Post by Anthony Ortiz
I was dreaming about how nice it would be to have a graphical web-browser on an Apple II, but that would require a decent enough resolution to be able to display it, at the very minimum VGA. Second-Sight produced something like this but it never caught on and from what I've read the results weren't that great and it had issues; if someone has anything to add regarding Second-Sight I am all ears as I am very much interested in how it works and whether it was a quality product. Anyway, I was dreaming about how nice a VGA card for the Apple II would be, but the processor on the Apple II is not fast enough to make this a pleasant experience; no way would you be able to run, say, Wolfenstein 3D or Doom. That had me thinking that it would be nice to have an accelerator card for the Apple II, something similar to the TransWarp but faster since multi-media applications (such as a web-browser) are pretty demanding; perhaps something around 100mhz. So I'm dreaming of a 100mhz accelerator ca
rd for the II, but all that speed would be useless if it has to access RAM and the video card at 1mhz. That got me thinking that perhaps the accelerator can host its own RAM, completely replacing the II's motherboard RAM, so that full speed can be achieved at all times except video access which is still a problem. That got me dreaming about an external bus that can connect these modern high-speed peripheral cards (Accelerator, VGA card, perhaps an updated Uthernet card, etc...) together similar to the way an SLI cable connects GeForce cards together for SLI. So I'm dreaming about how these modern cards can plug into the Apple II slots for power and utilize the external SLI-Style bus for communicating with each other at high speed when I realize that the 8-bit CPU (or 16 65C816) may be insufficient for our modern sensibilities, so now I'm dreaming of a 32-bit 65C832...
Dreaming is fun. :-)
Seriously though, some of what you are dreaming of could be accomplished
with the Carte Blanche II card where VGA output is already done (for the
standard Apple II modes) and expanding that to new modes would not be
For your 65c832 you would have to write your own core for the FPGA on
the Carte Blanche II. That's a lot of work but not impossible. The
DRAM is 100 MHz max so it just makes your specs (the FPGA can go faster).
Incidentally WDC has a core for the 65c816 if you are willing to scale
back your dream a bit.
There is enough DRAM on the Carte Blanche II to handle all of the Apple
IIgs (no need for caching) with enough left over for a frame buffer for
your new graphics modes.
The Carte Blanche II also contains a number of other 'modern' connectors:
Micro SD card
48 Pin ZIF DIP
Of course you have to do the work of writing the code to put it all
The hardest part though might be talking someone into selling you a
Carte Blanche II card.