Category Archives: Apple IIc

Apple //c (4100) variations

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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.

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

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

 

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And here, the European one.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //c Forever

Internal-External Drive Switcher for Apple //c:

parts_s

The Internal-External drive switcher from bigmessowires.com is two piece adapter kit for the Apple //c. It allows choosing the boot device with using a switch between internal or external device as the default booting (Slot 6) drive. This is specially usefull with emulators such as wDrive and Floppyemu as it allows booting the new format, .woz, copy-protected disk images created with Applesauce.

There is that Custom ROM x4 but it doesn’t solve the fact that some software are hard coded to boot from Slot 6. For //c that means installing the wDrive to the internal drive connector, OR using such hardware device as this one.

I wanted this to be used with the //c that i have the Mockingboard 4c installed already. This would make spendid, small, gaming machine (with VGA output added).

 

INSTALLING

adapters_installed_s

Internal:
Installed between the main logic board and the cable that leads to floppy drive. The smaller connecting cable from the adapter is then routed out of the case and installed to external adapter. The cable can be routed either thru the DB19 connector opening, composite adpater opening or vent hole of the case (might need some modding), anyway you choose.

External:
Installed into external floppy port and the cable is installed that comes from the internal adapter.

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The switch:
Switch in external adapter is ment for choosing what device/drive is active. Internal or external.

 

USING

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I have the adapter installed with //c that have Mockingboard 4c as well. I had to remove the DISK-II-LED adapter as it would not fit with the adapter installed nor i was sure if it would work either. I put the switch to “swapped”-mode (ext->int) and booted lots of proven working .woz files and they naturally loaded up OK. So the switch does what it’s advertised for. Also copied one floppy with booting from wDrive and writing it back to internal drive with CopyII+. Works perfectly.

The titles with Mockingboard support are bit hit-and-miss with the Mockingboard 4c. Either you need to try adjusting the slot before booting (from monitor) or use premodified images, but some do work directly as well after chosing the correct slot for the Mockingboard (4).

It is great feeling to have //c with .woz booting possibility, mockingboard and VGA output! This combination makes it great, small Apple II – gaming setup. Not sure what else even could be added?

Only waiting now for the Fastchip //c from a2heaven.com to be added to this setup, IF it fits.. it might be tight fit as it’s already pretty tight fit with the Mockingboard 4c… but it’s possible.

 

THOUGHTS?

The adapter works as promissed. Booting .woz files using wDrive works as one would expect. The installing is veryeasy. On the 20-pin connector on the main logig board installed adapter side was quite tight to install. Be carefull. If you want to load any disk images with the //c then this is kind of must. There’s otherways to boot from external devices, but this is baremetal option for that and it works always. This device is of of those kind of “must” have for Apple //c users.

 

bmow-title
Internal-External Drive Switcher for Apple //c is available from https://www.bigmessowires.com

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Fujitsu 12″ LCD POS display:

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Thanks to a friend, i got a tip of a nice small 12″ industrial POS (Point of Sale) LCD monitor with touch screen support, that would work and fit nicely with Apple II’s. The size and color felt just correct so i had to try one and buy it. These were previously used and cost around 39€ +shipping from Germany so total cost would not be that high. It arrived safely after a week and it was well packaged and in OK condition, just really few minor scratches barely notiseable at all. 

Specs of the display: 

Model: Fujitsu 3000LCD12 
-Size : 31,1 cm (12″)
-Resolution : 800×600
-Video inputs: VGA, DVI
-Audio: Audio-in
-Connectors: Powered pUSB 
-Touchscreen support
-Powersupply adaptor with powercable.

 
TESTING:

I tested the display with few of my II’s that have VGA-connectors:

apple_iic_setup_2_game_on_s
Apple //c (PAL) (VGA, a2heaven.com adapter) 

When the unit is connected to the AC it starts to whine/buzz very annoyingly. I am not sure if this that this unit is fawlty or it’s by design (hard to believe that). The whining noise does not disappear and it really prevents me using the display with VGA connected devices. I swapped the power extension, tried plugging it in different socket/room but it did not make an difference. To be sure, i also tested with modern PC laptop with VGA output on it, the same noise continued. So sad. The design was really nice and color suitable for Apple II’s.

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Apple //e platinum (NTSC) (VGA, RWIII-adapter) 

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Apple IIgs (NTSC) (ROM3, DVI, Nishida DVI-adapter) 

With DVI there’s no that whining/buzzing sound. The picture quality was as good as it would be with the DVI being digital. It fits nicely in top of the IIgs as well making it pretty nice setup all together.

