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Thread: How rare are the Trackstar E Apple-compatible ISA cards?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    597

    Default How rare are the Trackstar E Apple-compatible ISA cards?

    I've come across one that seems to be in working order. I don't see any in sales history on Ebay.

  2. #2

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    Regarding eBay, the cards are pretty rare. What makes them rare is that only schools purchased these cards, in an attempt to expand the amount of educational software on an IBM-based computer. At the time the Trackstar was selling, educational software on the Apple II outpaced the PC platform by huge amounts. At the time this card was sold, which was during the late 1980s to early 1990s, I was working at Computerland, supporting the area's department of education. Although we were pushing IBM solutions (IBM School software suite, Novell NetWare 2.x running on an IBM PS/2 Model 80, on token-ring,) the Apple II line of software would always be the favorite of the students. So for a Trackstar to find itself on eBay, it would have to have originally come from a school or an education reseller. When I left Computerland in the late 1990s, I had three Trackstar Plus cards; sold two of them, and kept one, currently installed in an IBM Model 30/286.

  3. #3

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    I found mine, and I'd wager there are many more out there, hidden inside a Tandy 1000 sale. Radio Shack used to sell the Trackstar as an add-on, so if you see a T1000 for sale with the CGA cable for the Tracksstar snaking out of the back of the card cage, you may have better luck than just searching for the card itself.

  4. #4

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    Trackstar 128 surfaces far more than the others. Shame about the g-damn copy protection on the Utility Program disk. What were they thinking?!
    But Trackstar E has been on eBay at least three times in the past couple of years. So... not impossible to find. Just need some patience.

    I'm going to insert a shameless plug for my Trackstar website now, as it's quite informative...
    www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar
    Cruise by Diskman Presents: filled with geektastic classic gaming goodness!

  5. #5

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    I have an old Quadlink from Quadram.

    It is also an Apple II (Plus?) on an ISA card.

    Installation requires daisy chaining the floppy disk cable to it, then the drives. Same for the CGA monitor. When not in Apple mode, it just passes the signals through.

    Is the Trackstar the same way?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeathAdderSF View Post
    Trackstar 128 surfaces far more than the others. Shame about the g-damn copy protection on the Utility Program disk. What were they thinking?!
    What has the copy protection on it? The Apple II end, or the PC end? Unusual for PC end to have protection, and you'd think someone could crack the Apple end with a minimum of fuss.

    A
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Lower Planes BBS Ports 22/23 telnet or SSH
    Pineapple Home of the Hardware Database
    Australian BBS list old style BBS registry listing.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeathAdderSF View Post
    Trackstar 128 surfaces far more than the others. Shame about the g-damn copy protection on the Utility Program disk. What were they thinking?!
    What has the copy protection on it? The Apple II end, or the PC end? Unusual for PC end to have protection, and you'd think someone could crack the Apple end with a minimum of fuss.

    A
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Lower Planes BBS Ports 22/23 telnet or SSH
    Pineapple Home of the Hardware Database
    Australian BBS list old style BBS registry listing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Burlington, VT
    Posts
    177

    Default

    I picked up a Trackstar Plus at a swap meet about 15 years ago. It's still in the original box with all accessories and software - board sealed in an anti-static bag. Is this functionally equivalent to a Trackstar E? If not, what are the differences?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirsch View Post
    If not, what are the differences?
    The answer is in the names, one meant to emulate a II+, one a IIe. Please Kryoflux the boot disk and add it to Archive.org if you haven't already.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Burlington, VT
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Towmater View Post
    The answer is in the names, one meant to emulate a II+, one a IIe. Please Kryoflux the boot disk and add it to Archive.org if you haven't already.
    Interesting. The documentation specifically claims compatibility with Apple 2e. There is no boot disk, per se. It's just a 720 PC diskette with a handful of files on it. All are available in the wild at present - some even newer than my v1.5.

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