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Your Apple IIgs History?


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14 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I don't remember my Amiga all that well but I'm pretty sure there was *nothing* I could do with it without loading the Kickstart disk first. I'm not talking about AmigaOS - the very early Amigas had to actually load their firmware from floppy disk, *before* loading the OS. That meant I always had to have that disk ready when I booted up and then it took forever to load. I only had a single drive for my Amiga (the one that was built in) so it was a lot of disk swapping. With GS/OS, before I got my CFFA3000 I seem to remember just keeping the GS/OS disk in one of my drives all the time in case I needed it. (I have two 3.5" and two 5.25" drives with my IIGS, which I got for the same price I sold the Amiga for with a single drive.)


Yeah, that was a weird time, the early Amiga era, along with the IIgs.  It was when home computer ram capacity became larger than the space on the storage media, but hard drives weren't popular for home computers yet.  It was the time of disk-swap-wrist.  :(


I couldn't run GSOS without at least dual 3.5 drives, and it seems like a lot of IIgsen sold with a single 3.5 and dual 5.25s.  And that's still pushing it with 2 drives.  A hard drive is really kind of required, IMO.

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2 hours ago, Lee Adamson said:

It's possible they'd have moved to the ARM architecture, too.  Acorn developed it as a replacement for the 6502 for the Archimedes.  I mean, the early ARM wasn't 6502 compatible, so I 'spect they'd have had to make a "IIgs-on-a-chip" similar to what they did with the IIe-on-a-chip for the IIgs.  But that and the ARM could probably have shared the same bus, kinda like the C128 did with the z80.  Then further evolutions could have phased out hardware 816 support, in favor of emulation, as systems became faster.

Though, I believe the original ARM was specifically designed to be good at emulating a 65C02?

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8 hours ago, The Usotsuki said:

I think had the GS evolved further, it would have eventually sprouted a 68000 and evolved into what the Mac II became.  So the end result wouldn't be that different from what actually happened.

...except that it'd be II compatible. Which doesn't sound too important in 2020, but certainly would have been in 1987 or thereabouts. And it would have had expansion slots.


What Apple should have done with the II line is what they eventually did with the Mac line. When Apple switched over from PowerPC to x86 architecture, they didn't create a whole new OS, a whole new design a whole new line named Granny Smith or something. Instead, they ported the MacOS over, kept all the same designs, kept the Mac and MacOS name, made sure all your personal documents would transfer over, made sure certain things they considered essential worked through emulation, and worked with developers to make new versions of software for the system. Yes, it was still somewhat disruptive in that some smaller PowerPC apps that people had broke and were never updated, but it was much, much less disruptive than just abandoning the Mac line and making a whole new line with a new system that was completely unfamiliar to everybody would have been, which is what they did from the II line to the Mac.


They *could have* done the same thing they did going from the II to the Mac. It was literally the same situation - Steve Jobs thought the PowerPC was a dead end and wanted a new architecture. But they didn't, whether that's because Jobs knew he couldn't put the company through that same thing again, or because the Mac was always his baby and he just had a personal connection to it.


If the II line eventually went to the 68000, great. The II could have morphed into what the Mac became over time, but still running II software (through emulation or whatever) and giving people a continuous upgrade path, just as the PC has done. Modern PC's are not directly compatible with the original IBM PC either, but most people don't even know it. The idea is to make the upgrades as seamless as possible, rather than forcing people to suddenly abandon one architecture in favor of a new one.


I think the reason Jobs didn't want to do that at the time with the II is that he personally had a fundamental disagreement with Woz about what he wanted Apple computers to be. Woz wanted an open, customizable architecture and Jobs wanted the opposite. I think Woz's philosophy has been proven right time and time again given Apple's market share struggles over the years, and the fact that they just had to reintroduce a Mac Pro with regular old expansion slots in it even now, in 2020. So I think that if the II line had been allowed to continue on, Apple would have been in a much stronger position throughout the 80's and 90's, and heck, we might all be using GS/OS machines right now rather than the Windows machines that 93% of the world uses.

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My first exposure to the IIgs was about4-6 months after it hit the stores. 1986/1987 or so. My then buddy (whom I had been running a BBS with) had gotten one and transferred his BBS over to it. It worked just as on the //e.


I remember going over there and asking what was so special about the machine. There wasn't really any software available for it yet. Not much. So I just saw it as another II series machine. I didn't want to get involved with another waiting game like with the Amiga so I didn't develop an interest in it.


To be honest I did want one, a 16-bit machine of some sort. But the IIgs was too expensive. And my head spun around the IIgs, the Amiga 500, and the Atari ST. Forgetting for the moment I just got rid of the Amiga 1000 - Thankfully the store bought it back for about what I paid for it. Good move. I hated having to load that kickstarter disk prior to loading workbench. Ugh..


Well, fast forward to the times of ebay. I picked up a full & complete IIgs outfit sometime between 1997 - 2002. Accelerator and extra memory and all. From 2002 - 2009 I would spottily accumulate and round out with accessories and more cards and stuff.


But I never really got into it. I was getting heavily into emulators and PC and the IIgs stuff just collected dust. And it still sits around doing nothing today. I don't even know if I took the batteries out or left them in to corrode the boards. I didn't actively hate on the machine like I did with the Amiga. It was just kinda "there"..


Like the /// and ///+, I read about the IIgs and internally fantasized what it could have become. Fantasized I owned one and enjoyed all pictures of the circuits and stuff. Maybe someday I'll set it up. Maybe not. Right now I have more important things to do like accumulate parts for a 486/66 DOS machine.

Edited by Keatah
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17 hours ago, Keatah said:

like accumulate parts for a 486/66 DOS machine

agreed.  i picked up a compaq cds 724 with monitor and keyboard on ebay a few months ago for $100

its a 486/66 and there is a huge DOS library out there for it.  not being a build your own, it doesn't 

have all the exciting cards to collect, but it does have a pretty good sound card built onto the motherboard.

i bumped the memory up to 96MB, and deleted Windows 3.11 off it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got one - and even sort of a rare/oddity of one up in a closet.. Played with 2's during middle school but never owned one. When the GS came out I was still worshipping Atari 8 bit and ST.. But I noticed it and though it would be neat to have - just so much $$$ and I already had so much time invested in my own computer.


So basically just salivating over all of the apple cat apps until I bought this shell, which I'm about to buy a power supply for and slowly start building with the newly made upgrades.... 

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