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If you’re of a certain age, you can remember the green text and black background of some of Apple‘s earliest computers. For many of us, the days of playing Oregon Trail on one of those clunky machines are long gone, but not for Twitter user @JohnFPfaff.
Late Saturday night, he tweeted that he had a functional Apple IIe computer from his parents’ attic.
“Oh. My. God,” he wrote.
Oh.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
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.
I’m 10 years old again. pic.twitter.com/zL7wWxOo36
His excitement was palpable when the computer booted right up.
“Put in an old game disc. Asks if I want to restore a saved game,” he wrote. And much to his delight, the computer allowed him to pick up on a decades-old game.
“This is tricky, because three decades later I can’t quite remember where I left off this round of Adventureland,” he tweeted.
This is tricky, because three decades later I can’t quite remember where I left off this round of Adventureland. pic.twitter.com/Eoj7EqkHtb— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
But his enthusiasm wasn’t dampened; Pfaff went through a number of old games playable on the ancient model.
Hm. I rocked this version of One on One. Could hit a three from anywhere.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
But the boxes my mom sent have no joystick!!
Will GameStop have one that fits these ports? pic.twitter.com/VQFgaAyb9G
Wow. So this was an old trivia game I loved (Millionware). This screen gets to the point where it says “Say ‘Hello’ to our contestants Donna.”— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
And then the disk drive whirs w its little red light.
Then you get “Thank you, Donna.”
1984 computer humor. pic.twitter.com/dFnbQk7y0D
Going through the early model and its accouterments proved bittersweet; Pfaff found relics from his father, who he said died last year.
My dad typed up labels for all my floppies, which is really sweet to remember.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
He was so thorough that he even included... who hacked the games.
(I’m the only person in my immediately family who went to law school.) pic.twitter.com/kj4m9aJh2U
Just found this letter my dad typed to me in 1986, when I was 11 and at summer camp.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
I REALLY WONDER what my theory abt the daily newspaper comics Spider-Man was.
My dad passed away almost exactly a year ago. It’s amazing to come across something so “ordinary” from him. pic.twitter.com/Aog3MiSnXN
But it also got him excited about sharing the machine, and games, with his own children.
“No, look, kids. This computer has. no. hard-drive. The reason those giant disks say ‘Disk Side’ 1-4 is you had to keep flipping them over as you played.”— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
Hi-def Mario Kart 8 for the Switch there for comparison. pic.twitter.com/6mZCgiEaR7
My kids thought things were insanely retro when my wife and I played NES Super Mario on the oldest’s Switch.— John Pfaff (@JohnFPfaff) February 17, 2019
Tomorrow morning their definition of retro is going to shift significantly. pic.twitter.com/cwpMyvCoYw
Print Shop! I’d make banners for days. My favorite games were Zork & Hitchhiker’s Guide, both of which are text-based. I’d play for hours. Tried to show my teen last year, no interest.— Anna Casadei (@annaliterally) February 17, 2019
Your oxen have died of dysentery.— Charles Gaba (@charles_gaba) February 17, 2019
Oh man wish I still had my Apple IIe in this photo. So many hours spent playing Loderunner and Castlevania. pic.twitter.com/fdOlR038dW— Josh Grabelle (@JoshGrabelle) February 17, 2019
this thread is really bringing me back to using Logo and playing Oregon Trail in the computer room at elementary school https://t.co/MnkzMQEOKv— Doree Shafrir (@doree) February 17, 2019
The wholesome thread concluded with a sweet message from Pfaff, a professor of law at Fordham University.
“Ok, my kids won’t care why I didn’t go to bed when they wake up at dawn tomorrow (well, today). I’m so happy that this thread seems to have brought back so many good memories for so many ppl. That’s not how my TL usually is, and it’s been a fantastic chance of pace. Night, all!”
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.