Apple IIGS

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Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:54 pm

My Apple IIGS CPU Box has arrived from the Trade Me seller.

I'm pretty please so far. The box is ok and will be acceptable with a good clean/scrub. No dents, dings or scratches and not yellowed. All the expansion slot covers are present in the case.

Opening up reveals a board in very clean condition. There was a dead battery present but thankfully it hadn't leaked. Here is a picture with the battery, battery cover and PSU removed.

Image

I think this is a ROM 3 version. Whoo hoo!

I won't be testing it for the weekend as I have to dig out my screen, keyboard and mouse. Of course it might not work. The screen might not work either. I haven't tested it with anything yet. Anyway, we shall see....
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:49 pm

Lovely... it's also nice to see that your existing bits and pieces will be reunited with something functional. (presuming you can get 'er going)
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:10 pm

That's really clean Tezza. Chuck a nice new battery in there and have at it! If it's a runner you very well might just have a really nice IIGS on your hands.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:24 pm

Ok, I got off early from rehearsals so I decided to test the beast.

I had a spare battery lying around so installed that, closed up the case, hooked up to RGB screen, keyboard and one 5.25 inch drive with a PRODOS disk...and switched on.

It lives!! In fact is seems to work just perfectly! I got the screen boot message telling me I was using a ROM 3 version then it booted into PRODOS.

It's been going now for 45 mins without any sign of throwing a PSU cap or anything.

Yes, it's nice. Certainly the RGB monitor is WAYYYY better than the composite Apple Color Monitor I'm used to using on my IIe machines. Much, much crisper. Apple Panic looks so much better. The keyboard feels nice and I've even got used to the kinda stacked-blocks appearance of the unit. If I had grown up with Apple II culture I can see why I might want this machine. Even if fans just wanted to stick with Apple II/IIe software it's still nicer to use than those older units.

So...I'll need to do a few things before I photograph it and add it to my official collection. First, the monitor and keyboard are quite yellowed. Retrobright at some stage maybe...I'll think about it anyway. The case itself in NOT yellowed but it does have a few marks which may or may not be easy to remove. The old case IS yellowed. However it is not marked at all...if I retrobrighted that, the screen and the keyboard I will have a very nice looking machine indeed.

Eventually I'll photograph and add it to the official collection on the website. I've got a heap of IIGS software I'll need to drag out and explore at some stage too. Something to keep me busy when the show (CHESS) is over.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:12 am

Yeah the IIGS RGB is loads prettier and the way more modern ADB peripherals feel lots nicer to use. It's probably worth pointing out if you weren't already aware, that the IIGS was the first Apple to use ADB. Its keyboard is specific to the IIGS and in itself is reasonably highly sought after.

Sounds like you've ended up with one of the better IIGSes, and a runner? You're a lucky devil!
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:16 pm

Pictures or it didn't happen, right?

Here is a pic of the assembled unit but minus the mouse and 3.5 inch drive that also came with it. It's playing Apple Panic from an Apple II 5.25 inch disk. I was SURE I had some GS/OS disks somewhere but I can't find them. Not surprising really, as my software collection for my old machines is an uncatalogued mess! Anyway, I'll download GS/OS images from the web and try it out sometime.

You can see that both the screen and the keyboard need the retrobright treatment. Apart from that, it looks pretty good!

Image
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:46 pm

I found those PRO-DOS GS/OS disks. Labeled as System 6.0.1. I thought they were Mac disks. Anyway the full set is there and I had a good time tonight playing with the OS after attaching the Apple 3.5 inch drive. Very nice. Very Mac-like. I'm tempted to hook up one of my spare external SCSI drives to the GS at some stage. I do have a SCSI card, which I salvaged from the original battery damaged IIGS.

One question. I see the GS/OS desktop has PRODOS Basic on it. If clicked it goes into good old AppleSoft BASIC. Not in a Window though. It takes over the screen. The only way to get back to the desktop seems to be to reboot? Is there a more elegant way?
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby Carcenomy on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:36 am

Not that I'm aware of.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:00 pm

Yes, I've discovered (thanks to VCF) there is. You just type "bye" and the machine returns to GS/OS.

I knew there must have been some simple way to do it.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:23 pm

Admittedly the IIGS I spent lots of time using was a very early model, likely a ROM 0. It wouldn't actually run GS/OS, I'm suspecting not enough RAM.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:58 pm

I finally got around to adding the IIGS to my collection on the web. See
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... leIIGS.htm

I'm more impressed with the IIGS than I thought I would be. Still needs a Retr0Bright session though, a job earmarked for this summer sometime.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:01 pm

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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby tezza on Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:34 pm

I've been experimenting with ways to get a software library for the Apple IIGS.

ADTPRO is an option (worked well for my Apple II/IIe) but I've discovered there is a special (miniDIN8) cable required for the modem port. It's is not a standard 9 or 25 pin DB socket. Not having a cable I tried using a Super Serial card (SSC), first in slot 2 (the modem slot) then in slot 7 (which can take any card). Slot 2 didn't work at all. I wondered if I needed to somehow disable the built-in circuitry somehow. Slot 7 seemed to recognise the card, but ADTPRO still seemed to hang after transmitting only part of it's bootstrap material.

Anyway, I've decided not to persist with the SSC, even if I can get it working. Perhaps I just should get the proper IIGS modem cord (anyone got a spare one?). But then, maybe I really need a hard disk of some sort. I have a CMD SCSI card and could reformat one of my MAC external drives to a IIGS one but it's an old SCSI ROM version and reading around would suggest success is far from guaranteed with a ROM3 unit. Alternatively, someone suggested a CFFA 3000 which seems to be a modern solution, a little like the PetDisk. Looks good though but expensive. Has anyone had experience with this device?
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby Gibsaw on Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:20 pm

I have one of the CFFA3000 cards... absolutely. Highly recommend. You'll never use serial again, once you get to the point of being able to dump images on a usb stick.

It is also possible to order the serial cable from the guy who writes ADT pro.

At US$19.95, it's a little pricey for a serial cable, but he also gives pinouts, if you want to solder one up.
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Re: Apple IIGS

Postby gavo on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:32 pm

tezza wrote:ADTPRO is an option (worked well for my Apple II/IIe) but I've discovered there is a special (miniDIN8) cable required for the modem port.

I'm almost 100% sure this is the same port as used on the similar era Mac's (Plus and up, or maybe SE and up) so if you can find a modem cable for one of those you should be right.
tezza wrote:Not having a cable I tried using a Super Serial card (SSC), first in slot 2 (the modem slot) then in slot 7 (which can take any card). Slot 2 didn't work at all. I wondered if I needed to somehow disable the built-in circuitry somehow.

Yes. Enter the IIgs control panel (by Ctrl-OpenApple-Esc from memory) and set slot 2 to "Your Card" (or similar) - I'm a little hazy as its been a while, but google will help you with it.
tezza wrote:But then, maybe I really need a hard disk of some sort.

I've not used one but have heard good things about the CFFA3000.
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