IRAN'd (working) Apple IIc motherboards for sale on Ebay

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IRAN'd (working) Apple IIc motherboards for sale on Ebay

In the next weeks I offer several Apple IIc motherboards on Ebay at a ridicolously low starting price.

 

These have been "Inspected and Repaired As Necessary"  (IRAN) and are in known functional condition, but there is a catch:

 

- they don't come with the original Apple Operating System ROMs. I put in an EPROM with my memory test program instead.

 

The reasons for this sale are manyfold, and if you know my hardware tricks you might guess for what mission I need the original ROMs: I have developed a way to make  - as far as I seem to understand  copyright law - f u l l y   l e g a l   Apple II clone kits with  a n y  known version of Apple II firmware based on   o n e   original Apple ROM, regardless which firmware it has in its guts, as long as it's the same size as needed. So based on the  o r i g i n a l   firmware ROMs of the Apple IIc I can conjure up  a n y firmware  version  e v e r  seen in  a n y  Apple II of any version or revision in a clone. I am currently testing this concept with real hardware and will soon disclose it.

 

But I need to get rid of the Apple IIc motherboards from which I took the ROMs for this experiment first.

 

Here are the first two auctions, with more to come:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/225862980637

https://www.ebay.com/itm/225862968928

 

So please support this mission by buying them, but don't overbid !

More such auctions to come !

I don't do that to make money, actually, I need the losses.

 

I'll publish the new, foul trick which I call "Magical ROM  Contents Morphing" soon in the Apple II forum. But first let me finish the tests first !

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Hey Bernie,The //c

Hey Bernie,

The //c motherboards look like a great deal! One thing I would point out however is that the term "power brick" is usually used to refer to the linear supply that plugs into the wall. While your pictures and description do point out that the motherboard "power supply" is also not included, it might be better to explicitly state that in the description.

 

Can't wait to hear more about your Magical ROM Contents Morphing solution. And how it compares to the ROMXc !

 

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ROMX is a non-solution . . .

. . . for makers of Apple II replica kits. ROMX is probably OK for individuals who want to load copyrighted ROM images into it, and IMHO it's unlikely that Apple - or Microsoft - would sue these individuals for infringement of their copyright (How much "damages" could they actually collect ?) but what I sought (and think I've found) is a solution to get the original Apple firmware-in-ROM into your Apple II clone or replica which does not infringe on any copyrights. I don't know if my solution will fly in a court of law, but at least it's the best attempt I can make.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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I think both Apple and

I think both Apple and Microsoft have released source to a lot of what is needed to assemble to build an Apple II ROM.  It is also worth noting that Central Point and VTech (Laser) were able to build ROMs in those days that Apple was never successfully able to remove from the market.  Although I believe part of the way they got around it was licensing the 6502 BASIC code from Microsoft.  Apple never had exclusive rights to most of that.  Commodore and others licensed from a lot of the same base source code.

 

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Some comments on post #4

In post #4, softwarejanitor wrote:

 

#1 "Although I believe part of the way they got around it was licensing the 6502 BASIC code from Microsoft."

#2 "Apple never had exclusive rights to most of that." 

#3 "Commodore and others licensed from a lot of the same base source code. "

 

Uncle Bernie comments:

 

You are right,  but there are a few fine points to be added to each of your assertions:

 

to #1: VTech, who made the LASER128, did a "Clean Room" implementation of the part of the Apple II firmware we today would call "BIOS", that is, the device drivers. But they could not make (or did not want to make) a "Clean Room" implementation of Microsoft BASIC. They just licensed it, and how that worked is that Microsoft gave them the source code after they paid the license fee. Probably was much cheaper than rewriting everything.

 

to #2: this is the reason why most original Apple ROMs had the dual copyright message (c) 19xx Apple and (c) 19xx Microsoft on them. The latter refers to the Applesoft BASIC in that ROM. It is not on any ROM containing pure Apple code. And this complication (dual copyright holders) IMHO is the main reason why Apple (the corporation) could not put their vintage ROMs into the Public Domain (or under GPL), even if they wanted. They could do that only with their own code, but without the Applesoft BASIC, it won't work in the Apple II.

 

to #3: All the 6502 based Microsoft BASICs used by Ohio Scientific, Commodore and Apple came from the same 6502 assembly language source code written by the late "Richard W. Weiland", who left an "Easter Egg" in the code. There was a way to make the OSI Superboard II spit out the message "Written by Richard W. Weiland", or something like that --- it has been nearly half a century ago since I last saw that message, so my memory is fading. Mr. Weiland also is the culprit for the notorious "OSI garbage collection bug" which made OSI BASIC string variables useless (you could not do any string manipulations causing a call of the botched garbage collection subroutine). The reason is that there was a switch in the source code which allowed to select the size of the floating point variables, and OSI BASIC was the only one using the "shorter" ones. Which broke the garbage collector, so the machine would hang and had to be saved with a RESET.

 

The fact that both Apple and Microsoft have published some source code does not mean that makers of Apple II replica kits could burn the object code into EPROMs and call it good. It's still a breach of copyright. And I think I found a way around it. More on this in the Apple II forum after I have completed the tests.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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