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Laser 128 - questions...

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Jeff Thomas

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Mar 8, 2004, 4:12:05 PM3/8/04
to
I recently got in my possession an 'Laser 128 personal computer', but is
missing a power supply and matching cable. Underneath it says, 'Laser
Color computer', made in Hong Kong and from 1985.

The power connector requires DC15V and is a round 7 pin din plug. Could
I use a standard Apple IIc power supply (model no. A2M4016) with it? If
not, what would work e.g. modified PC, Commodore 64 or Amiga
computer/disk drive power supplies, etc?

Also, anyone know where I can find some documentation and software like
Laser DOS and Basic, etc?

What's the compatibly like with a real Apple II eg. 80%? I remember,
some clones were real shocking!

Just a curiosity is the Laser 128, better than the genuine Apple IIc?

Thanks,
Jeff.

Wayne Stewart

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Mar 9, 2004, 1:08:37 AM3/9/04
to
Jeff Thomas wrote:

The IIc power supply will work fine. Fortunately, as Laser ones seem
to be harder to find.
I hve no idea where you might find any docs online. I'm picking up
a Laser with manual next week so maybe I can do something then.

All the Apple II software I've tried on a Laser has worked but I don't
use a Laser all that often.
A lot of people would likely say that the Laser is the computer the
IIc should have been. The laser has a built-in UDC card so there's
a wider selection of drives the Laser can use. The Laser has a slot
which offers a lot of possibility. Inside mine I found an empty 1mb
card which I filled up. Also having a choice between a serial and
parrallel printer port can be handy.

Wayne

Exegete

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Mar 9, 2004, 9:12:02 AM3/9/04
to

Wayne Stewart wrote:

Then you probably have the 128EX, which will run at 4/3.6 mhz (I've seen
alleged 4 mhz that only run at 3.6, others who say they run at 4 but
claim an effective 3.5X increase in speed.)

My biggest complaint about the Laser is the keyboard. I just gave one to
another AppleLinc member who had and loved his Laser when he was
younger. I wish I could get a Zip chip for my Franklin 500!

Roy


Also having a choice between a serial and
> parrallel printer port can be handy.
>
> Wayne
>

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Lockar

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Mar 9, 2004, 1:14:25 PM3/9/04
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Jeff,

I'm not sure if it's my Laser 128 maybe someone here can
confirm it. But my Laser 128 can not run ProDOS 2.0.3 with Apple
System Utils 4.0. It crashes at the menu screen. I haven't tried any
other disks with ProDOS 2.0.3 yet though....

-Lockar


In article <404CE1A5...@usa.net>, Jeff Thomas <a2fo...@usa.net>
wrote:

Willi Kusche

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Mar 9, 2004, 7:03:46 PM3/9/04
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Hi!

Lockar <loc...@nospam.com> wrote in message news:<090320041314250541%loc...@nospam.com>...


> But my Laser 128 can not run ProDOS 2.0.3 with Apple
> System Utils 4.0.

4.0? Is that a typo? I thought 3.0 was the latest.

Willi

Lockar

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Mar 9, 2004, 11:28:46 PM3/9/04
to

Willi,

There is 4.0. It's ProDOS 2.03 (I got it off one of my Apple
Dev CD's). However only the startup menu says it's 4.0. When you go
into the unitls it says it's Util 3.2. I can upload the disk image to
web side tomorrow if you need it.

-Lockar


In article <5e7193b4.04030...@posting.google.com>, Willi

Greg Andrzejewski

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Mar 10, 2004, 12:11:39 AM3/10/04
to

> My biggest complaint about the Laser is the keyboard.
> Roy

Yeah, I find that on my Laser 128 on some of the keys you have to really
push down hard in order to get them to regiester. I thought maybe it was
dust/old age. But are you saying that the keyboard is just of poor quality?

-Greg

Exegete

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Mar 10, 2004, 8:19:47 AM3/10/04
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I don't like the "mushy" feel of the keyboard. Let's face it, the //c
has one of the finest feels, the Franklin's, while not great, is much
better than the Laser's. It just feels... cheap.

Roy

Bill Garber

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Mar 10, 2004, 8:57:15 AM3/10/04
to

"Exegete" <mil...@noneofyourbusiness.com> wrote in message
news:404f1...@corp.newsgroups.com...
:

: Greg Andrzejewski wrote:
: >>My biggest complaint about the Laser is the keyboard.
: >>Roy
: >
: > Yeah, I find that on my Laser 128 on some of the keys
: you have to really push down hard in order to get them
: to regiester. I thought maybe it was dust/old age. But
: are you saying that the keyboard is just of poor quality?
: >
: > -Greg
: >
: I don't like the "mushy" feel of the keyboard. Let's face it,
: the //c has one of the finest feels, the Franklin's, while not
: great, is much better than the Laser's. It just feels... cheap.
: Roy

That's because it IS.... CHEAP! 8o)

Bill @ GarberStreet Enterprizez };-)
Web Site - http://garberstreet.netfirms.com
Email - willy4...@comXcast.net
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M. Pender

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Apr 7, 2004, 2:24:56 AM4/7/04
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On 3/9/04 2:08 AM, in article Fbd3c.133509$A12.113864@edtnps84, "Wayne
Stewart" <way...@telus.dotnet> wrote:

Only the newer Laser 128s included the UDC--the original Laser 128 and 128ex
required an external UDC card to use 3.5" drives, even the Laser 3.5" drive.

