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#51 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 8:20 AM

Although I'm not interested in ever physically owning an Apple II machine from a curiosity standpoint its always interesting to see what people are doing with their retro machines and how they go about solving their problems to get the job done.

#52 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 8:35 AM

I agree, a stock Enhanced //e should be the standard platform these days. Mockingboard? I know it makes things much, much easier sound-wise (not to mention more pleasant sounding), but they just aren't that common, even with the clones that were from ReactiveMicro. (BTW, does anyone know if they're ever coming back?)

Not sure about the clones from ReactiveMicro (which I don't have any idea if they are coming back) but there are some clones coming out of Korea that appear on ebay regularly.
Clones of the Apple II were supposedly common in Korea and you'll find a few Korean websites dedicated to the Apple II... at least I did a couple years ago.

#53 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 8:40 AM

I've always wanted to get the speech chip for my Mockingboard, but they're hard to come by now (ReactiveMicro had them, but they're not taking orders now). Not to mention that only a few games used it. Still, I've always wanted one.

#54 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 8:59 AM

I've always wanted to get the speech chip for my Mockingboard, but they're hard to come by now (ReactiveMicro had them, but they're not taking orders now). Not to mention that only a few games used it. Still, I've always wanted one.


Yeah, that's what kept me from buying one, too. I looked into it a few years ago (buying from ReactiveMicro, or one of the Korean jobbies on eBay) and ultimately decided it just wasn't worth it. I think the only game that I'd have played that used it was Ultima. I'd rather have something more useful (and ended up buying a clock card instead, as I recall).

#55 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 9:14 AM

Yeah, that's what kept me from buying one, too. I looked into it a few years ago (buying from ReactiveMicro, or one of the Korean jobbies on eBay) and ultimately decided it just wasn't worth it. I think the only game that I'd have played that used it was Ultima. I'd rather have something more useful (and ended up buying a clock card instead, as I recall).

Actually I was talking about the speech chip upgrade for the Mockingboard, not the board itself. Ultima only used the music, not the speech. So games that used the speech chip are a very small subset of a very small subset of games. I think there are about 3 or 4 in total.

Ultima III-V are the most prominent games that use the Mockingboard. There's a list of games on comp.sys.apple2 as I've asked this question before, but it's not very long (20 games I think) and of those games I only recognized 6 or 7.

#56 Ransom OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 10:00 AM

Actually I was talking about the speech chip upgrade for the Mockingboard, not the board itself. Ultima only used the music, not the speech. So games that used the speech chip are a very small subset of a very small subset of games. I think there are about 3 or 4 in total.


Oh, sorry. I misunderstood.

Ultima III-V are the most prominent games that use the Mockingboard. There's a list of games on comp.sys.apple2 as I've asked this question before, but it's not very long (20 games I think) and of those games I only recognized 6 or 7.


The Mockingboard is extremely cool but barely supported. Supporting it with new stuff would be nice, but making it a requirement would limit the target audience too much I think.

#57 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 10:20 AM

Well, seems to me it would be a good FPGA hardware project someday. To be really clear, I was merely musing over what a standard system looks like. Looks like the consensus is support it, but don't require it. Works for me.

If I ever get PoP built, adding Mockingboard tunes would be high on the list...

#58 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 10:52 AM

The Mockingboard is extremely cool but barely supported. Supporting it with new stuff would be nice, but making it a requirement would limit the target audience too much I think.

It would certainly limit the target audience to anyone with a Mockingboard or an Emulator. :ponder:

I think this is one of those things that has to be programmer prerogative.
Trying to stick instructions here or there to get the right sound out of a 1MHz Apple II without stopping gameplay is a difficult task and the end result is usually kinda blah.
Creating music/sound effects in a tracker and playing them back with an interrupt driven player is pretty easy.

If I were to try to sell a game I'd probably include some speaker driven sound and have an optional background music track using the Mockingboard.
I might even go as far as to place sound related code in an overlay and load the appropriate overlay for internal or Mockingboard sound/music.
But that's me.

#59 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 12:17 PM

As to a "standard"...
What is the goal of the standard? What to develop new games/apps for? What to recommend to new Apple users?

Ideal(?) system:
64K RAM, preferably 128K RAM, Any RAM expansion (beyond the language card) could be used for a disk cache or RAM disk if you have a driver for it. With some sort of software interface programs could identify all kinds of RAM expansions for data storage and I know that several RAM disk programs have source code. Just a thought.
80 Column support (IIe compatible)
Lower case support, ideally mouse text support
Super Serial card (No matter what machine you get, you want a super serial card for programs like ADT or the Apple game server)
Disk controller + drive and or CFFA or hard drive + controller

A standard IIc would foot the bill if that's what people really want.

