Mega Audio Card for IIe or IIGS from A2Heaven

January 9, 2019

MEGA Audio is a new audio card for Apple // that holds inside several audio cards itself. It supports emulation of several different kinds of audio cards that were/are available for Apple // computers, all-in-one:

2 x Mockingboard-cards (no support for SSI-263 speech chips emulation)

1 x A.L.F.-card

4 x S.A.M.-cards (4 x DAC)

http://www.a2heaven.com/webshop/index.php?rt=product/product&product_id=159

Mega Audio

The latest item I purchased is the Mega Audio Card from A2Heaven. It supports MockingBoard, SAM and ALF audio card tech.

I installed it in my FastChip//e and after a few iterations it worked fine. I initially installed it in Slot 3 as this was the only open slot in the IIe. But it would not allow me to access the Mega Menu. The Mega Menu is where you assign sound tech cards to specific slots.

The Mega Menu is accessed through the “monitor” function from Basic prompt using the call -151. Then CFFF, the CX00 (x being the slot number) and then C800g to exit to the Mega Menu. This brings up the Menu.

After emailing back and forth with the designer, Plamen, it turns out slot 3 will not work. So, I moved it to slot 4, removing the mouse card temporarily and it worked. I also tested it in slot 1 and slot 2 and it worked fine.

Since I need my Mouse in slot 4 I removed my serial card from slot 1 and installed the Mega Audio there. My final configuration came out as Mega Audio in slot 1, FastChip//e in slot 2, slot 3 empty, Mouse card in slot 4, Liron Card in slot 5, DuoDisk card in slot 6 and SCSI card in slot 7. I ran SkyFox, which supports the MockingBoard and it sounds great.

One note: The Mockingboard Utilities Disk assumes your card us in Slot 4. Therefore you’ll get no sound when playing the Mockingboard Utilities disk with the Mega in any other slot.

The installation of the Mega Audio card in the IIGS was a real trial.

You can only get to the Mega Menu by running ProDOS 8 and exiting to Basic, then access the “monitor”. It will not work if you boot to GSOS 6.0.1 and then run basic. I booted to a disk running ProDOS 2.4.1 with BitsyBye and was able to access the Mega Audio Menu. But I really did not feel the Mockingboard emulation was necessary in a IIGS given it’s inherent sound chip capability. So, I just attach the external Apple speakers to the sound port on the back of the IIGS. It sounds terrific as usual.

X

The package contents.

Here is the cards from A2Heaven. The 8MB Ram Card, the Mega Audio Card and The FastChip//e.

Across the top is a Tempered Glass Monitor stand. I like it as it allows me to see the light show, and easily access the slots. It’s very heavy as it’s meant to support large LCD monitors/computers e.g. iMac. Here’s the link.

https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Monitor-Riser-Multi-Desktop/dp/B0721T22MP

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MicroDrive Turbo Rebuild – Partitions and CiderPress with “Special” 32MB Drive Images

December 28, 2018

March 17, 2019 NOTE: As of March 17, 2019 The Hard Drive Images on Alex Lee’s site noted below have all been redone with a block size compatible with the MicroDrive Turbo.

http://whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/updates-and-the-current-state-of-solid-state-storage/

This post is about how CiderPress and MicroDrive Turbo treat some 32 MB hard drive images that are found on Alex Lee’s site for the IIGS. Some of the images are larger than others by a block. This is not an issue with CFFA3000 cards or Emulators. But with MicroDrive Turbo cards and CiderPress this led to an issue with loading them onto the partitions as recommended by the microdrive documentation. This post carries on from my post of 5 days ago.

http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za

So I experimented by increasing the block size by one as you’ll see in the pictures below and the odd sized or other sized, if you want to call them that, images loaded just fine and work on the MicroDrive without issue so far.

This reports the files in KBytes but illustrates the different sizes.

The series of screens can also serve as a bit of a tutorial on using CiderPress to load images.

Image 1: The 3 Partitions that come standard. All are 65535 as recommended in the manual.

Image 2: Two of the three partitions appear on the desktop. The third does not appear since its image is not loaded, as yet.

Now I add a 4th Partition. A 65356 block partition.

Using the Volume Copier in CiderPress

You’ll see the 3rd and 4th Partitions listed. One at 65535 blocks. My experimental at 65536 blocks.

Loading the Productivity and Graphics image.

Now, loading the other size, block size, image. System Addons.

Here the images appear on the desktop.

Starting MicroDrive Setup from GSOS to add another partition, Load it, and use it.


IIGS8MRAM 8MB Memory card for Apple IIGS with ProDos 2.4.1 in ROM

December 22, 2017

Today, I retested the IIGS8MRAM 8MB RAM Card from a2Heaven in Bulgaria. When I tried it last year at this time I could not get it to boot to the hard drive image on the FloppyEMU from http://www.bigmessowires.com web site. It would only boot to the ProDos 2.4.1 unless I had a 3.5 Drive attached to the SmartPort.

Today, I did one change by setting the boot device in the IIGS Control Panel to slot 5, the SmartPort. The hard drive booted fine and the IIGS reported all the memory and the 2.4.1 Drive. I ran AppleWorksGS and GraphicWriter III, updating documents, spell checking, saving, and rebooting.

The card.

Listing of programs in ROM.

The card inserted. Note small size.

The GSHardDrive as boot device, with other devices on screen too.

The About Screen with memory allocations.

The Floppy Emu with the 4 drives listed.

Finder listing.

GraphicWriter III Title Screen

Running GraphicWriter III Spell Check.

The GraphicWriter III Directory with updated dates.

Accessories on screen.