As you might have noticed, I’m into my new old Apple IIe computer lately. Together with the Apple IIe I bought a monochrome Apple monitor. And although it’s working fine, and’s it needed to complete the set, I will not be using it on a regular basis.
I bought a VidHD card from Blue Shift. Half a year ago I registered to be notified when the next batch of cards would be produced. And about 3 weeks ago I’ve got a notice from them. I promptly ordered one. Shipping and handling took some time though.
Maybe you wonder… what is that card about? Well, the card lets you connect your Apple II II+, IIe or IIGS to a 1080P monitor or TV.
It’s a rather unique card in that it’s all digital. The output is upscaled directly from the byte values written into the Apple’s video memory. It just monitors write operations to memory…
The card consists of 2 combined single board computers in one apple II card. One is used for generating the HDMI output (an orange PI), and the second contains a microcontroller which handles the signals from the apple II and translates them to something the other card can process. This all, to construct a video signal that can be displayed on a modern monitor or tv. It work for PAL and NTSC Apple II’s.
And as you think of it: You put an SBC having a quad-core 1.2Ghz Cortex A7 cpu running the Linux kernel into an Apple II running a 6502 1Mhz, just to grab it’s screen memory and display it on a modern monitor.
All of that to just run ‘old’ vintage software at incredibly slow speeds. I’ts a vidiocard of it’s own sort.
So yes, another step on the way of using my new old Apple IIe computer. Pure nostalgia!
Want one too? The only thing you can do is mail firstname.lastname@example.org and express your interest. You will get an invitation to order when stock is available.
See one in action in this video