CSA2 Part 1 - A2wiki
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CSA2 Part 1

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From: tdiaz-a(in_a_circle)-apple2-dotsero-org (Tony Diaz)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2,comp.answers,news.answers
Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.EDU
Followup-To: comp.sys.apple2
Subject: comp.sys.apple2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Part 1/4

Archive-name: apple2/faq/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: August 21 2007
Version: 5.1.38
URL: http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=CSA2_Part_1

The next section is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) posting of the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup. Copyright (c) 2007 by Tony Diaz (email: tdiaz-a(in_a_circle)-apple2-dotsero-org), all rights reserved. This document can be freely copied so long as 1) it is not sold, 2) any sections reposted elsewhere from it are credited back to this FAQ with the FAQ's copyright info and official WWW location ( http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=CSA2_FAQ) left in place.

This may not be the latest version of this FAQ-- this is an archived copy. For that, drop by http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=CSA2_FAQ

This FAQ may not be sold, bundled on disks or CD-ROMs, reprinted in magazines, books, periodicals, or the like without prior consent from the maintainer, Tony Diaz. Exceptions are explicitly granted for Juiced.GS and _The_Lamp. Email me for permission otherwise.

Big thanks to Nathan Mates, the previous maintainer of this comp.sys.apple2 FAQ, for allowing it to live on after his departure and anyone who took up that mantle before him.


Begin part 1 of 4

Contents

Section 1: Introduction

What's a FAQ?

8/10/97 Hi! Welcome to the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup! As the major usenet group for discussing all models of the Apple I, II and /// family, there are lots of questions that are asked fairly often. This document is an attempt to collect the most common answers and provide everyone with answers. 'FAQ' stands for "Frequently Asked Questions" [i.e. with answers], and therefore, that's what this is. It would be ideal if everyone read this before asking a question that's answered in here. Referring them to this FAQ is still a good idea even if they missed it.

I, Tony Diaz, took over the maintenance of this FAQ on June 9th, 2000 It mostly lagged at first, but a project has started to allow a group of volunteers to enhance this document. Want to help? Sign up for Wiki access at http://apple2.info/wiki and drop me an email expressing the desire to help out. Editing requires that your acct. is enabled. I just do not want to have to deal with wiki vandalism.

I hope it becomes a valuable resource. If not, what's it missing??


How do I get to comp.sys.apple2 and what is it? 8/30/96

comp.sys.apple2 (commonly abbreviated 'c.s.a2' or 'csa2') is a USENET newsgroup. Usenet is a service for transferring messages, called articles, in many different groups and hierarchies. USENET posts can originate from your local newsreader and spread to hundreds of thousands of machines throughout the world. You normally need some sort of internet connection on your machine or a connection to one to access usenet. Usenet is available as Google Groups, http://groups.google.com - enter 'csa2' in the search box and pick comp.sys.apple2. Create a Google ID or login and your visits will be recalled the next time you connect.

Usenet has its own set of FAQs and guidelines; please read the group news.announce.newusers for a good introduction. While the following list is not intended as a substitute for reading that group, this is a short list of guidelines culled from those lists:

1. Be relevant. Each newsgroup was formed to contain messages for a set of topics, so please try to respect that. Especially, do not post questions to a newsgroup for binaries (programs), and vice versa.

2. Be respectful of content size. If you are quoting a large article, please try and trim it down to only what is needed to respond to. Adding only a few lines to a few hundred quoted lines is annoying.

3. Keep your lines to a manageable length. Although modern newsreaders can use pretty fonts, most of usenet is still carried and read over terminals with 80 columns on the screen. Making sure your lines have a return every 70 or so characters lets your posts be quoted neatly.

4. Be terse with a .signature. Certain newsreaders let you attach a file automatically to the bottom of your posts. Anything over 4 lines and 80 columns per line is considered excessive.

5. Chain letters (especially those promising lots of money by sending a small amount to a few people, and adding your name to a list) are very much illegal and a quick way to get the IRS (or the local equivalent) to audit you. Do NOT participate in them.

