Anatomy of an Apple IIc

For a 1 MHz machine, the Apple II sure has been a hot news item lately. First, Dan Budiac bought one for $2,600, inspiring us retrocomputing enthusiasts everywhere to get back to basics. Then, as long as we were plumbing the depths of memory, Computerworld editors started reminiscing about their first computers, including the Apple II. Then our readers and our bloggers got in the action, spinning tales of their favorite computers, many of which were various models of Apple II.

All this chatter seems to have gotten the attention of our sister publication, PC World, who today ran their take on Budiac's machine in a photo gallery entitled "Anatomy of an Icon: Inside the Apple IIc". PC World's photo gallery is especially fun, as it goes one step further than Budiac, who unboxed a vintage Apple: PC World breaks open the case and takes us on a tour of the IIc's electronic innards.

Tony Diaz of the Apple II Online Reference wiki doesn't miss much, though, and pointed out to me a few minor inaccuracies he caught in the details of these images.

Page 9 of the gallery identifies what connections the rear of the motherboard offers: "the external disk drive connector, the video-out, the RGB-out, serial port 1, the power jack, and the power switch." What they call the RGB-out is actually the external disk drive connector (identifiable by its 19 pins); but what they call the disk drive connector isn't RGB-out. Computers of 25 years ago generally did not use RGB, and the Apple IIc was no exception. Its DB-15 video expansion port "offered access to the machine's video signals so that, with additional hardware, an RGB or similar signal can be created to drive an external display," says Diaz.

Later, on page 11, the internal power supply is described: "The converter slides in and out of a socket on the motherboard with an edge connector. It was made as a separate, easily switchable unit to accommodate international variations in power sources (such as the United States' 110 volts versus Europe's 220 volts)." Wrong, says Diaz: "This comes out so it can be swapped. Period. It's the same regardless of country or voltage, which is determined by the external brick on a rope. The IIc operates on 12V DC. The 12V comes from the brick." Makes sense to me.

There's plenty that PC World got right, and Diaz and I definitely agree on one conclusion: it's a fun article. I'm thrilled to see the computer I'm still using after all these years getting so much coverage — especially when I didn't write it. Well done, coz!

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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