Lucked into a IIe

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Joined: Apr 2 2016
Posts: 4

An Apple IIe system (with two Disk IIs, an Apple Color Monitor IIe, and a monitor stand) was on the raffle table at the last meeting of my area's Apple user group. This was something different, and something that really caught my attention. (The person donating it explained he needed to make space.) Despite years of bad luck at being picked early enough to choose much of the usual software, hardware gadgets, and things like old Power Mac G5s from the raffles, this time my number was called with the chance to pick the IIe system, which I did.

I've checked that the computer boots up (it's an unenhanced IIe with a white-lettered keyboard) and that both of the Disk IIs can read some of the box of floppies I got with the system (I've looked into ADTPro and the "Floppy Emu" from Big Mess o' Wires to go further), but in remembering that this forum had a lot of information about actual hardware I got to poking into it only to start noticing about all the comments about power supply capacitors giving out. The system is minimally configured with an expanded 80-column card and a Disk II interface (in slot 7, for some reason), which leaves me wondering if having the computer on long enough for ADTPro to transfer a disk image through the cassette jacks would amount to a gamble on the old power supply. I have tried ordering a Kensington System Saver fan from eBay, but for all I know I may have to stick with emulation (which is how I got to the point of thinking I could "do something" with actual hardware) until I learn to solder. I might have to dismantle the computer and clean the keyboard anyway; the left arrow key didn't seem inclined to respond until I pressed and held it down.

As far as other questions go, though, with the Disk II card in slot 7 the computer won't boot any disks using Pascal. I would move the card one slot over, but having seen the tips in the original manuals to "rock the card back and forth getting it seated" I am wondering if there are any tips for reversing the process. Thanks in advance.

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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 832
Re: Lucked into a IIe

Yeah, I have a couple of suggestions. Firstly, learn about taking antistatic handling precautions before you poke around and move things in the computer. (E.g. with the power turned off, touch the exterior of the power supply box to ground any static off of your body immediately before handling the slot cards). Put the Disk Interface card in slot 6 where it most programs expected it to be. Then try again with Pascal. If the power supply is working, don't worry about it. A system saver (a blower fan) is helpful to keep the innards cool to make it last longer. Use one.

BTW you did luck out. How much did you spend on raffle tickets to win this?

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Joined: Apr 2 2016
Posts: 4
Re: Lucked into a IIe

I have seen those "touch the power supply box before touching anything else" advisories in the old manuals; I was wondering more about "will the card work loose with this much force, or with this particular motion, before something else gives" worries as I begin pulling on it... That's not something that can be easily answered, I suppose. Thanks for the reassurance on the power supply.

Anyway, we all only get one ticket a raffle so long as we have paid-up memberships, but I have to admit I must have shown so much interest in the system that just as the draw was beginning, the person sitting behind me (who I think was the son of the person who'd donated the computer) handed me his own ticket and the number on it was called first of the two. I gave him the ticket I'd been given with much profuse thanks. (There was a previous raffle where the person who'd just won a 68k Powerbook handed it straight over to someone else.)

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Joined: Dec 4 2015
Posts: 43
Re: Lucked into a IIe

Yes, cards that have been in a slot for a long time come out hard. Pull some slack in the disk ribbon cables into the inside if you can then maybe press your left hand down on the adjacent slots to the left while you rock the card up with your right. Try to hold the card by the edges so you don't mash any components. If you kind of pull up on the lip of the card which extends past the slot you might get it to start moving but keep rocking, don't crank on one end. Also if you do remove the disk ribbons BE VERY CAREFUL how you put the ribbons back on because they are NOT indexed. Ribbons should extend away from the card and make sure all the pins line up. Offsetting the ribbon by one pair of pins blows a chip in the drive !! This all assumes you don't have the later duodisk type card where the drives plug in externally

PS - I see you said Disk II's so be careful on the ribbons

Larry G

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Joined: Apr 2 2016
Posts: 4
Re: Lucked into a IIe

I did manage to get the card moved over, with a bit of help working it out from somebody I had a brief opportunity to show the system to. Everything worked afterwards (including the disk that had complained before), so no apparent harm done and thank you for the advice. Now, to wait for the System Saver to show up to use it for longer periods that'll start trying out ADTPro...