May 2010: NEW! More large pictures added
March 2008: NEW! APF Emulator (March 2008 Version) and APF Yahoo Group Link (Scroll Down)
November 2007: NEW! New Large Pictures of the APF, Accessories, and Screen Shots! (Scroll Down for Link)
April 2007: Download "Space Destroyers" and other games for your APF!
November 2006: Pictures of Building Block BB-1 and Floppy Drive & Controller
February 2005: Information from Ed Smith, one of the original
engineers on the MP-1000 and Imagination Machine!
May, 2002: New Version of the APF PC Emulator Online
September, 2001: New Pictures Added
August, 2000: Q&A with Philip Lipper (son of APF's CFO and nephew of APF's CEO).
Second APF Imagination Machine emulator (PC) project started (Link)
The Complete APF Imagination Machine The APF M1000/MP1000 Game Console
(as a stand-alone)
TEXT OF THE AD:
The only computer with color, sound, user
programmability, and expandability at $599.
The Imagination Machine offers more at its
price than any other personal computer on
the market today. Consider these features:
9k RAM, with 14k BASIC in ROM. 53-key
typewriter keyboard. A fine resolution
picture, generated on your television set
or monitor in 8 colors. A built-in,
dual-track cassette tape deck with 1500 baud
rate for APF's digitally recorded, (??) tape
programs. A built-in sound synthesizer.
And two, built-in, game style controllers
with joysticks and numeric keypads.
When you want to go beyond APF's library of
educational home and personal management or
entertainment programs... when you want to
create your own programs... you can. The
Imagination Machine is programmable in BASIC
and 6800 machine language. The Imagination
Machine is also expandable. Just add our
"Building Block", an optional, four-port
expansion device, and you can hook up a
printer, telephone modem, and additional
memory cartridge or mini-floppy disk drive.
For the name of your nearest Imagination
Machine dealer, call TOLL FREE:
1-800-223-1264 (New York residents call
(212)758-7550) or write: APF Electronics,
Inc. 444 Madison Avenue, N.Y., N.Y. 10022
$599 Manufacturer's suggested retail price.
Below is a set of three sound files that are digitized WAV files of original APF program cassette
tapes. If you still have an APF Imagination Machine at home, you can download these, put them on
a cassette tape, and then pop the cassette into your system and (hopefully) be able to load the
programs. If you don't have an Imagination Machine at home, they're still interesting to download
and listen to, as they give you an idea of how the system worked (listen to it in stereo -- the
left channel is the actual program loading data, and the right channel is often an actor's voice
describing the program that you're loading).
The files are courtesy of Lance Squire, who made them and sent them to me (Thanks!) He says
he can't get them to work on the APF emulator yet, but perhaps someone else will have more luck.
Regardless, if you have an Imagination Machine this should be of some help to you -- but even if
you don't, they should be of interest to anyone who is curious about how the APF loaded its
programs. Have a listen! It's a ZIPped set of three WAV sound files that can be played back on
Before I bought my first CoCo, the first computer I actually ever
owned was an APF Imagination Machine. Made by APF Electronics
(now out of business), and bought through the mail from
"Protecto Enterprises" in Illinois when I was still in Jr. High,
the APF Imagination Machine made a great first computer.
Motorola 6800-based, the machine had an excellent full-sized keyboard,
9K of RAM, and connected to your TV set via an RF monitor.
The Imagination Machine was really an extention of APF's video game
console, built to compete with the likes of the Atari 2600.
You could first buy the video game portion by itself, and then later
add the "rest" of the computer, though I wound up buying mine as
one complete unit, as many were later sold.
The main drawback (like so many other computers of its day) was
a lackluster BASIC. To program graphics required a lot of POKEs or
CALLs, and I still remember the command to clear the screen after
all these many years: CALL 17046.
The machine did have some major pluses though:
* The games written for it were surprisingly good
(both in cartridge or cassette form).
* Each of the two controllers on the game console had
* The built-in cassette recorder (used to load and save programs)
was stereo: one channel would be used for saving/loading program
data, while the other could be used for recording/playing your own
voice (helpful if you wanted to record comments on what you're
saving, or for just having fun). For instance, below you can
click on, and hear the audio you'd hear out of the the APF's
speaker while loading APF's cassette-based "Space Destroyers"
arcade game. This was a very unique (and sadly, never imitated)
feature on the cassette system.
* To help conserve memory while programming in BASIC, tokens were
used for just about every BASIC command. In other words, if I
typed out "PRINT", that would take 5 spaces in memory, but if
I entered "PRINT" as a token (by pressing -- I think it was
"CONTROL" plus another key), it would be entered as a "token",
and take up only one or two spaces in memory.
I wound up selling my APF Imagination Machine about a year after I
bought it. I wish I could have kept it somehow, but at the time,
I was only a young kid, and needed the money to buy a CoCo. The APF
Imagination Machine was a lot of fun, and incorporated a lot of
unique features. It really was one of the better home computers of
its day. The main reason I traded it in for a CoCo was the differences
in each machine's BASIC interpreters: the APF had a weak BASIC,
while the CoCo had -- hands down -- the strongest BASIC on the market.
Since the thing I liked doing most on computers was PROGRAMMING and
tinkering (in BASIC) rather than playing someone else's games, in
the end, a strong BASIC was what was most important to me, so I
sadly gave up my Imagination Machine.
Though today they are extremely rare (by now, most have probably been
recycled, and have come back as plastic dashboards on Nissans), thanks
to R. Cotoia, I now once again have a working APF Imagination Machine.
The Complete Imagination Machine...
Closeup of the MP-1000 Game Console Connector Between the MP-1000 and Keyboard Console
The APF Building Block BB-1
(For connecting disk drive controllers) APF Floppy Interface FL-100 & Disk Drive D100-0
Carts (incl. the APF BASIC Cart) and Cassette
Magazine Review and Ads found!
I recently came across an old "Mechanix Illustrated" magazine that
not only contains a nice two-page advertisement for the APF
Imagination Machine, but an in-depth article and review of the
system as well. The pages below appeared in the October 1980 issue,
called "Mechanix Illustrated Personal Computers Number 2."
Click on the smaller images to see the full-size ones.
The 2-page APF Advertisement:
The 3-page Article and Review on the APF System:
Here are some APF game carts...
NEW! Download "Space Destoryers" and other programs for your APF!