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Apple IIgs cards

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I got one! I got one! I got one! :D

 

Oh. Excuse me. I'm a little exited. By the time you read this, my new Apple //gs may already be in the mail!

 

I know the //gs uses "virtual slots", that is, the built in hardware is mapped like it's in IIe slots. Many optional cards require the internal hardware to be disabled because they use the same space.

 

There are other cards that don't require anything to be disabled. Where can I get a complete list of those?

 

What about the SCSI card? I assume I can use Hard and floppy drives at the same time. Where does it go?

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Posted (edited)

I'm not at my IIgs at the moment to look, but IIRC slots 4 and 7 are free (or maybe slot 4 is the mouse card in IIe mode, but I think you can disable it and still have a mouse in IIgs mode, just not in IIe software, and I assume all your mouse-driven productivity software will be running in GSOS, and IIe mode will just be for games none of which use a mouse anyway).  I plan to put my SCSI card in slot 7 and my Phasor in slot 4, once I build the kits.

 

If I recollect correctly, the built-in slot assignment is as follows:

1. Printer (serial port).

2. Modem (serial port).

3. 80-column Card

4. Mouse

5. Smartport (3.5 drives)

6. 5.25 drives

7. Free

 

The VidHD can use a slot, or not depending on how it's configured, if you're planning to install one.  Since slot 3 overlaps with the 80 column card, it's a good candidate for installing "passive" cards like that.

 

You do *not* want to turn off slots 3, 5, or 6.  1 and 2 are up for grabs depending on whether or not you are using your serial ports.

Edited by Lee Adamson

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Thanks, this helps. I don't plan on disableing *anything* built in, but if it's absolutely necesary, I will keep slot 4 in mind.

 

What are the VidHD and Phasor? What other cards don't use a slot? (That sounds silly, doesn't it? Of course I have to put it in a slot. I can't just lay it beside the computer and axpect it to work. But I think it's obvious I mean a slot in the memory map. Isn't it? I think it's also obvious my brain is tired. I'll see you in the morning.) (Isn't my //gs here yet? I ordered it a t about 3:00. Shouldn't it be here by now?)

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, KG7PFS said:

I got one! I got one! I got one! :D

 

Oh. Excuse me. I'm a little exited. By the time you read this, my new Apple //gs may already be in the mail!

 

I know the //gs uses "virtual slots", that is, the built in hardware is mapped like it's in IIe slots. Many optional cards require the internal hardware to be disabled because they use the same space.

 

There are other cards that don't require anything to be disabled. Where can I get a complete list of those?

 

What about the SCSI card? I assume I can use Hard and floppy drives at the same time. Where does it go?

The usual spot for SCSI is slot 7 making it a default boot device in lieu of any set slot in the control panel.  Sound cards usually end up in 1 or 2 from memory. VidHD can actually go in any slot off the top of my head too.  I have mine in 3 though.

It becomes a question as to what is more important to YOU in the use of your IIgs, most people tend to use slot 1 or 2, as they tend to have either a printer or a modem.  Not so much both. So one serial port can often be sacrificed.  Slot4 is also a good candidate if you have a ROM3 GS as in the rom 3 the disabling of the slot doesn't disable the mouse firmware. On a rom1 you can't do this.  If you don't use 5.25" floppies 6 becomes available.  Or you can pop a card in 6 and swap the control panel to whichever device you're using...

 

The cards that are not "using" a slot usually don't have much interaction with the system.  Phasor is mostly just powered from the BUS.  VidHD is sneaking a peek at the signals on the BUS but doesn't really inject any of its own.

Edited by Aunty Entity

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, KG7PFS said:

What are the VidHD and Phasor?

 

VidHD is a card that lets you use an HDMI monitor.  "But I already have a sweet CRT," you say?  Yeah, me too, and I like it better than a washed out LCD.  But the IIgs (and the Mac LC IIe card) renders IIe-mode hires graphics slightly differently than the IIc/IIe/etc.  I actually prefer the way the IIgs does it, but the VidHD lets you switch modes between IIe rendering and IIgs-in-IIe-mode rendering.

 

If you have a decent CRT, I wouldn't worry about the VidHD, unless you are short of desk space and want to hook it to a KVM with your other boxen.  In which case you might be happier with a scan doubler, anyway (to use a VGA CRT on a KVM).

 

The Phasor is a sound card, kinda like having two mockingboards in one slot.  Think kinda in-between an Adlib and Tandy 3-voice audio fidelity-wise.  "But the IIgs already has an Ensoniq chip that is way better than the Mockingboard," you say?  Yeah, but you can only use it with IIgs software.  The IIe software with enhanced sound needs a mockingboard/phasor for music (generally we're looking at the Ultima games, and Adventure Construction Set, but there are others).

 

Unless you are an Ultima fanboi, it's probably not worth the expense, unless you just want to trick out your machine.  If you get desperate to play Ultimas III-VI with music, the IIe emulators do a pretty good job at Mockingboard emulation.

 

  

7 hours ago, Aunty Entity said:

... Slot4 is also a good candidate if you have a ROM3 GS as in the rom 3 the disabling of the slot doesn't disable the mouse firmware. On a rom1 you can't do this.

