Help Me Identify This Apple IIe Card

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Joined: Jul 19 2017
Posts: 6

I recently came across an Apple IIe at a junk sale with an interesting card that I cannot identify. I'm hoping you can help explain the purpose of this card. I found this card in Slot 7. This computer was an unusual configuration:

Aux Slot: Microsoft CP/M card

Slot 1: Standard Parallel printer card

Slot 3 or 4 (I don't recall): Super Serial Card

Slot 6: Standard Disk Controller

Slot 7: This mystery card

The weird thing is that the ribbon cables from the disk controller were connected to connectors on the mystery card, not to the disk drives. The ribbon cables from the disk drives (standard Apple Disk II Drives) were also connected to this mystery card - so the mystery card stood between the drive controller and the disk drives. The mystery card has another ribbon connector that runs to what appears to have been a toggle switch that was on the outside of the machine. The two positions of the toggle switch are "NETWORK" and "LOCAL". The toggle switch is broken off. There is what appears to be a Floppy connector on the external toggle switch module.

There are three standard logic gate chips soldered to the board (74LSxxxx). It appears to me to be a way to connect another kind of floppy drive to the Apple IIe and having a card in Slot 7 may provide a way to control the switching function programmatically.

See the attached pics. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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IMG_20170716_173726654_HDR.jpg1.56 MB
IMG_20170716_173732451_HDR.jpg1.14 MB
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IMG_20170716_173822458_HDR.jpg779.77 KB
IMG_20170716_173903894_HDR.jpg1.46 MB

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Offline
Joined: Apr 14 2006
Posts: 36
Re: Help Me Identify This Apple IIe Card

Whilst I've not seen this particular card before, just by eyeballing it *appears* to be an early networking card that allowed for sharing of the disk drives.

I've read about similar devices being used in "classroom" style scenarios where all of the "client" computers have access to the disk drive of the "server". Likely you would need whatever specialised card was required in the client computers to make use of this though.

Anyway, that is my guess - I may be completely wrong.

Cheers,
Mike

tokabln's picture
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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 104
Re: Help Me Identify This Apple IIe Card

I guess the given answer is right... I do find the following when searching about Wolsten's Computer Devices

https://encrypted.google.com/patents/WO1994019749A1?cl=de&hl=en&output=html_text

http://www.google.com/patents/US4608663

http://www.google.com.pg/patents/US7114017

and there are some more...

__________________

Kind regards from Berlin (Germany)
Torsten aka tokabln

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Joined: Jul 19 2017
Posts: 6
Re: Help Me Identify This Apple IIe Card

>Re: Help Me Identify This Apple IIe Card
>
>Whilst I've not seen this particular card before, just by eyeballing it *appears* to be an early networking card that >allowed for sharing of the disk drives.
>
>I've read about similar devices being used in "classroom" style scenarios where all of the "client" computers have >access to the disk drive of the "server". Likely you would need whatever specialised card was required in the client >computers to make use of this though.
>
>Anyway, that is my guess - I may be completely wrong.
>
>Cheers,
>Mike

That's very helpful! If you come across any info that describes these classroom scenarios it would be great if you could post it here.

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Joined: Jul 19 2017
Posts: 6
Re: Help Me Identify This Apple IIe Card

tokabln wrote:

I guess the given answer is right... I do find the following when searching about Wolsten's Computer Devices

https://encrypted.google.com/patents/WO1994019749A1?cl=de&hl=en&output=html_text

http://www.google.com/patents/US4608663

http://www.google.com.pg/patents/US7114017

and there are some more...

Very helpful!

I'm not sure why Wolstein's did not come up on my google search. It's surprising that a patent did not appear.

I think there is little doubt that the patent holder is this William E Gordon. Unfortunately he has passed away so I'll have to reach out to Rice university to see if they can confirm his involvement in the development of this card and maybe I can track down someone else who can explain how this card works. I'll try to post back to this thread.