But are those features really necessary?

If you are going to develop utilities or a business app, things like upper and lower case characters, mouse text, and 80 column card make sense.
Even support for 128K (or more) makes sense.

However...
If you are developing a game in standard Apple hi-res graphics, 80 column support makes no sense, mouse text and upper/lower case would only be useful if you use the mode with text on the bottom of the screen, and you might be better off letting everyone run the program by sticking to 64K (which is basically 48K with a language card).
Lower case text can be displayed with a graphics character generator and you aren't limited to the bottom of the screen.


Computer choices:

Apple II. A great and rare collectors item but built in firmware is very different from what people consider to be an Apple II. Came with Integer BASIC. I suggest you use it for show. It can do most of what a II+ can do if you know what you are doing but it's worth more in stock form.

Apple II+. A slightly modified Apple II with a firmware upgrade. It is the first machine with Applesoft II BASIC and autoboot support from day 1. Every Apple II from that point on is pretty much based on it but with some enhancements.
The machine can only be upgraded to 48K on the motherboard and requires a language card to support 64K. Language cards are common.
Expansion beyond 64K is possible but cards not be compatible with the 128K of the IIe.
The II+ does not come stock with support for lower case but it can be modified to support lower case in hardware. I *think* you can even support mouse text with the right ROM. The firmware has no lower case support but some programs did offer support.
No open/closed Apple keys so many IIe programs won't work.
No double hi-res graphics.
Support for 80 columns requires an add on card but there was no universal standard so you'd have to pick a model that was widely supported. I don't know if any are compatible with the IIe at the hardware level but they may be at the firmware level.

Apple IIe unenhanced. Can be identified by the white keycaps. The language card is built into the motherboard so you have 64K from the factory.
Most of the features of the enhanced IIe minus mouse text and the 65C02. I read that the first ones do not support double hi-res graphics but I can't be sure and I think Apple offered an upgrade. Open/Closed Apple keys introduced and on all later models.

Apple IIe enhanced. Black keycaps. 64K, 80 column/RAM card slot, lower case, mouse text, double hi-res, open/closed Apple keys. Dumps cassette support from ROM to add lowercase support?

Apple IIe Platinum. An enhanced Apple IIe with a numeric keypad and came with the 128K RAM card.

Apple IIc. An all in one enhanced IIe with 128K. Built in super serial cards. (Mouse card?)

Apple IIc+. IIc with 3.5" drive and 4MHz mode.

Apple IIgs. Enhanced IIe compatible but 65816 cpu. Upgradable to several MB of RAM. New graphics modes. Excellent built in sound chip. Apple talk and ADB support.

In addition there are clones but too many to mention.

All it takes is supporting or not supporting a feature here or there and you change what machines can run your software.

#60 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 12:26 PM

Apple II. A great and rare collectors item but built in firmware is very different from what people consider to be an Apple II. Came with Integer BASIC. I suggest you use it for show. It can do most of what a II+ can do if you know what you are doing but it's worth more in stock form.

If you got a ][ with 64K, and are willing to limit to DOS 3.3, you can sideload the ][+ firmware and use it as a 48K ][+.

Apple IIe unenhanced. Can be identified by the white keycaps. The language card is built into the motherboard so you have 64K from the factory.
Most of the features of the enhanced IIe minus mouse text and the 65C02. I read that the first ones do not support double hi-res graphics but I can't be sure and I think Apple offered an upgrade. Open/Closed Apple keys introduced and on all later models.

I believe you're right about the DHGR. Which is why to be safe I require enhanced //e if using DHGR.

Apple IIe enhanced. Black keycaps. 64K, 80 column/RAM card slot, lower case, mouse text, double hi-res, open/closed Apple keys. Dumps cassette support from ROM to add lowercase support?

It supports tape just fine.

Apple IIe Platinum. An enhanced Apple IIe with a numeric keypad and came with the 128K RAM card.

This is the one I have.

Apple IIc. An all in one enhanced IIe with 128K. Built in super serial cards. (Mouse card?)

This is what I cut my teeth on. And yes - it has mouse support out of the box.

#61 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 12:44 PM

I have a standard //e that has black key caps. I later upgraded it to enhanced status.