- Mike

M. Pender

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Apr 7, 2004, 2:28:32 AM4/7/04
to
On 3/8/04 5:12 PM, in article 404CE1A5...@usa.net, "Jeff Thomas"
<a2fo...@usa.net> wrote:

> I recently got in my possession an 'Laser 128 personal computer', but is
> missing a power supply and matching cable. Underneath it says, 'Laser
> Color computer', made in Hong Kong and from 1985.
>
> The power connector requires DC15V and is a round 7 pin din plug. Could
> I use a standard Apple IIc power supply (model no. A2M4016) with it? If
> not, what would work e.g. modified PC, Commodore 64 or Amiga
> computer/disk drive power supplies, etc?

IIRC it requires 12V @2A or so. The IIc power supply should work. Wiring
diagrams for the Laser are in a book called the Laser Technical Reference
Manual. I still see them around sometimes.



> Also, anyone know where I can find some documentation and software like
> Laser DOS and Basic, etc?

The Laser uses Apple DOS, ProDos, etc. Basic is built into the ROM.



> What's the compatibly like with a real Apple II eg. 80%? I remember,
> some clones were real shocking!

There are a couple of features that the newer Lasers have that an Apple IIc
lacks, such as a Universal Disk Controller, Quad Hi-Res graphics and a
switchable parallel/serial card. I'm not sure I'd call it a lack of
compatiblity though.



> Just a curiosity is the Laser 128, better than the genuine Apple IIc?

The answer to that question is highly subjective.

- Mike

Wayne Stewart

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Apr 7, 2004, 4:50:05 AM4/7/04
to
M. Pender wrote:

> Only the newer Laser 128s included the UDC--the original Laser 128 and 128ex
> required an external UDC card to use 3.5" drives, even the Laser 3.5" drive.
>
> - Mike

Strange, I have an EX and an EX/2 that will boot off a 3.5" drive
attached to the floppy drive port.

Wayne

Robert Steinmetz

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Apr 7, 2004, 9:15:55 AM4/7/04
to
Jeff Thomas wrote:
> I recently got in my possession an 'Laser 128 personal computer', but is
> missing a power supply and matching cable. Underneath it says, 'Laser
> Color computer', made in Hong Kong and from 1985.
>
> The power connector requires DC15V and is a round 7 pin din plug. Could
> I use a standard Apple IIc power supply (model no. A2M4016) with it? If
> not, what would work e.g. modified PC, Commodore 64 or Amiga
> computer/disk drive power supplies, etc?
>
> Also, anyone know where I can find some documentation and software like
> Laser DOS and Basic, etc?

Use prodos and Apple][ software.

> What's the compatibly like with a real Apple II eg. 80%? I remember,
> some clones were real shocking!

I never found anything that would not work on a Laser
128 which would work on a //c

> Just a curiosity is the Laser 128, better than the genuine Apple IIc?

It had a few more features, was bigger, had worse
keyboard but was cheaper. The biggest differences were
the Apple][ compatible slot on the side and the
parallel printer port.

> Thanks,
> Jeff.
>

--
Rob

"Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be
explained by stupidity."

M. Pender

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Apr 7, 2004, 10:32:23 PM4/7/04
to
On 4/7/04 4:50 AM, in article 1hPcc.18386$J56.11329@edtnps89, "Wayne
Stewart" <way...@telusdo.tnet> wrote:

Not so strange; I believe there were at least three major variations of the
128EX including:
- removal of the Z80 coprocessor socket
- changing the case style from the original "block" style case to the
rounded corners
- introduction of the UDC drive electronics
- removal of the QHR graphics

And IIRC the EX/2 was the very end of the line.

- Mike

David Chiu

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Apr 8, 2004, 12:54:45 AM4/8/04
to

"M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...

: Not so strange; I believe there were at least three major variations of the


: 128EX including:
: - removal of the Z80 coprocessor socket

At risk of sounding stupid... *WHAT* Z80 socket? (Does anyone have pic of this
particular version of logic board?)

: - changing the case style from the original "block" style case to the
: rounded corners

Yes. I've always thought the original case was an atrocity of ascetics.

: - introduction of the UDC drive electronics

For some reason I keep thinking UDC has always been a part of Laser.

: - removal of the QHR graphics

*WHAT* QHR?

: And IIRC the EX/2 was the very end of the line.

