In its day, Applied Engineering built a solid reputation among Apple II owners for their innovation, excellent build quality, and generous warranty support. AE was quick to fill in gaps in the market for Apple II add-on boards and expansion options, often developing products for the Apple II line that neither Apple Computer nor other third-party vendors offered.
By the early 90's, as Apple Computer, Inc., began to withdraw support for the Apple II series and focus on the Macintosh line, the market for Apple II hardware and software began to wane. Many Apple II users began to migrate to other platforms, such as the Macintosh and IBM PC-compatibles. In an attempt to capitalize on its well-known brand name among previous Apple II owners, Applied Engineering began to market products for the Macintosh and Commodore Amiga lines. However, because of stiff competition in already active markets, and AE's late entries, Applied Engineering could not duplicate the success it had experienced with the Apple II. Around the same time, cost cutting measures were implemented, such as shortening warranty periods, charging for technical support (via a 1-900 number) and a using inferior parts, turning off loyal and time customers. Eventually dwindling Apple II sales and a failure to shift into other markets caused Applied Engineering to go out of business by 1994.
Some of Applied Engineering's best-known products for the Apple II included:
- RamWorks — memory expansion card for the Apple IIe
- TransWarp — CPU accelerator card for the Apple IIe and Apple IIGS
- Vulcan — internal hard drive
- PC Transporter — NEC V30 (Intel 8086-compatible) card that allowed Apple IIs to run MS-DOS programs
The TransWarp family of Apple II accelerators actually consisted of multiple products. The original TransWarp took over from the standard 1-MHz 6502 or 65C02 used in the Apple IIe with a 3.6 MHz version of the 65C02 (which could also be run at 1.8 MHz, selectable through hardware) and turned on and off completely through software. The TransWarp was later followed by a TransWarp II and TransWarp III, the latter of which was announced but never actually went into production. With Apple Computer's release of the Apple IIGS, Applied Engineering followed with a TransWarp GS, which provided an accelerated version of the 65C816 processor on which the IIGS was based.
Multi-function cards were a mainstay of AE's product offerings, of which the Serial Pro serial interface card was a typical example. Besides offering a standard RS-232 serial port, the card included a ProDOS-compatible realtime clock, thus combining two cards into one and freeing up an extra slot. When used with a dot-matrix printer, the Serial Pro offered several screen-dump print options, such as printing either of the two Apple II high-resolution pages alone, both in a single dump, or the first high-res page rotated or inverted.
Partial product list
For all Apple IIs except IIc/IIc Plus
- Serial Pro — Apple II serial (RS-232) card
- Parallel Pro — Apple II parallel (IEEE 1284) card
- Buffer Pro — Buffer add-on for Parallel Pro
- Vulcan — Internal hard disk and controller
- Vulcan Gold — Internal hard disk
- PC Transporter — NEC V30 (Intel 8086-compatible) PC coprocessor card
- Phasor — Apple II sound card
- TimeMaster H. O. and TimeMaster II H. O. — Apple II real-time clock card
- A/D + D/A Card — Analog/digital signal acquisition and industrial control card
- I/O 32 Card — 32-bit TTL/CMOS digital I/O card
- DataLink 1200/2400 — internal telephone modems
- FastMath — Math co-processor card
Apple II/II Plus Specific
- AE 16K Card — Reduced-chip substitute for Apple's 16-kB Language Card
- ViewMaster 80 — Videx- and Videoterm-compatible 80-column card with lowercase and light pen support
- MemoryMaster — Early reduced-chip substitute for Apple's Extended 80-Column Card (80 columns + 64 kB RAM)
- MemoryMaster IIe — replacement 80-column card with 64kB—256kB
- RamWorks (a. k. a. RamWorks I, RamWorks Basic) — 80-column + memory expansion card with 256—1024 kB RAM
- RamWorks II — 80-column + memory expansion card with 1+ MB RAM
- RamWorks III — 80-column + memory expansion card with 1-3 MB RAM
- RamKeeper — Battery backup option for RamWorks series (to use RAM as non-volatile RAM disk)
- ColorLink — Daughterboard RGB option for RamWorks series providing analog and IBM-compatible RGB output
- Digital Prism — Daughterboard RGB option for RamWorks series providing IBM-compatible RGB output only
- TransWarp, TransWarp II — Apple II accelerator card
Apple IIc/IIc Plus
- Z-RAM, Z-RAM Ultra, Z-RAM Ultra II, Z-RAM Ultra III — Memory expansion card
- RAM Express, RAM Express II — Memory expansion card (the RAM Express is an Apple-branded IIc RAM card with Applied Engineering stickers applied to cover the Apple logo)
- Z-80c — CP/M card
- TransWarp GS — Apple IIGS accelerator card
- GS-RAM, GS-RAM Ultra, GS-RAM Plus — Apple IIGS memory expansion cards. The cards hold 1.5MB, 4MB, and 6MB respectively.
- RamKeeper — Battery backed RAM drive for the Apple IIGS
- Sonic Blaster — Apple IIGS sound card
- Audio Animator — Apple IIGS sound card with external audio mixer and MIDI I/O
- Conserver — Integrated disk drive organizer, surge protector, and cooling fan
- AE 1.6-MB Drive — 1.6-MB, 3.5-inch floppy drive for IIGS (Apple's 3.5-inch drives for the Apple II stopped at 800 kB; GS/OS driver needed for 1.6-MB utilization)
- AE 1.44-MB Drive — 1.44-MB, 3.5-inch floppy drive for Commodore-Amiga 500, 2000 beat Commodore's own high density drive to market. Not compatible with the 1.76 mb Amiga Chinon high density floppy.
- AE 800-KB Drive — 800-KB, 3.5-inch floppy drive for IIe, IIc/IIc Plus, and IIGS
- ReactiveMicro.com AE hardware supplier for TransWarp GS 32KB Cache Board, other TransWarp GS upgrades and GS RAM Plus GAL for ROM0/1 and ROM3 compatibility.
- 16Sector.com Apple II Hardware supplier & Support site for AE Hardware / Software and other Apple II hardware.
- Dr Ken's Webstore Apple II+, IIe, IIc, IIc Plus & IIGS systems & accessories.
- Applied Engineering Repository Scans of company ads and catalogs, information about the company's history, and more.