The machine came standard with 64 KB RAM, with the equivalent of a built-in Apple Language Card in its circuitry, and had a new special "Auxiliary slot" (replacing slot-0, though electronically mapped to slot-3 for compatibility with earlier third-party 80 column cards) for adding more memory via bank-switching RAM cards. Through this slot it also includes built-in support for an 80 columns text display on monitors (with the addition of a plug-in 1K memory card, via bank-switching of 40 columns) and could be easily doubled to 128 KB RAM by alternatively plugging in an Apple's Extended 80 Columns Card. As time progressed even more memory could be added through third party cards using the same bank-switching slot, or alternatively general purpose slot cards that addressed memory 1 byte at a time (i.e. Slinky RAM cards). A new ROM diagnostic routine could be invoked to test the motherboard for faults and its main bank of memory.
The Apple IIe lowered production costs and improved reliability by merging the function of several off-the-shelf ICs into single custom chips, reducing total chip count to 31 (previous models used 120 chips). For this reason the motherboard design is much cleaner and runs cooler as well, with enough room to add a pin-connector for an (optional) external numeric keypad. Also added was a backport accessible DE-9 joystick connector, making it far easier for users to add and remove game and input devices (previous models requiring plugging the joystick/paddles directly into a 16-pin DIP socket on the motherboard; the IIe retained this connector for backwards compatibility). Also improved were port openings for expansion cards. Rather than cutout V-shaped slot openings as in the Apple II and II Plus, the IIe has a variety of different sized openings, with thumb-screw holes, to accommodate mounting interface cards with DB-xx and DE-xx connectors (removable plastic covers filled the cutouts if not used). The Apple IIe maintains full backwards compatibility with the previous two Apple II models, allowing most hardware and software from those systems to be used.
*effectively 140×192 in color, due to pixel placement restrictions
¹Text can be mixed with graphic modes, replacing either bottom 8 or 32 lines of graphics with 4 lines of text, depending on video mode
Apple upgraded the motherboard free of charge. In later years Apple labeled newer IIe motherboards with a "-A" suffix once again, although in functionality they were Revision B motherboards.
Despite affecting compatibility with a small number of software titles (particularly those that did not follow Apple programming guidelines and rules, used illegal opcodes that were no longer available in the new CPU, or used the alternate 80 column character set that MouseText now occupied) a fair bit of newer software — mostly productivity applications and utilities — require the Enhancement chipset to run at all. An official upgrade kit, consisting of these 4 replacement chips and an "Enhanced" sticker badge, was made available for purchase to owners of the original Apple IIe. An alternative at the time, which some users choose as a cost cutting measure, was to simply purchase their own 65C02 CPU and create (unlicensed and illegal) duplicates of the updated ROMs using re-rewritable EPROM chips. When Apple phased out the Enhancement kit in the early 1990s, this became the only method available method for users looking to upgrade their IIe, and remains so right up until present day. An Enhanced machine identifies itself with the name "Apple //e" on its start up splash screen (as opposed to the less specific "Apple ][").
Internally, a (reduced in size) Extended 80 Columns Card was factory pre-installed, making it come standard with 128 KB RAM and Double-Hi-Res graphics enabled. The motherboard has a reduced chip count by merging the two system ROM chips into one and used higher density memory chips so its 64 KB RAM could be made up of two (64 Kbx4) chips rather than eight (64 Kbx1) chips, bringing the count down to a total of 24 chips. A solder pad location on the motherboard, present since the original IIe, for (optionally) making presses of the "Shift" keys detectable in software, is now shorted by default so that the feature is always active. Next, in a move to reduce Radio Frequency Interference when a joystick plugs into the motherboard's Game I/O socket, filtering capacitors were added. While this made no difference to the average user, it had the negative effect of lowering the available bandwidth to the socket, which is often used by specialized devices for such purposes as measuring temperature, controlling a robotic device, or even simplistic networking for data transfer to another computer. In such cases the specialized devices were rendered useless on the Platinum IIe unless the user removed the capacitors from the board.
There were no firmware changes present, and functionally the motherboard is otherwise identical to the Enhanced IIe. This final model of the Apple IIe was discontinued in November 1993, officially retiring the entire Apple II family line with it.
Many of the built-in Macintosh peripherals can be "borrowed" by the card when in Apple II mode (i.e. extra RAM, 3½ floppy, AppleTalk networking, clock, hard disk). It can even run at an accelerated 2 MHz, however as video is emulated using Macintosh QuickDraw routines, in slower machines it sometimes can not keep up with the speed of a real Apple IIe. With a specialized Y-cable, the card can use an actual Apple 5.25, Apple UniDisk 3.5 or even Apple II joystick/paddles. The Apple IIe Card is thought of as an Apple II compatible or emulator rather than an extension of the Apple II line, but included in this article for the sake of completeness.
Another difference with the European IIe, is the Auxiliary slot physically moved in location so it is in line and in front of slot-3, preventing both slots from being used simultaneously for full-sized cards. A few third-party cards are affected by this: some European cards that plug into both slots simultaneously and are thus unusable on American IIe's, and some American cards that don't fit into the case of European IIe's because the European location of the Auxiliary slot leaves less room for them.
When the Apple IIGS computer was introduced by Apple Computer in September 1986, Apple also announced it would be making an upgrade kit for the IIe available for purchase. Essentially the "upgrade" replaced the Apple IIe motherboard for a 16-bit Apple IIGS motherboard, making it more of an outright computer transplant than upgrade. Users would bring their Apple IIe machines into an authorized Apple dealership, where the IIe motherboard and lower baseboard of the case were swapped for an Apple IIGS motherboard with a new baseboard (with matching cut-outs for the new built-in ports). New metal sticker ID badges replaced those on the front of the Apple IIe, rebranding the machine. Retained were the upper half of the IIe case, the keyboard, speaker and powersupply. Original IIGS motherboards (those produced between 1986 to mid 1989) have electrical connections for the IIe powersupply and keyboard present, although only about half produced have the physical plug connectors factory pre-soldered in, which were mostly reserved for the upgrade kits.
The upgrade cost US$500, plus the trade-in of the user's existing Apple IIe motherboard and baseplate (and in some cases, the upper half of the IIe case itself for very early Apple IIe units which couldn't accommodate the new baseplate) . It proved unpopular as it did not include a mouse (which is an essential part of the IIgs, much like the Macintosh); the keyboard, although functional, does not mimic all the features and functions of the Apple Desktop Bus keyboard, as well as lacking a numeric keypad; and some cards designed for the new 16-bit machine did not fit in the Apple IIe's slanted case either. In the end most users found they were not saving much, once they had to purchase a 3.5 floppy drive, analog RGB monitor and mouse. Although it could use some IIe peripherals, most of them became obsolete in the upgrade due to their function being already built-in. It did however make an attractive upgrade for Apple IIe users wanting to use the machine strictly in IIe-emulation mode (ignoring the native part of the machine), which provide faster CPU operation, 256 KB RAM, a clock and many built-in peripherals via the backports.
PREP EXTRA LOCAL : ATHLETES OF THE WEEK TREVIN LUND SENIOR RUNNING BACK NOTRE DAME.(Sports)(Statistical Data Included)
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