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Man discovers working 30-year-old Apple IIe in parents' attic

By midian182 · 23 replies
Feb 18, 2019
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  1. Professor John Pfaff, from Fordham University in New York, discovered the 30-year-old third model in the Apple II series, which was released back in 1983. Despite sitting in the same location for years, it still booted up and played games.

    “Put in an old game disk. Asks if I want to restore a saved game. And finds one! It must be 30 years old. I'm 10 years old again,” he tweeted. The game in question was Adventureland, the first text adventure game for microcomputers released by Scott Adams in 1978.

    Pfaff also tried out several other titles, including trivia game Millionware, Olympic Decathlon, and Neuromancer, which is loosely based on the 1989 book by William Gibson.

    The professor also found a letter his dad typed to him in 1986, when he was 11 and at summer camp.

    The main unit for the Apple IIe originally launched with a $1,395 price tag, equivalent to around $3,510 today. Buying it with accessories such as the monitor brought the price up to $1,995 (around $5,025 today). It came with new features including upper and lower case letters, full functionality of the Shift and Caps Lock keys, and four-way cursor control. It also boasted 64KB of RAM as standard, expandable to 1MB. The machine was discontinued in 1993.

    Permalink to story.

  2. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,890   +1,166

    Soon to be listed on e-bay of course ;)
  3. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 143   +105

    And I have a Commodore 64 that still works. How is this news? I expect this from MacRumors but not from TechSpot.
    Mugsy, orondf, Arris and 3 others like this.
  4. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Maniac Posts: 293   +124

    You read my mind.
    So if I undust some random piece of garbage tech from my basement I make front page now?
    Why wouldn't it work? Dust doesn't kill hardware over time (?)
    SikSlayer likes this.
  5. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,840   +1,351

    It's either this or nothing at all.
    Jeff Re likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    Electronics do age. Materials in all the components will deteriorate. Everything has a shelf life.

    And that is not to mention 5 1/4 magnetic media. If it had been 3 1/2 floppy disk, chances are the data would have been corrupted. Those things had a tendency to die within 5 years.
    mcborge likes this.
  7. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,729   +570

    IF you don't consider it news, why is it mentioned numerous times here
  8. Kandygrrl

    Kandygrrl TS Rookie

    I have three working Apple IIe machines and two working c64's. Aside from the fact one of the c64's has been dropped and the plastic around the keys is broken badly, they all still work just fine... well as good as they ever did.
    Jeff Re likes this.
  9. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,144   +3,565

    Mine's not in the attic and it still works great along with that huge 5 MB hard drive I got when they first came out! The 3.5 drive works, had to replace the monitor and the old original 5.25 drive gave up the ghost years ago, but old PFS file and write are still going strong as well as AppleWorks ......
  10. ferrellsl

    ferrellsl TS Member Posts: 23   +23

    Built to last? Not hardly. There's just a lot less in those old systems to go wrong over time. And why is this even news? People drag out old computers from the 70's and 80's that have been left in attics all the time that are still working. I have an Amiga 1200 that spent 25 years in storage and when I fired it up again the battery backed clock was only off by 12 minutes. I wasn't at all surprised that the computer still worked but I was astonished that the battery wasn't dead and hadn't leaked all over the motherboard.
    Jeff Re likes this.
  11. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 554   +452

    For that apple ii to work flawlessly after all this time is remarkable. You would expect blown caps and a leaky system battery from a machine of this age, not to mention degraded magnetic media.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  12. Crobble

    Crobble TS Rookie

    Yeah this. I recently found an old Odyssey 300 from the 70s in my basement. Maybe I should have tested it instead of putting it in the trash. It could have been news!
    Mugsy and Kandygrrl like this.
  13. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Booster Posts: 58   +43

    This is a strange article. I mean I do like reading about old computers but I am not sure why this is being presented as something surprising and out of the ordinary. Lots of 30 year old computers still work; ebay is filled with them. I have a 40 year old Atari 2600 that still works but it's not really newsworthy.
  14. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod TS Booster Posts: 58   +43

    Because it has gone viral for reasons I just can't begin to fathom.
    Jeff Re and Arris like this.
  15. ferrellsl

    ferrellsl TS Member Posts: 23   +23

    Upcoming stories on TechSpot:

    Man finds 30 year old diary in attic. Text still legible!

    40 year old VHS tape deck found in attic. Still plays pirated HBO movies!

    60 year old transistor radio found in attic. Still puts out awful audio on the AM band!
    Jeff Re and Crobble like this.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    I'll take this over non-tech articles any day.
  17. YSignal

    YSignal TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +23

    Apparently no one at techspot watches 8-bit guy or the dozens of youtubers that have old computers.
    mcborge and orondf like this.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,686   +3,846

    There's people on YouTube who have complete walls filled with Lava Lamps too, but I don't give a crap what they have to say, or how special they think they are because of it.

    At the end of the day, I could find myself listening to, (and most certainly have), a bunch of crap here, because I'm using a 10 year old computer to visit TechSpot.

    Yet you expect that I should waste time on, and venerate, some uber geek on YouTube, who d!cks around with something like an Atari 800 all day?

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  19. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 558   +65

    Meh. My old Atari 800XL still works just fine. :D
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,686   +3,846

    You've never stepped up to the 1200? It has/had a much sleeker look.

    Besides, even if you start an Atari YouTube channel, I'm not subscribing. Nothing personal mind you, I suppose it's just because I'm pissed at myself for never really getting the hang of Atari Assembly Language..:dizzy:
  21. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,149

    Like if you just came here to see how much the device got from eBay
  22. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Evangelist Posts: 558   +65

    My next move was a 1MB 520ST (followed by a 4MB STe.) (y) (Y)
  23. JamesSWD

    JamesSWD TS Maniac Posts: 331   +182

    I still have a Tandy 1000 from the early 80's, the monitor, dot-matrix printer, etc. All in their original boxes. Want to ditch them because they take up a lot of space, but can't seem to part with them.
  24. koblongata

    koblongata TS Booster Posts: 167   +49

    Must be the humidity, hardware like it dry, if the computer is sitting unpowered in a humid area it's gonna deteriorate in a couple of years...

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