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I still have my very first computer - an Apple ][ I was given back in grade school. Once I fix the drive cables and clean it up a bit, what could I reasonably use it for?

Obviously the stacks of 5¼" floppies might provide some entertainment and distraction as I go through them, but after that...? I've heard of people using them as email systems and dumb terminals, what else might a geek like me do with my first love?

I hope it's still running when I have kids. I'd love to teach them programming using Robot Odyssey

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closed as not constructive by slhck Aug 5 '12 at 14:50

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does it have an 80 column card? –  dlamblin Jul 27 '09 at 19:41
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Nope, and Walmart seems to be fresh out. –  sangretu Jul 27 '09 at 19:54
    
+1: I saw your title and was going to suggest Robot Odyssey but I see you already have. :-) –  Jason S Jul 27 '09 at 20:39
    
Apple ][e was soooo much better ;) –  Keltari Apr 29 at 19:43

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could attempt to build a web server, that seems to be a very common project with very old systems. The third link I posted is a site hosted off one. You could also set up all your old favorite games to play. There are lots of resources out there of old computer projects.

Here are some resources to give you some ideas:

http://lostclassics.apple2.info/
http://a2gameserver.berlios.de/
http://servers.ld8.org/servers_apple2.html

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I agree. The old-game-nostalgia value is definitely there. Check out what Blake Patterson did - bytecellar.com . If anyone's found a use for hold hardware, its him. –  NoCarrier Jul 27 '09 at 16:45
    
Tough decision, but accepted this one just for the usefulness of the links. –  sangretu Jul 31 '09 at 20:58

I used a Cambridge Z88 as a serial console for my Linux PC for a few years, it was actually quite handy as such because with a long enough serial cable I could carry it around my room as I looked at books, made coffee or got back into bed. The Apple ][ obviously isn't so portable but can easily be used as a conversation-piece console.

The other option is to actually use it as an Apple ][. You mention teaching your kids programming, well how about seeing if you can get your favorite app to run in those 4Kb? I’m quite tempted to try a GTD app for the Z88 now.

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Use it to learn 6502 Assembler.

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If it were an Apple // GS I would suggest getting an SCSI or IDE interface card and putting proDOS AppleWorks GS and a couple of other applications on a hard drive. If you're into soldering you can build one. If it isn't a //gs, then you should back up all your floppies and use it only for games, like Eamon, or creating arty music videos.

As you've said you don't have an 80 column card, the 40 column text won't be all that well suited as either a (dumb) serial terminal nor as a way to work with AppleWorks 3. Perhaps you could use the original Killer App: VisiCalc.

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I have several Eamon disks :) Wondering if my saved characters are still on there. I remember hacking the save files to keep equipment through death and such :) –  sangretu Jul 28 '09 at 12:24

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