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Can anyone give some basic advice on purchasing a Apple II? system?


NoleOne
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I've spent some time collecting Atari and Commodore items and now have the Apple bug. I've started doing some research and would appreciate any help folks are willing to give on purchasing a system.

 

Do you prefer the IIe, IIc, IIgs or something else and why?

 

If you could start off with one system, which one would you buy?

 

What is a reasonable price for a full system (color monitor, dual drives and computer) in good cosmetic shape?

 

Is there anything that I should avoid?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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I'd kill for a GS. But as far as the 8-bits go, the //e Enhanced and Platinum (it's effectively the same internally, but the Enhanced still looks like the original, the Platinum is easier to distinguish without turning it on) is probably your best choice since it has the highest compatibility.

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I'd kill for a GS. But as far as the 8-bits go, the //e Enhanced and Platinum (it's effectively the same internally, but the Enhanced still looks like the original, the Platinum is easier to distinguish without turning it on) is probably your best choice since it has the highest compatibility.

 

Are the Superdrive cards for the //e and GS still valueable? (Card that lets you use an apple 1.44 Floppy which will then also work on a PC for transfering files etc)

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I've spent some time collecting Atari and Commodore items and now have the Apple bug. I've started doing some research and would appreciate any help folks are willing to give on purchasing a system.

Glad to have you On Board.... I have been a long time Apple ][e and Commodore SX-64 Owner...

 

Do you prefer the IIe, IIc, IIgs or something else and why?

The Original White Key Keyboard ][e is my first Apple ][, so it's my favorite...

 

Each System has advantages and disadvantages..

 

The ][e is expandable.. Most ANY Card developed for the Apple ][ & ][+ can be used in the Apple ][e.. There are a few exceptions, dealing with Timing Issue of the Address and Data Bus..

 

The //c is Portable, the Non //c+ has an external Power Supply, and runs nicely off of a Battery Pack..

 

The ][gs is almost 100% Backwards Compatible with a 128K Apple ][e or Apple //c, but in ][gs Mode, has More RAM, Better Graphics Modes, and the Ensonic Sound Chip.. It also has Built in RGB Output that works in all modes..

 

If you could start off with one system, which one would you buy?

If Space is an Issue, the //c or //c+, or a ][gs...

 

For Expandability Options, an Enhanced //e - Platinum //e

 

What is a reasonable price for a full system (color monitor, dual drives and computer) in good cosmetic shape?

Shipping a System with a Monitor, and having it arrive in good Shape will require Good Packaging and will cost a little more...

 

I haven't priced any systems recently, but I believe that an Enhanced //e with 128K and a Monitor and a Couple Drive is going to be $150.00 to $200.00, plus shipping on eBay.. I would check Craig's List for better deals locally... Or ask on this Web Site or at AppleFritter.com or the Apple ][ Enthusiast Facebook Group..

 

Is there anything that I should avoid?

If you don't want a Fix or Repair Project, try to get a System is Known Good Working... All of the Switching Power Supplies in the ][s are know to have Capacitor Issues, especially the Power Conditioning ones.. They are all repairable... Other Issues can be fixed too.. A common issue with these systems not Booting , is there is Oxide Build-Up between the Chips and their Sockets.. Meaning that a Non-Working System might need to have ALL the Chips Pressed back into their Sockets..

 

( I got a Non-Working Tandy Color Computer 1 like that.. After the Chips were Reseated... )

 

Thanks in advance.

Your Welcome.....

 

MarkO

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In every thread like this that comes up, I always recommend the IIGS because it's basically fully backward compatible (I am not actually aware of whether there are specific things that don't work), it's expandable, it's the *only* Apple II that will play 16 bit games/software, and it's actually somewhat reasonably priced compared to some of the other models. I also really like the feel of the keyboard, and the fact that it's separate. Basically it was the ultimate Apple II at the time, it still is, *and* it costs less nowadays than some of the others to boot.

 

I myself own a IIc and a IIGS. My IIc is the actual computer I had as a kid; the IIGS is a later purchase for the reasons above.

 

I think MarkO basically gave you the breakdown of each system, but I'll just add that the II line pretty much just improved over the years with the possible exception of the IIc, which was almost like a separate branch. The IIc was, at the time, like a loaded but unexpandable IIe. So while the IIe could be upgraded as time went on, the IIc was stuck and eventually fell behind, until it was upgraded to the IIc Plus. The IIc Plus was, oddly enough, the fastest Apple II ever made. Faster than the IIGS, but 8 bit only.

 

Anyway, that means that I personally would only consider a later model Apple II these days. It's not really like the Atari 8 bits where earlier models actually had some advantages. There's nothing that should make you really want anything earlier than a IIe, and if you do get a IIe, try to go for either an Enhanced or a Platinum (the IIe alone was on the market for 11 years, so had a few revisions itself). In a IIGS, I'd actually *avoid* one of the "Woz" models - the ROM in these is a little buggy. Try to get a ROM 3 or at least a ROM 01 (the Woz models are ROM 00). Mine's a ROM 01 and it's fine.

 

As for price, I think a IIGS would be around $300-$350 for a full system with a matching monitor and a couple of drives. A IIe, maybe a bit less. (Ironically it's the older models that fetch higher prices, because collectors can be dumb.) If you did want a IIc for space reasons, maybe take $50 or even $100 off that price. A IIc Plus might cost a little more; they're relatively uncommon, and they are fast so some people do want them.

Edited by spacecadet
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It depends.

 

For someone that is looking to just mess around with Apple II in general, and doesn't care about rarity/conductibility, I would recommend an IIe Platinum.

 

They are the cheapest, relatively speaking, and very reliable.

 

While I don't have a IIGS, it's a good option. It's just a bit removed from the original Apple II line. It's a tad more expensive.

 

If you go for the //e Platinum, I would recommend getting one with the 5.25" Disk Controller, at least 1 drive. maybe 2, and a Super Serial Card. Color monitors are expensive, maybe try to find a Commodore 1084s. Personally the Monochrome Monitor II from Apple is nice, and cheaper.

 

If you do local pickup from another collector, expect to pay $150-200. If you happen across it on Craigslist, you'll probably get the whole setup for $50. I wouldn't get a monitor shipped anywhere.

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The 1084s from C= are pretty good. They have a little switchy-bitchy on the front you can press for razor-sharp 80-column text, or regular text and graphics. Very convenient.

 

Once you get into the GS, you are getting away from the essence of the Apple II. You're entering a world of 16-bit wannabes. The IIgs side of things really needs hardware accelerators - which can go for $500 these days.

 

Stay away from the standard original II - those are overpriced specifically for collectards.

 

The II+ is nice, but very limiting once you see the added features of the //e.

 

So that leaves the //e (enhanced) or Platinum //e. The //c or //c+ is pretty good if you're looking for something less intimidating in terms of opening up the case and slots and all that.

 

If you want to run Apple II software at lightspeed. Nothing is going to beat Emulator AppleWin. Here you can get hundreds of MHz on a fast & modern PC. In fact, myself having a variety of real Apple II hardware, I still consider AppleWin as a separate model - with its own unique and valuable capabilities.

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