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The Apple II was an 8-bit home computer produced by Apple Computers, and which was the successor to the Apple I. Released in 1977, it was based on the original design of the Apple I, and it introduced vast improvements and new features like a color display and expansion slots.
The Apple II is often considered the first true personal computer.
The Apple II had many firsts to its credit. It was one of the first user-friendly systems and one of the first computers featuring a color display. A plastic casing was used on the Apple II, which was a rarity at the time, as most previous computers were sold as kits, consisting simply of circuit boards and components. It was the first true personal computer and provided expansion slots. Different cards were manufactured by Apple and others to enhance the Apple II’s capabilities. With the addition of VisiCalc, the spreadsheet program, and the floppy disk drive, the Apple II was a huge hit.
Like the Apple I, the Apple II used the same MOS technology 6502 processor and ran at the same clock speed of 1.023 Mhz. BASIC programming language was built in, so the system was ready to execute straight out of the box. The Apple II's color display exhibited 4-bit colors at 40×48 and 6-bit colors at 280×192. Eight internal expansion slots and a dedicated keyboard were also provided.
At that point of time, no computer provided the flexibility or expansion possibilities that the Apple II provided. The top of the computer could be removed with little effort, giving access to the expansion slots and system motherboard. The Apple II was also equipped with a PAL video out or an NTSC connector which allowed a TV to be used as a monitor. Its RAM capacity was 4 to 64 kB, and was more expandable than the Apple I.
The Apple II was succeeded by the Apple II+ computers.