Category Archives: Nordic

Kasettilamerit: rescuing Turku GameLab Apple II disk collection:

screen-shot-2019-02-13-at-22-44-59

Turku Gamelab borrowed about 80 pcs of Apple II 5.25″ floppies to be preserved. Some of the disks were original, some typical “backup” material that went from hand-to-hand among the hobbyists back in 80’s. Most likely most of the material is preserved already, but.. who knows. Just in case.

The floppies were read with Applesauce device and saved as .a2r and then converted to .woz, the format that is more useable. Most emulators read .woz files thesedays as well some hardware devices to be used the the real Apple II hardware.

Some images had personal information so they were excluded from the collection.

Most intresting find was those few graphical rolling on-screen demos made for Finnish electronics retailer “Mustapörssi”. There were demos for “Access //” and “AppleWorks”programs. Mustapörssi sold Apple II’s in mid to late 90’s, atleast //c and IIe.

AppleWorks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzAFmMdWzmY

Access //:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRv_-HY6dW0

The collection is downloadable at:
https://archive.org/details/TurkuGameLabAppleIICollection

The .woz files can be loaded with emulators like: OpenEmulator (macOS), Virtual II (macOS), MAME, microM8, EPPLEII.

Or with card readers for real Apple II’s like: wDrive or Floppyemu.

 

Finapple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever

 

Apple Plot med Apple Plot Kurvor Och Diagram:

002_s

Recent find, this time nice sealed software with Swedish manual (to be scanned):

Apple Plot (Sealed)

-Manual (English)
-Apple Plot Kurvor Och Diagram (Gylling & Co. AB, 1981, In Swedish)

 

001_s

Apple Plot is a program that allows you to create, manipulate, display and print graphs and charts.

 

003_s

I didn’t open the shrink wrap and test the floppy. I do however have the floppy and manual already in my collection.

 

Hope to find more Nordic Apple II and /// material!

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

My Nordic Apple ///

closeup_keyboard_1_s_s

One thing i’ve wanted to find for ages, but with such a little luck so far, was Apple /// that would have the localized keyboard (Swedish/Finnish) but those have been oddly difficult to find. Apple ///’s were not by far popular (business) computers in Nordics area and most ///’s seem to have have.. failed and recycled long long time ago.. 

In Sweden, they must have sold more ///’s than elsewhere in Nordics area as they did produce and translate software manuals in Swedish. I have few software packages that have Swedish manuals included in the package. This makes me wonder, what other products there might have been released?

But yes, patience is a virtue.. and i was finally able to find one! With the strike of luck i was able to locate one from Sweden and it was very kindly, shipped to me.

The case is in fairly good condition but naturally some yellowing is evident. There’s some sticker glue residue that should be easy to clean off as well one sticker that have fell off and reveals much lighter color beneath it. The Apple /// logo oddly seems to loose it’s color so often but it’s easy to repaint with silver paint pen.

..and with the ///’s, one should not expect to have stable unit.. very easily.

DETAILS AND SPECIFICATIONS:

bottom_plate_s
Bottom pan metal – “wavy” kind = early A2S1-era of models.

keyboard_layout_s
Swedish/Finnish keyboard layout is quite different from the typical US model.

apple_iii_keyboard_swedish_s
Swedish/Finnish-layout:

apple_iii_keyboard_us_s
US-layout:

 

serial_s
Serial number: A3S1-020817
12v, 128k model originally according to the serial label. It looks like it’s been upgraded to 256k (markings)so the board would have been upgraded to 5v as well.

psu_back_codes_s
Regular european power supply: PSU 220VAC | 50-60HZ | 0.5AMP
Should really replace the powersupply with universal powersupply from reactivemicro.

OPENING AND CLEANING:

Just basic cleaning to be done before testing.

I opened the case and removed things that actually can be removed. The Apple /// case is one heavy construction that weights about 12 KG when assembled. The only parts that come off easily are : the top case (plastic), keyboard cover (plastic) and the keyboard assembly itself, floppy drive, the main logig board (with the base pan attached) and the power supply (with base pan attached).

case_empty_opened_s
The rest of it is the very heavy, one piece, casing that holds all these components. I don’t know what they were thinking when they designed this case – it makes so little sense to create such closed enclousure without basicly any ventilation holes anywhere. Not even for the power supply, expect in back, but if you have four cards installed… no holes anywhere. They might have been thinking passive cooling with the basicly one-piece heavy metallic enclosure but.. it just doesn’t work very well.

apple_iii_arrived_condition_s
Top case:
Removed the top case and cleaned it. Some label-off spray was good choise for removing the sticker glue residue. There were also one sticker that was obiously removed and underneath the plastic was lighter in color. Only Retr0brightning would solve that one if would retr0bright whole enclousure. It doesn’t bother me that much really. It is kind of mark of the past, lived life.