6. Although news is something internet wide, everyone's connection is maintained by a local administrator. Ask them first if you are experiencing problems.

Back to the subject at hand, the Apple II newsgroups. There are several of them; here is a list of what they are and general guidelines for what is relevant on them.

comp.sys.apple2 - General discussion and questions relating to all Apple II's comp.sys.apple2.comm - Communications and networking related issues comp.sys.apple2.gno - Discussion of program GNO/ME for the Apple IIGS (UNIX for the Apple IIGS) comp.sys.apple2.marketplace - Buying, selling and promoting Apple II related products comp.sys.apple2.programmer - Discussion relating to any aspect of programming the Apple II series comp.sys.apple2.usergroups - Discussion relating to Apple II usergroups comp.binaries.apple2 - Public Domain/Shareware Software for all Apple II's. Only programs should be posted here comp.sources.apple2 - A moderated newsgroup for the posting of Apple // related source code comp.emulators.apple2 - Discussion relating to the use of Apple II emulation software/hardware on non-Apple II compatible system alt.emulators.ibmpc.apple2 - Mostly obsoleted version of comp.emulators.apple2

If your Internet provider does not carry any or all of the above newsgroups, but have WWW access, you may want to go to http://groups.google.com for reading and posting access to them. [Other access points may also exist.]

Comp.binaries.apple2 is a newsgroup used for ONLY non-commercial Apple II software. Questions and answers should be asked in comp.sys.apple2. Programs posted there may be Public Domain (may be used and copied freely), Freeware (similar to Public Domain except that the original owner retains the Copyright) or Shareware (the author expects you to pay for using it if you use for longer than some specified period of time).

Software distributed on comp.binaries.apple2 is expected to be a BinSCII text file containing a ShrinkIt archive. Please post a text description of your program and what it requires to run so people can tell if they want to download it or not. You may cross-post the description (only) to comp.sys.apple2. Remember, distribution of commercial software is illegal.

Comp.sources.apple2 is a newsgroup used to distribute Apple II source code. The posts in comp.sources.apple2 should be in Apple Archive Format. Contact jac@openix.com for details; an archive of all postings to it is at http://www.openix.com/~jac

Discussions concerning the software posted in these groups, or the methods of locating, decoding, or accessing this software, or questions on locating archive sites of this software, or any OTHER discussions are to be held in comp.sys.apple2. If someone DOES either intentionally or accidentally post to the binary/source groups, please respond only in email - do not compound the problem!

What other FAQs are available for Apple IIs and the internet?

The following are listed mostly alphabetically; they are composed of official FAQs as well as the most commonly viewed pages in my WWW FAQ directory:

http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Floptical - Applesoft Basic reference FAQ. http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Apple_II_CD-ROM - CDROMs and Apple IIs. http://www.gno.org/gno/ FAQ [For the GNO/ME multitasking environment for the Apple IIGS] http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=DOS Apple II DOS & Commands FAQ http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Floptical - Flopticals and Apple IIs. http://apple2history.org/ What is the history of the various models in the Apple II series? http://homepage.mac.com/appleblossom/hq/hcgs.html Steve Cavanaugh's HyperCard GS FAQ. h**p://www.teraform.com/~lvirden/Misc/apple2-languages.txt Apple II Programmmer's Catalog of Languages and Toolkits http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Pinouts Pinouts for many different Apple II connectors http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Sound - Apple IIGS sound and music capabilities. http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=IIgs_6.0.1 Reference of GS/OS System 6's filestructure, with notes as to which files are required, etc. http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Accelerator_16_bit - Upgrading and modifying Apple IIGS accelerators.

If you are looking for other FAQs or information in general: http://www.faqs.org/faqs Nice hypertext archive with searching abilities on all 'official' Usenet FAQs.


Section 2: What is an Apple II?

