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Apple II Historical Gems

Rolling out the IIGS

     Ever wondered what Apple was saying when the IIGS was first introduced?
What about questions and remarks from II users? If your curiosity is tweaked,
then here's a sampling: the actual transcript of the Apple IIGS rollout conference!



presented by MAUG, Thursday, September 18, 1986, 9-12 p.m. EDT

Copyright (c) 1986 by Apple Computer Inc., CompuServe, and MCU Inc.

Featuring a number of guests from Apple Computer Inc., as well as
representatives from some other companies with new products for the
Apple IIGS. Special guest appearance by John Sculley, chief executive
officer of Apple.

            [Conference transcript edited by Fred Povey]

[In the transcript that follows, all protocol matters, inside jokes,
line noise, etc., have been edited out for clarity.]


    NEIL SHAPIRO/SYSOP: This is a special CO to welcome Apple Computer's
latest machine into the world of Apple computer users! The Apple IIGS has
been a long time a-coming but most will agree with me that it has been
worth the wait! Here with us tonight are various representatives from
Apple Computer and some other manufacturers who will be releasing (or
have released) products for the new Apple IIGS.

    OK ... First I would like to turn it over to the Apple Team in Apple's
main HQ for any opening remarks. Then I will ask what other manufacturers
are here so we all know what products are being represented.

    APPLE TEAM: Good evening, all. Tonight we're here to celebrate the
introduction of the new Apple IIGS, the new flagship product of the
Apple II line. Tonight we have with us:

     Dan Cochran, manager, Tools & Languages
     Guy Kawasaki, manager, Apple Software
     Scott Knaster, manager, Tech Support
     Pete McDonald, Tech Support
     John Bennett, Tech Support
     Jim Merritt, Tech Support
     Bob Perez, Software Evangelist
     David Eyes, Apple II Languages
     Guillermo Ortiz, Tech Support
     Rilla Reynolds, Tech Support
     Cameron Birse, Tech Support
     Bryan Stearns, Tech Support
     Martha Steffan, Evangelist
     Douglas Sleeter, Evangelist

     and probably a number of other drop-ins.

    Lots of folks involved in the IIGS project are out on the road this week,
but they're here in spirit.

    We're here to answer any and all questions on this new member of the
Apple family.

    NEIL SHAPIRO: Next thing ... Any other manufacturers that are here,
please signify this ... Apple IIGS developers only, please ... (Several
respond.) I'll now call on each of you and, very briefly, please, just
let us all know what your products are.

    ON THREE/BOB C.: ON THREE has a line of Desk Accessories for the
Apple ///. We are currently porting them over. Release is expected on
the 21st of October.

    STEVE PARK: We are the developers of ProFiler 3.0, a general-purpose
database manager that runs on the Apple //e, //c and IIGS. Release of our
product will be through Pinpoint Publishing, hopefully around the first
of November.

    TOM EVSLIN: Solutions is the developer of Glue for the Mac (a print-to-
disk capability). Glue IIGS (or whatever) will provide a similar
capability for the IIGS as well as a way to exchange graphic output with
the Mac.

    JOHN FACHINI (KYAN): Kyan is moving over our ISO Pascal and
programming toolkits for the Apple IIGS, as well as completing development of
a high-powered version of KIX which will provide a high-level UNIX feel to

manufactures the popular Sider hard disk subsystem, which works just fine
on the IIGS. We will be updating the Sider's firmware and software in the
future to better take advantage of some of the IIGS's features.

    [The questioning begins.]

    RODNEY SOMERSTEIN: What programs can we expect out soon after the
IIGS's release, to show off some of its sound and graphics? Also, what
software will come with the machine?

    APPLE TEAM: As part of our introduction effort for the IIGS, we've
seeded 250 prototypes with developers in the last six months. We expect
40 new products will be available for the IIGS during the Christmas
season, including:

     Paintworks Plus from Activision
     TopDraw from Styleware
     Print Shop from Broderbund
     Newsmaker from Broderbund
     Pageworks from Megahaus
     Fantavision from Broderbund
     Multiscribe from Styleware
     and the Finder from Apple Computer.

    STEVE PARK: ProFILER 3.0 will be out before Christmas, and fully
supports the mouse-based environment, complete with pull-down menus,
dialog boxes, and all the trappings that users of the Apple Macintosh
have come to expect.

    JOHN LANDWEHR: What is the major disk medium (5 1/4 or 3 1/2) and
what is the format (DOS 3.3 or ProDOS)?

