The Apple /// was Apple's entry into the business market. First introduced in 1980, the inital Apple ///'s suffered from several problems. Most
notorious was the tendency for the IC chips to work their way out of their sockets, requiring the
machine to be lifted up and dropped several inches onto the disk periodically. The metal case and
lack of a fan results in the inside of the computer getting quite warm, causing the PCB to warp.
The clock did not function either.
Apple introduced the Apple ///+ in late 1983. The clock was fixed, video was improved, and a delete key was
added. The machine's fate had been sealed by this time however, and the machine was discontinued
in 1984. Apple had introduced the Apple //e earlier that same year, to shore up the Apple ][
market, which was the cash cow providing funding for the Lisa and Macintosh development. The Lisa was
also a flop, but it paved the way for the Macintosh in 1984, which as we all know revolutionalized
the personal computer market. The same MIS managers who were poking fun at the Mac's mouse and
graphical user interface (GUI) are now proudly using Wintel machines, running essentially the same
user interface. No doubt many people actually think Bill Gates invented the modern GUI.
(Apple didn't either, Xerox did) Of course, they also probably think he wrote DOS. Actually, he got
his start porting BASIC over from the mainframe to microprocessors, and peddling it around. Did he
ever actually invent anything new?
The Apple /// sported these features:
- Up to 512K of RAM
- 6502 CPU running at 1 or 2 MHz
- Special hardware to allow the 6502 to access more than the usual 64K of memory
- Up to 4 disk drives (standard Apple 143K SSSD drives)
- Up to 4 hard disk drives (5 or 10 megabyte ProFile drives)
- 40/80 column text display
- Graphics up to 560 by 192 pixels, up to 16 colors.
- Downloadable character fonts
- 6 bit audio. (The PC was to have crude 1 bit audio until the introduction of the SoundBlaster in the 90's)
- Built in RS232 serial port
- Two game ports
Some Apple /// Links:
I've been working on
, an Apple /// emulator for the Macintosh.
It's very preliminary right now, but you're welcome to download a copy and see what you think
about it so far.
- The Washington Apple Pi is a club with members who own all
sorts of Apple computers, including the Apple /// and Lisa. They have an extensive library of
Apple /// disks available.
- WAP also has a page with some Apple /// information.
- There is an Apple /// Mailing List. Send email to LISTSERV@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU
With the text "SUBSCRIBE APPLE3-L your_name" in the message body.
- There supposedly is an Apple /// FTP site, but I have been unable to connect to it.
to Black Cat Systems for more Mac software
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email@example.com Chris Smolinski
December 20, 1997