I have got an old Apple II computer with no 5.25 boot disks what can I do?

If you have an old Apple II, you can get software for it by downloading disk images off the Internet.

Equipment needed:

a) An Apple II, II+, IIe

b) Spare diskettes

c)  Audio Lead.

d) Modern computer with internet connection.

The following web site explains what you have to do. (You connect your modern computer to the apple’s cassette port). This obviates the need to make up (or purchase) a connecting lead and is, of course, the solution if you have no RS232 serial card for your Apple II.


Images for Raspberry Pi software

The above site’s homepage is here.


Apple II and Mac disk Hints and tips

a) Any 5.25 disk which has DOS3.3 on it can be used to boot the Apple II. However many games boot up non-standard versions of DOS to prevent copying. To avoid problems like this boot the machine  in the first instance with a copy of DOS 3.3 system master which is the first disk you should download and make into a real disk.

b) The Macintosh LC has a slot which can accept an Apple II plug in card. You can connect an Apple Platinum 5.25 inch drive to the disk connector on this plug-in card and transfer files this way.  Only a the special “platinum” drive can be connected – other Disk II drives do not have the correct pin outs. The Apple IIc external drive has the same kind of connector as the Platinum drive, but it cannot be connected to a Mac LC.

c) To use the Apple II plug-in card for the LC you need an LC 1 with System 6. The installation disks for the Apple II card can be downloaded off the Internet.

d) If you run the S6 Installer for the LC Apple II card, it installs the ProDOS file extension which allows you to format part of your Mac’s hard drive as a ProDOS partition.

e) If you have installed S6, you can update the LC to S7.5   You can use “System Picker” to choose whether to boot the machine into S6 or S7.5.

f) The Apple II LC card works under S6. You can use it under S7.5 etc, but there are reliability issues.

g) If you get the ProDOS file extension (from the Mac LC installer disk), and you put it into the Extensions folder of your 68k or PPC Mac, it will allow ProDOS disks to be accessed.

h) Any LC model, LCII, LCIII, Performa 475 etc., can accept an Apple II card, but most reliable operation is with an LC 1. Any LC model will be good enough to transfer images and files, but expect a few bombs.

Amiga A500

a) If you have an Amiga A500 with a 5.25 inch floppy drive you can use that to transfer files to and from the Apple II. This project is beyond the scope of this blog. Google it if you are interested. Send a reply to this blog if you are successful.

b) The MessyDos program can be used to format diskettes to the old 800k format used by  old Macs and PCs.

Method: On the Amiga A500, use the “Dirwork1.62” program to transfer files to an MS-DOS formatted diskette. You can then put this disk in the Mac.

Hot tip: if you have an XP or Vista machine it will read a disk created on the Amiga by MessyDOS. However, the XP or Vista machine cannot format floppy disks to this old standard. You must first format them on the Amiga. To do this you need to create a MessyDOS boot disk on the Amiga. The Amiga can only read MS-DOS diskettes in its internal drive if it has been booted from this special disk you’ve made.

The Amiga cannot read the later 1.4 meg diskettes used in the Mac LC etc. However it can use this diskettes if they are formatted to the older standard using MessyDOS.

Method: plug a usb floppy disk drive into your Mac, XP or Vista machine.

Transferring Word processing Files from Apple II to Mac/Win/Linux

a) Text files created  by the Apple II are often stored in a format that cannot be opened on a modern computer so it is of no use transferring the files across directly.

b) There is a way round this.

c) On the Apple II, choose the serial port as the printer and “print” the files to your modern computer. More detailed instructions exist. Google it.

d) If you haven’t got a serial port you can get round this by transferring the disks to the internet as images via the cassette port. You will then have to run the Wordprocessing program on an emulator such as Winapple, and print to disk that way.

d) Hot tip. You can connect a modern computer to an Apple II serial port by using an RS232 to Serial dongle.




Disk transfers with Apple II and modern Windows/Linux/Mac

With a modern computer you can use ADT pro to transfer disk images to an Apple II with a serial or cassette port.

ADT pro in written in the JAVA programming language which means JAVA must be installed on your computer for you to be able to use it. You can determine whether or not your computer has JAVA by going to https://java.com/en/download/installed8.jsp

If you get an error, install Firefox. With Firefox installed you will be able to download and test JAVA on your machine. If it works then you are good to go with ADT Pro.

Google Chrome Hot Tip.

If you have Google Chrome, install “VNC Viewer for Google Chrome” extension. It will allow you to view your Raspberry Pi’s desktop without installing any additional software on your machine.