Panic Blog

From the desk of
Engineering Dept.

An Apple //e, an iPad, and Jed

We get e-mails:

From: Stewart Smith / Stewdio <>
Subject: panic office photos
Date: April 30, 2010 7:44:43 AM PDT

I just saw some photos of your office and couldn’t help but notice an Apple //e. I have an odd request. Back in 2005 I created a music video for the band Grandaddy by programming a text animation on an old Apple ][+. You can see the video here.

So for my request: would you do me the honor of running the source code on your old Apple //e and sending a few pictures? (Or even posting them to your Flickr?)

I imagine you could load the code onto the old machine by using my “cassette tape” source code file. The source code package is here.

Sounded like fun to us. Just one problem, though: we knew we had to load Stewart’s “cassette tape” source into the Apple //e’s audio input. But we didn’t exactly have a cassette deck lying around.

What did we have? An iPad.

It’s an obvious solution in retrospect, but there is something very unreal and amazing about tapping a button on a multi-touch screen and watching an Apple //e fill up with data — to quote Andy Baio, “that’s like WALL-E connecting to EVE.”

Posted at 6:06 pm 114 Comments

Wow, that is so cool.

neil kodner

5/12/2010 6:56 PM

Forget the iPad, the music video, and everything else. Just give me the warming beep and purr of the Apple //e booting up over and over again.

So, what’s the secret? How come ya’ll get to have so much fun at work?

You guys should quit *screwing around* all day and put this time into coda for iPad, or you will lose me as a paying customer!

That was my first attempt at ‘forum troll’, did I nail it guys? Seriously, keep it up, your guys’ free time exploits are more interesting and ambitious than anything I will ever get paid for. I ♥ Panic.

To Stewart and the Panic dudes:

Thanks for this.

Paul Souders

5/12/2010 9:25 PM

Oh wow. Just wow.

Also, I miss green screens. Put a green screen mode into Coda for us. With a blinky cursor.

Good times guys. Thanks for sharing.


5/12/2010 9:53 PM

beautiful ground…



5/12/2010 11:33 PM

How did you get the Apple //e, out of curiosity?


5/13/2010 1:22 AM

So beautiful, thanks for sharing! Especially the first 5 seconds are great where you hear the Mac booting. Plus of course the modem beep sounds – didn’t hear that since years.


Burger Party

5/13/2010 2:19 AM


Paul Hoadley

5/13/2010 3:13 AM


Pedro Varela

5/13/2010 5:21 AM

Very cool indeed! First, the videoclip is very nice. The comment about Wall-E and Eve rocks.
And it was good to come here instead of only reading the RSS feed because this site’s design is…. so good!


Great song. Great video. Great use of awesome hardware.

Oh hey, I remember when that video when it was published actually.

Also, my iPad REALLY did not like the baseline shifted video.

This concludes our message.

Great work – but why leave the iPad in shot? It’s a bit distracting.

Anyway, nice to think of nostalgic things. Thanks :)

This is amazing.

Imagine, though, if you had seen this in some cheesy Hollywood blockbuster sci-fi movie, where the punk hacker kid (or Keanu Reeves or Sandra Bullock or Jeff Goldblum) had to get data onto some old computer, and went through the audio port with their new futuristic gadget. You’d call bullshit — I know I certainly would.

About this part… “I just saw some photos of your office” Where are the photos of your new office and possibly a quicktime VR like you had for your old office?

Glenn Fleishman

5/13/2010 10:39 AM

I love you guys, so, so, so much.

I owned an Ohio Scientific C1P back in 1979. This takes me way back to the wild days of Kansas City standard cassette loading! I had an old b/w TV connected via an RF box, and a joystick, and a rotten cassette tape player. Good times. Thanks, guys.

Lancaster: I picked up the //e about 15 years ago at a going-out-of-business sale, and I think I paid about $10. It didn’t come with an OS disk so this is literally the first program I’ve ever run on the thing, other than a few Beagle Bros two-liners.


5/13/2010 10:43 AM

Never mind that… how do you rotate videos in html etc?

Ben Burton

5/13/2010 10:45 AM

Wow. It seems so obvious now, but that is indeed seriously cool. Keep up the good work guys!

