Programming the F18A: Getting Started

This is the first part of my tutorial on programming the F18A installed in an Apple II.  I cover installing the card and finding software.  Future parts will cover more interesting topics, such as the tile layer, sprites, and F18A-specific features. Throughout, I’ll use VDP (Video Display Processor) to refer to the original TMS9918A, F18A …

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AppleTi and F18A at KansasFest

Years ago, I outlined interfacing the F18A, a TMS9918A Video Display Processor (VDP) clone with VGA output, to the Apple II.  I never followed through, but somebody on the AtariAge forum recently completed a design and released a PCB.  The “AppleTi” board is a functional clone of the E-Z Color Graphics Interface.  The AppleTi board …

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Interfacing the F18A to the Apple II

What does it take to interface the F18A, a modern FPGA-based clone of the venerable TM9918A Video Display Processor (VDP), to an Apple II? Short answer: not much. Here’s the long answer. Let’s start with analyzing the design of the E-Z Color Graphics Interface, a TMS9918A-based “sprite board” with the design published in the August …

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Where are the sprites in my Apple?

The Apple II, first announced in 1977, had in-built color graphics capabilities.  Certainly, these capabilities are rudimentary by standards even five years later, but graphics capabilities were a big deal in 1977.  Previously, hobbyist accessible computers like the KIM-1 and the Altair 8800 had absolutely no video or graphics output.  At best, the owner could …

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