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 and had color, 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, 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]


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