The official Csa2 (comp.sys.apple2) Usenet newsgroup Apple II FAQs
originate from the II Computing Apple II site,1997-2015.
  Csa2 FAQs text file ref: Csa21MAIN1.txt  rev 225 December 2016
.    ..    .


Apple II FAQs  Main Hall

Welcome to the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup Frequently Asked Questions!

This page is called the "Main Hall" because it's where you can get answers
to many 'getting started' and 'what's where?' questions.To go to the
Main Hall Q&A, you can click here or scroll down.

Click on any question to get quickly to its answer. To jump back to the
questions list click on the line ( ____ or -----)  beneath any answer.

Most of the pages deal with specific topics, such as Accelerators, DOS, etc..
The fastest way to these pages is via the topics list on the Quick Find page.
Another way is via FAQs Contents, where all of the questions are listed.



 001- What is a FAQ?
 002- What is comp.sys.apple2 and how can I read/post messages there?
 003- What software do I need to get started and how do I get it?
 004- How and where do I download and upload Apple II files?
 005- Where can I get Apple II information, software, books, magazines, and parts?
 006- What is an Apple II: The KIM
 007- What is an Apple II: The Apple I
 008- What is an Apple II: The Apple ][ and Apple ][+
 009- What is an Apple II: The "Black Apple"
 010- What is an Apple II: The Apple //e
 011- What is an Apple II: The Apple //c and IIc+
 012- What is an Apple II: The Laser 128EX and 'EX/2?
 013- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIgs
 014- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIe Emulation Card
 015- What is an Apple II: The Trackstar Apple II Emulation Card
 016- What is an Apple II: Emulators
 017- Apple "][", "Apple II", "Apple //"-- which is correct?
 018- What is "8 bit" and "16 bit"?
 019- How can I tell what version my computer is?
 020- Suppose I just want to start using my Apple II Now!?
 021- Where do I find out about Apple II Users Groups?
 022- How can I find out more about using and programming my Apple II?
 023- Where can I find out about Apple II developers?

001- What is a FAQ?

     A "FAQ" is a "Frequently Asked Question". The Csa2 FAQs is a collection of
topics files and resource files which seeks to supply answers to questions about the
AppleII series of computers and Apple II computing. For information about the
current revision, see About the FAQs.



002- What is comp.sys.apple2 and how can I read/post messages there?

     Comp.sys.apple2 (Csa2) is a USENET newsgroup.  Messages posted to these
newsgroups spread to many thousands of servers and millions of readers throughout
the world.

     Most Internet Service Providers support posting and reading newsgroup messages
via popular browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer. A few internet sites also
provide free access to newsgroups and allow posting messages. Two are Google and
Mailgate. Google also allows searching for information in an archive of newsgroup

     There are several newsgroups in the Csa2 and related families, all concerned
with Apple II series affairs. They provide a forum for users to compare notes,
ask questions, and share insights.

comp.sys.apple2 (Csa2)       - Discussion plus questions & answers
                               relating to all Apple II computers

comp.sys.apple2.comm         - Communications and networking related

comp.sys.apple2.gno          - Discussion of GNO/ME, a UNIX-like
                               multi-tasking environment for IIgs

comp.sys.apple2.marketplace  - Buying, selling, and promoting
                               Apple II and related products

comp.sys.apple2.programmer   - Discussion relating to any aspect of
                               programming the Apple II

comp.sys.apple2.usergroups   - Discussion relating to Apple II
                               users' groups

comp.binaries.apple2         - Public Domain software, shareware, and
                               freeware for Apple II's in Text-encoded
                               (binscii) form.

comp.emulators.apple2        - The unofficial 'Apple II games stuff'
                               newsgroup features discussions of
                               Apple II games as well as of Apple II
                               emulation on PC, Mac, and other

comp.sources.apple2          - A newsgroup for the posting of Apple II
                               source code

alt.emulators.ibmpc.apple2   - Discussion about the use of Apple II
                               emulation software/hardware on a PC.

--David Kopper, Dan DeMaggio, David Empson, Al Kalal, Rubywand


003- I'm an Apple II beginner. What software does a newbie need
     to get started and how do I get it?

     If you bought an Apple II with no software at all, then, at the very least, you will
need to get diskettes which boot DOS 3.3 and ProDOS (which pretty well means
you need to have a disk drive). Here is a listing of basic stuff to get ...

o- DOS 3.3: DOS 3.3 is an old but a good operating system for software on 5.25"
diskette. There is a _lot_ of Apple II software on DOS 3.3 diskettes. To write and
save programs, etc. under DOS 3.3 you want a disk which boots DOS 3.3 and lets
you get to a BASIC prompt. Once in BASIC after booting DOS you will be able to
CATALOG the diskette, and LOAD, RUN, SAVE, ... programs. DOS 3.3
commands are described in more detail in the DOS/ProDOS Q&A.

Commercial game disks often do not allow you to get to a BASIC prompt. Disks with
programs from other users, software from Apple user groups, and copies of Apple's
System Master disks will, usually, let you get to BASIC either by exiting a program or
by doing a Reset. (See Q&A 020 below for more about this.)

o- ProDOS: Practically all of the above applies to ProDOS. ProDOS is the newer
Apple II DOS which allows having sub-directories. It works with 5.25" and 3.5"
diskettes as well as hard disks and other large media. (See DOS/ProDOS Q&A for
more about ProDOS.)

