How to: DIY changing the APPLE ][ title
It's been almost 40 years, so bear me if I don't remember all the details....
Here are my old notes on how to change the APPLE ][ title that shows up on the II+ screen when you turn on the power. You can change it to whatever you like (as long as it's 8 characters or less -spaces included).
This is a permanent change as it'll be stored in a ROM chip, replacing the original ROM from Apple (keep the original in case you want to go back). It's been performed on a 64K (48+16) Apple II+ clone, but might (or might not) work with the other models (Apple ][, ][ Europlus, J-Plus, IIe, //c).
What you need
- 48K Apple II+ (other Apple II variants might also work, but I've not tried this)
- 16K RAM card in slot#0
- EPROM programmer (I've used an AP-64e card in my Apple II+)
- A blank (erased/empty) EPROM (2716 in my case, which is a II+ clone. I'm not sure what the original II+ uses -check first!)
Using machine code programming you load the contents of the applicable motherboard ROM (F8) into RAM memory, edit the applicable code there, then save it to disk (optional). Step 2 consists of using that code to "burn" (program) it to a blank EPROM chip which will replace the existing F8 ROM (located next to the 6502 processor) on the Apple II+ motherboard.
You can change the title to anything as long as it's all UPPER CASE, normal characters and is no longer than 8 characters (spaces included). You enter the characters in hexidecimal code.
When done you burn (program) it into a blank EPROM chip which replaces the existing F8 ROM on the II+ motherboard. I have an AP-64e programmer card in my II+ which I used for this, but I suppose there are ways to do it, with other programmers on other platforms (NOTE: many modern EPROM programmers these days don't support the higher 21V and 25V programming standards for many older EPROM types! Check before buying.
Again, others reading might have info to add here.
Part 1: machine-code programming
Don't be put off by the title and go away just yet!
The author of this article is not a programmer either, and it's a matter of following the step-by-step guide below, so just hang in there for a little while.
In this example we'll change the APPLE ][ title to COCONUT, but you can change it to anything you want, just as long as it's no longer than 8 characters (spaces count as characters).
1) Prepare a pre-formatted DOS disk (for saving the file). This step is optional.
ProDOS will likely cause problems as it utilizes the 16K RAM-card, so stick to good old DOS 3.3.
To format (initialize) a blank disk on the Apple II, do the following:
- Insert any disk with DOS 3.3 on it and power up the computer (which will auto-load it)
- replace the DOS disk with a blank one
- enter the following commands (press the RETURN key after each line)
NEW(erases anything in memory)
INIT HELLO(formats the disk)
- power off the computer (to erase its memory), then on again to boot with the newly formatted disk
2) In case of the floppy disk you booted with contained any auto-loading program (i.e. "HELLO") in form of a program selector etc. I'd be on the safe side and clear it completely from memory. At the Applesoft BASIC prompt, write:
NEW (followed by RETURN)
then, to make sure there's really nothing there, write:
LIST (followed by RETURN). You should see nothing listed, indicating memory is cleared.
3) enter the following (press RETURN after each line. Don't enter my comments (in red) below though!)
NOTE: ALL "0" characters in the code (i.e. C081 C081) are the numerical "zero", NOT the letter "o" !!!
CALL -151 (enter the machine code monitor)
F800 - 4A
F801 - 0B
F800 - 00
F801 - 08
FB09:C3 CF C3 CF CE D5 D4 A0 (COCONUT space at the end : see more examples below)
FB60G (show new title, re-enter the above line if incorrect, then check again with this command)
1000<F800.FFFFM (move to RAM address $1000 -I assume into the 16K RAM card)
BSAVE F8-EPROM-COCONUT,A$1000,L$800 (save file to disk, from RAM address $1000 and length $800)
FP (return to the Applesoft BASIC prompt -so you can CATALOG the disk etc.)
Now you can use the file to burn (program) a blank EPROM from address $1000.
For posting these instructions I've used the Virtual ][ emulator on a Mac, and I can't remember the exact details on how to burn the new EPROM, but as far as I remember it's a straight-forward task with the AP-64e programmer (refer to its manual), as long as you remember the start address ($1000) from RAM memory.
Here are some more examples of new titles (keep in mind that you have to fill up all 8 characters, so use spaces before/after the title to align it in the middle of the screen (or however you like). Everything is entered with hex-values.
After a lot of online searching I finally found an Apple II ASCII to hex table, courtesy of Beagle Bros. I assume the Apple II standard for this is completely different from other standards, as none of the other ASCII-Hex tables/online calculators gave the same values.
I've cut out the relevant parts here and coloured the ASCII character column in green and the equivalent hex value in the red column next to it:
Examples of other titles (using the above ASCII-hex translation table):
FB09: A0 CB C9 D7 C9 A0 DD DB (space KIWI space ][ )
FB09: CC C9 CD C5 A0 BA AD A9 (LIME space :-) )
FB09: C5 D5 D2 CF D0 CC D4 D3 (EUROPLUS)
FB09: C7 D5 C1 D5 C1 A0 AF AF (GUAVA space// )
PS: double check for correct character input using: FB60G as shown in the above listing before commiting to EPROM-burning and/or saving the file to disk.