The Apple I

The original Apple was not much more than a board; only 200 were made. With only one expansion 'slot', you had to supply your own keyboard, monitor and case. It sold for $666.66, but now they are worth many thousand dollars apiece as a collector's item.

The Apple ][, ][+ and 'europlus'

The computers that started the Apple II line; the Apple ][ debuted in April 1977, and the ][+ in 1979. They were sold with 1 Mhz 6502 processors, a NTSC or PAL video out connector with ability to do 40x24 text (uppercase letters and punctuation only), High (roughly 280x192, 4 (only early ][s) or 6 fixed colors) and Low (40x48, 16 fixed colors) resolution color graphics, sound, plus they have 8 expansion slots to add peripherals. (Slot 0 was essentially reserved for RAM/ROM upgrades, though.) The ][ and ][+ were sold with anywhere from 4-48K of RAM. The first versions had Steve Wozniak's Integer Basic built into ROM, while later versions had the more powerful Applesoft Basic. Although a cassette tape interface was provided, most systems used the external 140K per side (manually flipping the disk to access the other side was extremely common) 5.25" Disk ][ drive. Common upgrades included adding joysticks or paddles, 80-column video cards (not the same as a //e 80-column card), more memory or faster processors (Transwarp, Zipchip, Rocketchip).

The 'europlus' variant is a ][+ with a differnt logo on the front case, and the ability to put out the video in black and white PAL format. Thus, they're not easily usable in the US, Japan, Korea, and other countries using NTSC video. There may be a more powerful RF adapter that allows the europlus to display color PAL images, but I'm not sure on this.

With 48 to 64K of ram, a ][ or ][+ can run most of the Apple II game classics, as well as thousands of pieces of software. Early versions of Appleworks (integrated Word Processor, Database, Spreadsheet) could be run on a ][ or ][+ with 128K and a program called PlusWorks.

Recommended configuration: 16K language card (in slot 0 with a ribbon cable running to the RAM) which extends the system to 64K RAM, an 80-column video card, shift key modification (allows the shift keys to be used), and modified character ROMs to do lower case. Early external hard drives, such as the Sider or Corvus can also be added. You can add memory in various ways, but 95% of Apple II programs that require 128K probably will not work in a ][ or ][+, no matter how much RAM you have-- they tend to require a //e or better.

The Apple //e

Released in January 1983, the //e ('e' for enhanced) became the mainstay of the Apple II line, being manufactured and sold into the 1990s. While it still had the 1Mhz 6502 when first released (mostly for compatability reasons with software such as games and the Disk ][ hardware), it had uppercase and lowercase text display built in, with working shift and capslock keys. (Early versions didn't have the shft key modification that was standard on the ][+, but it was standard in later versions.) The motherboard was also simpler due to custom chips, and had 64K RAM built in, and inherited all of the graphics modes from the ][+. Slot 0 was replaced by an 'Auxillary' slot for an 80 column card with optional extra ram. (The 'Extended 80 Column card' provided 80 display columns plus 64K more ram for a total of 128K; other vendors sold cards with more RAM, up to several megabytes of ram).

Several versions of the //e were released; the very first motherboard revision (written on the motherboard in the back, by the power-on led) as version 820-0064-A. The first change to this was one to the motherboard to allow 'Double Hires' (560x192 in black and white mode; 140x192 in 16 fixed colors mode) graphics display if an extended 80 Column board was installed. You will need a motherboard which is not revision 820-0064-A to do this.

The other main change, released in March 1985, and which can be done independently, such as to an original motherboard, was the ability to 'Enhance' the 'enhanced' Apple II. This was done to bring the //e's processor and ROMs up to the level that the Apple //c which had come out in April 84. This enhancement was accomplished by swapping 4 socketed chips on the motherboard: the CPU (6502 to 65C02, which provided more instructions, but the system speed remained the same), character generator (replaced a normally unused set of uppercase inverse characters by 32 graphical symbols useful for doing a GUI on the 40 or 80 column screen) ROM, and 2 ROM chips (Monitor/Applesoft). This upgrade could be done by a user; Apple (and later Alltech Electronics, FAQ section 10.2) sold the 4 chips. Most current Apple II software requires an Enhanced //e, and sometimes 128K too.

