Apple IIe is Go

2008 November 13
tags:
by JJ Sonick

Just a quick post that the Apple IIe purchased from Digital Dinos is now up and running.  I won an eBay auction for a homebrew Mockingboard clone, so I figured I should set up the IIe so it’ll be ready to receive that sound card.

Set-up went smoothly. I installed the Expanded 80 Column Card and the Disk Drive Controller Card in the IIe, hooked up the drives, monitor, and power, and gave it a spin.

Apple IIe Setup

Apple IIe Setup

I used Infocom/Westwood’s Battletech game to test both the extra memory on the 80 Column card (the game requires 128k)  and to test the drives (it can use 2 drives).

My IIc in pristine shape, its case clean and non-aged.  This IIe on the other hand has typical yellow-y aging on the case, and is also scuffed up and marked a bit.  Yet I never had a IIc growing up, I had a IIe.  I have a more immediate connection with the IIe’s size, shape and the feel of its keyboard.  Using it feels more like an authentic time machine. :D

Apple IIe closeup

Apple IIe closeup

The IIc has certain advantages:

  1. Its compact size means there’s a bit more deskspace when it’s occupying the computer table instead of the IIe.
  2. Its headphone jack is *very* handy for recording its audio output (I ran it straight into a Zoom H4 recorder).  Since making 8-bit music on these computers is one of main interests, that’s a big plus for getting a clean recording.  The on-its-way Mockingboard clone has some kind of ‘stereo jack’ – I’ll have to see how well that works, but even so, for non-Mockingboard audio, like RT.SYNTH, I’d have to stick a microphone somewhere near the IIe case.  So for doing final recordings of Apple II audio, I may end up mostly using the IIc.
  3. I would need another card (a super serial card) to do disk transfers with ADTPro on the IIe.  With the IIc, you just use its built-in serial port.

Nevertheless, the IIe’s greater nostalgia/personal time-machine aura means I will probably use it more, outside of the necessary audio recording and ADT uses of the IIc.  And of course, the IIe’s expandability though its available card slots is a huge plus, and something that drives a large portion of the current 8-bit Apple enthusiast community.  Playing with the Mockingboard should be good fun, and I *do* want to get and try out the Uther ethernet card and the CFFA card (basically a Flash card hard drive for the 8-bit Apples) at some point.  For that matter, a TransWarp card is looking good to speed up some of the slow SSI strategy games I’ve been playing. :)

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