A 1978 ad for the new Apple II personal computer
(not shown to scale)

What is an Apple II? The Apple II is a successful and influential series of microcomputers sold from 1977 to 1993, which have an appeal enduring even to the present day. In all, the series includes the Apple ][, ][+, //e, //c, //c+, and IIgs. All but the last of these are based on the 6502 family of 8-bit microprocessors. The appeal of the Apple II stems from its versatility, its openness to exploration, its early support for sound and color graphics, and the rich variety of entertaining and educational software it attracted over its long, fruitful career.

What is an emulator? An emulator is a piece of computer hardware or software that pretends, as faithfully as is practical, to be some other piece of hardware or software. Catakig in particular is a desktop application for emulating the hardware of an 8-bit Apple II, including its processor, disk drives, speaker, and video display. Catakig lets you run old Apple II software on your newer and faster, but otherwise incompatible computer, and thereby experience what you would experience (more or less) on the real machine under the same circumstances.

Four people who are perfectly happy with
64K of memory, a 1 MHz processor, and
16-color graphics.
Who on earth would use Catakig? Am I such a person? Most of the expected interest would be from people who still own, or once owned, or have fond memories of the Apple II. However, Catakig can be for anyone who wants to explore some of the early history of personal computers, or learn how computers work in general by playing around with a simple machine. The Apple II — unburdened as it is by the mammoth operating systems and application suites of our times — is a good vehicle for learning about bits and bytes, pixels and graphics, characters and text, microprocessors, Boolean logic, loops, recursion, and many other computing topics that are just as relevant today as they were in the 1970s, and long before.

All right, I'm game. Where do I go from here? If you are new to the Apple II, you might want to browse the Apple II Resources page first to learn more about the machine, its history, and its capabilities. Otherwise, download Catakig's installation bundle and user guide from SourceForge, linked to from the Downloads page. You'll also find links on this site and many others for downloading Apple II software that you can run under the emulator. However, some example software is also included in Catakig's installation.