In 1977 Mike Markkula, like many users, was unhappy with the time it took to load data from the cassette interface. He made it a company goal to develop a disk system for the Apple II. After studying the Shugart documentation Woz found that he could avoid much of the complex circuitry needed to control a disk head by doing more work in software. In addition, by doing the board layout himself, Woz was able to reduce chip count even further. My Disk II card is an early production unit which is visible by the tin fingers on the card. The Disk II drive is serial #7461 and includes the rainbow ribbon cable that came with the early production units.
Here is a video demoing Mike Willegal‘s Brain Board. In the demo I load Blackjack for the Apple 1 from cassette.
When I first restored my Rev 0 Apple II, I used DRAM chips from an Apple II plus. While this worked fine, I wanted something a little more authentic to the machine. I was looking at Geoff Harrison’s Apple II #97 and noticed some nice NEC uPD416′s so I pick up a set and put them in.
This week I received a beta Brain Board from Mike Willegal. This board came with the Wozanium pack which will cause an Apple II to function like an Apple 1. This a great way to get the Apple 1 experience without having to build a replica. The assembly took me about 40 minutes and it works great!
I’ve added a ROM card to my Apple II containing Applesoft ROMs. Thanks a bunch to Mike Willegal for suppling the card.