Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Apple II: Back To The Future

It is probably no secret that my favorite vintage personal computer (and maybe my favorite computer of all time) is the Apple II. This amazing machine, introduced in 1977 by a virtually unknown new company, was clearly ahead of its time. Steve Wozniak created an incredibly flexible, open architecture, publishing the workings of this machine for others to enhance and extend. Steve Jobs brought it to market in a complete, attractive, and well marketed package, quickly catching the eye of those eager to jump into this new world of personal computing. In fact, the Apple II was so successful that it was marketed virtually unchanged, with minor enhancements only, for nearly 17 years (until 1994 as the Apple //e).

Recently, my original Apple II + (circa 1979) was transported in time to the future (circa 2013) with the addition of the recently announced CFFA3000! The CFFA3000 by R & D Automation is a CompactFlash/USB-Flash Interface card for Apple II computers (][+, //e, //e enhanced or //gs) that can emulate either a floppy or hard drive using CompactFlash or USB storage.

With just about any piece of Apple II software ever written now available online in emulator readable formats, this card will give your Apple II the ability to run all of these images directly from solid state storage. This means that, with a single CF or USB drive, you can have all your favorite software from back-in-the-day just a keystroke away, with no vintage moving parts to wear out. Or you can pack just about every game ever written for this machine onto a single USB, and make this a Retro Gaming Console second to none!

I had tons of fun installing, configuring, and loading mine with every piece of retro software I ever dreamed of owning. The future is here now, and the CFFA3000 has breathed new life into an old friend! What will the next 35 years bring?