Note: Diskettes used with an Apple II should be double-density (DD) diskettes.
High-density (HD) diskettes sold for PC's will not reliably work in Apple II disk drives.

o- Copy II Plus: This is the standard general purpose disk/file management utility. Good
versions for working with both DOS 3.3 and ProDOS disks are Version 7.1 and 7.2.

o- A telecom utility: an Apple II telecom utility (e.g. ZLink, ProTerm, Modem MGR,
Spectrum, ...)  together with a serial interface board (or built-in serial port) lets you
transfer the Apple II files you download on the net from your PC or Mac to your
Apple II. (See the Telecom-1 Q&A.)

o- ShrinkIt: Most Apple II files are maintained on the net as shrinked files (.shk files) or
on shrinked disks (.sdk files). ShrinkIt v3.4 is the standard utility for unshrinking these
files; it requires a 128k Apple IIe or later Apple II. Earlier versions of ShrinkIt work
on Apple II's with less than 128k memory. (See File Utilities Q&A.)

     Aside from Apple II user friends, there are many places you can get the
above, as well as all sorts of other Apple II utility, game, etc. software:

1. Apple II Users' Groups maintain software libraries of utility and games
diskettes you can copy.

2. Some schools and universities have Apple II areas where you can copy system
and utility diskettes.

3. Many sellers of original and second-hand software advertise on the
comp.sys.apple2.marketplace newsgroup and/or maintain web sites you can browse.
Be sure to check the Vendors listing.

4. If requested via email, regular posters to Csa2 will often send one or more
'getting started' diskettes which will boot DOS 3.3 and/or ProDOS and which
include some copy, telecom, etc. utilities plus games. (Expect to pay mailing
and materials costs.)

5. Apple II archives and other places on the net maintain large collections of
software which you can download via PC or Mac and transfer to your Apple II.
Be sure to check the Major Apple II Sites and Game Sites listings.



004- How and where do I download and upload Apple II files?

     How: By far, the easiest and quickest way is to access software sites on
the net using a PC or Mac. Files can be moved to and from your Apple II via a
NULL modem connection with the net computer. If you use a Mac, you may have the
option of transferring the files via a ProDOS or HFS diskette or an HFS Zip
disk. (For details on hardware, file transfers, downloading, and uploading, see the
Telecom Q&A areas.)

     Where: Today, most users upload software, info files, etc. to one or more
of the major Apple II ftp software archive sites. Other options include
comp.binaries.apple2 and BBS systems. The software archive sites are good places
from which to download software. In addition, some software vendors, developers, and
Apple Computer make software available for download at their sites.



005- Where can I get Apple II information, software, books, magazines, and parts?

Apple II software and information on the net: view Major Sites and Game Sites.
Apple II parts, boards, and software: view Vendors.
Apple II books and periodicals: view Publishers.
File handling utilities: go to File Utilities.
System software: go to DOS & ProDOS, Applications, Programming.
Telecom software: go to Telecom-1.
Emulators: go to Applications.



006- What is an Apple II: KIM and SYM

My Ex bought a KIM in ... had to be 1976, 'cause that's the year we
split. He played Hunt the Wumpus on it. I couldn't see the point of
messing with those red LEDs at the time.

Nancy Crawford,  Csa2 post on 27 December, 1995

     KIM (for "Keyboard Input Monitor") was a 6502 'development system' release
in 1976 by MOS Technology. A single board with six 7-segment LED displays, it
soon had a wide following of avid experimenters who wrote programs like Jim
Butterfield's "Lunar Lander" and Stan Ockers's "Hunt the Wumpus" and published
numerous articles in magazines like Byte and KiloBaud describing hardware

     Another 6502 based board was SYM from Synertek Systems. It arrived two
years after KIM near the end of the 'computer experimenter' era. SYM offered a
speaker and more extensive interfacing capability, including support for a CRT display.

     KIM and, to a lesser extent, SYM, were the introductions to 6502 computing
which would, in a few years, lead many to become Apple II users.

--Rubywand and Tim Aaronson


Related FAQs Resources: R010APPLE1.GIF (gif picture file)

007- What is an Apple II: The Apple 1

     The original Apple was not much more than a board.  You had to supply your
own keyboard, monitor and case. It sold for $666.66, but now they are worth
much more as a collector's item.

     For more information and Apple 1 pics, see ...

Applefritter Apple 1 Owners Club

Dr. Tom's Apple 1 Pics and Info
  Faqs Resource File R010APPLE1.GIF

--Dan DeMaggio, Charles T. "Dr. Tom" Turley


008- What is an Apple II: The Apple ][ and Apple ][+

     The II and II+ are the computers that launched the Apple II line. They
have the 6502 microprocessor, ability to do Hires and Lores color graphics,
sound, joystick input, and cassette tape I/O. They have a total of eight
expansion Slots for adding peripherals such as the Disk ][ controller,
MockingBoard, serial I/O, and printer interface. Clock speed is 1MHz and, with
Apple's Language Card installed, standard memory size is 64kB.

     The distinction between the ][ and ][+ is the installed ROMs. The ][
starts you in the Monitor program and includes in-ROM Integer BASIC. The ][+
has the AutoStart ROM which tries to locate and boot a diskette upon startup
and defaults to Applesoft BASIC which is included in-ROM. Many ][ owners
upgraded to the ][+ ROMs.

