A Labor of Labels

After going through a pile of label images that I’ve been collecting in the recent past, it seems like I can start to make some generalizations. They might be right. [Warning: a lot of these pictures have just been lifted from eBay auctions, most of them aren’t mine.] [Warning 2: I may occasionally add more labels to this post as I see them.] [Later edit 2/1/2016: I have mostly just left this post alone, despite Warning 2, but I’ve just today stuck in a couple of additional notes that came up on the Apple II Enthusiasts Facebook group.]

The oldest Apple ][ label I’ve seen (or at least have a picture of handy) is in this style, A2S1-4625:


That one enclosed a motherboard with date code 8040, which I have no reason to disbelieve based on the chip dates, which are all 1978-1980 that I could see. Which pretty much means that the motherboard was replaced along the way.


Here are a couple more. A2S1-8576, A2S1-16122 (7903, sadly the ][ lid was replaced by a ][+ lid during an upgrade), A2S1-16784 (8068?, replaced, appears to be a ][+ board, rev 4), A2S1-27105 (7919), A2S1-39587 (but motherboard was replaced with a ][+ board):


Label 16122 trim

Board date 7903

Label 16784 trim

Board date 8068 trim


Board date 7919


The next set of Apple ][ labels I’ve seen are the newer squarer ones, in red. Here the images I have jump to the 60000s, and perhaps there was a serial number “jump” somewhere here. But here are the red ones, A2S1-61786, A2S1-64313, A2S1-66077. I don’t have board dates for any of those. And in any event, there’s at least some cause for caution in trusting that the board that’s in there is the one it shipped with. Note that A2S1-4625 had 8040 in it, while A2S1-27105 had 7919 in it. The 7919 board matches the timeline better, it’s basically certain that the 8040 was a replacement. However, I’ve also seen 8022 and 8025 with all the hallmarks of an Apple ][ board (chip under slot 6, 16K select, flanged slots).

Label 61786

Label 64313

Label 66077

Moving on to Apple ][+, the serial numbers begin to start with A2S2, but the earliest ones are still in the earlier sticker style. The oldest one I’ve got an image of (update: now “second oldest one I’ve got an image of,” see A2S2-10087) is A2S2-11547, board date 7945 (along with what I originally took to be an “x”, but which I now believe to be a “plus”, signifying that this motherboard was built as an Apple ][+ rather than as an Apple ][, since it could have been either at the point of assembly). This board also has what I called above having “all of the hallmarks of an Apple ][ board”, which leads me to suspect that it was an Apple ][+ fashioned from an Apple ][ (by adding the Autostart ROM chip), though on the other hand I think all of these characteristics can be present on the earliest of the (actual) ][+ motherboards.

Label 11547

Board date 7945

Next comes A2S2-18606, same style. Board date hard to make out, but in the little bits I’ve blown up 4x, it appears to be 79xx. And same deal on this one, it looks like an Apple ][ board that was turned into a ][+ by adding the chip.

Label 16806

Open language card 79xx 4x

Power supply top 79xx 4x

Open language card 79xx Power supply top 79xx

Then a big jump, new label style, lowest one I have encountered is A2S2-65001, board date 8006. But still the old hallmarks of an Apple ][ board.

Label 65001

Board date 8006

I have various examples of this label style, all of these others seem to have newer revision boards where I can tell, with “N” pattern under slot 6, non-flanged slots, no 16K select chips, RFI attachment screws. A2S2-66915, A2S2-93277, A2S2-109180, A2S2-115091, A2S2-120955 (board replaced, had an RFI shield, and dated 8519, also oddly enough had a ][-non-plus lid), A2S2-122481, A2S2-149143 (8102), A2S2-161227 (8110), A2S2-164919, A2S2-174147, A2S2-179992, A2S2-359691, A2S2-362495 (0182), A2S2-403239.

