If you have never used your Pi, you will need to prepare your SD card. Download Raspple II (a distribution of the Raspbian operating system with Apple II goodies preinstalled), and expand the .zip file. Copy all of its files to a 4 GB or larger SD card (8 GB or larger recommended). Then put the SD card in your Pi, and attach power. The operating system will automatically install, which will take about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a screen attached to your Pi, you’ll know when it’s done when the ACT/OK lamp on the Raspberry Pi board stops flickering.
(If you are starting over with the same SD card, or want to ensure the card is formatted correctly, you can use the official SD Formatter utility — carefully! — before copying the files.)
If you’re already up and running, or want to customize the installation
You can also install A2CLOUD from the Raspbian command line. Type:
wget appleii.ivanx.com/a2cloud/setup; source setup
If you want all the features, answer “Y” to the questions. Then be patient, as it takes a little while to install.
To use A2CLOUD, you need various things. Here’s a video to show you what goes where, followed by your shopping list. (Don’t pay much attention to 2:00 through 6:00, as it’s now much simpler to set up A2CLOUD than when I made the video.)
Places to purchase are linked:
- for virtual drives, any Apple II model with Applesoft
- for internet, an Apple IIc, IIgs, or 128K Apple IIe enhanced (though Apple II Plus and unenhanced IIe might work)
- any Raspberry Pi, B/B+ models recommended (buy direct from distributor, or at Amazon: Pi 2 model B, Pi 1 model B+, Pi 1 model B, Pi 1 model A+)
- a 4 GB or larger SD card (8 GB or larger recommended)
- a good power supply with a micro-USB plug that provides at least 1A of current
- an ethernet cable attached to your router, or a Wi-Fi adapter (more complex)
- a null modem Apple II serial cable (or: roll your own)
- a USB-to-serial adapter
- a Super Serial Card, if you have an Apple IIe (see note below)
If you want simultaneous virtual drives and internet access from your Apple II:
If you have a straight-through serial cable rather than a null modem serial cable, and you are using a IIgs or IIc (no Super Serial Card), you can use a DE-9 (aka DB-9) male-to-female null modem adapter.
If you have a Super Serial Card, its jumper block needs to point towards “Modem” if you have a null modem cable, or “Terminal” if you have a straight-through cable. (Or, if you are using it with a Raspberry Pi console cable, that acts as a null modem cable, so reverse the jumper positions described here.)
(A note about the USB-to-serial adapter: there are lots of different brands and models of these. The only ones I have ever tested, including the TRENDnet model linked above, are those based on the Prolific PL2303 chipset. Other models based on other chipsets such as FTDI may also work; I just haven’t tried them.)
Hello, and welcome to A2CLOUD! It provides any Apple II — even a IIc — with internet access, mass storage, and floppy disk transfer, via a Raspberry Pi, a tiny silent $35 computer. You can also use A2CLOUD with other Linux computers or virtual machines; click here for details.
This web page is the user guide; just read the posts in order. The table of contents is over on the right. You might want to start with the intro video below. (For other ways to use your Raspberry Pi with your Apple II, check out A2SERVER, and Apple II Pi, both part of Raspple II.)
5-May-15: A2CLOUD 1.8.1 is available, featuring compatibility with every Raspberry Pi including Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+, and non-Pi users now get the GSport emulator. If you already have A2CLOUD installed, type
a2cloud-update to update, or start over with the Raspple II easy installation method (or upgrade Raspple II with
a2cloud-update os). The complete version history is here.