Newbie looking for some recommendations

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: Nov 21 2004
Posts: 5

Hi guys,

I used to use a IIE and a IIGS but it has been many years. Last week in a burst of nostalgia I purchased a ROM 3 IIGS on ebay. Now I am looking to upgrade it and had a few questions:

At some point I plan on purchasing a accelerator card (Zip, TransWarp, etc), a hard drive, a RAM card and an ethernet card. With that in mind:

1. I am looking at three Hard Drive /Mass Storage Controllers they are the:
- CFFA Card
- Focus Card
- SSH Microdrive Turbo with 2.5 inch drive
- An old Applied Ingenuity

Can you give me a first and second choice of what you would pick (given the above preferred configuration)? I understand that most of these products do not support DMA, but I also understand that you can't use DMA with some accelerators. Anything I should watch out for?

Similarly, I am looking at at the following RAM cards:
- RAM-4-GS (Gaber board????)
- Sirius 8MB
- AE GS RAM Ultra 7MB

Can you give me a first and second choice for these as well? Any gotchas I should be worried about?

Any help you guys can provide would be much appreciated. Feel free to post here, but if you wouldn't mind sending an email to it will get to me faster!!

Many, many thanks!


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Joined: Nov 21 2004
Posts: 5
Follow up question

Woops forgot something - in regards to my previous question about which hard drive controller and memory card to purchase for a ROM 3 IIGS -

How plug and play or these products? The AE RAM board doesn't appear to have any software with it, same with the Applied Ingenuity hard drive, is this going to be a problem or can I just "plug them in"? Same question for the other components being considered?

Thanks again all,
Ronnie Sanford

Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 833
CFFA card definitely!

The CFFA card is awesome.

It can use either a small harddrive or CF memory card (talk about low power consumtion and and fast access time, probably the fastest on an Apple II). The maker keeps himself currently available, runs an informative up to date website, the price is right, has updated the firmware, and the card is ProDOS compatible, and now backwardly compatible to the Apple ][+.

(Now if he would only make one for the A//c and //c+).

I don't know enough to help you out on the memory card issue. When in doubt for durability and complete compatibility, I would go with an Apple brand device. Didn't they make a 4MB expansion card? I think that I see them on Ebay once in awhile, but be cautious, as some folks don't know what they have and sell the 1MB ones as 4MB ones.

Mutant Pie

Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 361
First, all IIgs accelerators

First, all IIgs accelerators allow DMA. It's the IIe accelerators that you can't do DMA with.

I'd likely be leery of the Applied Ingenuity drive since it's old and I'm not sure about being able to find a compatible replacement drive.

For the other three it depends on your situation and what you want.

The CFFA will be the slowest of the three. I clocked it against a few cards and it was exactly the same as an Apple Hi-speed SCSI. It’s convenient since compact flash cards are available everywhere.

Last I heard the focus was only available without a hard drive. This may have changed but if not then you need to come up with the drive.

The SSH Microdrive Turbo will do DMA and may be faster than the Focus. You also need to provide your own hard drive.

Very few people have any need of more than 4mb on a IIgs.

AE had a tendency to not follow Apples guidelines in designing their RAM cards so I’d prefer the other two. Bills 4mb card would be a good choice and the price id good. I do lean toward the Sirius card though. Maybe because I’ve had one for years.


Joined: Nov 21 2004
Posts: 5

Thanks for the info! I really appreciate it!

Joined: Nov 21 2004
Posts: 5

Thanks Mutant Pie! I will look into your reccomendation!

Thanks again!