Jump to content
Keatah

Apple II, best of the early micros? You bet it was!

Recommended Posts

The Apple ][ and Atari 800 can suck a lemon, C64 IS GOD!!!

Sorry, but I disagree to an extent.

 

The stock Apple II, with maybe 4k of RAM is pretty pathetic. However an Apple IIe with 64k RAM on the motherboard, an an 80-col card with an extra 64k RAM, and you aren't sucking any lemons.

 

Compared to the Apple II line of computers, the C64 build quality is pretty awful. A cheap-o case, held together by 3 screws, and three plastic tabs you are almost guaranteed to snap off. No airflow, so chips run way hotter than they ought to. Cost saving is evident in the design. While they managed to push out a pretty sweet product for only $595, it really shows with the quality.

 

Expanding the C64 consists of daisy chaining drives, cards, slot expanders and all sorts of peripherals.

 

It's actually a shame, because the C64's full-screen editor, and SID chip make is a serious force. However, an awful keyboard, lack of serious 80-column option, and limited(difficult) expandability, prevent it from reaching the god status people always seem to give it. It's good for games and for sound, we all know that. However when it comes to productivity and general computing, it's not all that great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However when it comes to productivity and general computing, it's not all that great.

I DONT CARE ABOUT "productivity and general computing", GIMME THE GHEMS!!!

 

MOAR GHEMS!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(In all seriousness though, I think you made some good points and I agree.)

Edited by Link6415

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you'd have to compare the early micros at the time they were released:

 

'77: Apple ][ vs... Nothing, Apple wins

 

'79: Apple ][+ vs Atari 400/800, the Atari wins hands down.

 

'83: Apple //e vs Atari 600xl/800xl vs C64, Apple wins.

 

2015: Atari 800 with the Incognito board wins. :-)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer not every thread degrade into a computer vs computer war

This one sort of started that way though, even the title leans in that direction... =-)

 

However, an awful keyboard, lack of serious 80-column option, and limited(difficult) expandability, prevent it from reaching the god status people always seem to give it. It's good for games and for sound, we all know that. However when it comes to productivity and general computing, it's not all that great.

i'd disagree personally, but i spent the 1980s doing my school work on a stock Breadbin with tape deck (eventually getting a disk drive) and know people who ran their businesses, clubs and user groups off C64 with disk drives, expansions and GEOS through the 1980s, 1990s and in a few cases onwards; calling the keyboard "awful" is something of an overstatement too i'd say, it's not the greatest i've ever used but at the same time there are more that feel worse and it'll take a lot of punishment as well.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'd disagree personally, but i spent the 1980s doing my school work on a stock Breadbin with tape deck (eventually getting a disk drive) and know people who ran their businesses, clubs and user groups off C64 with disk drives, expansions and GEOS through the 1980s, 1990s and in a few cases onwards; calling the keyboard "awful" is something of an overstatement too i'd say, it's not the greatest i've ever used but at the same time there are more that feel worse and it'll take a lot of punishment as well.

 

 

Perhaps awful is a little extreme. However, I do often feel like I am fighting with the C64 keyboard when I am typing. Aside from being uncomfortable, I feel as if I always need to depress the keys fully, but none of them have any sort of satisfying click or anything. They just short of thud against the membrane at the bottom. Compared to Apple, it really doesn't come close.

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/139100/the_10_worst_pc_keyboards_of_all_time.html#slide2

 

PC World even ranked it as the 10th worst PC keyboard of all time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Perhaps awful is a little extreme. However, I do often feel like I am fighting with the C64 keyboard when I am typing. Aside from being uncomfortable, I feel as if I always need to depress the keys fully, but none of them have any sort of satisfying click or anything. They just short of thud against the membrane at the bottom. Compared to Apple, it really doesn't come close.

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/139100/the_10_worst_pc_keyboards_of_all_time.html#slide2

 

PC World even ranked it as the 10th worst PC keyboard of all time.

 

Good old Benj Edwards.

 

The only thing I ever typed was LOAD "*",8,1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps awful is a little extreme. However, I do often feel like I am fighting with the C64 keyboard when I am typing. Aside from being uncomfortable, I feel as if I always need to depress the keys fully, but none of them have any sort of satisfying click or anything. They just short of thud against the membrane at the bottom. Compared to Apple, it really doesn't come close.

But for a significant difference in price that's to be expected, surely? Granted there's no satisfying click but i'll trade that off for a lower price tag personally because it isn't an excellent keyboard but is at least a reasonable one.

 

PC World even ranked it as the 10th worst PC keyboard of all time.

Not for the reason you mentioned though, the issues listed are subjective stuff like how "visually confusing" it is or specific key placement (i'll give him the case height thing, that's probably fair really at least on the Breadbin case). There are a few European units that could've taken that tenth place (Oric 1, Sinclair QL, some of the more bizarre Russian Spectrum clones) but having the C64 on a list probably draws in traffic... =-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But for a significant difference in price that's to be expected, surely? Granted there's no satisfying click but i'll trade that off for a lower price tag personally because it isn't an excellent keyboard but is at least a reasonable one.

 

 

Not for the reason you mentioned though, the issues listed are subjective stuff like how "visually confusing" it is or specific key placement (i'll give him the case height thing, that's probably fair really at least on the Breadbin case). There are a few European units that could've taken that tenth place (Oric 1, Sinclair QL, some of the more bizarre Russian Spectrum clones) but having the C64 on a list probably draws in traffic... =-)

 

Fine fine. I find it uncomfortable(for the wrists hovering in the air). Also, I was basing my comparison solely on function, not function per unit cost in 1982.

