I have some very early memories of using an Apple II in around 1978, and I must have only been about 8 or 9 at the time. I remember playing a pinball game on it (possibly Night Mission). In fact this was the first home computer I had ever seen and touched, but at the time I was too young too appreciate it, or understand that I was witnessing the beginning of a revolution.

Apple Computers

Apple II

Later, at the beginning of the 1980’s, I recall really wanting an Apple II+ computer, but knowing our family could never afford one I had to be content with just ogling at the pictures of Apple II’s in magazines. I remember thinking the ultra modern design looked like a futuristic spaceship. I still believe that the Apple II is the greatest designed computer ever made. At the time I even remember thinking I was going to write a letter to Apple asking if they had any older Apple 1’s left, as I assumed they would be much cheaper, although at the time I had never seen one or knew anything about them...so funny in retrospect.


So back in 1977 the first Apple II’s appeared. Only about 6000 original Apple II Rev 0 computers were made, Mine is number 5395.


These original Apple II’s were hand painted beige by Apple’s employees. The Rev 0 motherboards are actually quite easy to spot:


  1. Special prototyping area on the motherboard below the keyboard on the right side. (Rev 1 and later Apple II’s and II+’s lacked this prototyping area).

  2. Raised power light on keyboard (some later revision Apple II’s also had this style keyboard, but it was soon phased out in favor of keyboards which had the flat style power light).

  3. No extra onboard video pin (a single onboard video pin was introduced with the Rev 1. Later II’s and II+’s had more pins).

  4. Integer BASIC in ROM.

  5. No color killer circuit, which caused color fringing on text.

  6. No power-on reset, the user had to manually reset the machine after power-on.

  7. Finally, the original Rev 0 boards could only display 4 colors, but due to Woz’s constant tinkering, later revisions could display up to 16.


My Rev 0  Apple II was found rotting away in a garage, with spiders living inside. The serial number is 5394 making it one of the last Rev 0 machines produced. The pictures show the computer after complete restoration. Fixes include: Repairing a dead PSU, repairing a keyboard by replacing some faulty key switches, a professional fix for some trace damage, and replacing 3 faulty IC’s. You can read about the complete restoration here. The computer also includes a large library of manuals including the first true manual ever made by Apple. Basically a collection of photocopied pages presented in a clear file. This was the manual that later became the basis for the famous Apple II red book. Rare stuff.


Other Apple II’s in my collection include an Apple II j-plus, and a very early Rev 1 Apple II with a serial number in the 10,000 range and also with the raised power light keyboard.


A very important part of my hobby is having a good library of easily accessible software for all my machines, and the Apple II is no exception. I first purchased a CFFA card for my Apple II, and  later upgraded to the CFFA 3000 card that offers more flexibility. These modern drives are extremely convenient and allow access to programs stored on Compact Flash card. They are easy to use and I highly recommend them for anyone looking for a simple storage solution for the thousands of programs available from online libraries.


If you own, or are thinking of owning an original CFFA card for the Apple II, and want access to a large library of DOS3.3 games, then I have the solution for you.


RAM 4kB expandable up to 48kB

ROM Integer Basic and Monitor


Keyboard 52 key full stroke


Released 1977


Price US$1298 with 4kB RAM or US$2638 with 48kB RAM

 
SPECIFICATIONS

CPU 6502


Speed 1MHz


Video 4 colors (later revisions had 6 colors)


Graphics 40x24 characters - 40x48 or 280x92 pixels


Sound Mono

 

My Apple II Rev 0 serial number 5394