An Apple man through and through

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An Apple man through and through

Postby gavo on Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:12 pm

Hi All,

Now if the subject of this post had been the subject of a message on a BBS in the mid eighties we would all be kiting up in our flame retardent suits and wading right in :) Alas, today I am not an Apple man at all, never having touched anything capable of running OS X - in fact the last Mac I owned in anger (as it were) was a PowerMac 6100 and it ran MacOS 7.5.5 if I recall - and that was quite a few years ok.

I was a big fan of the Apple IIe and original compact Mac's - the Plus was an absolute classic in retrospect (wish I still had mine). In my younger years (although I dont think I'm that old ;-) ) I collected quite a range of old Apple kit. I had an Apple III, a Lisa 2/10, an Apple IIe (my original computer), an Apple II+, an DSE Cat (a IIe clone), a Mac 128k (my parents original) and a number of other interesting bits and pieces (including some non apple stuff like an Amiga 1000 and various odds and ends like Vic 20's, ZX81's etc). I didnt really collect for collecting's sake, I'd just really liked playing with this kit and as I got older it got cheaper (i picked up my Lisa 2/10 complete with Lisa OS and office suite + all the manuals for $80). I'm not a hard core retro coder or anything, really I was just a user and when I play with this old stuff today its in that same capacity.

Unfortunately for me, as I ran out of room to have my stuff setup, moved about and generally got older - I got rid of pretty much all this stuff - always assuming that I'd just be able to pick it up again in the future if I wanted to - didnt really comprehend how hard and (in some cases) expensive that might be.

Never mind tho. Emulation is quite good for the most part and for a user like me thats pretty much ok. I do prefer the real kit if I can get it - but current space (and time) limitations restrict me a bit in that regard - I'm not really one for having stuff boxed up in the cuppboard - I like it out where it can be used at a moments notice :)

I do have a couple of interesting items however to keep me assumed - one is a 128K mac that I've managed to get working (yay) and the other is a LC475 with an Apple IIe emulation card (complete with Y cable and 5 1/4" floppy drive) - so with those two units I get to relive much of the fun stuff I used to love back in the old days.

BTW, I'm glad I found this site - I was just thinking a couple of weeks back that it would be great to have a local retro computing source/fourm - and look, here it is! :)

Cheers,
gavo
 
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby tezza on Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:21 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for posting.

I knew almost nothing about the Apple II line of computers until I was gifted a whole lot of non-working ones (see http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2008-9-04-a-load-of-old-apples.htm). If you have to fix these things you soon learn a bit about them :)

In that lot, I also received a lot of club literature. The Apple user groups always seemed to be very dedicated and enthusiastic. I find it interesting though that many Apple II users embraced the Mac (or maybe this is just my perception). The Apple II line was fairly open and you could get close to the hardware and software. It was a true hobbiest machine. Unlike the Mac, which was completely the opposite!

Terry (Tez).
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby gavo on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:53 pm

tezza wrote:I knew almost nothing about the Apple II line of computers until I was gifted a whole lot of non-working ones (see http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2008-9-04-a-load-of-old-apples.htm). If you have to fix these things you soon learn a bit about them :)


Ahh Yes, nice - I am jealous :)

tezza wrote:In that lot, I also received a lot of club literature. The Apple user groups always seemed to be very dedicated and enthusiastic. I find it interesting though that many Apple II users embraced the Mac (or maybe this is just my perception). The Apple II line was fairly open and you could get close to the hardware and software. It was a true hobbiest machine. Unlike the Mac, which was completely the opposite!


Yeah, it seems by and large the Apple user base are a loyal bunch - this loyatly I'm almost certain grew from the Apple II line and the way in which the computer was developed, sold and used. I think it's fair to say that you'll find a resonable number of Apple II users who are still Mac users today. I suppose the once the writing was on the wall and the anguish around the axing of the Apple II line in favour of the Mac line (despite Apple II sales proping up Apple during the early years of the Mac) became accepted a number (not all) of Apple II users migrated to the more modern Mac - and by that time the Mac was more comparable to the old Apple II's (having become available with colour and external monitors, and one model even sporting an Apple IIe emulation card).

It does still amuse me that Apple continued to produce and sell 8 bit Apple II's into the 90's

It really was a great computer.
gavo
 
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby tezza on Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:31 pm

gavo wrote:.........
It does still amuse me that Apple continued to produce and sell 8 bit Apple II's into the 90's

It really was a great computer.


One thing that surprises me is that it didn't seem to produce the number of sophisticated DOS's the likes of the TRS-80/System-80 line did around the same time. I was surprised how primitive the likes of DOS 3.3 actually was when I came to play with it. Even PRODOS. However, I think I know why. It probably had a lot to do with the apple disk II drive. The TRS-80 DOS's had to contend with all manner of disk densities and disk types (double sided, single sided, 40 track, 80 track) so needed the sophistication. Apple II drives were different, and the old DISK II format lasted unchanged for a while. DOS 3.3 did the job and didn't use much code so it was quite suitable.

Also, the original TRS-80 DOS (TRSDOS) wasn't so hot, so there was impetus for better DOSs to fill the market like NEWDOS, DOSPLUS, MULTIDOS and LDOS to name just a couple.

Were there any popular third party DOS's for the Apple II line, as there were for the TRS-80 Model I/III?