Label 66915

Label 93277

Label 109180 trim

Label 115091

Label 120955

Label 122481

Label 149143

Label 161227

Label 164919

Sticker 174147

Label 179992

Label 359691

Label 362495

Label 403239

The penultimate one there is interesting in that the motherboard inside it had a different date code style, listed as 0182, and stamped on rather than written on by hand (I don’t have any evidence one way or another for the last one above). Somewhere between 161227 and 362495 this practice must have changed. All dates I’ve seen before this are in YRWK order (or at least YRxx for some xx, there is a single example I’ve seen (shown above among the Apple ][ labels, where the board has a date code that appears to be 8068, which is clearly not YRWK unless it is a sloppily written 8008, which it could possibly be). Perhaps it was simply just the practice in 1982 and beyond, since I have a couple of (poor) examples above of 81xx dates as well.

Board date 0182 Board date 8102 Board date 8110
Board date 813x

At this point, the labels switched style again, to the newer, busier one, with a dot matrix serial number. A2S2-448225, A2S2-472596 (3782), A2S2-512896, A2S2-544771, A2S2-546018 (4782), and the highest two serial numbers I have actually seen, A2S2-569185 and A2S2-588496 (on empty cases).

Label 448225

Label 472596

Label 512896

Label 544771 trim

Label 546018

Label 569185

Label 588496 trim

Here are my own newer two Apple ][+es as well, for comparison, A2S2-412783 (1782), and A2S2-542439 (4682).

Label 412783

Label 542439

One thing I observed here is that somewhere between 512896 and 542439, the model number changed (from A2S1048 to A2S1048A). There is no reason to think that this disrupted the serial number ordering, however, just as there is no reason to think that there was any serial number reset along the whole A2S2 line. In fact, looking back I think it might even be true that the serial numbers weren’t reset even between A2S1 and A2S2—both A2S1s somewhere before 61786 and A2S2s somewhere before 65001 had the older style labels, then both switched. So, since we know any what that Apple ][ and Apple ][+ co-existed for a while, I expect that the serial numbers were still unique per machine, regardless of model.

Wikipedia reports that the Apple ][ was introduced in June, 1977 and discontinued at the beginning of 1981, an estimated 40,000 having been sold. It also reports that the Apple ][+ was introduced in June, 1979, and apple2history.org reports that it was discontinued in December 1982. I can’t seem to find a source for the number of Apple ][+es sold. However, the estimate of A2S1s sold is quite a bit lower than the 66077 represented in the latest serial number I’ve found, suggesting that A2S2s were eating up some of the serial numbers.

Next up are the Bell & Howells. They took on A2S3 as a designation. These, unlike the A2S1s and A2S2s, seem to have their own serial number stream, and had model numbers like A2S10xxB. The earliest one I’ve found is A2S3-001522 (no backpack). The rest are A2S3-008426 (no backpack), A2S3-011082 (backpack), A2S3-016147 (no backpack), A2S3-021075 (no backpack), A2S3-022390 (5281, no backpack), A2S3-023165 (no backpack), A2S3-031522 (backpack), A2S3-033219 (backpack). The last two are also extremely high serial numbers for a Bell & Howell, usually the estimates are of about 20,000 sold, but it looks like maybe it was over 30,000. Also interesting, perhaps, is that the Bell & Howell label for the late-style label is slightly different, redesigned to fit the late-style Apple label underneath.

Label bh1522

Label bh8426

Label bh11082

Label bh16147

Label bh021075

Label bh022390

Label bh023165

Label 31522 trim

Label 033219 trim

That last three are kind of interesting in that they use the last style of Apple ][+ labels. Also, it appears to me that the ones the came with the backpack (sample size above: 3) had the Bell & Howell black and silver sticker stuck overtop the Apple sticker. Perhaps this makes sense, since the backpack is what allowed the thing to be UL listed and suitable for use in schools? Anyway, the sample size increases to 4 for this generalization when I add in my own (below), A2S3-011472 (backpack). I think by now I’m relatively confident of the correlation.