    APPLE TEAM: ProDOS-16, 3 1/2 and 3 1/2! But 5 1/4 does work. DOS 3.3,
CP/M, Pascal all work in Apple II mode.

    BARRY FOX: Will the serial ports provide normal RS-232C support, or
will they require reconfiguring a mess of cables and accessories?

    APPLE TEAM: It (the IIGS) uses the same cables as the Mac Plus. Apple
has no new cable products.

    JAH: Haven't seen any specs ... 16-bit? Clock speed? Slots?

    APPLE TEAM: It is 16-bit, 7 slots (Apple-style), plus one memory-
expansion slot. Clock speed, 2.8 mHz in fast mode, 1 mHz in Apple II mode.
Apple II applications can run at the fast speed (except games, if you want
them to run at ``normal'' speed).

    FRANK BROWN: Lance (FCP), I currently use Thompson's product to boot
into ProDOS. Will it be upgraded to ProDOS-16?

    LANCE JACOBS (FCP): Thompson's modification is not yet shipping as
standard product. We will eventually give you the capability to directly
boot ProDOS-16 from the Sider, and even partition the entire drive for it,
if you so desire.

    SEAN GOLDEN: According to an article in MIS Week this week, the new
machine will be able to run some Macintosh software. If this is true, will
it be able to network with a MacServe-type network?

    APPLE TEAM: This machine is not a Macintosh. The 65816 cannot
emulate a 68000. However, many Mac developers are porting their Mac
applications, because many of the Toolbox calls are similar. Mac-like
applications will be the norm for new GS applications.

    The GS uses the same SCC (serial communications controller) as found
in the Mac. Currently, there is built-in AppleTalk (in the IIGS).
File-server support is definitely possible Real Soon Now.

    NEIL SHAPIRO: Could a 68000 reasonably emulate a 65816, i.e., a Mac
running GS stuff later?

    APPLE TEAM: Yes, it would probably do a better job, but emulation
overhead is so high in all such cases that it's not reasonable to think
about it.

    JEFF IMIG: Will ProDOS be sold separately from the disk drive? Do I
need to buy a new drive? And when will the development system be
available for ``the rest of us''?

    APPLE TEAM: ProDOS (on the system disk) will be packaged with the
machine. New drives are sold separately. By the way, the new system disk
is only available on 3.5-inch disks. (In addition to ProDOS, the system
disk has many tools, etc., so it's too big for a 5.25-inch disk.) The
Assembler and C compiler will be available through APDA (Apple Programmers
and Developers Association). Target (is) early November.

    SHAWN GOODIN/SYSOP: Can we expect developer documentation for the
public (a la ``Inside Macintosh'') anytime soon?

    APPLE TEAM: A technical overview is available from APDA now. Balance
of documentation is also due from APDA in early November.

    MICHAEL POWELL: Will an upgrade/trade-in option be available for those
(like me) who have clung to their II+?

    APPLE TEAM: II+ upgrade is being investigated.

    NEIL SHAPIRO: Lots of people will keep their fingers crossed!

    KEN AND DAVE: As certified developers, we have not received the
August newsletter, and we were wondering if developers will be able to
purchase the Apple (IIGS) before Sept. 27? And also, why only 2.8 mHz?

    APPLE TEAM: You should have gotten the August newsletter. Please
contact Hazel Holby at (408) 996-1010 to get it. Next week, we are sending
the September one out, with more stuff about the GS. The mailing will
include a Certified Developer price list. Allocation will be very tight.
First-come, first-served. One per developer.

    (The IIGS runs at) 2.8 mHz because we didn't want to cream Atari and
Amiga too badly. What would people build reefs with?

    JON HARDIS: Is the //e still in production?

    APPLE TEAM: Yes. Absolutely. Postively.

    RICHARD EWING: In a nutshell, how does ProDOS-16 differ from the old
(ProDOS 1.1.1)? Can we expect the super-res screen to grow in the future
(as Mac screens appear to be doing now)? Is the 65832 microprocessor
in your future plans?

    APPLE TEAM: ProDOS-16 includes support for the 65816. This means you
can call it from anywhere in memory, from full 16-bit mode. The disk
format is IDENTICAL. The parameter blocks handle 32-bit pointers, etc.
832: figment of Bill Mensch's imagination. You can read the upcoming Dave
Eyes book on it (heh, heh). [The question about larger graphic screens was
not answered.]

    KEITH/SLARCAUG: In an earlier APPLECO, Mr. Sculley mentioned
possibly doing something special for user groups with the new machine(s).
Is anything planned, and if so, what? Also, is any other software besides
ProDOS-16 bundled (with the IIGS)?

