17 Facts About Apple IIGS


Apple IIGS made significant improvements over the Apple IIe and Apple IIc.

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Apple IIGS's sound is provided by an Ensoniq 5503 Digital Oscillator Chip wavetable synthesis chip designed by Bob Yannes, creator of the SID synthesizer chip used in the Commodore 64.

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The Apple IIGS is often referred to as a 15-voice system, because one voice, or "sound generator" consisting of two oscillators, is always reserved as a dedicated clock for the sound chip's timing interrupt generator.

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Steve Wozniak said in January 1985 that Apple IIGS was investigating the 65816, and that an 8MHz version would "beat the pants off a 68000 in most applications", but any product using it would have to be compatible with the Apple IIGS II.

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The IIe-to-Apple IIGS upgrade replaced the IIe motherboard with a 16-bit Apple IIGS motherboard.

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Original Apple IIGS motherboards have electrical connections for the IIe power supply and keyboard present, although only about half of those produced have the physical plug connectors factory-presoldered in, which were mostly reserved for the upgrade kits.

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Software that runs on the Apple IIGS can be divided into two major categories: 8-bit software compatible with earlier Apple II systems such as the IIe and IIc, and 16-bit IIGS software, which takes advantage of its advanced features, including a near-clone of the Macintosh graphical user interface.

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The Apple IIGS has a Finder application very similar to the Macintosh's, which allows the user to manipulate files and launch applications.

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Software companies complained that Apple did not provide technical information and development tools to create IIGS-specific software.

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The magazine concluded that "The Apple IIGS is an incredibly fine computer, arguably the finest assemblage of chips and resistors ever soldered together.

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BYTEs Bruce Webster in January 1987 praised Apple IIGS for permitting Wozniak to finish the IIx project, but said that the company should have done so "a few years ago".

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The other computers, he wrote, have both larger software libraries that use their power and lower prices; Webster found that a Apple IIGS package costing was comparable to a Atari ST configuration.

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Apple IIGS concluded with a "qualified approval" of the computer: "It was necessary to prevent the Apple II line from dying off during the next year or so.

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Apple IIGS resolved the issue by offering a free chip-swap upgrade to affected owners.

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Nevertheless, seeing the need to help switch their educational customers to the Macintosh, Apple IIGS unofficially distributed the software for free to schools and other institutions that signed a non-disclosure agreement.

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Gus represents one of the few software emulators developed within Apple IIGS, including MacWorks and Mac OS X Classic environment.

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Inclusion of a professional-grade sound chip in the Apple IIGS was hailed by both developers and users, and hopes were high that it would be added to the Macintosh; however, it drew another lawsuit from Apple Corps.

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