Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

Apple II comp.sys.apple2 FAQs, Part 1/2

( Part1 - Part2 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Zip codes ]
Archive-name: apple2/mainhall/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1999/3/28

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Apple II Frequently Asked Questions: Main Hall-1 ... Start Here!

Csa2 FAQs-on-Ground file: Csa21MAIN.txt  rev013 3/28/1999

The Csa2 (comp.sys.apple2) Usenet newsgroup Frequently Asked
 Questions files are compiled by the Ground Apple II site,
 1997 - 1999.

The Csa2 FAQs may be freely distributed.

Notes: FAQs files in the main home site folder are pure Text files
 which have no Font, Color, etc. formatting and no set line length.
 This makes them ideal for printing out or for viewing via an ftp
 client which places the content in a text viewer such as WordPad.
 For best viewing on-line, set Word Wrap to ON.
 Ex: On PC use WordPad with Options set to "Wrap to Window".

 A line-length formated version for easy on-line viewing under
 Netscape and 'Explorer is available at the mirror sites ...

 To correctly view tables and diagrams on a super-res display,
 use a mono-spaced Font such as CoPilot or PCMononspaced.

 There are, also, HTML versions of the FAQs Q&A files ...


             Csa2 Apple II FAQs on Ground "Main Hall"

                  Last updated: 28 March 1999

     Welcome to the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup Frequently Asked Questions! This file is called "Main Hall" because it's your starting-off point for accessing the Csa2 FAQs.

     You can peruse a listing of FAQs files along with lists of questions answered; OR, you can check out some 'getting started' and 'what's where?' Questions & Answers immediately below. Whenever you like, you can skip to the FAQs Files & Contents area in Main Hall-2.

 001- What is a FAQ?
 002- What is comp.sys.apple2?
 003- What software do I need to get starter and how do I get it?
 004- How do I download and upload Apple II files on the net?
 005- Where can I get Apple II software and information on the net?
 006- What is an Apple II: The KIM
 007- What is an Apple II: The Apple I
 008- What is an Apple II: The Apple ][ and Apple ][+
 009- What is an Apple II: The "Black Apple"
 010- What is an Apple II: The Apple //e
 011- What is an Apple II: The Apple //c and IIc+
 012- What is an Apple II: The Laser 128EX and 'EX/2?
 013- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIgs
 014- What is an Apple II: The Apple ][e Emulation Card
 015- Where can I find a compact listing of Apple IIgs specs?
 016- What is "8 bit" and "16 bit"?
 017- How can I tell what version my computer is?
 018- How can I find out about using my Apple II?
 019- Where do I find out about Apple II Users Groups?
 020- Where can I get Apple II parts, boards, and software?
 021- Where do I get Apple II books and periodicals?

001- What is a FAQ?

     A "FAQ" is a "Frequently Asked Question". The Csa2 FAQs is a collection of topics files which seeks to supply answers to questions about the Apple II series of computers and Apple II computing.


002- What is comp.sys.apple2?

     Comp.sys.apple2 (Csa2) is a USENET newsgroup.  USENET posts originate from your local newsreader and spread to hundreds of thousands of machines throughout the Internet, FidoNet, ProLine BBS system, etc..

     There are several newsgroups in the Csa2 family, all concerned with Apple II series affairs. They provide a forum for users to compare notes, ask questions, and share insights. The Csa2 groups include ...

comp.sys.apple2 (Csa2)       - Discussion plus questions & answers
                               relating to all Apple II computers

comp.sys.apple2.comm         - Communications and networking related
comp.sys.apple2.gno          - Discussion of GNO/ME, a UNIX-like
                               multi-tasking environment for IIgs
                               (see file gno.v...)

comp.sys.apple2.marketplace  - Buying, selling, and promoting
                               Apple II and related products

comp.sys.apple2.programmer   - Discussion relating to any aspect of
                               programming the Apple II

comp.sys.apple2.usergroups   - Discussion relating to Apple II

comp.emulators.apple2        - The unofficial 'Apple II games stuff'
                               newsgroup features discussions of
                               Apple II games as well as of Apple II
                               emulation on PC, Mac, and other

alt.emulators.ibmpc.apple2   - Discussion about the use of Apple II
                               emulation software/hardware on a PC.

comp.binaries.apple2         - Public Domain and Shareware Software
                               for all Apple II's in Text-encoded
                               (binscii) form.

--Dan DeMaggio, David Empson, Al Kalal, Rubywand


003- What software do I need to get started and how do I get it?

     If you bought an Apple II with no software at all, then, at the very least, you will need to get diskettes which boot DOS 3.3 and ProDOS and which include copy utilities (e.g. Copy II Plus). Probably, too, you will need a utility named "ShrinkIt" to unShrink compressed Apple II files you download and an Apple II telecom utility (e.g. ZLink, ProTerm, ...) to handle file transfers from your PC or Mac to your Apple II. 

