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bluejay

Apple IIe Enhancement: Is It Worth It?

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I was browsing through the Apple Disk Server a few weeks ago, and found out that their version of ProDOS only works with Apple IIe Enhanced or later Apple II models. I found Apple IIcs to be too expensive to buy just to have a spare, but then I found an alternative solution... The Apple IIe enhancement kit! They seem to range anywhere between $20 to $100+, which the lower end of the price spectrum seems reasonable. Is the enhancement worth the money? Are there any variation differences of the kit/computer that may keep something from functioning correctly? Thanks!

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You can use ProDOS 2.4.2 on unenhanced IIe as well. Maybe it is possible to replace the one used by the Disk Server?


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9 hours ago, bluejay said:

I was browsing through the Apple Disk Server a few weeks ago, and found out that their version of ProDOS only works with Apple IIe Enhanced or later Apple II models. I found Apple IIcs to be too expensive to buy just to have a spare, but then I found an alternative solution... The Apple IIe enhancement kit! They seem to range anywhere between $20 to $100+, which the lower end of the price spectrum seems reasonable. Is the enhancement worth the money? Are there any variation differences of the kit/computer that may keep something from functioning correctly? Thanks!

You don't need a IIe enhanced to run 2.4.2. https://prodos8.com/

 

I have a IIe enhanced kit on order, but I suspect it'll be quite a while before it shows up. I'm going for it because there are a few games that require an enhanced, and ProTerm requires enhanced as well.

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There's really no reason to enhance a IIe unless you want to run some late era productivity software that makes use of mousetext characters.  

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3 hours ago, deepthaw said:

I have a IIe enhanced kit on order, but I suspect it'll be quite a while before it shows up. I'm going for it because there are a few games that require an enhanced, and ProTerm requires enhanced as well.

 

Good choice.

 

You get better 80-column text handling.

You get ability to use lowercase in BASIC.

You get a 65C02 with a slightly larger instruction set.

You get the MiniAssembler back (!)

Much cooler-running CMOS-based CPU. Easier on the power supply too.

You get the latest and last revision of the II series ROM release.

 

There's only a few incompatibility issues related to the ROM part of upgrade. Some early BASIC programs improperly used a 2nd bank of characters against "good practice" recommendation and may display MouseText instead of Inverse Text. They're few and far between so no loss there. And being written in BASIC they can be modded to operate correctly. Bad comes to worse, you can always plug in your old ROMs or use emulation temporarily; if you encounter such a proggie.

 

You may have heard that the 65C02 can cause incompatibilities with certain copy-protection tricks or programs themselves. Not to worry. I'm fairly certain all those have been cracked, patched, updated, and fixed ages ago.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_IIe#Enhanced_IIe

https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/8652/why-did-the-original-apple-e-have-two-sets-of-inverse-video-characters

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5 hours ago, deepthaw said:

I have a IIe enhanced kit on order, but I suspect it'll be quite a while before it shows up. I'm going for it because there are a few games that require an enhanced

No game I know of requires and enhanced IIe.  The most complex ones require 128K, DHRG, and 80 columns, but you can get all of that on a regular IIe.

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40 minutes ago, Tempest said:

No game I know of requires and enhanced IIe.  The most complex ones require 128K, DHRG, and 80 columns, but you can get all of that on a regular IIe.

Huh - I was thinking King's Bounty required a IIe enhanced or IIc. I'm going to have to give it a try tonight.

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3 minutes ago, deepthaw said:

Huh - I was thinking King's Bounty required a IIe enhanced or IIc. I'm going to have to give it a try tonight.

Nope.  Just 128K and DHRG,  I've asked this question before because I was curious and everyone has told me no.  Only some productivity stuff needed it.  Although as Keatah pointed out, there are other benefits.

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Part of the confusion is that the "e" in IIe itself means "enhanced".  It's an enhanced Apple II.  So the enhancement kit makes it an Apple II enhanced enhanced.

