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Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler

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Trick Out Your Apple ][

Buy or find the right accessories for game-playing and more on your Apple ][.

The Apple ][ by itself is a box that lets you type in code and run it. Turning the Apple ][ into a game-playing console requires a few additional parts, many of which you can find on eBay or even conceivably build yourself.

The first accessory I’d strongly recommend is a floppy drive, and preferably two or more of them to avoid a lot of disk swapping in multi-disk games, like most of the role-playing games out there. For Apples prior to the Apple //c, you’ll also need a disk controller card. For more recent Apples, such as the //c+ and the IIgs, you may also want a 3.5” disk drive or two. Many of the drives on the newer Apples can be daisy-chained, letting you connect a drive to the computer, another drive to that drive, and so on.

Tip

I’ve had some difficulties with some of my older Disk II drives not wanting to read old disks that my newer drive can read just fine. You may want to have a few spare drives around for testing in any case.

I’ve always been one of those strange people who prefers to play games using the keyboard, joysticks, and paddles that are available for the Apple ][ series. Older Apples—the ][ and ][+, as well as some clones—have a fragile 16-pin connector inside the case. There were a number of accessories available for bringing the connector outside of the case, or for making it easy to switch between joysticks and paddles. Newer Apples, from the //e onward, use ...

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