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.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

Retro gaming.

Screenshot by ZDNet

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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