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Questions tagged [apple-ii]

The Apple II series of personal computers and related software and hardware. Use [apple-iigs] for the Apple IIgs in particular, or [apple] for Apple hardware in general.

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51 votes
16 answers
20k views

How was it back then in 1984, when the Apple II had color, and the new Macintosh didn't?

I imagine it being a huge downgrade for some, not to have color on the Macintosh. Macintosh games were black and white in the beginning, while Apple II had color. I'm especially interested in ...
Johannes Bittner's user avatar
43 votes
3 answers
5k views

How did Apple II BASIC programs protect against listing?

I seem to recall from my high-school days that certain Apple II programs protected themselves from being listed and therefore modified. If you tried to do it, the machine would simply reboot. How did ...
user avatar
41 votes
5 answers
10k views

What determines the color of every 8th pixel on the Apple II?

On the Apple II there's an interesting way to add a little color to the bitmap, since the high bit selects the palette used for the three-and-a-half pixels represented by the byte. Like this: 0: Black,...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
37 votes
7 answers
9k views

How did Apple fail to tap the business and scientific markets?

Currently reading an excellent book called Blue Magic: The People, Power and Politics Behind the IBM Personal Computer, which is just what it says on the tin; highly recommended to anyone who wants to ...
rwallace's user avatar
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37 votes
3 answers
6k views

What was the point of Apple Pascal having its own file system?

Apple's UCSD Pascal for the Apple II used its own file system rather than the existing DOS 3.3 of the day. I'm not sure if it overlapped SOS at all, but regardless of timelines it seems that the ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
32 votes
3 answers
6k views

What is DRAM refresh and why is the weird Apple II video memory layout affected by it?

I've roughly known the concept for years, but never really understood it. Back in the day, two types of RAM typically used in home computers: static and dynamic RAM. Static RAM (SRAM) was apparently ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
32 votes
5 answers
5k views

Does every retrocomputer and console with NTSC composite output have 'artifact color' ability?

Artifact color is heavily associated with the Apple ][, since that is the only method the machine had to produce a color display. I was looking at the fantastic demo for IBM PC + CGA, 8088MPH, and I ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
32 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does "bit-slip" copy protection work?

Some Apple II 5.25" floppies used a special pattern of bytes that could not be automatically detected by disk copying software. How could the pattern be invisible to disk copiers but detectable by ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,060
30 votes
5 answers
9k views

Why did the Apple IIe make a hideous noise if you inserted the disk upside down?

When I began high school in 1987 all the computers in the lab were Apple IIe desktop computers. A question has haunted me since then: if you inserted a floppy disk "upside down" the Apple IIe would ...
Snack_Food_Termite's user avatar
30 votes
4 answers
2k views

Absolute maximum number of nibbles on an Apple II floppy disk track?

The Apple 2's disk drive controller and 5¼" floppy disks have the following metrics: The disks is spun at (roughly) 300 RPM (Revolutions per Minute), which means it takes = 1000 ms/sec / (300 RPM / ...
Michaelangel007's user avatar
28 votes
7 answers
7k views

Over its lifetime, how many Apple II computers were sold?

It would be nice to break it down by model if possible.
nevster's user avatar
  • 1,048
27 votes
17 answers
8k views

How much did the first hard drives for PCs cost?

I would like to know how much early PC hard drives cost but have only been aable to find adjacent or unsourced data. According to the Centre for Computing History: The "IBM 5161 Expansion ...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
4k views

Apple II: Applesoft BASIC memory management

I am trying to write an Applesoft / floating point BASIC program using high resolution graphics and some assembly language code. My BASIC program is quite large, and after running the program for a ...
Dale Mahalko's user avatar
  • 3,639
26 votes
3 answers
4k views

What do the '80/40' and 'keyboard' buttons on my Apple IIc do?

Above the keyboard of my Apple IIc there are two buttons that say "80/40" and "Keyboard". On my machine, they both kinda feel broken. When I press them, they recede into the case and remain there for ...
Woodrow Barlow's user avatar
24 votes
4 answers
5k views

How did the Apple II forward binary instructions to the Z80 software card with CPM?

Microsoft produced the Z80 Softcard for the Apple II enabling it to run CPM and many Z80 binary programs. This seems to be an unthinkable achievement. (For a kid who had an Apple IIe but was only a ...
hawkeye's user avatar
  • 2,575
24 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why did the original Apple //e have two sets of inverse video characters?

According to Apple II Technical notes Mouse #6, updated January 1989, In unenhanced Apple IIe computers, the alternate character set contained two sets of inverse uppercase characters. In the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
4k views

What are the "Screen Holes" in Apple II graphics?

