Apple ][ (or ][ Plus)?

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Apple ][ (or ][ Plus)?
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I recently got this board off of eBay and was wondering if it is what I think it is (i.e. an Apple ][ board and not a ][ Plus)?  I think it is...  At least it looks like one, but the date codes are from 79.  The info I found on when the ][ was canceled is contradictory.  Some say 79 while others say 78?  It did have a full set of AppleSoft ROMs when I got it, but I switched them with Integer ROMs since I already have two other working ][ Pluses (kept the Auto Start though).   The thing that is throwing me is that the memory select blocks are soldered in (but it does have them).  Every ][ Plus board that I have (that I know are ][ Pluses) lacks them, but then, these were soldered.  So maybe Apple made use of ][ boards when they released the ][ Plus?

 

I'm about 80% sure about this thing, but it never hurts to learn something new.  

 

The other thing I wanted to ask is about is the case.  Currently, I have it in what I know to be a ][ Plus case that had a Rev C board in it.  The board is glitchy (bad RAM) and had a damaged slot (since replaced) and video port (still looking for that).  So I don't mind swapping it with a working board.  The keyboard works, but the cover over the power light is the solid translucent variety that sits flush with the case.  The only true Apple ][ I've ever seen has the raised cover with an opaque border.  Also, the keycaps were a bit darker.  So how accurate are the case and keys that I have?  I mean, it had a ][ Plus board originally, and it was made in 81, so not very...  But what can I do to make it look right for its current board?  

 

I should note that this is just for me, as I like rebuilding these things out of whatever spare parts I can get my hands on.  I have a //e with keycaps from a Mac Plus, and a function key from a C64 serving as Delete!  So I'm not trying to pass this off as an original Apple ][, just another Frankenputer that can live in the uncanny valley!

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You could ...

You could legitimately pass this as an Apple ][ (not plus) computer if you put it in an early Apple ][ case / keyboard and include the Integer Basic ROMS because they were selling them this way, back in the day.  The only descrepancy might be the serial number. (not sure when they switched over to the Plus ROMS) but this board was used in the early Integer Basic models.

This board has the color killer circuit so it won't pass as the more coveted early version, but it does have more value over a Rev. D board.

Good luck with your project.

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So I take it that this is a

So I take it that this is a legitimate Apple ][ board!?!  Cool!  And Thanks!!!  

Now I have two out of three in the original (I'm gonna go with) Triad!  (Apple ][, TRS-80 Model I, Commodore PET 2001)   I just need the PET and my Triad will be (sorta) complete! 

At the moment, all I have are ][ Plus (81 to 82) and //e (83+, non-platnums) cases with Alps keyboards.  But I'll be keeping an eye out.   As I said, it's not as important as getting the thing working. 

What I really need to find is a lid for the case I've got.  Dust is a thing, and I don't want it on my board.  

 

Also, since you mentioned it...  What's the difference between a Rev. C and D board?  Functionally speaking?  I have two of each, so I'm curious.

At the moment, my working C board has proven the most reliable, but that could be my sample size (and my propensity towards fixing dead machines).  The working D board is functional, but glitches periodically after extended use.  The other C and D boards have RAM and undiagnosed logic problems that I'm still trying to track down.  Still, it has me wondering which one has the better track record?

 

Going back to my ][, I've placed the original (to the board) AppleSoft ROMs on a ROM-switch board (where I got the Integer ROMs from) that was working in my (D board) ][ Plus, but it doesn't seem to work with the ][?  

Full disclosure, it started giving me issues when I tried it in my C board ][ Plus with a 16k language card and Appli-Card.  The former is probably not a  problem, but I read that the latter had been known to cause damage to //e MMUs.  The ROMs are fine since they work in my ][, but maybe someone could point me in the right direction to get it up and running?  Specifically with AppleSoft ROMs in an Integer Apple ][.  Also, no I'm not trying to pair AppleSoft with the original Machine Monitor ROM.  I used a spare Auto Start on the ][. 

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Just bear in mind that you may need to reset

Just bear in mind that you may need to reset the computer upon power-up if you have the Integer ROMS installed with the non-autostart ROM.

Otherwise, you might get random characters on the screen upon cold power-up.

 

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FWIW, from my understanding

FWIW, from my understanding there was a date that the ][+ more or less was the default way Apple built machines, but it was still possible to order a "][" with INTBASIC ROMs well past that date.  In other words they were shipping machines configured either way at the same time quite a while.  A lot of people think that as soon as the Applesoft ROMS with  AutoStart monitor became available the older ROMs were immediately discontinued, but from what I've heard that is not true.

