AppleSqueezer GS: new IIGS accelerator + memory expansion

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AppleSqueezer GS: new IIGS accelerator + memory expansion

Hi IIGS users :)

 

I'm new to this forum, so I hope it's the right place for this message. While I had an Apple II many years ago, I never owned the amazing IIGS. Last year, I found one on eBay (a ROM03), and while it worked well, I found it to be reasonably sluggish while using GS/OS. Also, memory was a bit limited out of the box. So trying to overcome these limitations, I decided to fix both issues with a board I designed (the AppleSqueezer GS) that can be plugged straight into the CPU socket of the IIGS. It contains a 14MHz 65816 that is used to accelerate the IIGS. Additionally, it expands the memory so the total is now 5248K (nothing needs to be plugged into the memory expansion socket). The board uses several methods to accelerate the CPU, most importantly caching. The AppleSqueezer GS is basically somewhat comparable in functionality to a Transwarp GS, but made with modern components, the addition of memory expansion, and designed from scratch.

 

The board works very well on my ROM03 IIGS (perhaps I could post a video), but since I don't own a ROM01 GS, I was wondering if perhaps someone would like to have a peek at it and give it a bit of a test run on their machine. Ideally someone who wouldn't mind if we could exchange some messages to see how it performs, etc. Also, I'd like to receive the board back (although this is up to negotiation, I suppose ;)

 

I'm situated in the Netherlands, so a European user may be the easiest, but US would work as well. 

 

By the way, I have no idea if others would be interested in purchasing an AppleSqueezer GS, but if so please let me know by responding to this message. If there's enough interest, I could consider producing some more. The components aren't super cheap (especially given the current chip shortage), but the price would be quite a bit lower than the $450 I think i saw advertised somewhere for a Transwarp GS.

 

Have a nice day, and thanks in advance for your interest and help!

Niek

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Very nice!How do you handle

Very nice!

How do you handle devices that DMA to the memory on the accelerator?

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An image showing a tiny part

An image showing a tiny part of the AppleSqueezer GS :)

 

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Great logo. I love the hand

Great logo. I love the hand-drawn look. Please share photos and more information about your boards!

Sorry I missed you on IRC.

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I can share with you some

I can share with you some initial benchmarks. I only know of one benchmark program for the IIGS, if you know more, let me know and I can run those as well. The one I used is from a program called BENCHMARKv5.2mg. 

 

The columns to pay attention to are "Accelerated time" and "Actual MHz". I ran the program comparing it to a Transwarp GS 8MHz/32k (the "base speed"), but I'm not sure if the "Improvement" column makes a lot of sense, and neither am I really sure what the difference is between Speed time and Expected Time. 

 

Perhaps someone can run this test on a Transwarp GS (I don't have one of those), which would allow us to compare the "Accelerated time" numbers.

 

 

 

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I found some numbers of other

I found some numbers of other GS accelerators for this same benchmark here: https://groups.google.com/g/comp.sys.apple2/c/213kGWFWM8Q/m/2ykFe-_kK-EJ

 

I put the numbers in the table below, comparing them with the AppleSqueezer GS in the rightmost column:

 

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AppleSqueezer GS

I wouldn't mind volunteering to help see how it works in a rom 01 gs, but I live in Oklahoma, in fact in the western part of the state close to the Texas border. You can count me in as wanting to buy one of these if you get enough interest in it. Would the extra memory in this be compatible with expanded memory that is already installed in the computer? Please keep us informed about the possibility of acquiring one of these.

 

magnus

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magnusfalkirk wrote:I wouldn
magnusfalkirk wrote:

I wouldn't mind volunteering to help see how it works in a rom 01 gs, but I live in Oklahoma, in fact in the western part of the state close to the Texas border. You can count me in as wanting to buy one of these if you get enough interest in it. Would the extra memory in this be compatible with expanded memory that is already installed in the computer? Please keep us informed about the possibi

 

The expanded memory that's already in your IIGS would become obsolete, you could remove it. The memory that's built into the Applesqueezer is also somewhat faster, so it would not be beneficial to use the original memory. And theoretically it should be possible to even use 8MB instead of the 4MB it's currently using (there's actually even more on the board), but the GS/OS version I tried wouldn't recognize it. This is something I can still look into, but 4MB seems plenty for most applications.