     Apple ][ and ][+ computers can run thousands of games, utilities, and
other programs created to run under Apple DOS-- chiefly, DOS 3.3. Both machines
can, also, run under ProDOS through v1.9 so long as the software does not
require features of an "enhanced" 128k IIe. For instance, you can run
Appleworks if you have more than 128K RAM installed and a program called
PlusWorks. However, the ][ can not run BASIC programs under ProDOS since
Applesoft must be in ROM.

Recommended configuration: 16K "language card" (in Slot 0), an 80-column video
card (not the same as a //e Extended 80-column card), shift key modification (a
wire running from shift key to game port), modified character ROMs to display
lower case, composite color monitor, Disk ][ controller card, two 5.25" Disk ][
or compatible drives, parallel printer interface card, and parallel-interface
printer. You can add memory beyond 64k in various ways, but many programs that
"require 128K" probably will not work, no matter how much RAM you have. You can
also add accelerators like the SpeeDemon or Rocket/Zip.

--Dan DeMaggio, David Empson, Rubywand


009- What is an Apple II: The "Black Apple"

     Bell & Howell marketed the "Black Apple" made by Apple. It is an Apple II+
done in black with some extra audio/video connections to fit with projectors,
etc. made by B&H-- mainly for use in the classroom. A nice feature is the
"handle" attached to the back. It contains a few power outlets, allowing the
CPU, Monitor, etc., to be controlled with one switch. Evidently, 5000-10,000
units were produced.

--Coaxial, Mike McGovern, Rubywand


010- What is an Apple II: The Apple //e

     The //e comes in two flavors: Enhanced and unenhanced. When you start your
computer, the unenhanced IIe displays "Apple ][" at the top of screen; the
Enhanced IIe displays "Apple //e".

     Apple made an Enhancement kit to upgrade an unenhanced to Enhanced by
replacing 4 chips: CPU 65C02, Video ROM includes MouseText, and new
Monitor/Applesoft ROMs. Some places used to sell a IIe Enhancement kit
for $20.00.

     The current IIe operating system is ProDOS-8. (The IIe can also run DOS
3.3, earlier DOS's, and Pascal.) A lot of ProDOS software requires an Enhanced
//e, and sometimes 128K, too.

     A IIe Enhancement Kit does not include any extra RAM. You can expand a 64k
IIe to the standard 128k required for a fully Enhanced IIe via an Extended
80-column card. It plugs into the Aux Connector on the motherboard. Alltech
($19.00), and MC Price Breakers ($14.95) sell such cards.

     Except for being able to type and display lower-case characters, the
unenhanced IIe is very similar to the II+. A 128k Enhanced IIe adds a number of
features including 80-column firmware and 16-color double-lores and
double-hires display capability.

     The Apple //e remains useful for four major reasons:

 1) It runs AppleWorks, a simple to use, yet sophisticated Spreadsheet/Word

 2) It can run many games and other entertainment software products.

 3) There were many Apple II's in schools and a ton of Apple II educational
software is available.

 4) It is was and will always be a _Personal_ computer.  You can learn as
little or as much as you want, and nothing stops you from learning about every
nook and cranny in it. Ask any big name programmer in MS/DOS or Mac where they
learned to program.  Most of them taught themselves on a good ol' Apple II.

Recommended configuration: Extended 80 Column card (gives you 128K) or RamWorks
(512K to 1MB RAM), Enhancement kit (for unenhanced IIe), and a composite color
monitor which can display decent 80-column text, Super Serial card, Disk ][
controller card, two 5.25" Disk ][ or compatible drives, parallel printer
interface card, and parallel-interface printer. A Hard Drive is recommended if
you use a lot of different programs. Heavy Appleworks users should add the hard
disk, extra RAM, and a 4MHz or better accelerator (like the Rocket Chip, Zip
Chip or TransWarp).

--Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand


011- What is an Apple II: The Apple //c and IIc+

     The //c and IIc+ are compact 'luggable' versions of an Enhanced //e, with
many built-in 'cards'. Included are 2 serial ports, a mouse port, a disk port
and 128K of RAM. Support for the original Apple cassette tape I/O is gone. The
//c has a built-in 5.25" drive while the IIc+ has a built-in 3.5" drive.

     The IIc+ has a built-in accelerator that runs at 4 MHz (vs. the //c's
1MHz) making it the fastest Apple II as well as faster than any of the A2
clones. (To boot your IIc+ at 'regular', 1MHz, speed, include the Escape
key in the usual boot keypresses-- i.e. OpenApple-CTRL-ESC-RESET.)
The IIc+, which was introduced after the IIgs, also allows daisey chaining the
GS Apple 3.5" drive along with 5.25" drives.

     The //c and IIc+ run just about all of the DOS 3.3, ProDOS, "128k"
software, etc. that an Enhanced //e runs plus the few //c-only software
releases. However, the use of certain locations for storing system variables
and ROM differences means that //c series machines will not run a number of old
games designed for the ][ and ][+ which the IIe and IIgs will run.

     Even though //c machines don't have slots, you can still add extra memory
(there's room under the keyboard) and a hard drive (through the disk port--a
bit slow by ordinary standards, but usable.  Hard to find though.. Was made by
Chinook). There is also a for-//c "D" version of MockingBoard you can plug in
to get much improved sound and music from software supporting the board, and a
module you can attach to convert output to RF for using a TV as a monitor.

