Build Your Own Apple I Replica with SmartyKit

Jan 12, 2020 - 2 Comments

SmartyKit Apple 1 Replica DIY project

The Apple I was the original Apple computer built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, so naturally every Apple fanatic has dreamed of playing around with an Apple I or even having their own. But you won’t need to keep dreaming, because you’ll be able to build your own DIY Apple 1 replica thanks to a cool new project called SmartyKit.


SmartyKit includes everything you need to put together your very own replica Apple I, with no soldering required, everything including the chips and firmware, electronic components, cables, wires, PS2 and RCA sockets, all just snaps into the breadboard. Aside from being extremely cool in concept alone, SmartyKit aims to be an educational tool that will also teach how the Apple I works, what the main parts of computers are including a processor and how it works, how computer memory works, how keyboards and video controllers work, how a simple operating system works (SmartyKit ROM apparently includes Steve Wozniak’s original Apple I 256 byte operating system called Monitor), and how to write simple code with BASIC.

SmartyKit will retail for about $99, but you might need to shell out a couple extra bucks for a PS/2 to USB adapter and a Composite video to HDMI adapter so that the Apple I can use an existing keyboard and screen (or perhaps it’ll all be packaged together, like some RaspberryPi offerings).

If this sounds like something that interests you, then you can sign up to be notified of the impending release later this year.

Is this cool or what? We’re obviously big fans of retro computing around here so the SmartyKit looks like a great project.

SmartyKit Apple I replica at CES

SmartyKit pictures from @SmartyKitE on Twitter and SmartyKit.io

SmartyKit Apple I Replica command prompt

Want to learn a bit more about the Apple I computer? Check out this original advertisement for the first Apple computer ever made, the classic “Byte into an Apple” ad:

Original Apple I computer advertisement

You can also read about Apple I here on Wikipedia. The Apple I and Apple II were pre-Macintosh, and of course very pre-iPhone and pre-iPad.

If this sort of thing strikes your fancy, you’d probably also enjoy tinkering with a Raspberry Pi 4, which is another fun DIY computer project… though it’s not an Apple I.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, News, Retro

2 Comments

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  1. Sandy says:

    The SmartyKit computer is not a very good replica of the Apple I computer. The Apple I only had uppercase letters!

  2. RM says:

    This is incredibly cool particularly for Apple fans!
    I can’t wait to get a kit.
    Thank you so much for posting this :)

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