Apple II Explained: Everything You Need To Know

Apple II
Apple II with 2 floppy drives

4 Facts About Apple II

  • The Apple II’s central processor unit was based on a MOS 6502 CPU. It came with 4 KB of RAM, but it could be increased to 48 KB. In addition, it came with a BASIC interpreter and the ability to support graphics and a color monitor.
  • Apple first introduced external storage on cassette tape but later added an external floppy disc drive. The Apple II’s eight expansion slots on the motherboard were one of the most crucial features. These allowed consumers to add cards from Apple and a slew of other vendors who immediately sprung up. The boards were floppy disc controllers, SCSI cards, video cards, and CP/M or PASCAL emulator cards.
  • The video controller outputs NTSC composite video suitable for display on a TV monitor or a conventional TV set through a separate RF modulator, with 40 columns by 24 lines of upper-case-only, monochrome text on the screen.
  • The first computer spreadsheet, Visicalc for this computer, was released in 1979 by Software Arts. This “killer application” was immensely popular, resulting in a large number of Apple II purchases. The computer was improved and upgraded multiple times. Over 2 million computers had been sold by the time the Macintosh was released in 1984.

Specs

The release date of Apple II was April 1977. The first computers had an MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor running at 1.022,727 MHz, two game paddles, 4 KiB of RAM, an audio cassette interface for data storage and loading programs. Different aspects of the Apple II design were influenced by Atari’s arcade video game Breakout (1976), designed by Wozniak.  The Apple II had a huge user base and was a very popular game development platform in the 1970s till early 1990s. Some of the most popular Apple II games include $100,000 Pyramid and 221B Baker Street. It had a ROM of 12 kB and had a value of US$1,298 (equivalent to $5,543 in 2020). 

Where to Buy?

The Apple II Computer is currently being sold on eBay under the category of vintage computers.

The History of Apple II Computer: What to know

Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak (born August 11, 1950 in San Jose, California) is an American computer engineer, a legendary person in the world of computers. And the main reason for this remarkable recognition is the computer Apple II (often written as Apple ][). By the end of its production in 1993, somewhere between five and six million Apple II series computers (including approximately 1.25 million Apple IIGS models) had been produced.

Apple II Computer Early Days

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, computer pioneers, began selling their Apple I computer in kit form to computer retailers in 1976. Wozniak began designing an updated version, the Apple II, in August of that year. In December, Wozniak and Jobs presented a prototype. In 1977, Steve Wozniak designed the Apple II. The self-contained machine had circuitry, a keyboard, a power source, and permanent memory for the BASIC language. The display was a television. Thanks to the floppy disc drive (1978) and the spreadsheet application VisiCalc (1979), it was a blockbuster. They eventually unveiled Apple II to the public in April 1977. In the late 1970s, the Apple II sparked a surge in personal computer sales, propelling Apple to the forefront of the industry.

The computer was an 8-bit computer believed to be the pioneer of home microcomputers in the world. Steve Wozniak was principally responsible for its design; Steve Jobs directed the creation of the computer’s foam-molded plastic case, while Rod Holt created the switching power supply. It was launched at the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire by Jobs and Wozniak. It was Apple’s first consumer-oriented computer, aimed at American households rather than companies or commercial use.

Apple II was a project of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. The prototype was made in December 1976 and was first sold on June 10, 1977. It became so popular, and thus by the end of 1993, around five to six million Apple II series computers were produced, and then it was discontinued.Apple II was a leader in the first decade of personal computing because of its user-friendly design and graphical display. In addition, it was a finished consumer device, unlike the Apple I, which required customers to furnish critical pieces such as a case and power source.

Apple II Computer Versions: Each Edition

Many versions of Apple II computers were introduced, including Apple II plus, Apple IIc, Apple IIe, Apple IIGs, Apple IIc plus. The Apple II was followed by the Apple II plus, which was discontinued in 1981. Over six million devices had been sold by 1984.

Apple II plus

This was the first improved version of Apple II having many improvements. The II+ was virtually identical to the original II, except for better graphics and disk-booting capability in the ROM and the elimination of the 2k 6502 assembler/disassembler to make way for the floating-point BASIC. During 1980–81, RAM prices plummeted, and all II+ machines shipped with a full 48k of memory already installed.

