Happy 30th birthday Apple II

Today marks the 30th birthday of the Apple II computer.

RetroThing.com reports, “There were other affordable hobbyist computer kits available before, but the Apple II was the first computer that was ready to run out of the box. It’s not surprising that an Apple II was the first computer that I used in elementary school since Apple made inroads with the U.S. educational system from their earliest offerings. What may be a surprise is that the Apple II was manufactured up until 1993 (with some redesigns and cost-reduced versions), with many still in operation today. Between five and six million of the putty colored machines were sold, (which still isn’t close to the Commodore 64’s record of 17 million!)”

RetroThing.com asks, “There’s still one question no Apple fan has ever been able to answer for me: Why in the hell does that green power light get so hot? Ouch!”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Happy 30th, Apple ][ !!!


  1. Between five and six million of the putty colored machines were sold

    FWIW the Apple IIc had the “Snow White” design, i.e. white or platinum (?) case and art-deco lines, before the Mac did.

    </i>They’ve all sucked big donkey balls since then.</i>

    Apple’s old hardware was legendary for its sheer ruggedness (the Apple /// doesn’t count). The ImageWriters, the LaserWriter II series, CPU’s from the Apple II Plus thru the Mac II line.

    Last winter I dug out the old IIc, popped in the original 1984 system disk, and flipped the switch. It booted and ran like always. It’s a bit yellowed from the years but no worse for the wear. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I just picked up a IIc with monitor at a thrift store for $5! Very exciting

    Does it have the little green “E.T.” monitor, or the larger color one?

    I remember being blown away by Apple’s first two-page Mac monitor.
    Imagine if we knew monsters like the 30″ Cinema were coming. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. And if you think Mac users are a fanatic and loyal bunch, you should have seen the Apple II users back then…

    How about the animosity between the Apple II and Mac users? It didn’t help that the Mac got the spotlight while the Apple II sales subsidized its launch.

    There was no “transition path” at first, you had to completely reinvest to switch to Mac. Hardware, apps, data, everything. While the Mac may have been the quantum leap, the old user base wasn’t entirely keen with making a leap as well.

    IMO the internal Apple II vs Mac friction hurt Apple as much as the sales guys firing Jobs. The transition certainly could have been better managed.

  4. Sorry, I was off topic on my last post here. Let me try again.

    My first experience with a computer was at Golden West College in CA and it was a dummy terminal that acted like a typewriter. (Yes, I’m that old)
    When they need a typesetter at the GWC college newspaper I was working for they brought in an original Apple II.
    I was AMAZED when I typed letters on the keyboard and saw them appear on the screen. I had know idea how to use the computer at the time and I wasn’t in a word processor. I just hit the keys and it occasionally responded with the words “Syntax Error.” But that didn’t matter. I was amazed.
    The original Apple II didn’t have upper or lower case so the school plugged in a dummy terminal to the Apple II and that was how we entered stories.

    Now I use Aperture, PhotoShop, and Final Cut on a regular bases for the newspaper I work for and take for granted what it can do. Goes to show you just how far we’ve come in a very short 30 years!

    Happy 30th Birthday Apple II

  5. Got my first Apple //e (128k) in early 1986. Had the duo disk, green monochrome monitor, super serial card, Apple joystick and the brand new ImageWriter II. Later I got a Hayes 300 baud modem and we had some great local bbs’. Man, those were the days.

    Later I got a IIgs, which was awesome too but not quite as magical as when I got my //e.

    I left Apple when they killed the Apple II line. It was the early 90’s and PC’s were taking off. A buddy of mine had a Gateway 386 that seemed like light years ahead of my gear and our local Apple retailer (Mini Concepts) had folded so off I went. A decade later…the day I got my PowerBook Ti felt a lot like the day I got my //e. Kinda magical, but I still miss the sound of the //e booting.

  6. I remember that not so long ago (well, hmm, around 2000) a restaurant near where I live was still using the Apple II gs and remote controls to place orders. I haven’t been there in years but I would not be surprised to see they still use it.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.