Apple ][ design (was: Bad feelings)

From: A.R. Duell <>
Date: Sun Jun 22 22:31:38 1997

> >I can understand why the Apple ][ has a significant following - it was a
> >machine that was 'open', that hackers could get inside, etc. But I also
> >know that it's not a good piece of hardware design, and thus don't put it
> >high up my list of interesting machines.
> Perhaps I am merely biased from growing up with the Apple ][ at school
> and, later, at home, but I would say that some of the design is
> ingenious. I do know that many a programmer has complained about the

Some of the Apple ][ design is ingenious - I'll agree to that. But, IMHO,
there are plenty of other 'ingenious' machines where the aim was not to
save a 10 cent chip, and thus the resulting hardware is a lot more stable.

I'll admit now to having come to the Apple after a number of other micros.
My Apple ]['s have _always_ been a lot less 'stable' than my much-hacked
TRS-80 model 1, my Pets, my S100 systems, etc. It may be that I didn't
spend enough time learning about the Apple so I didn't work out 'fixes'
(as I said, my model 1 was modified...).

The Apple ][ TechRef (and many other Apple ][ manuals of that time) are
_excellent_, BTW. I learnt a lot from reading them. But I'd never use some
of the tricks that were pulled there in my own designs.

> arrangement of the high-resolution screen in memory (which was
> arranged the way it is to save components). But, I find the economy of
> this feature fascinating.

I find it a kludge. We're both entitled to our views, and I have no desire
to start a flame war over it. Please note that I can find kludges in just
about any machine you care to name.

> The Apple ][ and its successors had great capabilities for expansion
> (with the possible exception of the IIc and IIc+). A IIe has the
> capability of using a hand-held scanner, for instance, with the right
> slot card and the right software. I'm sure the IIe wasn't designed
> originally for that task. There are numerous other examples as well.

Well, I doubt that my 1972 PDP11/45 was designed to use SCSI disks, but it
does now. I doubt my PERQ was designed to use 9-track magtape, but thanks
to a Dylon tape interface it does now. And I certainly doubt that my Tandy
CoCo was designed to have 3 extra serial ports and an _Apple_ digitising
tablet, but a couple of homebrew boards have allowed it to.

Just about _any_ 2 computer devices can be linked given enough time. It's
not always worth the effort, but it's often fun...

> Andy Brobston ***NEW URL BELOW***

The gates in my computer are AND,OR and NOT, not Bill
Received on Sun Jun 22 1997 - 22:31:38 BST

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