I've read the term screen holes many times in the context of Apple II graphics. From what I understand, it has something to do with the interleaving storage of graphics (or was it text) and that some ...
cbmeeks's user avatar
  • 8,531
22 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do I use shadowed memory to render Super Hi-Res quickly?

The Apple IIgs video memory is controlled by the 1MHz Mega II chip, so directly accessing the Super Hi-Res page in bank $E1 is slower than accessing other memory. How can I render in "fast" memory, ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,060
22 votes
3 answers
3k views

What makes slot 7 of the Apple ][ unique from 1-6 and how was this used?

In the Apple II, there are three unique slots (depending on model): Slot 0 (on the ][ / ][+) which is typically used for language cards. "Aux" slots in the //e and IIgs, typically used for memory ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
22 votes
5 answers
1k views

How were binary subroutines embedded in Integer BASIC programs?

Programs written in Apple's Integer BASIC sometimes had bits of machine code embedded in them. This was more convenient than loading the code separately, especially when the program was loaded from ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,060
22 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I programmatically tell which version of Apple II my code is on?

There are minor and major differences between the many Apple II models. I would like to detect whether my 8-bit assembly language program is running on a II, II+, IIe (enhanced or not), or ///, and ...
Nick Westgate's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why was it possible to cause an Apple //e to shut down with SHIFT and paddle button 2?

Looking at the MAME driver for the Apple //e, I noticed an interesting comment: NOTE: On real IIe and IIe enhanced h/w, pressing SHIFT and paddle button 2 will short out the power supply and cause ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
22 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did Apple remove booting from external drives in later IIc ROM versions?

Apple II computers don't come with DOS in ROM, but rather need to boot from a floppy disk to make the disk drives usable. The IIc was the first Apple II that came with a built-in disk drive, so ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 35.2k
21 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did the Apple IIe Platinum include all feature enhancements from the Apple II line?

Not including the Apple IIgs, did the Apple IIe Platinum include all enhancements made by Apple? For example, the first Apple IIe couldn't utilize the Double Hi-Res mode from what I understand. In ...
cbmeeks's user avatar
  • 8,531
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

What exactly were those large orange chips on the Hayes Micromodem II interface card?

I've had a Hayes Micromodem II for the Apple ][ a very, very long time. I've seen a lot of interface cards over the years since then and have never seen anything quite like it: there are giant orange, ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did the Apple IIGS automatically slow 5.25 inch disk I/O code for backwards compatability?

Apple II software often used hard-coded timing for 5.25 inch floppy disk I/O, for example to control the duration of each track step or the rate at which bytes are written and read from the disk. ...
bmow's user avatar
  • 303
20 votes
3 answers
6k views

Quick way to tell how much RAM an Apple IIe has

What is a simple way to tell how much RAM an Apple IIe has? The main RAM is fixed, but Aux RAM can vary. I'd like a solution that can be typed quickly from the keyboard: the context is that I'm ...
zellyn's user avatar
  • 1,005
19 votes
5 answers
3k views

Can a retro-computer be a useful way to learn computer-architecture fundamentals?

I've been reading about the fundamentals of computer architecture, but I think I could get a better grasp of the basics if I could could have an actual device to play with. I had considered building ...
EJ Mak's user avatar
  • 413
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was Apple DOS 3.3 created because of the Apple III?

I recently read a document which discussed how the Apple III would implement the Apple II emulation mode. On page 20, it goes on about difficulties involved with how the Apple III would have ...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Apple // screen editing

I've heard mention many times of screen editing commands on the Apple // for fixing typos in BASIC programs (and patching code in the monitor?). I did not learn these growing up, never having the ...
knghtbrd's user avatar
  • 1,039
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Transferring from Apple II

I have also found a working 1978 Apple II. Now my dad wants me to transfer its data to another device without using fancy Apple II exclusive hardware and if possible, through a cassette port. Now, ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 2,474
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the differences between the versions of AppleSoft BASIC?

Apple did make some changes to AppleSoft BASIC over the years between the first version on the Apple II and the last version on the Enhanced IIe and IIe card. What are the differences between the ...
Michael Shopsin's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
789 views

How many versions of DOS were there for the Apple II and what were the differences?

DOS 3.3 was the most common before ProDOS. How did it differ to DOS 3.2 and what versions were there before that?
nevster's user avatar
  • 1,048
18 votes
1 answer
474 views

Did any Mockingboard game use the VIA timers or interrupts?

