When John Pfaff found a Apple IIe computer that had been sitting in his parents’ attic for 30 years, he didn’t expect it to still be in working order. But it was. What followed was undoubtedly a nostalgia trip for Pfaff, a law professor at Fordham University. And if you had an Apple IIe when you were younger, it’s probably a nostalgia trip for you, too.
Amazingly, the Apple IIe wasn’t just bootable. When Pfaff popped an old game floppy disk into the machine, the ancient-looking computer asked if he wanted to restore a saved game. Yes, a saved game from 30 years ago.
“I’m 10 years old again,” Pfaff wrote in a tweet.
In subsequent tweets, Pfaff documented his experiencing playing various games like Adventureland and Neuromancer, listenign to its classic 8-bit sounds, admiring the ASCII art and green color scheme, and just generally revisiting old memories.
That includes the fact that saved games needed to be backed up multiple times to separate floppy disks, as well as the fact that, back then, the built-in word processor on the Apple IIe was something called AppleWorks.
The Apple IIe computer was first released back in 1983 — before Apple’s desktops were sold under the Macintosh brand name. More specifically, it was the third model in the Apple II series.
And at the time, the computer was undoubtedly cutting-edge. Apple touted various features of the Apple IIe, like the ability to use upper and lower case letters and the fact that it sported fully functional Shift and Caps Lock keys.
Pfaff eventually showed the computer to his children. Spoiler alert: Their reaction is basically exactly what you’d expect.
“My oldest, who is 9, exclaimed ‘that’s a computer?!’ in genuine surprise, and then pointed at the floppy drives and asked ‘what are those?’” Pfaff told CNN. “My younger twins just kept laughing at how silly it seemed to them.”
The full tweet thread is well worth a browse if you like computer history or vintage Apple. And especially if you remember using the Apple IIe yourself.
But in addition to the nostalgia, Pfaff’s eventful discovery is also another reminder of just how far computers have come in three decades. Imagine what the next 30 years will look like.