Label bh11472

Actually, having written this much, I remembered this post from 2007, which did a similar kind of forensics. For A2S1, he has never seen a black on white sticker above 40000, or a red on white sticker below 60000. My labels conform to this, perhaps there was an actual jump to 60000. I have also not seen a green on white (bigger, simpler) sticker on an A2S2 below 65001. Perhaps 60000 to 64999(?) were printed as A2S1 and 65000(?) on were printed as A2S2? It could be, although that means that that 65001 is a pretty special machine. I’ve beaten his record high on A2S2 (which was 544703), though: I’ve got a picture of 546018 (4782). I have a picture of two that are even higher, 569185 and 588496, both of which were on an empty cases. Which I’m now suspecting were never used in building a machine, production having shut down first. [Edit 2/1/2016: Jules Richardson reports on Facebook having 575535 which looks like a legitimately built one, so maybe that 569185 one at least was once also part of a built machine.] My terrarium motherboard is rev 4, I’m pretty sure, which doesn’t match his specs (my terrarium board is 8050, he’d capped rev 4 at 8030).

All of this brings me back to my oldest ][+, the terrarium, however. Which is the real reason I got into this: What in the world is going on with this label? A2S2-1497165 (8050)?

Label 1497165

That sounds crazy. The sticker style and board date and the old-style board should have put this somewhere around 65000-149000. We know 65001 (8006) printed ok, and the next serial-board pairing I have is 149143 (8102), which is in the neighborhood of 1750 machines/week assuming no variation, so perhaps it should be around 142000 (as long as it is assumed that 66915, 93277, and 115091 had their motherboards replaced, since those were all RFI boards). So was this supposed to be A2S2-147165 and an extra “9” got in there?

Later note: The serial number on the box of the Apple ][+ listed at vintage-computer.com (1492548) is a similarly crazy one, so my machine might not be the only one. No picture of the actual label or the motherboard to allow me to compare it, though. [Even later note, 2/1/2016: Tony Bogan reports on Facebook having had one with serial number 1493696, so there seem to be a few of these 1.49m-range II+es out there.]

I don’t think there’s going to be any way to tell, without hearing a story from someone who saw this glitch happen, if that’s what it was.


The terrarium and IIgs have been moved upstairs now. I don’t think this is the final position for any of these, but at least they’re up in view and out of the lab downstairs now.

Office apples v0 8b

The terrarium ][+ and its RAM of many card slots

Upon brief reflection, I realized that, indeed there was a problem with the terrarium ][+’s RAM. Here’s the picture from before.

Terraiiplus ram problem wide

Zooming way in on the circles, you may see what the problem with the RAM is. It’s not there.

Terraiiplus ram problem zoom

Of course, this is because the terrarium ][+ originally had two different RAM expansion cards installed (which I’d removed for the cleanup), and those empty RAM sockets are where the cards plugged into the motherboard. So, I put the RAM cards back in, along with the Disk ][ controller.

Terraiiplus ram cards in

Having done that, it was now possible to boot a disk. I tried a diagnostic program.

Terraiiplus first ram test

For the most part, everything checked out ok. The screen above was supposed to be testing the language card, and it doesn’t look like it’s quite passing. Never seems good to have something labeled “state status” come up as “bad”. Because this is the first time I’ve ever seen or used this diagnostic program, I don’t know what to make of this. For one thing, I’m not sure if it is really testing the cards correctly or not. The two RAM expansion cards are these: A Microsoft card in slot 7…

Terraiiplus microsoft ram

…and a Saturn 32k expansion card in slot 0, with a little red switch on the back of it.

