The APPLE IIGS (styled as IIGS) is a personal computer released by
Apple Computer on September 15, 1986 which is compatible with the
Apple II series, but otherwise has capabilities comparable to the
Atari ST , Commodore
Amiga , and
Macintosh . The "GS" in the name
stands for "Graphics" and "Sound," referring to its enhanced
multimedia hardware, especially its state of the art sound and music
The machine is a radical departure from any previous Apple II, with
16-bit microprocessor, direct access to megabytes of
and mouse . It was the first computer produced by Apple to use a color
graphical user interface (color was introduced on the
Macintosh II six
months later) and
Apple Desktop Bus interface for keyboards, mice, and
other input devices. It is the first personal computer to come with a
built-in wavetable synthesis chip, utilizing technology from
The IIGS set forth a promising future and evolutionary advancement of
Apple II line, but Apple increasingly focused on the Macintosh
platform. The IIGS clock speed was intentionally kept lower than the
maximum rate possible for the 65C816 so the system would not
outperform the Macintosh. The machine outsold all other Apple
products, including the Macintosh, during its first year in
production. Apple ceased IIGS production in December 1992.
* 1 Hardware features
* 1.1 Graphics modes
* 1.2 Audio features
* 1.3 Expansion capabilities
* 1.4 Development and codenames
* 2 Release
* 2.1 Limited Edition ("Woz"-signed case)
* 2.2 Influence on later computers
* 3 Software features
Apple II compatibility
* 3.2 System Software
Graphical user interface
* 3.2.2 Extensibility
* 3.3 Multitasking capability
* 4 Upgrading from an
* 5 Reception
* 6 Technical specifications
* 6.2 Memory
* 6.3 Video modes
* 6.3.1 Emulation video
* 6.3.2 Native video
* 6.4 Audio
* 6.5 Expansion
* 6.6 Internal connectors
* 6.7 Specialized chip controllers
* 6.8 External connectors
* 7 Revision history
* 7.1 Original firmware release ("ROM version 00")
* 7.2 Video Graphics Controller (VGC) replacement
* 7.3 Second firmware release ("ROM version 01")
* 7.4 Increase standard
RAM to 512 KB
* 7.5 Third firmware release ("ROM version 3"); 1 MB of
* 8 International versions
* 9 Gus
* 10 Developers
* 11 Rumors and canceled developments
* 12 Timeline of
Apple II family models
* 13 See also
* 14 References
* 15 External links
Apple IIGS made significant improvements over previous machines
from the line such as the
Apple IIe and
Apple IIc . It emulates its
predecessors by utilizing a custom chip called the
Mega II and used
Western Design Center 65C816
16-bit microprocessor running at
2.8 MHz , which is faster than the
8-bit NMOS 6502 and CMOS 65C02
processors used in the earlier
Apple II models. Use of the 65C816
allows the IIGS to address considerably more
The use of a 2.8 MHz clock was a marketing decision intended to limit
the IIGS's performance to a level lower than that of the Macintosh, a
decision that had a critical effect on the IIGS's success; the 65C816
processor is capable of running at a much higher clock rate.
The IIGS also includes enhanced graphics and sound, which led to its
GS name. Its graphics are the best of the
Apple II series, with new
higher resolution video modes. These include a 640×200-pixel mode
with 2-bit color and a 320×200-pixel mode with
4-bit color, both of
which can select 4 or 16 colors (respectively) at a time from a
palette of 4,096 colors. By changing the palette on each scanline, it
is possible to display up to 256 colors or more per screen, which was
quite commonly seen within games and graphic design software during
this computer's heyday. Through some clever programming, it is
possible to make the IIGS display as many as 3,200 colors at once.
When first introduced, Apple's user interface known as MouseDesk and
the IIGS System Demo were both in black and white only. Users did not
see color until an application which took advantage of the new
features was launched. Audio is generated by a built-in
sound-and-music synthesizer in the form of the
Ensoniq 5503 digital
oscillator chip, which has its own dedicated
RAM and 32 separate
channels of sound. These channels are paired to produce 15 voices in
Although Apple had hoped that the IIc would outsell the IIe, the
latter was more popular because of its slots. The IIGS supports both
5.25-inch and 3.5-inch floppy disks and, like the IIe before it, has
several expansion slots. These include seven general-purpose expansion
slots compatible with those on the Apple II, II+, and IIe, plus a
memory expansion slot that can be used to add up to 8 MB of RAM. The
IIGS, like the IIc, also has dedicated ports for external devices.
