Introducing Apple II (Sep, 1977)

This was when you could still buy the Apple II as a kit with just the motherboard. Also the floppy drive wasn’t released until the year after this ad.

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Introducing Apple II.

The home computer that’s ready to work, play and grow with you.

Clear the kitchen table. Bring in the color T.V. Plug in your new Apple II? and connect any standard cassette recorder/player. Now you’re ready for an evening of discovery in the new world of personal computers.

Only Apple II makes it that easy. It’s a complete, ready to use computer—not a kit. At $1298, it includes features you won’t find on other personal computers costing twice as much.

Features such as video graphics in 15 colors. And a built-in memory capacity of 8K bytes ROM and 4K bytes RAM —with room for lots more. But you don’t even need to know a RAM from a ROM to use and enjoy Apple II. It’s the first personal computer with a fast version of BASIC—the English-like programming language—permanently built in. That means you can begin running your Apple II the first evening, entering your own instructions and watching them work, even if you’ve had no previous computer experience.

The familiar typewriter-style keyboard makes communication easy. And your programs and data can be stored on (and retrieved from) audio cassettes, using the built-in cassette interface, so you can swap with other Apple II users.This and other peripherals—optional equipment on most personal computers, at hundreds of dollars extra cost—are built into Apple II. And it’s designed to keep up with changing technology, to expand easily whenever you need it to As an educational tool, Apple II is a sound investment. You can program it to tutor your children in most any subject, such as spelling, history or math. But the biggest benefit—no matter how you use Apple II—is that you and your family increase your familiarity with the computer itself. The more you experiment with it, the more you discover about its potential.

Start by playing PONG. Then invent your own games using the input keyboard, game paddles and built-in speaker. As you experiment you’ll acquire new programming skills which will open up new ways to use your Apple II. You’ll learn to “paint” dazzling color displays using the unique color graphics commands in Apple BASIC, and write programs

to create beautiful kaleidoscopic designs As you master Apple BASIC, you’ll be able to organize, index and store data on household finances, income tax, recipes, and record collections. You can learn to chart your biorhythms, balance your checking account, even control your home environment. Apple II will go as far as your imagination can take it. Best of all, Apple II is designed to grow with you. As your skill and experience with computing increase, you may want to add new Apple peripherals. For example, a refined, more sophisticated BASIC language is being developed for advanced scientific and mathematical applications. And in addition to the built-in audio, video and game interfaces, there’s room for eight plug-in options such as a prototyping board for experimenting with interfaces to other equipment; a serial board for connecting teletype, printer and other terminals; a parallel interface for communicating with a printer or another computer; an EPROM board for storing programs permanently; and a modem board communications interface. A floppy disk interface with software and complete operating systems will be available at the end of 1977. And there are many more options to come, because Apple II was designed from the beginning to accommodate increased power and capability as your requirements change.

If you’d like to see for yourself how easy it is to use and enjoy Apple II, visit your local dealer for a demonstration and a copy of our detailed brochure. Or write Apple Computer Inc., 20863 Stevens Creek Blvd.,Cupertino, California 95014.

Apple IIâ„¢ is a completely self-contained computer system with BASIC in ROM, color graphics, ASCII keyboard, lightweight, efficient switching power supply and molded case. It is supplied with BASIC in ROM, up to 48K bytes of RAM, and with cassette tape, video and game I/O interfaces built-in. Also included are two game paddles and a demonstration cassette.

SPECIFICATIONS

• Microprocessor: 6502 (1 MHz)
• Video Display: Memory mapped, 5 modes—all Software-selectable:
• Text—40 characters/line, 24 lines upper case.
• Color graphics—40h x 48v, 15 colors
• High-resolution graphics—280h x 192v; black, white, violet, green (16K RAM minimum required)
• Both graphics modes can be selected to include 4 lines of text at the bottom of the display area.
• Completely transparent memory access. All color generation done digitally.

• Memory: up to 48K bytes onboard RAM (4K supplied)
• Uses either 4K or new 16K dynamic memory chips
• Up to 12K ROM (8K supplied)
• Software
• Fast extended Integer BASIC in ROM with color graphics commands
• Extensive monitor in ROM
•I/O
• 1500 bps cassette interface
• 8-slot motherboard
• Apple game I/O connector
• ASCII keyboard port
• Speaker
• Composite video output

Apple II is also available in board-only form for the do-it-yourself hobbyist. Has all of the features of the Apple II system, but does not include case, keyboard, power supply or game paddles. $598.