Oh, and it’s the first time I’ve ever loaded through the cassette port (ahem). It’s funny how we we used to laugh at programs on tape, and now it’s the easiest way to talk to the machine.

It’s almost like Woz knew…

Chris Peters

5/13/2010 10:48 AM

Apple really needs to link to this on their Hot News page. Someone forward this to Steve Jobs. It’s like seeing your oldest kid playing with your new little baby. Precious.

Rotating video is done with HTML5. The replacement for Flash.
fallback=”Sorry, this video requires an HTML5-capable browser, such as Safari, Chrome or Firefox.”

Marc in Chicago

5/13/2010 11:05 AM

Grandaddy, if they were still around, should issue a video remix of “Jed’s Other Poem” with the //e fan sounds at the end.

Reminds me of my efforts loading data onto a ZX Spectrum with an iPod Nano:

Greg Thorne

5/13/2010 11:07 AM

I’ve tried this video in the most recent versions of Firefox and Safari for Windows (sorry, I’m at work), and can’t see it. What’s the deal? I want to see how this was done.

Sweet. I absolutely love Grandaddy/Jason Lytle.


5/13/2010 11:35 AM

If you’re interested, Dave, I have a small box of Apple II software (in 5.25″ form) that you are welcome to have. DOS system master, WordPerfect 1.1, UCSD Pascal, even a program that will let you transfer disk images from a Mac or PC to the Apple II and vice-versa.

Chris Kinsman

5/13/2010 11:41 AM

Can I work for you guys? Seriously. I’ll empty trash cans, dust, clean windows… dropkick copies of Dreamweaver out the window! Whatever it takes. You guys have so much fun!

This is fantastic. Someone should start some sort of hacker community based on creating Apple II “audio programs.” I’d love to actually run something on mine, and I’m sure with all the clever people out there, someone might actually come up with something useful. Even a clock or something would be awesome.


5/13/2010 12:49 PM

Unfortunately I’m unable to watch the video on my iPod touch.

Amazingly enough, Apple still has support articles for how the tape interface works on the Apple II on their website:

So primitive, yet the easiest way to get code onto an Apple II these days.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

5/13/2010 1:21 PM

So, how much space does the audio take? I’d be curious to see what, say, a KLOC of BASIC code translates to in AAC ;)

Alexander Kellett

5/13/2010 1:35 PM

I agree with Nick. CODDDDDDDA FOR IPAD. NOWWWWWW. etc.

I have a //c which I haven’t quite gotten the energy to go out and purchase software on 5.25″ floppy.

Wonder if any old games are available in mp3 format. Say Karateka or Sundog.

This would be PERFECT!

I have the owner’s, WPL, 80-column text card, and Programmer’s manuals that came with a //e, but not the actual computer. would love to get one tho. this is a serious blast from the past. awesome work guys!

Wow, this is just awesome. I loved the song BTW! Sadly, I cant quite see everything thats happening on the screen. Any downloadable video soon?

I did the Atari 2600 version of this =) The Starpath/Arcadia Supercharger was a cassette-deck adapter for the first cartridge-based Atari system. Works great with MP3s on an iPod =)

I resurrected a Korg DW8000 synth a couple of years ago. Its battery backup had failed 10 years previously so the memory was full of random crap that made it crash. Luckily the tape interface worked and I managed to find a sample of the factory presets. Played straight out of Safari on my Mac Pro into it, and it all worked perfectly.

So, that’s how you get multitasking on iPad. Cool.

Actually, 8 bit technology was way more cooler and more exciting. I am glad it worked!

Dario Vasconcelos

5/13/2010 3:59 PM

This is amazing. I showed the video to some guys at work who couldn’t believe that loading programs from an audio cassette player was possible. You’ve made me try to undust my ZX Spectrum and… well, maybe just for nostalgia.
BTW, I hadn’t heard of Grandaddy, and now the next thing I’ll do is get me a handful of their songs, they seem great!

That’s an freakin’ awesome little piece of geekery. Just as this blogs design and your Mac-software. Simply inspiring.

Oh, and just in case you need some further encouragement, I’m joining Alex K. and Nick in their cheers: “Coda for iPad” would definitely sell like hotcakes. Any plans yet for making this dream come true?

absolutely love that- what an epic video. especially after a few beers- lets you really reminisce.