     Aside from Apple II user friends, there are many places you can get the above, as well as all sorts of other Apple II utility, game, etc. software:

1. Apple II Users Groups maintain software libraries of utility and games diskettes you can copy.

2. Some schools and universities have Apple II areas where you can copy system and utility diskettes.

3. Many sellers of original and second-hand software advertise on the comp.sys.apple2.marketplace newsgroup and/or maintain web sites you can browse. Be sure to check the listing of vendors presented later on.

4. If requested via email, regular posters to Csa2 will often send one or more 'getting started' diskettes which will boot DOS 3.3 and/or ProDOS and which include some copy, telecom, etc. utilities plus games. (Expect to pay mailing and materials costs.)

5. The Apple II archive sites listed below maintain large collections of software which you can download via PC or Mac and transfer to your Apple II.



004- How and where do I download and upload Apple II files?

     How: By far, the easiest and quickest way is to access software sites on the net using a PC or Mac. Files can be moved to and from your Apple II via a NULL-modem connection with the net computer. If you use a Mac, you may have the option of transferring the files via a ProDOS or HFS diskette or an HFS Zip disk. (For details on file transfes, downloading, and uploading, see the FAQs files Csa2T1TCOM.txt and Csa2T2TCOM.txt.)

     Where: Today, most users upload software, info files, etc. to one or more of the major Apple II ftp software archive sites. Other options include comp.binaries.apple2 and BBS systems. The software archives and web sites maintained by developers are good places to obtain software. (See Question 5 for site URLs.)



005- Where can I get Apple II software and information on the net?

Major Apple II Information and Software Sites

Apple major archive of IIgs games, system, etc. software
  as well as being a major information resource and Csa2 FAQs mirror
  for FAQs mirror ...

Apple2 Caltech- large collection of II/IIgs games and utilities

Asimov- #1 archive of Apple II 8-bit games and utilities in
  emulator DSK and file formats; plus emulators and emu info

Asimov Mirrors- sites which mirror Asimov

Ground  Apple2 U. Iowa- the largest Apple II archive and home site
  of the Csa2 FAQs; maintains II/IIgs games, utilities, HC/HS
  stacks, music files, ..., and information plus separate
  collections including the AOL A2 archives

Ground Mirrors- sites which mirror Ground
GS WorldView 'zine- II/IIgs applications articles, games, utilities,
  A2-2000 archive, and links; home site for 1WSW Apple2 U. Kaiserslautern- II/IIgs games, utilities, and
  emulator wares

USA2WUG- Apple II Help & FAQs Collective; Csa2 FAQs mirror
  for FAQs mirror ...

Other Important Apple II Sites

Apple2 U. Kentucky- A2 archive

Apple2 U. Michagan- A2 archive

Apple II Help Page- Info and links; Csa2 FAQs in HTML 

Apple II Lessons & Software- BASIC Lessons and A2 software

Apple II Programmer's Archive- language software

Apple II WebRing- links for several user group, etc. sites

Apple Computer- mainly, GS system software

Delphi- on-line service which permits A2 net access
  for "A2 (Apple II)" forum ...
  for "A2Pro" - Apple II Programmers forum ...
  for "II Computing" forum

Emu-Apple II Emulator Page- Apple II emulator software and info

Emu-Apple II Emulator Resource Guide- Apple II emulator info

Emu-Moro's Emulator Page- XGS .2MG utils, Sys6, games, and links

Home of the Apple II- Apple II manual reprints, new user info, ...,
  and message board

International Apple II BBS List- A2 BBS sites and phone numbers

KansasFest Web Page- KansasFest information

KulaSoft- Stocks Eamon Adventures, A2 software, Index

L.J. Silicon's Treasure Chest- Apple II software 

Nova Scotia Apple Users Group Page- II/IIgs utilities

Odessa Entertainment- on-line entertainment 'zines

Texas II- Appleworks products and information, Y2K info, and
  home site for Beverly Cadieux's Apple II Mail Group (A2MG)

The Giant List- major listing of games and authors

Treasure Chest Project- Willie Yeo's list of A2 software
  reclassified as freeware or shareware

Unofficial, Unauthorized, Apple Online Museum- Greg Cifu's
  pages of Apple II machine history, anecdotes, and pictures

Upgrade the GS Project- Home page for input and discussion
  relating to IIgs upgrades



006- What is an Apple II: The KIM

My Ex bought a KIM in ... had to be 1976, 'cause that's the year we
split. He played Hunt the Wumpus on it. I couldn't see the point of
messing with those red LEDs at the time.

