How Apple owes everything to its 1977 Apple II computer



  • Reply 21 of 35
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member

    crowley said:
    It's the Apple II that made the company, kept it afloat, and even made it a cult success -- but it was also the Apple II that Steve Jobs tried so hard to kill off with the Mac. It's the little machine that could, did, and for its fans, still does.
    Still does?  Not seeing much evidence of that in the article.  Is anyone still using an Apple II for anything other than nostalgia?
    What platform do you think his comment section runs on?

    I kid, I kid.
  • Reply 22 of 35
    mainyehc said:
    Wait, maybe I’m missing something here, so please bear with me:

    Before we make the Apple II sound like a machine you would want to buy today, you wouldn't. For all its firsts, it had a major deficiency in that only supported uppercase letters. If you bought an Apple II in 1977, you could only type on it in capitals. It wasn't until 1983 and the Apple IIe that it shipped with the ability to show lowercase too.
    But then suddenly it was the 1990s, and still the Apple II was selling. By this point, it had gone through very many variations, but the final one was the Apple IIe. It ceased production in November 1993.
    How could the Apple IIe have been simultaneously launched in 1983 *and* the “final” model? The final one to be actually in production, standing alone, after a 10-year-long run? You’re meaning to tell me Apple discontinued the more capable Apple IIGS even before the IIe, and not the entire remaining lineup at the same time? I mean, I know Apple is no stranger to selling really old hardware for years without updating it – the Macintosh Plus, the iPod Classic, the iPod Touch, the Mac Mini and the infamous 2013 Mac Pro come to mind –, but jeez, ten years?

    Edit: ooooh, I see. That would’ve been indeed the Apple IIe Platinum. And judging from its specs, it wasn’t that different from the other IIe models. Still extremely weird, IMHO.
    Yep, I often wonder what it would've been like if Apple simply discontinued the IIe in 1987 or so, and all current and future orders for IIe's were simply filled by IIgs machines.  Since the GS is highly compatible with the IIe, almost all software and hardware works.  I guess the obvious answer is cost- Making a IIe in 1989, which wasn't much different than it was in 1983, must've only cost Apple "pennies" compared to making the relatively complex IIgs.
  • Reply 23 of 35
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    I feel empty because the article made no mention of the apex of Apple II, the IIgs. It was a great machine and could have been even greater if not for infighting at Apple. It was an example of Apple (Jobs) sabotaging one product to ensure the success of another.

    It also is an early example of the insanity of the recording industry as the IIgs was idiotically targeted for a lawsuit by Apple Records... because, the IIgs had a music chip in it, and Apple Records declared that meant Apple Computer was breaking its agreement to not be involved in the record industry... and yet look at Apple’s music activities today: They actually look way more like a music publisher now than when they merely put a 32-voice Ensoniq sampler chip in a computer.
  • Reply 24 of 35
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    I never had an Apple computer up until the first core solo (Intel) Mac mini.
    I started in 1979 with a Tandy TRS-80 with expansion cabinet and 64KB of memory that my father bought in the US and imported to the Netherlands (probably the first personal computer -not kit computer - running at that time in Holland).
    It was a phenomenal computer with the Z-80 (Zilog remember that) which had a very nice (and regular) instruction set.
    I did incredible things on that (invented lots of software).
  • Reply 25 of 35
    jony0jony0 Posts: 380member
    jdb8167 said:
    >It wasn't until 1983 and the Apple IIe that it shipped with the ability to show lowercase too.

    Accurate but there lots of third-party 80-column terminal cards that allowed upper and lower case that were available before the IIe in 1983. They generally went into slot #3 and were kind of standardized. Doing a brief search, it looks like the availability started around 1980.
    Indeed, I bought a third-party 80-column terminal card around 82-83, it was required to be able to use Pascal at the time.
  • Reply 26 of 35
    I still remember the tactile feel of the Apple II+. The way the floppy disk latch was stiff at first and then popped open. The rough texture of the very thick plastic case. The lumpy paint texture. The wonderful clack of the keyboard. The way the top popped off with the odd velcro like pads at the back (like an array of small knobs that fit into each other). Seems like just yesterday.
  • Reply 27 of 35
    Last night I watched the Stephen King film "Dead Zone (1983)." Good flick, and the boy in the film was using an Apple IIe computer.
  • Reply 28 of 35
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Tim Cook never mentions the Apple II during presentations that mention Apple’s history. He always starts with the Mac. Why is that?
  • Reply 29 of 35
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,871member
    All computer architectures have about a ten-year life," Jobs said at the launch of NeXT Computer in 1988, 

    Didn’t NeXT last about ten years?
  • Reply 30 of 35
  • Reply 31 of 35
    The irony is how open the Apple II was.
  • Reply 32 of 35
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 705member
    Still have my //c+
    Still have a working //e
    And a IIGS (or three)
    Ran a ATG external research site for the AVOC, for head-to-head IIGS vs MacSE use cases, for Hypercard GS, and for the Apple II MacLC Card.  
    Amazing what they got out of that product line.  

  • Reply 33 of 35
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 315member
    My first computer was a Mac 512 in 1985. It was a good start.... and I'm not finished...

    My only request to Apple is for another 15" MBPR. (The others don't fit...)

    I thank both the Steves.. and Tim... for their talent, intelligence and oversight.

    May I be using a Mac many years from now...

  • Reply 34 of 35
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,291member
    My school had a whole room full of Apple IIc machines, but the library had an Apple II which we played Karateka and Carmen Sandiego on. I remember making banners on it with Print Shop, too. Good memories. 
  • Reply 35 of 35
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,291member
    razorpit said:
    Fatman said:
    Always wanted a IIe, too expensive, went with a Commodore 64 - a tremendous value with great integrated graphics and sound for the time ... tons of software ... apparently Commodore sold 15 million of them.
    We started with a Vic 20. I wanted an Apple so bad because that’s what we had in school. For obvious reasons the Vic was soon replaced with a 64. At least Commodore did it right. All of the accessories; printer, Data-cassette, and 300 baud Vicmodem, worked on the 64.
    sgordon said:
    Not all those first were first... commodore pet had basic in rom and was released before the Apple II
    Came here to say the same. People forget what a competitor Commodore was back in the day. 

    Unfortunately they sat too long on the success of the 64 before moving on to the Amiga. Makes you wonder what the computer landscape would look like now if Commodore management and investors were as smart as Steve who knew it was time to move on to a new platform. A lot of the early CGI you see in early 80’s shows and movies was done on Amiga’s. They owned that market at one time.
    Amiga wiped the floor with Macs at the time. It was a multitasking monster. 
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