History of Disk II production

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CWJ_Wilko's picture
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History of Disk II production

Just wanted to show off my latest acquisition - Disk II.

Nothing special to most here, but it's been nearly two decades since I've used one of these.

Picked it up for a bargain at ~$40 (very cheap for Australia - most sell for double that locally, or you end up paying double in shipping costs from the US).

Still waiting on the interface card but can't wait to try it out. Will probably end up keeping my DuoDisk as a backup.

This one says it was Assembled in Ireland - what's the history behind this? Were they first assemled in Cupertino before being moved offshore to Ireland? Where does Japan fit into their history?

IMAGE(http://oi59.tinypic.com/j13j7o.jpg)
IMAGE(http://oi57.tinypic.com/2n87tqt.jpg)

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Re: History of Disk II production

There might be a section on it here:

http://apple2history.org/

Also some good Floppy Drive info:

http://www.vintagemacworld.com/drives.html

Steven Smile

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Re: History of Disk II production

There might be a section on it here:

http://apple2history.org/

Steven :)

@ apple2history.org
Basic Disk ][ History

Apple ][ Abroad and Clones

I have Steven Weyhrich book, and I don't remember reading about the Apple Manufacturing Facilities in Ireland, Singapore or Australia. The USA had Culpertino, CA and Carrollton, TX.

I have Apple ][ parts from Ireland, Singapore and Australia, as well as the USA..

I believe early on, ALL PAL Video Systems were made in Ireland. The couple of parts I have from Australia are 64K, 80 Column Cards. I would guess that Singapore made both NTSC and PAL Video Systems.

MarkO

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Re: History of Disk II production

Indeed, my PAL Apple //e Enhanced was manufactured in Singapore in 1984. Was manufacturing initially out of Ireland before moving to Singapore? Was it cheaper?

I've separately purchased an Apple Super Serial Card that has Australia printed on it. Does this actually mean that it was manufactured in Australia? I always assumed it was intended for distribution in Australia, not actually made here.

I wonder if any Apple IIs were produced down under? That would be particularly special, being from Australia myself.

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Re: History of Disk II production

There was a period in the early 80's where a lot of tech companies either imported engineering talent or outsourced engineering and production to Ireland or the UK. This was primarily due to lower skilled labor cost. Apple participated in that trend by opening a manufacturing plant there.

regards,
Mike W.

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Re: History of Disk II production

Indeed, my PAL Apple //e Enhanced was manufactured in Singapore in 1984. Was manufacturing initially out of Ireland before moving to Singapore? Was it cheaper?

Most of the components I have seen from Ireland were in the Apple ][ and ][+ era.. Singapore sees to have been later in the Apple ][e era.

I've separately purchased an Apple Super Serial Card that has Australia printed on it. Does this actually mean that it was manufactured in Australia? I always assumed it was intended for distribution in Australia, not actually made here.

I will see if I can locate my Ireland Made Disk ][ Controller.

In the Mean Time, here are some Photos of the Extended 80-Column Card I have:

http://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-ii-extended-80-column-text-card-australia

I wonder if any Apple IIs were produced down under? That would be particularly special, being from Australia myself.

It would be very reasonable to assume that they could have been assembled there. I believe with the later Apple ][e's, the Motherboards were made in Singapore, but they were assembled in California. I should check the Apple //e Platinum Box I have to see if it shows the Country of Assembly.

MarkO

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Re: History of Disk II production

There was a period in the early 80's where a lot of tech companies either imported engineering talent or outsourced engineering and production to Ireland or the UK. This was primarily due to lower skilled labor cost. Apple participated in that trend by opening a manufacturing plant there.

regards,
Mike W.

IIRC, Ireland has some really nice Tax Laws... And still does today...

Edit: But it looks like they are changing them, because of Companies like Apple and Google using the Double Irish Tax Loop Holes.

Edit, Edit: It appears, according to the Wikipedia Page on the Double Irish it can still be used with a Dutch Sandwich.

MarkO

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Re: History of Disk II production

Fascinating Mark. I had no idea that Australia was producing these items, as late as 1988 no less!

My SSC simply says 'Australia' in the top left corner of the board but I have concluded that it was likely assembled here in Australia too.

This is my SSC. Note 'Australia' in the top left. Model number 670-0020-C
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/HfQAAOSwBahU6~zv/$_57.JPG

And here's another one with the same model number, except that it says 'Singapore' in the same area. Looks like the cards are identical except that the dip switch units change colour (red vs blue).
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/OTAwWDE2MDA=/z/J24AAOSwrklVNGmx/$_57.JPG

Both are 1981 models.

Seems to add up, with some manufacturing taking place in Singapore, some in Australia and some in Ireland.

There seems to be a lot of history regarding the manufacture of Apple Computers for the domestic market, but very little on their international manufacture and distribution (understandably so). But it's been great to find out that at least peripherals were assembled in Australia, possibly whole units.

EDIT: And yes, I did find Apple's continuing presence in Ireland slightly bemusing, from assembly in the 1980s through to tax evasion today. There is some evidence to suggest that some iMacs are still produced in Ireland: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/my-2012-bto-21-5-imac-is-assembled-in-ireland.1504395/

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Re: History of Disk II production

I have a few updates:

Disk II Interface Card arrived in the mail today and added yet another place of origin into the mix: Malaysia. I suppose this should be no surprise, being so close to Singapore geographically.

I was initially having problems writing to disks using the new (old?) Disk II and Disk II Card so took the drive apart, checked the write protect switch and eventually got everything working as per usual. Still the occasional loud squeak when reading, maybe some isopropyl or WD40 will help? Overall it's still much much quieter than my DuoDisk for some reason.

But most interesting was that I noted the analog board inside the Disk II unit was 'Made in Singapore'. Again I should have assumed, since it was only assembled in Ireland.

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Re: History of Disk II production

If I'm not mistaken, my Apple IIE plat is made in Singapore. I found that kinda odd as I thought Apples were made in the USA.

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Re: History of Disk II production

I find it vaguely disappointing that the motherboard in my mutant Apple ][plus was made in Singapore, for no good reason other than the guts for my other two oldest computers (TRS-80 Model I and Commodore PET) are both American made. Of course, I'm not willing to fork out the cash for a low-serial-number ][ so it's a cross I'll have to bear.

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