A professor found an Apple IIe in his dad's attic. And it worked

You want to talk about Apple hardware durability? Here's an example.

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Retro gaming.

Screenshot by ZDNet

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The furnace in my house hails from 1969.

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An expert came to service it. Should I switch it out for a new one, I asked him.

"No way," he said. "In those days, things were built to last. It's like a Ford Thunderbird."

Which is why I find myself a touch unsurprised at the events that transpired in Professor John Pfaff's parents' attic.

Pfaff, a Fordham law professor, took to Twitter at the weekend to offer his personal tale of product durability.

He wrote: "Oh. My. God. An Apple IIe. Sat in my parents' attic for years. Decades. And it works. Put in an old game disk. Asks if I want to restore a saved game. And finds one! It must be 30 years old."

This had some effect on Pfaff. It's surely rare to see a law professor quite so excited. He added: "I'm 10 years old again."

Pfaff's enthralled tone began to reach that of a plaintiff's lawyer who just learned he'll get 30 percent of a $200 million settlement.

As he began to witness the resurrection of games such a Adventureland, Olympic Decathlon, and even -- I didn't know this had existed -- Neuromancer, he considered the effect this would have on his children. Specifically, on their historical perspectives.

He found old floppy disks and even a letter addressed to him, written in 1986 and typed by his dad on the computer.

The Apple IIe was launched in 1978. It cost $1,395. Perhaps around $3,500 in today's money. I confess I don't remember seeing many of them around in those days.

Still, the sheer humanity embedded in Pfaff's discovery is glorious to behold.

Some might see, though, a slightly more prosaic -- but still powerful -- aspect.


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There's a suspicion that, these days, hardware isn't made to last. Yet Apple occasionally still manages to insert at least a little durability.

Why, not so long ago, I wandered into Best Buy to buy an Windows laptop and the salesman told me the best Windows computer was a MacBook Pro.

Why? Because, he said, it'll last twice as long.

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