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Apple IIe to IIGS Upgrade - Introduction

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The Apple IIe-to-IIGS Upgrade is considered the most rare commercially available version of the Apple IIGS. Based on my research, very few Apple IIe owners took advantage of the Upgrade. The Upgrade appeared in the Official Apple Price List the same day as the Apple IIGS introduction in September 1986, with a retail price of $500.00. Customers were able to place orders for the Upgrade on that day, but didn't actually start shipping until around the middle of 1987.

The IIGS Upgrade unit you see on-line today is the second one I've ever owned. My first unit was ordered in Hawaii, 30 minutes after the salesperson at ComputerLand, Stadium Mall removed the red blanket at approx 12:00pm HST, displaying the Apple IIGS playing the demo. When I walked into the store about 1/2 hour earlier, I could hear the saxophone playing, followed by a woman's voice saying "Introducing the Apple IIGS".

The IIGS Upgrade I ordered came in June 1987. In July 1987, I received a package from Apple Computer, which included an "Apple IIGS Certificate of Authenticity", and a letter, written by Steve Wozniak. I also have the original envelope, complete with the USPS stamp. Something told me I should hang onto these items, and it's a good thing I did.

In late 1990, I was struggling to pay my college loan. So I sold all of my Apple IIGS gear to a good HAUS friend of mine, which included the IIGS Upgrade. About a year later, he moved away to the mainland U.S., so I pretty much lost track of all that stuff! Until recently, I regret getting rid of the Upgrade.

The IIGS Upgrade I have now was built by yours truly in mid-2001. Earlier, I purchased a built IIGS Upgrade unit from eBay. The logic board inside was clean and functional. However, the shell and top cover were in bad shape. Then a few months later, also from eBay, I purchased an unused Apple IIe Case Replacement Kit. About 1/3 of the box was destroyed by water, however the contents were in mint condition, still in the package. I took the bottom base, logic board, and Apple IIGS labels from the functional IIGS Upgrade, and tossed the beat-up keyboard, shell and top cover. I replaced them with the cherry shell and top cover from the Kit. I cleaned the labels well, then applied them to the new top cover with rubber cement. On one of my earlier journeys cleaning out schools of Apple IIs, I came across a very clean white-keyed keyboard, so I used it in the IIGS Upgrade. I originally kept the IIe power supply, and I still have it today. However, I replaced it with a IIGS power supply because it is better made.

The photos you'll see on the next two pages were taken with a Nikon CoolPix 5700 on February 15, 2003 during an overcast day, which offers great lighting without the brightness of the sun. Downloading the photos to my Windows XP Pro machine, I cropped, and calibrated the brightness and gamma on the photos using Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1 and ACDSee 4.0.2. To show the actual flaws, if any, I did not touch up any of the photos.

Computer Specifications: Logic Board: 65C816, 2.8 MHz. Memory: DRAM, 256KB, added 3rd-party 4MB IIGS upgrade card, increasing overall memory size to 4.25MB. ROM: 01  Storage: Ability to handle Apple 5.25 Drive or Apple 3.5 Drive via the built-in disk port. Ports: Composite video out, analog RGB video out, ADB, disk port, modem port (DIN-8), printer port (DIN-8, AppleTalk compatible), IIe-style 9-pin game port. Display: any NTSC composite monitor, or analog RGB compatible display. Operating System: Apple DOS 3.1 through 3.3, ProDOS, Pascal operating system, GS/OS up to 6.0.1. Introduced: September 1986. Discontinued: December 1992, however the IIGS Upgrade offer by Apple was discontinued way before that (exact month/year unknown).

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