These include a port to attach even more floppy disk drives, two
serial ports for devices such as printers and modems (which can also
be used to connect to a
LocalTalk network), an
Apple Desktop Bus port
to connect the keyboard and mouse , and composite and
RGB video ports.
These ports are associated with the slots, so for example using a
card in slot 1 means that the printer port is disabled. The machine
also features a user-adjustable control panel and real-time clock,
which are maintained by a built-in battery (a non-replaceable 3.6-volt
lithium battery; removable in a later revision motherboard).
The IIGS also supports booting from an
AppleShare server, via the
AppleTalk protocol, over
LocalTalk cabling. When the "Apple IIe
Workstation Card" was introduced, this capability was given to the
IIe. This was over a decade before
NetBoot offered the same capability
to computers running Mac OS 8 and beyond.
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In addition to supporting all graphics modes of previous Apple II
models , the
Apple IIGS introduced several new ones through a custom
video graphics chip (VGC), all of which use a 12-bit palette for a
total of 4,096 possible colors, though not all colors can appear
onscreen at the same time.
* 320×200 pixels with a single palette of 16 colors.
* 320×200 pixels with up to 16 palettes of 16 colors. In this mode,
the VGC holds 16 separate palettes of 16 colors in its own memory.
Each of the 200 scan lines can be assigned any one of these palettes
allowing for up to 256 colors on the screen at once.
* 320×200 pixels with up to 200 palettes of 16 colors. In this
mode, the CPU assists the VGC in swapping palettes into and out of the
video memory so that each scan line can have its own palette of 16
colors allowing for up to 3,200 colors on the screen at once.
* 320×200 pixels with 15 colors per palette, plus a fill-mode
color. In this mode, color 0 in the palette is replaced by the last
non-zero color pixel displayed on the scan line (to the left),
allowing fast solid-fill graphics (drawn with only the outlines).
* 640×200 pixels with 4 pure colors.
* 640×200 pixels with with up to 16 palettes of 4 pure colors. In
this mode, the VGC holds 16 separate palettes of 4 pure colors in its
own memory. Each of the 200 scan lines can be assigned any one of
these palettes allowing for up to 64 colors on the screen at once.
* 640×200 pixels with 16 dithered colors. In this mode, two
palettes of four pure colors each are used in alternating columns. The
hardware then dithers the colors of adjacent pixels to create 16 total
colors on the screen.
Each scan line on the screen can independently select either 320- or
640-line mode, fill mode (320-mode only), and any of the 16 palettes,
allowing graphics modes to be mixed on the screen. This is most often
seen in graphics programs where the menu bar is constantly in
640-pixel resolution and the working area's mode can be changed
depending on the user's needs.
The Apple IIGS's sound is provided by an
Ensoniq 5503 DOC wavetable
synthesis chip designed by Bob Yannes , creator of the SID synthesizer
chip used in the
Commodore 64 . The ES5503 DOC is the same chip used
Ensoniq Mirage and
Ensoniq ESQ-1 professional-grade synthesizers.
The chip allows for 32 separate channels of sound, though most
software pairs them into 16 stereo voices, as do most of the standard
tools of the operating system (the MIDISynth Tool Set groups four
channels per voice, for a limit of seven-voice audio). The IIGS is
often referred to as a 15-voice system, because one stereo voice is
reserved by the OS at all times for timing and system sounds. Software
that doesn't use the OS, or uses custom-programmed tools (most games
and demos do this), can access the chip directly and take advantage of
all 32 voices.
The computer's audio capabilities were given as the primary reason
for record label
Apple Corps 's 1989 resumption of legal action
against Apple that had been previously suspended.
Apple Corps claimed
that the IIGS's audio chip violated terms of the 1981 settlement with
the company that prohibited Apple, Inc. from getting involved in the
A standard 1⁄8-inch headphone jack is provided on the back of
the case, and standard stereo computer speakers can be attached there.
However, this jack provides only mono sound, and a third-party adapter
card is required for stereo, despite the fact that the
virtually all native software produces stereo audio (stereo audio is
essentially built into the machine, but has to be de-multiplexed by
Applied Engineering 's SonicBlaster is one of a
few developed cards for this purpose.
