Animated GIFs on an Apple II

vader

Before the Internet, computer enthusiasts needed to get their cat pictures, image macros, and animated gifs somehow. If only [Nate] was writing code back in the 80s: he created a video player for the Apple II, essentially turning the classic computer into a machine that can play one or two animated gifs.

Vintage microcomputers aren’t especially noted for a huge amount of RAM, or being very fast, so [Nate] needed to bring in some extra hardware to give his recently acquired Apple II+ a 64k RAM disk to store the gifs.

The gifs are loaded off the floppy drive after being converted on a PC with a Python script, reducing the resolution and colors to 280 x 192 pixels and an amazing rainbow of four colors. For some gifs, seen below, it’s actually slightly impressive an Apple II can pull off this trick. It’s amazing  [Nate] got this thing to work, as well.

If you have an Apple II set up, you’re awesome. You should go peruse [Nate]‘s git and make your own animated gifs for your awesome classic computer.

14 thoughts on “Animated GIFs on an Apple II

  1. Disk is so out of fashion. Streaming is the way to go. :)

    Super serial card and cassette interface came to mind.

    1. The real point of this is not the fact that it’s an apple II playing video. It’s that it’s decompressing and playing a file that fits in its ram. Streaming the file would require less compression and thus not be as impressive.

      1. I would not think streaming video on an Apple ][ is anywhere less impressive given the lack of network interface of an Apple II and a significantly under powered CPU. But if someone is able to pull it off, it would mean unlimited video playback.

        1. There was an Apple II Ethernet Card that worked in the IIe and IIgs. This is a II+…. a little older. There was also a Localtalk network card for the IIe. The IIgs had localtalk built in.

          Just because a machine is before your time, doesn’t mean networking didn’t exist or it’s too primitive to be useful. Will it saturate a 10Mbit network? Hell no. Will it talk to it? Yup.

          8-bit computers were capable of a lot more than people give them credit for. Especially when loaded with expansions.

          1. The Apple II Ethernet card from Apple was never released. I think you are thinking of a LocalTalk card. Built into the //gs and an option for the //e.

  2. I’ve seen APAC, TIP and HIP animations on the Atari 8-bit that just absolutely put that to shame. Then again, the Atari 800-series had much cooler graphics hardware and more clock speed out of the box. There’s even a very slow color JPEG viewer for the A8.

    Not bad for an Apple II though.

    I hated the Apple II growing up…. most of my schools were stuffed to the gills with them. Oregon Trail is only fun for so long.

    1. Oregon Trail.. Thats a name I havn’t heard in a long long time…

      Hard to believe that some of the readers don’t remember having computers without hard drives. Nostalgia moment.. Eight tracks, records, and apple ii.. Sometimes I miss those days.

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