 

Thanks a lot for your interest in helping, I will keep this in mind and let you know!

 

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Great numbers. How far along

Great numbers. How far along in the project are you? Is this your first prototype? Are you planning to share pictures of the board? As far as interest in purchasing, I'm sure for a lot of people, a better idea of price is going to be necessary.

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Ok, some good news: 8MB is
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niekvs - I deleted your empty

niekvs - I deleted your empty duplicates and confirmed posting is working normally. Try again?

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Let's see if it works this

Let's see if it works this time :) Not sure why, but when trying to post before, it would give a screen with an error message. I was trying to post some updates on the project! For one, 8MB is now supported and seems to work well. Since I had some issues here, I have been posting some updates also to the https://www.facebook.com/groups/AppleIIGSEnthusiasts group, including pictures of the AppleSqueezer GS, benchmarks, various screenshots, pricing indications, etc. Surprisingly there seems to be a lot of interest in the project, so hopefully I can make some people happy with it, if the chip shortage doesn't interfere. As mentioned in the above group (please check it if you're interested because it has a lot of info already and I can't repost it all), I noticed that prices of some components have already started going up quite a bit, so I've ordered a few parts, but I may not be able to reach the 199 EUR price, it may become something more like 220 in the end, we will see when I have all the components. Anyway, more interesting is probably the other information, such as benchmarks, some more technical details, so please check it out there! I will also be answering questions here of course, as long as the forum works :P 

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What error message did you

What error message did you receive? I've had no other reports of an errors while trying to post and am happy to help you work out any technical problems.
One of our goals here is to build a permant historical resource. An overview of your project and link to an ephemeral facebook group undermines that goal. If you'd like to discuess your project here, I would appreciate it if you could discuess it in full. A community-run website built on Free Software is always going to feel rough, compared to a $1 trillion social media service that profits from making its site literally addictive.

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By the way, I have no idea if

By the way, I have no idea if others would be interested in purchasing an AppleSqueezer GS, but if so please let me know by responding to this message. If there's enough interest, I could consider producing some more. The components aren't super cheap (especially given the current chip shortage), but the price would be quite a bit lower than the $450 I think i saw advertised somewhere for a Transwarp GS.

 

This project could be a game-changer in the IIGS accelerator department.

I'd totally be up for buying a couple.

 

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Same here I Love my TWGS but

Same here. I Love my TWGS its fast in all,  but I always love options and experimenting. I'd love to have one for my Rom 01 Woz GS too! This is a very interesting project I'd love to help support by buying one!

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I would not mind testing in

I would not mind testing in my ROM1 and ROM3 GS

 

I would love to have an applesqueezer GS :)

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Hi, this sound's great! I

Hi, this sound's great! I have a ROM1 Apple IIgs with a transwarp GS, I would love to help you debug your card. I'm in Switzerland.

 

 

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Still Need ROM01 Testers?

I am interested in either being a tester or would definately consider purchasing an AppleSqueezer GS once they're tested and available. I have a ROM01 GS with a CFFA3000 and 8MB memory. I am located in the US so I know that is not ideal.

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Beta and ability to compare against others

Hello. I know this is a little late, and I am in the US, but I am tremendously interested in this project! I think I could help out quite a bit - I've got 6 IIGS's, 3 ROM01 and 3 ROM03, with a ZipGS, TWGS, and a Reactive Micro "new" TWGS. Would love to set up a shooting match / compatibility test across these. Either way, super interested in buying as well once you get to that point!

