Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the day that the first practical and commercially-successful personal computer, the Apple II, went on sale. The Apple II featured an a 1MHz MOS 6502 processor, an integrated keyboard, a built-in BASIC programming environment, expandable memory (4K expandable to 48K), a monitor capable of color graphics, a sound card, and eight expansion slots. As Wired Magazine’s Tony Long puts it, “The Apple II resembles today’s modern desktops in the way a ’38 Plymouth resembles a Cadillac Escalade. Cruder, perhaps, with fewer bells and whistles, but a smoothly functioning machine nevertheless.”
The Apple II (or Apple ][) quickly became one of the most popular computers ever, filling school computer labs and making it way into offices across the nation. Although it was a vast improvement over the Apple I, it contained the same processor and ran at the same speed. It became the world’s most popular computer for two very good reasons. First, it was ready-to-run right out of the box, which was a distinct advantage it’s contemporaries. The second reason was the world of possibility that the eight expansion slots brought to the machine. No other computer had the Apple’s flexibility. Soon after the release of the Apple II, Apple would make dozens of different expansion cards available to expand the computer’s capabilities.
A month after the Apple II was released, BYTE magazine published an article written by Steve Wozniak describing the Apple II computer. You can still read an archive of the article at OldComputers.net.
Read more an extensive history and description of the Apple II at Apple2History.org.
|Apple II Price List
for the June 1977 release
|4K||$ 1,298.00||$ 598.00|