The easiest way to check if a //e has been enhanced is to look at the top line of the screen when it is powered up or rebooted. If it says "Apple ][", it is not enhanced. The enhanced computers will say "Apple //e". These enhancements were built into all subsequent releases of the Apple II, such as the IIc+, and IIGS; the //c was "enhanced" before the //e. (It is technically possible to swap some but not all of the 4 chips to get a partially enhanced system, but that is very rare, and should be avoided).

In 1987, a third major revision of the //e came out. This one has the Double Hires capable motherboard and is Enhanced, and is easily identifiable by the numeric keypad built into the platinum-colored case, which previous //es, ][+s, and ][s lacked. The motherboard also had some changes: one 16K ROM IC which replaced the two 8K Monitor ROM ICs (the CD and EF ROMs), two 64Kx4 RAM ICs replaced the eight 64Kx1 RAM ICs, the single-wire shift-key mod, and a miniturized version of the Extended 80 Column Card.

The above description of //e models is for the NTSC variants (video standard used by US, Canada, Japan), while there were also some PAL (Australia, Europe, etc) variants. Most of the time, you will find the variants in countries using the video standards, but one way to be sure is if the AUX slot is on the side of the motherboard near the power supply, you have an NTSC model, whereas if it is in line with slot 3, you have a PAL model. (Thanks to Steve Leahy for this one) The PAL revisions are: [Thanks to Dave Wilson for this]

week 26 1983: 820-0073-A (c) 1982 / B-607-0664 Color killer switch soldered to vacant oscillator position on PCB.

week 38 1983: 820-0073-B (c) 1982 / B-607-0264 Color killer switch near RHS of PCB. All chips socketed.

week 7 1985: 820-0073 (c) 1984 / B-607-0264 PCB marked for enhanced ROMs & 65C02 (may have old ROMs and 6502). RAM & some TTL soldered in. Layout same as above.

The Apple //e is still useful for three major reasons: 1) It runs AppleWorks, a simple to use, yet sophisticated Spreadsheet/Word Processor/Database. 2) There are many Apples in schools, so there is a ton of educational software for it. 3) It is was and will always be a personal computer. You can learn as little or as much as you want, and nothing stops you from learning about every nook and cranny in it. Ask any big name programmer in MS/DOS or Mac where they learned to program. Most of them taught themselves on a good ol' Apple //.

Good programs for an Apple //e: AppleWorks (Spreadsheet/Word Processor/Database from Scantron Quality Computers) 3.0 (with 128K RAM), 4.x (with 256K RAM) or 5.x (with 256-512K RAM and drives larger than 140K) , Copy ][+ (file utility from Central Point), ProSEL 8 (disk and file utilities from Glen Bredon/Charlie's Appleseeds) ProTerm 3.1 (communications/terminal emulator from InSync), Print Shop or The New Print Shop (sign/card/banner printer from Broderbund). With an enhanced //e, other good programs are Publish It!4 (desktop publishing), and Dazzle Draw (drawing program).

Recommended configuration: an enhanced //e with extended 80 Column card (gives you 128K) or Applied Engineering's RamWorks (512K to 1MB RAM). RGB video out could be provided with some third party cards. A Hard Drive is recommended if you use a lot of different programs. You can also speed it up with an accelerator.

The Apple //c and IIc+

The //c (released April 24th, 1984) and //c+ (released September 1988) are 'luggable' versions of an Enhanced //e, with many built-in 'cards'. Included are 2 serial ports, a mouse port, a disk port and 128K of RAM. The IIc+ has a built-in accelerator that runs at either 1 or 4Mhz (switch built into case), an internal power supply vs the 'brick on a rope' design of the //c, and a built in 800K 3.5" drive vs the 140K 5.25" drive of the //c. Even though they don't have slots, you can still add extra memory (there's room under the keyboard) and a hard drive (through the disk port--a bit slow by ordinary standards, but usable. (Hard to find though-- was made by Chinook, but Sequential Systems later bought out the design). The //c and IIc+ run just about everything that an Enhanced //e runs. The //c and IIc+ cannot connect to an AppleTalk network.