Terraiiplus saturn 32k

Terraiiplus saturn 32k switch

One thing that I found a little bit surprising is how these cards were plugged into the motherboard RAM banks. The usual procedure for the Apple 16K language card is to put it in slot 0 and connect the ribbon cable to the upper left RAM socket. Here, though, the connection is made between the Saturn 32K board in slot 0 and the left RAM socket in the middle bank. After some investigation detailed below, my conclusion is that this is probably just a matter of convenience—I suspect that it really doesn’t matter what socket it is plugged into, but the length of the Saturn card puts the ribbon cable most easily accessible to the second bank of RAM chips on the motherboard. A note in the manual for the Microsoft 16K card mentions that the reason it has to be plugged into this socket is so that it can get a timing signal that it doesn’t have access to through normal slot edge-connector. So, what the Microsoft card does is takes that timing signal over the ribbon cable, and otherwise just routes the signal to a particular stand-in RAM chip on the card, as if the chip just were very, very tall. Given that it is just taking a timing signal, it probably doesn’t matter where it comes from. There may or may not have been a strategy involved in connecting the ribbon cable to two different motherboard RAM banks, perhaps there is some signal degradation for every ribbon cable. Or maybe the shorter Microsoft card just lends itself more naturally to plugging it into the top bank..

The manual for the Apple 16K language card, incidentally, does contain a discussion of how the language card works in some detail (also, it kind of cutely observes, on p. 4, that the slots are “green outside (on most Apples), with gold-plated contacts inside.” This of course is no longer true, those are the characteristics that one finds on only the oldest of Apples). The 6502 is only capable of addressing 64K (65536) different spots in memory. In a basic 48K Apple ][ (all RAM sockets filled), the lower 48K is RAM and the upper 16K is ROM. What the language card does is provides RAM with addresses in the upper 16K that you can refer to as RAM when the language card is activated. That is, normally you can’t write a value to, say, $EF00, because that’s ROM. When the language card is active, you can, although this also means that you can’t read what is in $EF00 in ROM, since when you access $EF00, you get what’s in the RAM. So, if you need both to store things in RAM and to access subroutines in ROM, you need to do a bit of a dance to turn the card on and off. It’s even a little bit more complicated than that, because the upper 16K is not all available. The 4K area from $C000-CFFF is reserved for I/O. This is where the ROM on extension cards can be accessed, and it also has a number of “magic” addresses (“soft switches”) which, when accessed, do things like click the speaker, change the graphics mode, activate and deactivate the language card, and so forth. So, there’s really only 12K ($D000-FFFF) available for this sort of RAM overlay. What the language card actually does is allows for overlaying the upper 12K when it is active, but the lower 4K of that can be one of two different RAM banks. The reason for calling this the “language card” is that BASIC is stored in the upper 12K of ROM, but one can put, say, a different version of BASIC in the RAM of the language card and then activate it, so that now (while the language card is activated) the machine operates for all intents and purposes like it has that other version of BASIC in ROM. This was used to switch between the earlier Integer BASIC and later Applesoft (floating-point) BASIC.

I am having a lot of trouble finding any sort of proof that the 32K Saturn RAM card ever existed (apart from the fact that I can hold it in my hand), let alone find any kind of documentation for it. Google just keeps giving me links to my own pages here. But looking at the manual for the 64K and 128K Saturn cards, I surmise that the Saturn card placed in slot 0 will generally just present itself like a 16K language card to any program that doesn’t know about the additional banks it has available. One difference, it seems, between the 64K/128K version of the Saturn card and the 32K version I have is that there’s no mention in the documentation for the 64K/128K cards of plugging the card into the motherboard RAM banks. It seems as if it is simply a standalone card that does what it needs to do without that external connection (so either they ultimately found the necessary timing signal in the edge connector, or the timing signal wasn’t crucial after all?). Regardless, the 64K/128K card’s documentation is of no use to me in trying to determine the validity of connecting it to the second bank of RAM. Also lacking any mention is the switch at the back of the Saturn card, which probably works sort of like the switch at the back of the original firmware cards (which as I understand it is basically a bypass mechanism, a physical way to deactivate the card so only the motherboard ROM is addressable).