case_empty_opened_keyboard_s
The keyboard seems to be missing few screws underneath the case. Need to find replacements for those. Used some wipes and compressed air to get rid of all that dust and crust from the there. I was lazy at this point to actually wash the keycaps (will do so before putting it back together…). The spacebar seems to have some issues as it seems to lock down from left side easily. Need to investigate that mechanism how it works and give it good cleaning.

main_logicboard_s
Removed the board from the case and investigated it. It looked fine and normal. While it was removed, it’s always good idea to press down all the chips.. (remove static electricity first or use the wrist band) and clean it up with isoprophyl alcohol if available.

upgraded_chips_logicboard_s
The board was originally 12v model but it was upgraded to 5v operation by swapping few IC’s at locations:
C11 (341-0044 > 341-0061)
C13 (341-0042 > 341-0063 (for 256K memory board)

position_r58_modification_s
Also the location R58 have been modified as it’s clearly been desoldered.

“Also the R58, which is located just above location C13. On a 12-volt logic board a 27 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor will be present. On a 5-volt logic board R58 will be missing and a solder bridge will connect the small solder pads on the logic board under R58’s mounting position on the board.”

ram_expansion_5v_256k_s
As the main logig board was upgraded to 12v > 5v – the memory board were upgraded to 256k 5v board.

 floppy_drive_s
Just removed the protective cover and the analog board, cleaned it with compressed air and some parts with isoprophyl alcohol. The read-in head was really amazingly clean, but cleaned it as well.

internal_floppy_drive_serial_s
Floppy drive serial nnumber.

 psu_manuf_date_s
Power supply ooked really clean. Made in week 51, 1980. The protection around the power cable seems bit worn, but i’ll put an another layer in top of it for time being.

apple_logo_s
Repainting the logo. Silver paint pen is great for this. Paiting with slightly dry tip of the pen gets it done. Easy fix.

 

So.. let’s hope it works….

 

SOME BASIC TESTING:

12-volt models have diagnostic’s in ROM so that’s what it goes into when it’s botted without the disk. It passes it OK.

first_hardware_test_ok_s
I tested booting the /// with the test disk, “Confidence test”. It booted fine and tested the system without any issues. The RAM test went thru nicely, i didn’t however run it with extensive period of time in this point but long enough to see if there would be any instant issues.

However when rebooting, sometimes the unit feels like it’s not receiving enough current so it seems to fail loading the screen and it get’s all messed up. Also some buzzing sound (getting louder) could be heard. I think all ///’s make strange noises..  Also the keyboard light seems to have been burned off. That means when the unit is started, it goes directly to the diagnostics mode and in order to boot it, one needs to hit reset+control to boot it. The burned lightbulb does not prevent using the computer, it’s just annoyance.

But i went for the safe way and ordered the proven, high quality, “universal power supply” from reactivemicro.com.  It’s very easy to install and you can order new connection cable as well. Should receive it in few weeks, i hope.

adjusting_the_drive_speed_s
I kept testing the unit with known risk of the power supply releasing the “magic white smoke” anytime.. and realized the floppy drive might need some mainantace, so i just did what i’ve done with my other ///’s. Started with obious reasons, swapped the IC “CA3146” and it helped the loading process. Then adjusted the speed and the disk hardware test went thru just fine. Booted also the Apple ][ Emulation mode and “Oidzone” the game by Michael Packard, played fine. It’s still picky when/what type of disks it would read..

adjusting_knob_s
Adjusting the drive speed: 

logo_repainted_s_s
The original logo was worn off so i painted them with silver paint pen. It wasn’t perfect and might need some rework, but it’s pretty ok so far.

wap_disk_keyboard_files_s

After i found the Swedish/Finnish -keyboard layout file (apple3.org: APPLE-3-WAP-SYS-02B.dsk) i tried to make working disk that the Nordic one would read. No dice. It just wont read them! I does read mostly all other floppies i have made for the ///’s but the new ones, no. Odd. ADTPro works with Uthernet II but for some reason when i try to Receive the file, it crashes ($A01). All hardware tests are ok. After a while (kept it running for longer time) it starts to refuse booting, giving random video errors and characters on screen. This is a sign to put it aside, and wait, for the Universal power supply to arrive. I could.. of cause, borrow one power supply from an another /// of mine. Let’s see if i get around doing so. 

What is left to be done?
-Install the new Universal Power supply.
-Keyboard light bulb replacement
-Test the keyboard layout.

 

NORDIC MATERIAL WANTED!

I hope to find more Nordic Apple /// software and manuals etc. I have the devices to preserve the materials either by scanning or reading floppies to disk images (.dsk/.ar2/.woz) with Applesauce.

Any help is very much appreciated with this task. It would mean a lot for me.
Thank you.

 

LINKS:

Apple3.org 
https://www.apple3.org 

Universal Power Supply
https://www.reactivemicro.com

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever.