While we were visiting Missouri, Mom pulled out the old Apple IIe from my childhood. I think we bought that in the early 1980’s, and after plugging in a few parts, it actually booted up!

Thom and I fiddled with some of the disks (yes, the original 5 1/4″ floppies) and managed to bring up a few classic games like Black Magic (Thom’s favorite). Here he is playing Dig Dug:

One of my favorite games was Lode Runner:

Unfortunately we couldn’t get the game to start– we could only run the demo mode. It was strange, but I suppose after 35 years or so, it was more surprising that it even partially worked.

It’s a credit to Apple (and to Mom!) that after all these years, the computer still worked. Check out the sweet core memory chips, at 8kB apiece for a total of 64kB:

But– lucky us– we had an expansion card called the “80-column card” which doubled the ram to 128kB and allowed the system to display 80 columns of text instead of the default 40. That was really important when doing word processing, and of course for games.

I think Mom is going to give away the computer, or maybe sell it on eBay one of these days (yes, there’s still a market for 1980-era Apple IIe’s out there). It was fun to be reminded of all those hours spent on the computer when I was a teenager. That old Apple put me on the path to a successful software career a decade later!