Nancy Crawford,  Csa2 post on 27 December, 1995

     KIM (for "Keyboard Input Monitor") was a 6502 'development system' release in 1976 by MOS Technology. A single board with six 7-segment LED displays, it soon had a wide following of avid experimenters who wrote programs like Jim Butterfield's "Lunar Lander" and Stan Ockers's "Hunt the Wumpus" and published numerous articles in magazines like Byte and KiloBaud describing hardware add-ons. For many, KIM was the introduction to 6502 computing which would, in a few years, lead to becoming an Apple II user
. --Rubywand


007- What is an Apple II: The Apple I

     The original Apple was not much more than a board.  You had to supply your own keyboard, monitor and case. It sold for $666.66, but now they are worth much more as a collector's item. --Dan DeMaggio


008- What is an Apple II: The Apple ][ and Apple ][+

     The II and II+ are the computers that launched the Apple II line. They have the 6502 microprocessor, ability to do Hi-res and Lo-res color graphics, sound, joystick input, and casette tape I/O. They have a total of eight expansion Slots for adding peripherials such as the Disk ][ controller, MockingBoard, serial I/O, and printer interface. Clock speed is 1MHz and, with Apple's Language Card installed, standard memory size is 64kB.

     The distinction between the ][ and ][+ is the installed ROMs. The ][ starts you in the Monitor program and includes in-ROM Integer BASIC. The ][+ has the AutoStart ROM which tries to locate and boot a diskette upon startup and defaults to Applesoft BASIC which is included in-ROM. Many ][ owners upgraded to the ][+ ROMs.

     Apple ][ and ][+ computers can run thousands of games, utilities, and other programs created to run under Apple DOS-- chiefly, DOS 3.3. Both machines can, also, run under ProDOS through v1.9 so long as the software does not require features of an "enhanced" 128k IIe. For instance, you can run Appleworks if you have more than 128K RAM installed and a program called PlusWorks. However, the ][ can not run BASIC programs under ProDOS since Applesoft must be in ROM.      

Recommended configuration: 16K "language card" (in Slot 0), an 80-column video card (not the same as a //e Extended 80-column card), shift key modification (a wire running from shift key to game port), modified character ROMs to display lower case, composite color monitor, Disk ][ controller card, two 5.25" Disk ][ or compatible drives, parallel printer interface card, and parallell-interface printer. You can add memory beyond 64k in various ways, but many programs that "require 128K" probably will not wor
k, no matter how much RAM you have. You can also add accelerators like the SpeeDemon or Rocket/Zip. --Dan DeMaggio, David Empson, Rubywand


009- What is an Apple II: The "Black Apple"

     Bell & Howell marketed the "Black Apple" made by Apple. It is an Apple II+ done in black with some extra audio/video connections to fit with projectors, etc. made by B&H-- mainly for use in the classroom. A nice feature is the "handle" attached to the back. It contains a few power outlets, allowing the CPU, Monitor, etc., to be controlled with one switch. Evidently, 5000-10,000 units were produced. --Coaxial, Mike McGovern, Rubywand


010- What is an Apple II: The Apple //e

     The //e comes in two flavors: Enhanced and unenhanced. When you start your computer, the unenhanced IIe displays "Apple ][" at the top of screen; the Enhanced IIe displays "Apple //e". Apple made an Enhancement kit to upgrade an unenhanced to Enhanced by replacing 4 chips (CPU [65C02], Video ROM [MouseText], and new Monitor/Applesoft ROMs). Apple Resource Center sells a IIe Enhancement kit for $20.00. 

     The current IIe operating system is ProDOS-8. (The IIe can also run DOS 3.3, earlier DOS's, and Pascal.) A lot of ProDOS software requires an Enhanced //e, and sometimes 128K, too.

     A IIe Enhancement Kit does not include any extra RAM. You can expand a 64k IIe to the standard 128k required for a fully Enhanced IIe via an Extended 80-column card. It plugs into the Aux Connector on the motherboard. Alltech ($19.00), MC Price Breakers ($14.95), and Sequential Systems ($19.95) sell such cards.

     Except for being able to type and display lower-case characters, the unenhanced IIe is very similar to the II+. A 128k Enhanced IIe adds a number of features including 80-column firmware and 16-color double-lores and double hires display capability.  

     The Apple //e remains useful for four major reasons:

 1) It runs AppleWorks, a simple to use, yet sophisticated Spreadsheet/Word Processor/Database.

 2) It can run many games and other entertainment software products.

 3) There are many Apples in schools-- an example is Louis Cornelio's room at Clairemont High School ( )-- so there is a ton of Apple II educational software.

 4) It is was and will always be a _Personal_ computer.  You can learn as little or as much as you want, and nothing stops you from learning about every nook and cranny in it. Ask any big name programmer in MS/DOS or Mac where they learned to program.  Most of them taught themselves on a good ol' Apple II.

Recommended configuration: Extended 80 Column card (gives you 128K) or RamWorks (512K to 1MB RAM), Enhancement kit (for unenhanced IIe), and a composite color monitor which can display decent 80-colume text, Super Serial card, Disk ][ controller card, two 5.25" Disk ][ or compatible drives, parallel printer interface card, and parallell-interface printer. A Hard Drive is recommended if you use a lot of different programs. Heavy Appleworks users should add the hard disk, extra RAM, and a 4MHz or better acce
lerator (like the Rocket Chip, Zip Chip or TransWarp). --Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand


011- What is an Apple II: The Apple //c and IIc+

     The //c and IIc+ are compact 'luggable' versions of an Enhanced //e, with many built-in 'cards'. Included are 2 serial ports, a mouse port, a disk port and 128K of RAM. Support for the original Apple casette tape I/O is gone. The //c has a built-in 5.25" drive while the IIc+ has a built-in 3.5" drive. 

