My Favorite Apple

Brand New Original iPad

Written By: Scott - Jan• 23•16

Brand New Original iPadToday is a celebration of my newest addition to my Apple collection. I acquired a sealed, Brand New- still in the Box and never opened, 1st Gen iPad.

The original iPad was released in April of 2010. No, it’s not a vintage machine, like a lot of my collection, but it is still super significant. Steve was hyper-excited about it too. It represented one of his highest milestones of Apple innovation.

And while I bought the 1st Gen iPad the first day they went on sale and now have retired it to my collection (for sentimental reasons), I made the decision to get this one because it’s never been opened and is brand new, and I like sealed, new in the box Apples of all varieties. They are more expensive than a used collectible, but, if and when I ever decide to sell, they will be much easier to sell and will command a premium.

Apple fans love the iPad. It is one of the more recent Apple innovations and has Steve’s fingerprints all over it. He foresaw it back in 1983, built it when technology allowed and then launched it in 2010. Today, 6 years later, the iPad seems commonplace, but at the time the iPad was unlike any other Apple product, and man, was it cool!

“The iPad is a magical and revolutionary device.” Steve Jobs

Steve introduces the iPadOne of the things I find most interesting is it is obviously a computer, but to the non-computer literate, it isn’t seen as such. It simply doesn’t have the intimidation factor of a computer to someone who never owned one before. It wasn’t intended to be a workhorse, like a laptop (albeit the iPad Pro is a step in that direction). Instead, it is a machine made for surfing the web, playing on social media and checking email. Yes, I know there are almost 800,000 iPad apps allowing tons of functionality, but I don’t play games, nor do I want to do ‘work’ on my iPad.

Because the iPad is the ultimate in mobile computing, I love it. Steve’s vision early on was three things: make computing personal, make it mobile and make it so someone can learn to use it in 20 minutes. And man, is the iPad the dream machine, more than another product they’ve made (and yes, I know the iPhone offers those three also, but it is more like mini-me to me). The iPad, on the other hand, is the coolest Apple product ever. I do realize too, Apple didn’t invent the tablet. No, they didn’t invent a lot of things, but perfect it, now that they did.

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The Making of iPods Cool

Written By: Scott - Jan• 17•16
3 gens of iPods

1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen iPods

Collecting pieces of Apple’s history is fun. I like the devices, but at the same time I get off on the era they reflect.

There are many examples from Apple’s history illustrating their willingness to step out with a revolutionary device, but sometimes they’d let another company make a device first. Obviously, they didn’t produce the first MP3 player, nor did they make the first smartphone or even the first tablet. In those cases, Apple knew they could make each of these better. Significantly better. They did just that. We now know the iPod ultimately became a core product for the computer maker.

iPod

The iPod and all the generations and models stand as an icon representing THE device for music lovers. Fast forward to today, we know the iPhone cannibalized the iPod, but Apple knows when that is likely to happen with their devices and machines.

From the introduction of the “classic” first gen iPod, Apple wanted to stay way ahead of the competition. I don’t know if we could call the original iPod revolutionary, like the iPhone and iPad, but Steve stood on it as significantly more user-friendly than the other MP3 devices available at the time.

iPod dancersApple also has this way about making their products, and in this case, the iPod, super cool and they made us see it that way too.

That’s how they succeeded with the iPod. Apple branded this device as the hippest thing on the planet. I love the dancing silhouettes campaign particularly and it was with the introduction of their 3rd generation iPod in 2003 when the dancing started. Just a silhouette of a person rocking out, but with a white device held in their hand, and of course, white earbuds in their ears.

iPodApple launched the 3rd gen in April of 2003 and, of course, Steve was out there bragging on it.

“The competition hasn’t even caught up with our first generation iPod, and we’re introducing our third generation,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

And then Apple started a new ad campaign with the dancing silhouettes in September of that year. The first ads were placed on outdoor billboards in Los Angels. After three months of silhouette advertising, iPod sales were up by 50 percent over that of the previous quarter.  In the U.S. by then, the iPod also had the biggest market share of all MP3 players. Apple outspent the competition by “a factor of about a hundred” according to Steve.

iPod ad

Apple, meanwhile, was doing a full-court press pushing for a media “buzz effect” on its iPod + iTunes music and marketing. By December 2003, Apple’s PR machine had secured 6,000 iPod stories in publications worldwide.  Advertising Age magazine named Apple “marketer of the year” based on the its iPod advertising campaign.

Apple sold over two million iPods, and iTunes more than 50 million songs by the end of 2003. They stopped using the dancing silhouettes in 2011 and by that time they had sold over 300 million iPods and we’d downloaded over 15 Billion songs off iTunes. I’d say all the dancers performed very well for the music giant.