SCSI expansion card installed in an Apple IIGS.
Apple II machines before it, the IIGS is highly expandable.
The expansion slots can be used for a variety of purposes, greatly
increasing the computer's capabilities.
SCSI host adapters can be used
to connect external
SCSI devices such as hard drives and a CD-ROM
drive. Other mass-storage devices such as adapters supporting more
recent internal 2.5-inch IDE hard drives can also be used. Another
common class of
Apple IIGS expansion cards is accelerator cards, such
Applied Engineering 's TransWarp GS, replacing the computer's
original processor with a faster one.
Applied Engineering developed
the PC Transporter , which is essentially an IBM-PC/XT on a card. A
variety of other cards were also produced, including ones allowing new
technologies such as
CompactFlash cards to be
used on the IIGS.
DEVELOPMENT AND CODENAMES
During the mid-1980s many rumors spread about
Steve Wozniak 's work
on an "Apple IIx". The IIx was said to have a
16-bit CPU, one
megabyte of RAM, and better graphics and sound. "IIx" was the code
name for Apple's first internal project to develop a next-generation
Apple II based on the 65816. The IIx project, though, became bogged
down when it attempted to include various coprocessors allowing it to
emulate other computer systems. Early samples of the 65816 were also
problematic. These problems led to the cancellation of the IIx
project, but later, a new project was formed to produce an updated
Apple II. This project, which led to the released IIGS, was known by
various codenames while the new system was being developed, including
"Phoenix", "Rambo", "Gumby", and "Cortland". There were rumors of
several vastly enhanced prototypes built over the years at Apple but
none were ever released. Only one, the "Mark Twain", has been revealed
so far. The
Mark Twain prototype (named for Twain 's famous quote "The
reports of my death are greatly exaggerated") was expected to have
the "ROM 04" revision (although prototypes that have been discovered
do not contain any new ROM code) and featured an 8 MHz 65C816,
Superdrive , 2MB RAM, and a hard drive .
Apple IIGS "Woz Edition", with signature on front
During its introduction, Apple sold a specialized set of Bose
Roommate speakers that were platinum-colored with the Apple logo next
to the Bose on each front speaker grille.
Some design features from the unsuccessful
Apple III lived on in the
Apple IIGS, such as
GS/OS borrowing elements from SOS (including, by
way of ProDOS, the SOS filesystem ), a unique keyboard feature for
dual-speed arrow keys, and colorized ASCII text.
An easter egg (activated by Command-Option-Control-N) in ROM 3 lists
the members of development team, and plays an audio clip of them
shouting "Apple II!".
LIMITED EDITION ("WOZ"-SIGNED CASE)
As part of a commemorative celebration marking the 10th anniversary
Apple II series' development, as well as Apple Computer itself
celebrating the same anniversary, a special limited edition was
introduced at product launch. The first 50,000 Apple IIGSs
manufactured had a reproduced copy of Wozniak's signature ("Woz") at
the front right corner of the case, with a dotted line and the phrase
"Limited Edition" printed just below it. Owners of the Limited
Edition, after mailing in their Apple registration card, were mailed
back a certificate of authenticity signed by Wozniak and 12 key Apple
engineers, as well as a personal letter from Wozniak himself (both
machine-reproduced). Seeing as the difference between standard and
Limited Edition machines were purely cosmetic, many owners of new were
able to "convert" to the Limited Edition by merely swapping the case
lid from an older, existing (and likely no-longer working) machine.
While of nostalgic value to
Apple II users and collectors, presently
these stamped-lid cases are not considered rare, nor do they have any
particular monetary worth.
INFLUENCE ON LATER COMPUTERS
The Apple Desktop Bus, which for a long time was the standard for
most input peripherals for the Macintosh, first appeared on the IIGS.
In addition, the other standardized ports and addition of
SCSI set a
benchmark which allowed, for the first time, Apple to consolidate
their peripheral offerings across both the
Apple II and Macintosh
product lines, permitting one device to be compatible with multiple,
The IIGS is also the first Apple product to bear the new
brand-unifying color scheme, a warm gray color Apple dubbed
"Platinum". This color would remain the Apple standard used on the
vast majority of all products for the next decade. The IIGS is also
the second major computer design after the
Apple IIc by Apple's
outsourced industrial designer
Frogdesign and together with its new
corporate color and matching peripherals, officially ushered in the
Snow White design language which was used exclusively for the next
five years and made the Apple product line instantly recognizable
around the world.