 

EDIT: One thing I forgot to mention about the C64. While this isn't a fault of the machine itself, the 1541 Disk Drive is horrendous. Unfortunately, I haven't had the luxury of owning any of the newer models, so since my last 1541 failed, all I can do is load software off of my μIEC/SD.

Edited by Grimakis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the 1541 is pretty stinky in terms of speed, I never had any usage or mechanical issues outside wear and grime on all the ones I ever owned

 

but its also a trade off, with the disk II you could (sequentially) read upto 1 megbit per second and had absolute control over every single thing ... but you had to stop the whole damn computer while doing it as the entire thing was controlled by the CPU and some glue logic ... with the 41 you had terrible speed and a fairly complex microcontroller based disk drive which made for easy hookup and offloaded it from the cpu, course the middle ground are the atari disks.

 

I personally dont hate the 64, its my #2 8 bit machine, but im not going to slap a hard drive on it and run a native C compiler on it either ... my first atari computer was a 65XE bought last year and sold about 4 months ago, not impressed, thats a console with a keyboard IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you'd have to compare the early micros at the time they were released:

 

'77: Apple ][ vs... Nothing, Apple wins

Nothing?

Er.. I think you skipped some, which were actually the point of the OP.

CBM Pet and TRS-80 (what we call the Model 1).

 

Both great machines for their time...

Wasn't the TRS-80 mopping the floors with the CBM and Apple sales wise for the first few years???

 

Not quite nothing... ;-)

Yes, the Apple II line eventually won out, but for the first models, as much as I love the II and the Pet, I'd probably say the TRS-80 was the best choice BitD.

Remember, the TRS-80 was around $600 released, with a monitor..

The original Apple II was $1300...

 

desiv

Edited by desiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing?

Er.. I think you skipped some, which were actually the point of the OP.

CBM Pet and TRS-80 (what we call the Model 1).

 

 

I was 8 at the time, I don't remember anything really except the 2600. :) The Apple ][ won '77 because I knew people still using it (well, a ][+) 10 years later.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you have to use at the time seems to be the best. Also, whatever retro computer you choose to spend your time enjoying. I would love to have an Apple 2, C64 ,Amiga, Trs-80, and pretty much every Mac ever made. And some day I will have the money/time to enjoy them. Currently I have enough to enjoy an 800 with some great peripherals, so to me it is the best for now. Each retro computer has a lot to study about and enjoy. Not to mention great dedicated podcasts like Antic. It's a great time to enjoy any retro computer/console. And forums associated to your particular brand, like this one. Where you can discuss with fellow like minded enthusiasts to your hearts content .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one sort of started that way though, even the title leans in that direction... =-)

 

This depends on what was meant by "early micros".

The Apple II predates the C64 by 6 years.

 

FWIW, the Apple had 80 column cards, fast disk drives and supported other languages years before the C64 was even introduced.

It was even a couple years before the fast loaders came out for the C64 putting it 8 years behind Apple for any serious possibility of using it for science or business.

Counting the C64 as best of the "early" micros is a stretch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This depends on what was meant by "early micros".

The Apple II predates the C64 by 6 years.

The C64 wandered into the discussion as something of an aside (mostly as a counter to the "programmer's paradise" thing) though, i don't think anyone tried to claim it was one of the early micros?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote a long well researched reply to this topic that I lost with an annoying mouse button back shortcut.

 

The Apple II came out in the second generation of personal computing in 1977. The first generation was from 1975 with the S-100 bus Altair leading the way.

 

The second generation came out in 1977 with the PET, TRS-80 and Apple II. The Apple II was priced at twice the cost of the other two for the smallest RAM configuration and four times the price for the 48K version. Although all three were designed by brilliant engineers, Apple had the startup mentality of creating the computer THEY wanted to use, rather than the computer that the market might be able to afford, which resulting in a more forward thinking design.

 

The Atari 8-bit line came out in 1980 and the C64 in 1982. Both were substantially cheaper than the Apple II. Both competitors took advantage of a rapidly maturing consumer and chip market, as well as fantastic custom hardware designed for games. But somehow, the Apple II remained competitive with those two systems, outlasting the C64 (although not necessarily outselling it or outgaming it) and staying in the market as long as the Atari 8-bit line, perhaps with more success.

 

It's difficult for me not to see the Apple II as champion of it's day. The Apple II was the early preferred system for programmers, educators and gamers for it's day. The companies that went on to produce the most exciting 8-bit computer games of their day all cut their teeth using Apple IIs. And most of the gaming innovations of the day came from these companies designing for the Apple II, in spite of the substantial gaming capabilities of the other systems.

 

And today, Apple II systems and disk drives are more reliable than Atari and C64 systems. And the expand-ability of the Apple II remains a huge asset in allowing modern homebrewers to design incredible hardware. Although many of these innovations are possible on other classic systems, the Apple II always presented a simple expansion path, inviting a diversity of uses outside of gaming.

 

It's hard for me not to champion the Apple II as the computer that started the computer gaming industry, and one of the most elegant pieces of technology ever designed.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure you can hit the forward button, and select "More Reply Options". Then at the bottom of the text window, restore autosaved content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...