FASTChip //e for Apple IIe – Accelerator Card

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

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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


ByteBoosters 8MB Memory Card for IIGS Rom 3

January 26, 2017

Here it is. Great card. Take a look at it’s size in the picture of the IIGS below. Like the size of a credit card. 


GS8MBRAM/ROM from a2Heaven for IIGS

December 8, 2016

I bought the GS8RAMROM from http://www.a2heaven.com. It comes with ProDOS 2.4.1 in ROM and boots incredibly fast to it. The whole thing is new technology that runs with very little power drain and really fast ram chip.  Because it has a battery backup (CR2032) for the 8 meg ram I thought it would back up what was in RAM or on the RAM disk when the  computer was powered down.  —- My goal was to create a bootable GSOS 6.0.1 ROM/RAM disk.  However, the creator has not written the firmware yet to accomplish this. He says he is about 70% done. [ Note: as of Dec 21, 2017 there is no firmware upgrade; so use as a Solid State Ram Drive ]
Also, the IIGS Rom3 unit has a bug in it that does not allow you to  boot from RAM. When the author writes the firmware he will create the work around to correct this situation. I had been running my RamKeeper from Applied Engineering with a 6 meg GSRamPlus card to allow me to boot GSOS from Rom Disk. It works very well but I have no battery backup for it.

12Programs on the card.

345

6

Find the spelling errors.

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-11-38-21-am


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.


RamKeeper, SlotMover, GS-RAM PLUS

October 13, 2016

Upgraded my IIGS Rom 01 with RamKeeper Card with the SlotMover and a GS-RAM Plus 6 meg memory card. Here are some pictures and the brochures.  See the Commodore power supply that works for the RamKeeper. I found it recommended in a couple forums. They’re readily available on eBay.



The RamKeeper required it’s own power supply to maintain what was in the ram drive. The above is a Commodore power supply the works.


Apple IIe

May 1, 2016

Loaded.