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Faicuai

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...My new tenant¬†just dropped in... Went for the¬†Platinum...¬†ūüėČ

 

D07FDB29-A1C8-4C73-8262-6E6C176F54DE.thumb.jpeg.1e6c8c6b3c42af5ef9fb46247fdaf599.jpeg

 

Fresh out of full-restoration work which amounted to.... almost nothing, because it was in mint condition.

 

Been eying this for quite a while now, but it was not until the right price, and right bundle finally showed up... That, and the fact that ReactiveMicro has now started licensed production of CFFA-3000, which sealed the deal for me (I also want an Incognito-like storage solution for this baby)...

 

Came with Japan-made drive and its model-matching monitor, everything with original / serial-matching boxes, which all appear legit.

 

This (and my 800s) will keep me entertained for a long time...

 

Now the journey begins... ūüėú

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Should prove to be a most reliable machine, all Platinums are. Low parts count. Different memory layout, same from a logic point of view however. Low temperatures.

 

The most common repairs would involve the power supply because of aging. And any intermittent keys - solder joints. That's it.

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Would love to have one because I'm currently enamoured with Apple II soft (the early stuff), but in Europe it'd cost me an arm and leg...

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7 hours ago, Keatah said:

The most common repairs would involve the power supply because of aging

Dead-on, as usual.

 

The A/C mains-filter capacitor (X2-rated, 0.1 uf) already blew on me shortly after receiving the unit... while making some lasting smoke (discontinued power immediately).

 

So a 90%-alcohol bath and compressed-air left it pretty much spanking-new and completely free of residue (even underneath neighboring capacitors, transformers, etc., where RIFA residues found their way in). Left it running for HOURS standalone, with rock-solid voltage ratings. In the mean-time ordered WIMA (German) and PANASONIC capacitors (which I will wait a bit before installing).

 

Now boot-strapping from audio-ports to generate first ProDOS disk on magnetic-media, my only storage solution for now... 8-)))

 

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The Platinum is the II model I would try to get as it is the really the ultimate evolution of the original Apple II save the backwards compatability you can get on the Apple IIgs, but that is a different animal imo.

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3 hours ago, Hwlngmad said:

save the backwards compatability you can get on the Apple IIgs

In what way is the IIgs more backward compatible than the Platinum?

Edited by Keatah

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49 minutes ago, Keatah said:

In what way is the IIgs more backward compatible than the Platinum?

Oh, it's not more backwards compatible.  I was just trying to state that the IIgs is as backwards compatible as the IIgs considering it is somewhat off an offshoot of the II line being a 16-bit machine.  Hope that clarifies things a bit.

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What is notable, if not impressive, is how much the memory map and architecture stayed the same since the first II units were made in 1977.

 

I always like to imagine what the next model of the II series would've been like had the lineage kept going. Would it have been possible to keep going and still stay relevant?

Edited by Keatah
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1 hour ago, Keatah said:

What is notable, if not impressive, is how much the memory map and architecture stayed the same since the first II units

Well, that is a testament of the overall system architecture... plus the firm intent to attempt preserving as much compatibility as possible across the entire installed base, and (of course) for SW developers.

 

(NOTE: what impressed me the MOST was this 1987 price-sticker still affixed to the Platinum's original box:)

 

C844CA3D-F04E-4B52-8748-7292EB1D4133.thumb.jpeg.c875cd274ee2d70dba6a28490a017cf2.jpeg

 

Absolutely incredible... ūüė≥ūüė≥

 

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C64/128, Atari 8-bit, early TRS-80 Model I/III (and maybe others) made good efforts to be compatible, if not cross-compatible. As kids we didn't appreciate that "feature" much, just hoped for the best. It's not like we were running a corporation and had to consider upgrading costs.

 

At the same time when I moved from a II+ to a //e I had asked the salesman, back when I still trusted salesmen, if all my old games and programs would work. He said yes they would with a few tiny minor exceptions. Something to do with text mode inverse or something and something to do with a ROM/firmware entrypoint. He said not to worry. And he proved right. Not only that, but all my peripherals workd too, with a couple of exceptions. The RamCard to take a II+ from 48K to 64K didn't work, it was built in! So was the LowerCase chip and Shift-Key mod.

 

My modems, printer, clock, controllers, drives (floppy+HDD), monitor, speakers, and more, gave no trouble at all. Even the 80-column card, but it was obviously redundant and not needed.

 

What I was disappointed in was losing the functionality of the Videx Keyboard Enhancer. This was a keyboard encoder card replacement for use in the II/II+. It provided programmable function keys and a type-ahead buffer. I loved the 1-touch "CATALOG" command, among other macros, I so laboriously set-up. Eventually I may get around to designing something similar for the //e.