     The IIc+ has a built-in accelerator that runs at 4 MHz (vs. the //c's 1MHz) making it the fastest Apple II as well as faster than any of the A2 clones. (To boot your IIc+ at 'regular', 1MHz, speed, include the Escape key in the usual boot keypresses-- i.e. OpenApple-CTRL-ESC-RESET.) The IIc+, which was introduced after the IIgs, also allows daisey chaining the GS Apple 3.5" drive along with 5.25" drives.

     The //c and IIc+ run just about all of the DOS 3.3, ProDOS, "128k" software, etc. that an Enhanced //e runs plus the few //c-only software releases. However, the use of certain locations for storing system variables and ROM differences means that //c series machines will not run a number of old games designed for the ][ and ][+ which the IIe and IIgs will run. 

     Even though //c machines don't have slots, you can still add extra memory (there's room under the keyboard) and a hard drive (through the disk port--a bit slow by ordinary standards, but usable.  Hard to find though.. Was made by Chinook). There is also a for-//c "D" version of MockingBoard you can plug in to get much improved sound and music from software supporting the board, and a module you can attach to convert output to RF for using a TV as a monitor.

Recommended configuration: A composite color monitor which can display decent 80-colume text, 1 MB RAM, and, maybe, a hard drive. For the //c, add a second 5.25" drive; for the IIc+, add a second 3.5" drive and two 5.25" drives. --Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand


012- What is an Apple II: The Laser 128EX and 'EX/2

     While not made by Apple, these Lasers can run just about anything that an Enhanced //e can run. They are as luggable as a //c and include built-in 'cards'. They are also fast; the entire motherboard runs at 3.6Mhz. If you want to use a card in the single expansion Slot, you may have to disable the internal UDC (for 3.5" drives) or the internal 1MB memory expansion.

     Unlike the EX model, which supports one additional disk drive, the EX/2 supports as many daisychained drives as a IIgs and has a built in BRAM control panel for saving settings. The EX/2 also has a built in 3.5" disk drive, a MIDI port, and a video port which can support analog RGB and digital CGA monitors as well as an LCD display. --Supertimer, Dan DeMaggio


013- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIgs

     The IIgs (or "GS") represents a giant leap in the Apple II line.  It can still run //e software, but has a better processor (16-bit), a new super-hires graphics mode, a toolbox in ROM (just like the Mac), a 32-oscillator Ensoniq sound chip, and a base speed of 2.8MHz.

     GS can run DOS 3.3, ProDOS, Pascal, and any other OS the earlier 8-bit models can run. Like the //c series, it does not support the original Apple casette tape I/O. GS is the only A2 machine which can run GS/OS. GS/OS and Toolbox routines make it possible for the System Finder program to deliver a sophisticated 'mouse and windows' environment which looks very much like PC's Windows. The current version of System is "System 6.0.1".

     The first GS's were released in the Fall of 1986. The batches produced until mid-late 1987 became known as "ROM 00" machines after release of the "ROM 01" models. When you boot a ROM-01 GS, the startup screen shows "ROM Version 01"; when you boot a ROM-00 GS the startup screen says nothing about ROM version.

     The original GS's came in cases marked "Limited Edition" with Steve Wozniak's signature. Often, these are referred to as "Woz GS's". A relatively small number of users chose Apple's option to upgrade their IIe's with a motherboard swap. The swap included "IIgs" labels users could substitute for "IIe" in the case insert.

     At the time of the ROM-01 change-over, Apple supplied a ROM-00-to-ROM-01 upgrade service free. It consists of swapping in a new ROM and a new Video Graphics Controller ("VGC") IC. ROM-00 machines which have not had the upgrade can not run modern GS software-- the ROM must be upgraded. Alltech (760-724-2404; ) sells a ROM-01 'upgrade kit' consisting of the 01 ROM for $29.00.

     The VGC upgrade is not required for software compatibility, and is not needed for all machines anyway. It is supposed to fix cosmetic problems in monochrome double-hires graphics mode (pink flickering or fringing on what is supposed to be a black and white screen).  On some machines the VGC swap also fixes some color combination problems in 80-column text mode.

