The Raspberry Pi (RPi) is becoming a phenomenal hacker’s tool for retrocomputing enthusiasts, and the Apple II Community is no exception in benefiting from this tiny but potent little computer. Previously, we’ve covered Ivan Drucker’s fabulous A2SERVER, the ‘server in a can’ that provides a file server and network boot host for Apple IIGS and IIe (equipped with Apple Workstation Card). In case you missed it, Ivan’s site is directly accessible HERE.
The *latest* RPi application for the Apple II is called ‘Apple II Pi’ (apple2pi), by David Schmenk. It’s a (for now) serial-based, client/server set of software that turns your Apple II into a kind of thin client. Your Apple II’s keyboard and mouse input are then piped to the RPi server to control it. See David’s example video of his Apple IIc controlling a virtual Apple IIGS in the following YouTube clip:
The apple2pi code is open source, and available at https://github.com/dschmenk/apple2pi
You’ll need to edit a few control settings to get it working, add a third party serial port to your RPi and maybe a DB9 to DB25 adapter. See this Applefritter thread for instructions.
David plans to develop his apple2pi project even further, including adapting the RPi board to mount on a slot card that can access the Apple II’s bus signals directly. This in turn could lead to other enhancements for your Apple II such as networking, co-processing, file storage… the prospects are wide open.
The RPi may very well turn out to be one of the most amazing Apple II peripherals ever invented.