Apple IIc

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Apple IIc /w monitor and mouseThe Apple IIc was released in April 24, 1984, at the Apple Forever Conference held in San Diego. Although somewhat overshadowed by the introductions of the Macintosh and Lisa 2 lines, the IIc held its own. The IIc came in a rare, small, portable platinum case with a tilt monitor that featured a 9" green Flat Panel Display and could be lugged around like a suitcase. Also inluded was an external 140k 5.25" floppy disk drive of the same color. It ran a 65C02 processor running at 1.4 MHz. It also sported a brand new ROM chip that allowed the user to use lower-case Applesoft BASIC commands for the first time; use a new built-in mini-assembler; and use MouseWorks, a ProDOS GUI similar to the newly released Mac OS. The IIc had 2 serial ports, one mouse port, one disk port, and 128k RAM. For portability though, was sacrificed the 7 expansion slots found on the earlier Apple IIe, and the motherboard prevented the IIc from getting a reliable high-speed serial connection on early models. This did not deter sales though, it was the machine for the computer illiterate, and its innovative design won it the Industrial Design Excellence Award six months later. It sold well until it was discontinued in September 1988 with the introduction of the IIc+, the last computer in the II series. The IIc+ included the new 800k 3.5" floppy drive, 65C02 running at an option of 1 or 4 MHz using a built-in processor switch, memory expansion capability, and ports with mini DIN-8 connectors (same as IIGS and Mac Plus). Though much better than the IIc, it did not fare well due to compatibility problems and the rise in popularity of the Macintosh line and Apple II clones. The IIc+ was discontinued in November of 1990.

IIc+ w/o monitorCode Names: ET, IIb (because it was book sized), IIp (because it was portable), Pippin, VLC (for Very Low Cost), Elf, Yoda, Teddy (short for testing everyday), Chels, Jason, Lollie (after the names of the children of the members in the IIc project team).

Processor: 65C02 processor running at 1-4 MHz, the fastest of any Apple II.
Memory: came with 128k of RAM expandable to 1 MB.
Display: a 9" green Flat Panel Display on a tilt monitor.
Ports: The Apple IIc 2 serial ports, a mouse port, and a disk port.

Operating Systems:
ProDOS: all versions.
MouseWorks: ProDOS-based GUI similar to GS/OS and Mac OS interfaces.

Models in this Series:
Apple IIc: basic system, came with 128k RAM, portable, Disk ][ 143k 5.25" floppy drive, 1.4 MHz.
Apple IIc+: up to 1 MB RAM, portable, 800k 3.25" floppy drive, 4 MHz.

On the market for:
4 years, 6 months (IIc); 2 years, 3 months (IIc+).

Interesting Facts:
During the presentation at Apple Forever, CEO John Sculley made sure everybody had a IIc to look at. When he asked the large crowd of Apple enthusiasts if they wanted to see a IIc at work, a large crowd yelled back in consent and 1,000 IIc's were held up for display.

The IIc was the only computer in the Apple series to sport the platinum color.

Although other products in the II line were almost done with production, such as the IIGS ROM04 and the mysterious Apple IIx, Apple decided the IIc+ would be the last model in the series because they didn't want to hurt the sales of the upcoming Mac SE and Mac LC models.

Resources and Related Links:
The Apple IIc entry at Glen Sanford's A History of Apple Computer

The Apple IIc entry at Richard Kilpatrick's Apple Retro
The Apple II FAQ from comp.sys.apple2
Picture at left from A History of Apple Computer, picture at right from Apple Retro.