBM-PC but worse than the Olivetti M21. Variability was imitated by many manufacturers. From xerox sheet metal i made PC-V30 (8086 Clone, 10MHz), with floppy drives, old power supply from HP. It had display card text 80/24 and resolution 640*240 (as far as i can remember) and the TV was used as monitor. I ordered a few 14″ monitors from Germany without a case, also for school. I made tin covers myself.  They still work, in 2019. Apple’s Macintosh wasn’t practical at school with a lack of variety of peripherals needed. So it was app IBM-PC compatibles after that.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Apple //c (4100) variations

us_euro_from_top_s

Thank’s to Mr. Retr0bight AKA “Apple //c whisper” – Javier Rivera helping me to get the American version of the 4100 and Jean-François Walter for the European (French) 4100 version.

This model has been missing for ages as i don’t think it was sold in the Nordics area (?) atleast i’ve never come across of any. The localization code for “S” is missing so i would assume it was never localizated for Sweden/Finland.

4100-serie european localizated versions are:

A2S4100Z
A2S4100C
A2S4100E
A2S4100F
A2S4100Y
A2S4110F 
A2S4100AB

4000-serie european localizated versions are:

A2S4000Z
A2S4000F
A2S4000B
A2S4000N
A2S4000D
A2S4000T
A2S4000Y
A2S4000S
A2S4000FN
A2S4000SF

D = German
F = French
P = English
T = Italy
S = Sweden/Finland 

Not sure about the other codes..

 

So what’s the Differences?


euro_lights_text_s
The european 4100-model doesn’t seem to have the power and disk light logo’s changed from symbols to text.

us_lights_text_s
American model.

us_euro_from_bottom_s

The serial label: American model (left) have pressed text and European model (right) had the same sticker as in 4000-serie had. 

 
us_board_s
The boards are the same, here, the North American one:

 

euro_board_s
And here, the European one.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //c Forever

Some Apple //e’s that came from trade-in

Like i’d need more of Apple II’s?

Made an trade with some Commodore stuff that i didn’t need to some “project condition” Apple //e’s. Still kind of need those parts for the “Stealth GS” (Apple //e->IIGS) modification i have planned, so these come in handy.. so i’ll use one of these for that project and maybe sell the other two. Good justification isn’t it?

All of them were really dusty and dirty with spiderwebs and god know what else (please wear gloves when cleaning such “barn finds”!). Got some compressed air, lots of IPA, took all of them to parts, washed everything and put together again for testing. Fun stuff.

One of them was of of those “early” models, different case material and design, reminds of ][ plus. Never have too many of those!

pickup_s
Pickup and way to home..

sauna_s
So all units taken to parts, washed and put to dry up in a sauna.

ipa_bottles_s
Bought some more IPA. This is 99.9% clear stuff, liquid and in spray form.

keyboard_keycaps_assembly_2_s
That was lots of keys 🙂 

different_keycaps_s
One set of keys were shaped slightly differently. I had not personally seen such before.

serial_date_version_2_s
The “early” model had again these handwritten date codes. Why? Stamped “2083” but handwritten “8336”.

 rusty_connectors_s
Quite a bit of rust in those connectors. Glassfiber pen is good for removing that rust. Those are cheap in ebay if needed.

wiring_mod_s
Interesting video mod (?) of some sort made. There were Taxan RGB card installed but this wire didn’t go anywhere.

color_swith_blue_s
The color switch was different type i had seen before.

board_corroted_s
The other two //e’s were both from week “8450”. The other one had some corrosion on the bottom pan.

black_bottom_pan_and_a2e_board_pal_6502_s
..so i painted it black. Looks better!

The results?

Apple //e 6502 “early” 
Board date: 2083, 8336 written in board
Serial : 2A2S2-128111
Board : 820-0073-B (c) 1982 B-607-0264-
Board stamp: R8314
CPU = R65C02P3 8439
CD ROM = 342-0135-A
EF ROM = 342-0134-A
Video ROM = EPROM
Keyboard ROM = EPROM

Cards:
+Disk II – Interface card (made in ireland)
+Kaga Taxan II EV8 – 80col RGB card 

-Basic cleaning for the case, keyboard caps removed and washed etc. 
-No retr0bright treatment
-New keyboard cable made.
-Hardware test (diagnostic card) run and everything OK!
-Original power supply not tested.

