SuperConvert4 for IIGS – Convert Graphics

March 1, 2019

I use GraphicWriter3 for publishing on the Apple IIGS. It allows you to use graphics and control their placement, wrap-around functions very nicely. However, it requires a 640×200 image. Since many (most) of the early Apple ll images are 320×200 you need to convert. Here are some screen shots. Set one is converting PrintShop B&W images. Set two is higher-res llGS pictures from various sources. This first picture is page one of my journal. It’s 19 pages. Helps to have a TransWarpGS to make this move along.

The SuperConvert4 app and GraphicWriter3 app can be found on Alex Lee’s site. Productivity’s and Visually Creative Image.

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

I’ll be adding more details but wanted to publish this is for now.

Select picture to convert.

Set Two

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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.

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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


FloppyEmu with New 16 MHz TransWarpGS v1.1 and CFFA3000

December 23, 2018

Just expanding on my TransWarpGS post from 4 days ago.

Having a little fun. I plugged my FloppyEMU into the IIGS that runs via the new TransWarpGS v1.1 and boots from CFFA3000. Icons on left are the FloppyEMU.


New TransWarpGS 16 MHz from ReactiveMicro

December 19, 2018

The new 16 MHz TransWarpGS finally arrived in time for Christmas. I pre-ordered it back in May. It is amazingly fast, to say the least. Those games that require lots of graphics (Jack Nicklaus Golf), and publishing (GraphicWriter3) really snap. Also need to mention HyperStudio and HyperCard. Wow. The first picture shows TWGS Reporter details. Note: this IIGS uses the Scart HDMI connector on my Toshiba LCD. i have other blog entries on setting the Scart and Cable.

Here’s the product picture.

https://www.reactivemicro.com/shop/

Here’s the old cpu before removal.

I used two different length flat head screwdrivers to wedge it out. The long one working from the front of the IIGS and the short one from within the machine. I used the eraser as Lever support with the short screwdriver to help avoid slipping and hitting the motherboard. It worked amazingly well.

Here are the manual photos for plugging in the fan.

Turned it on, ran the self tests. That was it. Referenced the manual from ReactiveMicro wiki site throughout.

Removed the fan temporarily to see the oscillator.

It inserted quite readily.

Diversi-Tune playing.

Here is the setup, including the new CFFA3000 Card and the GGLABS Memory Card.

I discuss the CFFA installation and fun in the next blog entry (coming soon).

End.


Jack Nicklaus Golf for Apple IIGS,

August 23, 2018

Publishing this now. I thought I published this ages ago.

http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/jack-nicklaus-greatest-18-holes-of-major-championship-golf

You really need a TransWarpGS or ZipGSX to play this because the screen draws are horribly slow. Plus a hard drive like today’s equivalents, MicroDrive Turbo or CFFA. How Accolade could have put this out is beyond me. Of course, with today’s emulators it can be fun.

There’s a reason they call them Championship Courses. They are very difficult. Lots of out of bounds and the greens can be incredibly difficult. What makes the greens tough is you can’t see the slope of the green after the hole itself. The game tells you degree of break and up hill or downhill to the hole, but that’s all. I’ve missed more than one hole by less than a foot and have the ball roll 10-15 feet by or even off the green. And they tend to have the pins in the center of multiple slopes. Try it!

These pictures were taking on my Toshiba Monitor with HDMI connection via Scart adapter. That is why they are widescreen shots.

Here’s regular screen dimensions.


Concentration for Apple II – Game Time

August 19, 2018

Fun to play, especially on a FastChip//e accelerator.

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/games/board/


FASTChip //e for Apple IIe – Accelerator Card from A2Heaven

December 17, 2017

Just installed my FASTChip //e In italics are the notes from the a2heaven.com website. Links to website and my videos are below.

Update May 31, 2018: I recently found my 5.25 pfs:Write disks and thought I’d try it with the FastChip//e and the DuoDisk drive. Interesting to watch.

May 31, 2018  I updated the file again today and then ran Spell Check or ‘Proofing’ as pfs:Write calls it. With the FastChip//e set to 8.3 MHz (random speed selection) the Dictionary disk never stopping spinning in drive one. Data disk in drive two. The document was over five pages long and the spell checking flew. The disks and screen never really stopped and barely slowed down as it flew through the document addressing probably over 1000 words. There were proofs required along the way since there were some misspellings, but also terms, like FastChip//e. Many of these needed to be added to the Personal Dictionary. It was fun to perform this check. Lastly, the word replacement special effect of pfs:write where it erases the word from right to left and types in the new word, was nearly instantaneous. 

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 post are links to YouTube videos of the above.

From the a2heaven website:

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.

Picture above courtesy of Jorma Honkanen.

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.

https://youtu.be/njtTLMxZF-E

https://youtu.be/E0hqbxmvMJ4

http://www.a2heaven.com/webshop/index.php?rt=product/product&product_id=147

http://www.a2heaven.com/webshop/resources/pdf_document/18/82/c.pdf

The end.