My return to Apple ][s

I deeply lament not keeping track of our original europlus – it had initially gone to my brother-in-law when my dad bought our first Mac in late 1985, and it was then passed on to his cousin…and we don’t know what happened to it after that.

It wasn’t a particularly special machine – 64K of RAM (including a third-party 16K language card), 2 x Disk ][ drives, monochrome monitor, third party 80 column card, and a Silentype printer. It didn’t even have a lower-case mod or real-time clock. I’m not even aware of any photos of that machine, which is a shame given how much time I spent on it! I’ll certainly post them if I find any.

We didn’t have much original software – Apple Writer v1.1, pfs:file, and pfs:report. And several disks of software (almost exclusively games) which I can’t recall the source of (likely friends at school – our computer dealer, Computer Lighthouse at Penrith, was rabidly anti-piracy from what I could tell).

Fast forward to December 1998 and I see a message on the Club Mac BBS offering a IIgs for free. By this time I was feeling quite nostalgic about the Apple ][, so I reached out to the owner, but had to wait for the “first responder” to be a no-show before I could secure it. It came with a monitor, keyboard, mouse and a drive or two.

After that, I seemed to accumulate Apple ][’s at a rate of one or two a year, including models I didn’t really have an interest in collecting (like Apple //c’s).

I’ve been able to acquire a few europluses, a couple of Silentypes, several Disk ][’s, original disks for AppleWriter v1.1 and pfs:file, third party language cards and 80 column cards, monochrome monitors – pretty well everything we had “back in the day”. I had held on to my 5¼” floppies, which has meant I’ve been able to relive my early Apple ][ days more easily.

As a side note, while preparing for my “(Solid) State of the Nation” talk at OzKFest 2015, I trawled through my e-mail archives, and discovered that the IIgs I acquired at the end of 1998 was given to me by Craig, who was at OzKFest! I’m happy to say that he’s subsequently been re-united with his old IIgs and it now forms part of his collection.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. That IIgs I got in 1998 could have done pretty well everything I wanted to do as far as using Apple ][’s now – but there’s just something about reliving the old days with the actual model I had as a teenager.