Computer History Museum publishes Apple II DOS source code

By on November 13, 2013, 9:30 AM
apple, steve wozniak, steve jobs, dos, computer history museum, apple ii dos

The Computer History Museum has published the source code of Apple II DOS for the first time - for non-commercial use, of course. This is the code that arguably helped propel Apple into a serious contender during the early days of personal computing.

The Apple II was a legit computer when it debut in the late ‘70s. The $1,298 machine (with 4K of memory) had color, graphics, sound, expansion slots, game paddles and a built-in BASIC programming language. It was ready to work with any display but the one thing it didn’t have was a disk drive.

Instead, users had to rely on cassette tape recorders for storage which was slow and unreliable at the time. These were also expensive and required hardware controllers and complex software to use but Apple ultimately found a solution.

Steve Wozniak created a floppy disk controller that used just eight integrated circuits. The difference between his controller and others was the fact that his system worked in programmed logic versus controllers that relied on hardware.

Higher-level software necessary to organize and access programs and data on the disk was still needed. Apple didn’t have the staff or the time to create it so they reached out to Shepardson Microsystems contract programmer Paul Laughton to build a file manager, a BASIC interface and utilities. He was hired to do the job on April 10, 1978 by Steve Jobs and Bob Shepardson for $13,000 through the use of a one-page contract.




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1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

That reminds me I still have my Apple II e packed away in a box in my garage. I bought the thing 2nd hand along with a friend in the early/mid 80's, If memory serves. Don't ask me the spec, I haven't seen it since I boxed it up in the late 80's. It's the only Apple product I've ever owned and it cost me an arm & a leg back then. Just goes to show, Apples never changed.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That reminds me I still have my Apple II e packed away in a box in my garage. I bought the thing 2nd hand along with a friend in the early/mid 80's, If memory serves. Don't ask me the spec, I haven't seen it since I boxed it up in the late 80's. It's the only Apple product I've ever owned and it cost me an arm & a leg back then. Just goes to show, Apples never changed.

You do realize that your Apple II could be worth a fortune?!

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

The Apple II was a legit computer when it debut in the late ?70s.

implying that Apple computers are not legit computers nowadays...

(I really should finish reading the article...)

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

You do realize that your Apple II could be worth a fortune?!

No I didn't. It's been boxed away for at least 25 years now, who knows what kind of condition it's in or even if it still works. I don't have the monitor anymore and it never had a mouse but I still have the keyboard and floppy drives.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

No I didn't. It's been boxed away for at least 25 years now, who knows what kind of condition it's in or even if it still works. I don't have the monitor anymore and it never had a mouse but I still have the keyboard and floppy drives.

Its probably still worth something!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Its probably still worth something!

Now that I'm told it could be worth something, I'm gonna take it out of it's old rotten box, repack it & store it more carefully then leave it to my grand kids. It could be worth even more in the future.

avoidz avoidz said:

Love or hate Apple, that's a genuine piece of computer history.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It kinda looks like the aesthetics were stolen to use on the Atari 1200 XL:

Of course, I suppose you could say all those squared off, chamfered, vent ports look alike anyway. And then too, you've seen one keyboard, you've seen them all...

This was about 1980, and the RAM was 16K: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_8-bit_family.

The floppy drive for this turd was $400.00!

This was a real computer folks, which you used to play games like, Star Raiders, Space Invaders, Galaxian, and Defender. See, the more things change, they more they stay the same...:oops:

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