Apparently enough of a "threat" that compelled Apple to seek out ZIP for the
//c+


Bill Garber

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Apr 8, 2004, 2:02:31 AM4/8/04
to

"David Chiu" <no...@nowhere.org> wrote in message
news:c52lv...@news1.newsguy.com...
:
: "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message

: news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...
:
: : Not so strange; I believe there were at least three
: : major variations of the 128EX including:
: : - removal of the Z80 coprocessor socket
:
: At risk of sounding stupid... *WHAT* Z80 socket? (Does
: anyone have pic of this particular version of logic board?)

I haven't looked in my manuals yet, but I heard
something about them having Z80 capability from
the start but they removed it figuring that if
people wanted to run CP/M, they could just use
an adapter card in the expansion slot.

: : - changing the case style from the original "block"


: : style case to the rounded corners
:
: Yes. I've always thought the original case was an
: atrocity of ascetics.

That is spelled "asthetics".

: : - introduction of the UDC drive electronics


:
: For some reason I keep thinking UDC has always
: been a part of Laser.

The Laser 128 used only 5.25" drives, unless you
added an external card to the adapter slot on the
side. The 128EX introduced the built-in UDC, I think.

: : - removal of the QHR graphics
: *WHAT* QHR?

I am puzzled here as well.

: : And IIRC the EX/2 was the very end of the line.


: Apparently enough of a "threat" that compelled
: Apple to seek out ZIP for the //c+

Apple appears to feel threatened at every turn,
so what is new.

Bill @ GarberStreet Enterprizez };-)
Web Site - http://garberstreet.netfirms.com

Email - willy46pa @ comcast DOT net
Change DOT to a dot to contact me

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Wayne Stewart

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Apr 8, 2004, 3:10:33 AM4/8/04
to
David Chiu wrote:

> Apparently enough of a "threat" that compelled Apple to seek out ZIP for the
> //c+

I had a hard time understanding the why of the IIc+. They spent a lot
of money and time designing the IIc+ when they could easily have made
a IIgs motherboard without the slots in almost no development time.
They likely could have upped the speed to 4 mhz easily enough.
Building in a SCSI card would have been easy. Then they would have
had something to get the Apple II community talkingand without using
hardly any resources.

The only thing that really makes sense is the story of the IIc+
that they just decided to build a model of the IIc with a 3.5" drive
and as an afterthought added a built-in ZipChip.

Wayne

Laine Houghton

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Apr 8, 2004, 11:01:41 AM4/8/04
to

"Bill Garber" <willy46pa@comcast DOT net> wrote in message
news:Zt6dnaIpgOz...@comcast.com...

>
> "David Chiu" <no...@nowhere.org> wrote in message
> news:c52lv...@news1.newsguy.com...
> :
> : "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> : news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...


{SNIP}

> : : - removal of the QHR graphics
> : *WHAT* QHR?
>
> I am puzzled here as well.
>

Quad Hi Res graphics.

I only know this because I was in another junk store yesterday that had a
laser 128 complete with a Sears sticker on it. I stopped to read the box.

Bill Garber

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Apr 8, 2004, 1:09:52 PM4/8/04
to

"Laine Houghton" <la...@intergate.com> wrote in message
news:107aqa9...@corp.supernews.com...
:
: "Bill Garber" <willy46pa@comcast DOT net> wrote in message

Good reading. And why didn't you buy it? 8o)

Michael J. Mahon

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Apr 8, 2004, 10:45:39 PM4/8/04
to
Laine Houghton wrote:

>"Bill Garber" <willy46pa@comcast DOT net> wrote in message
>news:Zt6dnaIpgOz...@comcast.com...
>>
>> "David Chiu" <no...@nowhere.org> wrote in message
>> news:c52lv...@news1.newsguy.com...
>> :
>> : "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> : news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...
>
>
>{SNIP}
>
>> : : - removal of the QHR graphics
>> : *WHAT* QHR?
>>
>> I am puzzled here as well.
>>
>
>Quad Hi Res graphics.

I figured that out. What I'd like to know is what it is
functionally, how it was done, and how it was used.

Was it described in the manual?

-michael

Check out amazing quality sound for 8-bit Apples on my
Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

Exegete

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Apr 8, 2004, 11:06:02 PM4/8/04
to

Michael J. Mahon wrote:

> Laine Houghton wrote:
>
>
>>"Bill Garber" <willy46pa@comcast DOT net> wrote in message
>>news:Zt6dnaIpgOz...@comcast.com...
>>
>>>"David Chiu" <no...@nowhere.org> wrote in message
>>>news:c52lv...@news1.newsguy.com...
>>>:
>>>: "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>>>: news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...
>>
>>
>>{SNIP}
>>
>>
>>>: : - removal of the QHR graphics
>>>: *WHAT* QHR?
>>>
>>>I am puzzled here as well.
>>>
>>
>>Quad Hi Res graphics.
>
>
> I figured that out. What I'd like to know is what it is
> functionally, how it was done, and how it was used.
>
> Was it described in the manual?
>
> -michael
>

My 1986 Second Edition of the Laser 128 makes no mention of a Z-80
socket, nor of Quad Hi Res Graphics.

