My first ever personal computer was an Apple IIc. I was a kid and my Father bought it in 1984 from the Apple store in Towson, Maryland — that was located across the street from the historic Courthouse and looked more like a sloppy law office than a computer store. With the monitor and stand I believe it came out to something in the $1600 range that, according to Google, represents about $4600 in 2023 dollars. Yes, I still own it. I last turned it on in 1998 — and it worked.
Early model Nikon F (1959) with “Tick Mark” lens and Nikon D1 (1999). First SLR camera from Nikon and first DSLR camera from Nikon.
The Apple IIc was an 8-bit personal computer introduced by Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) on April 24, 1984. It was the fourth model in the Apple II series and was designed as a compact, portable version of the Apple IIe, with the “c” in the name standing for “compact.” The Apple IIc was developed to be a more user-friendly and portable option in the Apple II lineup, with an emphasis on ease of use and transportability.
- Processor: MOS Technology 65C02 running at 1.023 MHz
- RAM: 128 KB, expandable to 1 MB with third-party upgrades
- ROM: 16 KB, including Applesoft BASIC and Monitor in ROM
- Graphics: 40 or 80 columns text mode, 16 colors in low-resolution mode (40×48 pixels), 6 colors in high-resolution mode (280×192 pixels)
- Sound: 1-bit speaker with software-controlled pitch and volume
- Storage: Built-in 5.25-inch floppy disk drive (Apple Disk IIc) with 140 KB capacity per disk
- I/O Ports: One built-in serial port, one serial modem port, one joystick/mouse port, one video port (composite and RGB), one disk drive port, and one audio-out port
- Keyboard: Integrated 63-key QWERTY keyboard with 8 special function keys
The Apple IIc project began in 1983 under the direction of Apple’s engineering manager, Bob Bailey. The primary goal was to create a portable version of the Apple IIe that retained most of its functionality but was more compact and user-friendly.
Apple IIc’s design was heavily influenced by the success of the Apple IIe and the emerging portable computer market. The team focused on creating a sleek, compact form factor that was easy to transport and set up. The result was a slim, wedge-shaped computer with an integrated handle, keyboard, and power supply, making it significantly more portable than its predecessors.
To achieve the desired compactness, Apple engineers used custom chips to reduce the number of components and integrated the keyboard and power supply into the main unit. They also included a built-in 5.25-inch floppy disk drive instead of requiring an external one. These design choices allowed the Apple IIc to weigh just 7.5 pounds (about 3.4 kg) and have a smaller footprint than earlier Apple II models.
Despite its compact form factor, the Apple IIc was compatible with most Apple IIe software and peripherals. However, it lacked some expandability options, such as internal slots for adding cards, which was a trade-off for its portable design.
The Apple IIc was well-received at launch, praised for its portability, ease of use, and compatibility with the Apple II software library. Although it was eventually replaced by more advanced computers, such as the Apple IIGS and the Macintosh line, the Apple IIc remains an important milestone in the history of personal computing and a testament to Apple’s focus on user-friendly design and innovation.