Hey guys, my father in law just happened to tell me he found an 'old computer' at a garage sale years ago. (the same day I watched one of the Steve Jobs movies!)
This old computer is an Apple II original, with 7933 on Motherboard and A2S1-32624. Not the oldest but older than the plus.
Attached are a bunch of pics. But here are my questions:
1) The computer powers up with a bunch of ? marks and then to a '*" prompt. Is this the 'monitor mode' and does it look normal?
2) 24 of the 52 keys do NOT work. removing one of the non working key caps, compressed air, and drops of alcohol did not fix the key.
What are my options? I pretty much have to find a Apple II original keyboard? or does anyone in the community do these repairs?
3) Is there a keyboard that will fit/plug-in just to test the rest of it out
4) I read that I can do CTRL-B to go into Basic but it doesn't work. I am guessing its because the CTRL key doesn't work. Or am I missing a ROM?
5) Why do they have a RF box mounted on the inside with a cable for the TV, when there is already a composite connection on the outside (from the motherboard)
6) are there any commands I can do to fully test it?
7) Should I get the red or newer reference manual? any other recommendations
I am pretty sure it hasn't been touched in like 30 years. I blew out the dust but there is still a small layer of dust in it.
Update - the 4 key started working the next day after I did the alcohol. So I will try to clean all the non working ones now.
What you have is pretty valuable now so be careful what you do before getting advice from the group.
1) yes that is normal opening screen
2) working the key 100 times might get it functioning
3) no but there are ps2 adaptor boards on ebay
4) need a closeup photo of the motherboard. ROMs are the large chips in the center
5) most TV's back then did not have a video input jack
6) do you have a disk drive?
7) all the manuals are pdf's online. if no disk drive, yes start with the reference manual but need working keys first
All the chips are socketed and those socket connections are fragile so don't flex the board too much or problems will show up.
Initial reply is a good starting point. I would add the following:
2. Usually exercising the keys repeatedly will clear them up.
If not,remove the key cap and use dry compressed air. With a set of small needle nose pliers move the stem up and down. You may need to use a bit more force pulling it up. This has to be done at least 40-50 times. I read somewhere the upstroke is key, particularly if the key is sticky. I have also had to use contact cleaner on some more stubborn keys and repeat the above.
5. The RCA plug attached to the motherboard provides NTSC composite video output suitable for display on a "TV monitor".
For a regular TV set a separate RF modulator was required, the most common was the Sup'R'Mod which is typically stuck to the side of the case.
Thank you guys, very helpful.
So I'm guessing the video will look much better if I connect monitor directly to motherboard connector. Will try it.
Only 4 of the 6 ROMs are occupied:
4. To check if Ctrl key is working, you can also try "Ctrl-G" and you should get a beep from the speaker. If that works, to get to Basic you need to use "Ctrl-B" and hit enter. Hopefully adding the enter is all that is needed.
Oh I never tried pressing enter. That could be the issue. Thank you much
Also check the likelihood that Integer Basic is installed.
At the prompt, type "3D0G". (3D zero G) and enter. You should get the integer ">" prompt.
If he only has 4 ROMs (sans programmers ROM), it's integer basic unless he has a ROM card installed.
You have a very nice, clean early Apple II! Congrats on your find!
This is certainly the right place to be asking questions.
Finally got all the keys working! Took like 4 days of messing with it. I cleaned all the dust out.
How do I check how much memory I have? Only 1 of the 3 rows of Ram is populated. Would it make sense to add memory or just leave it as is.
I am waiting for a disk adapter card and will try using it with Floppy EMU. I don't think this machine has ever had an expansion slot. It had the cables that go to cassette.
One row filled = 16K memory. Not enough to run DOS on a floppy so probably was just cassette.
If you want to use a floppy you should fill all the memory so 48K. I think DOS would run with 32k (1st two rows filled)
but would need to be what's called a DOS master diskette which relocates to 32K. When you get more memory, you will need
to set the jumper blocks appropriately. Others would have to tell you how to do that since I never had a motherboard with those.
We do need a good photo of the motherboard.