 

Ahhh, that is good to know.  I didn't realize this didn't work on a ROM1 box.  =:O

Edited by Lee Adamson

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Hey, wait a minue! According to the Pineapple ][ Hardware Database, APPLE MADE AN ETERNET CARD!!! What slot does that go in? Do I have to diable anything for it?

 

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2 hours ago, KG7PFS said:

Hey, wait a minue! According to the Pineapple ][ Hardware Database, APPLE MADE AN ETERNET CARD!!! What slot does that go in? Do I have to diable anything for it?

 

Never seen or heard of one in the wild.  The most complete info I could find for it is...

http://www.apple2.org/AIIEthernet.html

But there's nothing like a manual so no idea about expected slot assignment..

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22 hours ago, Lee Adamson said:

 

VidHD is a card that lets you use an HDMI monitor.  "But I already have a sweet CRT," you say?  Yeah, me too, and I like it better than a washed out LCD.  But the IIgs (and the Mac LC IIe card) renders IIe-mode hires graphics slightly differently than the IIc/IIe/etc.  I actually prefer the way the IIgs does it, but the VidHD lets you switch modes between IIe rendering and IIgs-in-IIe-mode rendering.

 

If you have a decent CRT, I wouldn't worry about the VidHD, unless you are short of desk space and want to hook it to a KVM with your other boxen.  In which case you might be happier with a scan doubler, anyway (to use a VGA CRT on a KVM).

 

The Phasor is a sound card, kinda like having two mockingboards in one slot.  Think kinda in-between an Adlib and Tandy 3-voice audio fidelity-wise.  "But the IIgs already has an Ensoniq chip that is way better than the Mockingboard," you say?  Yeah, but you can only use it with IIgs software.  The IIe software with enhanced sound needs a mockingboard/phasor for music (generally we're looking at the Ultima games, and Adventure Construction Set, but there are others).

 

Unless you are an Ultima fanboi, it's probably not worth the expense, unless you just want to trick out your machine.  If you get desperate to play Ultimas III-VI with music, the IIe emulators do a pretty good job at Mockingboard emulation.

 

  

 

Ahhh, that is good to know.  I didn't realize this didn't work on a ROM1 box.  =:O

Yeah, I found that out the hard way... so managed to luck out on a killer price for a ROM3 board.  I ended up initially with ROM 00, upgraded to 01, then got the ROM 3 board.  So I can test the three...

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Posted (edited)

If Apple made an ethernet card for the Apple II bus, it'll be impossible to find and expensive.

 

There is, however, the Uthernet II card, a new production retro-product.  http://a2retrosystems.com/products.htm

 

That being said, you may be disappointed with ethernet performance on a IIgs, compared to what you might be used to on old PC hardware.  Even though the 65816 can theoretically run up to 14 MHz and better, the expansion bus stretches the clock out to 1MHz to retain compatibility with IIe cards.

 

Another option, which may be cheaper and might be better supported by vintage software, is LocalTalk.  The serial ports in your IIgs are actually RS422 ports.  When running in RS232 mode they are limited to 19.2kbit, but when externally clocked and running in RS422 mode (ie LocalTalk) they can go up to around 200kbit or so.  It is also possible to encapsulate TCP/IP over LocalTalk, and unwrap it on a LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridge.  This ends up being much much faster than a SLIP or PPP connection, because of the port running in RS422 mode.

 

The way I do this is with some Farallon PhoneNet adapters (you also need termination resistors, but they are easy to make if you have an RJ-11 crimper) and an Asante EtherTalk box (LocalTalk to Ethernet gateway).  If you have an oldskool 68k or early PPC Mac that has the same kind of serial ports, and the Mac also has an ethernet card, you can also configure it to act as the localtalk-ethernet gateway, instead of buying the Asante box.

 

But yeah, don't hold your breath for good TCP/IP performance.  You'll be able to ftp, telnet, maybe surf gopherspace, POP/IMAP, and AppleShare, but there just isn't enough machine to do HTTP reasonably, or any sort of encrypted remote shell stuff.

Edited by Lee Adamson

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Ok, forget the Apple Ethernet. Uthernet looks interesting. What about the Workstation Card?

 

Of course I don't expect full internet access with the Apple, but anything it can do will be fun.

 

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Slightly OT but related.  Seeing as I have a VidHD, a IIgs and a CloneE.  I actually ended up putting the Vid in the IIe, because you can get a much nicer picture on a monitor size TV that has SCART/SECAM inputs on it.  Seeing as VidHD only does 1080p output, and its hard to find a anything under 32" in this day and age, it tends to blow all the dithering up unless you sit 6Km away from your picture.  I managed to snarf a 12" LCD with SCART from the local op shop for $10 and the image you get, being closer to native size anway, and a function of the size being much closer to the native RGB Monitor actually presents a much nicer picture to look at with minimal visible dithering.  Of course SCART is obsolete now too, so eventually we'll all be using something to get an HDMI output.

