Apple //c Unboxing


Dan Budiac indulged in a little nostalgia, purchasing an unopened Apple //c computer on eBay for $2,553. Rather than letting it sit on a shelf accruing value, he unboxed it in a lovely series of photographs.

Unlike so many nerds my age, I actually loathed this era of Apple computers, convinced they were all some sort of terrible attempt to undermine right and proper computing done by healthy young men on TRS-80s and Compaq lugables. It was only in the OS X era that I finally was wooed by Apple.

Apple //c set [Flickr via Coding Horror]

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  1. Lovely! But I agree with you – the Apple IIc was a primitive computer made to look pretty. It wasn’t competitive with any of it’s contemporaries. But it had the vast educational library in it’s corner – which meant almost every kid got exposed to it at school and so when their parents bought a computer that’s what they leaned towards.

    My school had a serial-networked gaggle of TRS-80 Model III’s. One floppy drive, shared between all of them. I got one when they upgraded (to DOS machines, of course) and wish I still had it.

  2. I recall my elementary school classrooms all had Apples. Oh the games of Oregon Trail, Number Munchers and Odell Lake we played. One teacher had a PowerMac on which we played Myst as a class.

    The closeup of the Apple Works package is probably the best. Compare that software’s selling point to today’s Apple advertising….

    “Hi I’m a Mac.”

    “And I’m a PC. Bla Bla Bla I’m used for boring office work.”

    “Well I’m a Mac and people can be creative. Oh, except for the 80s where word processing and spreadsheets were must-haves.”

  3. The only reason this thing sold for $2,553 is that fact that it was still in the original box. OK, great. But as soon as it’s unboxed, it’s worth perhaps an order of magnitude less. Hm. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a Flickr set is worth $2,000.

  4. This was my first PC, and we got the Imagewriter (2, maybe? Not sure) at the same time. I was the first person in most of my teacher’s classes who could turn in papers in different fonts. It was absurdly easy to game the system by setting line spacing to 2.2 or whatever.

    It was a great machine, and still worked like a champ last time I fired it up in the mid 90s.

  5. Man, when I moved to LA I tossed out a IIc with a boatload of accessories and a huge software library because I just couldn’t handle moving it over and over. Now, every time I see one, I get a regretful cramp in my stomach.

  6. A Commodore 64 with a quick load cartridge would eat this beasties’ lunch and pop the little brown paper bag it came in.

  7. When I was a teenager, I LUSTED after the Apple IIc, and of course the super-cool paint app (was it Apple Draw?) that came with it. I would lie awake in bed at night imagining the awesome spaceships I could draw if I only had that computer. Sadly, making prints of spaceships in Apple Draw was not a good selling feature to my parents, and my first real computer was purchased by myself many years later: a Wang 286.

    I still remember saying “but Dad, you can balance the CHECKBOOK with it”. “Son, that’s why they make pencils”, was my dad’s reply.

  8. > But as soon as it’s unboxed, it’s worth
    > perhaps an order of magnitude less. Hm.
    > Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a
    > Flickr set is worth $2,000.

    Not all value is measured in dollars.

  9. @ Sal Pic
    Wow, I’ve been trying to remember the name of that game Odell Lake for years!!! Thanks for the reminder! Our schools must have gone for the same software, because those three games are all we spent time playing.

  10. aw – sweet geek love/nostalgia. Odell Lake could have been cooler if it had a secret key-combo giant squid you could enable…but was still pretty nifty.

  11. Hey! My first IT job (better known as EDP at the time) was as a programmer on these little beasties. I fondly remember trialling/training a speech recognition program for the Speech Pathology Unit of Flinder’s University back in the day when this gear was considered state of the art.

    I can recall hours and hours and hours of late-night recitions of similar sounding words in the lab (much to the amusement of onlookers) “Element, elegant, elephant” … rinse and repeat. Sadly, we soon moved onto BBC micros – sure it might have had the same 6502 micro-processor, but it never managed to achieve the same appeal. Then along came those blasted IBM PC’s – and all hell broke loose…

  12. @Teflon: A Wang 286! Major trip down memory lane. Back when I got my start in the computer resale industry one of my first big purchases was a lot of Wang 286 systems. Some even came with monitor arms that mounted to the back of the computer.

    @Anonymous: “Not all value is measured in dollars.” Be careful! That’s subversive talk there. 😉

  13. Funny, I had the exact opposite reaction to computers at the time; Apples were the cool computers, and your C-64s and Trash-80s were the K-Mart Computers.

    dculberson: that’s true–Macs had been available for a few years by the time this thing was shipped; in fact, I think that the Mac II was already out–but remember that there were still quite a few people trying to wrap their brains around the idea of a GUI, and Apple survived on the // family for some years until the Mac line finally started to make money.

  14. > Unlike so many nerds my age,
    >I actually loathed this era of Apple computers…

    I’m glad to hear someone else say it!

    Those old Apples are dripping with nostalgia, but in truth they were kind of clunky pigs to use.

    I always marveled that the Apples survived in a world of far superior products. Maybe Apple was a better run company (than say, Commodore), but Macs were not superior computing platforms until OSX met the Intel chip – and that was a long time coming.

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