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simbalion

An Apple II is always an Apple II

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I've been sort of skimming through some of the other computer sub-forums on here and always notice all the talk about modding computers, game systems, and whatnot.. Questions that always comes into my head is: "At what point do these old systems cease to be what they are with all these modifications? Where does the personality of these systems disappear?" I tend to enjoy systems for what they were capable of and how they originally looked rather than trying to make them into something they aren't.

This got me thinking about the Apple II series and I realized Woz's true genius with these computers. All those expansion slots, the controller connector, and video connector make it a very flexible system. Any mods, expansions, or enhancements can be all 'plug and play', no soldering or major modding of the basic computer at all. You can plug in sound boards, graphic boards, controllers, heck even whole other 8-bit computers on a card, and yet it is STILL an Apple II. The Apple II's personality always survives because it was designed for expansion and even the hobby market right from the beginning.

I'm on vacation and it's turning into a rainy one, so I am getting time for stuff like this to sort of pop up in my bored mind. :)

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Hmmm.... That's interesting.

 

Certainly, the Apple II has a strong identity.

 

That and one thing's for sure -- it's not a Mac (thankfully).

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Yeah, I don't think I've modded any other system and I think it's also because I like to enjoy them as is, warts and all. Part of the fun of vintage computing for me is seeing what these systems were and *were not* capable of back in the day.

 

The Apple II could do pretty much anything because of its expansion capability, and that's a big reason why it was popular. (I just watched most of "Steve Jobs" on the plane last night, and I was happy to see that they touched on that in the film too.)

 

I don't think I'd call most modded systems something other than what they originally were, though, as long as they could run the original software on original hardware. I guess if you got to the point of replacing the motherboard, graphics and sound with something like a mini-ITX PC board running an emulator, that's the point when I'd say "that's just a PC in a retro case". But short of that, as long as the software's running on original metal, I'd still say that machine retains its identity, Apple II or not :)

 

Edit: Brings up another interesting question, though: is the Apple II board for Mac a real Apple II? ;)

Edited by spacecadet

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Edit: Brings up another interesting question, though: is the Apple II board for Mac a real Apple II? ;)

 

Yes, that is interesting.. Hmm.. Well, I would say yes.. It is an Apple II on a card! :D Your Mac has to obey it and become an Apple II for you. Actually, now that makes me wonder if it isn't possible to somehow rig up a fully expanded, 'micro' Apple II that could basically fit in your pocket? Fun to think about anyways...

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Yes, that is interesting.. Hmm.. Well, I would say yes.. It is an Apple II on a card! :D Your Mac has to obey it and become an Apple II for you. Actually, now that makes me wonder if it isn't possible to somehow rig up a fully expanded, 'micro' Apple II that could basically fit in your pocket? Fun to think about anyways...

Yes, but it would have to have micro expansion slots too. Imagine expansion cards the size of a micro SD card. ;)

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According to Wikipedia, though, the Mac Apple II card uses emulation on the Mac itself for video, along with a few other things. I personally wouldn't consider that a real Apple II.

 

As for the micro Apple II, I'm sure you could do it with modern components, but, and maybe this is just my own quirk, I wouldn't consider that a real Apple II either unless it was actually released by Apple. It'd be more of an unauthorized hack. But I would love it if Apple did actually release something like that, just as a fun little thing, and I'd consider it a real Apple II if they did. (Remember, the IIc didn't have slots either - it's still a real Apple II.) Can't see how it'd be something the current regime would be interested in, though.

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I believe most people are using the name "Apple II" to describe what it can do, and that is to run Apple II software and not so much the hardware. An Apple IIGS, IS, an apple II as well. And what about a Laser 128 series or the Franklins. Even though it does not have the name of Apple, is still considered an Apple II clone.

 

But an Apple II running a PC transporter card or CPM card, and that is all it is used for, in my mind, would not be considered an Apple II due to its usage otherwise a Mac running an Apple II card is still a Mac. The card is dependent on the Mac for its hardware emulation.

 

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I'm a proud owner of an apple II card I'd consider it a 60/40 split, its not emulation like we think... its running a real iwm chip, a real 6502, real io, but its preferials are handled though the Mac either in translation (like ram and hard disk) or emulation like video

 

It's still much more accurate than a soft emulator, and it's the exact same sub system as found in a GS, so is a GS an apple II?

 

Or is it a Mac like computer with a compatibility card onboard running emulated services on a video display chip, which a II does not have

 

Hmmm

Edited by Osgeld
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