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 on 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.

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.

Sensible Speller for Apple IIe (ProDOS version)

July 2, 2017

I became curious about Sensible Speller and how it would operate as a non integrated program.  Here are some screen captures of the Bootup, Spell Check, Dictionary selection and creation, and handling of the “suspect” words as they call them. I performed the initial run on a pfs:Write file and then an AppleWorks file. When the screen pics below go amber color that’s the part on collecting the suspect words, putting them in a custom dictionary, and then verifying the custom dictionary works. 

Boot Screen

Main Menu

Select Dictionary: Only one dictionary can be used at a time. But it asks after each run if you want to try another dictionary. Here, dictionary 1 and 2.

Loading the pfs:Write file. You need to type complete path name.

If provides you the option to print the lists. You can see the words below have mostly ordinated since the 1990s.

Listing the “suspect” words.

Working the suspect words. I am still trying to figure out which word it’s referencing as many are highlighted.

AppleWorks:  Switching to Check another word processor type requires running a Speller setup program. It is no available from the boot menu. You must run it by some other means.   I used Super Selector as seen below.

Running the Setup.Speller.

Customize Spell and Quick Setups

Selected AppleWorks.

Type full path name.

Creating a new dictionary to house the words you want to save.

First you need to go back to the Setup Menu to Create a Dictionary disk. Here I call it NewDict.
Then you have to actually Create a blank or empty Dictionary on the Dictionary Disk. Again type the full path name.

I need to pull a screen capture of Adding Words to Old Dictionary. Based on the following it was confusing how to pull the “Old” custom dictionary. However, it let’s you create the dictionary file on the fly. Here I called it “Old2” and below is example of process, including saving the new words to “Old2” and using it.

pfs:Plan on Apple II

April 2, 2017

A little playing with pfs:Plan.

pfs:Write Spell Check Apple II

February 5, 2017

Here is the spell checker in action. Some successes, some whatttt?

The video is the correct word replacement effect. It’s pretty neat.

Now, some screenshots of some winners and losers of spell check.


Close, but not intuitive, like today.


pfs:Write for the Apple ll

February 5, 2017

Running this ProDOS version on my Apple lle Virtual ll Emulator. This was the Productivity Package I used prior to AppleWorks in the late 80’s. 

The Dictionary spell checking worked fairly well. I always test the Spell Checkers with misspellings and terms created since the 80’s like Internet, FaceBook, Instagram, Router, etc. Forgot to post a spell check session. I’ll add it.

pfs:Write was a simple word processor created by Software Publishing Corporation (SPC) in the early days of desktop computing. It included all the basic features common to most word processors of the day, including automatic word wrapping, spell checking, copy and paste, underlining, and boldfacing; and it also boasted a few of the most-commonly-used advanced features, such as mail merge and few others.