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Thanks everyone for the

Thanks everyone for the positive replies! The project generated more interest than I had imagined! I'm actually quite new to the GS (only got my first GS in 2021) so I didn't really realize there would be many people interested in such a board, but that's very nice to hear. I've been making the board a bit faster in the past weeks, and it's now also very stable, at least on my ROM03 machine. I can run it all day in GS/OS, testing different software, playing some "out of this world", drawing in Beagle Draw or Deluxe Paint, using AppleWorks GS and Graphic Writer, and it's stable the entire time. I haven't been able to test it yet on a ROM01 machine, because I don't own one, but fortunately a very generous person from Canada was super nice and has sent me a ROM01 for free, for testing! Once I receive this (it's still in the mail somewhere) I will test it on there and hopefully the timing differences between the ROM03 and ROM01 won't be big enough to cause any complications. But if they do, I will of course try to resolve them! :) One big issue at the moment is the global chip shortage, which made the FPGA that it's based on very hard to obtain. This is hopefully a temporary problem, but as you may have read in the news, it could take another year or so. You can compare it to how consumers, at the start of this pandemic, suddenly started panic buying huge amounts of toilet paper. Now car companies, etc. are doing the same with chips, and the factories can't produce enough. I still have enough components for a few boards, but it will be difficult to make everyone happy. Let's hope the factories resolve their issues soon! 

 

By the way, the AppleSqueezer GS now allows you to use the full 14MB of RAM that the GS is capable of addressing. To use this, you need a slightly tweaked version of GS/OS that Antoine Vignau from brutaldeluxe.fr prepared: thanks to him for this! I'll include a screenshot showing the additional RAM :)

 

Have a nice day!

Niek

 

 

 

Also, here are some recent performance numbers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you build all the boards

If you build all the boards you can build, I'm ready with my money.

 

Have you tested on a ROM01 yet?

 

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i would be interrested also,

i would be interrested also, would be a nice complement to my collection

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If this goes into production

If this goes into production and wasn't super expensive I'd very likely buy one.

 

 

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baldrick wrote:If you build
baldrick wrote:

If you build all the boards you can build, I'm ready with my money.

 

Have you tested on a ROM01 yet?

 

A ROM01 machine is on its way to me, but is still waiting at the border somewhere. When it gets to me, I'll start testing it in there immediately :) 

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I'm interested too

Just really awesome news !

I had scaring moments with my TWGS card. Eventually I had to replace the CPU ribbon and it's now working properly.

I'm also interested to purchase it, and I can also help testing it (I'm located in Switzerland).

I just do hope that the global chip shortage will not complicate the production. Let's cross the fingers !

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Hello, I am very interested

Hello, I am very interested by the Applesqueezer GS  and want to purchase it.

I own an Apple IIgs ROM 03

bravo for this project !

 

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also interested in purchasing

also interested in purchasing the applesqueezer when it is available!

 

 

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Just found this project and

Just found this project and it looks very promising!  I have a ROM 01 that would surely benefit from this accelerator once it becomes available. 

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Me too, dont forget me!!!

Me too, dont forget me!!! 

Super exciting.

 

 

 

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Also interested

I am also interested in this product. Happy to help test, eager to buy when available.

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Some news: during the past

Some news: during the past weeks, the first AppleSqueezers have been sold to quite a few users! Still others are in the mail and will reach their destination soon. 

One user, Christophe from France, has published several videos about his experience with the AppleSqueezer GS:

 

https://youtu.be/axx7d2DtZuQ

https://youtu.be/YIvBV-XY21c

https://youtu.be/Wbqul0GoaBA

https://youtu.be/dAWmojcqa_Y

 

There are more videos in his channel. Enjoy your first look at the accelerator and 14MB memory expansion! And let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer. You can also find more information at applesqueezer.com

 

Kind regards,

Niek

 

 

 

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niekvs wrote:Some news:
niekvs wrote:

Some news: during the past weeks, the first AppleSqueezers have been sold to quite a few users! Still others are in the mail and will reach their destination soon. 

One user, Christophe from France, has published several videos about his experience with the AppleSqueezer GS:

 

Hi Niek,

Where is mine? :) I want one

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How to order?

I'm interested in getting one too, how do we order? (Or did I miss something obvious??)

 

Cheers,

Mike

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Polymorph69 wrote:I'm
Polymorph69 wrote:

I'm interested in getting one too, how do we order? (Or did I miss something obvious??)