Recommended configuration: A composite color monitor which can display decent
80-column text, 1 MB RAM, and, maybe, a hard drive. For the //c, add a second
5.25" drive; for the IIc+, add a second 3.5" drive and two 5.25" drives.

--Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand


012- What is an Apple II: The Laser 128EX and 'EX/2

     While not made by Apple, these Lasers can run just about anything that an
Enhanced //e can run. They are as luggable as a //c and include built-in
'cards'. They are also fast; the entire motherboard runs at 3.6Mhz. If you want
to use a card in the single expansion Slot, you may have to disable the
internal UDC (for 3.5" drives) or the internal 1MB memory expansion.

     Unlike the EX model, which supports one additional disk drive, the EX/2
supports as many daisychained drives as a IIgs and has a built in BRAM control
panel for saving settings. The EX/2 also has a built in 3.5" disk drive, a MIDI
port, and a video port which can support analog RGB and digital CGA monitors as
well as an LCD display.

--Supertimer, Dan DeMaggio


Related FAQs Resources: R024GSSPECS.htm (html file)
Related FAQs Resources: R002WOZGS.GIF (gif picture file)

013- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIgs

     The IIgs (or "GS") represents a giant leap in the Apple II line.  It's 65C816
microprocessor can switch to 6502-emulation  mode for running 8-bit Apple II
software favorites, while, in native mode, it runs 16-bit GS applications. GS
delivers  new super-hires graphics modes, a toolbox in ROM, a 32-oscillator
Ensoniq sound chip, and a max base speed of 2.8MHz. Base RAM memory is
256kB (ROM-01) or 1MB (ROM 3) expandable up to 8MB.

     GS built-ins include modem and printer serial ports good for up to 230k baud,
Disk Port supporting two 5.25" and two 3.5" (800k) drives, RGB and composite
video outputs, enhanced and 'old Apple' sound, ADB bus for keyboard and mouse,
game port supporting two two-button joysticks, clock/calendar, and battery RAM
to retain user settings accessible via the Control Panel. (To get to the Control Panel
press OpenApple-Control-Escape and select "Control Panel".)  There is more
about Apple IIgs specifications in the FAQs resource file R024GSSPECS.htm.

     The IIgs can run DOS 3.3, ProDOS, Pascal, and any other OS the earlier 8-bit
models can run.  In 8-bit or "emulation" mode, it works much like an enhanced //e,
even down to supporting nearly all of the old monitor routines and softswitches.
One notable difference is that users must go to 64k Bank $FF (e.g. FF/F800 -
FF/FFFF) to view monitor ROM contents. In the default (Bank $00) area, an
F800L etc. monitor command shows code in the "Language Card" RAM. Like
the //c series, it does not support the original Apple cassette tape I/O.

     GS is the only Apple II  machine which can run GS System (sometimes called
"GS/OS"). GS System and Toolbox routines make it possible for the System Finder
program to deliver a sophisticated 'mouse and windows' environment which looks
very much like PC's Windows. The current version of System is System 6.0.1.

     The first GS's were released in the Fall of 1986. The batches produced
until mid-late 1987 became known as "ROM 00" machines after release of the "ROM
01" models. When you turn ON or force restart* a ROM-01 GS, the startup
screen shows "ROM Version 01"; on a ROM-00 GS the startup screen says
nothing about ROM version. *(Press OpenApple-Control-Reset to do a forced

     The original GS's came in cases marked "Limited Edition" with Steve Wozniak's
signature. Often, these are referred to as "Woz GS's". (See FAQs resource file
R002WOZGS.GIF for a picture.)  Only about 50,000 ROM-00 IIgs's had the
"Woz" signature. A relatively small number of users chose Apple's option to upgrade
their //e's with a motherboard swap. Introduced in early 1987, the upgrade included
"IIgs" labels which users could substitute for "//e" in the case insert.

     At the time of the ROM-01 change-over in 1987, Apple supplied a ROM-00-
to-ROM-01 upgrade service free. It consists of swapping in a new ROM and a
new Video Graphics Controller ("VGC") IC. ROM-00 machines which have not
had the upgrade can not run modern GS software-- the ROM must be upgraded.
Alltech (760-724-2404; http://allelec.com ) is a good place to check for a ROM-01
'upgrade kit' consisting of the 01 ROM. (Price: around $30.00)

     The VGC upgrade is not required for software compatibility, and is not
needed for all machines anyway. It is supposed to fix cosmetic problems in
monochrome double-hires graphics mode (pink flickering or fringing on what is
supposed to be a black and white screen).  On some machines the VGC swap also
fixes some color combination problems in 80-column text mode.

Note: ROM-00 machines can boot disks which start GS System through Version 3.
(Booting these disks typically starts by displaying some version of "ProDOS 16".)
The downside, of course, is being unable to boot modern versions of System and
use software which needs to run under the later versions. On the other hand, a
number of very early products run under versions of System which have
no patches for ROM-01 or ROM 3. Original diskettes for these products
will boot correctly only on a ROM-00 GS.

     Whether via the upgrade or original purchase of a newer GS, by late 1987
nearly all GS users were 'on the same page'. That is, we had the ROM-01
platform with its base 256kB RAM plus the official Apple 1MB Expansion Memory
Board plugged into the Memory Expansion Slot for a total of 1.25MB of
fully-accessible system RAM. For the next couple of years, practically all GS
software was designed to launch from 3.5" diskette under "ProDOS-16" and to fit
within the 1.25MB of RAM everyone was assumed to have installed.

