Just over six months ago, my Apple IIe blew up. The smoke was impressive; the smell, even more so. As I mentioned in my post from last year, and as you can see in the following picture, I paid $1.98 for this particular Apple IIe computer.
The most frequently suggested solution I received was to replace the failed vintage power supply with a modern one, which runs $100. I simply couldn’t justify spending $100 to repair a computer I spent less than $2 on, so I began looking for alternative solutions. Jimmy, a co-worker who reads my blog and listens to my podcasts, offered to take a look at the computer for me. I handed Jimmy the machine, now disassembled and stored in a cardboard box, to see what he could do. After replacing all the capacitors in the power supply, Jimmy fired it up and within five minutes, the power supply had short circuited again. I then resorted to buying a new old-stock power supply for the computer (still less than half the price of a new one) and Jimmy installed that for me as well. It blew up, too, but between the two power supplies, he was able to assemble one good one.
The last disk image I had mounted on my CFFA3000 card was Law of the West. After reconnecting the computer to my television and turning everything back on, the game fired right back up. We’re in business!
This whole ordeal has made me think about how these old machines are aging. I often think of them as limited in terms of graphics and power, but before this, I didn’t think of them as being fragile. As these machines and their components continue to age, I can only assume that they will being to break down more and more. If that’s the case, I see guys like Jimmy being pretty busy in the future!