The 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 a lawsuit from Apple
Records . As part of an earlier trademark dispute with the record
company, Apple Computer had agreed not to release music-related
Apple Records considered the inclusion of the
in the IIGS a violation of that agreement.
Software that runs on the
Apple IIGS can be divided into two major
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 .
8-BIT APPLE II COMPATIBILITY
Apple claimed that the IIGS was 95% compatible with contemporary
Apple II software. One reviewer, for example, successfully ran demo
programs that came on cassette with his 1977 Apple II. The IIGS can
run all of Apple's earlier
Apple II operating systems :
Apple DOS ,
ProDOS 8, and
Apple Pascal . It is also compatible with nearly all
8-bit software running on those systems. Like the Apple II+, IIe, and
IIc, the IIGS also includes
Applesoft BASIC and a machine-language
monitor (which can be used for very simple assembly language
programming) in ROM, so they can be used even with no operating system
loaded from disk. The
8-bit software runs twice as fast unless the
user turns down the processor speed in the IIGS control panel.
Apple IIGS System Software utilizes a graphical user interface
(GUI) very similar to that of the
Macintosh and somewhat like GEM for
PCs and the operating systems of contemporary Atari and Amiga
computers. Initial versions of the System Software are based on the
ProDOS 16 operating system, which is based on the original ProDOS
operating system for
Apple II computers. Although it was
modified so that
Apple IIGS software can run on it,
was written largely in
8-bit code and does not take full advantage of
the IIGS's capabilities. Later System Software versions (starting with
version 4.0) replaced
ProDOS 16 with a new
16-bit operating system
GS/OS . It better utilizes the unique capabilities of the
IIGS and includes many valuable new features. The IIGS System Software
was substantially enhanced and expanded over the years during which it
was developed, culminating in its final official version, System
6.0.1, which was released in 1993. In July 2015, members of an
American computer club released a new version of that System Software,
fixing some bugs.
Graphical User Interface
Similar to that of the Macintosh, the IIGS System Software provides a
mouse -driven graphical user interface using concepts such as windows
, menus, and icons. This was implemented by a "toolbox" of code, some
of which resides in the computer's ROM and some of which is loaded
from disk. Only one major application can run at a time, although
other, smaller programs, known as
Desk Accessories , can be used
simultaneously. The IIGS has a Finder application very similar to the
Macintosh's, which allows the user to manipulate files and launch
applications. By default, the Finder is displayed when the computer
starts up and whenever the user quits an application that is started
from it, although the startup application can be changed by the user.
Software companies complained that Apple did not provide technical
information and development tools to create IIGS-specific software. In
Compute! reported that both
Cinemaware and Intergalactic
Development had to write their own tools to maximize their use of IIGS
audio, with the latter stating that "these sorts of problems … are
becoming well-known throughout the industry".
The IIGS System Software can be extended through various mechanisms.
Desk Accessories are small programs ranging from a calculator to
simple word processors that can be used while running any standard
desktop application. Classic
Desk Accessories also serve as small
programs available while running other applications, but they use the
text screen and can be accessed even from non-desktop applications.
Control Panels and initialization files are other mechanisms that
allow various functions to be added to the system. Finder Extras
permits new capabilities to be added to the Finder, drivers can be
used to support new hardware devices, and users can also add "tools"
that provide various functions that other programs can utilize easily.
These features can be used to provide features that were never planned
for by the system's designers, such as a TCP/IP stack known as
A third party
UNIX -like multitasking kernel was produced, called
GNO/ME , which runs under the GUI and provides preemptive
multitasking. In addition, a system called The Manager can be used to
make the Finder more like the one on the Macintosh, allowing major
software (other than just the "accessory" programs) to run
simultaneously through cooperative multitasking .