PONG is a trademark of Atari Inc.

Apple II plugs into any standard TV using an inexpensive modulator (not supplied).

Apple Computer Inc

23 comments
  1. swaters says: June 14, 200711:11 am

    Ouch! The Apple ][ was NEVER available as a kit, the product was always intended to be a plug & play computer in a plastic case. The Apple 1 was available as a circuit board for which the user had to supply many of the parts, including the case.

    Better fix that before someone Diggs this and you have your server flooded by other Apple geeks pointing out the error.

  2. Charlie says: June 14, 200711:29 am

    When I said kit, I meant you could buy just the motherboard and build your own case, power supply etc. It says it on the lower right corner of the ad. Are you saying this option was never actually available?

  3. jayessell says: June 14, 20071:10 pm

    Charlie posted this article as a favor to me, so I’m getting a kick out of these comments.

    I worked at a small computer store in ine 1980s & 1990s.
    Every once in a while we would sell an Apple //e board alone to some company, proportedly for CNC use.

    I purchased one of the first (sn 000105) ][ in El Paso in 1970-something or other. Can it have been 76? (That’s the spirit!) I got the floppy drive several months later.

    Up until now, never heard of the ‘board-only’ option.
    That part of the ad may have been retroactively negated.

    My pimped-out //e doing computer animation:
    http://www.youtube.com/…
    A magazine article showing how I did it:
    http://www.flickr.com/p…
    (Set to largest photo size possible.)
    A more technical but less accurate description:
    http://www.atariarchive…
    http://www.atariarchive…
    http://www.atariarchive…
    http://www.atariarchive…
    http://www.atariarchive…

    And since 1985, I haven’t done squat!

  4. Charlie says: June 14, 20071:18 pm

    You guys should check out that video jayessel did on the apple II it’s pretty amazing.

  5. Stannous says: June 14, 20075:10 pm

    JSL-
    Very impressive!
    I’m guessing that it is more because you don’t have the free hours to dedicate to a few minutes of animation as much as anything else that you ‘haven’t done squat!’

    SF

  6. Caya says: June 14, 20076:51 pm

    “Oh Honey, you’re so manly and clever with the Computer. Can you balance my checkbook for me with that? I’m afraid it’s all messed up again, I just don’t know where the money went. My poor little brain can’t figure all that complicated stuff out, let alone figure out all those buttons. Here, Hon; let me make you dinner.”

  7. Caya says: June 14, 20076:54 pm

    “If you buy an APPLE II, you will be the manly stud of the home, your wife will adore you, and after you balance her checkbook for her with your APPLE II she will give you Nookie.”

  8. Caya says: June 14, 20076:59 pm

    I remember when those computers came out. I remember when Pong came out, too. In our school we got new Apple IIe’s, and we thought it was SO much fun to play the original version of “Oregon Trail” in school. Actually I think it’s still fun. Now instead of playing Oregon Trail to waste time in school, my girl gets to go on the Internet and play educational games- which I still think is a waste of time. I don’t call catching letters to form a word very educational, at any level.

  9. Rick Auricchio says: June 14, 20078:09 pm

    I had been an OS programmer on mainframes from 1973 thru 1978.

    I bought s/n 0183 back in 1977, then a floppy drive in 1978. One thing led to another, and I began working at Apple at the top of 1979…

  10. [...] writes – Phil, you should check out this cool Apple II stop motion rig one of my commenters made in the 80’s, I think it’s right up your alley. He had the computer control the camera [...]

  11. Charlie says: June 15, 20078:22 am

    Actually, I think she’s cutting apples. Also, note the contents of their art.

  12. jayessell says: June 17, 20077:54 pm

    Thanks for your kind comments.
    I’ll post the Super-8 epic eventually.
    I have a bit part in it!

    I checked my closet.
    The rig is still there.
    The //e long gone.

    By the way, I found conductive strips and photo sensors for advancing the film and positioning the color filters unreliable.

    The last version used low RPM, high torque AC gearmotors and lever-action microswitches.
    I may post one more picture.

    I know at least one of you is wondering…
    The 45: Don Rickels “Hello Dummy!”
    The 33: Liz Damon’s “Orient Express”.

