Hardware-hacking innovations

Posted Thu, Jul. 25th 2013 in
This session will present a variety of hardware innovations that I have developed over the years. Each will be demonstrated and discussed.
BUGG-POWER: This is an adaptation of IBM-style power supplies for the IIgs and IIe to eliminate low-power hassles. It was was shown at the 1996 KansasFest meeting and later presented in a magazine article(Juiced GS, Fall 1996). Separate versions are used for the IIgs and IIe/II+.
THREE DISK II ENHANCEMENTS: The classic Disk II drive is 35 years old. It is roomy, has low-cost socketed chips on a relatively simple analog board, and is ruggedly robust. Innovations improve the drive’s resale value; these were presented in my magazine article (II Alive, Summer 1996). They include: a front-panel speed adjustment knob, a three-position auto/manual write protect switch, and a front-panel bicolor green-red read-write LED lamp (Circuit designed by Jeff Hurlburt of Houston TX).
BUGG-BRICK IIC: The IIc’s external power supply “brick” has an internal fuse; when the fuse blows, the brick is often discarded. On Ebay and elsewhere, there is a chronic shortage of IIc power bricks because so many have been discarded. I will show how the brick can be sawed open, and an accessible fuse-holder installed.
STEALTH-GS: When the IIgs was introduced, Apple offered a retro-kit to swap a IIgs motherboard into a IIe CPU casing. The retro-kit had plastic standoffs positioned in the right places to hold the motherboard away from the metal base-plate, and the metal back-panel had openings positioned correctly for the IIgs sockets. My own innovation, Stealth-GS, eliminated the need for standoffs. This was presented in a magazine article (Juiced.GS, Spring 1997).
POWER SUPPLY VOLTMETER: What can be done when an internal power supply is scrapped? I will show my two-range custom voltmeter, used to measure the +5 volt and +12 volt lines used by the IIgs and IIe.
MOLEX-4 PLUGS AND SOCKETS: These can be attached to powerpoints on the IIe motherboard, to power various accessories house in the CPU: indicator lamps, adjustable-speed fan, etc.
FAN TRANSPLANT FOR SYSTEM SAVER IIGS: The stock fan in the Kensington System Saver is noisier and produces a weaker air flow than the fan in the System Saver IIe; the manufacturer used a less robust fan in the GS unit as an economy measure. Transplanting the IIe fan into the IIgs System Saver quiets the rattling noise and increases the unit’s air flow.

Disk Drive Maintenance

Posted Mon, Aug. 6th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

Keeping those disks a-spinnin’: How to make your 5.25″ and 3.5″ disk drives work like they never have before, and then some. Tony Diaz demonstrates how to disassemble and reassemble like a pro.

Recorded on 7/24/2010 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) Creative Commons license.

Retr0Blasting & Restoring A2 Hardware

Posted Sun, Aug. 5th 2012 in Echoes of KFest (video)

From a collectors point of view, Tony Diaz covers the aspects of restoring the “new” look to various Apple II related products, and the pros and cons of various methods available and show some samples of work done and in addition cover what makes a system “complete” with regards to collect-ability, and what makes it “original” or “Like original”.

Recorded on 7/22/2010 by Ken Gagne and made available under a ,Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) Creative Commons license.

The return of Sean’s garage

Posted Fri, Jul. 15th 2011 in News

As last year, Sean Fahey will again be donating oodles of Apple II wares to KansasFest attendees. Saturday morning at Rockhurst, attendees will awaken to find a treasure trove of hardware, software, and literature, courtesy Sean and James Littlejohn, who will also provide transportation of the goods to Rockhurst. The items are made available to interested parties on the following conditions:

  • If Sean and James got it for free, it will be freely given to someone else.
  • They’ll accept donations but certainly don’t expect them.
  • Take what you need. Just don’t take something and then turn right around and put it on eBay, or worse, sell it at the vendor fair.
  • If you’re after something special, let Sean and James know ahead of time your name can be put on it.
  • No premium items (accelerators, RAM cards, etc) are being given away. Sales might be considered, though — ask if you’re looking something special.

To make this event happen, Sean and James ask for a few volunteers for the following tasks Friday night:

  • Help unload the bus, and then reload what isn’t taken back into the bus.
  • Help sort loose sets of disks. I’m afraid that during the “keep it or give it away” phase of the packing, some sets of things like Publisher, Print Shop and operating system disks were chunked into the totes loose. They need to be matched up. Think of it as a Apple II themed memory game.

Relatedly, Dean Nichols has also indicated that “I have much more [Apple II gear] than I will ever use, and would be pleased to find much of the stuff a good home”, presenting yet another opportunity for KansasFest attendees to share the wealth. He is currently taking requests.

If you have any questions for any of these generous donors, please subscribe to our discussion list, where you can reach most anyone attending KansasFest 2011.

Socialize

Posted Thu, Jul. 22nd 2010 in

Check out other’s hardware, software and computers. Get help with yours, explore Internet, explore Kansas City, and enjoy some Krispy Kreme doughnuts, courtesy Ryan Suenaga.

Retr0Blasting & Restoring A2 Hardware

Posted Thu, Jul. 22nd 2010 in

From Tony Diaz

From a collectors point of view, we will cover the aspects of restoring the “new” look to various Apple II related products, and the pros and cons of various methods avail able and show some samples of work done and in addition cover what makes a system “complete” with regards to collect-ability, and what makes it “original” or “Like original”.

Apple II gear giveaway at KansasFest 2010

Posted Thu, Apr. 15th 2010 in News

KansasFest regular and committee member Sean Fahey, host of A2Central.com, is graciously offering a treasure trove of Apple II hardware, software, and publications to KansasFest attendees. The details are as follows:

Thanks to the generosity and good will of former Apple II users and the hard work of friends (especially James Littlejohn), I will have an assortment of parts, machines, books, software, used disks, etc. for KansasFest attendees to pick over and haul off if they have a need. It’s not all junk; I’ve just taken in way too much Apple II gear, and sharing with the community gives me warm fuzzies.

The usual terms apply:

  • If I got it for free, it will be freely given to someone else.
  • I’ll accept donations, but I certainly don’t expect them.
  • Take what you need. Just don’t take something and then turn right around and put it on eBay, or worse, sell it at the vendor fair.
  • If you’re after something special, let me know ahead of time so I can put your name on it.
  • I’m not giving away premium items (accelerators, RAM cards, etc). I might consider selling, though — ask if you’re looking something special.

That’s it. Hope to see all of you at KansasFest. Apple II Forever!

Thank you, Sean, for making KansasFest 2010 a must-attend event for all Apple II aficionados!

JULY 7 UPDATE from Sean:

Instead of a trip to my garage, the garage will be transported to Rockhurst, thanks to James Littlejohn’s big green bus. We’ll be loading totes full of misc. gear, disks, books and whatever else we’ve managed to scrounge and bring it with us.

We may need to ask for a few volunteers for the following tasks:

  • Help unload the bus, and then reload what isn’t taken back into the bus.
  • Help sort loose sets of disks. I’m afraid that during the “keep it or give it away” phase of the packing, some sets of things like Publisher, Print Shop and operating system disks were chunked into the totes loose. They need to be matched up. Think of it as a Apple II themed memory game.

See you all in a few weeks!