Apple ][

Apple II Computer

The year of 1977 was one filled with numerous events to get all nostalgic about – Elvis Presley died, Roots first aired on television, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, Star Wars premiered on the big screen, and the Atari 2600 home gaming system was released. The event that perhaps had the most significant impact on the future, however, was the release of the first personal computer.

On January 3, 1977, a company called Apple incorporated in Cupertino, California. Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, the company first released a motherboard that they called the Apple I. A few months later, on June 5, 1977, they released the product that would put them on the map forever – the Apple ][.

Coming from the factory with a whopping 4kB of RAM, a color-capable monitor, built-in keyboard, and (eventually) a floppy drive, the Apple II sold for a retail price of $1298. And if you wanted to upgrade to the lightning speed afforded by an additional 44kB of memory, you could do so for a mere $1000.

Here is a fascinating overview of the legendary 1997 computer:

Today’s phones make the Apple ][ look like an abacus by comparison, but it was a very innovative little system. A program called VisiCalc also became available – which was the first spreadsheet software that a layman could afford. The small business world took a technological leap, thanks to this nifty device that quickly proved it wasn’t a novelty.

Despite the lofty price tag, the computer sold quite well in the late 70s. Consider that the first Apple on the market sold 175 units, while over a million of the next generation machines were produced. The Apple lll would follow in 1980, but with a price tag three times that of its predecessor, sales were far below expectations. Don’t worry, Apple eventually recovered.

For many people, the Apple ][ was their first foray into the exciting futuristic world of home computing, and it did not disappoint. In some cases, those that bought them would go on to become the future programmers of the world. But even if you only used this breakthough technology to play a few primative computer games, you were still staring into an exciting new future.

Were you the proud owner of an Apple ][ computer? What did you use it for and what games did you play on it? Share your memories of this computer milestone with us in our comments section, as we celebrate the evolution of Apple Computers, here at Retroland.

5 Responses to “Apple ][”

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  1. Wil says:

    Who could forget playing moon patrol

  2. Spotted Feather says:

    My favourite Apple II games were Super Bunny, Apple Panic, Sammy Lightfoot, Dino Eggs, Drol, Karateka, Sneakers, Bilestod, Sticky Bear, Fat City, and Mickey Mouse Space Adventures.

  3. houseclearance says:

    I remember the impossible mission game. It was one of the unforgettable games in apple II.

  4. Lynn says:

    I remember these computers! My very first experience with one was in kindergarten, I thought it was so cool. And those big floppy disks, too!

  5. Leowic says:

    My games were the ultimas and Wings of Fury.

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