-Still needs the Apple //e logo repainted.

 

Apple //e 6502, non enhanced, PAL, Swe/Fin
Board date : 8450 
Serial : 2A2S2-342311
Board : 320-0073-B | B-607-0264-F 
Board stamp: R8449
CPU = R65C02P3 8439
CD ROM = 342-0135-B
EF ROM =  342-0134-B
Video ROM = 341-162-A 
Keyboard ROM = 341-0152-A

Cards:
+Disk II interface (made in ireland)
+Apple 64k/80col (607-0103-J)

-Basic cleaning for the case, keyboard caps removed and washed etc. 
-No retr0bright treatment
-Bottom pan have corrosion > painted black
-Case ok. Marking “A” on side.
-Corrosion on motherboard connectors > removed.
-Resistor blown at R43.
-New main logic boad swapped with swe/fin rom and 6502 CPU
-Hardware test (diagnostic card) run and everything OK!
-Original power supply not tested.

 

Apple //e 6502, non enhanced, PAL, Swe/Fin
Serial : 2A2S2-342223
Date on board : 8450
Board : 320-0073-B | B-607-0264-F 
Board stamp: R8448 
CPU = R65C02P3 8439
CD ROM = 342-0135-B 
EF ROM = 342-0134-B
Video ROM = 341-162-A
Keyboard ROM =341-0152-A
Long original power supply

Cards:
+Disk II interface (made in ireland)
+Apple 64k/80col 

-Basic cleaning for the case, keyboard caps removed and washed etc. 
-No retr0bright treatment
-2 x new 3M legs swapped.
-Corrosion on motherboard connectors > removed.
-Original long power supply not tested

 

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

 

Apple /// – The ReActiveMicro Drive/Turbo IDE Controller

“We offer the ReActiveMicro Drive/Turbo IDE Controller in several configurations. It can come fully setup “Plug And Play” ready with a presetup 512MB CF Card and Dual CF Card Adapter. Just install the card in your Apple //e enhanced and boot to ProDOS or GS/OS. Or you can buy the card with or without the IDE to Dual CF Adapter and CF Card”. (reactivemicro.com)

 

card_s

Thanks to Henry Courbis/Reactivemicro, i got my hands on the latest (under development) firmware that should allow the card to be used with other than Apple //e enhanced and Apple IIGS -models.

I tested the card with ][+ and ][ europlus (64k), and it worked fine as ProDOS hdd and all software loaded up nicely what i went thru of. My good ol’ europlus give it’s magic some while testing – that was first time for me ever. It gave nice popcorn smell for the room..

There is no driver for Apple /// so it would not obiously work with the /// but, as i happen to have the Titan Plus /// and Titan Plus //e cards installed, i thought to try the card under //e 128k emulation.

installed_s
Installed in vacant slot 4.

It does work, kind of. It crashes occationally, not totally sure why as of yet. But i was able to load bunch of software and games from the ProDOS 32Mb partition. 

prodos_loaded_s

-Titan //e emulation floppy booted
-Start //e emulation
->RESET<
-PR#4,1 (Slot 4, Partition 1 for the ProDOS hdd partition)
-Loads up the ProDOS 2.4.2 menu system
-Loading software/games (Karateka, Choplifter etc).

karateka_a3_s

“Karateka”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHctOJn8Jmk

The built-in Apple ][+ emulation mode would not work with the card due the silly limation of 48k RAM on it.

So.. hope somebody makes driver for the card so it can be used as HDD in /// mode as well….
 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

 

 

Hack/test Apple //e upgrade?

appleiiepalsetup_s
Apple //e non enhanced 6502 PAL

I have one Apple //e that i use for testing cards and generally playing & hacking around, as my main rig is Platinum //e that have the parts installed permanetely. This system is PAL, non enhanced 6502, Apple //e with UK-keyboard but i wanted to upgrade it to NTSC. As the position of AUX connector on PAL //e aligns up with Slot 3 and that wont allow installing long cards to Slot 3. I find that bit annoying. And i had one NTSC board available so i thought to just swap it around and as well, install better, in this case, Applied Engineering heavy-duty power supply to it.