    APPLE TEAM: Contact Ellen Leanse, Apple User Group Evangelist, for
info. She has some T-shirts made, so she must be planning something.
(408) 996-1010. Or leave a message for her at 76703,3031. Software: No
applications, it's a system disk.

    DAN NEAL (PenAPPLE): Seriously, why only 2.8 mHz? Why the change to
platinum casing? Will older peripherals like Disk ][ (drives) and
(Novation) Apple-Cat (modem) work?

    APPLE TEAM: Forgot ... a training disk is bundled with the system.
With compatibility stuff and reliability margins, we can only run at 2.8.
The next convenient speed was too fast for the other logic (components).
No problem with the old peripherals. The platinum was because the white
cases got dirty, and besides, we wanted something neutral to go with our
other machines.

    TIM GRAMS: Will my UniDisk 3.5 (//e) attach directly to the disk port
connector? Is automatic slowdown of the lower 128K always active, given
the bottom 64K mapping of base-page memory on the 65816?

    APPLE TEAM: The UniDisk 3.5 will plug directly into the disk port. No
change to the DB-19 (connector) for this device.  Fast operation is
possible in the lower 128K. Automatic slowdown only occurs with disk
devices in slots 4-7.

    SCOTT KNASTER/APPLE: Who wrote that cool Tape Deck program that
plays great music? Who was it who rewrote the disk formatter for the '816?
Would somebody bring me a Cherry Coke?

    Let me answer for you: 1. Jim Merritt of Tech Support. 2. Pete McDonald of
Tech Support.  3.  Thanks.

    HARRY CONOVER/STAFF: Is there _any_ troot whatsoever that Bryan
Stearns wrote the SCSI non-driver?

    BRYAN STEARNS/APPLE: No truth whatsoever <grin>.

    GABE WIENER: I missed the beginning of this CO, so how are we in
price? How well can the GS work with a Macintosh (other than a general
serial connection)? Howsabout music synthesis? (Any MIDI?)

    APPLE TEAM: We're fine in terms of prices. The question is, do you have the
$999 required to purchase the base system (without monitor or
drive)? The GS will initially be available in limited quantities, but
units should be in dealerships in early October.

    The GS and Macintosh can share peripherals and communicate via
AppleTalk. The GS has a built-in sound chip capable of 15-voice operation.
MIDI would have to come from third-party (vendors), but the note
synthesizer toolkit commands (RAM-based) parallel very closely the MIDI

    FRED POVEY: About the memory expansion for the GS:  How much does the
card cost? When will it be available? Specs? What chips are on the card?
Is it user-expandable? How and when do you get from 1 to 4 to 8 megabytes?

    APPLE TEAM: Apple's memory card is available for $129 with 256K. It
can be expanded to 512K, and then to 1 megabyte (the 768K increment is
not supported). Third parties (MDIdeas, Applied Engineering) have
announced boards with up to 8 megabytes, using SIMMs or 1-megabit RAMs.

    PEABO/ICONtact: I had planned to retire my HD-20 (Apple Hard Disk 20)
and put it on the IIGS, but I found out that the non-SCSI HD-20 is not
compatible with the IIGS disk software. Is there any possibility of
Apple or a third party coming to the rescue for HD-20 owners?

    APPLE TEAM: Well, the HD-20 does not support daisy-chained devices
as the 3.5-inch devices for the Apple // peripherals. It should be
possible for a third-party developer to write a driver to run the HD-20
on the Apple IIGS, but you may not be able to have any other devices on
the disk port.

    DARREN: I LOVE the //c and its portability with a flat monitor and a
battery pack. I need to know if there is an upgrade path planned for the
//c so I can (have the) features of the IIGS.

    APPLE TEAM: The //c upgrade path announced this week is a Slinky-like
1MB memory expansion card. Current //c owners can swap their motherboards
to get the memory expansion capability. There is no GS upgrade (for the

    TOM DOLEZAL: Does AppleWorks 2.0 exist as rumored? If so, what
can we expect ... things like graphics creation/merge, mail-merge, relational
databases, more word-processing power? Is the real-time IIgs clock
Thunderclock/AE clock-compatible, or a new type?

    APPLE TEAM: AppleWorks 2.0 is shipping. (It) features mail-merge and
a larger desktop on the GS, thanks to the additional memory. The GS clock
is not Thunderclock-like; ProDOS-16 recognizes it and a new ProDOS-8
(included on the system disk) will also recognize it. By the way, the new
clock DOES include battery(-powered) RAM, which saves all your
preferences which you can set from the control panel.

