Posted by: kurtsh | June 12, 2012

INFO: Rewinding the clock – Running an “Apple II Emulator” on Windows 7

[Normally, I write about this sort of thing on my other blog.  But this was sort of company-related so I thought… meh.  It’s my blog, and I’ll do with it as a I please.]

The other day, I saw something at E3 (the Video Game History Museum) that made me think about what computing was like when I was kid.  When I was growing up, I didn’t have much money.  Other kids I knew had computers that their fathers owned & meanwhile, I didn’t even have a handheld Mattel Football game.  So I’d go over to their houses and use theirs for hours.  And of course the computer everyone had was the Apple II.  Some had the II+ & later the IIe, but it was always the Apple.  (I lived in Apple’s backyard so it’s not that surprising)

I’d carry my one 5 1/4” Verbatim DS/DD floppy disk. (Hey, they were expensive for a 10 year old)  I punched a notch on the other side to use the flip side of the disk and stored everything I’d ever gotten on it.  SirTech’s Wizardry, Electronic Art’s Archon, Accolade’s Hardball, and who could forget Broderbund’s Lode Runner?  My favorite game however was, and remains, “Olympic Decathlon”, because of all the good memories my friends and I had playing it “multiplayer”.

So I looked into my stash of software on my PC (which I’ve kept for years on my hard drive in a single directory), and I dug up Tom Charlesworth’s “AppleWin”, the renown Apple II emulator for Windows.  It’s in its 1.20 revision today and still working like a champ.

I ran the ol’ AppleVision demo on the DOS 3.3 disk and had a thrill looking at something I hadn’t seen since the 6th grade.

What does this have to do with Microsoft, you ask?  Well, I don’t know if you remember but Olympic Decathlon was a Microsoft product.  Here’s a snap shot of the boot up screen for “Microsoft Consumer Product’s Olympic Decathlon”:


There it is:  Our old logo.  I played the game on my Windows 7 x64 machine after having not touched Olympic Decathlon for more than probably 30 years.  And it plays like a champ in the AppleWin emulator.  I highly recommend it!

Here are some snapshots of the game as I played it.  And yes, hitting 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2… makes the dude go every bit as fast as it did when you used to hammer on the keyboard with your siblings.


Here are some repositories & archives for old Apple II software kept for historical purposes (and let geeks like us swoon in reflection), including Apple DOS and ProDOS and all kinds of fun games & tools like Night Mission Pinball, Bank Street Writer, Visicalc, and Locksmith 5.0.


Back around 1984, I longed for something called the Quadram Quadlink, which was essentially an Apple II+ on a 16-bit ISA slot card for an IBM PC.  You’d hit a ctrl-key and it’d literally BOOT an Apple computer on your IBM.  It had the ROMs and all. 

The problem was the expansion card was $680 and I couldn’t afford it because it’s primary target was business looking to move from the Apple II to the IBM PC.  That’s why these emulators tickle me so.  I finally sort of got my Quadlink… but in a software format with AppleWin.  The only thing missing is the tell tale sound of that Apple disk drive booting…



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