Roy

> Check out amazing quality sound for 8-bit Apples on my
> Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----

Laine Houghton

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Apr 8, 2004, 11:17:29 PM4/8/04
to

"Michael J. Mahon" <mjm...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20040408224539...@mb-m18.aol.com...

> Laine Houghton wrote:
>
> >"Bill Garber" <willy46pa@comcast DOT net> wrote in message
> >news:Zt6dnaIpgOz...@comcast.com...
> >>
> >> "David Chiu" <no...@nowhere.org> wrote in message
> >> news:c52lv...@news1.newsguy.com...
> >> :
> >> : "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> >> : news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...

> >Quad Hi Res graphics.


>
> I figured that out. What I'd like to know is what it is
> functionally, how it was done, and how it was used.
>
> Was it described in the manual?
>
> -michael

This is a store of some very good bargains intermixed with a lot of you've
got to be kidding. And all in between. I asked about a 30 pin 4meg simm and
was quoted $13. The laser isn't priced and I wasn't interested enough to
ask. I didn't open the box to see if there was a manual.

Next time through I'll look. I spotted it about 5 months ago but didn't
investigate. I had more time today but was interested in SCSI stuff.


Jeff Blakeney

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Apr 9, 2004, 1:24:26 PM4/9/04
to
On Thu, 08 Apr 2004 07:10:33 GMT, Wayne Stewart <way...@telus.dot.net>
wrote:

>I had a hard time understanding the why of the IIc+. They spent a lot
>of money and time designing the IIc+ when they could easily have made
>a IIgs motherboard without the slots in almost no development time.
>They likely could have upped the speed to 4 mhz easily enough.
>Building in a SCSI card would have been easy. Then they would have
>had something to get the Apple II community talkingand without using
>hardly any resources.
>
>The only thing that really makes sense is the story of the IIc+
>that they just decided to build a model of the IIc with a 3.5" drive
>and as an afterthought added a built-in ZipChip.

I could never understand the thinking behind the IIc+ either. They
release a 16 bit computer with lots of bells and whistles, upgrade it
only slightly and then release another 8 bit computer with nothing in
it that a regular IIc user couldn't do (with the possible exception of
booting 3.5" disks, I've never been sure how that works with the IIc).
Just add a ZipChip and a UniDisk and away you go. Heck, doing it that
way you could even get an 8 MHz IIc instead. :-)

Then there is the Mark Twain that was in the works that, without
slots, would have fit nicely into a IIc style case. The Mark Twain
used SIMMs for memory and had a built in SCSI interface so they could
have put a hard drive instead of a floppy in the case. With the
external floppy port, it would have been a great computer even if it
didn't run any faster than the original IIgs.

--
Jeff Blakeney - Dean of the Apple II University in the
Apple II Community on Syndicomm.com
CUT the obvious from my address if you want to e-mail me

M. Pender

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Apr 10, 2004, 5:36:13 PM4/10/04
to
On 4/8/04 12:54 AM, in article c52lv...@news1.newsguy.com, "David Chiu"
<no...@nowhere.org> wrote:

>
> "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:BC9A31F7.9C83%mpe...@hotmail.com...
>
> : Not so strange; I believe there were at least three major variations of the
> : 128EX including:
> : - removal of the Z80 coprocessor socket
>
> At risk of sounding stupid... *WHAT* Z80 socket? (Does anyone have pic of this
> particular version of logic board?)

Logic board? It was a socket, labeled Z-80, on the original Laser 128
motherboard. Apparently they though about offering CP/M capability but
removed the feature early in the lifecycle of the product.

> : - changing the case style from the original "block" style case to the
> : rounded corners
>
> Yes. I've always thought the original case was an atrocity of ascetics.

I thought the keyboard with the original case was better than the later
models though.



> : - introduction of the UDC drive electronics
>
> For some reason I keep thinking UDC has always been a part of Laser.

Nope. I had one of the earlier models and had to buy a UDC card to use a
3.5" drive, at least until I exchanged my machine for a 128ex that had the
UDC electronics.



> : - removal of the QHR graphics
>
> *WHAT* QHR?

Quad-High resolution graphics. IIRC it was like DHR, but with twice as many
pixels across the horizontal dimension. Of course, since none of the Apple
software of the time used the mode, one might well question why the folks at
Laser bothered.



> : And IIRC the EX/2 was the very end of the line.
>
> Apparently enough of a "threat" that compelled Apple to seek out ZIP for the
> //c+

The EX was also a 3.6 MHz machine; I'm just referring to the fact that the
EX/2 was the final design.

