FASTChip //e for Apple IIe – Accelerator Card

November 20, 2017

Just installed my FASTChip //e In italics are the notes from the a2heaven.com 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.

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

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AE IIc System Clock (CPU-Computer Peripherals Unlimited)

October 3, 2017

Daylight Savings Time update. Albeit a few weeks late.

September 30, 2017. AE IIc System Clock (CPU-Computer Peripherals Unlimited) . There were some discussions on the Apple II forum on FaceBook after I posted the picture of the AE IIc System Clock. I asked if anyone actual had one.  It turn out a number of people had them. One said he was willing to part with his and sold it to me.  He tested it with new batteries (using the test button-not hooking it up). While waiting for delivery I downloaded a copy of the AE System Clock Utilities disk and burned the image to a 5.25″ floppy.

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/hardware/clock/

After receiving I installed the 3 AA batteries and I attached the Clock Device to the Modem port on the Laser 128 trying to follow the AE manual (downloaded from Archive.org)

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/ae/IIc%20System%20Clock%20-%20User%20Manual%20v2.0%20(Applied%20Engineering).pdf

The manual does not mention the Laser 128 but advertisements do. The program does ask you to select computer type (picture below). The manual seemed to flow easily but it took me a while to realize what I was doing. After you Set Switch, Set Time and then “Hit Return at Exact Time” nothing happens on the screen… leading you to believe it didn’t work. But it does and you then just need to use the Install option to get the Clock.System on another ProDOS Program Disk. The manual does not explain this either. When I was having difficulties I had the AE Device connected to the Modem Port. I tried the Parallel Port too with same results. So I moved it back.

Eventually, I set the Clock Date, Month, Day, and Time and when booting the
AE disk it displayed the Date, Month, Day and Time accurately (see picture).
However, when I install the Clock.System from the Install Disk on to other
ProDOS Disk programs the Time, Day and Year appear correctly, but the Month is off by 6 months (see SystemSelector, System Utilities 3.1, ProDOS 2.4.1 and
CopyIIPlus pictures).

I will try to install it on an AppleWorks 2.1 Startup/Program and see how it acts. I think AppleWorks Displays both the Data and Time on the Screen.
I am also going to try the programs using the same version of ProDOS, version 1.1.1 from 1984, used by the AE Clock Install disk. Perhaps it only works with
the earlier versions. [well I did install on AppleWriter v1.5.7 which uses the same ProDOS. No difference. I even copied the ProDOS from the AE Disk to other program disks. No difference]. There are a number of basic programs on the AE disk. Now, I’m wondering if one of those is running to display date time accurately. Might move it/those to another disk with Clock.system to see what happens.

November 8, 2017 – Daylight Savings Time ended. Had to run SetDateTime to set Clock an hour.


RamWorks8M from A2Heaven.com for Apple IIe

August 13, 2017

I bought this 8 MB RamWorks8M card from A2Heaven.com to max out the memory in my IIe. My IIe was using both a RamWorks 1 and an Apple 1 MB cards taking up the Aux Slot and another Slot. With the RamWorks8M card I could eliminate the Apple 1MB card and open a slot, as well as reducing electrical draw. The following pictures include shots from both my actual IIe and the Virtual II Emulator. The Emulator provides better clarity of image since I need to reduce resolution so much with real pictures to save space.

The card is little bigger than a credit card. Note the pointing finger and keyboard image on the card to illustrate direction of Install.

http://a2heaven.com/webshop/index.php?rt=product%2Fproduct&product_id=138

The RamWorks8M installed.


RamBoard Test disk.
8 MB testing. 87th pass on actual IIe.

Super Desktop Expander v5.3.1 with Partition and ProDrive programs. The ProDrive Doc is good. Must read.

SDE5.3.1 Main Menu
ProDrive Menu
Partitioning Program. I did not use the AppleWorks option. I’ll try that later.
Selection of partition size
2 MB Selected for System leaving  6 MB for Ram Disk.
Updating the ProDrive.bin so it starts up this way.
Installed

Cataloging Ram
Available Drives
Running PublishIT4 on 3.5 UniDisk via my Liron Card in the IIe.
Updated my Journal of Activity and saving to Ram Drive. You can see the Ram Drive has almost 6 meg of space available 5947k.

Preview in Publish.It4 program.

https://archive.org/details/Super_Desktop_Expander_Utility_v5.3.1_side_A

https://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/productivity/integrated/appleworks/

http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/hardware/storage/memory/


SoftDiskGS 64

May 6, 2017

I acquired some thirty plus original SoftDiskGS 3.5″ disks. On Disk 64 was this calendar template for AppleWorksGS. It worked nicely but took forever to load, even on my TransWarpGS. However, once loaded it would recalculate quickly for the month and year you enter. These are the two variable entries at the top of the page. Here are some pictures and printout from my LaserWriter II. It took 10-15 minutes to print one month.

I use the manilaGear.com IIGS VGA adapter on my Rom01 IIGS. 


Virtual ][e – Expand that Ram to 8MB + TimeOut Accessories 

March 5, 2017

Memory upped to 2.205 MB

TimeOut Accessories from Beagle Brothers: select screen printer : mark and print.

Tools are from DeskTools l and DeskTools ll

Snap of PrintOut


Mean 18 Golf IIGS

October 31, 2016

Had a Hole-In-One today.

It was on a blind hole to the green. I’ll post an overview of hole. You have to hook your drive around some trees. 


RamKeeper on IIGS Rom 3

October 14, 2016

I’ve been wanting to use my RamKeeper as a ROM Boot disk on the IIGS Rom 3 computer since I don’t have a spare SCSI drive or MicroDrive Turbo. This is the same IIGS with the new DVI adapter. 

I installed the Ramkeeper in the IIGS Rom 3 but the IIGS wouldn’t boot. I would get a RK 102 error which meant incompatible memory configuration. 

After many efforts with different memory configurations including with and without the SlotMover I checked the Internet. 

I found an old forum thread that talked about Rom 3 IIGS not working with earlier versions of the Ramkeeper. 

So, I installed the other Ramkeeper I had which had a rev 1.6 Rom chip. My other one was rev 1.3. The rev 1.6 version worked nicely. They only issue with this card was the wires connecting it to its transformer were loose so it would not keep configuration after I turned off the IIGS. 

So, I pulled the rev 1.6 chip from that one and installed it in the RamKeeper with the original ribbon cable to the transformer. It works nicely. 
I see the Ramkeeper with a 1.2 meg Rom Drive to hold GSOS and CDAs and NDAs. 

I also gave it a Meg of Ram Drive for loading programs or Mean18 golf courses. 

The latter do run much faster from the Ram Drive. 

I have the 1.25 meg of Ram on the IIGS motherboard and a 6 meg GS-Ram Plus.
After copying various NDAs and CDAs to the Rom GSOS I copied that set to a 3.5″ drive.

I labeled it LoadRom.
Now, the RamKeeper can only handle 4 disk drives in the chain including Rom and Ram drives.

So, I have the following:

Rom Drive

Ram Drive

3.5″ Drive

And the Floppy Emu with number of Hard Drive images reduced to one. 

I started with GSOS on the floppy emu.