Saturday, October 8, 2016

What is an Apple-1

At first I thought to find an Apple-1 on eBay and build a wooden case around it, but soon I realized that this was a really stupid idea :) I didn't know that much about the Apple-1, I knew only that it was a super rare computer and more or less the architecture of the hardware.

Apple-1 complete system signed by its designer Mr.Wozniak.

I did a deep research and I was shocked when I read that the price for a working unit, if you are lucky to find one,  is around thousands or hundred thousand of dollars!

Apple-1 Auction article

Apple-1 Auction article

Apple-1 auctions.

I found an article about one auction where this computer was sold for 815,000$! Prices are all the same more or less. So I abandoned the idea of buy one of course, but I still wanted one in my hands. Since it's difficult to find one unit, in working conditions and cheap, I thought that maybe there are kits or replicas somewhere. I know that there are emulation projects for arcade machines, retro consoles and retro computers; so maybe my hopes are not dead.

There are a couple of "Replica" projects that are very popular. These projects replicate the real hardware using real vintage components together with modern ones that substitute old components hard to find.

Other than hardware projects there are several software emulators, one of those is the incredibly popular "MAME".

Mame 0.177: Apple-1 computer driver listed.
I think it's cool to have real hardware running instead of a PC with an emulator, the look and feel of an old keyboard, a CRT monitor and an electronic board in front of you can't be compared to a modern PC that emulates a vintage one.

So my choice was to take a look at the "Replica" projects...