I also feel that most II and II+ owners are enthusiasts involved enough in the hobby that they'll have acquired a //e. And their II and II+ machines are more or less collectors items and thus see little use. So if development targets a //e you're not excluding anyone.

#62 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 12:48 PM

Well, seems to me it would be a good FPGA hardware project someday.

Never crossed my mind for a second. :D

If I ever get PoP built, adding Mockingboard tunes would be high on the list...

*Like*

#63 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 12:59 PM

I have a standard //e that has black key caps. I later upgraded it to enhanced status.

Ah, I forgot the first black key cap IIe's weren't enhanced. I think the white keycap models were out for about a year, then a year or two of the unenhanced IIe's with black keycaps.

I also feel that most II and II+ owners are enthusiasts involved enough in the hobby that they'll have acquired a //e. And their II and II+ machines are more or less collectors items and thus see little use. So if development targets a //e you're not excluding anyone.

Agreed, the number of people that have a II or II+ and not a IIe or IIgs is probably pretty small and then it's probably a machine in a collection rather than something someone uses.

The IIgs runs about every IIe program so keeping a IIe out doesn't make much sense for me although I do have one in storage.
Anything that doesn't run on the IIgs should run on the II+. Besides, the first Apple I used was a II+ and I just like the little beast. :)

#64 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 2:21 PM

FWIW, if you are going to require an enhanced IIe, you might as well use 65C02 instructions.
They will make your code smaller, faster, and you'll be asking yourself why the hell the 6502 didn't have them to begin with. ;)

#65 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 3:53 PM

So then, do we add the GS? I don't have one, but I kind of want one...

#66 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 4:14 PM

So then, do we add the GS? I don't have one, but I kind of want one...

Add the GS? to what?? To a list of recommended minimum specs? A sub-forum section. Sorry I'm haphazardly following this topic and trying to scan some classic material at the same time.

#67 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 6:54 PM

Just musing over the scope of potential discussion. It's not important.

#68 potatohead OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:52 PM

Here is an Apple topic: Where are your favorite archives?

#69 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:19 PM

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.com/ -- because I can quickly search the entire site via -- ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.com/pub/apple_II/site_index.txt -- ALT-E F in my browser works nice. Then I can copy/paste the result into the address bar for immediate download. It's been around for like 10 years already.

http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ -- I was previously impressed with the peripheral card documentation when I found it a few years ago. I assume it's still pretty nice.

http://www.Apple2online.org -- While tedious to search through, there are typically new scans every month. Not a lot, but enough to keep coming back. It is also actively maintained like asimov.

Edited by Keatah, Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:19 PM.


#70 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:17 AM

Listing this because it hasn't been mentioned yet (not with a link anyway):
http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/

Edited by JamesD, Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:19 AM.


#71 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 2, 2013 10:26 PM

I would really be interested in an Apple ][ Sub-Forum here at AtariAge.. Especially pertaining to Programming or Game Development..

I have been a member at Applefritter for almost 18 months, and the Apple ][ focus is about Classic Hardware, and using the Apple ]['s with Classic Software, with a small focus on new Hardware ( like Flash Drives for Storage ).. There is very little Programming topics...


I was directed to AtariAge by JamesD and his link to (Apple ][) It's on like Donkey Kong...

I am just getting back into using the Apple ][, I started in JAN-1982 with the Apple][+ at High School..
I have 8 Apple ][e's, 2 Apple //e Enhanced Motherboards, an Apple ][, and Apple ][+ and 2 Apple IIgs. I also have a Commodore SX-64 with a few VIC-20's, C-64 and 2 C-128 of unknown operating status, and a few ( like a dozen ) Sinclare ZX-81/Timex-Sinclare 1000's.

Here is a picture of me, ( I'm on the left ) with my first Apple ][ purchase.

Posted Image



#72 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013 12:15 AM

*^^*

I have a lot of weird ideas. Trying to improve DK was one of them.

#73 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013 11:31 PM

*^^*

I have a lot of weird ideas. Trying to improve DK was one of them.


I was following that thread.. Did you ever get a version that would Load and Play?? How about with the Mockingboard support??

#74 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013 12:16 AM

It was already functional when I linked it, but the enhancements were never finished.

#75 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013 2:14 PM

It was already functional when I linked it, but the enhancements were never finished.


Do you have a link to your modified version?? I tried the Attached Files in the thread, but there did not seem to be a playable version..

EDIT:

I think I found it.. It's in a GZip File.....

Edited by MarkO, Fri Apr 5, 2013 2:50 PM.





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