Apple IIGS - a few questions on getting started?

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commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: May 23 2008
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I picked up a mostly complete Apple IIGS setup and finally snagged a 3.5" floppy drive for it, with the intent of setting up GS/OS on it. But I have a few questions about it:

* First off, there's an expansion card that isn't technically an expansion card (it sits in one of the openings in the back, but it plugs into the GAME port on the motherboard rather than an expansion slot,) and it has a CAT-5 connector and two RCA jacks - just what in blazes is this? I kind of figured it was an old acoustic modem until I confirmed that it was actually a CAT-5 connector and not a phone jack, and now I have no idea what it could be. An Ethernet card for the IIGS? If so, why the RCA jacks? Or do the RCA jacks mean it's a stereo modification, and if so, what purpose does the CAT-5 connector serve?

* Second, I need a hard drive to install GS/OS on, since the floppies I have are unreliable to the point where you pretty much need to re-initialize them every time you drag them out of the closet - not suitable for long-term storage, obviously. I have a 68-pin SCSI internal hard drive I got for free, but I'm trying to figure out how to hook it up to the IIGS. There's a long expansion card with a DB-25 connector on the back, which I gather is a SCSI controller, so I think I'm good on that front, but I need a 68-pin SCSI drive enclosure, and the proper cables with which to connect it; can anyone help me out as to where I can get these for a reasonable price, and whether it's more complicated than this or not?

* Finally, although 1.5MB of RAM is a nice chunk for a hybrid 8/16-bit machine, it'd be nice to beef it up to the full 8MB, and at some point in the future, it'd be nice to get an accelerator - can anyone tell me if there's a cheaper way to do this than buying the requisite items from www.reactivemicro.com?

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commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: May 23 2008
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P.S. is there a tool out ther

P.S. is there a tool out there that can convert from IIGS disk image formats to DiskCopy images, or at least some information on the DiskCopy format so I can hack one up myself?

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Joined: May 24 2008
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Antec makes an external SCSI

Antec makes an external SCSI enclosure which will work. Your SCSI drive is an wide SCSI at least (68 pin), whereas a narrow (normal) SCSI drive has just 50 pins. In most instances you can use a wide in place of a narrow but you need a 68pin to 50pin cable. If you are using an external housing, you can get an adapter that you attach directly to the connector on the HDD and inbetween the cable from the housing. These are cheap, usually around $5.00.

Also, you need to terminate the SCSI buss correctly. If your drive supports on-drive-termination, enable it (assuming last or only device on SCSI chain) and you are good to go.

With respect to utilities and software to get the OS to recognize it, I really can't help you there since I am a newbie to Apple.

Good luck.

-Dono

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-Dono

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Joined: Jun 20 2008
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Expansion card

Did you ever find out what this card was? A lot of strange things were (and are still) made to plug into that 16 pin port. The guys at groups.google.com/groups/comp.sys.apple2 would be able to identify it for you. Could be you've got something special.

BTW, finding an 8 meg card is difficult, and they tend to be pricy. I've got 7.25 meg, but you realy don't need anything more than a 4 meg, and those cards are plentiful and reasonably priced. Accelerators turn up on ebay frequently, usually in the 200 - 250 price range. Well worth it, in my opinion. I've got a Transwarp, but the Zipgs is said to be just as good.

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Joined: Jun 20 2008
Posts: 3
Expansion card

Did you ever find out what this card was? A lot of strange things were (and are still) made to plug into that 16 pin port. The guys at groups.google.com/groups/comp.sys.apple2 would be able to identify it for you. Could be you've got something special.

BTW, finding an 8 meg card is difficult, and they tend to be pricy. I've got 7.25 meg, but you realy don't need anything more than a 4 meg, and those cards are plentiful and reasonably priced. Accelerators turn up on ebay frequently, usually in the 200 - 250 price range. Well worth it, in my opinion. I've got a Transwarp, but the Zipgs is said to be just as good.

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Joined: Jun 20 2008
Posts: 3
Expansion card

Did you ever find out what this card was? A lot of strange things were (and are still) made to plug into that 16 pin port. The guys at groups.google.com/groups/comp.sys.apple2 would be able to identify it for you. Could be you've got something special.

BTW, finding an 8 meg card is difficult, and they tend to be pricy. I've got 7.25 meg, but you realy don't need anything more than a 4 meg, and those cards are plentiful and reasonably priced. Accelerators turn up on ebay frequently, usually in the 200 - 250 price range. Well worth it, in my opinion. I've got a Transwarp, but the Zipgs is said to be just as good.

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Re: P.S. is there a tool out ther

commodorejohn wrote:

P.S. is there a tool out there that can convert from IIGS disk image formats to DiskCopy images, or at least some information on the DiskCopy format so I can hack one up myself?

If you're wanting to transfer IIGS disk images from your Mac to the GS you might want to check out this program:

http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/

it will transfer just about any Apple II disk image from a Mac/PC to your GS. About the only disk images I know of that it can't transfer are nib images.

Dean

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commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: May 23 2008
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Expansion card

I never did find out. Thanks for the link; I'll take a picture and post it there and see what I come up with.

gsmcten's picture
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4Meg Vs 8Meg RAM

John,

There are 8 Meg RAM cards out there for the IIgs, but the problem (according to the GS Technical Reference Manual) is that anything above 4 Meg is not recognized by the computer. The explaination is in the book. Now, http://16sector.com/ (I beleive this is Tony Diaz's site) has an 8 Meg card the computer does recognize because of changes in the circuitry, although it may run you a little more money.

Reactivemicro is also a good source for repair parts and upgrades. If you are into auctions, you can always find accelerators and such up on eBay.

Best Regards,
Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple II...It's ALIVE!!!"

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Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"