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Does anyone here have an Apple III?


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I know someone that does and I've seen it in action. It's interesting (it's OS was like a forerunner of ProDOS) but it hardly had any software, and IIRC it was mostly business-related. I think you can emulate the ][+ with it, but then you might as well just stick with a ][+ or ][e.

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As a kid I "worked" (actually volunteered under a 4H program) at a local computer store and I remember being introduced to the Apple III where the lady told me all sorts of specs that I had zero idea what the heck it meant, so I just opened my eyes and says "WOW!" :lol: It was disappointing to me though that it wouldn't play any games because I was hoping for a more advanced gaming system like the Colecovision was over the Atari, etc.

 

Another funny story is as I worked there that month or so I would hear indescribable cussing and hitting and throwing of objects as the manager there had issues with it.. I assume he would lose hours of work or so when the Apple III hardware would fail, and he would SHOUT like crazy. It was hilarious in retrospect. :P

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I've got a few. As a programmer, it's like an Apple II on steroids. It's got a bank-switched architecture where 32k chunks are swapped in and out a the flip of a softswitch. It's got an extended addressing mode that gives a program access to storage all over the place. And it all still happens with the 6502 (which itself can be switched between 1 and 2 MHz). Plus, basically all off the II+ stuff you know and love is still there - the screen memory, keyboard interaction, etc. can be done at the hardware level. SOS abstracts that away, which itself is innovative with its loadable device drivers. And my favorite part: the arrow keys have two rates of repeat, based on how hard you push them. People badmouth it, but to me - it's a technical tour de force given the environment and era it came from.

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I've casually tried over the years to acquire one, but never was able to. These days, the prices for a reasonably configured working model are well beyond what I'd like to spend, so I probably missed my window. Ultimately, it's not a big deal, because there are only a couple of games specific to it, and I have countless dozens of other systems if I get a vintage productivity itch.

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I missed out on an Apple /// a few years back when I got all my Apple IIe's. Was introduced to a salvage place where I found an Apple /// monitor, but the system has just gone out that day in a load to the recyclers. :( Monitor worked for a while, then blew a capacitor, but I still have it.

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I still want one to cross my path at the right time when I can afford it!

 

You can play with a virtual one for free... a fairly recent MESS version came out that is very, very good. There's a wrapper for it called Apple3rtr (Apple /// Ready-to-Run) that makes it all really simple, and is better outfitted than most real ones:

https://github.com/datajerk/apple3rtr

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http://3.buric.co/star4.dsk.gz

http://3.buric.co/satan.dsk.gz

 

These allow some degree of Apple ][ compatibility without locking a /// into emulation mode (I've only tested them on MESS). satan.dsk is the DOS from the diagnostic disk, and boots into DOS 3.3 with Integer BASIC, leaving the ROM font loaded; star4.dsk loads a more Apple ][-like font and a tweaked monitor/FPBASIC, and is capable of running a bit of 48K Apple ][+ software unmodified.

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I missed out on an Apple /// a few years back when I got all my Apple IIe's. Was introduced to a salvage place where I found an Apple /// monitor, but the system has just gone out that day in a load to the recyclers. :( Monitor worked for a while, then blew a capacitor, but I still have it.

Capacitors can be replaced.. Some other parts are much more difficult to replace...

 

MarkO

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I remember seeing one when my parents were buying a house around 1990. I had an Apple IIe at the time and I had never heard of a /// so I thought it was a more advanced and newer system. I didn't get to see it do much since they had it running some productivity stuff, but I distinctly remember thinking that it looked kind of ugly (more industrial) and wondered why they only had a green screen for it. It wasn't until years later that I learned the details about it.

 

I've almost bought one a few time in the past (when they were more reasonably priced) but since I only use my IIe for gaming it would be a complete waste. I believe there are cards that can improve the compatibility so it can be on par with a 64K II+, but I think things like DHRG are beyond it even with an add-on card. It's sort of like the TRS-80 Model II of the Apple world, meant to be a business system and ultimately not of interest to most people other than as a curiosity.

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