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EvieSigma

What is the best Apple II to buy?

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The best Apple II to buy?

 

The one you have an interest in that you found and have the money to afford it with as many options in it as possible. To some its a IIgs, others, its a IIc+, and then there are the Apple II, II+, IIe's. It depends depends on you.

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Not to gloat or anything, but I just scored an Apple IIe enhanced with two drives, a handful of disks and an Imagewriter II at the local thrift store for $50.  Happy happy!

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IIgs for the most software options, neat sound, computers and extras are spendy.

 

IIe for expandability (playing with cards.

 

IIc/IIc+ for small footprint.

 

It really depends on if you want the 16-bit IIgs stuff. If not? My Vote is IIc/IIc+ (There is a guy making mockingboards for IIc now :) ) AND a Floppy-EMU. (www.bigmessowires.com) Disks are a pain and the floppy-emu is SUPER!

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You'll want a Phasor and not a Mockingboard if you have a IIgs.  Many games that supported Mockingboard won't work with the card on a IIgs, but the Phasor fixed those issues.  There's a Phasor clone on the market now, too.  I have one. :)

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I must say this too, though it pains me. I am aware of the reason(s) the IIgs shipped @ 2.8mhz... That being said, it's a wonderful machine, but it's a wonderful machine that is painfully, tearfully, and sometimes disastrously slow. :( (Think a C64 w/ 1541 disk drive... Frustratingly, "Get up and go to the kitchen," slow).

 

That being said, I always wanted one as a kid, but would not forsake my Amiga for one... I finally got one. And well, I absolutely love the machine.

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I realize this is a little late, but perhaps it would be wise to cool the jets on buying into too many different vintage computing platforms at once. Having just a little bit of each of a lot of different platforms is a surefire recipe for not being particulalry good at any of them, and also never quite having the budget available for the machines and upgrades that might do best.

 

It appears that you have no real identified reason why a IIgs or any other Apple II system might be something you want.

 

If you can, I really would proceed with caution in terms of picking up new vintage computing platforms. I say this both as somebody who has used a few (but not very many) platforms and also as somebody who went throiugh university and ended up having to sell/trash/store everything for most of my time at the university anyway.

 

If you, as you have indicated elsewhere on the forum, already have a line on an SGI machine (big resource sink), an Amiga (almost bigger), and some Mac stuff, and a laptop for DOS/Win95 gaming... I think you're probably beyond what I would personally recommend as the limit for the number of different vintage platforms you should focus on, especially in a resource-constrained situation such as when you're a student.

 

The thing about Apple IIs is that although they are also built by Apple, it's a completely different computing platform and it represents the state of the art several years before the Macintosh was introduced. If you want that, then that's great and there's an extremely vibrant Apple II community to be had. I caution against doing it "just because" though, especially if you're strapped for cash and setting aside some money for, say, upgrades to an iMac/G3 or Power Macintosh G3 is something you have trouble doing.

 

I think you'll be in for a bad time if you set yourself up to need or repairs for a whole bunch of different machines at once.

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I don't see a problem bouncing around platforms looking for something you like, but you need to research them well before you blow money you might not get back if you dump the unwanted gear.

Computer collecting via ebay and paying somebody else for repairs can be very costly.

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Yeah, that's why I decided to get out of Apple IIs and SGI stuff...too expensive just to have a full set-up. I could easily fix my C64 for less than what an Apple II and drive(s) would cost me and probably have even more fun with games.

 

I've decided from now on that if I can't use it as is, then I'm not buying it. Unless all it needs is small stuff like software disks or cables, that is. I should really make myself some 800k System 6 floppies for if I ever get a Plus or SE, and get either a SCSI CD drive or some System 7 floppies for 030/lower powered 040 systems.

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There's strong arguments for the //c, or using the IIGS as a //e, rather than going for a //e, because everything you need to get started is (hypothetically) included.

 

The //c works very, very well as an 8-bit Apple II - mass storage isn't so easy, but everything else is already in there, it works well on composite monitors (that's what the Apple II was designed for, actually), and it's basically a smaller //e. (And, you can use the UNISDISK or the Floppy Emu to get mass storage.)

 

The IIGS isn't as good on composite, but otherwise, it's an even better 8-bit Apple II than the //c, at least on paper. Everything's there, even AppleTalk (which is impossible on a //c and absurdly expensive on a //e), you can expand it if you want (including things like ethernet and mass storage on a card (faster than on SmartPort)), it's faster.

 

The IIGS as a IIGS is a terrible, terrible machine, though. I'll admit that I've probably dropped $800-1000 into my IIGS, although some of that was into replacement motherboards after motherboard failures... and what I have is a really, really bad Mac with a blurry CRT (thank you AppleColor RGB quality). You really, really need a good 15 kHz RGB solution, and the AppleColor RGB is hard to find in good condition, as the tubes age. The scalers out there aren't great for the IIGS application, the SecondSight video card is really flaky and absurdly expensive, and there's not much in the way of better options than CRTs. (You might be able to hack a CRT TV to take RGB input, though, the on-screen displays on later ones tend to be RGB, so if you interface to the OSD input...) You might, however, get lucky with a color space converter from RGB to YPbPr and a TV that takes component input.

Edited by bhtooefr

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I haven't heard specifically about them being unreliable. Is this something that happens when you put a lot of cards in? I only have the Focus IDE card anda  4M RAM card in mine, and it's a 3.

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I'm curious about the motherboard failures. I haven't had any problems with ROM 01 machines..... well except for my CPU socket.... thank you TWGS cables. I'm really curious how the IIgs fares with the OSSC. It should support its oddball pixel clocks as it seems to support ridiculous video modes on the Amiga like 1024x200 (yeah really).

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As I understand, the problem with ROM 3 is PCB delamination in the internal layers.

 

I've had terrible luck with ROM 3 boards, I think I've been through three? And, I mean, one didn't even recognize cards at all...

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