Original cards setup:
#1 FastChip //e (a2heaven)
#2 quikLoader (D.Mutimer)
#3 -empty-
#4 TimeMaster II H.Q. (a2heaven)
#5 -empty- 
#6 Disk II (apple)
#7 VGA-scaler (a2heaven)
AUX RAMWorks 8M (a2heaven)
+MultiFont custom ROM (a2heaven)
+Regular original Apple gold long model power supply

Putting in parts and suprises!

boards-ntsc-pal_edited_2_s
NTSC vs PAL board differences

So i removed all the cards and put the case in parts. Then, it’s easy to just put it back together with new PSU and board… but, NO. I had totally forgotten that the design of the NTSC board is pretty much different to PAL one. So.. the keyboard connector and speaker connectors are in different locations wich means.. they have longer cables. Oh no!

keyboard-cable_s

OK, not biggie. Making longer (abx. 32cm) keyboard cable isn’t really that difficult, so i got 1 meter of 26pin flat cable and some IDC26P female connectors. It took few minutes to get one done with correct tool i luckily had bought few years ago when i made new Disk II drive cables for myself. 

cable_s
PAL vs NTSC board keyboard cables.

I however did not get longer cable for the speaker (i tend to keep it unplugged anyway) but that’s something maybe needs to be done later.

 

AE heavy-duty power supply:

ae_psu_installed_s

It really looks good doesn’t it? Applied Engineering is one of my favorite companies that made products for Apple II-line.

ae_psu_specs_s

And it’s beefier than the regular, stock power supply that Apple used.

VGA-scaler installation:

vga-scaler_setup_ntsc_board_s

As i used the VGA-Scaler (from a2heaven.com) i installed that too. It’s installed the same way as in PAL board, but just the chips are in different location. I had to use longer cable to reach the chip in location F5 that i was using with the PAL board.

Installed in : SLOT 7
Board type: Apple IIe NTSC 1982, 620-0064-B/607-0164

Installation:
– SEROUT > C5 74LS10 PIN 3  
– GR > D5 344-0022 PIN 2 
– 14M > F5 74LS166 PIN 7

New cards setup:

AUX RAMWorks 8M (a2heaven)
#1 -empty-
#2 -empty-
#3 Transwarp (AE original)
#4 TimeMaster II H.O. (a2heaven)
#5 MicroDrive/Turbo CF-HDD (reactivemicro)
#6 Disk II interface (apple original)
#7 VGA-Scaler (a2heaven)

I might change the keyboard too, i feel one of the other //e’s i have does have better response keyboard… different switches?

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Aapi Juntura – haastattelu:

Ajattelin haastatella pitkän linjan Apple II-käyttäjää, Aapi Junturaa blogiini ja kerätä talteen hänen ajauksiaan ja muistoja varhaisesta Suomen Apple II-historiasta.  Lähetin kysymyksä Aapille sähköpostitse..

aapi_juntura_insinoori_edit_s

Kuka olet ja mistä tulet?

Aapi Juntura : Siina Maria os. Keskinarkaus teki minut huhtikuussa 1943. Isäni Otto Jalmari oli pienviljelijä. Lapsia syntyi perheeseen kaikkiaan 11, perillisiä elää seitsemän. Minä olen keskimmäinen. Kansakoulua kävin Peurajärvellä 1950-1956, keskikoulua Ranualla 1956-60. Pääsin TVH:lle harjoittelijaksi v.1960 kesäksi, sitten suoritin kartanpiirustuskurssin. Keväällä 1961 menin insinööripiirin hommiin Kemijärvelle. Silloin Jättimäinen Marion kaivoi Kemijoelle uutta uomaa. Armeijan suoritin Oulussa tykistörykmentissä 1962-1963. Olin alokas Ranualta, joka osoitti mieltä ylivääpelille. Sotilaspassin mukaan olen kersantti, kauhia tappaja?