     In 1989 Apple introduced the "ROM 3" GS-- the startup screen shows
"ROM Version 3". (No ROM-02 GS was ever released). The only major improvement
over ROM-01 is more base RAM-- you get 1MB instead of 256kB. This is a very nice
benefit. It means that a ROM 3 with a 4MB Mem Exp Board will have 5MB of fully
accessible RAM whereas a ROM-01 can have 4.25MB of fully-accessible RAM. In
effect, the ROM 3 owner gets a 'free' 800kB RAM disk.

     As Mitch Spector notes in his listing of ROM 3 features, the newer GS offers
a number of other nice pluses with the only significant minus being incompatibility with
some older GS programs and pre-System 5 versions of GS System. (See discussion in
the "Hardware Hacking" FAQs.)  Chiefly, ROM 3 is a 1989 re-do of ROM-01
featuring more streamlined hardware and more built-in firmware.

     Since System 5, booting GS System applies in-RAM patches matched to ROM
version 1 or 3. The patches, located in System/System.Setup/, are TS2 for ROM-01
and TS3 for ROM 3. This achieves nearly identical operation.

     Very few ROM-01 owners felt any urge to move to ROM 3. Even today, the vast
majority of installed GS's are ROM-01 machines.

     The 1990's saw wide adoption of four major GS enhancements:

OS- After years of foot-dragging, Apple finally produced a decent 16-bit GS
operating system with release of System 5.0. Within a few years this evolved
into today's System 6 (System 6.0.1).  System 6 has won wide acceptance as a
relatively stable OS which, at last, allows GS users to access many of the
features of GS computing promised back in 1986. Although any ROM-01 or
ROM 3 IIgs with at least the 1MB Apple Expansion Memory card installed
can boot a fairly decent install of System 6 from diskette, the fact that it is
likely to use at least 800kB of RAM somewhat limits the applications which
can be run, especially on the ROM-01 GS.

Memory- Driven, in part, by the need for more memory to run System 6, 4MB
became the standard size of installed Memory Expansions. Except for school GS's
and GS's taken out of circulation and tucked away in closets, the old Apple 1MB
Expansion cards have long ago been replaced with boards adding 4MB-8MB.

Hard Disk- As with memory, the size of newer versions of System supplied a
strong push toward adding a hard disk. Software was becoming larger, too, and
there was so much of it that making everything work from diskette became
impossibly cumbersome. Lower HD prices, attractive SCSI interfaces such as
RamFAST, and low-cost, easy single-card IDE solutions such as the Focus "Hard
Card" and SHH Systeme "Turbo" cards have helped make the hard disk a standard,
expected peripheral on today's GS.

Acceleration- Few commercial software offerings actually sought to push GS
users to higher speeds; and, as a result, users went for years feeling no great
need for Applied Engineering's expensive Transwarp accelerator. The arrival of
Zip Technology's lower-cost ZipGS board together with a clear need for more
speed to handle System 6 sparked a nearly overnight 'acceleration revolution'.
Today, an accelerator running at 8MHz or better is considered, very nearly, to
be a necessary IIgs enhancement.

Recommended configuration: ROM-01 or ROM 3 with 4MB or 8MB Memory
Expansion board-- i.e. at least 4.25MB (ROM-01) or 5MB (ROM 3) of total system
RAM, RamFAST SCSI + 120MB or larger SCSI hard disk OR 120MB or larger
HD-on-a-card IDE drive (e.g. Alltech's Focus Hard Card or SHH's Turbo IDE series)
with System 6.0.1 installed, 8MHz/32k TransWarp or 9MHz/32k ZipGS or better
accelerator board, Stereo Card, Imagewriter II printer, two 3.5" and two 5.25"
diskette drives.

A minimum GS system that will run many older wares and still deliver a decent
operating system is a ROM-01 GS with the Apple 1MB Memory Expansion board,
two 3.5" drives, at least one 5.25" drive, and  Imagewriter II printer, which boots
System 5.0.4 or System 6.0.1 from 3.5" diskette.

--Dan DeMaggio, Rubywand, David Empson, Supertimer, Randy Shackelford,
Hal Bouma


Related FAQs Resources: R028LCCARD.htm (html file)

014- What is an Apple II: The Apple IIe Emulation Card

     This is a '//e on a card' plug-in which lets you run Apple II software. The card
fits into Mac LC and some subsequent machines that have the LC Processor
Direct Slot (PDS) and which support 24-bit memory addressing.

     Many of these cards are sold today without documentation. In case you've
just plugged one into your Mac Color Classic, etc., it will help to know that
pressing Command-Control-Escape gets you to the Preferences panel.

     The Apple IIe Emulation Card is actually more like a //c because the card is not
an expandable machine like a //e. There is a place on the back of the card to plug in
a Y-cable to which you can attach a Unidisk 3.5" disk drive (white, A2M2053)
and/or an Apple 5.25" disk drive (platinum, A9M0107) and a joystick.

     Because the graphics are handled by the Mac, animation may be slow if you
don't have a decent Mac.  For more information, see FAQs resource file

--Dan DeMaggio, David Empson, Owen Aaland, Edward Floden, Liam Busey,
Phil Beesley, Joan Sander


Related FAQs Resources: R022TRKSTAR.htm (html file)

015- What is an Apple II: The Trackstar Apple II Emulation Card

     A TrackStar is a single board Apple 2 computer that plugs into a PC Clone with at
least one ISA slot or into an IBM PS/2 computer. The most advanced models,
Trackstar E and Trackstar Plus, work like an enhanced 128k //e.