The //c had a number of internal revisions; the best way to check is to go into Basic and type "PRINT PEEK (64447)" and press return (no quotes). If it says 255, you have a very old //c; most of those motherboards had problems that prevented most //cs from getting reliable serial communications on faster than somewhere in the 300-2400 baud ranges. See your dealer about getting an upgrade, which is apparently no longer free (tell them that the Apple authorization number is ODL660, and try anyhow). If it says 0, you can connect a 3.5" drive, but you don't have the internal memory expansion connector for Apple cards [Some third party cards could be added, such as the AE Z-RAM, but those are rare and specific to this revision]. If it says 3, you have the internal memory expansion connector-- extra RAM can be added with certain cards. If it says 4, you have the latest model of the //c. If it says 5, you have a IIc+.

Various companies sell cables for the Apple //c's more oddball 5-pin serial ports; check out Atlaz Computer Supply (516-239-1854) or LYBEN Computer Systems at (800) 493-5777. The IIc+ uses the 8 pin mini DIN-8 ports found on the GS and Macs past the Mac Plus, so cables for those other computers will work on them.

The IIc+ normally boots at high (4Mhz) speed, but if you hold down the 'escape' key on boot/reboot, it'll drop down to normal speed until the next reboot.

Recommended configuration: 1 MB RAM, 3.5" drive, maybe a hard drive.

The Laser 128EX

While not made by Apple, this clone is a cross between the //c and an Enhanced //e. It is as luggable as a //c and has built-in 'cards', and an accelerator. It also has a slot to expand. If you want to add a card, you may have to disable the internal UDC (Universal Drive Controller, for 3.5" inch drives) or the internal 1MB memory expansion. Runs almost everything that the //c and //e runs, except for the odd program requiring an undocumented entry point in a geniune Apple ROM.

The Apple IIGS

The GS represents a giant leap in the Apple II line. It can still run //e software, but has a better processor (16-bit 2.5Mhz 65816; can be slowed to 1Mhz for compatability with older Apple II programs, especially games), more ram (256K built in to the first releases), a new super-hires graphics mode (320x200, 16 colors per line colors picked from 4096 colors, or 640x200, 16 dithered (4 true) colors per line from 4096 colors), a large set of commonly used routines called the toolbox in ROM (just like the Mac, though it is not identical) and a 32 oscillator Ensoniq sound chip. Despite having 7 main slots like a //e, plus a RAM card (different from the //e's AUX slot), the GS has 2 serial ports, appletalk support, a 3.5" and 5.25" disk port, and RGB monitor connector built in, but using those ports required that one of the 7 main slots in it be mostly given up. (Accelerators and video boards didn't require that.) The IIGS can not only run ProDOS, but it can also run GS/OS, a sophisticated operating system with the better features from the Macintosh OS.

With the new processor, video modes, and the like, IIGS software tends to run only on the IIGS and no previous Apple II models, but pretty much all software that runs on a //e or //c will run on a GS.

Released in September 1986, the original GS ROM 00 (which tended to have the Woz signature on the front case, though that is no guarantee) must have one or two chips (the ROM and possibly also the Video graphics controller) upgraded to become a ROM 01 machine and boot/run current software. The first 50,000 GSs sold had a 'Woz' signature painted on the front of the case; this was known as the 'limited' edition. With so many of these cases, there's almost no added value to the limited edition.

