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Few questions while building out my ultimate coding rig

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I have a IIe Platinum that I've been playing with for a while, enjoying learning about the double hi-res graphics, and just having fun coding in assembly. It is completely stock right now, and I want to expand it. I need feedback on few items. Here's what I've already ordered or plan on ordering as soon as available:

- CFFA3000

- VGA adapter from A2Heaven

- RamWorks III


I'm thinking about the following:

- Mockingbird with SSI-263P speech chip - is this worth it? How would you compare sound quality/versatility to something like SID?

- Any custom ROMs? Are they worth it? What would be the best?

- ProDev DDT. Is this worth it if I'm not into cracking software?


And, anything else that I'm missing?

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If you are doing it for nostalgia, then use whatever setup you had back in the day...otherwise, you might find it better to use a cross compile with an emulator. If you are using a Mac, I would recommend Virtual ][

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You definitely want the CFFA. It delivers a great, faster experience and reliability compared to floppies.


I keep a few, and write a floppy for testing, or an original experience.


The VGA adapter can be an option. I would get one while the getting is good, but a PVM CRT is a great, and I would argue, superior alternative.


If the Apple is your only system, go VGA adapter.


If not, the PVM will look amazing, and will work for whatever you got.


Those things have insane great circuits, able to display 80 column text off composite. They also have VGA type fine shadow masks. That is the major difference, IMHO. Monochrome is monochrome up through and a bit past the DHGR the //e is capable of. Many have a switch just for that purpose.


Get the Mockingboard. I need one myself. Don't know about the speech option. I don't want one, though maybe...


I write some, smaller code on the machine. For anything bigger, emulation and a PC like setup is way easier.


On mine, I have a USB extension cable run out so I can plug a thumb drive in. Write disk image, plug in, boot. It is super easy.

Edited by potatohead

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Thanks, CFFA3000 should be here in a couple of weeks hopefully. Also got a replacement power supply, and ordered the Mockingbird. Still waiting on stock for the VGA adapter. I have multiple retro setups, and tried two Sony PVMs, but I've had no luck getting a good one - both turned out to be very heavily used. Still on the lookout for that perfect one, although I "get by" with a really nice Commodore 1084S. VGA is more for future-proofing.


Not really a fan of cross-compiling/development, I like to enjoy the full experience :) I don't have that much time these days to devote to my retro collection anyway, so when I do, it's hardcore!

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Just to add to the topic, finally got my CFFA3000, and what an awesome piece of hardware. I believe this might be the last run ever built, I highly recommend it to anyone that has been thinking about it.


Now I want to build a custom lid with the remote switches and place for my future Fastchip IIe...

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