UPGRADING FROM AN APPLE IIE
Back view of IIGS upgrade; note the new port openings and
Upon its release in September 1986, Apple announced it would be
making a kit that would upgrade an
Apple IIe to a IIGS available for
purchase. This followed an Apple practice of making logic board
upgrades available that dated from the earliest days of the Apple II
until Steve Jobs' return to Apple in 1997. The IIe-to-IIGS upgrade
replaced the IIe motherboard with a
16-bit IIGS motherboard. Users
would take their
Apple IIe machines into an authorized Apple
dealership, where the IIe motherboard and lower baseboard of the case
were swapped for an
Apple IIGS motherboard with a new baseboard (with
matching cut-outs for the new built-in ports). New metal sticker ID
badges replaced those on the front of the IIe, rebranding the machine.
Retained were the upper half of the IIe case, the keyboard, speaker
and power supply. Original IIGS motherboards (those produced between
1986 and mid-1989) 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. The replacement
ID badges for the front lid, used in the Apple IIe-to-IIGS upgrade.
The upgrade cost US$500, plus the trade-in of the user's existing
Apple IIe motherboard.
The upgrade proved unpopular for a variety of reasons. Crucially, it
did not include a mouse (which is an essential part of the new
machine, much like the Macintosh), and the keyboard, although
functional, lacked a numeric keypad and did not mimic all the features
and functions of the
Apple Desktop Bus keyboard. Additionally, some
cards designed for the new
16-bit machine did not fit in the Apple
IIe's slanted case. In the end, most users found that the upgrade did
not save them much money once they purchased a 3.5-inch floppy drive,
RGB monitor, and mouse. Although the IIGS can use some IIe
peripherals, many of them became redundant in the upgrade due to the
new built-in functions of the IIGS. The upgrade was attractive,
however, for some
Apple IIe users wanting to use the machine strictly
in IIe-emulation mode (ignoring the native IIGS nature of the
machine), which provided faster CPU operation, 256 KB RAM, a clock,
and greater connectivity for peripherals via the back ports.
After previewing the computer,
BYTE stated in October 1986 that "The
Apple IIGS designers' achievements are remarkable, but the burden of
Apple II architecture, now as venerable (and outdated) as
COBOL and batch processing , may have weighed them down and denied
them any technological leaps beyond an exercise in miniaturization".
The magazine added that "hog-tied by
Apple II compatibility,
approaches but does not match or exceed current computer capabilities"
of the Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, or Atari ST, and predicted that
many vendors would "enhance existing products for the Apple II
instead of writing new software" that fully exploited the IIGS's
inCider, which in September had warned that the next
Apple II "needs
(at least) ... a megabyte of
RAM ... That's what the market wants",
indeed reported in November that "Rather than risk investing time and
money in programs that work only on the Apple IIGS, a number of
software developers have simply upgraded old
Apple II programs", and
that the "most interesting program available specifically for the IIGS
at this time is LearningWays' Explore-a-Story, which was released
simultaneously for the good old 128K
Apple IIe and IIc". The magazine
concluded, "The moral is simple: Good hardware, even innovative
hardware, won't give birth to good, new software overnight."
Nibble was more positive, calling the price "fantastic" for "Steve
Wozniak's dream machine". It praised the IIGS's "incredible" legacy
Apple II compatibility, graphics, and sound, stated that only its
slower speed made the computer significantly inferior to the
Macintosh, and expected that Apple would soon introduce new products
to better distinguish the two product lines. The magazine concluded
that "The IIGS is an incredibly fine computer, arguably the finest
assemblage of chips and resistors ever soldered together ... Ladies
and gentlemen of Apple, on behalf of the
Apple II user community, you
have earned our gratitude and admiration."
Compute! describing the IIGS in November 1986 as "two machines in
one—a product that bridges the gap between the
Macintosh and Apple
IIe, and in so doing poses what may be serious competition for the
Amiga and the
Atari ST series". It described the IIGS's
graphics "as different as night and day" from the earlier Apple IIs
and the audio as "in a class by themselves ... justifies the price of
the IIGS to many music fans and fanatics". The magazine reported that
"well over one hundred outside developers were actively engaged in
creating software for the IIGS", and predicted that "as new products
are developed to take advantage of the IIGS, people will move away
from the pure
Apple II software and toward the newer titles with their
Compute!'s Apple Applications in December 1987 reported, however,
that "Many publishers have canceled or postponed their plans for Apple
IIGS software and instead are cautiously introducing programs for the
Apple IIc and IIe", while "many of the products for the
Apple IIGS are
simply versions of" older
Apple II software "that incorporate color
and use the mouse interface". So little IIGS software was available,
it said, that "the hottest product ... is
AppleWorks . No mouse
interface, no color, no graphics. Just
AppleWorks from the IIe and IIc
world". The magazine stated that many customers either chose the
slightly more expensive
Macintosh Plus or kept their inexpensive IIc
or IIe which ran
AppleWorks well, with the IIGS "in a strange
position" in between.
