Apple II DOS source code released

Unlike the Apple I, the Apple II was fully assembled and ready to use with any display monitor. The version with 4K of memory cost $1298. It had color, graphics, sound, expansion slots, game paddles, and a built-in BASIC programming language.

What it didn’t have was a disk drive. Programs and data had to be saved and loaded from cassette tape recorders, which were slow and unreliable. The problem was that disks – even floppy disks – needed both expensive hardware controllers and complex software.

Steve Wozniak solved the first problem. He designed an incredibly clever floppy disk controller using only 8 integrated circuits, by doing in programmed logic what other controllers did with hardware.  With some rudimentary software written by Woz and Randy Wigginton, it was demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 1978.