Oulun teknilliseen opistoon hain jo 1960, sain valita aloituksen 1961 tai 1964. Niinpä vuokrasin Heikinkadulta huoneen vanhukselta. Hän lämmitti pönttöuunin ja piti emaliastioissa pesuveden. Lisäksi hän puheli monesti mukavia ihmiselämästä. Työväentalon tansseissa 1965 tapasin postineidin, joka puuhaili IBM:n reikäkorteilla ja sai siitä palkkaakin. Yhteisasumiseen en halunnut, koska neiti oli oikukas ja vain 18v.

Sain tien- ja vesirakennuksen insinöörin pätevyyden 1968. Menin kesällä Sodankylään pomoksi metsätien tierakennustyömaalle. Insinööri-piirista Esko Valtanen pyysi lokakuussa töihin insinööripiiriin ja siellä suunnittelin siltoja, metsäteitä, ojituksia yms. Pidin myös vesilain mukaisia toimituksia Lapissa. Mikko Puronlahti kehoitti siirtymään ammattikoulun opettajaksi kartanpiirtäjille niinpä sitten vaihdoin alaa. Lapissa Ammattikoululaiset olivat 1960-1990 ikäluokkansa opinhaluisinta joukkoa. Opettajan työ oli antoisaa, opettaja oppii eniten. Pari kertaa kehoitettiin hakemaan rehorin virkaa mutta kesälomat olisivat romahtaneeet ja jokapäiväinen kisailu resursseista sekä nokkimisjärjestyksestä ei kiinnostanut.


Mikä oli ensikosketuksesi tietokoneisiin ja milloin?

VTT:kin oli hankkinut komeron kokoisia tietokoneita ja sieltä Pekka Malinen opetti meille kevätiltoina FORTRAN-ohjelmointia TEKU:lla. Ensimmäinen tuloste jatkuvan palkin momentiksi oli SYNTAX ERROR. Oli kaksoispiste väärin.. Kolmas yritys tuotti rivikirjoittimella taulukon momenteista palkin eri kohdissa. Silloin oli esillä elekronisia laskimia putkinäytöllä ja niillä pystyi laskemaan trigonometrisiakin laskuja. Varsinainen suuri muutos tapahtui vuonna 1972, HP35-laskin teki taulukkokirjat tarpeettomiksi. Sen käänteinen Puolalainen logiikka RPN oli kätevä omassa työssäni ainakin vuosikymmenen. Popular Elektonics-lehteen tutustuin perhetuttavan (Hannu Ylioja) kautta. Siinä oli mainoksia laitteista ja komponentista sekä kytkentäkaavioita. Ammattikoulussa oli sähkö- ja radioinsinöörejä ja kiinnostuin heidänkin puuhista. Ensimmäisen radion rakensin vuonna 1974. Siitä alkoi elekroniikan askartelu. Vuonna 1977 kuului huhuja muistipiireistä ja mikroprosessoreista. Koululle hankittiin mikrotietokoneen rakennussarja 1978.

Apple ][ tuli Lapin keskusammattikoululle 1980 uuden puhelinpuolen opettajan mukana. Siihen oli verkotettu neljä ohjelmoitavaa SHARP-laskinta.  Koululla Markku Siivola (Muurolan psykiatri) piti Apple iltakurssin tekstinkäsittelystä ja taulukkolaskennasta, siis Magic Windows ja Visicalc. Silloin selvisi sekunnissa, että konekirjoitus on ottanut loikan. Ei raaputeta, eikä korjailla vaan oikoluetaan ja muokataan ruudulla ennen tulostusta. Kustannusarviot ja luettelot tehtiin uusiksi pienenki muutoksen takia. Taulukkolaskennassa vain tehdään muutokset ja loppusumma yms on samalla valmis. Ehkä 90% parannus veivikoneisiin.

 

setup_with_a3_plotter

Lisäksi Apple ][:n graphics-tabletilla voitiin valtaosa kartoista muuttaa digitaalisiksi ja näitä sitten korjailla monin tavoin, raapekynä ja-veitsi kävivät vanhanaikaisiksi. Watanaben piirturilla pystyi tulostamaan A3-kokoisia piirroksia. Tulostusmittakaava ja yksityiskohdat voitiin valita tai lisätä. Paljon tuli kehittämismahdollisuuksia kertaheitolla!