     Whether via the upgrade or original purchase of a newer GS, by late 1987 nearly all GS users were 'on the same page'. That is, we had the ROM-01 platform with its base 256kB RAM plus the official Apple 1MB Expansion Memory Board plugged into the Memory Expansion Slot for a total of 1.25MB of fully-accessible system RAM. For the next couple of years, practically all GS software was designed to launch from 3.5" diskette under "ProDOS-16" and to fit within the 1.25MB of RAM everyone was assumed to have i

     In 1989 Apple introduced the "ROM 3" GS-- the startup screen shows "ROM Version 3". (No ROM-02 GS was ever released). The only major improvement over ROM-01 is more base RAM-- you get 1MB instead of 256kB. This is a very nice benefit. It means that a ROM 3 with a 4MB Mem Exp Board will have 5MB of fully accessible RAM whereas a ROM-01 can have 4.25MB of fully-accessible RAM. In effect, the ROM 3 owner gets a 'free' 800kB RAM disk. As Mitch Spector notes in his listing of ROM 3 features (see in CSA2HDW
HACK.TXT), the newer GS offers a number of other nice pluses with the only significant minus being incompatibility with a few older GS programs. 

     Chiefly, ROM 3 is a 1989 re-do of ROM-01 featuring more streamlined hardware and more built-in firmware. (Upon booting, the current system software applies in-RAM patches matched to each ROM version to achieve nearly identical operation.)  Very few ROM-01 owners felt any urge to move to ROM 3. Even today, the vast majority of installed GS's are ROM-01 machines. 

     The 1990's have seen wide adoption of four major GS enhancements:

OS- After years of foot-dragging, Apple finally produced a decent 16-bit GS operating system with release of System 5.0. Within a few years this evolved into today's System 6 (System 6.0.1). System 6 has won wide acceptance as a relatively stable OS which, at last, allows GS users to access many of the features of GS computing promised back in 1986. Whereas earlier OS's can 'fit' on a GS with 1MB of Expansion memory, System 6 really requires something like 2.5MB RAM to be worth installing. 

Memory- Driven, in part, by the need for more memory to run System 6, 4MB became the standard size of installed Memory Expansions. Except for school GS's and GS's taken out of circulation and tucked away in closets, the old Apple 1MB Expansion Boards have long ago been replaced with 4MB boards.

Hard Disk- As with memory, the size of newer versions of System supplied a strong push toward adding a hard disk. Software was becoming larger, too, and there was so much of it that making everything work from diskette became impossibly cumbersome. Lower HD prices, attractive SCSI interfaces such as RamFAST, and low-cost, easy single-card IDE solutions such as the Focus "Hard Card" have helped make the hard disk a standard, expected peripheral on today's GS.

Acceleration- Few commercial software offerings actually sought to push GS users to higher speeds; and, as a result, users went for years feeling no great need for Applied Engineering's expensive Transwarp accelerator. The arrival of Zip Technology's lower-cost ZipGS board together with a clear need for more speed to handle System 6 sparked a nearly overnight 'acceleration revolution'. Today, an accelerator running at 8MHz or better is considered, very nearly, to be a necessary IIgs enhancement.     

Recommended configuration: ROM-01 or ROM 3 with 4MB Memory Expansion board-- i.e. 4.25MB (ROM-01) or 5MB (ROM 3) of total system RAM, RamFAST SCSI + 120MB or larger SCSI hard disk OR 120MB or larger HD-on-a-card IDE drive (e.g. Alltech's Focus Hard Card or SHH's Turbo IDE series) with System 6.0.1 installed, 8MHz/32k TransWarp or 9MHz/32k ZipGS or better accelerator board, Stereo Card, Imagewriter II printer, two 3.5" and two 5.25" diskette drives.

A minimum GS system that will run many older wares and still deliver a decent operating system is a ROM-01 GS with the Apple 1MB Memory Expansion board, two 3.5" drives, at least one 5.25" drive, and  Imagewriter II printer, which boots System 5.0.4 from 3.5" diskette. --Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand, David Empson, Randy Shackelford, Richard Bennett


014- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIe Emulation Card

     This is a 'IIe on a card' plug-in that fits into Mac LC and some subsequent machines that have the LC Processor Direct Slot (PDS). This includes 020, 030, and 040 machines. The card is not compatible with the Mac Quadra. It lets one run Apple //e software.

     Many of these cards are sold today without documentation. In case you've just plugged one into your Mac Color Classic, etc., it will help to know that pressing Command-Control-Escape gets you to the Preferences panel.

     The Apple IIe Emulation Card is actually more like a //c because the card is not an expandable machine like a //e. There is a place on the back of the card to plug in a UniDisk 5.25" and a joystick.  Because the graphics are handled by the Mac, animation may be slow if you don't have a decent Mac. --Dan DeMaggio, David Empson, Owen Aaland, Edward Floden, Liam Busey   


Related FAQs Resources: R024GSSPECS.TXT (text file)

015- Where can I find a compact listing of Apple IIgs

     Apple IIgs specifications are described in the FAQs resource file R024GSSPECS.TXT.

-- Supertimer


016- What is "8 bit" and "16 bit"?

     Number of bits usually indicates how big a chunk of data a computer's main microprocessor can manipulate. The Apple IIgs is based on the 65C816 microprocessor and is considered to be a 16-bit machine. Previous Apple ]['s are based upon pure 8-bit microprocessors such as the 6502 and 65C02. These are considered to be 8-bit machines. Sometimes II+ or IIe or IIc software is called "8-bit software".

