Category Archives: EPROM

Custom fonts for your Apple II : MultiFont-ROM

setup_1

MultiFont-ROM is custom ROM in a adapter that comes with push button & potentiometer to change the font that is currently used by the system. The font can be changed on-the-fly. There is total of 8 different fonts pre-installed and selectable by the user. 

It is designed to work with Apple //e, //e enhanced – PAL or NTSC.

It comes with:

– The adapter with the EPROM chip installed and preprogrammed (27256).
– Potentiometer with adjusting knob and wiring.
– Push button with wiring.

 

INSTALLING:

installation_pal_e_s

The PAL and NTSC Apple //e’s are little diffferent so the installation is a bit different to each as well. When installing, some revisions of the main logic board might have the lower quality plastic sockets that require more force when installing the adapter. Be carefull not to break any pins.

PAL Apple //e
Locate the VIDEO ROM (341-016X-A) and replace it with the MultiFont-ROM.
On PAL Apple //e the main logic board the socket is 28-pin so you need to install the adapter so that the pins 1,2 and 27, 28 are NOT CONNECTED.

NTSC Apple //e
Locate the VIDEO ROM (341-016X-A) and replace it with the MultiFont-ROM. On NTSC Apple //e the main logic board the socket is 24-pin so it can be installed directly.

Buttons/Potentiometer:

The push button cable can be connected to either of two pins of the adapter (it doesn’t matter if it’s left or right alligned).

With potentiometer the orientation doesn’t matter either, you can install the cable either way to the connector. The MultiFont-adapter will auto-detect type of connected control device.

The buttons can be routed out of the case in few ways, either from the back side and out using the slot holes, or simply thru the vent holes. Unless you’re Hot Rodder and run your Apple //e without the lid .. 

 

HOW ABOUT USING IT?

With the push button installed, when you press the button, the font changes to next one. When you hold it for more than 2 seconds, the chosen font is saved as default and it is set as default font even after power cycle.

With potentiometer you can change font by rotating the wheel and the chosen font is defaulted.

The preprogrammed fonts on the ROM look like the following:

 font_8_s

font_7_s

font_6_s

font_5_s

font_4_s

font_3_s

font_2_s

font_1_s

 The fonts are useable in any software, anywhere. I played “Zork III” text adventure with different fonts and it was surely looked different. Not all fonts are suitable for such use as of playing games for example, but as the fonts are edit- and replaceable, the possiblities are endless.

zork_iii_5_s 
Zork III

zork_iii_4_s
Zork III

zork_iii_3_s
Zork III

zork_iii_2_s
Zork III

zork_iii_1_s
Zork III

 

SOFTWARE FOR MAKING/REPLACING FONTS:

There is downloadble software available for Windows, from a2heaven.com, writen by Plamen Vaysiov:

apple-ii-font-editor-software_s
FontEditor : to edit or design fonts of your own

combine_fonts_software_2
CombineFonts : to combine several fonts to single combined binary file.

You can add 8 different fonts to the binary. The ready binary then can be then burned to suitable EPROM-chip (eprom programmer needed) and used with the MultiFont-ROM adapter. I didn’t have any suitable EPROM-chips at hand time time, but i’ll be testing this when the order arrives from China..

 
THOUGHTS?

It is cool little device. It’s installed in the Video-ROM socket and you are able to use the Apple’s default font as well. The preprogrammed fonts are all different, including one Japanise. Design your own, edit the existing ones – possibilities are endless. Add your Apple II to have fonts from C64.. Atari… Spectrum… anything you want.

Change fonts because you CAN! Hackin’ away.

 

a2heaven_logo

MultiFont-ROM is available from a2heaven.com 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Apple //e custom eX ROM:

menu_s
What is it?

This custom ROM eX is a BETA enhancement to the enhanced Apple //e firmware ROM built by Michael Guiderro and available at : https://github.com/mgcaret/romex 

 

Features

Upon CONTROL+CLOSED-APPLE / OPTION+RESET, presents a menu allowing you to choose to enter the monitor
or start the boot a specific slot. Menu displays the type of card found in the slot.

Menu identifies Apple II workstation cards and correctly boots them by prompting to press OPEN-APPLE to start the boot.

DELETE key works like the left arrow in programs that read input lines using the monitor ROM.

 

Versions available:

Both custom ROM versions requires 65C02 or 658xx processor in your Apple //e. Unlike the Apple //c firmware, there is no free space in the //e firmware therefore some sacrifices must be made. There are two versions of the firmware available with different features removed:

“Sacrificing the tape code (‘no_tape’)”:
-This version has a terse menu in order to fit in the available space.
-The diagnostics may be entered by pressing both apple keys with CTRL+RESET.

“Sacrificing the diagnostic code (‘no_diags’)”:
-This version has a nicer menu that takes advantage of available space.

 

Building/programming:

You must build the binaries yourself. The github page have some tips how to build it. The built binaries however are available elsewhere as well if you look around.. 

– The //e have to ROM chips, CD and EF so two binaries are required, as well two EPROM chips to be burned.
– The //e platinum have only one ROM chip, so you can use just one EPROM and double the size of the binary by copying the binary twice on the chip.

I used the (thanks to Wyatt Wong) ready built binary file (no_tape) and copied the binary twice to new binary file in order to fill it into W27E257-12 EPROM chip.

 

Installing & using:

setup_s

This ROM can be run in emulators that allow specifying a custom ROM image. It is tested on Virtual ][ (OSX) by M.G.

I tested mine (no_tape) with Platinum //e and it worked fine. I could access the menu and choose slot i wanted to boot. Dropping into monitor worked as well as one would expect. I played some games, tested the Uthernet II card by telneting to BBS and played some music with MEGA Audio as well used the monitor to access the configuration menu. The CFFA3000 and FASTchip //e menu’s worked as well.

I had cards in my Platinum //e:

#7 CFFA3000 + CF 
#6 Disk II interface card 
#5 -disk ii virtual slot for CFFA3000-
#4 MEGAaudio
#3 Uthernet II 
#2 -empty-
#1 FASTchip //e 
#AUX RamWorks III+VGA adapter

IF only similar custom ROM would be done for the Apple /// allowing it to boot from external devices. NOW THAT would be lifesafer and so much needed. There’s lots of ///’s with internal drive issues as well if it would allow booting from sd-device from external connector would open whole new worlds using the ///. I have a dream..

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //e Forever.