« ZOMG! | Main | whacko fundies boycott mickey d's »

Technical question

I'm visiting family in my hometown near Milwaukee, and today while cleaning and sorting in my old bedroom I uncovered a stack of 5.25-inch floppy disks with educational games like Oregon Trail, Number Munchers and something called Zoyon Patrol - all stuff from the company callled MECC.

Also on the disks: A word processing program called EZFrEd, a simulation game called Rice Farmer, the games Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego and Epyx's The Games (Olympics theme), and a bunch of disks with files I saved (though I have no idea what they were). All of these disks were used on Apple computers back in the day (IIe, II GS)

It would be fun to somehow access the games / data on these disks, but I'm wondering if there is any way (external drive?) to use these disks on a modern Mac computer. Is there any compatibility? If so, is it prohibitively costly / time-intensive? Any guidance would be appreciated.


You can get old Apple computers for about $20 on ebay, but it's about $60 for shipping.
I don't know about using a new computer to play them. I think you'd have better luck buying an old computer locally.

I would bet many of the games can be found online as freeware, or emulation free-to play games... just try googing each and see what pops up.

The HCIS vintage computer museum has an apple IIe in semi working condition. Theres dual 5.25 floppy drives attached to it. Anyone have system disks?

I managed to get a C64 emulator semi-working on my Mac, and I never used a Commodore back in the day [and I'm a moron now]. So I imagine you could get an Apple II emulator working. Finding a machine to get your files from 5.25 to a storage format you can work with could be more challenging. edgeways may have the best solution, although baci's is more entertaining.

I have had GREAT success with both of the Apple IIe computers that I got from an old elementary school and and garage sale. One is set up with LegoLOGO to teach programming and robotics, the other has two joysticks and about 200 games- mmm, nothing like a green screen in the morning. BUT, I know of a awesome website with almost every game you can think of for both the IIe and IIGS. its located at Virtual Apple

Speaking of Virtual Apple, it has always been pretty flawless for me. The only caveat being that it only works in IE under Windows. LAME.. You can spoof your user-agent if you are using Camino, Safari, or Firefox
OR you could run Parallels or Wine or the like to make it happen.

Ahhhh Vikingquest! I knew it was only a matter of time.

Too bad--no Earl Weaver Baseball. ["Arm feels great!"]

This is going to reveal the extent of my nerdiness, but I have a C64 emulator running on my Xbox, and I can't believe how much time we spend playing those games. They just don't make them like they used to. Not like M.U.L.E. or Hat Trick. You have a choice between going "all out" and finding an old Apple IIe or using an emulator and downloading the programs separately. If you're non-technical, it would definitely be more fun for you to hunt down an old Apple.

I do have a question regarding Oregon Trail. I seem to remember there being different versions of the game, and in one of the very early versions I played in my mom's classroom, I swear I remember that you could come under highly offensive "Indian attacks." Am I attributing this to the wrong game, or does someone else remember this?

Nope I remember the Indian Attacks, too.

You know what Apple game I used to love? Castle Wolfenstein. I used to stay after school to play it for hours. I had my teacher convinced it was a "typing game" Does anyone else remember the days when computers were considered primarily educational and any game playing for fun was severely frowned upon?

When we played at the library we would sort of "hide" the fact that we were playing games by having people set up a screen for the librarian

I much prefer Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego to the WWhere in Time version.

I (heart) Oregon Trail. Minus the "offensive Indian attacks."

I had Where In Time... Where In The USA... and Where in the World... they all rocked... :)

I love Oregon Trail and yes, I'm glad someone else remembers the original version with the Indian attacks.

Virtual Apple rocks.

The emulator is the way to go, unless you want to invest in getting an old system running for the "true" retro experience. However, know that the frustration will build as you try to get old hardware working on new hardware, only to find crappy old floppy disks failing every 5 minutes.
A lot of these games are on the web free, as abandon-ware, or in *ahem* other states.
If you want IMMEDIATE Oregon Trail satisfaction, here's a site where you can play Oregon Trail (and other Apple games) from your browser: Virtual Apple

Its a bit challenging to load the games...maybe a LCII with a iie emulator card or a iigs to convert the disks to 3.5". But there is a emulator called Bernie II the Rescue and works on OSX http://www.bernie.gs/Bernie/
Good Luck!!

I still have all the equipment to convert disks to run with Bernie, but I don't remember the copying commands and the MECC disks have some strange form of copy protection on them

I always loved the Infocom's "Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy", but I think that came after the others mentioned.

Minimal experience with Orgyn Trail (mispelling on purpose).

I've been looking for Odell Lake for eons. Yea, Virtual Apple!

Odell Lake rocks. So does Star Blazer.

I wish I could still play with Logo.

Baci, no need for a system disk for apple II. It is in ROM.

The easiest way to get a 5 1/4 floppy to a disk file is to hook one of those old drives to an old mac.

I have a couple old machines that would be able to run those games in an emulator. I have an all-in-one classic II that has a 5 1/4 slot me thinks. $15? email: salah [[at]] tangier57.com working with keyboard and mouse (that is pretty much the cost of the keyboard and mouse)

Post a comment

Seriously: If you click "post" more than once, you're going to end up looking really stupid.

If you don't see your comment after it's published, try refreshing your browser.