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DigiBarn Computer Museum Feature Story:
Daniel Kottke's Amazing Apple Relics

See also our re-scanning and in-depth documenting of all these relics at the Making the Mac pages and the Documenting the Mac pages, all part of our Mac at 20 site. Find out more about Daniel at the DigiBarn's pages on Daniel Kottke.

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Probably the first portable Apple musical computer

The following images show Daniel Kottke's rendition of an Apple II computer built into a briefcase (a traveling salesman's case to be precise). We think that this was made about 1980 making it the probable first ever portable Apple computer built for music, long before the Osborne 1 or MIDI systems. This is a one of a kind piece and it also works! Daniel kindly took the DigiBarn Computer Museum on a tour..

Here it is, complete with logic board, floppy drive, keyboard and monitor
The monitor was one from a batch bought for early MacIntosh development, the keyboard is from a 1977 Apple II, the logic board an early Apple II
Floppy drive was built into the top of the case
How this portable unit neatly folks up
Velcro strips remove and the salesman case folds up
Final latching
Voila, portability and it doesn't even look like a computer!
Except for the power supply on the side! Still, this unit was much lighter weight and had a better display than the Osborne 1 a year later
Lets open it back up and turn it on..

..and it still works, displaying memory, we just cant remember the command to jump into BASIC

And what was this system conceived of being used for.. well, portable music!

The 1980 electronic keyboard Daniel had wanted to "take on the road" and program in BASIC
So he wired the matrix behind the keys to this port he built in himself
And connected to the portable briefcase Apple II, he had a BASIC programmable keyboard. Daniel even connected a joystick to the Apple and drove scales out onto the keyboard (and this is years before MIDI folks!)

One more bit of undocumented history.. now documented!


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