Apple IIe Enhancement Kit
The Apple IIe Enhancement Kit by ReActiveMicro is a reproduction of "The Apple IIe Enhancement Kit", Apple Part Number(PN): A2M2052. It allows the older Apple IIe systems to run the newer 65C02 software, and display MouseText.
The Kit is composed of 5 items:
- 65C02 CPU, 40 Pin DIP
- "CD" ROM, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM, Apple PN: 342-0304-A
- "EF" ROM, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM, Apple PN: 342-0303-A
- "Video" ROM, 24 Pin, 27C32 Series ROM, USA Text Version, Apple PN: 342-0265-A
- "Enhanced Sticker"
Note: Some ROMs do not has the "-A" suffix on them. Apple was very inconsistent with their markings. It's also possible this suffix could denote batch runs produced by Apple.
Only older Apple IIe systems require the Enhancement Kit if you wish to run the newer software or use MouseText. Newer system like the Platinum IIe do not require the Enhancement Kit as they would already be Enhancement. Both systems can be easily identified by the user. If your CPU has '65C02' or '65C03' printed on it and the Part Numbers of your ROMs match the numbers listed above, then there is a good chance your IIe is already Enhanced and you don't need this Kit. Another good test is to perform a Self Test (Control, Closed-Apple, and Reset). An Enhanced IIe displays colored low-res squares on the screen intermittently. An Unenhanced IIe displays animated white and black horizontal bars.
When Henry from ReActiveMicro first returned to the Apple II he found several systems obtained were Unenhanced. This cased several issues with testing and projects. After a little research Henry found that upgrade the IIe was quite simple, and created The Apple IIe Enhancement Kit for sale to the Apple II Community.
Later in 2015 Henry created the "Enhanced Sticker" for the Kit after several people had inquired about it. This sticker is a very close recreation to the original offered by Apple. It even has a small green colored window to show the IIe is powered on.
Major Benefits of the Enhancement Kit
The Enhancement Kit has four major benefits:
- Apple IIc compatibility: Users can take advantage of newer software developed for the Apple IIc.
- Product line consistency: Apple II software can be used interchangeably on both the Apple IIe and IIc.
- The MouseText character set makes it easy for developers to create software that uses pull-down menus, windows, and icons.
- Easier programming for users:
- Accepts BASIC commands in both upper and lowercase.
- Additional instructions in the 65C02 (OP Codes).
- Mini-assembler for machine language programs.
Note: There is a MouseText difference in the older IIe character set verses the newer IIc character set. The "F" and the "G" Mousetext characters are different. On the IIe they are used to make a "running man" character. On the IIc they are used for for menu system icon characters. It is advised to use the IIc version of the Video ROM for better compatibility, and is the version included with ReActiveMicro's version of the Enhancement Kit.
Official Video ROMs Options
Several Video ROMs option were offered by Apple to fit their markets. The "USA" however was the most common. The options were as follow:
- USA IIe, Apple PN: 342-0265-A, 24 Pin, 27C32 Series ROM
- USA IIc, Apple PN: 341-0265-A, 24 Pin, 27C32 Series ROM
- German, Apple PN: 341-0161-A, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM
- Deutsch 1983, Apple PN: 341-0175-A, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM
- UK, Apple PN: 341-0160-A, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM
- French, Apple PN: 342-0274-A, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM
- Italian, Apple PN: 342-0276-A, 28 Pin DIP, 27C64 Series ROM
Note: The Euro ROMs are a larger size and contain two character sets. This is due to a "switch" option on the Euro IIe. Under the keyboard end of the case is a small switch that allows the user to select between the two character set in the ROM.
Some users also edit or create or edit their own Video ROMs.
- ReActiveText, custom creation by Henry, 24 Pin, 27C32 Series ROM.
This character set more closely resembles that of an 286 PC computer, and has an Apple cursor instead of a "grid" character. Henry created it back in 1989. An avid BBSer, he was frustrated that there was a difference in MouseText character set versions between the Apple IIe and IIgs. Most of the MouseText BBSes were written for the IIgs and didn't "look" right on the IIe. Henry, sensing an opportunity to help the Apple II Community set out to edit and "fix" the IIe's MouseText character set. Once completed, he also edited the letter characters to be more pleasing to the eye. The Apple IIe has never looked so good!