Donors: Vas Polski and Will Willis
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Ever since I first put the Apple IIc in the museum as a portable computer, I've heard two things:
It's not portable because you need to plug it into the wall.
It's not portable because it needs a small, but still substantial monitor, that also needs to plug into
the wall. (And the LCD screen you claim exists really doesn't.)
Well, you naysayers are wrong! Wrong wrong wrong! Here's a portable Apple IIc system, with a battery pack
for use when away from a wall socket, and with the legendary LCD screen. That's right, the screen exists!
Now, granted, the whole setup is heavy, but luckily comes with a custom shoulder bag to help you heft it around.
The LCD screen isn't the sharpest, and its contrast leaves much to be desired. But it does work!
Panel label. Just to prove it really is a piece of Apple hardware.
Battery pack. The battery plugs into the standard Apple IIc power supply
to get charged up. Then it just plugs right into the power port on the Apple IIc. I have no idea how long
it will hold a charge, if at all. I also have to admit that the battery isn't Apple equipment.
Top view of case. So, how do you carry all this hardware. Why with this
soft-sided carrying case, of course. Everything fits, barely.
Case closed. All set to take Apple computing power anywhere, even to the beach in 2010.
Owner: K. Slettemoen & T. Carlson
Location: Williamsburg, VA
The Apple //c was Apple's portable version of the
Apple II series. It's most obvious feature was its small
size. It also has a membrane under the keyboard which
protected the guts from spills of the liquid variety. The
movie 2010 showed a guy using one at the beach. I don't
think these had any sort of battery available, so he must
have had a long cord. It used a separate monochrome
monitor. It was fairly small and had a special stand that
sort of wrapped around the back of the unit, so that the
monitor hovered over the case, rather than behind it.
Also available were a color monitor, and a special LCD
monitor. (Anyone ever seen the LCD
monitor?) The back has outputs for this monitor, as
well as composite video. It could also produce an RF
signal using an included adapter. It came standard with a
5¼" floppy drive.
The best story I know about the Apple IIc involves
famous cyberpunk author William Gibson. (He's one of my
favorite authors, although I don't think his current work
stands up to his earlier stuff.) What alot of people
don't realize is that Gibson really knows very little
about computers. (Which I think is one of the keys to his
writing. He's not constrained by knowledge of present day
technological limitations.) In fact, he wrote all his
early works on a typewriter. At one point, he finally
decided to buy a computer in order to do word processing.
So he bought an Apple IIc. When he turned it on, the
floppy drive started to make the usual grinding noise as
it tried to read the boot disk that wasn't there. Gibson
concluded that it must be broken and brought it back. (If
I remember correctly, he related this little story in an
interview with Timothy Leary. They basically interviewed
each other. They spent most of the time talking about
showing 5 1/4 inch floppy drive. (Gibson's bane)
showing all the various ports, including
composite out, RGB out, and using the included
adaptor, RF out. Also shows the integrated handle
that doubles as a prop. Why is apple the only
company to think of building a handle into its
laptops. (see the eMate 300)
Here are some pictures of and information about the
LCD monitor, courtesy of Neal
I have an
old Apple IIc with the LCD display and just thought you
might be interested in seeing it. The display itself is
black and white only (heavens!!) and is adjustable. I
also have a Prometheus Promodem, which is a small white
box that goes into the back of the computer and is a 300
baud(!!) modem. This system was pretty much state of the
art when I got it, and I spent many happy hours
computing. The little beast was a constant companion on
my sailboat, and even now I do some of my word processing
on it. If only I could find a way to transfer my
appleworks wp files onto my PC and into Word.