 

Not sure what you'd do with networking on your GS.  I have a Mac Classic I can localtalk mine to, but its really only there for file sharing, and if you have to do anything to BIG its a tad on the slowish side although I'm rather spoilt by Gb ethernet these days.  On the ROM1 which I have now, you lose two slots to AppleTalk, slot 7 and slot 1 or 2. If you have a ROM3 you need only use slot 1 or 2.   Grab a printercable and attach it to your Mac, install the system software and away you go. With an ethernet card in place you probably won't get hugely better performance but you are at least on more recent media.  If you happen to get a mac with Ethernet then you can always use it as a bridge too, but that's only appletalk not other TCP protocols.  On the other side, you can use one of many serial options. Grab a wifi modem, someone is having trouble with one on a IIc at the moment not sure if that's here or another site off hand, but generally they are easy to drive, just use your favourite comms software and atdt the FQDN of the other end, be it BBS or some other telnet service.  You can always use something like TCPser  I have never had any joy with this but many have, its basically the same as the Wimodem except you run it on another PC. Or if you want to use all the TCP software you can find as natively as possible, if you can't fork out for an Ethernet card you can use another PC, or Pi of some sort as a bridge and use PPP to talk to it.   PPP on the GS will be significantly slower than any network card or Appletalk as your speeds are limited to 38.4k. Workstation card is useless, you already have it in the Appletalk capabilities of the GS. 

 

So what do I do, although I have the Mac I rarely use it.  I tend to use the PPP option on an OrangePi, although I haven't done a lot with that either.  I keep getting close and then some life catastrophe happens and I have to pull it apart or something else is in pieces and I have no room to use the GS.  And after seeing the difference at viewing range the SCART option on a small display is MUCH better.

 

@leech I used to have a ROM3 back in the day and although I can't complain about the rom1, I was given it. I miss the extra niceties on the ROM3, I'd give my left testicle or first born to grab another one but they seem to be fairly rare here (Australia). I miss my SCSI card too :?

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10 hours ago, Lee Adamson said:

When's your machine supposed to arrive?

 

🍿

Sometime between Tuesday and Thursday. Tracking says it's still in Sacramental.

 

I'd like to clarify my original question. I'm pretty happy with what the IIgs (or is it properly //gs?) has built in and I don't want to disable any of it. But there are 8 slots. One is for memory. One is for the hard drive. That leaves six empty slots. I *have* to put something in them. What's available, that I don't have to disable anything for?

 

Aunty Entity, thanks for the info on networking stuff. I'm guessing I'll be asking you a few questions about that later. So far, I only want to connect the //gs to the CoCo 3 as an OS9 terminal, and the //c+ to the //gs. This will require the use of one serial port, and the misuse of the other. I'll just have to print from one of the other computers.

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6 hours ago, KG7PFS said:

Sometime between Tuesday and Thursday. Tracking says it's still in Sacramental.

 

I'd like to clarify my original question. I'm pretty happy with what the IIgs (or is it properly //gs?) has built in and I don't want to disable any of it. But there are 8 slots. One is for memory. One is for the hard drive. That leaves six empty slots. I *have* to put something in them. What's available, that I don't have to disable anything for?

 

If I'm right, and I'm not 100% certain  ComputerEyes doesn't require the onboard goodies disabled.  Its a video capture card, I think I had it in slot 3...

Your HD might be run by SCSI, but you're more likely to find something like a MicroDriveTurbo out there.  They run IDE, and generally come with a Compact flash card installed.  Only thing is, to effectively add to the software you need something like ciderpress under windoze. 

None of the stereo sound cards I can recall require a specific slot or anything disabled.

 

Accelerators usually want 2-3, its closer to the processor, but don't need it disabled.

The VidHD doesn't... might be worth getting one, at some point the CRT's will keel over.

 

Offhand that's all I can offer, I'm sure there are others though.

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Posted (edited)

gglabs makes a barebones kit-based clone of the apple scsi card, although they have substituted some NLA components for stuff that is still made, and they supply termination power differently.  I don't know if those changes affect reliability or not.  I have one waiting to be assembled, but I haven't gotten 'round to it.

 

The kit gets you the PC board, a rom, and a couple of PALs.  You supply everything else, including a NLA scsi controller chip (although there are still plenty of them available from the various shady chinese electronics salvage outfits on ebay, though international shipping is stupid slow right now with all the hype and such).

 

It takes some SMD soldering, but nothing too outrageous.  The components are fairly large.

Edited by Lee Adamson

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On 7/11/2020 at 5:52 PM, Aunty Entity said:

 

@leech I used to have a ROM3 back in the day and although I can't complain about the rom1, I was given it. I miss the extra niceties on the ROM3, I'd give my left testicle or first born to grab another one but they seem to be fairly rare here (Australia). I miss my SCSI card too :?

Not sure what I could do with a first born,  but I could always use another testicle.  But would a left one be better to leave in the left position, and making the previous lefty into a middle?  Or should the extra be put in the middle, or would it be confused?  Could put it to the right, but then you would have two confused testicles instead of one!  Would that be going too far and create an unparalleled swagger!?! 

My swagger could beat that of Captain Kirk's!

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