Turning on an Apple IIGS

Monday, May 15th, 2023 at 05:24pm

For a long time the remains of my computer collection have sat in my old room at my parents house, with the occasional suggestion that I go over and do something with it all.

Where to start? It has been a long time since I downsized and I am not entirely sure what I still have. Then of those what items are cool and/or have sentimental meaning?

Tackling the sentimental angle first should be easy as that leads directly to the Apple IIGS which was our first family computer (I think in 1988) and our only computer until a 486 (in I think 1994). This GS was nothing special: a ROM01 with 1MB RAM expansion, two 3.5″ drives and a single 5.25″ drive, the AppleColor RGB display and an ImageWriter. This setup and the boxes of floppy disks will definitely be retained. However I do want to have something running that I can play with, so I do have a ROM03 unit and I think that will be the one that I expand with modern technology.

The mistake I want to avoid is to simply plug this old tech in and hope that nothing blows up, so a few weeks ago I ordered a couple of Universal PSU Kit‘s from ReActiveMicro. These arrived last week and over the weekend this was the result:

At top is Apple IIGS power supply with ReActiveMicro Universal PSU installed, below is original power supply out of the casing

At the top is the Universal PSU installed in the power supply housing, and at the bottom is the original power supply that will now be discarded.

I don’t yet dare turning on the original CRT display, so for now I have connected it to my TV with a composite cable. I do want to get the CRT running, but I haven’t looked into that yet.

I need to go back over and collect more items (I only grabbed the minimum to test out the upgraded power supplies) and figure out what I have and what I want to do. For example I do have a CFFA card so I can boot from compact flash instead of floppies, but that is from twenty years ago and it is tempting to get a CFFA3000 which would be so much easier to use…

I think I have an ethernet card for Apple II somewhere, as well as an Apple II SCSI Card, though before those I will need to sort out a display, possibly taking the approach of both working out how to safely use the original AppleColor RGB display and also how to get HDMI output (going as far as retrofitting an LCD would be ideal).

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