     The 65C816 is a member of the 6502 family which includes expanded registers and adds many new commands while retaining the ability to go into 8-bit mode. So; the GS can run most 8-bit wares designed for older Apple II machines as well as newer 16-bit wares. Meanwhile, 8-bit machines are pretty well limited to 8-bit wares. --Rubywand


017- How can I tell what version my computer is?

Apple //e:

     The major division is between the Enhanced and unenhanced //e models. Look at your computer while re-booting.  If it says "APPLE ][", it is not enhanced. The enhanced computers will say "Apple //e". You can upgrade it yourself by getting the Apple //e Enhancement kit. (It contains 4 chips to replace on your motherboard.)

     Many newer programs will not work unless you have an Enhanced //e. If you have a //c or GS, or a Laser 128, you have Enhanced //e compatibility. There are also some older //e's that are not capable of double-hires.  Check the serial number on the motherboard (in the back, by the power-on led). If it is 820-0064-A, you must change the motherboard to upgrade (unless you have the PAL version). Serial #s like 820-0064-B or 820-0087-A are the plain //e, and the version with the grey case comes pre-Enhanced

week 26 1983:
        820-0073-A (c) 1982   Colour killer switch soldered to open
        B-607-0664            oscillator position on PCB.

week 38 1983:
        820-0073-B (c) 1982   Colour killer switch near RHS of PCB.
        B-607-0264            All chips socketed.

week  7 1985:
        820-0073   (c) 1984   PCB marked for enhanced ROMs & 65c02
        B-607-0264           (mine had old ROMs and 6502). RAM &
                              some TTL soldered in.

     All three work with double res graphics. (Apart from the revision letter vanishing, most chips being soldered in and the silkscreened ROM numbers, I can see no difference between the last two PCBs mentioned.)

Apple //c:

     Go into Basic and type "PRINT PEEK (64447)" and press return.  If it says 255, you have a very old //c.  See your dealer about getting an upgrade (tell them that the Apple authorization number is ODL660). If it says 0, you can do 3.5" drives, but you don't have the memory expansion connector. If it says 3 You have the memory expansion.  If it says 4, you have the latest model of the //c. If it says 5, you have a //c+.

Apple IIgs:

     There are 3 major versions of the GS: Check the initial power-up screen. It will probably say ROM-01 or ROM 3. If it does not say either, you have a ROM-00 model. You must upgrade a ROM-00 machine in order to run current system software. The ROM-01 has 256K on the motherboard, while the ROM 3 has 1 MB on the motherboard. Most of the enhancements of the ROM 3 (except the 1MB, of course) can be added to the ROM-01 simply by booting up with current system software. --Dan DeMaggio


018- How can I find out about using my Apple II?

     Of course, you can peruse the newsgroup FAQs Q&A and check out the Apple II internet sites listed earlier. Charles Hartleys's Apple II Lessons & Software is a good example of the latter. Also, Charles "Dr. Tom" Turley is building a collection of New User info on his site at ...*Help.for.NEW.A2.Users.txt .

     Still, there is really no substitute for having the technical manual for your particular Apple II or clone. The manual for the ][ and ][+ is the Apple ][ Reference Manual. For the IIe and IIc you want Apple's Technical Reference Manual for your machine. For the IIgs you will want, at least, the IIgs Hardware Reference and IIgs Firmware Reference.

     Naturally, you will want to get manuals and materials covering DOS, ProDOS, BASIC, and many other areas relating to your Apple II. Below is a decent 'getting started' sampling: 

Applesoft BASIC and Assembly Language

Assembly Lines: The Book  by Wagner
Basic Programming Reference Manual  from Apple
Programming the 65816 Including the 6502, 65C02, and 65802
  by David Eyes and Ron Lichty
65816/65802 Assembly Language Programming by Fischer

DOS, ProDOS, and GS/OS

Apple IIgs GS/OS Technical Reference (Apple/ Addison-Wesley)
Beneath Apple DOS  by Worth & Lechner
Beneath Apple ProDOS  by Worth & Lechner
Exploring Apple GS/OS and ProDOS 8  by Little
ProDOS Inside and Out  by Doms and Weishaar
ProDOS Technical Reference Manual (Apple/ Addison-Wesley)
The DOS Manual  from Apple

General Apple II

Apple II Reference Manual  from Apple
Apple II User's Guide  by Poole, Martin, and Cook
Beagle Bros "Peeks, Pokes, and Pointers" (poster)  by Beagle Bros
The Apple II Circuit Description  by Winston D. Gayler
What's Where in the Apple II?  by William F. Luebbert 

     Some technical manuals and other materials can be obtained in original or reprint form from Byte Works. Most Apple II books, etc. also turn up for sale on comp.sys.apple2.marketplace, at used book shops, and at local Users Group swap meets. A few items, such as Reference Cards and posters, can be downloaded in Text or HTML form from Apple II archives.