     Trackstar can run Apple II software from virtual "trackstore" disk images, virtual hard
disk, and, with Apple II disk drive plugged in, Apple II diskettes. (With the correct cables,
it can use some Apple II diskettes in compatible PC 5.25" drives.)

     For more about Trackstar boards, software, and setup, see FAQs Resource file

-- Bill Whitson, Michael Kelsey, Mike O'Malley, Rubywand, Wayne Stewart


016- What is an Apple II: Emulators

     An Apple II emulator-- also called an "emu"-- is a program which lets a PC, Mac, etc.
work like an Apple II and run Apple II software. Usually, the Apple II software is in the
form of a "disk image" file-- a kind of virtual diskette. For more about Apple II emulators
and where to get them see Q&A 003 on the Applications page.



017- Apple "][", "Apple II", "Apple //"-- which is correct?

    "][", "II", and "//" tend to be used pretty much interchangeably for any model of Apple II
computer, although, practically speaking, there are a few usages which may provoke a

    "][" is the original Apple II symbol. It appears on all early II's and II+'s as well as on the
Disk ][ drive. It is, easily, the most attractive and distinctive II symbol; but, it is also
associated with _old_ Apple II 's. The "//" usage is generally associated with the c and
newer e models.

    "II" is widely accepted as  'okay' for all Apple II models. (And "II" and "A2" are commonly
used for referring to series-wide products, etc. as in "II software", "A2 programmers", ... .)

     The generally preferred machine designations are ...

Apple ][  or Apple II for pre-II+ models
Apple ][+  or  Apple II+
Apple IIe  for non-enhanced IIe computers
Apple //e  for 128k enhanced //e computers
Apple //c
Apple IIc+
Apple IIgs or  GS  or best (if you have the fonts)  IIGS



018- What is "8 bit" and "16 bit"?

     Number of bits usually indicates how big a chunk of data a computer's main
microprocessor can manipulate. The Apple IIgs is based on the 65C816
microprocessor and is considered to be a 16-bit machine. Previous Apple ]['s
are based upon pure 8-bit microprocessors such as the 6502 and 65C02. These are
considered to be 8-bit machines. Sometimes II+ or IIe or IIc software is called
"8-bit software".

     The 65C816 is a member of the 6502 family which includes expanded
registers and adds many new commands while retaining the ability to go into
8-bit mode. So; the GS can run most 8-bit wares designed for older Apple II
machines as well as newer 16-bit wares. Meanwhile, 8-bit machines are pretty
well limited to 8-bit wares.



019- How can I tell what version my computer is?

Apple II

     Upon Reset, the Apple II starts you in the system monitor looking at the "*"
prompt. It allows step execution of machine code and has Integer BASIC in ROM.
The major division between kinds of Apple II is Revision 0 and Revision 1. The
Revision 1 motherboard adds a number of features including a few which are easily

Power-On Reset: The computer automatically does a Reset when turned On.

More hires colors: To the Black, White, Violet, and Green available on a Rev0
machine, Rev1 adds Blue and Orange.

Color Killer added: Full-text displays are black&white without the color fringing
and tinting you see on Rev0 machines.

Apple II+

     All Apple II+ machines have the Revision 1 or higher motherboard and the
Autostart ROM. On power-up the Apple II+ does a Reset and displays "APPLE ]["
at the top of the screen. If a disk drive is connected, the II+ will try to boot a diskette.
The Apple II+ loses some monitor features (like instruction stepping) and in-ROM
Integer BASIC found in the earlier Apple II; but, it gains the more powerful
Applesoft BASIC in ROM. A II+ Reset normally leaves you in BASIC looking at
the "]" Applesoft BASIC prompt.

Apple IIe

     You can usually tell a IIe from a II or II+ by the nameplate. On models
with the classic Apple II case but no nameplate, you can check the keyboard.
IIe models include a key embossed with the outline of an apple called the
"OpenApple" key located near the bottom left corner of the keyboard. (All
later Apple II's have this key, too; but, they do not look anything like a II, II+,
or IIe).  A few IIe models produced for third party resale may have some other
special-logo key in place of OpenApple.

     Within the IIe series, the major division is between Enhanced and
unenhanced IIe models. Look at your computer while booting.  If it says "Apple
][", it is not enhanced. The enhanced computers will say "Apple //e".

     Today, "Enhanced IIe", "//e", and "128k Apple IIe" are used interchangeably
because nearly every Enhanced IIe has an Extended 80-Column Card plugged into
the 60-pin Aux Slot (which adds 64kB of RAM).  Technically, an Enhanced IIe is
defined by the presence of three or four IC's: the 65C02 microprocessor
(replaces the 6502), new Character (or "Video") ROM which includes MouseText
characters, and new monitor firmware in ROM.

     If a IIe has the 65C02 microprocessor, it is probably an Enhanced IIe. If
your IIe is not enhanced, you can do the enhancement yourself with an
"enhancement kit" consisting of the four chips you need to swap in.