 

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You could buy an Integer Apple II until early 1981

A plain Apple II w/ Integer roms could be purchased until early 1981, according to Apple company price lists and catalogs.  They used whatever cases, motherboard, and keyboards that happened to be in stock at the time. 

 

 

 

 

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akochera wrote:A plain Apple
akochera wrote:

A plain Apple II w/ Integer roms could be purchased until early 1981, according to Apple company price lists and catalogs.  They used whatever cases, motherboard, and keyboards that happened to be in stock at the time. 

 

 And since by that time 16K chips were the standard it would make sense that the memory select blocks were soldered in place to prevent "accidents" and "operator error".

 

 

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Its a II

The only real difference between a pre-1980 Apple ][ and Apple ][ Plus was the ROM chips inserted in the system.  The motherboards were identical.  Several different versions (and part numbers) of the boards existed over time but Apple plugged in one set of ROMS if you ordered a ][ and different set of ROMs if you ordered a ][ Plus.  They also put a different badge on the lid and sticker on the bottom with a part number A2S1-xxxxxx for a ][ and A2S1016, A2S1032 or A2S1048 for a ][ Plus.  Note the ][ Plus part numbers indicated the orginal RAM shipped in the system.

I have a similar Rev C machine, but mine is clearly a A2S1 - original Apple II part number on the bottom of the case.  By the date codes, our machine were assembled only a couple of weeks apart.  Later, mine had the Applesoft ROMS installed on the motherboard (essentially converting it to a ][ Plus) and the orginal Integer ROMS were moved to the true Apple Language Card with the red paddle switch. We frequently call a simple 16K memory expansion board a language card (like the MS Language Card and clones), but the true original language cards held hardware switchable ROMs and 16K RAM. Some ]['s were upgraded by leaving the Integer ROMs on the motherboard and holding the Applespoft/Autostart ROM on the Language Card.  Others, like mine, made the transition to ][ Plus, by swapping the motherboard and Language Card ROMs to maintain backward compatibility. Either way works.  In some other machines, the integer ROMs got lost in the upgrade. Since you could load the Integer BASIC ROM code into a  16K memory expansion board and softswitch it, the hardware support for the hardware switchable ROMS was no longer needed. 

 

At some point, as baldrick points out, the 4K/16K selector was fixed to avoid user error as price of 16K RAM plummetted.  I'd be interested to track this based on date codes. Other than the VERY earliest "ventless" case Apple ][s, the case in the Apple ][ and ][ Plus were identical (except for the badge on the lid) until we get the RFID cases when the Apple ][ was discontinued in favor of the ][ Plus.

 

To my way of thinking  an original  ][ needs to support Integer Basic, the non Autostart ROM and have a A2S1- sticker on the bottom.  I don't care where the ROMS are plugged into the system.   A ][ Plus will support only Applesoft and Autostart ROM in hardware.  From a use perspective, I think these are the only differences that matter. Dealers often replaced bare motherboards with new part numbers and moved ROMS so lots of part number combinations can exist as legitimate "original" dealer serviced machines.  A variety of keyboards and encoders were also used in the early days.  These keyboards were often swapped by dealers, again resulting in a number of historically authentic combinations.

 

Even a ][ Plus with Autostart ROM and integer BASIC loaded into a 16k memory expansion card provide a pretty authentic "earliest Apple ][" experience. Congrats on rolling the clock back.

 

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OK. First, thanks for all the

OK. First, thanks for all the responses.   So to break this down:  

1) The Rev. 4 board could be a ][ or ][ Plus depending on the ROMs.  Mine was likely a ][ Plus since it originally had AppleSoft installed.

2) The Memor Select blocks being soldered in is indicative of the date the board was manufactured.  As by 1979, 16k RAM had become the industry standard.  Moreover, their presence or absence doesn't dictate that the board's a ][ or ][ Plus, as any board (including my D boards) can be a ][ so long as they include the original Integer ROMs.

3) Installing Integer makes it a ][, but retaining the Auto Start makes it a bit of a hybrid?  Question:  My understanding was that the Auto Start was a common upgrade and that the original 16k language cards had a spot to add an Auto Start which would override the Machine Monitor in operation.  So is retaining the Auto Start with Integer really a deal-breaker in retaining/regaining its authentic ][ status?  Not that big a deal, but there is a definite convenience factor here.