A later revision of the motherboard, known as the ROM 3 had a number of significant changes: more ROM (256K vs 128K) on the motherboard, more (1MB vs 256K) RAM on the motherboard, different capabilities for the internal slots, better support for the disabled, and a cleaner motherboard which can result in quieter sound support. The extra ROM allows more parts of the system software to be accessed from there, which allows a ROM 3 to boot and run GS/OS and GS/OS programs slightly faster than a ROM 01. (The two have identical toolbox functionality from the programmer's standpoint, however.)

To determine which ROM version you're using, when you power it up, it should say "Apple IIGS" at the top of the text screen for a second or so, and possibly some text at the bottom, which states either ROM 01 or ROM 3. If it does not say either, you have a ROM 00, the original version. You must upgrade a ROM 00 to an 01 (easy-- swap 2 chips), or a ROM 3 (much harder-- a motherboard swap is required, and you might as well purchase a ROM 3 system outright) it in order to run current system software. Alltech Electronics, FAQ section 10.2 is licensed to sell the ROM 00 to 01 upgrade chips if you want to upgrade it yourself.

There is no such thing as a ROM 02 or 2. The engineers at Apple called the first revision of the GS's ROM a ROM 00, and the second 01. However, many people were confused by the second revision having a 1 in the name. To get things back in sync, the third revision also has the numeral 3 in the name. The ROM 4 existed in several prototypes, but was killed off before general production.

The current system software works to make a ROM 01 and a ROM 3 two systems appear almost identical to the software, except for the obvious such as the amount of RAM built in. Certain games and other copy protected software that used undocumented entry points on the ROM 01 will not work on the ROM 3.

Due to software compatability reasons, the slots and associated builtin ports are mostly exclusive, unless the board only uses the slot for power but not communicating with the computer (usually only accelerators, sound boards used for only output, and video boards). Slots 1 and 2 are the modem and printer ports, 3 is the 80-column video, 4 is the ADB mouse, 5 is the 3.5" drive support, 6 the 5.25" drive support, and 7 is sometimes used for Appletalk. [ROM 01 requires slot 7 be set to Appletalk, and one of slots 1/2 to 'Your Card', but the ROM 3 can have 1,2 or 7 be Appletalk.]

The GS's builtin control panel (accessible by hitting control-open apple-escape at once or holding down the 'option' key on poweron) lets you configure many parts of your GS, from the system speed, screen/border colors, keyboard configurations, as well as what mode each slot is in: built-in port or whatever is in the physical slot.

Recommended configuration: 1.25 MB RAM lets you boot up GS/OS and use most smaller programs, though it may be tight. With 2 MB, you will have room for Desk Accessories. Go for 4MB if you want a RAM disk (useful if you don't have a hard drive) or do a lot of graphics work. Adding a hard drive is highly recommended for speed and System 6, otherwise you'll be doing a lot of disk swapping. You can also speed it up with a TransWarp GS or Zip GS, which can speed a GS up to around 14Mhz. [Both accelerators are currently not being sold new anymore, so you'll have to buy one used.]

The Apple ][e Emulation Card

This is a card that fits in certain Macs that lets one run Apple //e software. It is actually more like a //c because the card is not expandable like a //e. There is a place on the back of the card to plug in a UniDisk 5.25" and a joystick. Because the graphics are handled by the Mac, animation may be slow if you don't have a decent Mac.

According to Jim Nichol ( jnichol@tso.cin.ix.net), the supported Macs for such a card are:

The 630 Macs _do_ have LC-style PDS slots. However, the 630's cannot use a IIe Card because you cannot turn off 32-bit addressing in a 630. The IIe Card _will_ work in all other Macs with an LC-style PDS slot, including:

Mac LC, LCII, LCIII, Quadra 605, LC475, Performa 475, Performa 550, Performa 575-8, Color Classic, LC520 (I think), and several other Performas that are the equivalents of the LC's above.


Section 3: Quick New User's Guide to the Apple II. Feb 1, 1998

I just got an Apple II. What should I be doing with it?