- Mike

M. Pender

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Apr 10, 2004, 5:43:45 PM4/10/04
to
On 4/8/04 11:17 PM, in article 107c5du...@corp.supernews.com, "Laine
Houghton" <la...@intergate.com> wrote:

There wouldn't be anything about it in the user manual, but there might be a
description of which soft-switches to throw in the technical reference
manual. I think a more productive approach would be to google for
references to Quad Hires graphics for this newsgroup cerca 1990.

- Mike

M. Pender

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Apr 10, 2004, 5:56:13 PM4/10/04
to
On 4/10/04 5:36 PM, in article BC9DE10D.9D87%mpe...@hotmail.com, "M.
Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> : - removal of the QHR graphics
>>
>> *WHAT* QHR?
>
> Quad-High resolution graphics. IIRC it was like DHR, but with twice as many
> pixels across the horizontal dimension. Of course, since none of the Apple
> software of the time used the mode, one might well question why the folks at
> Laser bothered.

I was wrong; DHR was the 560x192 graphics mode, QHR was the 560x384 graphics
mode. Thus, it doubled the graphics across the vertical dimension, since it
was a step-up from DHR graphics which already doubled the horizontal
resolution.

- Mike

Roger Johnstone

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Apr 10, 2004, 8:38:20 PM4/10/04
to

I remember seeing the higher resolution mentioned in ads. Presumably it
produced an interlaced picture though so it could be used with a regular
monitor. I think the Apple III (or III+) could produce the same
resolution.

I know the Amigas had a 640x400 interlaced mode, but it was rarely used
because of the flickering display it produced unless it was used with a
long-persistance monitor, so it's not surprising the Laser dropped it.

The older Laser 3000 had a graphics mode called RGB, which was the
standard 280x192 Apple resolution, but with 8 real colours, and no
colour limitations. It suffered the usual problem of no software support,
but at least it was supported by the Laser's BASIC, so could easily be
used from the owner's own programs.

--
Roger Johnstone, Invercargill, New Zealand
http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~rojaws/
________________________________________________________________________
No Silicon Heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?

Kryten, from the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day"

Michael J. Mahon

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Apr 10, 2004, 11:03:07 PM4/10/04
to
M. Pender wrote:

Now _that's_ interesting!

What did they do--alternate page 0 and page 1 with displaced vertical
sync to obtain an interlaced display?

-michael

Ed Eastman

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Apr 11, 2004, 10:16:32 AM4/11/04
to
As I have experimented with this alternate video mode, I can attest that
it displayed the hires/Dhires page1 on top and page2 on the bottom. It
is more like an over/under mode that allows you to see both hires or
Dhires screens at once. It was kind of interesting to invoke the video
mode and then play something like karateka that alternated page1 and
page2 to do animation. It was even interesting to watch a game disk
load a title sceen on one half and you play the game on the other half.
No programs reset the alternate video mode that I am aware of.

Thankx,
Ed


Michael J. Mahon

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Apr 11, 2004, 2:33:58 PM4/11/04
to
Ed Eastman wrote:

>As I have experimented with this alternate video mode, I can attest that
>it displayed the hires/Dhires page1 on top and page2 on the bottom. It
>is more like an over/under mode that allows you to see both hires or
>Dhires screens at once. It was kind of interesting to invoke the video
>mode and then play something like karateka that alternated page1 and
>page2 to do animation. It was even interesting to watch a game disk
>load a title sceen on one half and you play the game on the other half.

So it is interlaced, with the odd half of screen 1 followed by the odd
half of screen 2 in the first field, followed by the even half of screen 1
and the even half of screen 2?

At least this approach makes it possible to leverage DHR drawing
programs, if you allow for the 2:1 vertical compression.

> No programs reset the alternate video mode that I am aware of.

Not surprising, since it is a proprietary softswitch.

Ed Eastman

unread,
Apr 12, 2004, 11:54:29 AM4/12/04
to
Michael J. Mahon wrote:
> So it is interlaced, with the odd half of screen 1 followed by the
odd half of screen 2 in the first field, followed by the even half of
screen 1 and the even half of screen 2?

Interlaced no, squished to fit, yes. Perhaps my interpretation of
interlaced is different than yours. I believe you are suggesting that
the mode shuffles the lines together like a deck of cards or stacks them
side by side for a right/left merging. It does not. It stacks page one
and page two of either HGR or DHGR screens like two bricks, one on top
of the other. Each graphic is squished so it all fits in the normal
display area and effectively gives you twice the verticle resolution for
any A2 standard video mode. (I'm uncertain which video modes it does
NOT work in. I am not sure it works HR and DHR.)