  13. Boing Boing says: June 18, 20074:13 pm

    Amazing Apple II stop-motion animation…

    Charlie says: James Leatham, one of the a regular commenter on my blog just posted links to this amazing movie he made on his Apple IIe in 1985. The graphics are way beyond the capability of the computer to render in real time, so he used stop-motion. …

  14. Blog roc21 Diseño Gráfico says: August 27, 20079:27 am

    [...] Aquí se puede ver una imagen donde le hacen un reportaje en una revista: blog.modernmechanix.com [...]

  15. [...] http://blog.modernmecha… TFeuer: Nice picture of an Apple on the wall. Good touch. Jaakob: 1977 called, they want their ad back. nklepper: Dugg Down for OLD NEWS….. inoverthe: It’s like looking into the future. fastang: I see things haven’t changed much for MAC in the past 30 years. justmy15cents: damn its annoying that the “monitor” (TV?) is not aligned better with the keyboard… bad ergonomics there Billions: “As soon as she leaves I’m loading up ‘Lemonade Stand’ again and beating Tony’s score…” aduzik: Christ, even in 1977 Apple didn’t believe in articles: “Introducing *THE* Apple II”. Modify your nouns, dammit! ffemt300: Ha! Apple on the wall in the kitchen…. Semprini: So, that’s what happened to Sandy Duncan.. Meursault: “Oh, shit. Honey, I think I just crashed the NY Stock Exchange” MrPotato: Back in the day I typed with me left hand and drank and wrote with my right. Everything was working out well until one day, out of the blue, my wife says “honey, don’t you want to upgrade to the new model?” Since I bought my compy they went and added a freakin’ number pad to the keyboard forcing me to type with my right hand. Bastards! [...]

  16. bertfw says: November 9, 20077:36 pm

    I always loved the ominous black monolith overlooking the scene in this ad.

  17. Leigh says: February 27, 20081:21 pm

    In my copy, I remember the guy had a huge multicolored ink splotch across his face.

  18. jayessell says: April 4, 20084:17 pm

    Remember the Apple ][ ad from June 14, 2007?
    Comment #3?
    My primitive computer animation?
    I’ve reposted the SciFi film I did primitive computer graphics for at

    http://video.google.com…

    See if you can spot the CG!
    That’s me “Live from Earth”!

    (Charlie, if I’ve violated the rules by posting this, just delete.)

  19. Charlie says: April 4, 20084:36 pm

    jayessell » Why on earth would that be against the rules? The only things that aren’t allowed are hate speech and blatant spam.
    And on the spam front, if you’re a regular commenter to the site (and you’re among our most prolific) I really don’t have any problem with you posting whatever you want. If you have a new site, or book, movie, or whatever that you want to plug, go right ahead. That goes for everyone. I’d like this to be a community and not everything has to revolve around the stuff I post.

    Also, I’m thinking of adding forums to the site, what do you think?

  20. Phil says: September 21, 20112:10 pm

    The Apple II was originally available for sale as a motherboard only or a full package (with case, keyboard, power supply, accessories). I worked for one of the first computer stores in New York City and while we never sold any individual motherboards (the primary market was business customers) it was in the Apple catalog – I’ve still got an October 1977 price list in my archives.

    The motherboard-alone wasn’t a true “kit” for computer geeks of the time – a kit meant getting a blank motherboard and populating it with chips and soldering everything yourself. Having the motherboard already populated and just needing to find a power supply, compatible keyboard and case was a bit too simple. In a very real sense buying an Apple II motherboard by itself was similar to folks who buy motherboards today to assemble their own computers.

    I did have one customer who would purchase Apple IIs from me and ask me to disassemble them into components (separate keyboard, case, motherboard, and power supply). He would send the parts to Brazil (which had a very high import tariff on pre-built computers, but a low tariff on computer parts) where a tech would put the parts back together. That’s the closest our store ever came to selling an individual motherboard.

  21. chatins says: December 5, 20114:22 am

    I have a rev 0 “kit” from 1977. My Apple II rev 0 board was purchased from the original Byte Shop while they still had an Apple 1 demo for sale!

    The “kit” boards were made from the very first production run of II’s. Mine is hand numbered 1-462. Interesting to find out from Woz who actually numbered this run?

  22. [...] to Modern Mechanix, this ad was printed when “you could still buy the Apple II as a kit with just the [...]

  23. [...] to Modern Mechanix, this ad was printed when “you could still buy the Apple II as a kit with just the motherboard. [...]

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