Olin kartanpiirtäjien opettajana ja tein samantien hankintaesityksen Apple ][:sta siitä huolimatta, että v. 1972 elekronilaskimen (HP35) hankintaa rehtori piti tarpeettomana. Muistin tämän hankintaesityksessä, 40.000mk. Normaali vuosihankinta oli 2000mk. Ihmeekseni asiasta ei kinasteltu ja vuoden päästä päästiin opilaiden kanssa digi-aikaan, siis 1981. Seuraavien vuosien puhdetyöt oli valittu. Ohjelmoin jokseenkin kaiken kartta- ja asiakirjatuotannon tietokoneella tehtäväksi, ellei ollut valmista hyvää ohjelmaa olemassa. BASIC-rivejä tuli tuhansia.

Työkaluna ja opetus/opiskeluvälineenä Apple ][ osoittautui mainioksi vekottimeksi noin viiden vuoden ajan, rajat tulivat vastaan nopeuden, näytön ja muistin rajallisuudesta.

Maanmittausalan koulutukseen  kartanvalmistuksessa oli grafiikkataulu soveltui digitoinnin perustyökaluksi.  Tällöin paperilla oleva kartta tuli muunneltavaksi ja versioitavaksi eri käyttötarkoituksiin.

Vaikka digitoinnin tarkkuus ei ollut hyvä sopi se mainiosti opetusen harjoitustöihin. Viivojen lisäksi tarvittiin karttamerkit, tekstit koko ja kaltevuus muuntelulla, väritki tarvittiin. Pinta-alat syntyi kun kuvio digitoitiin suljetuksi.

Kartan jakaminen osapiirroksiksi tuli samalla, niipä saattoi tulostaa erikseen, rajat, tiet, rakennukset, pellot, tontit, rajamerkit jne… Tulostimien ohjaukseenki tarvittiin yhtä sun toista, esim. HP-GL piti opetella.

Karttaohjelmisto laajeni PC-koneisiin käsittäen myös maastomittauksen ja siihen liittyvät laskennan. Koko projektin sain myytyä muihin alan kouluihin 5000mk hintaan, josta verottaja otti 60%…

 

Milloin hankit ensimmäisen oman tietokoneesi ja millainen se oli?

osi-80_s

Ohio-scientific oli käytössä ennen ensimmäistä Apple ][:sta. Ohio Scientific:n emolevyn mainos oli Popular Elekronics-lehden takakannessa. Sen pystyi tilaamaan USA:sta ja maksu tapahtui VISA-kortilla. Niinpä hankin heti luottokortin ja Lisenssivirastosta tuontiluvan joka silloin tarvitiin ulkomaan kauppaan. Muistaakseni laite tuli muutamassa kuukaudessa vuonna 1980. Hinta oli alle tuhat markkaa.

Emolevyllä oli bootirommin lisäksi BASIC-tulkki. Samanlainen kuin Applessa ilman viivan piirtämistä. Vain blokkigrafiikka oli ASCII-koodin jatkella 128…255. Näytössä on 24 riviä ja 24 saraketta. Muistia on 8 kilotavua staattista RAM:ia mutta laajennus vaikutti hankalalta.

Kasettinauhuri oli Kansas City-koodin 150 baudia, eli melkein kerkis lukemaan näytöltä latauksen sisällön. Muistin lataaminen täyteen kesti n.8 minuuttia.

Pelejäkin sai maailmalta, Aarvark Canadasta oli tehny pari kasetillista räiskintää. Parin vuoden aikana kertyi kymmenkunta C-kasettia.

Ohjelmoinnin perusteita sillä saattoi opetella kuten muillakin sen aikaisilla vehkeillä. Lapsetkin oli siitä kiinnostuneita. Naapurit (lestadiolaisia) kielsivät omien lastensa vierailut kun kuulivat tietokoneesta.