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Ok, quick Q. for those that are light-years ahead in experience with the II/e platform:

 

I have zero'ed-in on the following upgrades, in the following order of priority, for practical purposes:

 

  1. CFFA-3000 CF/USB HD + DiskIi emulation.
  2. VGA adapter (when it becomes available at A2Heaven)
  3. Ethernet-interface board (Uthernet-II)
  4. RAM Upgrade (beyond 1MB, either Reactive's 4MB RAM-Works IIII v1.2 or G. Workshop's 8MB, when it becomes available)
  5. Mouse Card + Mouse
  6. 65F02 100 Mhz accelerator (if ever ready for A2, and supporting extended / banked RAM)
  7. Sound Card (Phasor, twin-MockingBird compatible on single-slot, 16 voices)
  8. Z80 high-speed card

 

The question is WHAT slot-sequence could / would correctly support this config... Here's my take so far:

 

  • Slot 0: (AUX) 4MB-8MB RAM expnaion
  • Slot 1:¬†Uthernet
  • Slot 2: Z80 high-speed CPM processor board
  • Slot 3: (empty or Uthernet)
  • Slot 4: Mouse Card or Phasor?
  • Slot 5: CFFA-3000 (closest boot-priority I can come up¬†with if not Slot-7)
  • Slot 6: empty (for CFFA disk-emu)
  • Slot 7: VGA Adapter (pnly-slot with up to x3 video-related signals available)
  • CPU socket: 65f02 (maybe in the future)

 

Any comments, corrections or advise against this proposed list is more than welcome !!

 

Thanks!!!

 

 

 

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I love the Platinum!  It has turned out to be my favorite with my 800XL and 400 a very close second.  The FujiNet is top of my get list so I can really use them. 

 

Great choice!

 

I need to get a sound card for mine.  That is next on the list.

 

So far, I have:

 

CFFA 3K and recommend them highly.  Hope the next runs are less expensive, because I would love to have two of them, but I digress.  I have mine in slot 7, and it's boot menu works great with real drive controller in 6.  

 

Super Serial (boot strapping, and the occassional terminal type use)  Slot 2

 

Disk controller and a couple drives which I rarely use now.  Slot 6

 

FastChip and I recommend this thing too.  It can run from .2 or .3Mhz, up to 16Mhz!  For a lot of things, I run about 2 to 4Mhz.  Real time adjustable.  Also, if you ask nicely, you can get one with a 65816 chip, which ends up the same as dropping a 65802 into the machine. Good for your own programming adventures mostly.  Currently slot 4, and it has RAM expansions built in.

 

FWIW, 16Mhz is fast.  100Mhz would be crazy.

 

You can get 1024kb RAM expansion included and that works like a RamWorks and one other type for good coverage.

 

If you do that, upgrade your CFFA firmware to latest and it will work.  I have had no trouble with anything else.

 

Standard 128kb RAM card.

 

Joystick.  And I am about to build a nicer one.  I have the Kraft button on stick style and pretty much hate it.  Lol.

 

For display, I have a PVM, which is awesome, but a bit overkill.  Lately, I have been using a low hour VCR TV combo I scored for a few bucks and a little amber display.  Just about perfect combo.  Some LCD screens will work.  Ask around.  My Samsung plasma works, but holy buckets!  It is HUGE.

 

Play Nox Archaist as soon as you can.

 

Then play Lawless Legends demo and hopefully release soon.

 

And of course Total Replay as soon as you get a disk emulation capable of hard disks.  That is just great work.  Easy, robust, great game selection.

 

Re: GS

 

I have one.  It is a great computer.  I just seem to enjoy my //e more.  YMMV, and I would recommend one in a second, given a disk emulation.  Using a floppy can be laborious.

 

 

 

Edited by potatohead
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Would it have been possible to keep going and still stay relevant

Good question for another thread.  Apple should have moved video to a card, then expanded the bus speeds and...  yeah.  Could have.

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VGA Adapter (pnly-slot with up to x3 video-related signals available)

On my list too.  I would probably move the CFFA to #6 and put my drives in storage.

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On 10/21/2021 at 10:05 PM, Faicuai said:

In the mean-time ordered WIMA (German) and PANASONIC capacitors (which I will wait a bit before installing).

So here it is:

 

After removal and alcohol-bath (thorough) cleanup pf RIFA junk:

97BE0701-DBA5-4751-918E-830289C0D71C.thumb.jpeg.fcfc7ecf17aa32063fae3e3f22cd087c.jpeg

 

Here are the new (German) WIMA X2-rated 0.1pf (they are pretty dense and heavier, in comparison. Have plenty of them for whomever wants some!):

0ECD29D3-F8DB-4FEB-8E36-4AFEE4392066.thumb.jpeg.ed259e58f3016b9ac352b3452498dd3e.jpeg

 

Re-soldered and assembled:

CECB4D66-A1CD-41F7-AED0-D1CD5E7465D8.thumb.jpeg.25f70018207636ff834016bfeab60e5c.jpeg C49ECA91-13A3-4A86-A1CE-AE6D2F0C7481.thumb.jpeg.e201d1d87158b0d0579ae225381eb91b.jpeg

 

 