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Apple’s iPad Pro it’s not- the Apple Graphics Tablet

Written By: Scott - Jan• 09•16

apple signIn 1979 Apple Computer employed 250 people and they worked in only four buildings there in Cupertino. And looking back now with Apple employing over 110,000 employees and building a new 28 million square foot building, I think we can say that year was smack dab in the middle of Apple’s very early days. The Apple II, released in 1977, was selling like hot cakes and the Macintosh project was just getting underway. Apple had not yet gone public and only incorporated two years earlier.

That same year Apple released the Apple Graphics Tablet (AGT). A highly innovative device used to draw Apple Graphic Tabletand paint. The tablet drew power directly from the Apple II and was originally to be used with a television set rather than a monitor. It’s easy for us today to look at this tablet and almost snicker, especially considering the capabilities of the new iPad Pro launched this last year. And while the AGT looks archaic now, it was super cool and cutting-edge back then. Unlike the Pro today, it was only an input device for creating images on the Apple II’s screen and for a little perspective, it predated the Apple II’s mouse by six years.

The $650 graphics tablet came with an interface card, a stylus, cables, a plastic overlay, a manual and software on a 5.25-in. floppy disk. This tablet was large too- 15.5 x 15.5 x 1 inches and weighed 6 pounds. The Pro, for comparison, is 12.04 x 8.69 x 0.27 inches and weighs only 1.57 pounds.

One of the most interesting things about the AGT is it required an expansion card that both the tablet and the stylus had to be connected to. The expansion card is crazy looking too, like a robot’s internal organs.

I was fortunate back in 2010 to grab a Mint tablet, along with everything the manual says should be included, short of the piece of foam tape, warranty card and static cloth. I also got one of the first paint programs for the AGT, the Utopia Graphics System, with two disks and mint condition manual.

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A real interesting comparison between the AGT and an iPad (not the Pro though) is over at ComputerWorld. Check it out.

I was going to show you how it worked, but couldn’t find a single video on YouTube about it. Crazy.

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Source: Apple Graphic Table GIF: Countach

Clement Mok- Early Macintosh Who’s Who

Written By: Scott - Jan• 02•16

One of the coolest parts of Apple’s history is the characters who played important roles back in theclement mok company’s early days. I love connecting the dots. Tying people, places and dates to items from the past. And this is where Clement Mok comes in. He joined Apple in Nov. 1982 as the art director for the Macintosh product launch team before going on to head Apple’s Creative Sevice dept. in 1985. Lisa was about to launch when he started at Apple and he  worked there through 1988.

The Apple Collection CatalogAs a member of the original Macintosh graphics team, Mok helped create the well-known illustration that spread from the initial product packaging to the Mac computer interface to The Apple Collection catalog of sweatshirts, beach towels and all the other Apple merchandise we now collect.

Mok’s work for the Mac became the de facto design standard for Apple. Hugh Dubberly, a creative director at Apple during the early years says, “There was a time, for a year or two, when Clement knew everything there was to know about using a Macintosh. Literally.”

It  (working for Apple) tested my design beliefs about what’s good and what’s bad. Steve Jobs challenged anyone who worked for him, and if I didn’t believe in or have conviction about my work, he would know it.” Clement Mok

Clement Mok- ForbesIn January 1984, Mok left the Mac team and became art director for Apple Corporate, single-handly designing all marketing elements for launch the Apple IIc, as well as leading the design for all event marketing and corporate communications. When Jobs exited the company in 1985, Mok also became responsible for design for the education market, which then comprised a third of its revenues.

Wheels for the Mind posterYesterday, as I cataloged my collection inventory. I came across the name of a gentleman I bought from. It sounded vaguely familiar, but didn’t know why. It was the seller I bought one of favorite things in my collection. It is the Wheels for the Mind poster. I’ve always loved the “picasso” like images used for the Mac, on tons of products in their Apple merchandise catalogs and the Wheels of the Mind poster and educational elements.

So, here I am getting all the factoids of my purchases and putting them in my spreadsheet. When I get to the Wheels for the Mind poster I decided to Google that seller’s name, just for the hell of it. Totally random and Bam! It was Clement Mok.

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Title: Apple University Consortium: Wheels for the Mind
; Client: Apple Education Sales & Marketing; 
Produced: 1985; 
Firm: Apple Creative Service
 Creative; Director: Clement Mok; 
 Designer: Clement Mok;
 Illustrator: Clement Mok

I kid you not! I had bought this poster from the Apple guy who actually designed it. He drew the stylized guy riding the bicycle, personally. Now how cool is that and he never indicated anything about him being anybody other than just another eBay seller.

Then I began a deep search about him, his role at Apple and all the design projects he developed, and all I can say is this guy is a player. I grabbed The Book, you know, the Holy Grail of Apple’s first 10 years and sure nuf, he’s listed there too. Clement M. Mok.