40 column Text mode, page 1 or 2: 40h x 24v as text
$400-7ff or $800-bff

80 column Text mode: 80h x 24v as text
$400-7ff (main ram) & $400-7ff (aux Ram)

(lores) Gr mode, page 1 or 2: 40h x 48v x 16c
$400-7ff or $800-bff

(lores) DGR mode: 80h x 48v x 16c
$400-7ff (main ram) & $400-7ff (aux Ram)

HGR mode, page 0 1 2 or 3: 280h x 192v x 5c
$0-1fff, $2000-3fff, $4000-5fff, $6000-7fff

DHR mode 1 or 2: 560h x 192v x 16c
$2000-3fff (main ram) & $2000-3fff (aux ram)
$4000-5fff (main ram) & $4000-5fff (aux ram)

Laser128 only:
QGR mode, single page consisting of page 1 and page 2 of normal mode:
280h x 384v or 560h x 384v
Memory is page 1 _and_ page 2 of given mode, page one in the upper half
of the screen, page two on the lower half.

Thankx,
Ed


Michael J. Mahon

unread,
Apr 12, 2004, 9:42:03 PM4/12/04
to
Ed Eastman replied:

>Michael J. Mahon wrote:
> > So it is interlaced, with the odd half of screen 1 followed by the
>odd half of screen 2 in the first field, followed by the even half of
>screen 1 and the even half of screen 2?
>
>Interlaced no, squished to fit, yes. Perhaps my interpretation of
>interlaced is different than yours. I believe you are suggesting that
>the mode shuffles the lines together like a deck of cards or stacks them
>side by side for a right/left merging. It does not. It stacks page one
>and page two of either HGR or DHGR screens like two bricks, one on top
>of the other. Each graphic is squished so it all fits in the normal
>display area and effectively gives you twice the verticle resolution for
>any A2 standard video mode. (I'm uncertain which video modes it does
>NOT work in. I am not sure it works HR and DHR.)

Ed, since each hi-res page has 192 lines, and since the monitor
you are using is only capable of approximately 60Hz vertical
deflection and approximately 15kHz horizontal deflection, the
only way to get more than 260 or so lines (including vertical
blanking interval) is to interlace.

By that, I mean that all the odd-numbered lines of both screens
are displayed first (the first 192 active lines), then all the even-
numbered lines of both pages are displayed between the odd
lines of the first field. This will create an image of screen 1
over screen 2, each screen containing 192 active lines.

This is the way that "ordinary" TV gets about 500 lines, and
is the only way that a TV-standards display can do so.

Laser chose a video order that is harder to achieve by modifying
an Apple than simply displaying screen 2 interleaved with screen 1
(which is still an interlaced display, but with all of the first field being
screen 1 in normal order, and all of the second field being screen 2
in normal order).

The only advantage I can see to the choice Laser made is to allow
ordinary graphics "paint" programs to be used to paint separately
the top half and the bottom half of the QGR screen (allowing for the
2:1 vertical pixel compression).

>40 column Text mode, page 1 or 2: 40h x 24v as text
>$400-7ff or $800-bff
>
>80 column Text mode: 80h x 24v as text
>$400-7ff (main ram) & $400-7ff (aux Ram)
>
>(lores) Gr mode, page 1 or 2: 40h x 48v x 16c
>$400-7ff or $800-bff
>
>(lores) DGR mode: 80h x 48v x 16c
>$400-7ff (main ram) & $400-7ff (aux Ram)
>
>HGR mode, page 0 1 2 or 3: 280h x 192v x 5c
>$0-1fff, $2000-3fff, $4000-5fff, $6000-7fff
>
>DHR mode 1 or 2: 560h x 192v x 16c
>$2000-3fff (main ram) & $2000-3fff (aux ram)
>$4000-5fff (main ram) & $4000-5fff (aux ram)
>
>Laser128 only:
>QGR mode, single page consisting of page 1 and page 2 of normal mode:
>280h x 384v or 560h x 384v
>Memory is page 1 _and_ page 2 of given mode, page one in the upper half
>of the screen, page two on the lower half.

The problem with _any_ extension of a popular platform is that it takes
a long time--maybe never--before there are enough of them in the platform
mix so that it makes any sense for a developer to invest in supporting the
extension.

The worst case scenario is that it gets to be barely critical mass, and
has the effect of splitting the market for developers, so each part of
the market gets only its "share" of developers.

If the extension is critical and enabling, then new kinds of applications
will be written, but only after critical mass is achieved. If the extension
is only "more of the same", it rarely enables the development of really
compelling apps, and that, in turn, limits the value of the extension.

Ed Eastman

unread,
Apr 12, 2004, 10:43:22 PM4/12/04
to
Oh, you were referring to the video display circuit and monitor display
capability. I thought you were referring to how the graphics were
mapped to the 'viewable' screen. Yes, of course the video is
interlaced, it is a NTSC video signal from the Laser. (The same, more
or less. that the regular Apple II produces.)

Thankx,
Ed

Jeff Blakeney

unread,
Apr 13, 2004, 9:41:45 PM4/13/04
to
On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 10:54:29 -0500, Ed Eastman <no...@nowhere.net>
wrote:

>Laser128 only:
>QGR mode, single page consisting of page 1 and page 2 of normal mode:
>280h x 384v or 560h x 384v
>Memory is page 1 _and_ page 2 of given mode, page one in the upper half
>of the screen, page two on the lower half.

