Apple /// status and questions

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Apple /// status and questions

OK, after setting up the NOS Apple /// I bought from Jim Thomas, I have some questions, because although I had one of these Back in the Day, I've forgotten a lot (although it is apparent just have much the Apple //e and its successors benefitted from the 10 or so years of continued software development after the /// was cancelled). So:

1. Was there ever a way to get the /// to boot from anything _except_ its internal drive? As best I can find, the answer is "No"; the SOS Kernel, drivers, and interpreter have to be loaded from that. Which sucks.

2. Did anyone ever come up with a post-boot way for Apple /// Pascal to run entirely from a Profile or other device? I have Apple's instructions for moving all the required files to the Profile (or, in my case, a CFFA3000), and that works fine, but since the system still treats the internal floppy as the boot drive, that's where your work file goes, which slows things down immensely.

I know #2 is at least theoretically possible since Applied Engineering released a patch to make their 1MB RAM disk card for the Apple //e the Pascal boot volume. Sadly they did not release the source code.

I've taken lots and lots of photos, including a pseudo-unboxing photo and clock chip installation series. I'll be posting these soon.

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Re: Apple /// status and questions

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Re: Apple /// status and questions

dramsey wrote:
1. Was there ever a way to get the /// to boot from anything _except_ its internal drive?

TL;DR: No.

Longer answer:
There's only 4k of ROM onboard the ///. It houses diagnostics routines, Disk II-ish disk routines, a minimal monitor, and a font binary - which itself has one row chopped off to save space. That's why the boot screen looks different from pretty much all other text you will see. This is all to say... three's not a lot of code to understand how to manipulate any other kind of storage device. Even ADTPro, which can boot off of the serial port once you type in a 77-byte-long bootstrapper, needs its own code to manipulate the serial port. There's just no firmware available. And of course the 'driver' architecture diverges from the II in that it doesn't use ROM onboard of adapter cards - it opted instead for OS-loadable drivers. So it's a chicken-and-egg situation. Given the design tradeoffs we are left with in the first/last incarnation of the ///, there's simply not code or provision made to boot from anything but the internal drive.

dramsey wrote:
2. Did anyone ever come up with a post-boot way for Apple /// Pascal to run entirely from a Profile or other device?

Yes. There's an install app you can run to tell the Pascal system where to get its files - PMOVE.CODE, as I recall, on one of the Pascal disks.

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Re: Apple /// status and questions

Re booting from anything else: Dang. But I kinda expected that.

PMOVE! Of course! Now I remember...let's give that a try...well, that worked perfectly. After the initial boot the system never touches the floppy again unless I ask it to. Thanks!

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