     Another good resource is a subscription to an Apple II newsletter or magazine (see Question 20); and, don't overlook collections of major Apple II magazines published through the 1980's (e.g. inCider, Nibble, Computist, etc.). They are virtual encyclopedias covering many areas of II computing.   

     Often, the easiest, quickest way to an awswer for some Apple II question is to 'just ask it' on comp.sys.apple2. There is no Csa2 rule about making sure your question is hard enough or reading the FAQs first. Supplying information is the main purpose of the newsgroup.

     But, suppose you have zilch info, do not feel like looking through the FAQs, and want to start Now. The following _may_ be all you need to get going with some game or utility from diskette:

o The Disk Controller Card for Apple ][, ][+, and IIe goes into Slot 6 (next to last Slot on the right when viewed from the front). Drive 1 plugs into the top connector with the ribbon side of the cable plug facing out. Plug in the cable(s) before plugging in the card so that you are sure the connector and plug line up correctly. 

o On the IIgs, the 3.5" drive(s) plug in first, then, the 5.25" drive(s).

o Unless a hard disk is installed, most Apple II's try to boot a diskette and start DOS 3.3, ProDOS, or GS/OS when turned ON. (On the old Apple ][ you can type in 6 Control-P RETURN to boot from the Monitor, assuming your Controller Card is in Slot 6. To press Control-P, press and hold Control, then P, then release both keys.)

o Most, but not all, diskettes are bootable. If one diskette doesn't boot, try another. If no diskettes boot, use a Radio Shack Head Cleaner diskette to clean the drive head(s).

o If the prompt you see is ], you are in Applesoft BASIC; > indicates Integer BASIC; and * indicates the Monitor. If both Integer BASIC and Applesoft are in memory, you can enter FP to switch from Integer to Applesoft and INT to switch from Applesoft to Integer. To go from either BASIC to the Monitor, enter CALL-151. To start the current BASIC from the Monitor, enter Control-B. To go back to BASIC with program and variables in tact from the Monitor, enter Control-C.
o Except for the ][ and ][+, you must press Control-RESET to do a Reset.

o To boot a diskette when viewing a BASIC prompt, you can enter PR#6 to boot a drive associated with Slot 6-- usually a 5.25" drive-- and PR#5 to boot a drive associated with Slot 5-- usually a 3.5" drive.

--Rubywand, David Wilson


019- Where do I find out about Apple II Users Groups?

     Many Apple II users groups continue to meet, especially in major cities and on university campi. If a local group listing is 'missing' from your phone book, check for a Mac users group-- a number of Apple II groups merged with their Mac counterparts.

     The Apple User Group Connection (800-538-9696 ext 500) can tell you the closest Apple II (or Macintosh) User Group. Several web sites maintain user group lists. Two such sites are ...

     Of course, you can always post a question to Csa2 or to comp.sys.apple2.usergroups. --Rubywand


020- Where can I get Apple II parts, boards, and software?

All Electronics (800-826-5432; ) major surplus and new parts seller- switches, LCD panels, connectors, transformers, caps, IIgs-type lithium batteries, etc. 

Alltech (760-724-2404;  accepts on-line orders) sells all kinds of replacement parts for Apple II's as well as the Focus Hard Card drives, CD-ROM drives, cables, memory boards & IC's, diskettes, ... .

Apple Resource Center "The ARC" (800-753-0114; ) sells Apple II computers and peripherals.

Auction sites which handle Apple II items on the internet

AV Systems (  email: game, education, utility software for Apple II computers
B&R Computer Services (619-225-8281; ) sells Apple II computers, peripherals, and software.

Stephen Buggie (505-863-2390) sells the famous Buggie Power Supplies, Buggie Drives, and does disk drive conversions.

Byte Works (505-898-8183;  email: sells the respected Orca series of Apple II languages and support software including the new GS BASIC.

Catweasel ( ) makes and sells a disk drive controller intended for reading A2 diskettes on non-A2 drives.

Charlie's AppleSeeds (619-566-0387; 9081 Hadley Place, San Diego CA 92126-1523; Chuck Newby's email: sells Apple II hard disks and controllers, floppy drives, ... and ProSel, ProSel-16 documentation.  

Comp.sys.apple2.marketplace is the Csa2 newsgroup for buying and selling Apple II hardware and software.

Creative Solutions (937-429-5759; ) Apple II hardware, software, and repairs

Digi-Key (800-344-4539; ) IC's and general parts supplier

DigiSoft Innovations (  email: Jim Maricondo at continues to sell the Golden Orchard CD and is working on GO-II.

Dirt-Cheap Drives (800-786-1160; ) 2.5" IDE drives

Emerald City Sales (870-743-3872; ) sells TrackStar boards and other A2 hardware.  

Gene Ehrich's On-Line Computer Garage Sale (email:; ) sells Apple II (C-64, PC, etc.) hardware, software, manuals, and other items.

