Applied Engineering 5.25 Apple Drive

August 8, 2018

Picked this up and it works very well. No issues with it attached to Laser128 or Franklin Ace 500.


Mitac 5.25” Floppy Drive – part II: Speed RPMs

August 4, 2018

The Mitac drive works well from a reading and writing standpoint as long as you keep using this drive for any disks you write. It turns out the RPM for this drive is a little slow. So, if you write, say a pfs:Write data file to it, the file may be reported as no good by other floppy drives. I have five different brands of 5.25″ drives and this is the first time I’ve seen this issue. It still works great for read only disks like Print Shop Art, Carmen Sandiego Games, etc where you don’t write.

Anyhow, I thought I’d open it up and see if I could find a mechanism to adjust. Here are some pictures with notes. [could not find manual online]. There are a couple of links at the end to disk images on Asimov. Also a REALLY great article illustrating the workings of floppy drives.

Here was my first clue I had an issue. Formatting.

I used the MECC Analyzer Disk and the DataLife Drive Analyzer.

I was looking for something to adjust. The only item was the light blue piece at the top center of the picture. I have no idea if actually controls speed. It rotated easily. But made no difference no matter how far clockwise or counterclockwise I turned it. After about an hour of trying adjustments I called it a day. Maybe someone really knows these drives and can help someday.

Below is the bottom plate. To remove the drive you take out all 6 screws. Lift this plate off and then slide the floppy out the front of the chassis.

The Utilities can be downloaded from here:

A great article with pictures of floppy drive workings:

ProAPP Hard Disk Drive for Apple II’s

June 15, 2018

I had one of these with my Apple IIc in the late 80’s. Absolutely terrific. Wish I still had both.

If any one has the manual we’d like to get a scan of it. Thanks.

Meiji 5.25” Half-Height Drive for Apple IIs and Clones

June 14, 2018

Recently acquired this half-height Drive. I performed some simple tests, with System Utilities 3, List Volumes, catalog, then finally format disk. It’s a very quiet drive and light weight. Then I moved on to using it as my /DATA disk for pfs:Write program. I like using pfs:Write for tests on 5.25″ drives on my various Apple IIs and clones. The read and write lights work. But let me say, the Spell Checking on the 1 MHz setup versus the FastChip/lle at 16.6 MHz leaves a lot to be desired. See my blog entry of a few days ago.

Mitac 5.25” Half-Height Drive for Apple’s

June 11, 2018

I acquired this via eBay. I plugged it into the back of my Franklin Ace 500. It fits quite nicely on my Franklin just under the shelf where my Laser128 EX sits. It is incredibly heavy. All metal.

I performed some simple tests first, with System Utilities 3, List Volumes, catalog, then finally format disk. Then I moved on to using it as my /DATA disk for pfs:Write program. I like using pfs:Write for tests on 5.25″ drives on my various Apple IIs and clones. But let me say, the Spell Checking on the 1 MHz setup versus the FastChip/lle at 16.6 MHz leaves a lot to be desired. See my blog entry of a few days ago.

Now, if only I could find/make/get the Mitac emblem as seen in this stock picture, I’d be set.

The Mitac was the first external drive I bought for my Apple IIc in late 80’s.

FASTChip //e for Apple IIe – Accelerator Card

December 17, 2017

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

RamWorks8M from for Apple IIe

August 13, 2017

I bought this 8 MB RamWorks8M card from 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.

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.

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.