Approaches to Building an Apple II in the 21st Century
The Apple II was not unique in its hardware. Instead it was unique in its hardware implementation to give users a functional computer for far less than Apple’s competitors. It did more with less. This project follows the same principal in replication. The goal is to do more with less.
1. Full Replication:
Full Replication has its advantages in that the builder creates a 100% historically accurate machine more or less guaranteed to run software properly and have the ‘feel’ of a classic machine. There were enough resources even when the Apple II was released to build clones, and many clones were produced. To my knowledge there is only one site that provides circuit boards and parts for such a build (though all the parts are still available from major part’s houses and overstock warehouses):
The cost of ICs and connectors aside from the circuit board are approximately $150 if you bargain shop. However, system specific RAM is still going to be a problem and the system ROM must be purchased or replicated. (Steve Woz has not given a nod to replication – original Apple II Roms are still available – either pulled from a working machine or here.)
Doing a full replica build does not make sense for my project because I am seeking ways of making the machine neater and sleeker. This means that I will be doing some sort of hardware replacement or emulation. Of course, one of the fastest ways of cutting down the parts count of an original Apple II is making your own board with a single 64K SRAM chip.