Saturday, August 25, 2012

New computer - Apple IIgs!

I bought a new computer. It's an Apple IIgs.

The last and best Apple II. I've always wanted one of these, and I always get what I want. I am a patient man; I take the long view. So 25 years after its debut, I finally have my IIgs.

I think it's interesting that my Nexus 7 tablet - which is approximately 1,000 times more powerful than the entire IIgs - now fits entirely on top of one of the IIgs's 3.5" floppy drives. Didn't even notice it sitting there, did ya?

I've always been an Apple II guy - this was my first-ever computer:

I know this Apple IIc is mine because I carved the phone number of a girl I liked in the top of it.

I grew up with the rainbow logo. When Apple changed that, they ceased being the company I once knew.

I used my IIc from 1985 to literally about 1995. My dad finally bought me a 486 PC for my last two years at NYU. But I'd amassed a pretty impressive game collection and also had learned how to write my own programs in BASIC, so I had a real emotional attachment to this thing. And I'd hook it up every year or so just for nostalgia purposes.

But it's dead now. I fire it up and get no drive activity and just a bunch of gibberish on screen. Sad.

So I replaced it with the IIgs; may as well go for the best in the line at this point. The IIgs has a better processor, more memory and is much more expandable than the IIc (the IIe is equally expandable but not as powerful to start with, and it can't be upgraded to equal the IIgs because of the older CPU... at least not without actually turning it into a poor-man's IIgs).

The IIgs and original Macintosh came out at around the same time, and rumor is the IIgs was actually dumbed down so it didn't overshadow the somewhat pitiful original Mac. Even still, the IIgs seemed light years ahead - full color graphics, better sound, more RAM, faster CPU (albeit 16 bit vs. 32 bit... which didn't mean much in those days), and it even had a similar graphical OS.  But Apple wanted to push the Mac, so they pretty much buried the IIgs. I've always thought this had to be the first major battle between Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs - the II was Woz's line, while the Mac was more Jobs. And Woz is about the most laid back guy you'll ever see, so Jobs increasingly won those battles - Woz just didn't have the stomach for it.  I've always been kind of annoyed by that, because Woz's designs were always about the best engineering, whereas Jobs tried to make stuff that appealed to the masses.  I'm with Woz.

Well, I'm happy to be able to play my games and run my homebrew software again :)

(No, doing it with emulation isn't the same.)

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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