 

Cheers,

Mike

 

You can get it through applesqueezer.com, in the Shop section. It's currently out of stock though, due to quite some demand! But there will be more in a few weeks!

 

Kind regards,

Niek

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I would love to get one

I would love to get one myself, but since I got my GS during the period where CFFAs weren't being produced, I ended up with a MicroDrive/Turbo -- meaning I can't use this because it doesn't support DMA. I would buy one of these in a heartbeat if it had DMA support. 

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You can turn off DMA on the

You can turn off DMA on the MDT

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Wayne wrote:You can turn off
Wayne wrote:

You can turn off DMA on the MDT

Good to know, as I also have an MDT in my IIgs.  Even with the Apple //e ROM (I ordered it that way so I could run it in either kind of machine) it is very speedy.  I imagine that even with DMA turned off it would still be plenty fast, especially given the overall boost something like AppleSqueezer gives.

 

I bought one of GGLabs 8MB expansion cards recently...  would be superflous if I can get an AppleSqueezer...  but not the end of the world, it wasn't like it was a terribly expensive card.  I had the Apple 1MB card in it but I got the GGLabs one primarily for power/heat reduction compared to the old fashioned Apple card.  Of course more memory is always better as well which is why I got the 8MH card instead of the only slightly cheaper 4MB one.

Anyone know if the Apple Slinky card uses DMA?  If it does I can always just use it in one of my //e machines, so no big deal.

 

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Directly from the author's

Directly from the author's website: 

 

This also means that some cards that use DMA cannot be used, but others can. For instance, the MicroDrive/Turbo is not compatible because even though it allows you to disable DMA, it only disables that for external RAM. Because the AppleSqueezer also replaces internal RAM, it won't work. Other cards, such as the VidHD, are compatible.

 

Because the MDT only selectively disables DMA access, and the Applesqueezer seems to take over all of the system RAM, it looks like it won't work specifically with an MDT, but apparently some other cards that use DMA are compatible. 

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mabalmer wrote:Directly from
mabalmer wrote:

Directly from the author's website: 

 

This also means that some cards that use DMA cannot be used, but others can. For instance, the MicroDrive/Turbo is not compatible because even though it allows you to disable DMA, it only disables that for external RAM. Because the AppleSqueezer also replaces internal RAM, it won't work. Other cards, such as the VidHD, are

 

Ah well...  Good to know.  But I have other flash memory storage options...  CFFA3000, Booti, FloppyEmy, SDisk II, etc...

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Good to
softwarejanitor wrote:
Good to know.  But I have other flash memory storage options...  CFFA3000, Booti, FloppyEmy, SDisk II, etc...

 

 

Well, the AppleSqeezer runs pretty well with the CFFA-3000 and the speed loss compared to a TWGS and MicroDrive/Turbo is almost negligible, based on tests performed here by superjer2000:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEih9bSuTFo

 

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AppleSqueezer update

Hi guys,

 

There's a new FPGA core update for the AppleSqueezer GS, allowing you to enable 13MB of RAM for any version of GS/OS. Previously, if you wanted to use more than 8MB in GS/OS, because of limitations of this operating system, you would have to use a tweaked version, but with the latest update you can enable this memory on any version of GS/OS simply by flipping a switch in the new CDEV control panel, or the updated CDA.

 

Users can get the latest update from the Downloads page: https://www.applesqueezer.com/downloads

 

One AppleSqueezer GS customer, Cristophe from France, made a video about the update process and new CDEV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qylGhq_gMc

 

Let me know if you have any questions!

Kind regards,

Niek

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Normally when I say "please

Normally when I say "please subscribe me to this mailing list" I'm completely joking, but this is not that case. I have indeed subscribed to your mailing list lol! 

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Pre-order AppleSqueezer GS

To those who may be interested in getting an AppleSqueezer GS, it's currently available for pre-order on the website (applesqueezer.com). It will probably take around 6 weeks until it's shipped, but hopefully give people a better chance to get one (even though the amount of pre-orders is limited as well). Should you have any questions, let me know! And of course, if you do decide to get one, always make sure to read the FAQ first!

