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Keatah

Apple //e vs //e Platinum

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Is it possible to make an argument for purchasing a standard/enhanced //e instead of a Platinum //e?

 

The only thing I can think of is the high-frequency (500kHz?) filter capacitors on the gameport in the //eP. This could affect using the port as a sampler or other high-speed input. Though you can remove them easily enough. Or connect them to a switch.

 

That and maybe keyboard preferences/ergonomics. Or a certain sentimental value.

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It's all a matter of personal preference really.  The caps on the joystick port do affect things plugged into that port other than a standard joystick, so if you're planning on using those you'll have to clip them or they will mess things up.  Personally I don't like the Platinum as I find the addition of the number pad crowds the keyboard and makes it look uglier. I think the Platinum has fewer chips which makes it run cooler, but heat really isn't a problem with Apple IIs.  

 

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5 hours ago, Keatah said:

Is it possible to make an argument for purchasing a standard/enhanced //e instead of a Platinum //e?

 

The only thing I can think of is the high-frequency (500kHz?) filter capacitors on the gameport in the //eP. This could affect using the port as a sampler or other high-speed input. Though you can remove them easily enough. Or connect them to a switch.

 

That and maybe keyboard preferences/ergonomics. Or a certain sentimental value.

If one can get one's hands on a good IIe deal regardless of the model, I would call it a win no matter what.  However, I would recommend going for the IIe Platinum if at all possible as it has the number pad and represents the II going from a (predominately) hobbyist (home) computer to really a (proper) home / small business computer.  Just my two cents on the topic.

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1 hour ago, Hwlngmad said:

However, I would recommend going for the IIe Platinum if at all possible as it has the number pad 

On a technical/usability perspective, I agree...

But the nostalgia in me just doesn't have a number pad on an Apple II...  ;-)

Silly, I know..

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5 minutes ago, desiv said:

On a technical/usability perspective, I agree...

But the nostalgia in me just doesn't have a number pad on an Apple II...  ;-)

Silly, I know..

Not silly at all.  I can completely understand as all other Apple II models (save the IIgs and IIe Platinum) don't have a number pad on it.  Personally, my favorite II model aesthetically is the Bell and Howell.  Those just look so industrious and badass in the matte black color.  Silly, I know... 😉

Edited by Hwlngmad
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I remember //eP's being quite a bit more expensive than //e's. But still, the //eP is undoubtedly better than a //e but the fricking number pad!! It's hideous. I think the regular //e's keyboard is crowded enough; ][s and ][+s look the best.

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3 hours ago, Hwlngmad said:

 However, I would recommend going for the IIe Platinum if at all possible as it has the number pad and represents the II going from a (predominately) hobbyist (home) computer to really a (proper) home / small business computer.  Just my two cents on the topic.

The transition to a proper home & business computer happened with the II -> II+ change.

 

More specifically I believe these features made it happen.up

1- Applesoft BASIC with Autostart

2- Lowercase support became popular

3- 80-column cards became popular

 

..and of those three, Autostart was a key development. It eliminated the cryptic 6 <ctrl-P> startup code one had to type. Now it was just flip the power switch.

 

Edited by Keatah

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2 hours ago, Keatah said:

The transition to a proper home & business computer happened with the II -> II+ change.

 

More specifically I believe these features made it happen.up

1- Applesoft BASIC with Autostart

2- Lowercase support became popular

3- 80-column cards became popular

 

..and of those three, Autostart was a key development. It eliminated the cryptic 6 <ctrl-P> startup code one had to type. Now it was just flip the power switch.

 

True, the II+ was a big step up and progression for the II line.  But, I would say that the IIe Platinum represents the most complete transformation of the II line from being a hobbyist computer to a proper home & business machine.  Just my opinion.

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3 hours ago, bluejay said:

I remember //eP's being quite a bit more expensive than //e's. But still, the //eP is undoubtedly better than a //e but the fricking number pad!! It's hideous. I think the regular //e's keyboard is crowded enough; ][s and ][+s look the best.

Yeah, the II+ (again the black Bell & Howell) look the best to me as well.  But, I agree that the IIe Platinum is better than a IIe.  Still, if one can get a great deal on either, that is a win no matter what in my book.

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I remember the //e's main memory had more failures than the II/II+, chip for chip. To its advantage the //e had only 8 compared to the 24 in the  II+. But bit for bit, overall reliability had increased a little - thanks to higher density 65536x1 vs 16384x1. The bad chips were almost always MOSTEK it seemed.