Andreas Stokholm

5/13/2010 6:14 PM

Wow! – I don’t know if I just had a nerdgasm or what happened, but I really love it!

One negative thing thou.. That song is not available in the danish iTMS :(

Wow… all that animation was done without Flash?

I heart panic so much.

No computer has ever booted with such an awesome sound as the Apple II series with the Disk IIs. Brought a tear to my eye…

Wow… A desktop Pip Boy!

So awsome. Just wish I could watch it. Video isn’t playing on my iPhone. *sad*

This reminds me of the end credits on Portal. Pretty sweet to be honest!

Scott Leverenz

5/13/2010 9:59 PM

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah

nice tune thou.


*goes hunting for 8bit MP3s

Now what software would we use that ships with a Mac to do that today?

Just bought Grandaddy album because of this, totally awesome!

Thanks to you and JG for bringing this to my attention!

Dean Howe

5/14/2010 2:09 AM

You guys are so cool, it creeps me out.

No flash on the Apple //e either?

I can and just did, watch on my iPhone 3GS.
Why are people saying they can’t?

Thanks guys. Gotta love old Apple hardware. I’m keeping mine.


5/14/2010 3:51 AM

What a wonderful surprise to see this. Cheers.

August September

5/14/2010 5:22 AM

So can you do it the other way around and store onto the iPad from the //e? Is there an app for that?

Vero Pepperrell

5/14/2010 6:11 AM

Once I pick up my jaw off the floor and the ingenuity of creating this without the Flash & fancypants nonsense we have access to these days, I’ll be ordering a couple of Grandaddy albums. Probably not what Stewart had outright planned, but I suspect I won’t be the only one doing that :)

When I grow up, I want to be like Panic.

Love how the cursor blinks in time to the symbol. Brings me back to my //e days in 1984!

Musorah: Now what software would we use that ships with a Mac to do that today?

Just an idea: TextEdit + Safari :)

wow, it’s fantastic :)

Planeten Paultje

5/14/2010 9:21 AM

Absolutely fab. I never owned an Apple II, but I used tape with my BBC B+. Still have a dedicated tape drive around somewhere. Ah, the sound of loading Aviator…….

Alberto Cristancho

5/14/2010 12:42 PM

This is very cool. Although this video didn’t play on my iPhone… that was too bad–maybe it needs to be reoptimized? I am a long-time fan of Panic, using Transmit since way back in the version 1 days…

I like it. Don’t believe I could manage that on one of my ancient ataris, their cassette drive used the same SIO cable the the other peripherals used (They daisychained.).

I had (still do, actually) an Atari, too. We know that the eeeeeeeeEEEEeEee audio on the cassette had to get translated into digital form at some point in the process–the question is, did that happen in the cassette drive itself BEFORE getting onto the SIO cable, or did the cable carry analog audio to the computer and transform it THERE? It’s been a long time since I read the technical manuals and I just don’t remember. Time for a trip to the basement… ;-)

In any case, now that Atari emulators are easily available, somebody DID write a program that can take a .wav file capture of an Atari cassette and transform it into something the emulator can load and run. Thought you’d like to know.

“Eh, that you, boy?”
“Yeah, will you sing me a song?”
“You already know all my songs.”
“I know, I just wanted to hear you sing it.”

It also occurs to me to wonder how the audio got onto the iPad in the first place; THAT would have required a cassette deck… wouldn’t it?!?

Bradley Dichter

5/15/2010 9:26 AM

We should send a link to Woz, the father of the Apple II

Henry Spragens

5/15/2010 3:19 PM

Musical Apples! Prodding from a friend recently got me to dig out my Apple II and post some music played on it. People seem to have forgotten that it can play music as well as games and VisiCalc. If you’re feeling nostalgic:

Sakuri Rainne

5/15/2010 7:08 PM

Would this at all be possible on a C64? I imagine the restraints would be memory, speed and only 40-column text.

Gil Heroux

5/16/2010 1:50 PM

I remember the day I had my final going out of business sale for my “Re*Mac Computers of Florida” store back in 1997.

