How I recovered my old Appleworks files on an Apple IIc

Recovering Old Diary Files from 1988

My dad bought us an Apple IIc back in 1984. I started writing my diary on it using AppleWorks Classic and kept it up for several years. I had all my diary files on those old 5.25 inch Floppy Disks which I thought, 25 years later, would be completely disintegrated. Much to my surprise, I discovered I could still access the data on them, after all these years.

Here’s what it took to restore my files and get a hard-copy printout of them:

Technical Inventory: 

  1. A working Apple IIc computer – can be hard to come by but they’re out there at second-hand Apple stores or on eBay.
  2. AppleWorks Classic on a Floppy Disk (available on eBay)
  3. ImageWriter II printer – this will require two other components that may not come with one bought second-hand:
  4. A serial cable connecting the ImageWriter II to the Apple IIc (available on eBay)

 Some of the Steps I Had to Take That Amazed Me:

  • It being so easy to find and buying old but functioning  Apple IIc software and parts on eBay, plus it was cheap!
  • The load time (time from turning on the Apple IIc to opening AppleWorks and being able to add files) was less than a fraction of the time it takes to load Windows 7 on an i7 Macbook Pro
  • The fact that Floppy Disks don’t disintegrate after 25 years – at least mine didn’t!
  • How with Apple products, “things just worked”, even for technology in the 80’s – plug and play still happened back then.
  • Researching how the ImageWriter II was the “longest-running Apple product in history“! 

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