I don't suppose they made this mode work with text mode as well? It
would be kind of nice to be able to edit an Applesoft program in an
80h x 48v text display.

Ed Eastman

unread,
Apr 15, 2004, 11:41:34 AM4/15/04
to
I can not say for sure whether the video mode supported the text page or
not. You can always try it. :) (Or remind me to do so some weekend.)
But then you'd need to make a loader program to take basic or other
editor out of the 800-9ff pages.

Of course I've seen 70 columns x 30 lines on an HGR screen. Maybe you
could find that PD demo and figure out how to make it work for you. You
would just need a monichrome monitor so the blurring doesn't make it
unreadable.

Thankx,
Ed

Jeff Blakeney wrote:
>>Laser128 only: QGR mode,
>

M. Pender

unread,
Apr 15, 2004, 6:13:26 PM4/15/04
to
On 4/13/04 9:41 PM, in article lk5p709ktk37aiq3r...@4ax.com,
"Jeff Blakeney" <CUTjbl...@sympatico.ca> wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 10:54:29 -0500, Ed Eastman <no...@nowhere.net>
> wrote:
>
>> Laser128 only:
>> QGR mode, single page consisting of page 1 and page 2 of normal mode:
>> 280h x 384v or 560h x 384v
>> Memory is page 1 _and_ page 2 of given mode, page one in the upper half
>> of the screen, page two on the lower half.
>
> I don't suppose they made this mode work with text mode as well? It
> would be kind of nice to be able to edit an Applesoft program in an
> 80h x 48v text display.

IIRC they doubled all of the graphics modes. Quad Lo-Res graphics with 80h
x 8v text at the bottom was actually kind of cool looking, IIRC.
Unfortunately, it was the same character generator chip used, so the text
was almost illegible on a non-RGB computer monitor. It might have been
decent on a VGA monitor, but didn't own any back then and now I don't own a
Laser 128 any more.

- Mike

M. Pender

unread,
Apr 15, 2004, 6:20:08 PM4/15/04
to
On 4/10/04 8:38 PM, in article 20040411123...@News.Individual.NET,
"Roger Johnstone" <roj...@orcon.net.nz> wrote:

> The older Laser 3000 had a graphics mode called RGB, which was the
> standard 280x192 Apple resolution, but with 8 real colours, and no
> colour limitations. It suffered the usual problem of no software support,
> but at least it was supported by the Laser's BASIC, so could easily be
> used from the owner's own programs.

I don't remember a Laser 3000. Was it part of the same family of computers?

- M.

Jeff Blakeney

unread,
Apr 15, 2004, 8:59:41 PM4/15/04
to
On Thu, 15 Apr 2004 22:13:26 GMT, "M. Pender" <mpe...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>IIRC they doubled all of the graphics modes. Quad Lo-Res graphics with 80h
>x 8v text at the bottom was actually kind of cool looking, IIRC.
>Unfortunately, it was the same character generator chip used, so the text
>was almost illegible on a non-RGB computer monitor. It might have been
>decent on a VGA monitor, but didn't own any back then and now I don't own a
>Laser 128 any more.

I have both a Laser 128 and a Laser 128EX that I now have to pull out
and play with. This sounds like fun. :-)

Roger Johnstone

unread,
Apr 16, 2004, 2:22:21 AM4/16/04
to
In <BCA482D8.9F92%mpe...@hotmail.com> M. Pender wrote:
> On 4/10/04 8:38 PM, in article 20040411123...@News.Individual.
> NET, "Roger Johnstone" <roj...@orcon.net.nz> wrote:
>
>> The older Laser 3000 had a graphics mode called RGB, which was the
>> standard 280x192 Apple resolution, but with 8 real colours, and no
>> colour limitations. It suffered the usual problem of no software
>> support, but at least it was supported by the Laser's BASIC, so could
>> easily be used from the owner's own programs.
>
> I don't remember a Laser 3000. Was it part of the same family of
> computers?
>
> - M.

Here's a picture of it http://www.obsoletecomputermuseum.org/lsr3000/

It predated the Laser 128 by a year or two. Its biggest problem was that
it was only Apple II+ compatible, not IIe compatible. It had 64KB of RAM,
80-column text and double-hires graphics (560x192, 6 colours), as well
as the RGB graphics mode, but all these extras were done differently
than the way Apple did it in the IIe.

In some ways it was actually better than the original Laser 128, in that
it had a sound chip, ran at 2MHz and had a BASIC in ROM with commands
for using sound and the extra graphics modes.

