Posted on August 24, 2018
Tags: software

I recently got the old Apple //e out of the garage and set it up. It still works, and even most of my old floppies are still readable.

I bought a few modern accessories to make working with the Apple II easier. First, I got a CFFA3000, which lets you use a CompactFlash card and/or a USB flash drive as a disk drive on the Apple II. It’s amazingly useful, although unfortunately, the guy who makes the CFFA3000 has said he’s going to stop making them. Using the CFFA3000, I’ve been copying my old floppies onto USB, for preservation.

I also bought an Uthernet II card, which is an Ethernet card for the Apple II. It looks exciting, although I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.

I’ve also tried my hand at writing some software for the Apple II. When I was a kid, I programmed on the Apple II using Applesoft Basic, or using my own assembler, PPAssemble. Now, however, I decided to go the cross-compilation route. The toolchain I picked is cc65, which has a C compiler, an assembler, a linker, and a simulator. cc65 also comes with a C library which works on a variety of old 6502-based platforms, such as the Apple II, the Commodore 64, the Atari, and the NES.

One thing I don’t like about cc65’s C library is that it has poor support for the unenhanced Apple //e. cc65 supports the Apple II line with two targets: apple2 and apple2enh. apple2enh requires MouseText and a 65C02 processor, so it won’t run on the unenhanced Apple //e. But the apple2 target doesn’t support lowercase characters or 80-column mode, making it a poor fit for the unenhanced Apple //e, as well.

Anyway, though, I have now written my first modern software for the Apple II, using the cc65 toolchain: a JSON parser.

I’ve also been discovering that there are still plenty of Apple II enthusiasts out there, and plenty of resources. I’ve subscribed to the print newsletter/magazine Juiced.GS, which, despite its name, has articles about all members of the Apple II product line. I’ve also visited forums on and Vintage Computer Forums.