5

From what I understand, the original Apple Language Card was basically a RAM expansion card for the Apple II and Apple II+. This expansion increased the on-board RAM by 16K. Normally, if you needed this card, you would probably have the maximum of 48K on-bard. Therefore, adding this card would bump you up to 64K. Not only did the language card provide more RAM, I believe they also added more ROM such as Pascal compiler, etc.

As I understand it, the card allowed the user to switch between the normal high-ROM of 16K (top ROM of the 64K address space) to the 16K RAM the card added by using Apple's infamous "soft switches".

When the Apple IIe came out, it had 64K by default. Plus, many models shipped with another 64K expansion card increasing the RAM to 128K.

So my question is, if I have an Apple IIe with 128K of RAM, and I install one of these language cards, will I see any benefit at all? Meaning, will I have 144K of RAM?

Or, am I missing something? I can't remember but maybe the language card only works in slot 0 and the Apple IIe used slot 0 for its 64K expansion. Making both cards impossible to use at the same time.

Thanks for any information.

7

Not only did the language card provide more RAM, I believe they also added more ROM such as Pascal compiler, etc.

No, it just added 16 KiB of RAM. But this RAM could be mapped into the address range occupied by the ROM. Thus it allowed to load a different 'ROM'.

Normally, if you needed this card, you would probably have the maximum of 48K on-bard

Not really, it would be useful as well with less, due to the function of replacing the ROM. But yeah, before buying a Language Card, one usually had maxed out the RAM already :))

So my question is, if I have an Apple IIe with 128K of RAM, and I install one of these language cards, will I see any benefit at all?

No. In theory it would work but without any benefit. In reality, you can't install it in the first place, as the card doesn't have any logic to handle address transfer toward the RAMs - it relies on picking these signals from one RAM socket. Since the 64/128 KiB versions of the Apple IIe do not use 16 KiB RAMs, connecting the card will be ... lets say difficult :))

Meaning, will I have 144K of RAM?

Rather the other way around. If you manage to install it, it would give less RAM, only 112 KiB, as the Language Card would respond to both upper RAM areas, not just the first one, as it again has no idea of handling a second 64 KiB Bank.

I can't remember but maybe the language card only works in slot 0

No, it works in any slot, but slot 0 is a perfect match, as it doesn't offer I/O addresses and the card doesn't need any.

and the Apple IIe used slot 0 for its 64K expansion.

No, the IIe needs a special slot, as it needs additional signals to detect if a memory access is dedicated to the main or auxiliary bank - the regular slots only offer access to the first 64 KiB.

Making both cards impossible to use at the same time.

As shown it isn't impossible, it just doesn't make much sense.

  • The Language Card has an F8 ROM socket on it. It came with the Autostart ROM. – Nick Westgate Sep 6 '18 at 22:56
  • Follow-up question: does the IIe even have a slot 0? I had the vague sense it was omitted in favour of the RAM expansion for either the 80-column card or the full extra 64kb? – Tommy Sep 6 '18 at 23:00
  • @NickWestgate Only the early, original Apple Language Cards featured a socket with Autostart ROM, mehr to upgrade the straight II. Later Language Cards, From Apple, as well as Microsoft or others didn't, as the IIplus (and late IIs) already where delivered with the New F8 ROM on board. – Raffzahn Sep 6 '18 at 23:28
  • @Tommy No, it only got Slot 1..7. On the original IIe board the Aux-Slot was in line with Slot 3, while the later one moved it over in line with where Slot 0 would have been. – Raffzahn Sep 6 '18 at 23:36
  • 1
    @NickWestgate Even with the F8 ROM the Language Card didn't add more ROM as the OP assumed, nor did it add other languages, especially not PASCAL as stated). The Autostart ROM completely replaced the original ROM. So not related to the Qustion. – Raffzahn Sep 7 '18 at 1:47
3

Well it's unlikely to work as the soft switches will be read by the builtin //e hardware (also the jumper to the 16K DRAM socket to steal the RAS/CAS will be an issue).

However the FP/INT basic ROM card does work (a small patch to DOS is required according to Jim Sather in understanding the Apple //e).

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.