AUDIO:

Apple //e platinum and MEGA audio:
Audio quality is weak as one would expect from such tiny speakers. There’s barely no bass and the sound is very thin.
These are just ment for beebs and such with POS systems and not great solution for gamers or users needing better audio quality.

Apple IIgs with Darksound:
No difference here. The same thin sound is outputed here as well. I would not use this monitor for gaming with these speakers.

THOUGHTS?

game_screen_s

These are ment for POS-systems so they are made for different purposes. The picture quality is quite ok and the colors are deep and resolution is fine no artifacts. The black is really black. With this model i could not find any adjustment’s that could be done as there is such with the 15″-model. This have touch screen support built-in but it’s not useable with retro-computers. The build quality is quite fine, expect i notised (keep in mind these are pre-used) the front panel went down if it was pressed. The stand is quite heavy duty made but you really need to diassemble it if you want to install the video cables but again, this is for the industrial use. The big problem i had with this was the whining-buzzing sound it outputted when the AC was plugged in. With DVI it disappears but with VGA it did not. So it really could not be used with VGA at all. The noise was just too annoying! I am not sure as of yet if i need to return it. If RMA requires me paying for the return shipping it might not just be worth it – cheaper and easier to buy an another if needed but i’m not going to get an another right now.

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Apple //c donation!

apple_iic_setup_s
I got this nice set of Apple //c goodies from ex. Apple II user, let’s call him here “Rancher Paul”. He used to be very active user and had Apple //c with 8Mhz Zipchip and even Apple IIGS (one of those few that got importedhere) but those are long gone now.

There were also bunch of floppies, but mostly private Appleworks-data disks so i imaged those first and delivered them to Paul.

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So this nice Apple //c then, i did what i usually do, i took it in parts, checked all details and parts and did basic cleaning and tested to be sure if it works or if there would be some repairing to do. 

apple_iic_in_sauna
For the case and the keycaps, i disassembled the whole unit and washed the whole case from all dirt it might have collected over the years. I don’t do retr0bright.. should try it some sunny summer? The sauna is good place to dry things up..

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I removed the caps and washed them well. I don’t use (should i?) the keycap puller tool, just regular screwdriver will do.

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..they do collect all kind of dirt on them over the years, or decades.
 

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One thing i hate with the //c is that darn spillover rubber protection mat.. 

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External drive,

Took the exeternal drive to parts and cleaned the case and the inner parts, the head and adjusted the speed.

connector_adapter_s
The external drive, Disk II, had quite clever adapter to DB19.

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The motherboard,

The board was quite clean but did some cleaning but not with isoprophyl alcohol in this case. It looked fine. It had the original ROM255.

apple_iic_working_s
Things back together and testing (with my own laptop-powersupply to be sure) and it worked fine. I did not attach VGA or composite color adapter so there’s no colors on screen.

apple_iic_ready_s
Nice Apple //c with original ROM255 (The Apple ][+ logo there just for the fun of it..)

 

Thank you Paul!

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Apple //c – Color video Modulator/Adapters:

There were several diffrent color adapters for Apple //c produced by Apple:

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PAL Modulator/Adapter
Model A2M4023 

The adapter is for PAL models for color video output and has composite out as well as RF-out. 

 

a2m4020_s

PAL Modulator/Adapter
Model A2M4020
P/N 825-0830-A

This will generate PAL colour (RF) output from NTSC //c.  With PAL //c with this adapter will only produce a monochrome picture. 

Modulator/Adapter
Model A2M4020
P/N 825-0817-A / 825-0816-A 

This is for NTSC model to generate color RF-output.

lecatmauve_s

Le Chat Mauve : //c RVB Peritel 
Model AM2M4020F
Made in France

 This is for PAL models and it have RGB, SCART-connector. 

back_both_s front_both_s connectors_s
Comparing the models in different angels.

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Custom ROM for the Apple //c and //c+

Now, what about the custom ROM then?

ROM 4X and 5X are enhancements to the Apple //c (4x) and Apple IIc+ (5x) firmware ROMs.

Basicly:
It adds the following features to the Apple //c and IIc+ firmware:

Identifies and reinstates a bootable (it must have something that looks like a boot block!) RAM disk from battery-backed expansion memory (see below), such as the RAM Express II+ from A2Heaven.