     The last significant upgrade to the IIe series came in 1987 with the
release of the Extended Keyboard //e. This model is a 128k Enhanced IIe-- it
comes with an Extended 80-Column Card plugged into the Aux Slot-- which adds an
18-key 'numeric keypad'. It also replaces the eight on-motherboard RAM chips
with two 64kx4 IC's; and, it replaces the two BASIC/monitor ROMs with
a single large ROM.

     Quite a lot of later 80's 8-bit software, including all double-hires
software, requires a 128k Enhanced IIe. (If you have a //c, IIc+, IIgs, Laser
128, or Franklin Ace 2000-2200, you have good to at least decent Enhanced IIe
compatibility.)  Unfortunately, a small number of early-release IIe's can not
be upgraded to handle double-hires. Check the serial number on the motherboard
(in the back, by the power-on led). If it is 820-0064-A, you must change the
motherboard to upgrade (unless you have the PAL video output version).

     The IIe was produced in very large numbers and sold around the world in
countries with different power systems using different video standards. So, it
is not all that unlikely that you may need to check a bargain IIe to make sure
it will work in your home using your monitor. The two major video output
formats you may run into are NTSC (used in the US, Canada, Japan, and most
countries with 60Hz power, except Brazil) and PAL (used in Australia, most of
Europe, and most countries with 50Hz power). One way to tell which video
standard a IIe uses is the location of the Aux Slot. If it is on the side of
the motherboard near the power supply, you have an NTSC model. If it is in line
with Slot 3, you have a PAL model.

Apple //c and Apple IIc+

     Go into Basic and type "PRINT PEEK (64447)" and press return.  If it says
255, you have a very old //c. This model is known to have problems producing
accurate baud rates for serial communications. It's been many years since the //c
was released; but, some long-time Apple dealers may still perform the upgrade
for a nominal fee. (Tell the dealer that the Apple authorization number is ODL660.)

     If PRINT PEEK (64447) displays 0, you can use 3.5" drives, but you don't
have the memory expansion connector. If it says 3, you have the memory expansion
connector and can plug in extra memory. If it says 4, you have the latest model of the
//c with the memory expansion connector and other upgrades.

     If PRINT PEEK (64447) displays 5, you have an Apple IIc+. The IIc+ also
has "IIc Plus" silk-screened in dark gray onto the upper right corner of the case.

Apple IIgs

     There are 3 major versions of the GS: Check the initial power-up screen.
It will probably say ROM-01 or ROM 3. If it does not say either, you have a
ROM-00 model. You must upgrade a ROM-00 machine in order to run current system
software. The ROM-01 has 256K on the motherboard, while the ROM 3 has 1 MB on
the motherboard. Most of the enhancements of the ROM 3 are added to the ROM-01
simply by booting up with current system software.

--Dan DeMaggio, CreatSltn, Steve Leahy, Nathan Mates, Bevis King, David Empson,
Jeff Blakeney, David Wilson, Rubywand


020- Suppose I just want to start using my Apple II Now!?

     Okay; suppose you have zilch info, do not feel like looking through the
FAQs, and want to start Now. The following _may_ be all you need to get going
with some game or utility from diskette:

o The Disk Controller Card for Apple ][, ][+, and IIe goes into Slot 6 (next to
last Slot on the right when viewed from the front). Drive 1 plugs into the top
connector with the ribbon side of the cable plug facing out. Plug in the
cable(s) before plugging in the card so that you are sure the connector and
plug line up correctly.

o On the IIgs, the 3.5" drive(s) plug in first, then, the 5.25" drive(s).

o Unless a hard disk is installed, most Apple II's try to boot a diskette and
start DOS 3.3, ProDOS, or GS/OS when turned ON. (On the old Apple ][ you can
type in 6 Control-P RETURN to boot from the Monitor, assuming your Controller
Card is in Slot 6. To press Control-P, press and hold Control, then P, then
release both keys.)

o Most, but not all, diskettes are bootable. If one diskette doesn't boot, try
another. If no diskettes boot, use a Radio Shack Head Cleaner diskette to clean
the drive head(s).

o If the prompt you see is ], you are in Applesoft BASIC; > indicates Integer
BASIC; and * indicates the Monitor. If both Integer BASIC and Applesoft are in
memory, you can enter FP to switch from Integer to Applesoft and INT to switch
from Applesoft to Integer. To go from either BASIC to the Monitor, enter
CALL-151. To start the current BASIC from the Monitor, enter Control-B. To go
back to BASIC with program and variables in tact from the Monitor, enter

o Except for the ][ and most ][+'s, you must press Control-RESET to do a Reset.

o To boot a diskette when viewing a BASIC prompt, you can enter PR#6 to boot a
drive associated with Slot 6-- usually a 5.25" drive-- and PR#5 to boot a drive
associated with Slot 5-- usually a 3.5" drive.

--Rubywand, David Empson


021- Where do I find out about Apple II Users Groups?

     Especially for beginners, a users group is an absolute goldmine of software,
information, and bargain hardware.

     Several Apple II users groups continue to meet, especially in major cities
and on university campi. If a local group listing is 'missing' from your phone
book, check for a Mac users group-- a number of Apple II groups have
merged with their Mac counterparts.

     The Apple User Group Connection (800-538-9696 ext 500) may be able
to tell you the closest Apple II (or Macintosh) User Group.

     You can find an on-line listing of users groups in the FAQs Users' Groups

     Of course, you can always post a question to comp.sys.apple2.usergroups
and/or to Csa2 main (comp.sys.apple2).