Näyttönä käytin 14″ matkatelevisiota johon laitoin konkalla videoliitännän videoilmaisimen jälkeen. Koulun TV-puolen opettaja Eero Niemelä kertoi mihin ja miten liitos pitää laittaa, jotta ei tule sähköiskuja. TV:n poikkeutus vaatii 25 kV jännitteen.

Ohio Scientifigissä oli vaihettava EPROM monitor-ohjelmalle. Sillä pysty hiukan editoimaan muokattavaa riviä.

 

apple2_s

Muisti ja näyttö rajoittivat käyttöä, joten parempi vehje piti hankkia. Se oli sitten Apple ][ komponentteina ja levykeasemalla tilattavissa Saksasta. Tilauksen maksu etukäteen shekillä ärsytti.

Ylähäällä kuvassa ensimmäinen piirilevylle komponenteista tinattu kokoamani Apple ][-klooni. Kotelot ovat omatekoa koulun kanttikoneella ja leikkurilla (pelti maksoi 10mk/m2). Joystick on kaksi potentiometria yhdessä (juttu Omenahyve-lehdessä). Piirilevyn  molemmista puolista on hyllyssä filmi. Voipi tehdä piirilevyn vieläkin.

Komponentit tilasin Saksasta 1980-81, odottelin pari kuukautta ja piti kiirehtiä. Kaveri lähetti laitteesta “kymmpikuvan” ja aikoi toimittaa kunhan saa kaikki osat (n.150kpl) kasaan. Lisenssivirastolta piti hankkia tuontilupa. Saksaan piti maksaa “Vorkasse Schek” etukäteen 4000mk (Apple ][ maksoi silloin n.10000mk). Meinasi jännittää kun toimitus viipyi ja tulliin piti antaa tullausnumerot. Ilmoituksen näin saksan-kielisestä MC-lehdestä (Micro Computer).

Vaimon siskon mies oli silloin töissä Englannissa. Hän osti käytetyn Apple ][:n ja  lähetti sen Suomeen, minä lähetin rahat. Kajaanista ostin romuna Finlux:n ja MiniTell-tekstipäätteen.

aj83_s

Kuvassa (1983) on Englannista ostettu käytetty Apple ][. Myös 12″ vihermonitori tuli Englannista. Silentype- lämpötulostin tulosti 5″ -paperille, paperin saatavuus oli heikkoa kuitenkin. Tulostustarkkuus kohtalainen (naru kiertyi akselin ympäri kuten vanhoissa radioissa). 

apple-finlux_s

Kuvassa perustyökalu, Apple ][ 64Kt PAL , Väri-TV, MV-monitori 80-merkkiä/rivi oma synkronia, joystick (omatekemä), lämpötulostin (Silentype), 2*floppy 143 kt. Peltikotelot 1mm peltiä.

a2-86_s

Viimeisen Apple II:n tein 1985-86 veljenpojille pelikoneeksi. Siihen tein myös virtalähteen itse.

 

Apple II, miksi juuri Apple II? Mikä siinä oli parempaa kuin muissa merkeissä?

Apple ][ valikoitui tarpeiden ja ominaisuuksien mukaan:
* Viivapiirrokset eli grafiikka pakollinen.
* Muunneltavuus, liitäntäväyliä 7 kpl
* Muistin helppo laajennettavuus.
* Äänet ja pelit.
* Applesoft dokumentoitu ja käyttökelpoinen.
* Valmiiksi muutama tukihenkilö, eli verkosto olemassa.
* Klooneja ja emolevyjä hyvin saatavilla ja ROM-kopiointi helppoa.
* Oheislaitteita saatavilla: kirjoitin, piirturi, grafiikka-tablet, PAL ja RGB värit.
* Lehdissä runsaasti artikkeleita saksaksi, englanniksi, italiaksi…
* Valmisohjelmia: VisiCalc, DB-master, teksinkäsittely ohjelmia.
* Piraattiohjelmien tarjonta maailman laajuista.. Kopiosuojaukset kierrettävissä helposti.
* Muutenki syntyi hyvä meininki!

