Category Archives: Projects

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.

Moving to the “bunker”

moving_2_sI am in a process of moving my work/hobby-room to another floor, the 1st floor of our house which will mean some major reorganizing. The space should be slighly larger but i am not sure yet how it work out. And yes, the walls are pink, but they’ll be covered with Apple ][ flag, bookshelfs and such so i wont bother painting them white, yet.

Slight problem being the lack of ethernet/wifi access due thick walls and doors (it’s ½ underground) but i have few ideas to get it done. It’s nothing major in the end. Just tinkering around.

I’d love the name “8bit Bunker” but that name’s been reserved by Michael Mulhern 🙂 So i’ll have to come up with something else. I’ll call it for now just “bunker” that’s what it feels like (not a bad thing really).

moving_1_s
I’ll add 3rd Ikea-billy bookshelf there as there’s space & i need shelf-space. I am not showing here the total chaos the room is now at… this was just beginning when there was virtually nothing yet carried in 🙂

Moving:
One always underestimates the effort needed! I can’t believe how much work it all was. Really.
I thought i didn’t have “that much stuff” in my work/hobby room but oh boy, was i amazed! Slight suprise was that the “bunker” room was not as tall (i knew it, just didn’t relalize the measurements) so some stuff i kept in top of the bookshelfs, wont fit there anymore. I’ll work it out no problem.

I think for the beginning i’ll setup these units in use:
– Apple //e platinum (my main Apple rig)
– Apple IIgs (ROM3)
– Apple /// (this baby is so big & heavy so either it’s on table or stored in the floow heh).
– Atari 800 / Commodore 64 (swap in area)

 

Floppies, who could live without them in 2017?

Obtained literally thousands of 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppies lately for Apple II and Apple IIgs and this  where it ends to. Total chaos in desktop which is perfectly fine and normal. I love floppies!

This time it’s basicly all non-originals so there’s not much work for 4am’s absolutely stunning preservation software “Passport”. I’ll write an post later with more details about the process i use.

overview_invasion_of_floppies

Passport by 4am:
https://archive.org/details/Passport4am

CFFA3000 by R&D Automation, LLC.
http://dreher.net/?s=projects/CFforAppleII&c=projects/CFforAppleII/main.php

ADTPro by David Schmidt:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net

Ciderpress (Windows):
http://a2ciderpress.com