Kind regards,

Niek

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Delivery time

I ordered the AppleSqueezer the tail end of July. Got an email from PostNL  the 1st of Aug showing that the Spueezer had been shipped, with an expected delivery date of Aug 6th - 11th. Those dates came and went and no Squeezer. Took another look at the email from PostNL today and it is now saying "Delivery Moment Still Unknown". According to that email the Squeezer was sent to the US Postal System on the 4th. So I'm wondering what the Post Office is doing with my package, since it's been two weeks since irt was shipped. To bad the USPS didn't send me any tracking info after they got the package.

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My experience is PostNL is

My experience is PostNL is one of the sllllllooooooowest shipping services there is.

 

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So would I be right then in

So would I be right then in guessing it's going to be something like 4 to 6 weeks, from Aug 1st, that I can expect to have the AppleSqueezer delivered? Something like that would have been nice to know from the start.

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magnusfalkirk wrote:So would
magnusfalkirk wrote:

So would I be right then in guessing it's going to be something like 4 to 6 weeks, from Aug 1st, that I can expect to have the AppleSqueezer delivered? Something like that would have been nice to know from the start.

 

I had a package from China sent by PostNL that took almost 6 months to get to Texas.  It sat in Hong Kong for weeks before it even got picked up, then it stopped a couple places before it got to the Netherlands, where it sat for months before it got sent to Chicago. And Chicago is usually the slowest US Customs station, it was there for weeks before it finally was transferred to USPS for final delivery...

 

I think it would have gotten here faster sent by carrier pidgeon.

 

 

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AppleSqueezer GS

So excited! Just got my AppleSqueezer GS in the mail today!  I've got a few other things going on today, so will do replacement surgery on my GS tomorrow. But it's finally here and that's the important thing. Will report tomorrow after surgery on how the patient is doing.

 

Thank you Niek!

 

magnus

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Successful Brain Surgery, It Lives!

Today I was finally able to pull the 65816 from my GS and replace it with the AppleSqueezer GS. It took a little work, I started a couple days ago and was using a small flathead screwdriver, but wasn't having any success. I saw this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzDwnR7yAeM and that he was using a normal sized flathead screwdriver. So I decided to give that a try. I don't know if my previous attempts may have helped but the 65816 came out easily. It took a little work to get the AppleSqueezer GS seated properly, but now my GS is running at 14MHz and has 14MB of memory!

 

Thank you Niek for creating this wonderful cpu replacement/memory expansion plug in. I've been wanting an accelerator for the GS for the longest time, but couldn't justify the ridiculous prices for either the Zip GS or the Transwarp GS. The AppleSqueezer GS may not support DMA but for my purposes DMA is a non-starter.

 

Between the AppleSqueezer GS, the DarkSound card I recently bought and the CFFA3K, that I've had since about the first or second run Rich Dreher built, my GS is about as tricked out as I feel I need it to  be.

 

Again Niek thank you for this great product!

 

magnus

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Didn't take long for these to

Didn't take long for these to start to get scalped. Someone listed one earlier this week as bid auction starting at $330 + $16 shipping (usd). Which is reasonable, assuming you don't get in a bidding war.

 

 

But now it looks like the seller pulled that auction and now has it listed buy it now only for $550 with free shipping. And he's changed the description so it now says incorrectly that you can't even preorder them. Which it looks like you still can. I just added a preorder to a cart no problem. 

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nick3092 wrote: But now it
nick3092 wrote:

 

But now it looks like the seller pulled that auction and now has it listed buy it now only for $550 with free shipping. And he's changed the description so it now says incorrectly that you can't even preorder them. Which it looks like you still can. I just added a preorder to a cart no problem. 

 

 

I'll bet that no one was biting on his auction and he hedged his bets at $550.

He's not terribly bright, because for less than that you can buy a TranswarpGS which does have DMA, runs more stable, and doesn't have issues plugging into ROM-01 machines.

And you can still pre-order a Squeezer.

 

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