    STEVE PARK: ProFILER is designed to complement AppleWorks 2.0.

    JOHN THATCHER: The UniDisk 3.5 works on the GS; do the new drives
work on the //c? And any possibility of Super-Res (graphics) expanding
to 640x400?

    APPLE TEAM: Good question ... You have stumped the band.
Consensus is, all the smart (port) people say it (new 3.5-inch drive)
doesn't work (on the //c). Consult your smart dealer for sure.

    EAGLE I. BERNS/APPLE: The answer to the 640x400 question is simple: No.

    DAN NEAL (PenAPPLE): What is the new resolution?

    APPLE TEAM: 320x200, 16 colors, or 640x200, 4 colors. Color palette
is 4,096 colors. The 640 mode has seen some dithering which has 136 colors
at a time (16 good ones).

    BENN KOBB: Your GS press kit lists 20 software titles to come.
Are any of these from the big guns in Macware,  like Miscrosoft, etc.?

    APPLE TEAM: Of the 250 developers who we seeded with GS products, a
large number are indeed from the Macware kingdom. The developers listed in
the press release, etc., are those who wish to be identified as either
shipping or planning to ship GS software. There are many others to come,
but it's not appropriate for us to preannounce their products. We'll leave
that to InfoWorld.

    CHEF DAVID: On the //e upgrade path (to the IIGS), what will be
forsaken? What about the keypad and the attached mouse?

    APPLE TEAM: There is no AUX slot on the GS. Multifunction cards don't
work. Some (low percentage) software problems due to use of unsupported
entry points. The //e keypad connector is included on the IIGS and (the
//e keypad) will work if you've got it. The //e mouse will work in slot 4,
and the desktop bus connector is brought out to the back panel. So a
desktop bus mouse will work. I'm not sure if the mouse is included in
the upgrade.

    RUSTY HODGE/SnAPP: Does the new SCSI card follow Protocol Converter
standards, and is it possible for a Mac and a IIGS to share an HD-20SC
via SCSI? And could you talk a bit about the new built-in serial ports
(differences between them and the Super Serial Card)?

    APPLE TEAM: The SCSI card does follow Protocol Converter standards.
The SCSI standard allows multiple CPUs, but the ProDOS and Mac file
systems are different, so the disk would need to be partitioned. We
haven't tried that.

    The new serial ports are set up with ROMs at slots 1 and 2. To drive
them directly is completely different from the Super Serial Card. The new
serial chip is the same SCC used in the Mac.

    DONALD BROWN/STAFF: With the IIGS supporting AppleTalk, will //
programs print on the LaserWriter? If so, does a program need to be
written specially to do so?

    EAGLE I. BERNS/APPLE: It sure will, we use it all the time to print
listings on something more sophisticated.

    DAVE Z: Since (the floppy disk) media is going to 3.5" size, can I
transfer my 5.25(-inch disk files) to 3.5? Is the new (analog) RGB really
that good (close to the Mac)?

    APPLE TEAM: You can transfer Pascal and ProDOS to the 3.5-inch disks.
Several third parties have done DOS (3.3) for the 3.5s. Of course, you
can use the 5.25-inch disks on the GS, both in Apple II mode and under
ProDOS-16. GS RGB is 640x200. Check it out at your dealer. Pixels per
square inch aren't the same as Mac, but the effect is great.

    [At this point, the CO's surprise guest appears ...]

    JOHN SCULLEY/APPLE:  Hello from Washington, D.C. ... sorry, the
flight was delayed!  And Joe Hutsko (Special Assistant for Technology)
had some problems breaking into the hotel's telecom.

    NEIL SHAPIRO: VERY glad you could make it ... Well, everyone, this
is the ``Surprise Guest'' that we had planned for this evening. John
Sculley, Apple's CEO, is logging into this conference from a trip to
Washington, D.C. I'm very happy he could be here, and I would now like to
turn it over to him for any comments that he would like to make to us.
John, congrats on a wonderful new machine!

    [There is some delay as Sculley is temporarily disconnected.]

    JOHN SCULLEY: I am very pleased to be here. We just arrived in
Washington, hope we are not too late for everyone. How do you folks
like the GS?

    [Wild cheering ensues from MAUGers across the country.]

    JOHN SCULLEY: We can take some questions, then I have to get up early
for a meeting tomorrow.