We sold 10 Macs and 5 Apple II’s and other computer stuff. We collected a total of $400.
I was so upset after, so we dumped the remaining 30 Apple II’s in the dumpster that did not sell. I did keep 4 Apple IIe’s and 3 Apple IIc’s and 2 Apple IIgs’s.

One guy offered to pay me $0.50 for each Apple IIe. I told him “I would junk them first.”
We also put 40+ Macs dating from 1984 thru 1996 into storage. Would you believe that more than 35 of them are still there. At least 10 of them are still new-in-the-box.

Total sum transfered to storage was worth $45k. Today I guess Its worth about $500. Over the years (13) the cost of storing 4 units full of computer stuff has totalled over $28K. I just can’t seem to dump the rest in the trash. I had an Apple employee offer to take it all of my hands for $1,000, but he never answered my email I sent him back asking how he wanted the stuff shipped. I told him it would take a moving van to cart all of it.

I bought my first Apple (a IIe) back in 1979 and my first Mac in 1984. My current Mac is a 2009 MacBook Pro.


Oh! Did you not know about ADTPro’s ability to bootstrap ProDOS and DOS 3.3 via the cassette port?

My Friend, You are the Man!! this is Magical… like iPad…

I know it’s cool that you CAN use the webkit transforms to rotate stuff, but it’s kinda annoying to do it to the video… I have a crick in my neck now ;-)

Phil Hanson

5/18/2010 10:29 AM

You guys are simply the coolest company out there.

Tomas Jakobs

5/18/2010 5:07 PM

uhm seems to me you misused your iPad and violated Apples App Store restrictions. First you executed 3rd party Code not created with XCode nor accepted by Apple. You even copied/ transfered an App without the use of iTunes and knocked out all Copyprotection. And last but not least:

You have done the coolest, most epic masterpiece of art guys ;-)

Woah. :|


Bill Martens

5/20/2010 9:26 AM

This is absolutely brilliant and certain puts the work Stewart did on the video even more in the spotlight. Great job guys!!


5/21/2010 9:05 AM

Damn! We’re covering the impact of Tablet Computing on our daily life, but we didn’t see this one coming!
Perfect Friday link! Great job!

Ty Montgomery

5/27/2010 1:57 PM

Suh-weet. You’ve inspired me (again), but how do I tell my wife that I’m going to be out in the garage tinkering with my Mac Portable this weekend? Now, where did I put that 9-volt battery so I can boot it up?

Ye! That it!

Scott Mulder

6/8/2010 8:58 PM

! yeah ¡

fantasic! wanna share this via fb!

Wow! Really sophisticated machine. Linked generations.

I played it back like a thousand times, I donno which one, Jeddy’s poem, sound of Grandaddy or Apple //e – iPad relationship, or the whole experience is so mesmerizing and nostalgic!

Wall-E – eVe metaphor is so deep guys!

I’m a MASSIVE Grandaddy fan, a big-time Panic/Coda/Transmit/Cabel fan… and now I’m a Stewart Smith fan as well.

That was SOOOOO COOL!! It made me miss my Apple IIe that I left behind in Florida so many years ago.

Just one word .. Ubercool..

Colin Wren

6/27/2010 6:57 AM

Well that totally justifies the iPad as an expense for me. My dads got an Apple //e upstairs in the loft, might be fun to see what else one can do with the Apple //e’s input..

Way too cool. Love it.


9/25/2010 6:43 PM

What’s the song?

John Pruitt

10/4/2010 5:07 PM

Ahhh to see an old Apple //e doing it’s thing one more time :) and remembering Spock’s famous quote of “I’m attempting to construct a mnemonic memory circuit, using stone knives and bearskins.” Thanks guys for doing that.

Well…there you have it, Apple as it was in the past, is in the present and will be in the future…in one word

I love Mac…2Bad cannot affort one…

(Linux user)

Hey, did i miss something ?…did you guys click on something and see the song on apple?

Oh I see, I have to go to a computer with foxfire.

Makovinszky Roland

11/17/2010 8:35 PM


free apple

1/26/2011 11:24 AM

shame..cannot watch the video in internet explorer..


this is nice old computer.

nice site.i love it


this is great, can I ask what cables/splitters etc you used for this? ive got an old //e and 1st gen ipod touch that needs a use ;p

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7/6/2012 9:18 PM

any plans to port coda to the //e?


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