The Flappy Bird phenomenon will never die. Although the game has been pulled from the App Store, the addictive little Bird has spawned a million clones, and been ported to all manner of devices, including Android and Windows Phone smartphones, as well as the Mac.
But what you’re about to see might just be the ultimate Flappy Bird port. It’s Flappy Bird running on a vintage Apple IIc, at an astonishing 60 frames per second.
It may seem hard to believe, but there was a time when Apple shipped computers without built-in monitor, not as an exception, but as the rule. Such was the case with the venerable Apple II, which shipped with a behemoth of a 320 x 200 CRT monitor that weighed a monstrous 22 pounds… more than a 27-inch iMac weighs today!
So in a very real way, this computer — built from an old Apple II connected by some kind of magic to an iMac running as the display by Franceso Zaia — isn’t just a sext Frankenstein. It’s actually a lighter, more efficient Apple II monitor than the original. And as an added bonus, you can dual boot up to OS X when the mood suits.
On June 10, 1977, Apple Computer Inc. shipped its first Apple II computer.
A hulking beige mammoth with 4KB of RAM (upgradeable to a whopping 48KB), the Apple II was the computer that defined Apple for a generation of fans. Retailing at $1,298, it cost the equivalent of two MacBook Pros today — even though it seemed a total bargain at the time.
Unlike its Apple I predecessor, the Apple II was polished and mass market — featuring a keyboard, BASIC compatibility and, most notable of all, color graphics.
Despite being the company’s second computer, the Apple II was responsible for a number of firsts at Apple. It was the machine which turned Apple into a million-dollar company (yes, million — not billion). The year the Apple II debuted, Apple turned over $770,000 in revenue. The year after that, its success brought in $7.9 million, and the year after that $49 million.
In Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, there is a scene in which a tribe of early hominids, having encountered an extraterrestrial Monolith for the first time, are suddenly evolved to the next stage of human consciousness, and are capable of using tools for the first time.
This video of children from the ages of 6 to 13 trying to figure out how to work a vintage Apple II is like the opposite of that. And it shows just how inexplicable computing was to pretty much everyone before Steve Jobs released the original Mac in 1984.
From the highs of the Steve Jobs portrait made out of 20lbs of electronic waste, to the lows of the hideous statue that looked like a totem from Hellraiser, there have certainly been some “uneven” tributes to Apple’s late co-founder.
So which camp does this creation fall into, then?
Called “Baked Apple,” the fountain-sculpture depicts a deformed Apple II sitting on top of a column (previously the base lamp), adorned with images of Jobs and the Apple logo. It was created by artist Robbie Schoen, who once attended Jobs’ alma mater. Schoen, and made his creation with the aid of a real-life Apple II, formerly belonging to the school’s science department.
2014 isn’t only the thirtieth anniversary of the Macintosh. It’s also the thirtieth anniversary of Infocom’s classic game The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — a title that will likely be fondly remembered by anyone who was gaming in the mid-80s.
To mark the game’s thirtieth birthday, and to coincide with the 36th anniversary of the series’ first radio broadcast, the BBC has announced that on March 8 it will publish a new online version of the game, featuring new high definition graphics, social media support, and smartphone/tablet optimization.
In addition to all the new products of 2013, the past year was a whir of activity in the vintage Apple space. Apple may be content to only move forward and deny existence of any products older than seven years – what do you mean my first generation MacBook Pro is vintage??? – but the public has not forgotten them.
The biggest retro news of the year was probably the ascendancy of the Apple 1 on the auction block. In May, an Apple 1 fetched a record price of $671,000 at an auction in Germany – until just recently the highest price ever paid for a personal computer. Other Apple 1s sold this year in the $300,000 range, so if you are lucky enough to have one of these oldies-but-goodies in your attic, dig it out now!
Apple’s never been a particularly vocal advocate of open source, but thanks to a collaboration between two vintage computer museums, you can now delve into the sweet, sweet code of Apple’s first operating system.
The original Apple II was a huge breakthrough for Apple when it went on sale in 1977. And even though the 8-bit computer made Steve Jobs and Woz legends, you’ve got to wonder what Apple’s first big hit would have looked like if Jony Ive got his hands all over it.
A true Jony Ive edition Apple II will probably never see the light of day, but this customized aluminum Apple II some redditor bought off eBay might be the next closest thing. It’s simple, sleek and aluminum – everything Jony loves.