Michael J. Mahon

unread,
Apr 16, 2004, 3:06:17 AM4/16/04
to
Roger Johnstone wrote:

>Here's a picture of it http://www.obsoletecomputermuseum.org/lsr3000/
>
>It predated the Laser 128 by a year or two. Its biggest problem was that
>it was only Apple II+ compatible, not IIe compatible. It had 64KB of RAM,
>80-column text and double-hires graphics (560x192, 6 colours), as well
>as the RGB graphics mode, but all these extras were done differently
>than the way Apple did it in the IIe.
>
>In some ways it was actually better than the original Laser 128, in that
>it had a sound chip, ran at 2MHz and had a BASIC in ROM with commands
>for using sound and the extra graphics modes.

Yet another example of the market-driven truth that "Being standard
is better than being better."

I used to work for a major company that made about a half dozen
"improved" PCs--all market flops, of course. The improvements were
very promising, but the software support for them was non-existent
outside the ports that the company paid for.

This is a very important lesson for engineers to learn. Unless the
benefits of an "improvement" in design are big and obvious to the
person who makes the purchasing decision, they are doomed.

A corollary is that a standard can only be upgraded when there
is no way to muddle through with the old standard--look at the
time it is taking to roll out the new IP version!

Exegete

unread,
Apr 16, 2004, 9:10:26 AM4/16/04
to

Michael J. Mahon wrote:

> Roger Johnstone wrote:
>
>
>>Here's a picture of it http://www.obsoletecomputermuseum.org/lsr3000/
>>
>>It predated the Laser 128 by a year or two. Its biggest problem was that
>>it was only Apple II+ compatible, not IIe compatible. It had 64KB of RAM,
>>80-column text and double-hires graphics (560x192, 6 colours), as well
>>as the RGB graphics mode, but all these extras were done differently
>>than the way Apple did it in the IIe.
>>
>>In some ways it was actually better than the original Laser 128, in that
>>it had a sound chip, ran at 2MHz and had a BASIC in ROM with commands
>>for using sound and the extra graphics modes.
>
>
> Yet another example of the market-driven truth that "Being standard
> is better than being better."
>
> I used to work for a major company that made about a half dozen
> "improved" PCs--all market flops, of course. The improvements were
> very promising, but the software support for them was non-existent
> outside the ports that the company paid for.

TI Professional, Digital, and Tandy 2000.
Same basic deal. Oh! IBM PCjr.

Roy

>
> This is a very important lesson for engineers to learn. Unless the
> benefits of an "improvement" in design are big and obvious to the
> person who makes the purchasing decision, they are doomed.
>
> A corollary is that a standard can only be upgraded when there
> is no way to muddle through with the old standard--look at the
> time it is taking to roll out the new IP version!
>
> -michael
>
> Check out amazing quality sound for 8-bit Apples on my
> Home page: http://members.aol.com/MJMahon/

-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----

Michael J. Mahon

unread,
Apr 16, 2004, 1:32:48 PM4/16/04
to
Roy replied:

>Michael J. Mahon wrote:

<snip>

>> I used to work for a major company that made about a half dozen
>> "improved" PCs--all market flops, of course. The improvements were
>> very promising, but the software support for them was non-existent
>> outside the ports that the company paid for.
>
>TI Professional, Digital, and Tandy 2000.
>Same basic deal. Oh! IBM PCjr.

I used to wonder what our executives were thinking! It was
obvious to me and many others that the critical mass
phenomenon was in full bloom, and no "similar but better"
machine could ever win in the marketplace.

This kind of unconscious incompetence is actually the most
common state of large management teams. They remain
unconcious until they are forceably awakened by pain or until
they are removed from the playing field by natural selection.

There seem to be many people who regret the dominance of
a single computing platform, and many of them blame the
creators of the winning platform for winning.

It is not unusual for the marketplace winners to be
hypercompetitive. Consider puppies: we think it is cute and
"spunky" when a small dog displays aggressive behavior.
When a dog gets larger and continues to exhibit noisy
aggression, we think of it as annoying or even dangerous.
But it is the same aggressive competitive trait that was in
the "cute" puppy.

We like all of our hypercompetitive "puppy" companies
that achieve success to tone down their competition so that
they are less threatening. But if they succeed quickly, and
are able to preserve their "startup" culture, they are less
likely to "mellow" as older companies invariably do.

The truth is that the market decides the winners, and we have
exactly the computing milieu that we have collectively chosen
for ourselves. Dissatisfaction with the consensus platform is
actually dissatisfaction with the market itself, not the suppliers
of the platform, who, after all, are only giving the market what it
chooses with its collective pocketbook. And some continue to
exhibit that "gotta win" attitude that made them successful in
the first place--which we find unacceptable in a "big dog".

Michael J. Mahon

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 6:29:35 PM4/24/04
to
Ed Eastman wrote:

Ed, how did you enable the Quad Hi-Res mode?

I now have a Laser 128 (Thanks, Laine!), and would like to know
which soft switches are involved in QHR. Any other technical info
you have on this machine would also be very useful.

Thanks,

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