A colleague of mine walked by my desk last week and asked whither I knew someone who would be interested in buying a working Apple II. Without a second of a doubt I replied: Probably, how much are you asking for it?
Fast-forward to today and I now have a working Apple IIe standing in our living room. Complete with two drives, a box full of manuals and a pile of floppies.
I have to say, for someone who works with Macs on a daily basis, and grew up moving from Windows 3.11 to OSX I was slightly taken a back at first. This thing has no mouse, no hard drive and works on floppies. How do you boot this? Does it run anything natively or does it load everything from the floppies?
There’s this running joke that if you would give any 12 year old today a videotape or a cassette they wouldn’t know what to do with it. Give an infant an iPad and they know how it works, give them a paper magazine and they’re stuck. Well, I now have this relic in my living room, and I honestly haven’t got a clue how it works.
In the end I resorted to a YouTube video showcasing a game running on the same machine to reverse engineer how one would boot the machine.
Okay… what’s different between this machine and the one in the movie… Buttons pressed. Check. Hmm, his floppy drive is loaded… mine isn’t. Let’s try booting it with a floppy. Which side is up? Okay. This one. Power on.Fingers crossed… Huh, I hear something spinning… Apple Presents Houston we have liftoff!
Frightening to see how fast we move away from old technologies. But damn, this is such a beautiful machine.