FASTChip //e for Apple IIe – Accelerator Card

November 20, 2017

Just installed my FASTChip //e In italics are the notes from the website.

November 22, 2017

I’ve been running a tests of PublishIt v4 startup time on the Apple //e with the FastChip//e.

*With the FastChip//e set at 10 MHz and running PublishIt from the SCSI drive it took 8 seconds to load.

*With the FastChip//e running at 1.0 MHz running from the SCSI drive it took 25 seconds.

*With the FastChip//e running at 1.0 MHz and PublishIt v4 running from a UniDisk 3.5 disk connected the Liron Controller Card in the //e it took 53 seconds to load. [ Note: The Apple //e has a RamWorks8M card made from a2Heaven. This card uses current day technology so it must provide some additional advantage when loading the fonts, et al into memory upon startup. The only way to see the difference would be for me to uninstall the RamWorks8M and reinstall the 1986 RamWorks 1M card by Applied Engineering. At the end of this posts are links to YouTube videos of the above.

The FASTChip //e accelerates the Apple //e™ by replacing the on-board microprocessor with a much faster one. Because the memory on the Apple //e™ can only run at a 1 MHz speed maximum, faster memory (SRAM) must be provided to increase performance and allow the 65C02/65C816 CPU to run at full speed. To do this, the FASTChip //e contains 512KB/1024KB of fast SRAM memory. The clever design allows the acceleration of programs running in both main and auxiliary memory. The additional FASTChip //e memory can emulate both 192/448 KB fast RamWorks  compatible RAM and 256/512 KB fast RamFactor (slinky) compatible RAM.

FASTChip //e features

  • Easy to install card, installable in slot 1-7 of the Apple //e™, or Enhanced //e.
  • Does not mechanically interfere with the 80 column card in slot 3.
  • 65C02/65C816 microprocessor running at a clock rate of more than 16 MHz .
  • External Hardware Control Panel with controls and LED display.
  • CPU frequency can be changed real-time via rotary knob (0.2Mhz to 16.6Mhz).
  • Stop/Pause and Status buttons for easy control.
  • 4 digits x 7 segment LED display.
  • Built in 192/448 KB fast RamWorks compatible RAM.
  • Built in 256/512 KB fast RamFactor (Slinky) compatible RAM.
  • Low power design for cool operation.
  • Acceleration of programs running in both main and auxiliary memory.
  • Compatible with most interface and expansion cards for the Apple II/IIe.
  • Transparent operation with all Apple II software.
  • An easily accessed built-in software control panel lets you control processor speed, memory, joystick, speaker sound quality and many other options.

My actual //e Setup with FastChip//e, RamWorks8M card and SDFloppy II installed.

FastChip//e videos of PublishIT version 4 at 10 Mhz. A program essentially unusable on a IIe at 1 MHz.

[Note: I’m running PublishIt from a SCSI drive, not a floppy, unidisk 3.5, or SDFloppy, although programs ran fine from all three devices. But obviously SCSI is the fastest ] : unless you have a CFFA or MicroDrive Turbo.


VisiCalc v1.37 and v2.08 for Apple ll

November 10, 2017

I’ve been experimenting with VisiCalc on the Apple IIe and Franklin Ace500. I also ran it (v2.08) on the IIGS, the TransWarpGS, from the floppy. VisiCalc was the first really super Spreadsheet program for desktop platforms. It came out in 1979 developed by Dan Bricklin. It has a very interesting command structure as every row/column action or save/load action begins with a ” / “. The trickiest thing was learning how to control the movement up/down and right/left until I found the Reference Guide. You need to tap the space bar each time you want to switch between x and y axis. Also, you still use the ß à arrows whether going sideways or up down. Here is a link to the program and reference card.

Below: version 2.08 running on Virtual ][ Emulator. You can see the VC-208 in entry line.

This is a template I picked up with a few other Apple IIe templates. 

AceCalc v2.0 by Franklin on Apple lle

November 7, 2017

I’m playing with AceCalc by Franklin from 1983. Operates in a similar fashion to VisiCalc. Here’s a link to the download and manuals.

I’ll post some additional pictures later today.

These are screenshots using Virtuall ][ emulating Apple //e.    Notice the mouse text characters.   If you know how to configure the Virtual //e to not display these let me know.