I see on your power supply picture there is a block reading 16K 16K 16K. You should have 2 similar blocks towards the front of the machine. This means that you are configured to have 16K memory chips in each row. If only one row is populated you have 16K RAM memory available. IF you add more memory you would need to use 8 x 16K memory chips in each row.
You have the integer Basic in ROM. If you want to use Applesoft/floating point Basic it requires about 12K RAM leaving about 4K available for programs.
In theory, the original Apple DOS can run on a 16 bit machine. Not sure how much memory is left for programs once it was loaded though. Expect you will want to expand to at least 32K.
If planning to explore the Apple ii capabilities, keep in mind that with few exceptions, the Apple ii+ came with 48K and many programs developed after it released expected more memory to be available. If you are planning to run any games you may want to see if they specify minimum memory requirements.
You may also want to read up on memory expansion/language cards.
7. (manuals) When I started resurrecting my machine, the "New Apple User Guide" was recommended macgui.com/newa2guide/ It is a good reference book covering the various iterations of Apple ii models and includes information on information on options that were not available when the Red Book came out. For example, memory/language cards, floppy drives, etc.
All good advice.
Following on from what Macnoyd said:
Typing "3D0G" (3D zero G) from the monitor prompt "*" will only work if DOS is loaded.
Otherwise typing E000G from the monitor prompt "*" will always show the Integer Basic prompt ">" or Applesoft prompt "]".
If the D0 and D8 ROMS are missing then it sounds like Integer Basic is present without the programmers aid ROM.
Regarding the 16K already installed: I am fairly certain that 16K is enough RAM to boot a DOS 3.x System Master disk.
My 1st machine was a Rev 0 with serial in the 600's. I could only afford 16K and I remember it booted DOS 3.1.
Ok that explains why 3D0G did not work! I will try DOS 3.1 on disk when I get the card. I read the drive card usually goes in slot 6
The last version of DOS is DOS 3.3, a 16 sector disk, use that to boot your 16K mother board. Dos 3.1 was the first DOS Apple released. It is a very early 13 sector DOS, I understand that the actual original disks are VERY rare.
Yes, place the disk controller card in slot 6, slot 0 is the first slot next to the power supply in an Apple II mother board.
Only if the disk is a Master disk. The slave disks, which is what you get by running INIT on a new disk with no other changes, is memory-dependent. It only runs on the same size or larger Apple II. I would hazard a guess that something like 99% of all DOS 3.3 boot disks out there were made on a 48K system and are slave disks.
Look for the MASTER CREATE utility on the official Apple DOS 3.3 System Master.
Is there a command to manually boot from disk from monitor mode? I don't have an auto-start ROM
There are a number of ways of doing that. The simplest would be: C600G followed by the enter key if the disk controller is in slot 6. Another is 6 CTRL P followed by enter key. (CTRL P is holding down the control key whilst pressing the P key)
OK I added 32K to get 48K and I am now able to load Donkey Kong and Galaxian and many other disks.
However a great number of disks from my IIc or Floppy EMU are saying 'Language Not Available'. What does that mean on the original Apple II? I heard about a language card, is that what I need?
I only have the Integer basic and 2 other ROMS (3 total)
Most of your disks are looking for AppleSoft. An Apple II has integer basic. You can get a rom card on eBay with AppleSoft.
Another options is to buy a 16k language card, but it may not solve your problem since you will need to modify some disks to have AppleSoft on the disk or boot with a system disk first.
I don't see any ROM 'cards', but I see a bunch of ROM chips like this one:
Hunter012, you might like to check out the book mentioned in my signature, The New Apple II User's Guide. It is available in both paperback and ebook.
Thanks - I ordered the paperback
You want one of these, but with Applesoft ROMs instead of Integer:
Right now you have a set of original Integer ROMs on your motherboard. If you get one of these cards with Applesoft ROMs you can select (via the little switch) whether to boot your system off of the ROMs on the motherboard or on the card.
Since most software for the Apple II's are written in Applesoft Basic, you would just have to toggle the switch to have your Apple II boot off of the Applesoft ROMS for your software that is complaining to work.
If you can find one cheap enough, even with Integer ROMs I can send you set of Applesoft ROMs - I have spares.
Welcome to the Apple II family!