    STEVE PARK/ProFILER: Mr. Sculley, while the incredible powers of this
new machine are still unexplored, there has been some criticism from
developers regarding the speed of the new graphics mode. Are there plans
to bring this more in line with the Macintosh performance standards?

    JOHN SCULLEY: The same QuickDraw as Mac is recoded for the GS,
and if taken advantage of, the (graphics) performance will be stronger. Also, a
dedicated graphics processor, called the VGS, takes the load off of the
'816 processor for graphics. As developers get familiar with the 16-bit
features, I'm sure we will see some great graphics applications, with great

    JOHN FACHINI/KYAN: In the August 1986 issue of InCider magazine,
references to about a dozen products appeared which were for the as-yet
unknown 16-bit Apple. The companies announced (I think) and broke (their)
agreement with Apple as far as confidentiality was concerned. Is this an
issue at Apple?

    JOHN SCULLEY: I don't know the specifics, Guy (Kawasaki) or Ellen
(Leanse) could answer.

    APPLE TEAM: I'm not aware of the InCider article.  Confidentiality is
important to us in any seeding program.

    ED TRISKA: Will an AppleWorks program update be supplied with the GS?

    JOHN SCULLEY: A new version of AppleWorks, release 2.0, is now
available. It recognizes expanded memory and adds new features like
mail-merge. Sorry, it does not come free with the GS.

    ELLEN LEANSE/APPLE: (The AppleWorks upgrade is) $50 at dealers Sept. 27.

    DeWAYNE VanHOOZER: Mr. Sculley, what do you see the role of the new
computer/CD-ROM products being in the home market? Do you believe this
market to be significant?

    JOHN SCULLEY: It could be really big. The GS is designed to take full
advantage of CD-ROM with its high-fidelity sound (32 oscillators! 15
voices!) and advanced color graphics. I think the first valuable
applications (of CD-ROM) will start with libraries of information,
including pictures, for K-12 education. This will extend into the home a
short time after.

    APPLE TEAM: And with SCSI, we can get CD info FAST!

    JOHN SCULLEY: Right!

    MARC MANDEL/OMNISOFT: Can you please comment on the Apple-
pays-half deal for the new computer? Second, can you mention when the price
cuts in the Mac take effect?

    JOHN SCULLEY: First, this is a promotion on Apple peripherals bought
when the CPU is purchased, and Apple has a rebate of half the cost of
peripherals up to a maximum of $250. Second, the price cuts on the Mac
should take effect right away.

    NEIL SHAPIRO:  John, a question many people are asking on the Forums
is: When will dealers really have the machines to sell ... and just how
limited will the quantities be? What is a reasonable period that most
people who want one could expect to have a IIGS in?

    JOHN SCULLEY: First machines should start appearing at dealers on
Sept. 27. This is going to take awhile to get up to quantities that will
meet the anticipated demand. The IIGS uses five custom chips, and we need
to get experience in producing these chips in large quantities before we
can get the yields up to a level where there will be enough machines for

    Therefore, I expect that those people who won't be able to get a GS
before Christmas will probably opt for a //e with the intention of getting
the GS upgrade board. Upgrade boards will list at $499, and we expect to
have many quantities of boards that we can begin the upgrade board intro
shortly after the first of the year.

    NEIL SHAPIRO: One last question which has also been a prime topic of
discussion on the APPLE2 forum ... It was asked here earlier, but I know
our members would like to hear how you feel about the possibility of
extending that upgrade offer to owners of the II+ machines.

    JOHN SCULLEY:  The GS board only fits in the Apple //e case.
Otherwise, we would have offered II+ owners the same opportunity to

    DAVE Z: Will IBM software ever be able to be used on an Apple IIGS?

    JOHN SCULLEY:  At least one third-party company is working on a
coprocessor board for the GS which will allow it to run PC-DOS
software. It's up to the third-party developers out there!

    In closing ... The IIGS is one of the most exciting events
to happen since I have been at Apple. This is a no-compromise product
which bridges the Apple //e into the second generation of personal

     The GS has outstanding color graphics, stereo sound and AppleTalk
communications built in, on the board, as well as the ability to share
peripherals with the Macintosh. I think many people are already excited
that you can print to the LaserWriter with a GS over AppleTalk.

    I hope this sets to rest any concerns out there. Apple is really
committed to the Apple II forever! I also hope people stop worrying that
we can't do anything innovative anymore with a computer that is coming
up on its 10th anniversary.

    Great being with all of you, and sorry for being so late getting
online -- this is as bad as last time, we were late. Promise, next time
we will be on time, even if we have to go online from the plane!

                         [End of conference]