What just happened? A lot of readers might hold on to their old computers, though most of them are unlikely to work after spending decades gathering dust. But that wasn’t the case for one law professor from New York University, who discovered that an old Apple IIe found in his parents’ attic was still in working order.
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.
Oh.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) 17 February 2019
An Apple IIe. Sat in my parents’ attic for years. Decades.
And it works.
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. pic.twitter.com/zL7wWxOo36
“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.
This game... never got past the first level despite HOURS of (pre-internet cheating) trying.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) 17 February 2019
Now w the web, I have a shot.
The music, tho. That classic Apple IIe music. pic.twitter.com/ebeXNzoCs2
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.
Just found this letter my dad typed to me in 1986, when I was 11 and at summer camp.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) 17 February 2019
I REALLY WONDER what my theory abt the daily newspaper comics Spider-Man was.
My dad passed away almost exactly a year ago. It’s amazing to come across something so “ordinary” from him. pic.twitter.com/Aog3MiSnXN
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.