There were only a small number of games that supported any of the Apple II sound cards such as the Mockingboard. From those games that used the Mockingboard, did any of them utilize the on-board VIA'...
cbmeeks's user avatar
  • 8,531
17 votes
3 answers
1k views

Apple II: DOS 3.3 Virus?

Does anyone know the source of this Apple II DOS 3.3 virus that infected my disks back in the 1990's? I got it from a public domain disk collection that was given to me by a friend, called the ...
Dale Mahalko's user avatar
  • 3,639
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is the Apple II hi-res HGR command so slow?

The Apple II hi-res screen sits on 8KB of memory, so it should be possible to erase it quickly. The Applesoft HGR command is slow enough that the "Venetian blind" erasure is clearly visible. ...
fadden's user avatar
  • 9,060
17 votes
1 answer
486 views

Was any commercial end-user software written in PROMAL?

PROMAL is a procedural programming language from the 1980s. Its designer, Systems Management Associates, released compilers for the Commodore 64, Apple II, and IBM PC. The language and development ...
Psychonaut's user avatar
  • 7,661
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can someone make a photograph of the original Apple 1 Integer BASIC cassette?

I'm wondering if anyone here has an original Integer BASIC cassette and might be willing to upload an image of it to the wiki commons? There's a serious lack of imagery in the article in en.wiki, and ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to write the Apple ][ HIRES pages to disk to make screenshots?

The Apple ][e had 2 HiRES video pages, HiRES animation involved switching between the 2 pages and redrawing the screen. A really early way to take an in game screenshot was to dump the computer with ...
Rowan Hawkins's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do accelerators and CPU cards work on the Apple II?

An Amiga 1200 exposes the entire CPU bus on the expansion port, so that an accelerator only needs to assert BR which causes the onboard CPU to stop all computation and electrically disconnect from the ...
Omar and Lorraine's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can the CSG 65CE02 CPU be used to accelerate an Apple //e or //c?

The CSG 65CE02 is an improved 6502 microprocessor that was shipped in small quantities by Commodore around 1988. It is used in the Amiga A2232 multi-port serial controller card, and that would be the ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Was the Apple II ever sold in kit form?

In the June 1977 issue of BYTE magazine I saw an advertisement stating you could order an Apple II and it had a price list. One of the columns was titled "Apple II Board-only". The price for that ...
cbmeeks's user avatar
  • 8,531
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

Did Apple bundle a specific monitor with the Apple II+ for schools?

Sometime in 1980 (or maybe 1981) my school district purchased its first batch of Apple II+ computers. I remember vividly they had absolutely no idea what to do with them, and so the machines were ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

How are the randomizer values on the Apple II maintained?

Looking at a comment on this question, it reminded me of how there are two memory locations in the Apple II zero page that are used for random number generation: 0x4E and 0x4F (78 and 79, respectively)...
bjb's user avatar
  • 16.4k
15 votes
2 answers
4k views

1980s game with a guy with an axe on a flying disc

I'm trying to identify a game I remember from the 1980s. The game was shown from a bird's-eye viewpoint (or maybe isometric?), on Apple IIe, IIRC. You controlled a guy with an axe, who was ...
Matija Nalis's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did the Apple IIe use a 2 MHz-rated 6502, even though it ran at only 1 MHz?

The Apple IIe was designed to be timing-compatible with the Apple II+ so that timing-depndent software (such games and copy-protection systems) and hardware designed for the Apple II and II+ would, ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 26.7k
15 votes
3 answers
693 views

What are the normal signals on a 65C02 in an Apple IIe?

I'm troubleshooting a dead Apple IIe enhanced, and I'm having trouble finding documentation on testing the 65C02 (as opposed to the 6502). Specifically, I've found using a logic probe that pin 6 (...
Charles Mangin's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
879 views

Apple IIe problem (can’t save and load files anymore)

I recently bought an Apple IIe at an auction. It was extremely cheap but worked. I have no experience with such old computers. I just started the computer and wrote some BASIC programs for fun. ...
Samuel's user avatar
  • 151
15 votes
2 answers
543 views

Connecting an Apple //e with a Super Serial Card to an Android device via a USB to DB25 cable

I have an Apple //e, and I quite enjoy using it as a dumb terminal to my Raspberry Pi from time to time. Recently, I came across a few cords that could connect my Android phone (a Pixel) to the DB25 ...
Zachary Swanson's user avatar
14 votes
12 answers
5k views

Late 1970s and 6502 chip facilities for operating systems

I'm quite unfamiliar with how operating systems used to be written but its clear to me that operating systems were clearly written for these systems. I'm particularly interested in how operating ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 251

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