The manual for the Microsoft card only refers to the procedure for installing it in slot 0 and replacing the upper left RAM chip, although there is some information at the end of the manual that indicates why it is plugged in this way. The bit about the timing signal is on page 27. I don’t quite understand the implications of it being in slot 7 rather than in slot 0. Does that mean that the soft switches that activate it are not from $C080-C08F but rather in $C0F0-C0FF? I really don’t understand how these two RAM cards interact. I suspect that both RAM cards do all of their paging in $D000-FFFF, and that the choice of what RAM socket to plug it into is primarily just about convention and how long the ribbon cables are. I don’t know what happens if both cards try to activate their onboard $D000-FFFF at the same time—whose RAM bank is actually exposed in this situation? Does slot 0 take priority? This seems like a very complicated setup, and I wonder if there is any software out there that can make use of this.

Of course, it’s also true that I have a bunch of Apple ][+es, and not all of them have RAM expansion cards. There’s no reason I’d really need to leave the terrarium ][+ set up the way the original owner had it set up. I could just put one of the RAM cards in a different ][+, allowing all RAM cards to occupy slot 0 in their respective machines, and things would be less complicated. Perhaps that’s what I’ll ultimately end up doing, but it’s still kind of intriguing to try to figure out what this original owner was trying to (or able to?) accomplish with this setup.

Terrarium ][+ powers on

After quite a while of having the terrarium ][+ disassembled, waiting for new standoffs, I decided that I’d just take the pretty similar standoffs out of a different ][+ and put them in. Two of my other ][+ machines had black standoffs instead of white ones, but one other machine had white ones (matching the ones that broke off in the terrarium ][+), so I moved them over. I only have five of the six in there, so the corner where the speaker plugs in isn’t well supported, but I don’t think that matters. If I can ever find any that match that I can buy new, maybe I’ll take it apart again and add that one in.

But now I was finally ready to turn it on. First time ever that I’ve tried to power this machine up. And it worked, all keys function as well.

Terraiiplus keytest

When I put a disk controller and drive in and attempted to boot a game disk, it crashed into the monitor, though. This could be just because the disk is bad, but it might also be that there is a RAM failure somewhere. I need to try to find a diagnostic disk if possible, just to see what it finds. The ][+ doesn’t have a built-in self-test like the platinum //e does.

Terraiiplus boot crash

Before I put it together, I checked the case to see if it was stamped with a date like the Bell & Howell machine was. Looking under the keyboard revealed: no stamp.

Terraiiplus underkey nostamp

Looking around a bit, though, I found the stamp on the side of the case:
Ex-Cell-O Paint Dept. OCT 31 1980 1 Shift.
So, now I know more or less when the case was made. And it was painted on Hallowe’en.

Terraiiplus case stamp

As I was leaving, I saw that somebody had added a HUGE television to the dumpster.

Dumpster tv

Because I could:

Terraiiplus dumpster tv

However, the TV is back in the dumpster again—there’s absolutely no place I could keep such an enormous thing, and the video signal was also quite poor most of the time. But it was still kind of cool seeing the “APPLE ][” come up in something like inch-high letters.

I should audit that terrarium ][+

Having just learned a little more about how to identify old pieces (from parts of Tony Diaz’s retr0blasting talk from KFest 2010), I’m now seeing that in the pictures I have of the terrarium ][+, it is actually pretty old. I didn’t think the serial number looked that old. True, it was originally sold as a 16K machine. But now I don’t understand the serial numbers. This old one has an old sticker that says A2S2-1497165. My own Apple ][+ has a newer style sticker and a lower number, A2S2-542439. Yet I think there is no doubt at all that the terrarium ][+ is significantly older.