Lainasin koulun konetta viikonlopuksi ja tultiin poikien kanssa siihen tulkseen, että tämmönen pitäs hankkia, siinä oli värikuva ja äänet.

 

Oliko Apple II ohjelmia tai laitteita vaikea saada Suomesta?

Muutama ohjelma ostettiin VISA:lla USA:sta, esim. DB-master, Spredsheet,  Magic Window, Copy II Plus. Alkuperäispakkauksia ei ole enää montakaan jäljellä. Pääasiassa ohjelmia vaihdettiin tuttujen kanssa.. ja valmiiksi kräkättyjä ohjelmia ostettiin esim. Singaporesta.

Suosittuja pelejä olivat esim: Karateka, BoulderDash, Choplifter, Shakki, Invader, Spider, Sammy Lightfoot The Spy Strikes back, One on One, Minit Man, The Quest, IFR Flight simulator, Starblazer, Ultima IV..

 

Mitä kaikkea teit Apple II:llasi?

Karttoja, tietokantoja, ohjelmointia, pelien pelaamista..

Olin Italiassa lomalla vuonna 1981 ja vettä satoi, niinpä kiertelin kirjakaupoissa ja löysin Applesoft kirjan josssa oli kokojoukko kiinnostavia ohjelmaesimerkkejä. Aikakausilehdissä oli esimerkkejä äänien ohjelmoinnista ja tonttikartan piirtämisestä. Hieno sattuma ja antelias sade. 

 

Olet myös luennoinnut tietotekniikasta?

Etelä-Suomessa kävin pitämässä muutamia esityksiä 1983-85 Apple ][:sta ja tietokoneavusteisesta suunnittelusta sekä digitalisaatiosta. Jotku kuulijat hämmästyi asiasta ja jotkut kotipaikastani. Jotkut piti häpeällisenä, että Lapista tulee ukko puhumaa muka asiantuntijana..

Toissakesänä ostaessani vanhan niittokoneen tapasin miehen, joka sano olleensa minun kurssilla ja todenneen silloin vaimollekin, että “olipa turha kurssi”. Nyt oli perunu kantansa ja totesi lastensakin värkkäävän niitä juttuja tietokoneilla aamusta iltaan.

YLE:n toimittaja teki minusta jutun radioon. Myöhemmin tehtiin Koulu-TV:n ohjelmaa koululla pari päivää. Ohjelma esitettiin pari kertaa parhaaseen katseluaikaan. MTV kävi myös kuvaamassa uutispätkän talonsuunnittelusta.

 

yle

Ylen arkistossa on 1985 koulujen uusien työvälineet:
https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2014/08/14/tietokoneet-koulujen-opetuksen-tukena

Siinä on video Lapin keskusammattikoulun tietotekniikan käytöstä. Meidän osuus alkaa n.12 min kohdalta.

 

Olet tehnyt ja julkaisuut ohjelmia Apple II:lle, kertoisitko niistä?

 

aapi_juntura_3d_house_building_s

Koska Applessa oli piirrosominaisuudet, ilmeistyi eräänä lauantaiaamuna elementtitalokauppias ja halusi laitteen ja ohjelman, joka tekisi osan hänen töistään tai arkirutiineista. Samalla se olis myyntivaltti, tietokoneella tehty. Syötiin, saunottiin ja pällisteltiin laitteita, käytiin saunassa ja talokauppias lähti junalla takasin.

Katselin talotoimittajien elementtejä. Niiden leveys oli 30cm kerrannainen, siis, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 ja 180 cm. Sellaisten pohjakuvat ovat simppelit ja 1/10 kokoisina näyttöön sopisi koko pohjakuva. Ensin piti tehdä elementtien valmistus ja sitten niiden käyttö (valinta, siirto, kääntö). Tekstit ja mitat piti sijoittaa. Kuvan tallennus bittikarttana ja elemettien tietokantana tarvittiin myös. Tietokantaan lisäilin vielä ominaisuuksia, esim. hinta. Yllättäin pohjakuvasta syntyi myös sivut ja päädyt sekä kustannusarvio. Talotoimittajalle en saanut puuhaa opetettua niin, että hän olisi sillä taloja myynyt. Tulos nolla.

