- 80 columns. This is difficult without a full terminal card, which was how most Apple II+s were upgraded.
- Upper/lower case keyboard. Shouldn't be too hard, other than a new character ROM.
- Separate keyboard with numeric keypad. This didn't catch on until after the Apple III, but it should be a relatively easy addition.
- Integrated disk drives.
- Integrated monitor. I'm indifferent here. Although I really think the Tandy TRS-80 Model III and Apple Lisa are some of the best looking retro computers.
- Two serial ports, and a parallel port. This just requires a few expansion cards.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Some Progress, Some Distraction
I spent some time last week working on a Google Sketchup rendition of my hypothetical Apple IIb. The idea is to solve some of the problems with the Apple II+ as a incremental update. It is clear from the Apple II+ design that some of these fixes were deliberately removed from the design late in the process, possibly to keep cost down and possibly because the Apple III was on the horizon. For instance, the odd keyboard decoder arrangement and missing switch clearly contemplated lowercase and a keypad, but the final design did not include either. Here are my specs: