Want to be the next Woz? How to build a working Apple 1 replica


Build yourself an Apple 1! Photo: Cult of Mac
Build yourself an Apple 1! Photo: Cult of Mac

With working specimens of the original 1976 model routinely selling at auction for as much as $905,000, chances are, even the most die-hard Apple fans will never be able to own a vintage Apple 1 for themselves.

But don’t despair: If you have the know-how, you can build one yourself for a fraction of the cost.

Noted computer modder Ben Heck is sort of a legend in DIY circles. He’s particularly known for turning huge, bulky consoles of everything from the Atari 2600 to the Xbox One into portable gaming units.

But with his latest project, Heck is trying to do more than cram a console into the tiniest case possible. He’s trying to recreate an Apple 1 from scratch, exactly the same way Woz himself originally built one.

In this first video from the multi-step project, Heck talks about the origins of the Apple 1, then begins soldering a breadboard with sockets for the RAM, ROM and the Apple 1’s 6502 CPU he’ll be using, then loads up the ROM with code for BASIC and takes his Apple 1 replica motherboard for a short spin.

It’s all technical, but it’s amazing to think you can actually do this at home if you have the technical know-how. But at the same time, it’s not surprising: Woz was doing this in a garage 40 years ago.

In a future episode, Heck says he will try to recreate the Apple 1 case and outfit his Apple 1’s motherboard with an LCD display and keyboard. We can’t wait.



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