Tarjosin ohjelmaa ohjelmistopankille ja laitoin hinnaksi esim. 20 000 mk, siis yhden Apple ][:n hinnan. Yllätyin kun he maksoivat ja saivat ensimmäisen CAD-ohejlman käyttöön (Computer Aided Design).

 

Kirjoitit myös Applekäyttäjien “Omenahyve”-lehteen, miten ja milloin aloitit ja mitä artikkelisi koskivat?

artikkeli_ho

Artikkelit Omenahyve-lehdessä ilmestyivät vuosina 1982-1988 ja ne koskivat mm. seuraavia aiheita:

-Automaattinen Piirtäminen (Apple Graphics Tablet, Watanabe-piirturi)
-Ananaksen Osto (Taiwanilainen Apple II+ klooni)
-Apple Soittimeksi (La Mela Musicale)
-Joystickin teko
-Kuvioiden teko
-Varavirtalähde Appleen
-Kirjakritiikki 
-Taulukointiohjelmat
-Televisiosta monitori
-EPROM ohjelmointikortin tekeminen
-Mikrotietoavusteinen pientalosuunnittelu
-Pääte monitoriksi
-Kopiointi ohjelmat
-Peliportin laajennus

joystickin_tekeminen_s

Omenahyve lehdet löytyvät skannattuna pdf:ksi : https://archive.org/search.php?query=omenahyve (joskaan tiedostojen koko on SUURI).

Kirjoitin myös “Valokynä”-lehteen parin sivun jutun talonsuunnittelu-ohjelmasta.


Olet kirjoittanut myös tietotekniikka-kirjoja?

kirjat

mm. “Mikrotietokone tutuksi” (Ammattikasvatushallitus, Valtion Painatuskeskus) Ammattikasvatushallitus tarjosi koululle ryhmätyöksi oppikirjan tekemistä. Muut kieltäytyivät, keräsin aineistoa pari sataa sivua ja pyysin lausuntoa silloiselta rehtorilta ja koko aineisto hävisi sen siliän tien. Ehkäpä se ei ollut hyvä, joten tein toisen luonnoksen enkä antanut sitä enää muille.

Kirjoittelin ja kuvasin sekä rasteroin aineiston. Tulostin sovittimen läpin kiekkokirjoituskonelle tekstit. Liimasin rasteroimani kuvat varattuihin aukkoihin ja pojan viivapiirroskuviakin liitin mausteeksi. Lähetin A5-koisen kirjasen tilaajalle. Oikolukija  oli varsinainen pilkun nussija. Kansikuvakin oli muutettu mielisairaan näköiseksi naiseksi..

Joten tein kirjan toiseen kertaan. Sitähän myytiin tuhansia kappaleita ja otettiin toinenki painos. Taisin saada tästä työstä tuntipalkaa saman mitä koulun siivoojat. Kateellisia kaksinverroin. Pari kehuakin kuulin. Joku sukulainen oli Oulun Yliopistolla hämmästyny, että Aapin kirjaa käytetään luennon pohjaksi. Jyväskylään menin kurssille ja siellä oli kirjastani kopioitu 20 sivua minulle opiskeltavaa.

 

Mitä Apple ][ jälkeen?

pc-v30-1984_s

Etsin laatikosta kuvia ja löysinkin. Siitä selviää miksi Apple][ jäi sivuraiteelle. Se oli parempi kuin IBM-PC mutta huonompi kuin Olivetti M21. Muunneltavuutta matkivat monet valmistajat. Kopiokoneen pelleistä tein PC–V30 (8086-klooni, 10Mhz), korppu ja lerppu-asemat, HP:n vanha virtalähde. Näyttokortin teksti 80/24 ja tarkkuus 640*240 (muistaakseni) ja TV toimi näyttönä. Muutaman 14″-monitorin tilasin Saksasta ilman koteloa, myös koululle. Peltikuoret tein itse. Toimivat vieläkin, vuonna 2019.

Applen Macintosh ei ollut käytännöllinen kouluissa joissa oli monenmoisia oheislaitteita ja käyttötarpeita.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.