Terriiplus a2s1016 trim

Myiiplus a2s21048a trim

The RAM chips I can see here, that were added later (given that the label says model A2S1016), are all dated from the early-to-mid 1980’s, and the 74LS257 is from early 1979, and the 75LS51 is from late 1978.

Terriiplus keyboard attachment

Terraiiplus chipdates

It also has 16K memory select chips in there, which my newer ][+ does not have.

Terraiiplus 16kmemselects

The board indicates that it was assembled in December 1980, and the ROM D8 and ROM D0 were manufactured in mid-1980.

Terraiiplus boarddate

Terraiiplus romd8d0

So, everything I can see from the limited photo set that I already have indicates that this is mostly as originally assembled in early December 1980, with the remaining RAM banks filled not long afterwards. According to the Apple II history site, the Apple ][+ ran from June, 1979, to December, 1982. The board date on my Apple ][+ is mid-November, 1982, which confirms my belief that my own Apple ][+ was one of the last ones made. And apparently, the terrarium ][+ was one of the early-middle ones.

Myiiplus boarddate

I still don’t understand the serial numbers, that’s just weird. Maybe they started over (or started lower, anyway) when the model number switched from A2S1048 to A2S1048A?

The terrarium ][+

Having gotten into the spirit of this vintage computing project, I have been trolling ebay a bit, looking at what’s out there. I have clearly gone a little bit beyond the simple goal of just transferring my floppies to emulator-readable disk images, now I kind of want the hardware itself and to get it running again.

I found an Apple ][+ listed on ebay that looked interesting. As is often the case with these listings, I find, the seller got the thing at an estate sale and doesn’t really know what it is. So far, I have not had a bad experience on ebay, but I’m sure that day will come if I keep this up. Which I shouldn’t do. But here was the primary picture from the ebay auction:

Terriiplus overview

In fact, the auction we’re talking about showed up on the New Zealand Vintage Computer Forums discussed in a post called “…aaand here come the fraudsters”, in which the hypothesis was put forward that this was posted by somebody who was trying to pass this off as a (valuable) Apple ][ when it is in fact an Apple ][+. It was interesting to see the history of the auction, though, since I came in on it relatively late, after the second re-listing. Here is the reason why I won’t have an Apple ][ (not plus) anytime soon, and why somebody might want to try to pass off their Apple ][+ as an Apple ][:


Yes, I bid $2.50 for it, but I think I was the first bidder. I would have gone higher. I would not, however, have gotten to $1305.

The terrarium ][+ was originally listed as an Apple ][ and it is missing its cover (having been replaced with a clear plastic one), which removes the most obvious mark of being an Apple ][+. It didn’t go for $1000, the starting price when it was first listed, so it was re-listed for $499, and still didn’t go. That’s where I came in, and I don’t remember what the starting bid was on it, but I wound up paying $350 for it. I did, however, do this after having read the NZVC post about it, and I was a little bit nervous about how it would turn out. I’ll say something about what led me to go for it anyway, though.

For a while here, the pictures will be the ones that were included in the auction. They showed a couple of things. First, it is clearly an Apple ][+ (not an Apple ][) and it starts up.

Terriiplus boot

Terriiplus a2s1016

But what was particularly interesting is that it was just loaded with cards. The auction showed a couple of shots. Of course, nothing was given in the description, so I had to do a bit of detective work for those I did not immediately recognize.