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16 minutes ago, ChildOfCv said:

Part of the confusion is that the "e" in IIe itself means "enhanced".  It's an enhanced Apple II.  So the enhancement kit makes it an Apple II enhanced enhanced.

Yeah I always thought that was strange.  Maybe they should have called an enhanced IIe a IIe+?

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17 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Yeah I always thought that was strange.  Maybe they should have called an enhanced IIe a IIe+?

Then they’d think it an enhanced Apple II+. Can’t win. 

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For what its worth, my clone IIe came with a 6502 in it, I didn't really notice this until I tried to run ProTerm which complained bitterly about wanting an enhance IIe.  However rather than looking for an enhancement kit, which I didn't think I would find, and a set of roms to match a clone, I just bunged a 65c02 into it.  Up to this point I haven't had any trouble running anything that requires enhancement. I'd be a little interested if there is anything picky I can try it against, but most only seem to be looking for the processor. So so far 100% qualified success :)

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On 1/23/2020 at 10:41 AM, Aunty Entity said:

For what its worth, my clone IIe came with a 6502 in it, I didn't really notice this until I tried to run ProTerm which complained bitterly about wanting an enhance IIe.  However rather than looking for an enhancement kit, which I didn't think I would find, and a set of roms to match a clone, I just bunged a 65c02 into it.  Up to this point I haven't had any trouble running anything that requires enhancement. I'd be a little interested if there is anything picky I can try it against, but most only seem to be looking for the processor. So so far 100% qualified success :)

I can attest to this because I had a similar problem just in the last week. I have a clone //e as well and I had previously enhanced it by burning my own ROMs and upgrading the processor and it had been happily running everything I had thrown at it. However, when testing a new aux RAM card I tried running ProTerm (and PublishIt!) and got errors stating my machine wasn't enhanced. After much swearing and gnashing of teeth, I discovered that the cheap 65C02 that I had purchased off eBay was a fake - most probably a 6502 sanded and relabelled. After swapping in a genuine 65C02 both apps were happy. So both of these apps must look at the processor level (opcode tests) to determine whether you have a 65C02 or not.

Edited by Polymorph

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On 1/24/2020 at 9:56 PM, Keatah said:

Proterm is going to want MouseText, isn't it?

It might... I don't really know whats in CloneE's roms... but the processor was enough to a get it to run, and b it looks for all intents and purposes normal.  From ye good ol' days on a platty IIe and a GS.

 

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On 1/24/2020 at 4:56 AM, Keatah said:

Proterm is going to want MouseText, isn't it?

I just got my enhancement kit installed last night and can verify that ProTerm appears to use at least some of the characters from MouseText. If the pins on the ROMs I received weren't in such poor shape, I'd swap back the originals to see if it'll run with only a 65C02 upgrade.

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2 hours ago, deepthaw said:

I just got my enhancement kit installed last night and can verify that ProTerm appears to use at least some of the characters from MouseText. If the pins on the ROMs I received weren't in such poor shape, I'd swap back the originals to see if it'll run with only a 65C02 upgrade.

I don't see why it wouldn't run.  It's just that with different bitmap patterns than expected, you'll see inverse uppercase characters instead of the expected linedraw characters.

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On 1/30/2020 at 4:17 AM, ChildOfCv said:

I don't see why it wouldn't run.  It's just that with different bitmap patterns than expected, you'll see inverse uppercase characters instead of the expected linedraw characters.

It'll definitely run, I haven't noticed any weird characters, but as mentioned I'm running a CloneE not a Genu-wine one.

 

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Just to ask something a bit off topic:

Does Apple Desktop 1.1 run on any Apple II? Will it run on my 128k 80 column Apple IIe?

I tried to boot it using the Apple Disk Server, but it seems like its trying to read something from Drive 2. Did it originally come with 2 disks?

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There seem to be 2 versions:  One for the 800K disk and one for the 140K disk.  So if you have the right one, it ought to run.

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