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Apple II Gets an OS Update 23 Years Later

Apple II Gets an OS Update 23 Years Later

There are always little bits of technology we can’t give up, even after they’re out of date. Maybe you still have a beloved tamagotchi or an old flip phone in your sock drawer that you can’t bear to throw out. Maybe you even have a Teddy Ruxpin in your parents’ basement. (That sounds like the beginning of a horror movie.) Some of you probably love your old computers, but not as much as this guy does! Software developer John Brooks just released an updated operating system called ProDOS 2.4 for the Apple II GS (the GS stands for graphics and sound) in honor of its 30th anniversary. It’s the first update released since 1993 and will even work on the original Apple ][ and ][+.

Brooks posted the info on CalApple.org, and you can play around with ProDOS 2.4 “in a Web-based emulator set up by computer historian Jason Scott,” according to Ars Technica. One of the features is called Bitsy Bye, which allows you to navigate floppy drives. Just steal the ones your hipster buddies are using as super cool coasters. You can also use hacked USB drives, according to the article. It runs in less than 1 kilobyte of RAM. The ProDOS 2.4 “floppy” gives you all sorts of goodies like a MiniBas BASIC interpreter and an “Unshrink” expander to uncompress files that are Shrinkit archived.

Bitsy Bye does some other cool stuff as well. Its program launcher runs on all Apple II computers and CPUs 6502, 65c02 or 65816. It displays and scrolls through up to 2,733 files per directory and you can find files by typing the first letter of their filename. Just imagine the possibilities! It’s got disk imaging programs to move files from actual floppy drives to USB drives. You can check out all the stats from Brooks himself right here.

Does this give you flashbacks of the days with a dark screen and green letters in all-caps? Do you have fond memories of your parents spending hours on one of these things? Tweet me/us @JennaBusch/@Nerdist and let us know your favorite piece of old technology, and let this old stuff soothe your soul that has been tortured by thoughts of how many AirPods you’re going to lose.

Image credit: Luc Legacy/Flickr

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