Apple IIc (also known as Apple //c), the first compact and portable model in the Apple lineup, was itroduced in April of 1984. The Apple //c+ was introduced in 1988, with a 4 MHz 65C02, RAM expandable to over 1 MB, a larger ROM, and an optional internal 800 kB 3.5-inch drive.
Apple IIc, Apple IIc+
- Family: Pre-Macintosh.
- Codename: ET, IIb, IIp, Pippin, VLC, Elf, Yoda, Teddy, Chels, Jason, Lollie.
- Introduction: April 1984.
- Processor: CPU: MOS SynerTek 65C02. CPU Speed: 1.4 MHz (IIc)/4 MHz (Iic+). FPU: none. Bus Speed: 1 MHz (IIc)/4 MHz (IIc+). Register Width: 8-bit. Data Bus Width: 8-bit. Address Bus Width: 16-bit
- ROM: 32 kB.
- Onboard RAM: 128 kB (expandable to 1 MB).
- Maximum RAM: 1 MB. (The Apple IIc was considered a “closed system”, and while third-party products allowed users to upgrade their RAM to 1 MB, but only by voiding the warranty in the process.
- Monitor: Standard 9-inch green monochrome, optional LCD panel. Apple also offered a special RGB 13-inch monitor in snow white with a stand. This model could also be used with any composite monitor, or even with a TV set using the included RF modulator. The low resolution modes were 4-bit 40 x 48 and 80 x 48.
- Display Maximum Resolution: 40/48 text, 40 x 40 4-bit, 80 x 48 4-bit, 140 x 192 6-color, 280 x 192 1-bit, 140 x 192 4-bit, 560 x 192 1-bit.
- Video Out: Composite, DB-15.
- Storage: Floppy Drive 140 kB 5.25-inch (IIc)/800 kB 3.5-inch (IIc+).
- Input/Output: Floppy Drive DB-19.
- Joystick/Mouse: DE-9.
- Serial: 2 DIN-5 (IIc)/2 Mini DIN-9 (IIc+).
- Audio Out: mono mini (IIc only).
- Speaker: mono.
- Power: 18 Watts.
- Dimensions: 2.5-inch Height x 12-inch Width x 11.5-inch Deep.
- Weight: 7.5 lbs.
Discontinuation and Price
Discontinuation: November 1990.
Original Price: $1299.
- Apple released five different Apple IIc ROM revisions (ROM 255, 0, 3, 4 and 5). There were also three different Apple IIc motherboards – original, memory expandable, Apple IIc Plus (also known as Apple //c+).
- The original Apple IIc (identified as ROM version 255) could only support a single external 5.25 through its disk port.
- On Apple IIc early motherboards, specifically those manufactured between April 1984 and December 1984, had faulty serial ports that caused problems with some brands of modems and printer at speeds of 1200 baud or higher. It relied on a 74LS161 to divide the clock for the serial ports, which was 3% too slow. An oscillator on newer mainboards fixed the problem.
- The second IIc ROM revision (identified as ROM 0) added support for an external Apple UniDisk 3.5 – an 800 kB “dumb” floppy drive. Rudimentary support hooks for an AppleTalk interface were added to the firmware.
- The revisions of the Apple IIc identified as ROM 3 and 4) not only saw a new firmware change, but a slightly redesigned motherboard. The most significant difference was an internal memory expansion socket for plugging in RAM cards (up to 1 MB). Previous versions of the the machine didn’t support memory expansion without special tricks and hacks, as there was no such socket. This IIc also came with an improved “clicky” keyboard.
- The Apple IIc Plus, identified as ROM 5, was the first Apple IIc model to see significant changes. The three major modifications included the internalization of the power supply (previously an external brick-on-a-rope as users liked to call it), a built-in 800 kB 3.5 floppy drive which replaced the older 5.25, and the equivalent of a ZipChip 4 MHz accelerator built-in. Apple licensed the add-on technology from Zip Technologies to incorporate the accelerator as standard in the Apple IIc+, though in doing so, broke it out into an ASIC, SRAM and a faster 65C02 (the ZipChip had all that integrated into a tall 40-pin DIP chip).
- In Apple IIc Plus other major changes included a keyboard layout that matched the IIgs and Mac SE, changing of the serial port connectors from DIN-5 to mini DIN-8 and an internal modem connector, although the latter never saw any products to use it.
- Some third parties produced hard rives for the Apple IIc and the Apple IIc+, although since they communicated through the floppy disk port, they were rather slow.
- Apple also sold external battery packs and flat panel LCD screens for a period of time, helping to make the Apple IIc a true portable to those users who could afford these peripherals.
- The Apple IIc Plus computer was only sold in the United States, hence the lack of an international version of this device.
- The Apple //c was a creamy off-white color known as “Fog”. Many people incorrectly identify the case and peripherals as originally being “white” due to its light color and tendency for Apple plastics to yellow with age. Besides, this model turned Platinum in later models.
- The Apple IIc was the first microcomputer to include support for the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, which was activated using a switch above the keyboard. This feature was also later found in late-model American Apple IIe computers and in the Apple IIGS.
- For the Apple IIc, Apple wanted an advertisement to demonstrate the power of the machine despite its small size; they ran a memorable television commercial featuring a high-rise office building in which they claimed with words and images that this model had all the power necessary to run a large building, suggesting that it had more than enough power for the home user. (This ad, along with the 1984 Macintosh ad, was featured in a Marketing telecourse run on PBS.)
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APPLE IIc commercial – 1984. Video published by Patrick R, on Feburary 24, 2007. Here’s an old Apple Commercial form 1984.