Connecting to an Apple Cinema Display

March 27th, 2017 10:07 AM
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It sometimes feels like display technology has outpaced the Apple II's evolution: connecting to a modern display, such as via VGA, often requires expansion cards that are rare or still in development. I'm hopeful a future Juiced.GS article will outline all the possibilities for bridging these technologies.

In the meantime, Matthew Pearce has demonstrated how to connect the Apple II to a relatively modern and high-quality monitor: the Apple Cinema Display.

This setup has its own hardware requirements and challenges: used in this video are a Portta AV/CVBS RCA composite-to-HDMI mini-converter ($18.99), a Kanex XD HDMI-to-Mini-Displayport converter ($71.49) — and, of course, an Apple Cinema Display, which was discontinued six years ago, in 2011. With Matt's video having been produced in 2015, that means he was showing us how to connect two equally unsupported Apple products.

It's not a perfect solution, and one that we saw Matt demo in 8-bit mode only with Oregon Trail; Herbert Fung warns it won't look great with the 640 x 200 mode of the Apple IIGS. But as a proof of concept, it's a pretty cool configuration — and one that could have applications for other HDMI or MiniDP devices. For lack of turnkey alternatives, this hardware combination is a good one to add to your bag of tricks.

For more from Matt, check out his factual overview video of the Apple II.

(Hat tip to Buster Hein)

A review of the Apple IIGS

December 27th, 2010 11:45 AM
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Brian Picchi, who sometimes goes by the Star Trek-inspired handle TanruNomad, was surfing YouTube recently when he noticed a dearth of reviews of the Apple IIGS. With all the other videos the site hosts, from bad dancing to drying paint, Brian was surprised at this obvious oversight — so he set out to correct it.

This is a great and succinct introduction to the Apple IIGS. The part of Brian's review I enjoyed most was the software showcase, which includes several action games I'd forgotten or had never seen. As Brian notes, "It's hard to believe those kind of graphics and sound are coming from a computer made in 1986!"

There's more to the Apple II than games, though, and I suspect a full-fledged review would require more than the seven minutes Brian allocated himself. I would like to see a comparative analysis of the Apple II and its contemporaries; personal memories of favorite software; and unique hardware features. But then, such a comprehensive review could go on for hours, so Brian's survey of the computer's history and most notable features, as well as what separated it from its 8-bit predecessors, may be the best approach.

The only point I question is that Apple II accelerator cards of the early 1990s cost in excess of a thousand dollars. I bought two of these cards sometime between 1988 and 1996, which I never could've done had they cost more than a few hundred each — though given theses cards' modern rarity, I wouldn't be surprised if Brian's estimate was simply ahead of its time!

Brian has accomplish his goal of plugging a hole in YouTube's library: his review currently shows up on the first page of search results for "Apple IIGS review".

A review with higher production values is available as part of Matt's Macintosh video podcast. Matt Pearce's review focuses on the 8-bit models and even references the Apple III technologies they incorporated — a topic that Juiced.GS recently published an entire feature about. However, I find it to be more historically oriented and less opinionated than Brian's review, as the only software Matt demonstrates is BASIC. It's possible that his interest lies with the titular Macintosh and that he has no personal experience with the Apple II, making it difficult to offer much more than a factual overview.

What other new videos about the Apple II would you like to see produced?

(Hat tip to the Vintage Computer Forums)