Is your users' group listed?

     It's easy to let everyone know about your Apple II users' group (or "special
interest group" if part of some larger club).  Send an email (including the word
"Apple" in the title) to the Apple II FAQs maintainer with this information:

o- Name of your Apple II group

o- Location (may omit if you meet only on-line)

o- Web page or forum URL if you have one (necessary if you
   meet only on-line)

o- Email contact address (may omit if you have a web page)



022- How can I find out more about using and programming my Apple II?

     You can peruse the newsgroup FAQs Q&A Contents listing. You can also
check out the Apple II Major Sites page.

     All Apple II's come with some version of BASIC installed in-ROM on the
motherboard. The original Apple II's have Integer BASIC. Starting with the
II+ model, all Apple II's have floating-point Applesoft BASIC in ROM. Owners
of early Apple II's can load in Applesoft or plug in a card with Applesoft ROMs.

     There are several good places to find out about Apple II BASIC programming:

Apple II Textfiles

Byte Works(new IIgs GSoft BASIC)


The comp.sys.apple2.programmer USENET newsgroup and Csa2P FAQs
  for programming Q&A plus more links

     Besides BASIC, you can load and use many languages including Fortran, Pascal,
Modula, C, Logo, Forth, Assembly, and others. The Apple II "Monitor" included
in-ROM lets you enter 6502 and (on a IIgs) 65816 machine language programs.
IIgs owners can also create Hyperstudio and HyperCard stacks. For more
information and links go to the comp.sys.apple2.programmer FAQs.

     There is really no substitute for having the technical manual for your particular
Apple II or clone. The manual for the ][ and ][+ is the Apple ][ Reference Manual.
For the IIe and IIc you want Apple's Technical Reference Manual for your machine.
For the IIgs you will want, at least, the IIgs Hardware Reference and IIgs Firmware

     Naturally, you will want to get manuals and materials covering DOS,
ProDOS, BASIC, and many other areas relating to your Apple II. Below is a
decent 'getting started' sampling:

General Apple II

Apple II Reference Manual  from Apple
Apple II User's Guide by Poole, Martin, and Cook
  Note: Third Edition, 1985 (Apple II User's Guide for APPLE II Plus
  and APPLE IIe) is completely revised to include ProDOS coverage
Beagle Bros "Peeks, Pokes, and Pointers" (poster)  by Beagle Bros
The Apple II Circuit Description  by Winston D. Gayler
Understanding the Apple ][  by Jim Sather
What's Where in the Apple II?  by William F. Luebbert

Applesoft BASIC and Assembly Language

Assembly Lines: The Book  by Roger Wagner
BASIC Programming Reference Manual  from Apple
Programming the 65816 Including the 6502, 65C02, and 65802
  by David Eyes and Ron Lichty
65816/65802 Assembly Language Programming by Michael Fischer

DOS, ProDOS, and GS/OS

Apple IIgs GS/OS Technical Reference (Apple/ Addison-Wesley)
Beneath Apple DOS  by Worth & Lechner
Beneath Apple ProDOS  by Worth & Lechner
Exploring Apple GS/OS and ProDOS 8  by Little
ProDOS Inside and Out  by Doms and Weishaar
ProDOS Technical Reference Manual (Apple/ Addison-Wesley)
The DOS Manual  from Apple

     Some technical manuals and other materials can be obtained in original or
reprint form from Byte Works (http://www.byteworks.org) and
Kula Soft (http://www.angelfire.com/hi/kulasoft/). Major book sellers, such as
Amazon(http://www.amazon.com)  list many Apple II books. Though most are
out of print, the sellers will search for and, with luck, locate the book you want.

    Apple II manuals and other books also turn up for sale on Csa2 newsgroups
like comp.sys.apple2.marketplace, at used book shops, and at local Users
Group swap meets. Some manuals and other items, such as Reference Cards
and posters (usually in Text or HTML form) are available for downloading at the
major Apple II archives and other support sites. (See Apple II Publishers.)

     You may be able to find a local Apple II users' group or a group on-line that
you like. Besides knowledgeable users, you will often find a software library
stocked with useful software.

     Another good resource is a subscription to an Apple II newsletter or magazine;
and, don't overlook collections of major Apple II magazines published through the
1980's (e.g. inCider, Nibble, Computist, etc.). They are virtual encyclopedias
covering many areas of II computing. For current publishers and net sites which offer
on-line copies of back issues see the Apple II Publishers listing.

     Often, the easiest, quickest way to an answer for some Apple II question
is to 'just ask it' on comp.sys.apple2 and/or another Csa2 family newsgroup.
There are no Csa2 rules about posting to just a newsgroup which deals with a
particular topic or making sure your question is hard enough or reading the FAQs
first. Supplying information is the main purpose of the newsgroups.

--Rubywand, David Wilson, Tony Cianfaglione, Steve Sanders, Terence J. Boldt,
Wayne Stewart


023- Where can I find out about developers of Apple II and II-related products?

     For current information on developers and software/hardware products check these
sources ...

A.P.P.L.E. 'zine news

A2Unplugged- Apple II community news from Ryan Suenaga

GS WorldView's "Developers at Work" pages

Mentions in Csa2 FAQs including Major Sites, Games, and Vendors & Publishers

Postings on Csa2 newsgroups

     For information on classic A2 game developers see ...

The Giant List