Bruce Webster in January 1987 praised Apple for permitting
Wozniak to finish the IIx project, but said that the company should
have done so "a few years ago. The IIGS is an excellent replacement
Apple II line, but it's awfully late in coming. The
technology is more trailing-edge than leading-edge in many areas",
with speed and graphics inferior to that of the
Amiga and Atari ST.
The other computers, he wrote, have both larger software libraries
that use their power and lower prices; Webster found that a IIGS
package costing $2500 was comparable to a $1500 Atari ST
configuration. He 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. However, Apple didn't go far enough."
BYTE review in April 1987 concluded that the IIGS "has the potential
to be a powerful computer" but needed a faster CPU and more
addressable memory. The magazine advised potential customers to
compare the Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari ST's more powerful 68000 CPU
with the IIGS's greater expandability and large
Apple II software
Compute! in 1988 urged Apple to make the computer faster, stating
that "no matter which way you cut it, the IIGS is slow" and that
IIGS-specific programs could not keep up with user actions. In 1989
the magazine stated "One of the biggest complaints of IIGS-specific
software is the way it imitates the pace of a zombie . You'd think
16-bit software had died and voodoo-transformed into a shuffling,
stumbling imitation of real computer applications." It reported that
year that after increases in September, a IIGS with color monitor, two
disk drives, and
ImageWriter II cost more than $3,000, a price the
magazine called "staggering". inCider also criticized the price
increase, warning that it "opens the door further to low-cost MS-DOS
* WDC 65C816 running at 2.8 MHz
8-bit data bus, with selectable 8 or 16 bit registers
* 24 bit addressing, using a
16-bit address bus 1 MB OF RAM
In August 1989, Apple increased the standard amount of
RAM shipped in
the IIGS to 1.125 MB. This time the additional memory was built-in on
the motherboard, which required a layout change and allowed for other
minor improvements as well. This update introduced both a new
motherboard and a new ROM firmware update; however, neither was
offered to existing owners—even as an upgrade option (the new ROM,
now two chips, is incompatible with the original single-socket
motherboard). Apple had cited the reason an upgrade was not being
offered was that most of the features of the new machine could be
obtained in existing machines by installing System 5 and a fully
Apple IIGS Memory Expansion Card.
The new ROM firmware then took 256 KB and contained the System 5.x
toolsets. The newer toolsets increased the performance of the machine
by up to 10%, due to the fact that less had to be loaded from disk,
tool ROM read access being faster than RAM, and their highly optimized
routines compared to the older toolsets (pre-GS/OS-based). In addition
to several bug fixes, more programmer assistance commands and
features, a cleaned-up control panel with improved mouse control, RAM
Disk functionality, more flexible Appletalk support and slot-mapping
In terms of hardware, the new motherboard is a cleaner design that
drew less power and resolved audio noise issues that interfered with
Ensoniq synthesizer in the original motherboard. Over four times
RAM is built-in, with double the ROM size, and an enhanced ADB
microcontroller provides native support for sticky keys, mouse
emulation, and keyboard LED support (available on extended keyboards).
Hardware shadowing of Text Page 2 was introduced, improving
compatibility and performance with the classic
Apple II video mode.
The clock battery is now user-serviceable, being placed in a removable
socket, and a jumper location was added to lock out the text-based
control panel (mainly useful in school environments). Support for the
Apple-IIe-to-IIGS upgrade was removed, and some cost-cutting measures
had some chips soldered in place rather than being socketed. As the
firmware only worked in this motherboard and no new firmware updates
were ever issued, users commonly referred to this version of the IIGS
as the "ROM 3".