Halted Specialties (800-442-5833; ) sells electronic parts- sockets, cables, plugs, caps, Parallax BASIC stamp, SCSI cables, ... good prices for 74xxx, 65xx, etc. IC's

Hudson's Hobby Games (P.O. Box 121503, Arlington, Texas, 76012; 817-461-0126; email: sells Old Apple II games in original boxes; still has Lordlings of Yore as of check in March, 1999

InTrec Software (888-PROTERM; ) sells ProTerm A2 and high-speed GS modem cable; the "InTrec Store" sells used II/IIgs hardware and software at good prices

Jameco (800-831-4242; ) Apple II and general parts supplier

JDR Microdevices (800-538-5000; ) Apple II and general parts supplier

Kitchen Sink Software (614-891-2111; ) Apple II Software

KulaSoft (808-595-8131; ) Eamon Adventures, Kula Index, software collections, tutorials, and books

Steven Lichter (Apple Elite II BBS 909-359-5338; email: offers GBBS/LLUCE support and software.

Lynxmotion (104 Partridge Road, Pekin, IL 61554-1403; 309-382-1816 ) sells Robot kits, Robot arms, servos, controllers, ... for PC but adaptable for Apple II

MC Price Breakers (360-837-3042; ) sells memory boards, high-speed GS modem cables, and other Apple II hardware

MECI (800-344-6324; ) surplus electronic parts- fans, tubes, solenoids, IC sockets, 50-25 SCSI cables and adaptors, ...

Mouser Electronics (800-346-6873; ) major IC and general parts supplier

MPJA/ Marlin P. Jones (800-652-6733; ) many power supplies, NULL modem, Parallax BASIC stamp, misc kits, LED displays, LCD panels, ...

Newark Electronics (800-463-9275; ) major electronic parts supplier 

Ninjaforce Entertainment ( ) Ninjaforce software for IIgs

Pre-Owned Electronics (800-274-5343) sells a variety of peripherals and accessories.

Scantron Quality Computers (800-777-3642 ) Appleworks, Appleworks-GS vendor.

Sequential Systems (303-666-4549;  email:  sells 4-8MB GS memory boards, RAMfast SCSI interface, and other peripheral boards.

Seven Hills Software (850-575-0566; ) develops and sells IIgs software.

Shareware Solutions II (  email: sells Convert 3200 plus games, boxed Old game originals, the Golden Orchard CD-ROM, and other wares.

SHH Systeme, Germany ( ) sells Turbo IDE and other HD controller cards, Blue Disk, TWGS Accelerator upgrades, and repairs.

Shreve Systems (800-227-3971; ) sells II computers, peripherals, parts and accessories.

Software and More (916-725-0228; ) sells Apple II hardware and software.

Sun Remarketing (800-821-3221;  accepts on-line orders) sells Apple II parts and peripherals.

Texas II/Kingwood Micro Software (2503 Sherbrooke Lane, McKinney, TX 75070; 972-562-6335; ) develops and sells classic Appleworks v3.0-v5.1 support software. 

Vernier Software (503-297-5317; )  sells project books and components.

Wayne's Computer (315-689-7899; ) sells Apple II computers, peripherals, and software.

Western Design Center (602-962-4545; ) makes and sells 65C816 microprocessor used in IIgs and for accelerator upgrades. 

William K. Bradford Co. (800-421-2009; ) Apple II educational software

--Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand


021- Where do I get Apple II books and periodicals?

The Applebyter newsletter (Applebyters Computer Club, P.O. Box 2092, Davenport, IA  52809 ) is a vintage monthly newsletter.

Apple Blossom is a bi-montly mini-magazine edited by Steve Cavenaugh. (Apple Blossom Publishing, P.O. Box 120434, Boston, MA 02112-0434;  email:

Byte Works (505-898-8183; ) major source for Apple II series manuals, other Apple books, and Orca languages, manuals, and support. (

Composition is an on-line 'zine devoted to GS MIDIsynth and synthLAB music ( ) published by Gregory Heald.

Dark Castle (Wolborgenmate 72, 7006 DK Doetinchem, The Netherlands; +31-314-365145) is a quarterly mini-magazine edited by Doede Boomsma. (

Eamon Adventurer's Guild newsletter (7625 Hawkhaven Dr., Clemmons, NC  27012; 910-766-7490) is the quarterly journal for the famous adventuring series edited by Thomas Zuchowski. (email: or 

GS WorldView ( is an Apple II/IIgs web 'zine edited by Charles Turley 

Juiced GS (2217 Lakeview Dr., Sullivan, IN  47882) is a quarterly mini-magazine edited by Max Jones. ( ; email:

Nuts & Volts Magazine (800-783-4624; ) not A2 specific, but good info on robot making and other interesting projects; also, a good source for surplus electronic parts ads

Shareware Solutions II (166 Alpine Street, San Rafael, CA 94901  email: is a bi-monthly mini-magazine edited by Joe Kohn

Texas II (2503 Sherbrooke Lane, McKinney, TX 75070; 972-562-6335; ) is an Appleworks newsletter published by Beverly Cadieux (


User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

Part1 - Part2

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM