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Baldrick

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About Baldrick

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  1. While I'd like to say we got an Apple II because of it's popularity or superiority, in reality we got into the Apple II (by building several clone II+) because of VisiCalc and AppleWriter. My dad needed something to help with his business, and the Apple II was the least expensive way to go about it. At the time our "home" computer was a VIC20 and I was studying at school with Commodore PETs, with the occasional foray into Apple II when some topic warranted, but there was only one Apple in the lab of 20 or so PETs at the school. Anyway, because of that business related top-down-trickle effect I became quite involved with the Apple II, and have been ever since (with a few years hiatus in the 90s and early aughts).
  2. The Apple II may have been both a hobbyist computer (esp the original II and II+) and a home computer. BUT... Visicalc, AppleWriter and later AppleWorks (which was the number one software package sold for a while) turned the Apple II into a bona-fide business computer for its time.
  3. There were a few "regular" 1200 and 2400 baud AE lines in my area but not many. So I started one with a 1200 baud Smartmodem and then a 2400 baud Smartmodem. Judging from its popularity during its relatively short life I think that there was a lot of demand from non-Apple Cat users.
  4. Don't take offence at this, but... What I do remember from back then were the Apple-Cat cults. Because they were the only commercial device for the Apple II that used the 202 communications standard running 1200 baud they were really great at keeping the rest of the BBS community away from their shores by relegating even 212-equipped 120 baud Smartmodems and compatibles at 300 baud on Apple Cat-equipped BBS systems. They even bragged about being an elite community. I can say that I have zero fond memories of interactions with Apple Cat users back in that era.
  5. Sorry, ripguy9907, there's no such thing as a 14 pin version of a 74HCT244. That eBay listing is showing a generic photo of an unlabeled chip. There's got to be an error in that Laser128 schematic. Definitely. The 74HCT244 is an octal buffer line driver, which belongs in a logic circuit, not a power supply. The schematic clearly depicts a voltage regulator of some sort, and the photo of the part number starts with a 7, with what appears to be a 2 as the next digit. I believe that part is an LM723CN voltage regulator (which would be right at home in a power supply). The pinouts seem to jibe with the datasheet shown here: https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ProdDS/24467.pdf And Jameco sells them for $1.19 https://www.jameco.com/z/LM723CN-Major-Brands-IC-LM723CN-2-to-37V-150mA-Voltage-Regulator_24467.html
  6. Generic. And they cost a dollar new at Digikey. You can order that replacement capacitor while you're there. Mind the voltage and temperature rating of the capacitor. (and the size). If you can get a similarly sized cap with a slightly higher voltage and temperature rating it will guarantee longevity. Especially since it is sitting right next to a 5 watt resistor which can emit a LOT of heat.
  7. According to the schematic, that's U1, which is a 74HCT244 https://ia800709.us.archive.org/12/items/Laser_128_Technical_Reference_Manual_alt/Laser_128_Technical_Reference_Manual_alt.pdf See page E-12 and F-1 And do replace that swollen capacitor.
  8. I have the Fastchip IIe in Slot 3 of mine - that's what I assumed was in your slot 3. So if you have the Fastchip IIe in slot 1, what's in slot 3?
  9. I thought it was pretty interesting. I placed my order for one. We'll see how it looks. I might install them onto my other IIe that has a solid colour (standard) case and leave this one as-is. But if the keyboard feel is as good as they say... By the way...what have you got in slot 1 in your clear IIe? It's "clearly" (haw!) an A2Heaven card, but which one?
  10. It's Darkfire-2000, a re-write and extension of GBBS-Pro. It's a fit of a Frankenstein as DF-2000 was not meant to run with v2.2 of ACOS , yet that's what I'm doing.
  11. Here’s mine. doing 24-7 duty running The Brewery BBS. Telnet to: thebrewery.servebeer.com:6400
  12. There wasn't much that was modifiable on the II+. Sure you could get lower case character generators, and alternate ROM configurations (the programmer's aid chip comes to mind for the earlier Apple II) but generally most of the functionality you'd want to add would be on slot cards. I have a couple of Unitron clones that included two prototyping areas on the motherboard and one of them had a circuit soldered to it that could redirect the Reset key, and another that could turn on and off interrupts from slot cards (unsure as to why), but because of the layout of the motherboard and the fact that it was completely stuffed, there was not too much you could add, really. The Rev 0 and some early revisions of the Apple II also had small prototyping areas. You talked about the Videx switcher - presumably the "Soft Switch" add on to the Videx Videoterm, but that was actually an add-on itself. Sort of a bodge, though so I don't know if that fits your definition. There was also the Videx Enhancer which was an alternate keyboard encoder (which was a rudimentary 6502-based computer in itself with static RAM, ROM and a 6504 processor (which was a truncated version of the 6502)). That was a pretty neat hack. 99% of all other add-on functionality would be done via the data bus anyway, so that meant slot cards. I remember being able to buy prototyping cards that you could mount your own circuits to, and doing lots of that sort of experimentation. Maybe that's the answer to your question? With regards to the IBM PC, it never really struck me as a hobbyist's computer. Most were bundled with copies of Lotus 123 and Wordperfect so guess how they were going to be used...
  13. Clean the heads on your DuoDisk drives and make sure that the diskette you're using is in good shape. Look for blotches on the magnetic media (which would indicate mould) or a concentric scratch at track zero (near the outer edge of the diskette). Apple drives read from the bottom, so look at the underside of the diskette. Mould means that (a) your heads are dirty for sure and (b) the diskette is junk
  14. If you're concerned about power, get your voltmeter out and measure the +5V (should be at 5 volts) and the +12V (usually 11.8V) with all your cards installed. If the power supply can handle the load (it can if it's in good shape) then don't worry about it. If your power supply can't handle the load due to age or state of repair, get a universal power supply replacement kit from ReActive Micro.
  15. magnusfalkirk has the right idea. If you use Virtual II (Mac only) configure your machine to have a Super Serial Card in slot 1 and an ImageWriter Printer attached to it. When you run your disk image of Print Shop and "print" to the Imagewriter, Virtual II will store the image. When you click on the printer icon it will show you your output at which point you can save it as a PDF and print it out using your modern Mac.
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