My Apple ][+ clone from high school arrived today. In a big box, along with an actual Apple ][+ our family got slightly earlier. By the box is a pen, you know, for scale.
This computer has appeared in these pages before, I used to see it every time I made it back to Minnesota. But now it is actually with me in Boston. It could use some cleaning. It’s kind of interesting, insofar as it is extremely rare as far I can determine. There are a few different kinds of clone, but very few references to something like this. It looks to me as if there is one in the same kind of case being auctioned as I write this on ebay. But yet it isn’t quite the same, because that one says “SELECT” on startup. I think it’s quite possible that what I have is an entirely homebrew affair, the result of somebody buying a case and a motherboard and assembling it. The computer says “READY GO” instead of “APPLE ][” when it starts up, which has been referenced here, but picture of the “Citron II” is nothing like my clone, and here, but my clone is nothing like an RX-8800. So, who knows? I think the “built from parts” idea is probably the most likely explanation for the existence of this machine.
I did get this from some guy who shipped it to me who I probably got in contact with over a BBS. I seem to remember he was in the Southwest US somewhere, so that makes the BBS theory plausible. But I have very little information about the provenance of this machine. It had at one time a nice 20MB hard drive. I wish I knew what happened to that.
One thing that’s strange about this machine is that the top lid is really pretty short. It is not at all easy to get in and do anything with the motherboard inside. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do if you need to access something near the front, maybe just take the top off altogether.
It’s pretty dusty in there, but it looks mostly ok (and it does start up). I see that I have an 80-column card I didn’t realize was in there.
I notice that when I look at the back, the bit of the motherboard that peeks through (providing inputs for the cassette port and video, entirely unlabeled on this clone) seems to be bent somehow. I need to investigate what’s going on there. And, I think this one would also be a pretty good candidate for retrobrighting.