Apple IIe and
Apple IIc built-in keyboards before it, the
detached IIGS keyboard differs depending on what region of the world
it was sold in, with extra local language characters and symbols
printed on certain keycaps (e.g. French accented characters on the
Canadian IIGS keyboard such as "à", "é", "ç", etc., or the British
pound "£" symbol on the UK IIGS keyboard). Unlike previous Apple II
models, however, the layout and shape of keys were the same standard
for all countries, and the ROMs inside the computer were also the same
for all countries, including support for all the different
international keyboards. In order to access the local character set
layout and display, users would change settings in the built-in
software-based control panel, which also provides a method of toggling
between 50/60 Hz video screen refresh. The composite video output is
NTSC-only on all IIGS systems; users in PAL countries are expected to
RGB monitor. This selectable internationalization makes it
quick and simple to localize any given machine. Also present in the
settings is a QWERTY/DVORAK keyboard toggle for all countries, much
like that of the Apple IIc. Outside North America, the Apple IIGS
shipped with a different 220 V clip-in power supply, making this and
the plastic keycaps the only physical differences (and also very
modular, in the sense of converting a non-localized machine to a local
Apple designed the
Apple IIe Card to transit
Apple IIe customers to
Macintosh LC , particularly schools who had a large investment in
Apple II software. While Apple discussed creating an LC plug-in IIGS
card, they felt that the cost of selling it would be as much as an
entire LC and abandoned it. However, the educational community had a
substantial investment in the IIGS software as well, which made
upgrading to a
Macintosh a less attractive proposition than had been
for the Apple IIe. As a result, Apple software designers Dave Lyons
and Andy Nicholas spearheaded a program to develop a IIGS software
emulator they called GUS in their spare time, which would run on the
Macintosh only. Apple did not officially support the project.
Nevertheless, seeing the need to help switch their educational
customers to the
Macintosh (as well as sell Power Macs), Apple
unofficially distributed the software for free to schools and other
institutions that signed a non-disclosure agreement. It was never
offered for public sale, but is now readily available on the internet,
along with many third party classic
Apple II emulators. Gus represents
one of the few software emulators developed within Apple (officially
or not), including MacWorks and Mac OS X Classic environment .
John Carmack , co-founder of id Software , started his career by
writing commercial software for the Apple IIGS, working with John
Tom Hall .
Wolfenstein 3D , based on the 1981
Apple II game
Castle Wolfenstein , came full-circle when it was released for the
Apple IIGS in 1998.
Two mainstream video games,
Zany Golf and The Immortal , both
Will Harvey , originated as
Apple IIGS games that were
ported to other platforms, including the
Sega Genesis .
Pangea Software started as an
Apple IIGS game developer. Naughty Dog
started with the classic
Apple II machines, but later developed for
RUMORS AND CANCELED DEVELOPMENTS
Compute! reported on speculation that Apple would announce at
the May AppleFest a "IIGS Plus" with a processor two to three times
faster, 768KB to 1MB RAM, and
SCSI port. The speculation was
partially based on Apple CEO
John Sculley stating that the IIGS would
receive a new CPU in 1989. No new computer appeared, but in August
the IIGS started shipping with 1MB
RAM in the base configuration.
VTech , makers of the classic-Apple-II-compatible
Laser 128 ,
announced plans for a IIGS-compatible computer in 1988 for under $600.
They demonstrated a prototype in 1989, but the computer was never
Cirtech started work on, but never completed, a black-and-white
Macintosh hardware emulation plug-in card for the IIGS dubbed "Duet".
Using a 68020, custom ROM and up to 8 MB RAM, Cirtech claimed it would
TIMELINE OF APPLE II FAMILY MODELS
See also: Timeline of the
Apple II family See
also: Timeline of
Macintosh models and Timeline of
Apple Inc. products
Apple IIc Plus
Juiced.GS , the last
Apple II publication
KansasFest , an annual convention for
Apple II users
* List of
Apple IIGS games
* ^ Electronic and computer music By Peter Manning.
* ^ A B Histoire de l'Apple IIGS, "Histoire de l\'Apple IIGS"
* ^ Kavadias, Tony (July 24, 2004). "
Apple II User Interfaces".
Guidebookgallery.org. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ A B C Williams, Gregg; Grehan, Richard (October 1986). "The
Apple IIGS". BYTE. p. 84. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
* ^ A B C Chien, Philip (April 1987). "The Apple IIGS". BYTE. p.
223. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
* ^ Pournelle, Jerry (March 1985). "On the Road: Hackercon and
COMDEX". BYTE. p. 313. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
* ^ Statt, Paul (August 1986). "Future II\'s". inCider. p. 14.
Retrieved 10 August 2014.
* ^ de Peyster, Deborah; Statt, Paul (September 1986). "Extras for
the //x". inCider. p. 14. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
* ^ "The
Apple II Guide and Mark Twain".
* ^ "Apple IIGS".
* ^ "OLD-COMPUTERS.com Museum".
* ^ The original
Apple II FAQ, the Apple IIGS
* ^ Schwan, Ben (July 20, 2015). "System 6.0.2 für den Apple IIgs
erscheint nach 22 Jahren". Heise Online. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
* ^ Keizer, Gregg (December 1988). "Where\'s Apple?". Compute!. p.
64. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
* ^ Statt, Paul (September 1986). "Stattus Report". inCider. p.
110. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
* ^ Statt, Paul (November 1986). "Visions of GS Software". inCider.
p. 46. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
* ^ Szetela, David (October 1986). "The New II". Nibble. p. 5.
Retrieved 18 August 2014.
* ^ Thornburg, David D. (November 1986). "The New Apple IIGS".
Compute!. p. 18. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
* ^ "II On II". Compute!'s Apple Applications. December 1987. p. 8.
Retrieved 18 August 2014.
* ^ Webster, Bruce (January 1987). "View and Reviews". BYTE. p.
367. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
* ^ Keizer, Gregg (November 1988). "IIGS Gets Going". Compute!. p.
66. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
* ^ Keizer, Gregg (March 1989). "Apple II". Compute!. p. 58.
Retrieved 10 November 2013.
* ^ Keizer, Gregg (February 1989). "Stratospheric". Compute!. p.
50. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
* ^ Muse, Dan (November 1988). "Born Old (But Not Ugly)". inCider.
p. 8. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
* ^ Effectively 140×192 in color, due to pixel placement
* ^ A B Text can be mixed with graphic modes, replacing either
bottom 8 or 32 lines of graphics with four lines of text, depending on
video mode. Colorized text is unique to the Apple IIGS, all other
Apple II models produce text in only black and white.
* ^ A B C D 16 colors per scanline, palette can be changed on each
line. Exceeding 16 palettes per screen drastically limits system
resources (e.g. only useful for static images typically).
* ^ Dithered mode creates the visual illusion of 16 colors by
alternated colored pixels in the 4 mini palettes, in addition to
taking advantage of the AppleColor RGB's high (0.37 mm) dot pitch.
* ^ Only 15 voices are available in most software due to firmware
pairing oscillators and reserving one for timing.
* ^ A B While output from audio jack is mono, and all third-party
stereo cards only produce two-channel stereo, the capability for
supporting 8-channel stereo is present on the motherboard/chip.
* ^ "apple2history.org, The Apple IIGS, The Beginning of the End".
Apple2history.org. September 25, 1991. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
* ^ "apple2.org.za,
Apple II – Rumors, Facts and Fables – Part
2". Apple2.org.za. September 15, 1996. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ "kashum.com, Me and the Apple II". Kashum.com. Retrieved
November 13, 2011.
* ^ "apple2history.org, Museum, Screenshots: "Gus Emulator"".
Apple2history.org. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ "scout.wisc.edu, Run
Apple IIGS programs on your Mac".
Scout.wisc.edu. April 2, 1997. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ "wap.org, Washington Apple Pi\'s
Apple II Page". Wap.org.
Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ "emulation.victoly.com, Apple II, Gus 1.0b4". Web.archive.org.
September 29, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ "www.apple2.nu, GenieLamp
Apple II Vol.5, Issue 53, MESSAGE
SPOTLIGHT: A few words about Gus:". Retrieved November 13, 2011.
* ^ "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers". dadgum.com.
* ^ Keizer, Gregg (February 1989). "Talk, Talk, Talk". Compute!. p.
51. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
* ^ Keizer, Gregg (July 1989). "
Apple II Forever?". Compute!. p.
55. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
* ^ A B Keizer, Gregg (August 1989). "No IIGS Plus". 1989-08. p.
54. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
* ^ Ferrell, Keith (April 1988). "Computers Win Big!". Compute!. p.
6. Retrieved 10 November 2013.