Terry (Tez)
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby Carcenomy on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:48 pm

The Apple II axing was ridiculous, but sensical. If you think about it, a loaded IIgs would give a Mac from the same vintage one hell of a run for its money (in fact the IIgs would have come in a little cheaper if I recall right). If Apple kept it, the thing would have pushed the Macintosh out of the picture I reckon. But hey, at the end of the day the Mac's 68k architecture was the better design (and didn't last long before the PowerPC revolution of course)...

Must... get... IIgs... back!
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby tezza on Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:42 pm

Carcenomy wrote:Must... get... IIgs... back!


Yes, it's a real shame the Apple IIGS I was given had a bad case of battery leak. They look like really interesting machines.

In the 18 months I've been watching I don't think I've ever seen one appear on Trade me

Tez
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby Carcenomy on Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:59 am

Holy crap Tez, that's worse than most the Amiga 4000 battery leaks I've seen. And some of those were pretty bloody rough... major shame though, the IIgs's were seriously lovely little machines. That said, there was one on TradeMe that was pretty much fully kitted out a few weeks ago. Sold for crack money of course ;)
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby tezza on Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:24 pm

Yea I did consider salvaging it. When I inspected it closely I found tracks, capacitors and ICs damaged beyond repair. I removed what socketed ICs there were and then binned it. I kept the top of the case. It was a little yellowed and I thought I might use it in one of my de-yellowing trials.

It is a real shame as it was boxed also. The brown liquid dripping from the bottom of the box was not a good sign though. :)

It's a lesson to all collectors of these machines to check their batteries regularly. A couple of weeks ago, I replaced all the original batteries in the Macs in my collection. Better safe than sorry.

Tez
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby gavo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:58 am

tezza wrote:
gavo wrote:Were there any popular third party DOS's for the Apple II line, as there were for the TRS-80 Model I/III?


There were several 3rd party DOS's for the Apple II that largely were focused on increased speed, extra functionality etc and as I remember they were quite popular. When ProDOS came along I think they pretty much all died out (or became redundant) - although I'm not an expert so dont necessarily quote me on that :). Of course some custom ones probably still survived on commercial titles where they tried different mechanisms to protect software from copying.

I'd have to say I'm actually as reasonably big fan of ProDOS 8 (the 8 bit version) from a user point of view anyway. It seems there was some quite reasonable insight into what a DOS required and as a result its quite usable even today - certainly from the perspective of supporting mass storage and generic IO devices.
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby gavo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:03 am

tezza wrote:Yes, it's a real shame the Apple IIGS I was given had a bad case of battery leak. They look like really interesting machines.


If you've still got the case you could consider bringing in a mobo from the US - they are cheap as chips over there (and just as common). It would be a NTSC version, but from what I understand this wont really matter unless you want to run it through a TV (most modern TV's will do both PAL and NTSC these days anyway I think).

tezza wrote:In the 18 months I've been watching I don't think I've ever seen one appear on Trade me


LOL. I sold my woz edition ROM 01 on trademe for $40 or something (quite some time ago) - was a bit rough (but worked). At the time I didnt think they were so rare!
gavo
 
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby gavo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:07 am

Carcenomy wrote:the IIgs's were seriously lovely little machines. That said, there was one on TradeMe that was pretty much fully kitted out a few weeks ago. Sold for crack money of course ;)


Yeah, I always wanted a GS - but by the time i could afford one technology had really moved on quite some way - so it wasnt as much fun as I'd hopped - great little machine, but when I think about retro computing these days, I prefer the IIe - although the IIgs is a superb IIe also (faster, more built in stuff) :)
gavo
 
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby tezza on Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:10 am

Unfortunately I've only got the TOP of the case. The bottom had been damaged by the battery acid.

They could be more popular on Trademe than I think? I've been watching the Vintage Computer section where some APPLE units occasionally appear. I haven't been monitoring the APPLE section of Trademe, where sometimes you'll see vintage machines.

Tez
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby Carcenomy on Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:13 pm

Tellsya what, I'd love to lay my hands on the even less common IIgs - the IIgs conversion kit to suit the IIe chassis. Apple sanctioned even!

I'm not sure that any conversion kits came over in the end sadly.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby gavo on Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:12 pm

Carcenomy wrote:Tellsya what, I'd love to lay my hands on the even less common IIgs - the IIgs conversion kit to suit the IIe chassis. Apple sanctioned even!

I'm not sure that any conversion kits came over in the end sadly.


Now that would be cool! I'm positive that some of these did make it to NZ - I remember going to the Apple store (from memory it was actually Apple back in those days - not a 3rd party) located right next to the St Lukes shopping centre in Auckland and talking to the people there about one. I was considering it as an upgrade from my IIe, but sadly it too was quite expensive.

A little limiting too - you couldnt use the memory expansion slot when it was installed in the IIe (it might not have even been on the board from memory) because of the design of the IIe case, also I think there might have been PSU issues to consider. Still it would have still be damn cool.

No doubt a lot of this type of stuff is simply sitting in land fills now.

Stink.
gavo
 
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Re: An Apple man through and through

Postby Carcenomy on Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:26 pm

Oh most certainly. And what's not in landfills will have been dropped off at an E-Day, where it will promptly be thrown on TradeMe at massive markup, just like all the Amigas... that really slags me off.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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