Version V1.2 for the AppleIISd released

It took a little longer than expected, but I have just released the version 1.2 for the AppleIISd!

As mentioned in my last post I had the nasty issue that booting GS/OS crashed when AppleShare was loaded. I have not found out completely why, but I seem to have solved the problem.  I posted my problem over at the comp.sys.apple2.programmer group and drew the interest of Apple IIgs legend Antoine Vignau. He was kind enough to go through my code, told me a few tricks and found the bug, eventually.

The image is available for download on my repository: GitHub

The AppleIISd gets smart

It seems impossible that almost exactly six month have passed since my last blog entry and contribution to my AppleIISd project!
On the start of the new year I joined the choir of a professional production of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and was busy rehearsing all of January and February. Since then I have had a show at least twice a week. 🎵 In March and April I was busy moving flats and had been unpacking and rearranging stuff. I have only had time to get back to the Apple II in the last couple of weekends. However, I tried up a Smartport driver implementation for the AppleIISd using the very little information that is available: 
The name Smartport stands for both hardware and software. The hardware part is what most Apple II users are familiar with: it manifests itself as the disk port on the IIc, IIc+ and the IIgs. It is capable of talking to dumb 5.25" drives as the UniDisk and the DuoDisk, as well as both intelligent and unintelligent 3.5" drives. Theore…

How to prepare SD cards for the AppleIISd

Here is how to prepare SD cards for use with my AppleIISd. Please be aware, that the AppleIISd does not use the FAT format like other SD or CF storage solutions does, it uses the ProDOS format directly. This means that you can not simply take a ProDOS image and drop it to the card in the Windows Explorer, it has to be written using CiderPress.

1. Open CiderPress in Admin mode (Right-click on Icon, "Open as Administrator").
2. Select "Volume copier" from the icon bar or select "Tools -> Volume copier (open volume)" from the menu.
3. Make sure that "Open as read-only" is deselected. Select the SD card's logical volume from the list. Triple check that you have selected the correct volume and don't come crying when your PC has only a ProDOS volume left to boot 😉

4. When you open an SD card for the first time like this it might show an MS-DOS volume with SD card's size. This gives you an opportunity to check again! Select the volume a…

Shipping the AppleIISd kits

My small run of 20 AppleIISd kits is already sold out.
It sold "like sliced bread", as we say in Germany.

In the last few days I felt like I had my own little manufacture. All parts and packaging had arrived and I packed them to ship in 14 little packages.

They will be on their way to Europe, America and Australia tomorrow. I'd like to thank everyone who trusted me and hope you will have fun with the card. Happy holidays for all of you 🎄

I know I wont be bored in the next few weeks as I am already working on integrating the Smartport protocol into the firmware to support more than two partitions. So stay tuned for updates!

Glorious Technicolor and a peek into the Mac's history

Last week I finally got my RGB monitor out of storage and now I can enjoy the nice colours the IIgs can produce. The picture is sharp and text is very legible and not as blocky as on emulators or LCDs.

I realize that it may seem blasphemous to use a Commodore monitor on a IIgs, but the 1084S is one of the most versatile CRTs ever produced. It offers Composite, S-Video, analogue RGB and digital RGB. That means I can use it with every computer or console that outputs a PAL or 15kHz type signal.
The monitor itself is from 1987, so it matches my 1987 IIgs perfectly. I will give it a good cleanup and change all capacitors, so that I can enjoy it for another 30 years.

The second item I'd like to share is a 400k external disk drive for the original Macintosh. The drive is dated May 1984 as you can see in the second picture. I got it for "free" when I bought an Apple 3.5 800k drive for use on my IIgs.
Unfortunately neither my IIgs nor my Mac Classic support this drive, but it s…

AppleIISd PCBs have arrived

The guys (and gals?) on the Applefritter forum have persuaded me to do a small run of AppleIISd kits.
Today, the 20 PCBs arrived from China and they do look fine. As I have changed only one connection from Version 1.0 to 1.1, I may safely assume that the boards work.

I have to admit I was surprised that so many of you were interested in my small exercise. The kits are already sold out!

I just corrected a small bug in the firmware that kept SD V2 cards with less than 2GB from working. Now the kits are ready to ship. With a little luck, they could arrive in time to put them under the xmas tree 🎄

How to upgrade AppleIISd V1.0 to V1.1

I needed to change a minor detail in hardware design to make the card work and I was happy to hear that some of you folks have made their own PCBs from my design.

Here are the changes that are needed to make the current ROM and CPLD work with a V1.0 card:

On the front: Remove resistor R10 and make a connection between the left pad and pin 13 (A11)

On the back: Cut the trace between pin 30 (/IRQ) and the via.