A few things they don’t mention. It is nearly impossible to describe the atmosphere of any time surrounding a movement. The Apple Community strongly supported Apple but it was often not the other way around.
We knew we were dealing with odd people from the start but knowing that didn’t help with predicting what would come next, or how long they would stay with one technology before abandoning it and thus putting another expensive accessory or a peripheral into the junk pile.
As a writer, an easily accessible word processing technology enabled endless editing instead of two or three drafts as done on typewriters. This was a major shift which enabled easier writing and less certain writing. That’s another story.
An Applesac member who got a preview of the Macintosh gave a talk on his look at the new machine. He opened with this, “Buy stock. Buy stock. Buy stock.” Apple at the time was trading at $18. After many stock splits over the years, it now stands at $148.
Sound check, one, two, one, two, sound check, one, two, one, two, looking over Wikipedia’s article on the Apple to the. Originally, the more widely available computer that started Apple, the Apple one, was almost a prototype proof of concept not readily available to most people and very hand built. Apple two was what everybody had been waiting for back in the late 70s. I’m looking over Wikipedia’s article said it came out the apple to an.
Nineteen seventy seven. Well, true, but there was a waiting list months and months long and there was a lot of hype around the apple too. And tinkerers, inventors like my dad, were very excited to see a personal computer enter a workspace or to get one in the house. And we got ours. Dad got his in February nineteen seventy eight. It arrived. And one good thing about the delay was that it enabled us to get a real hard drive with a five and a quarter inch floppy up to that time.
A cassette tape recorder, believe it or not, was what you used to. How is your programs that’s if you had, oh, a simple word processing program, it that program lived on the magnetic tape of the cassette deck of your portable cassette deck, and it was all terrible to get going. And so the delays worked on several things. The progress came very quickly, though, the. I’ll give you an example, the. First screens, the monitors supplied by Apple was only 40 characters across all uppercase and no more than three months later, the aftermarket people came in and provided a plug in circuit board that gave you 80 characters across a screen with upper and lower case letters.
And it was so amazing. I really thought at the time. Can anything get better than this? And of course, it got different. It’s. So what else do we have? But that was a sign of how quickly the progress was moving. There were competitors, but I don’t know them well. The Tiara’s 80 at some point, we used to call it the trash eighty from RadioShack, but it was widely available, something you could tinker with.
There was a Commodore. Yeah, there some the Commodore. That was a really a lot of gamers went toward that. And from the beginning, the Apple never attracted the gaming community like the PC group has what we would later call the PC people or the PC types, the apple, the flight simulator came along and that was very popular. But if you were a tinker, if you really wanted to build something or code something, you generally went off to something other than an Apple Apple.
People generally wanted something to work, but that meant, too, that you had a limited number of programs to choose from. So if you wanted something to help your ham radio hobby or your birdwatching hobby, probably not having it probably wasn’t a program available at the time. So the other platforms this gets around a thing called DOS to disk operating system variations that other computer users use where you could actually program and write your own program that attract the PC types, the.
At the time, too, was that with the sort of the ability, limited availability of programs, you actually had magazines in which there were articles, column, articles, but they would have simple programs listed and type in the magazine that is line by line of code. And if you typed in successfully all of these dozens or hundreds of lines of codes into your computer and didn’t make a single mistake, brackets and every kind of weird character you can imagine, if you didn’t make a single mistake, your program might run.
But literally you were typing in programs from magazines if you wanted to. And it’s very strange, very strange time, very frustrating. And what else do we have here? The don’t mention the clubs, the clubs supporting the apple would too would have been called a cult computer today is strongly supported by anyone that could afford it. And they were expensive. The I think Apple Apple had a very odd relation with the clubs in that they the clubs were the most dedicated, the fans of the computer, and you’d think that would be an amazing resource to develop.
But I think Apple just countered that those people were already buyers. So support would come in. The speakers might appear at your club, and then Apple would disappear. No more literature, no more support. And then they would come back again. And they were always seemingly especially they all throughout the I’d say, the first 15 years of Apple, they seem to be wavering between going out of business or just nobody could really figure out what was going on in Cupertino.
Probably the same thing today. Apple really went after the education market early on with the Apple two, and they mention Vizi Colque vesicle as being a I hate the word game changer in business. But that business software, I wasn’t really I wasn’t familiar with it at all, but that did have a practical business use and a purchase could be based just upon that program. And we had all sorts of dullards, slow heads back at the time. We dealt with this question for 15 or 20 years.
Aside from business, the question would always come up, why do I need a computer? Why do I need a computer? And we’re constantly battling that stupid question like, you know, get with it. It is it’s it’s it’s an invention factory by itself. It enables things, your hobbies, your interests, your pursuits. It makes you think. Of thinking it opens the door to things that you haven’t considered. But it’s a closed door until you get the computer, once you get the computer, like, you know, with your phone and your apps these days, once you get the app, go to the website, you find out what’s happening or what’s possible.
But that question still upsets me. Why do I need a computer? So you had to begin your argument at, like, square one and then you decided on what kind of computer? And always it was that Apple’s too expensive. Um, what else? Yeah, fraudulence code, the programing languages, yeah, people have their favorites, Bill Gates and Jobs. They had a relation back in the time, I think all Apple dos, I believe it was.
And that and everything changed. Of course, when the Mac hit in 84, that went away from what we call a command line interface where you have, you know, one line after another on the screen and, you know, with a Mac, you go to a mouse and it’s all graphics, it’s all graphic driven. And you don’t have to type one line. You don’t have to deal with one line at a time and enter a command like you would have a command.
You’re looking up a card catalog at some library. And if you were connected at the time and then when you wanted to do something, you hit the command, the return key and off you went instead of pointing and clicking. So this command line interface continued with the PC people, even though it even even after the Mac actually the apple to Apple three, they continued well after the Mac was introduced. But there really wasn’t a bigger distinction between the old and the new than when IBM came out with their nineteen eighty four personal computer, one for the masses.
And that just represented old old thinking. You know, somebody finally packaged together this PC for the masses. And in 84, Apple came out with a Mac, which is the future. And so it’s always been this way. The interesting thing I’m looking through this is that a lot of us Apple people would say, well, Microsoft stole this, especially with Windows and they took this or this or that. But Microsoft always produce bloated software and buggy clunky didn’t work really well.
So on the one hand, sure, they may have stolen some stuff, but it never worked fairly well. But the thing to get back to it is that the whole. Interface, the approach for PCs was much more open than what, especially with the Mac, much more, you could tinker far better with a PC trying to look over what else? Yeah, that’s about it. Apple did have I was saying on outreach, they actually think probably depending on the health of the community health of their company.
I remember going downtown to a K Street mall and Apple had some sort of demonstration set up where it was on a closed circuit TV, believe it or not. And there was like 40 of us in the hall. They’ve reintroducing some computer, but they went to the trouble and expense of setting up that that site and, you know, pre Internet as far as pre graphical Internet, the commercial and Internet really became graphical with Mosaic. But that’s another story.
So it was a video conference thing on closed circuit. And that’s about it, I’m rambled on too too long, so that’s just filling in a little bit of the Wikipedia article.