This is a new section and still undergoing a lot of updates. Feel free to suggest questions to answer here, etc

A: The first thing to do is to make sure the hardware is running and functional. Even if you don't have any disks yet, you should be able to connect up the parts and turn the power switch on. The unit should beep on poweron, and start accessing a drive, if present. Most Apple IIs (except the GS, //c, IIc+) will attempt to boot from the drive forever. If it's a //e, //c, IIc+ or IIGS, try a self-test to see what the hardware thinks of itself-- hold down the control and solid apple (solid apple was renamed option on later keyboards), and then press and release the reset button, finally letting up on control and solid apple. See FAQ section 8.10 if the GS reports an error from the self test.

After checking the hardware over, time to try booting some software. If you got boot disks with the system, use those. Otherwise, see FAQ section 7.2 for places to get an OS/Boot Disk from. If the system boots, great. If not, note any error messages, and report them online.

If your boot disk leaves you with a blinking cursor next to a ']' character on screen, you've been placed into Applesoft Basic, a great programming environment. (And '>' is for Integer Basic, usually only on very old systems). If you're looking for valid commands, try the Apple II DOS & commands FAQ at http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=DOS. If you're a bit of a programmer and want to experiment with a fun environment, try the Applesoft FAQ at http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=Applesoft_BASIC.

If you'd like to consider adding hardware to your Apple II, see either the list of Apple II vendors in FAQ Section 10.2, or this FAQ's section on adding hardware.

The following information on commercial software is provided as a recommendation of some of the most popular titles in existence. Feel free to take my recommendations with a grain of salt; while I own many of the following programs mentioned, I have no commercial interest with any of the software companies listed here. Most of my Apple II titles (what's released is GS-only) are either freeware or shareware. As I note several times below, see FAQ Section 10.2 for lists of vendors, etc.

While programming can be a very fun and rewarding pasttime, some would like to do other things. For general Word Processing, Database and Spreadsheet use, the program AppleWorks is a great commercial program, for Apple IIs with at least 128K of memory. AppleWorks versions 2.x or 3.x work great on an Apple II with 128K RAM, but are probably only available used now. Versions 4.x and 5.x require more RAM (and 5.x requires a 3.5" drive or HD), have many more features, and are sold by Scantron Quality Computers (FAQ section 10.2).

Apple II users wishing to telecommunicate with their Apple IIs should note that while there is no TCP/IP (or SLIP or PPP) for non-GS models, there are still plenty of ways to get online and do quite a lot. ProTERM 3.x is the best pre-GS telcomm program, formerly sold by Intrec Software, now available from the Lost Classics Project. With that, you just need a dialup shell account with a local ISP-- see FAQ section 7.1 Can my Apple II connect to the internet?

There were some Page Layout, painting, hypermedia and other minor desktop publishing programs for the non-GS Apple II series, but most were commercial and are no longer available new-- you'll have to check out the used software scene.

Many old arcade classics were ported to the Apple II, and remain commercial copyrighted software in most cases. You can still buy many classics from Joe Kohn's Shareware Solutions II library. Many of the Apple II ftp sites have a number of games; see FAQ Section 5 for where and how to download.

IIGS users can run AppleWorks classic, but if you have at least 1MB RAM and want a GUI environment for word processing, database, spreadsheet, page layout, and the like, look into AppleWorks GS v1.1. While it is fairly buggy in a few areas, it is still about the best GUI word processor and database for the GS. Alltech Electroncs (FAQ section 10.2) sells the AWGS 1.1 disks for $15 without manuals. It's a GUI program, so most people should be able to figure out the features without the manual. The Byte Works (same FAQ section) sells a more featureful and less buggy Spreadsheet product, while GraphicWriter III v2.0 from Seven Hills Software (same FAQ section) is a far superior Page Layout program. Anyone interested in any form of desktop publishing from the GS should look into Pointless, now sold by Joe Kohn's Shareware Solutions II-- it provides TrueType font capability to the GS.

