You Can Now Download the Apple II's DOS Source Code from Back in 1978

By Jamie Condliffe on at

The Computer History Museum has released something rather special for you to download: the original DOS source code for the 1978 Apple II.

The first computer with a built-in floppy drive—ready to use straight out of the box, kinda—the hardware was incredible for the time: the version with 4K of memory cost $1,300 (£820) and had colour, graphics, sound, expansion slots, game paddles, and a built-in BASIC programming language.

It needed correspondingly great software but, with a team of just 15, Apple lacked the expertise to produce the goods. Instead, it hired contractor Paul Laughton in return for a one-off payment of $13,000 (£8,200), who produce the OS in just seven weeks. The result was a kind of bridge between old-school file management systems and modern-day operating systems, and it gave applications a way to access disk files through BASIC commands. Needless to say, it was game-changing.

While the copyright for the OS strictly still belongs to Apple, the Computer History Museum has permission to share it. Go take a look. [Computer History Museum via 9to5mac]

Image by br1dotcom under Creative Commons license