Terriiplus cards

Some of these are obvious, and there is also a fairly standard way of configuring these computers that can help. There are eight slots for cards (numbered from 0 to 7), and the disk drive controller is pretty much always in slot 6. That one is clearly visible. There are two Microsoft cards, one in slot 4 and one in slot 7. The one in slot 4 was relatively easily identifiable as a Microsoft SoftCard, which is a Z80 processor on a card designed to allow the Apple ][ to run CP/M software. I never had one of these, but I did have a CP/M machine (an Epson QX-10) for a couple of years that I’d borrowed from work, and in fact had written a BBS program on it. Seeing the Softcard made me think it would be nice to have one, since I might actually be able to run that BBS again, if I can get it off the disks it is stored on. Interestingly, I find that quite a few of the Apples on ebay have these Z80 coprocessor cards, although they were not really on my radar back when I was using these machines. The other Microsoft card in slot 7 is a 16K memory expansion card. From the part number of the Apple ][+ (shown above, A2S1016), it is clear that this was initially a 16K machine. I don’t know much about this 16K card. Traditionally, such cards go in slot 0, but here slot 0 is occupied by a Saturn 32K RAM card. So, we’re up now to 64K, though I don’t really know the ins and outs of how they are connected and used yet (and, come to think of it, I actually didn’t check, but I think all of the RAM slots have subsequently been filled in, so it is probably has 48K already on the motherboard). Slot 1 contains a printer card, as is clear both from the fact that it is in slot 1, the printer card’s traditional home, and from the Centronics printer connector that trails out the back of the machine. In slot 3 is a Videx Vision-80 80-column card (which is required in order to use CP/M). The card in slot 5 was a mystery, but I’ll come back to that. And there is something in slot 2 which is presumably a modem card (again, I’ll come back to that).

The side of the computer had something unfamiliar to me, but I determined that it is a game port extender, that allows you to plug in joysticks and paddles to the exterior of the machine in a safer way, rather than opening up the machine and plugging them into the motherboard and risking breaking the fragile pins they connect with.

Terriiplus drives gameport

And then there is some weird thing connected under the keyboard that ends in an RJ11 phone connecter off the back of the computer. I still don’t know what this is.

Terriiplus keyboard attachment

Terriiplus rj11

Lastly, there was a shift key mod (which allows software that is sensitive to it to sense when the Shift key is down by sending it to the almost-never-used third button input of a game controller).

Terriiplus skm

After looking all of this over, I came to the conclusion that this was a machine that was assembled by somebody who both knew what s/he was doing and cared about it. This machine was somebody’s baby. And it also finally made sense of the clear plastic cover replacement as well: many of those cards, as you can see in the picture above, have little red LEDs on top that indicate what state the card is in. Which banks of memory are active, whether the CP/M card is running, and so forth. By replacing the opaque Apple ][+ cover with a clear plastic cover, the operator was able to see what lights were on. More to the point: the cover was replaced for a very good reason, and not just to obscure the fact that this is an Apple ][+ rather than an Apple ][.

So, I went for it. And it came. The mystery of what the card in slot 5 was was revealed: it was a Replay card (here’s an ad and a review in Hardcore Computist issue 1). Which is quite cool. This is a card that has as its primary purpose the ability to freeze the machine so you can save the contents of memory out to a disk. The point of this is to circumvent copy protection on games that load themselves entirely into memory at one time, since, even if you can’t copy the disk, you can still dump the memory.

Iiplus replay

The card in slot 2 is indeed a modem, a Hayes MicroModem II. If you follow that link, you’ll see an image of the MicroModem II installed, connected to a box called a Microcoupler. It turns out that the Microcoupler is required, but was not part of the auction. Fortunately, somebody was selling a Microcoupler by itself on ebay, so I should have a complete setup soon.

Microcoupler auction

I’m looking forward to playing with all of these things, but I have not plugged it all in and powered it up yet. The primary reason for this is that the motherboard is no longer properly anchored to the case. Either on its way to me, or, probably more likely, on its way from the original estate sale, the little plastic holders that hold the motherboard in place gave out. In the image below, the plastic hexagon was supposed to be holding the board in place through the hole between 4 and 5. There are other similar hexagons that gave out on either side as well. I’m hoping that there wasn’t any real damage during shipping as a result, but I do want to reseat everything properly before I risk plugging it in.

Terriiplus loose motherboard

So, that’s where we are so far. I’ll report further here about my adventures in trying to get the boards and software running, no doubt.