Originally Posted by lkrupp
It's great to see Apple having its day once again, finally. Way back in 1982 I purchased my first Apple product, an Apple II+. Back then there were literally dozens of personal computers on the market, names the younger crowd have never heard of. I looked and looked and looked at most of them. It was plainly obvious that the Apple II+ stood head and shoulders above the rest in quality, features and design. It was also significantly more expensive. I thought long and hard and decided to pay my very first so-called Apple tax. I have never regretted that decision. Not once!
For those who weren't even born then the Apple II+ was headless and shipped with 48 kilobytes of ram. It was a one piece design with an integrated keyboard. The price for this beauty was $1295.00. You used a standard television as a monitor and a cassette tape player to input programs. When the Disk II arrived it was $695.00 for a storage capacity of 150 kilobytes on a single sided 5.25 inch floppy diskette.
To this day I believe Apple products to be superior to anything else on the market.
Same here. I worked for an educational publishing company that was getting involved in software development. We had the Radio Shack TRS-80 model 1, the Commodore 8032/4032/8064/4064 (40 or 80 column display, 32 or 64K of memory) and finally, the Apple II. When the Apple II came in, it seemed obvious that the Apple was the far better machine, even though the Commodore had some features (80 columns, more built-in memory) that Apple didn't have. Apple's ease of use, ease of adding interface cards and documentation were all far superior although their DOS used different commands than everyone else. (Catalog instead of Directory, etc.) I learned Basic from Apple's user guides.
The TRS-80 was a piece of junk. The keyboard had "keyboard bounce" - when you typed, it would inevitably record the keystroke multiple times, so you got "aaa" instead of "a". The Commodores were built relatively well, but when they came out with the Commodore 64 for the consumer market a few years later, the quality had gone downhill. It was a very popular home machine, but they were like the umbrellas you buy from 99 cent stores - you look at them and they break. I remember we had a room where we would pile the broken Commodore 64s against the wall. There must have been fifty of them.
Apple took the lead in creative software early on. One of Apple's earliest programs, a graphics program, was written by the musician Todd Rundgren. And Apple had "evangelists" - people responsible for getting you to produce software for the machines. No one from Tandy or Commodore ever came to see us, but people from Apple came all the time and in those days, if you joined the developer program, you got hardware at 50% off. When the IBM PC came out in late 1981, we added that, but it was never a big seller in K-12 schools because it was so expensive. The original model with perhaps 64K of memory (it might have been only 48K), 2 floppy drives and a 16 color monitor that supported both upper and lower case characters was about $5000 ($12,000 in 2010 dollars!)
A lot of people who constantly complain simply don't realize how much progress we've made. I only regret that Apple can't find a way to manufacture in the U.S. and keep those jobs here.