The Apple II dumb terminal

by Giles Turnbull


My O’Reilly colleague Paul Weinstein has put together a very neat Mac hardware hack: he’s using an old Apple II machine as a terminal connected to a Mac mini. It's a great way to recycle a chunk of old tech that a lot of other people would just throw away.

From Paul’s detailed write-up:

So virtual desktops is workable, but not perfect. What I need is the ability to off-load some of windows, ones that need to be visible even for a quick glance, as needed, an IRC conversation or the output of a running web process, for example. Taking a looking at the applications I depend on I see the beginnings of an idea. Terminal is an interesting application, a piece of software that's mimicking what use to be a hardware function. Why can't it be a hardware function again or at least why can't it be running on a dedicated piece of cheap, reliable hardware?

To re-create his hack you’ll need a spare old-school Mac (hands up who’s got one or more of those lying around gathering dust), and a handful of easily-obtained cables and connectors.


2007-06-27 10:59:57
Oh I soooo wanted a IIc when I was 13!!! Seeing this one makes me want to go on Ebay!
2007-07-12 16:50:35
"a spare old-school Mac" ?

an AppleII is not a Mac. if you want to turn an old-school mac into a terminal, start with a real beauty, the color classic, and mix in a little unix (or minix):