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Sometime in 1980 (or maybe 1981) my school district purchased its first batch of Apple II+ computers. I remember vividly they had absolutely no idea what to do with them, and so the machines were placed in what had been the typing lab - one day we were learning touch typing on IBM electric typewriters and the next day we were looking at a blinking cursor.

The hardware our specific school district purchased consisted of Apple II+ computers, each with a single floppy disk drive and a small (maybe 8") black and white monitor. The monitor was almost a perfect cube with a metal case (painted grey-ish blue) and was mounted on two 1" wide rectangular strips of metal painted Apple beige. As I remember it, the back of the monitor was greyish, possibly with controls for horizontal hold and vertical hold (although I am not sure of that anymore). The monitor may have had a handle on the top, but again I am uncertain.

I have no other details to go on except the image in my memory of what these systems looked like.

I am trying to identify the monitor and thought that maybe Apple (before offering it's own line of monitors) might have picked a specific 3rd party monitor and bundled it with the computers when selling to schools.

Can anyone offer any insight into what make/model/manufacture this monitor might have been?

Edit

As always, the responses here on Retro are awesome - thanks everyone! - the Sanyo VM4209 and VM4509 are both very similar to my recollection, but I don't think either of them is the display I am remembering (although I will admit after 30 years I might have confused some details).

  • I too recall a similar-sounding monitor used with the Apple IIs in my school in 1981-82. The VM4209 also at least resmbles the display we used. My first reaction was that it was different, but at this pont I've decided I really can't remember. – Curt J. Sampson Jun 7 at 23:10
  • Just a heads up, the 70s aren't 30y ago anymore.... For the "2e" in the late 80s it was a Apple IIe Color Composite Monitor – Mazura Jun 8 at 2:32
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    +1 for "I remember vividly they had absolutely no idea what to do with them." – Joel Reyes Noche Jun 8 at 11:26
  • It's possible that your school found a good deal on CCTV security monitors and used them as computer monitors. I think that's the role the VM4209 was originally designed for. – snips-n-snails Jun 9 at 7:36
  • @Mazura, Thanks for the comment, the monitor I am talking about definitely pre-dated the Monitor II by several years. I've got a IIe on my desk here with an Model II, and they are a nice pair, but I wanted something 'authentic' and nostalgic for my II+. - Now Get Off My Lawn! :-) – Geo... Jun 9 at 10:25
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Here's a Sanyo VM-4209 in a 1977 Apple II advertisement. It has a black handle on top (the VM-4509/DM 5109CX has a beige colored recessed handle):

1977 Apple II advertisement

And another photo to show the color of the case better:

Closeup photo

  • Except that model was already replaced by the one with the lid over the controls by 1980. – Raffzahn Jun 7 at 22:10
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Sometime in 1980 (or maybe 1981) my school district purchased it's first batch of Apple II+ computers. The hardware our specific school district purchased consisted of Apple II+ computers, each with a single floppy disk drive and a small (maybe 8") black and white monitor.

The only monitor Apple sold with the II series in 1980/81 was the Apple III Monitor. It was a perfect fit for the Apple II base. Much later, in 1984, the Monitor II was introduced. It was designed to match the IIe.

The monitor was almost a perfect cube with a metal case (painted grey-ish blue) and was mounted on two 1" wide rectangular strips of metal painted Apple beige.

That doesn't sound like any Apple monitor at all. So it's safe to assume it was some generic third-party device.

Bell & Howell Apples (The Black Apple) were often sold with a 9" Sanyo B&W screen. This monitor was also offered by B&H. It had rather cube-like dimensions, with a black front, but was otherwise grey metal. Controls were hidden behind a horizontal door on the front.

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You are not alone, as I have the same memory. Very "cube-looking" 9-inch monitors were a common peripheral for the Apple ][/][ Plus. You will find many pictures online of this setup, and may even be lucky enough to find the canonical Sanyo monitor (Model VM4209) for sale. (Smell the RAREity!)

enter image description here

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