For GS Paint Programs, DreamGrafix and Platinum Paint 2.0 were the best choices for most users. DreamGrafix could handle 256 and 3200 color pictures, while Platinum Paint provided a few more tools in other areas. Platinum Paint may still be sold by Scantron Quality Computers (FAQ section 10.2).

Apple IIGSs can use the same telecommunication capabilities available to pre-GSs (see above), but if they have at least 1MB RAM and possibly a HD, there is TCP/IP (currently SLIP only; PPP is promised.) For those with a dialup shell account, Seven Hills Software's Spectrum is a good telcomm program. For info on the TCP/IP capabilities, see FAQ section 7.1 Can my Apple II connect to the internet?

If into Hypermedia, look into either HyperStudio GS or HyperCard IIGS. HyperStudio, sold by Roger Wagner Publishing is less scriptable, but doesn't require as decked out GSs, and may be more intuitive and able to transfer files to the Mac and PC versions of that program. HyperCard IIGS is free (see FAQ section 5.2 for download points), and has many programming features builtin, but requires a GS with 1.5-2MB RAM and a HD.

GS Programmers should look into The Byte Works' line of GS compilers and interpreters for various languages (6502/65816 Assembly, C, Pascal, Modula-2, Integer Basic, Logo).

For other recommended programs, especially programs to help you deal with graphics, sounds & music from other platforms, see this FAQ's section on using files from other platforms (6.4-6.9).

What can you hook up to an Apple ][?

A: Hard drives, scanners, video digitizers, laser printers, video overlay cards, tape backups, inkjet Printers, 24 pin Dot Matrix printers, EPROM burners, AppleTalk networks, high density 3.5" drives, serial cards, parallel cards, audio digitizers, VGA monitors, FAX and regular modems, CP/M boards (Z-80 processor), an IBM-on-a-card, D/A and A/D cards, joysticks, mice, graphics tablets, touch screens, extended keyboards, track balls, several megabytes of RAM, real-time clocks, (cheap) IBM disk drives and of course, users!

This list is by no means exhaustive: This is just what many have done. All of it is available NOW, and can be done on any Apple //e or GS. In the very near future, you may be able to hook up:

EtherTalk or Ethernet Networks, DSP boards.

What can you do with an Apple ][?

A: As if the above weren't impressive, how about: Optical Character recognition, Desktop publishing, Integrated Spread sheet, Database and Word Processing, Interactive fiction adventure games, Arcade quality games, Educational games, Programming, Telecommunications, Inventory, Accounting, Money Management, and that's not even scratching the surface.

What can the //e can "borrow" from other computers?

A: GS bitmapped fonts, Mac Disks, MacPaint pictures, GIF pictures, just about any Mac/PC SCSI device (Hard Drives, Tape backup), Mac sounds with IISound (sounds are stored in the resource fork), many archive formats (like uudecode), any serial device (EPROM burners, FAX modems, 14.4 and 28.8 modems, etc.

More info is available in the section on using transferred files from other systems.

What can the GS can "borrow" from other computers?

A: Mac bitmapped fonts, Mac Icons, Mac TrueType fonts (Windows fonts require converting to Mac format first; the conversion programs require a Mac or IBM to do that), Mac Disks, Amiga Mod songs, MacPaint pictures, MacWrite documents, GIF pictures, WordPerfect documents, just about any Mac SCSI and most ADB devices (including Hard Drives, Pen Mice, etc), Mac sounds, Many archive formats (.uu, .zip, .arc, .sit, .hqx, etc), any serial device (EPROM burners, FAX modems, 14.4 to 33.6 modems), IDE hard drives (check out a card called "Turbo IDE". See http://users.ids.net/~kerwood/shh.html, or email jlange@tasha.muc.de for details)

More info is available in the section on using transferred files from other systems.

There are a lot more questions with answers not included directly in this FAQ; please see http://apple2.info/wiki/index.php?title=CSA2_FAQ for more of them.

Copyright 1998-2007 by Tony Diaz

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