4) My bottom label is wrong!  A2S2.  But at least no one will see it.  As for the top cover...  Still missing.  That's kinda authentic...

 

So does that sum it up, or am I missing something?

 

Last question (for now):  I've noticed that the "garbage" displayed on the screen when I use my Integer ROMs with Machine Monitor differs from board to board.   My original D board was quite uniform and predictable (alternating rows of ?s and @s), whereas other boards have been more haphazard in the characters they display.  My other D board had Ys, Ts, and other punctuation, where the Rev 4 is displaying commas and semicolons with the occasional T.  Also, the patterns seem to alter slightly between boots.  I'm guessing that the characters displayed are indicative of the status of the RAM on boot, but I wanted to be sure.  Any info on this phenomenon would be appreciated.

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I won't speak to the boot issue

I won't speak to the boot issue only to say the RAM has a lot to do with it when powered up.  Mismatched RAM is one of the likely causes but is not necessarily the issue.  Once the screen is cleared (reset) and you're presented with a blank screen and Apple prompt, the pre-bootup character mix shouldn't matter.

 

Regarding the autostart vs. non-autostart, the latter is getting harder to find these days and adds value for a collector, though not much more value at present.  Speaking personally, I'd rather have the non-autostart in my old Apple ][ with a red-switched 16K language card (or other plug-in card) that adds the autostart feature.  Others may find the non-autostart ROM less valuable / relevant.

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Thanks for this.  But your

Thanks for this.  But your reply brings up another interesting question for me.  You've mentioned (and I've heard others say the same) that hitting Reset clears your screen.   But Reset (or Control-Reset) isn't doing the same with the Machine Monitor ROM I have.  Rather it simply drops a Machine (*) prompt at the bottom of my screen with a flashing cursor.  Control-B gives me an Integer BASIC prompt (>) but doesn't clear the screen either.  In fact, nothing does.   HOME, CLEAR, CLR, nothing?  Up till now, I had assumed that this was just a common feature of the original ROM, but now I'm wondering if there is something different about my machines?  It's not that big of a deal, as BASIC works regardless.  Although, it is one of the features that pushed me towards the Auto Start.  Still, it has me wondering if there are different versions/revisions of the Machine Monitor ROM?

 

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You can clear the screen ...

You can clear the screen with: Call -1184 (Integer prompt) or  at the monitor prompt:  FB60G

The non-autostart ROM doesn't clear the screen for you.  You need to do that manually.

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I think you have most of the answers
DistantStar001 wrote:

OK. First, thanks for all the responses.   So to break this down:  

 

Sorry  I won't have much time in the next couple of weeks to elaborate, so I will be short here.

Your points 1), 2) and 3) are all correct.

Your machine can be made to function exactly like a ][, but the bottom label clearly makes it a ][ Plus.  A distinction without much difference in actual use.

HOME was an Applesoft command, not Integer Basic.  Use CALL -1184 in Integer. The Red Book referenced below has more details.

 

With regard to 3) hybrid nature

   Again, I mostly agree with you on the hybrid concept, but other ROMs were  also in use, like Programmers Aid and others.  Remember this was "Personal" computer and they got "personalized" with many options because it was all new and people were creating normal one week and one machine at a time.  We stole better ideas and improved them ourselves all the time.  Even though Apple was an upstart, not a behemoth, nobody wanted to be told how to limit this amazing device by a company.

Personally, I'd stay with nonAutoStart Integer and Autostart Applesoft, one on the board and one on a paddle switch Language Card because I think it preserves the two more common original experiences. But, it is your personal computer...

 

You can find any non RFID lid and get an Apple ][ badge from maceffects.com.  I would not mess with the label on the base plate.

 

I think the following items would be helpful to you as you learn more about this and try to sort out just what you want to do. I also think the ROM listings in these manuals will help you sort out your screen garbage.  I would not be concerned by it.

The Apple II Redbookhttp://cini.classiccmp.org/pdf/Apple/Apple%20II%20(Redbook)%20Reference%20Manual%2030th%20Anniversary.pdf

The Apple II Monitor Peeled

https://mirrors.apple2.org.za/Apple%20II%20Documentation%20Project/Books/A.P.P.L.E.%20-%20Dougherty%20-%20The%20Apple%20II%20Monitor%20Peeled.pdf

Apple Language Card Manual

http://www.applelogic.org/files/LANGCARDMAN.pdf

Note that other ROMs were also used, like the Programmers Aid #1

http://cini.classiccmp.org/pdf/Apple/Apple%20Programmers%20Aid%20Book.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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