 

Incidentally my II+ back in the day had to have a RAM chip replaced. Cost me $150.00 at CompuShop. Was too young to know what I was doing so I had to use out-of-warranty dealer service.

 

The //eP likely had the most reliable memory of all, and at just two chips too.

Edited by Keatah

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I prefer the Platinum, but any //e will do.

 

Unlike many, it seems, I love the keypad.  Wish they had offered a bit of logic to do something like map the arrow keys to it though.  I always struggled with the apple arrow key layout.  Probably always will.

 

Right now, playing Nox Archaist, I'm good at it.  Better than I have been in a while.  But still, I stupidly push the wrong direction way more times than I expect to!

 

Back in the day, the Platinum was seen as a pretty serious 8 bit machine.  The ones I used had a mouse.  I still don't have a mouse for mine.  Availability and life and $$$ never seem to line up.  Someone needs to remake the mouse card and have it work with a PS/2 mouse, or something.  

 

IMHO, based on experiences, reliability favors the Platinum from what I can tell.  They are lean, cool, and just work.  From a serviceability point of view, the older ][+ is likely the king.  Will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

 

I'm pretty sure the little caps on the game ports are the only meaningful difference.  Like others have said, you can nip them off too, if it's somehow an issue for some hardware project or other you are doing; otherwise, just getting an //e gets one the full 8 bit Apple experience.

 

On an appearance basis, I totally grok why people prefer the //e machine.  That keypad does push the Platinum into a bit more relevant territory.  Some people, not knowing what they might be looking at, could see it as a PC, not necessarily retro in the sense it really is.  This is especially true if someone has no disk drives.

 

I like the Platinum keyboard, but that's mostly due to me having written a lot on one back in the day, and I still do knock some stuff out on the one I have today.  It's just fun to do, and a quick trip through CiderPress gets me the data for use on a modern machine.

 

If you do get either machine, get a FastChip card.  It's killer, and just works.  I had never had the opportunity to run an Apple 8 bit at anything other than 1Mhz.  The first thing I did was clock it up to 4Mhz to check out what the //c+ experience was like.  Same for the ZipChip.  

 

It all rocks.  Seriously.  Apples at //c+ and above clock speeds are pretty good.  On that note, I think I've finally got a question to ask...

 

 

Edited by potatohead

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I made a simple circuit to temporarily remap the arrow keys to the keypad if you hit the reset switch twice in rapid succession. And back again. A cheap scroll-lock if you will.

 

Isn't the mouse card a 6522 and firmware and generic 74LS glue?

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8 hours ago, Keatah said:

I made a simple circuit to temporarily remap the arrow keys to the keypad if you hit the reset switch twice in rapid succession. And back again. A cheap scroll-lock if you will.

That's pretty cool.  One thing I don't like about the IIe keyboard is that the arrow keys are in a row instead of the standard 'inverted T'.  I was completely used to it as a kid, but now I find it weird and foreign due to years of playing games on the PC.

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On 1/8/2021 at 4:51 PM, Hwlngmad said:

Still, if one can get a great deal on either, that is a win no matter what in my book.

Exactly. I love my Platinum, but if it had been the previous model instead, at that same price, I don't think I would have turned it down.

 

And yeah, it's hard to go back to those arrow keys. Probably why quite a few games used a T or + shaped letter configuration instead.

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On 1/8/2021 at 5:54 PM, desiv said:

On a technical/usability perspective, I agree...

But the nostalgia in me just doesn't have a number pad on an Apple II...  ;-)

Silly, I know..

 

I have the TKC numpad on my standard //e, as well as the platinum version with it included, but the little accessory for the //e that slips in easily, is often overlooked. 

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23 hours ago, The Usotsuki said:

IJKM was pretty common. Also pre-//e models didn't have up or down.

Excluding the ///. It has all four key dirs, and some clones may or may not have them. Still, your poit is right, and the only way to get up/down on the ][ or the ][+ was with HW mods. 

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On 1/9/2021 at 2:20 PM, Tempest said:

That's pretty cool.  One thing I don't like about the IIe keyboard is that the arrow keys are in a row instead of the standard 'inverted T'.  I was completely used to it as a kid, but now I find it weird and foreign due to years of playing games on the PC.

Many games used IJKM for dir input. I used to have silver foil sticky tape on those keys with arrow markers written in felt tip, on my keys, back in 84. 

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Forgot to mention you may need to check the keyboard rom. And of course the original //e should be enhanced to begin with.

 

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