Apple II Computer was released in April 1977. The Apple II was based on Wozniak’s Apple I design. Several new elements were though added to the design : the computer had plastic casing, a rarity at the time. Apple II also could display color graphics. It was more powerful. included two game paddles and a demo cassette. The computer featured an integrated keyboard, sound, a plastic case, and eight internal expansion slots. Note that this computer was trademarked with square brackets as “Apple ][” and rendered on later models as “Apple //”.
Apple II Computer (Apple ][)
Introduced 16 April, 1977.
- Processor: CPU: MOS Technology 6502. CPU Speed: 1 MHz. Bus Speed: 1 MHz.
- ROM: 12 kB.
- RAM slots: 1st expansion slot can be used.
- Video: Max Resolution: 6 color at 280 x 192, 4-bit color at 40 x 48. The video controller displayed 40 columns by 24 lines of monochrome, upper-case-only (the original character set matches ASCII characters 0 x 20 to 0 x 5F) text on the screen, with NTSC composite video output suitable for display on a TV monitor, or on a regular TV set by way of a separate RF modulator.
- Storage: Floppy Drive: Optional.
- Input/Output: Serial: Optional expansion card.
- Speaker: Mono.
- Dimensions: 4.25″ high x 15.25″ wide x 17.75″ deep.
- Weight: 11.5 lbs.
Apple Orders, Discontinuation, Price
Discontinued: The first version terminated in May 1979. The last II-series Apple in production, the IIe, was discontinued on October 15, 1993.
Initial price: US$1,298 (4 kB of RAM).US$2638 (48 kB of RAM). Monitor sold separately.
- In Europe, ITT Great-Britain manufactured the twin brother of the Apple II, the ITT 2020 under license agreement of Apple. As Apple was struggling with manufacturing capacity because of the booming demand of their device, Apple II was sold in Europe before the genuine Apple II hit the European market. Whereas Apple II worked with 8 bits, the ITT 2020 worked with 9. The ITT 2020 was designed to produce a PAL video signal for the European market, as against an NTSC for the domestic US market. This required changes to Wozniak’s video generation circuitry
- The original Apple II (or Apple ][) came with Wozniak’s Integer BASIC in ROM. Later, Apple Computers released Applesoft BASIC and then Applesoft II. Applesoft was Microsoft Basic adapted to the Apple. Users could load it from cassette tape or use a ROM containing Applesoft on a plug-in card for slot 0.
- To reflect the Apple’s II color graphics capability, the Apple logo on the casing was represented using rainbow stripes. The rainbow stripes remained a part of Apple’s corporate logo until early 1998.
- The first Apple II computers were assembled in Silicon Valley. Later the computer was assembled in Texas. Printed circuit boards were manufactured in Ireland and Singapore.
- The Apple II was a major technological advancement that pioneered many features that made the Apple II a commercial success and add it to the very short list of the first successful personal computers. This computer launched the Apple company into a successful business.
- The Apple II was first sold on June 10, 1977. By the end of production in 1993, somewhere between five and six million Apple II series computers had been produced.
- The Apple II was one of the longest running mass-produced home computer series. Some of its versions were in production up to 17 years.
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