RetroChallenge 2017/10: Mouse Card replacement for the Apple IIe

This is it, the topic for my first RetroChallenge!
I want to build a replacement for the Apple II Mouse Card. Well, at least a prototype.

Why on earth...?
Just imagine the all the endless possibilities you get from a GUI: it changes the whole experience of computing! Suddenly everyone could use a computer and nobody has to remember and type all those cryptic commands anymore...
To be honest, that's neither really new, nor completely true. But just ignore that for a moment: If you want mouse support on the Apple II series, you have three choices: a IIc/IIc+, a IIgs or the II Mouse Card.
The first choice is compact, but limited. The IIc has no slots (and that is one of my favourite features of the Apple II line). Additionally, a IIc isn't exactly cheap here in Europe.
The second one, a IIgs with its ADB bus is nearly perfect, except that it isn't cheap either.
That leaves us with the third option, the mouse card for the II. The computer itself is quite common and therefore not expensive (of you skip those Sunday evening eBay inanities). Unfortunately, the card and a matching mouse are kind of rare.

Yeah, but who needs that anyway?
Anyone! At least anyone who still uses an Apple II. Still not convinced? Frankly, I don't care. RetroChallenge is about doing things because you can, not because anyone needs it.
So, I'm ready to go and waiting for the challenge to begin. In the few days remaining I could already fantasize about the wonderful things I could do with my IIe when it's finished ;-)

Comments

  1. Nice idea! These cards are rare and really expensive.

    Do you want to connect the original Apple Mouse II (M0100) or a standard serial/USB mouse?
    I read that they have a rotary encoder and transmit a raw signal - that could be an additional challenge to put these two concepts together. ;-)

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  2. The original Apple II mouse, just as the original Macintosh mouse are equally rare. I'd like to try a PS/2 mouse first, because this is a rather easy protocol.

    I'll post about these different kinds of mice later.

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