The Sydney Morning Herald has a nice write-up on today, April 11th 2016, being the Apple 1’s 40th Birthday.
This Apple-1, described by Bonhams Auctions as, “in nearly perfect condition” was put up for auction in September with a starting bid of $300,000. It bears the number 01-0059, indicating it was one of the batch Apple sold to The Byte Shop. Bonhams expected the computer to go for as much as $500,000 and stated, “The customer had only used the Apple-1 once or twice, and Mr. Romkey set it on a shelf, and did not touch it again.” It even has the coveted white ceramic 6502 CPU still in place and was tested as functional, but BBC News reports that it was one of only two lots in Bonhams’s “History of Science and Technology” auction that failed to sell.
Is the “gold rush” over?
The Apple 1 was acquired in 1980 by John Anderson, a founding member of the AppleSiders User Group of Cincinnati, Ohio during a local Apple convention. It’s been sitting in glass display case all this time, and it’s condition has been described as ‘pristine’.
Due to it’s functional condition, Bonhams estimates this Apple 1 will sell for between USD $300,000 and $500,000.
Some of you may remember my earlier work on PLASMA, the Proto Language AsSeMbler for Apple. Some of you may even know it will be the language of Lawless Legends (https://www.facebook.com/LawlessLegends). But now, with a flurry of previous concepts and new ideas developed for the LL implementation, comes PLASMA 123. Why 123? Because it runs on the Apple 1, ][, and ///. “No way!”, you say. Way. And it runs the exact same PLASMA modules (user programs and libraries) on all three systems, without modification. That’s the power of a VM. But this VM was designed specifically for the Apple II (both 64K and 128K fully utilized) and the Apple /// (uses extended memory addressing, up to 512K), from the beginning. The Apple 1 got a quick port because of the awesome CFFA1 (Rich may still have some left).
Now this is a pretty early announcement, but I thought some of the more technically adventurous may want to take a look and provide some feedback, or at least poke at it. You can find all the source and preliminary documentation on GitHub: https://github.com/dschmenk/PLASMA
There is a demo disk image in the GitHub project: DEMO.0.9.PO – it is a dual booting disk for the Apple II and III. It will boot into a simple command line prompt. The commands are:
c – catalog current path
– catalog path
v – list on-line device volumes
– set prefix to path
– run PLASMA file
– run SYSTEM file (Apple II only)
There are only two sample PLASMA programs to run on this image: HELLO and TEST. Run them, as documented above, with ‘+hello’ and ‘+test’.
The HELLO module is pretty simple. The TEST module actually loads a module dependency, TESTLIB, as it runs. It is just my language test coverage module, using a bunch of different aspects of PLASMA. If you see a bunch of junk on the screen with HELLO on your Apple ][ or ][+, that means you don’t have a lower-case adapter and I haven’t forced the output on those machines to upper case yet.
So now we have the grand unifying environment for the 8 bit Apples. And it’s fast. I developed some new interpreter technology for this version: about 3 times slower than native compiled 6502, but about 10 times as dense, and code doesn’t take up precious main memory (on 128K Apple II or Apple III). You can still write ASM functions inside your PLASMA module for those times that speed is critical above all else.
Vince Briel’s Replica 1 10th Anniversary limited edition boards have sold out, but the same design is available now as the ‘Replica 1 Plus’. The only things that are different on this board are the color (green vs. red) and the silk-screened name. The Replica 1 Plus is available assembled for USD $199, or as a kit for USD $149 plus shipping.
The plus has improvements over the TE that make programming and power issues a thing of the past. Now you can power your replica 1 right off your PC or Mac or Tablet with the USB interface. With drivers installed, you can use a terminal program for sending/receiving programs or just use the terminal interface as your display and keyboard if you want. For those who prefer the stand alone feature, you can still use a composite monitor or TV and PS/2 keyboard. The ASCII keyboard port has been retained but for Apple II keyboards, a -12V supply or a Super Encoder board enhanced Apple II keyboard is required. Firmware changes now allow backspace or the original _ to be used just by selecting CTRL and F1. No more fighting backspace issues. Two versions of ROM’s onboard to select from! Yes, the original apple 1 with BASIC and now the Woz monitor and Applesoft lite can be used by adding a jumper! Enjoy floating point BASIC ported from the Apple II.
EXTRA GOOD NEWS! Look for an announcement soon on how you can assemble your own Replica 1 Plus kit under Vince’s guidance at a KansasFest 2014 workshop!
Briel Computers is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Replica 1 by releasing a limited edition (and new revision) of their insanely popular Apple 1 compatible computer. The first 50 boards make up the limited edition 10th Anniversary Replica 1; each will be serialized and sport a collectible red PCB. After those are sold out, the new 10th Anniversay Edition Replica 1 PCB will revert to its usual green color.
The new board has the following changes:
Look for a review of the new Replica 1 10th Anniversary Edition in the next issue of Juiced.GS later this year!
Wendell Sander is giving the Apple 1 serious love with technical notes, modifications and schematics for new cards he’s designed. Check out his site, The Apple 1 Project. If you’re a fan of the original Apple Computer, you won’t be disappointed.
Hey, while we’re talking about the Apple 1, there’s another one up for auction.