Apple I

This is my Apple I Replica, signed by Steve Wozniak. I build for my Son Lukas.

Apple I Replica – Build in 2019 – Signed by Steve Wozniak in 2020

The Apple I was developed in 1976 by Steve Wozniak, the Co-founder of Apple Computer. At that time he was working at HP developing calculators. His development was not valued by HP and so he was allowed to sell the unit by himself. Together with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne they founded Apple Computer.

Most interesting for me is, that this computer was developed by a single person. Steve Wozniak developed it in his Apartment and showed the final unit to Jobs, who then began to sell it. Even the Apple II was developed solely by Steve Wozniak, maybe inspired by ideas from the Home-brew Computer Club. Both Computers, Apple I and Apple II have been the foundation of the Apple Computer Company. The Masterpiece of Steve Wozniak was his Apple II Floppy Controller. It expanded the Apple II Computer to a fully usable business machine and was – together with „VisiCalc“ – the breakthrough for computers in the 70’s and 80’s.

The above Apple I replica has some added expansions:

  • In the upper breadboard area we added a modern power supply, to provide the -12/12,-5/5V currents from a singe 12V supply.
  • My Apple1-PS/2 Keyboard Adapter allows to connect a „normal“ keyboard.
  • On the right expansion port we added a 4k ROM Memory with AppleSoft Basic.

When the unit is powered on, it runs WOZMON: A 256 byte Program for Keyboard Entry and Video Display output. The computer was connected to a standard ASCII Keyboard and could display Text on a Video Terminal or TV set. The „Wozmon“ is comparable to a BIOS of a modern computer. Beside setting up the system, it allows to enter and execute commands and drive the video display. The available commands allow for entering and listing memory data and program execution.

The display could present 40 characters on 24 lines. If you entered „100.200L“ the Apple I would display the content of 255 Memory locations. It would show 8 per line. So the display shows a max of 8×24 Hex Values at a time.

Though the Apple-i is indeed a very simple computer, it is very usable. A program could read entries from memory or the keyboard, calculate, and print results – including text – on the screen. The „Terminal“ has only one control character, which is „CR“ to generate a new Line and eventually scroll the screen. But data editing and listing via the ASCII-Keyboard is very easy.

I used the Apple Casette Interface to store and read programs from Tape, which worked fine.

I suggest to compare the two single board computers „Data Handler“ and „Apple I“ in terms of usability and chip count.

The above unit is assembled and tested and can be used inside the Picture – Frame. The setup is a compromise between display and usability. I decided to omit the ACI, because it was too big for the Picture Frame. But since BASIC is in the ROM, it is simple for the user to enter a „Hello World“ Program.

Apple I

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