WATCH out for these other two fellas, which are next in my black-list:

 

25D0668D-ABA4-4714-AE6D-ABDCA3609548.thumb.jpeg.d25986783c4171d6e7c194ad5852d9e1.jpeg

 

I also have extra PANASONIC 0.1pf 275v X2-rated Polyester caps, if anyone wants some.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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15 hours ago, potatohead said:

FastChip and I recommend this thing too.  It can run from .2 or .3Mhz, up to 16Mhz!  For a lot of things, I run about 2 to 4Mhz.  Real time adjustable.  Also, if you ask nicely, you can get one with a 65816 chip, which ends up the same as dropping a 65802 into the machine. Good for your own programming adventures mostly.  Currently slot 4, and it has RAM expansions built in.

 

FWIW, 16Mhz is fast.  100Mhz would be crazy.

 

You can get 1024kb RAM expansion included and that works like a RamWorks and one other type for good coverage.

VERY cool!! 

 

Now, I do wonder about that extra ram... would it be visible to the local 65C02 or only to the fast-chip on its own slot? If it is compatible with expanded RAM already residing in AUX slot, then it is F-BRILLIANT !

 

Now revising the previous Slot-plan:

17 hours ago, Faicuai said:
  • Slot 0: (AUX) 4MB-8MB RAM expnaion
  • Slot 1:¬†Uthernet
  • Slot 2: Z80 high-speed CPM processor board
  • Slot 3: (empty or Uthernet)
  • Slot 4: Mouse Card or Phasor?
  • Slot 5: CFFA-3000 (closest boot-priority I can come up¬†with if not Slot-7)
  • Slot 6: empty (for CFFA disk-emu)
  • Slot 7: VGA Adapter (pnly-slot with up to x3 video-related signals available)
  • CPU socket: 65f02 (maybe in the future)

 

After more research and GREAT feedback from above thread, it may now look like this:

  • Slot 0: (AUX) RAMWORKS IIII v1.2 + A2heaven VGA daughter card (slot-saving¬†!!)
  • Slot 1: (RESERVED)¬†Z80 high-speed CPM processor board
  • Slot 2: FAST-Chip 16+ Mhz accelerator...
  • Slot 3: Uthernet (does not have ROM so it can ride on Slot-3)
  • Slot 4: (RESERVED)¬†Phasor Sound Card (==> Slot most sought after by sound-card titles?)
  • Slot 5: (RESERVED)¬†Mouse Card (to enable¬†older productivity suites. etc.)
  • Slot 6: (EMPTY) for CFFA-3000¬†disk-emulation or fall-back to real¬†Floppy Drives
  • Slot 7:¬†CFFA-3000 (now back to high-priority Slot-7)
  • CPU socket: 65f02 (maybe in the future, possibly freeing Slot-2)

What do you guys think? Any significant problems with any major older titles with this potential slot-plan?

 

Feel free to chime-in! (I am a TOTAL newbie with this sweet platform!)

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I am not sure whether the Fast Chip RAM works with your slot 0 plan, but you can always turn it off.

 

And the speed comes from it running out of it's own RAM.  You get a little boost running over the 1Mhz bus common to all slots.  So that RAM in slot 0 would be like other system RAM, and would run at 1Mhz.

 

This is all likely boot choices 

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The other thing about the FastChip is it really doesn't matter. When you're running the fast chip the CPU is in use on the card, it can see all the other stuff in the computer.

 

Anything card to card happens at 1mhz, unless they are wired to one another in some way.

Edited by potatohead

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I don't follow the A2 forum very closely. Is the MCL65 old news by now? I just read today about the MCL65-Fast (primarily for Apple II) that lets you run C code compiled for 800 MHz ARM, with what I understand is a fall back to slower 6502 mode, instead of being a super fast 6502 that anyway will have issues communicating with I/O chips.

 

https://microcorelabs.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/ultimate-apple-ii-accelerator-the-mcl65-fast/

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On 11/4/2021 at 10:33 AM, carlsson said:

the MCL65-Fast (primarily for Apple II) that lets you run C code compiled for 800 MHz ARM, with what I understand is a fall back to slower 6502 mode

No idea what the (real) point of this accelerator is, though (it does not emulate the native 65C02)... would it be then for running a 6502 emulator or, even more, an Apple-II emulator, on-board, instead?

 

In any case, here's an excellent summary of Accelerator's performance for the Apple-II series. Seems to me that FastChip ii/e appears the overall best alternative, and highly compatible, while also being dual 65C02 / 65C816 capable:

 

Accelerator Speeds - The ReActiveMicro Apple II Wiki

 

 

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Aha. The one I linked to runs on a Teensy 4.1 with changeable core so you can either have a 6502 core or a non-6502 core (like the Fast one). I thought you could have both installed and running at the same time, dropping back to 1 MHz mode. But as you provide with the chart on the wiki, there probably is more demand and use of an overclocked 6502 than a non-6502 running at very high speeds.

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