Provides a menu of various tools upon pressing CTRL+CLOSED-APPLE+RESET (or holding CLOSED-APPLE when powering up), that let you:

*Enter the monitor unconditionally.
*Reboot the machine (enter standard boot sequence).
*Zero the RAM card, in case it is corrupted.
*Execute the machine and RAM card diagnostics.
*Tell the machine to boot the SmartPort, the internal floppy drive, or an external floppy drive.

IIc only:
*The system drops to BASIC if no bootable device is found (this is the default behavior in the IIc Plus).
*Configure default boot device by saving a file on the RAM Disk.

IIc+ only:
*Menu control the built-in accelerator.
*Accelerator settings persist across resets.
*Build option to default the system to 1 MHz.

This firmware enhancement identifies a ProDOS boot block on the RAM disk and, if found, restores the appropriate screen holes to make the RAM disk bootable and prevent firmware or ProDOS from re-initializing it.


INSTALLING TO APPLE //C+

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ROM-installed:

It is easy to install. Just open the case and lift the original firmware ROM-chip from it’s socket, with tool of your choosing and insert the newly made ROM (EPROM) in same socket.

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I also installed an never used, Applied Engineering RamExpress to my Apple //c+ as the unit was opened. The card originally had 256k RAM (soldered) so i added some more. I was able to find from my stash just two (original) sets of (8 chips per set, 256k) “Apple II 256k Memory Expansion” boxes. Those were sealed but really they are ment for using so i had no ethical issues opening them. I could possibly lift some RAM from i.e. slinky //e RAM-card but that could be done later. Or most likely, i’ll replace this card with modern version, like A2heaven’s “Apple IIc RamExpress II+” that is the good option for the //c and //c+ users right now.

ae_ramexpress_installed_s
RamExpress installed:

My Apple //c+ now holds some modern upgrades:

-Universal Powersupply (from Mark Wise)
-VGA-adapter (a2heaven.com)
-Applied Engineering RamExpress (768k RAM) 
-FloppyEmu w/adapter (first rev.)

USAGE?

menu_accel_s

All these features are very welcomed to //c and //c+ users. For //c+ users, setting the CPU to 1 MHz even after reset is very handy when you want to keep the speed at 1 MHz. This is BIG plus feature. The annoyance of choosing the speed after every reset is infernal when you need to remember to do that!

Boot-control is really nice, there’s different needs for different media and options so choosing it from menu is so much more convinient. Loving this bigtime!

The RAM-card options are handy if you’re using one. 

This is everything in one place upgrade and absolutely MUST for //c+ users. Wonder what else there might be what could be accessed and configured?

More information & ROM-file downloads:

https://github.com/mgcaret/rom4x
https://github.com/mgcaret/rom4x/blob/master/story.md

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II forever.

 

Konttorikone-messut 1986

Konttorikone-messut (1986) was big retail show in downtown Helsinki, held in Messukuskus, Pasila.

These pictures are taken by unknown person and donated to me by Markku Jussila.

km1986
The stand of Mustapörssi have also an sign “Apple II Forever” and clearly an Apple //c there for display. But in 1986, as the Macintosh had arrived (and possibly here, Macintosh Plus) the Desktop publishing was the new big thing and Apple ][‘s started to fade away from mainstream.

km1986_5
Apple Computer stand and Mercantile Data Oy. What an nice big display there!

km1986_3
Introducing the Macintosh Plus i assume?

km1986_4No Apple ][‘s to be seen anymore…

km1986_2
Donation of Macintosh Plus?

macintosh
This picture is actually not releated to the topic itself, as this must be the first Macintosh 128k been given to the first owner (or intruction time) – but as this blog is not about Macintosh, i’ll just leave it here.. Historical importance is however valid.

Laser Shop!

Laser Shop sold Apple ][‘s as well, in this case, the Apple //c which got LOTS of ad’s in Microcomputer magazines trying getting back to the market. But.. Apple //c was quite expensive if you compare to the other 8-bits, like Commodore 64 or Spectrum whose ruled over the market before Amiga and then later Windows units.

laser-shop-ad

Z-RAM II for Apple IIc (Applied Engineering)

Nice ad for Applied Engineering “Z-RAM II” for Apple //c from Finnish microcomputer magazine “PRINTTI” which were just finally, scanned to PDF and can be found online.

Wonder how many of these actually were bought? I’ve never seen any so far.

zramfora2c

http://ae.applearchives.com/apple_c/z-ram_ultra_ii/z-ram_ultra_series_brochure.pdf

 

Update!
I managed recently found an Z-RAM II board! It was installed in German Apple //c (yet to be received).

apple_ii_c_z-ram-ii-card