Apple IIe

Modified version having 64K RAM along with MOS 6502 or 65C02 CPU at 1 MHz. This version was launched in 1983. This was the most used and sold Apple II improved version. It holds the record for being the longest-lived Apple computer of all time, having been manufactured and marketed for nearly 11 years with just minimal alterations.

Apple IIe was equi[pped with newer chips that were less expensive but more powerful. The IIe RAM was set up as an Apple II Plus with a 48-KB RAM and a language card. The computer didn’t have a slot 0, but it did have an auxiliary slot that could receive a 1 KB memory card, allowing the 80-column display to work. The Apple IIe had the hardware and firmware for the 80-column display. Therefore this card merely had RAM. The machine’s RAM was upgraded to 128 KB thanks to an “extended 80-column card” with a more incredible memory.

Apple IIc

Launched in 1984, it was modified to have a built-in 5 1/4″ floppy disk drive. MOS 65C02 CPU at 1.4 MHz with 128K RAM. Because of its size and carrying handle, which could be flipped down to push the machine up into a typing position, was dubbed a portable Apple II. It lacked a built-in display and battery, unlike modern portables. It was the first of three Apple II models to feature the Snow White design language and the only one to feature the color’s distinctive creamy off-white hue. It had two different monochrome LCDs.

Apple IIGs

Western Digital 65C816 CPU at 2.8 MHz and 256K RAM. Launched in 1986, it had IIgs DOS operating system. It had a real 16-bit CPU, the 65C816, which ran at 2.8 MHz and had 24-bit addressing, allowing up to 8 MB of RAM to be added. In addition, it added a 4096-color palette and two graphics modes with resolutions of 320200 and 640400 pixels.

Apple IIc plus

Having improved RAM of 128K, MOS 65C02 CPU at 4 MHz was launched in 1988. The 5.25-inch floppy drive had been replaced with a 312-inch drive, the power supply had been moved within the casing, and the processor was a robust 4 MHz 65C02 processor that played 8-bit Apple II software quicker than the IIGS. In addition, the IIc Plus included a redesigned keyboard layout that was compatible with the Platinum IIe and IIGS.

The Public Response

On June 10, 1977, the Apple II was released for the first time. Between five and six million Apple II series computers were produced by the time manufacture ended in 1993, indicating its high popularity and public demand. With models in production for just under 17 years, the Apple II was one of the longest-running mass-produced personal computer series.

In an event under the “Apple II Forever,” Apple IIc was launched by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Apple Computer hosted this computer conference.

Apple II Explained: Everything You Need To Know FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

When did Apple II Computer Come out?

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, computer pioneers, began selling their Apple I computer in kit form to computer retailers in 1976. Wozniak began designing an updated version, the Apple II, in August of that year. In December, Wozniak and Jobs presented a prototype, which they eventually unveiled to the public in April 1977.

What was the original price of the Apple II computer?

The original price of the Apple II computer when it was launched in 1977 was US$1,298 (equivalent to $5,543 in 2020)

When was the Apple II invented?

It was launched in April 1977 and was first time sold on June 10, 1977,

Who invented the Apple II?

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs are the inventors of the Apple II.

Does the Apple II still exist?

Although Apple II was a great success, it does not exist now. Its manufacturing ended in 1993.

Was Apple 2 the first computer?

The Apple II was neither the first product nor the first personal computer from the company founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. And, of course, no lines were forming outside their establishments wanting to buy it. But, in Wozniak’s view, it would eventually become “one of the most successful products of all time.” Above all, it was the first major step on the road to creating one of the world’s most recognizable companies.

Why was the Apple II known as the people’s computer?

Apple II was known to be the people’s computer due to its easy use and great graphics for its time. Apple was a leader in the first decade of personal computing because of its user-friendly design and graphical display. The Apple II was a finished consumer device, unlike the Apple I, which required customers to furnish critical pieces such as a case and power source.

How many Apple II was sold?

During the 16-year production run of the Apple II, cumulative sales of all models were around 6 million units, with a peak of 1 million units sold in 1983.

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