And for giggles and grins, I put his email address into my email search field to see if I’d bought anything else from him and Bam!

I was absolutely thrilled when I discovered that my huge 40″x 72″ Macintosh Dealer Launch banner was his too. I bought it from him on Nov. 11, 2011.

40" x 72"

I also found I bought his Apple II Forever Event Launch Invitation, a multi-page foldout invitation to the  “Apple // Forever” at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, held on Tuesday, April 24th, 1984. I got this from him on Nov. 9th, 2011.

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And also his Apple Macintosh II Introduction Party Invitation at the Fremont Factory and its accompanying raffle ticket. The party’s date was May 1st, 1987.

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Needless to say, and as I think you can tell, this made my day. Several dots connected. And now, I can say I actually have several collectibles that were owned by, and even created by, one of the Who’s Who of Apple’s early days – Clement M. Mok.

Credits: Clement Mok Photo: Apple’s All-Star Alumni | BusinessWeek; The Apple Collection Catalog Photo: Clement Mok; Clement Mok Photo: Forbes; Apple’s Wheels for the Mind artwork Photo: Clement Mok

Apple Collection Inventory

Written By: Scott - Dec• 31•15

Don’t know if you noticed here at MyFavoriteApple, but I added a new main nav menu topic for collectors of all things Apple. Yes, I get lots of questions and thought I’d provide some tips and direction, so I added this information to help.

Having been a collector of various “things” for a long time I learned an important lesson. It is one I mention in the new section I added and it is to keep a detailed inventory of your collection – things like: Item ID, Purchase Price, Date Acquired, Condition, Model Num, Seller and even a Note section. There are many important reasons for keeping an inventory, like insurance, estate purposes and just plain remembering all you have because not everything can be displayed and is in plain view.

The best approach is either a special collector app or using Numbers or even Excel (yuk) and creating a spreadsheet. It isn’t fun, but is something you need to do.

Well today, I’m going to come clean. Yep, fess up. I don’t have one for my Apple collection. I know keeping records is the responsible thing to do, but I let it get out of hand and because I didn’t start one early on, now it’s going to be a major chore. I have old emails, eBay sale records by year and that’s about it. So, my 2016 Apple resolution is to start and finish it over the next several months. It’s a bit overwhelming, actually.

I know the best way to eat a frog is not to stare at it too long and take it one bite at a time, so that’s what I commit to do. In fact, I just finished setting up my spreadsheet format. I’m going to start with all my Apple machines/computers. I’ll figure it out from there, but I have hundreds of Apple things – some valuable, some not, and some in storage and others in drawers. My goal is to inventory everything including my Apple book and mag library down to all the memorabilia, including my machines’ cords, software and even their original boxes. Wish me luck!

Did I say a project like this can be overwhelming?

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The Macintosh Team’s Pirate Flag

Written By: Scott - Dec• 24•15

Steve loved to stir up feelings of anti, be it anti-establishment, anti-corporate or just anti-norm. We see it all through early Apple history and even in Apple’s early ad campaigns too. It was his way to motivate.

One of my favorite anti-positions is his encouragement to the Macintoshfolklore.org team to be pirates. Andy Hetzfeld, one of the major characters in the early Apple days and significant Mac developer, records the day. The story behind it is one for the ages. Steve rallied the team by reminding them of the rebel spirit that once drove Apple.

It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy.” Steve Jobs 1983

And while his statement would probably be criticized in today’s politically correct environment, it’s the symbol of this spirit made by members of the Mac Team, that as a collector of all things Apple, I’d love to add to my museum.

It was a flag. A pirate flag. It flew over the Mac Team’s building for several years before it went missing.

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susan kareWell, Susan Kare, the artist who created Macintosh’s cute little icons and the Mac Team member who painted the flag, is offering to make you one too.

To me, few things would be cooler than to have one of these flags handmade by the lady who was a major Mac Team member and who painted the original pirate flag. The only thing better would be Steve giving me one of his personal prototype iPhones.

susan kare pirate flagHell yeah, can’t you just see one hanging in my Mac Museum? I can. The only prob is her flag is a little out of my reach, dang it. I did get an autographed copy of her book though. Maybe she’d let me work it off 🙂

Check her site out.

 

Photo & Image credit: Steve and the Mac Team- Folklore.org; All others-Susan Kare: Kareprints.com

12 Days of Apple Christmas

Written By: Scott - Dec• 22•15
Santa Mac

Santa Mac

For fun I do a 12 days of Apple Christmas list counting down the days until jolly ol’ Saint Nick slides down the chimney. Actually, the list is half a bucket list and have a Christmas wish list.

If your family is like mine, they have no clue what I want, much less where to find them. Plus, honestly, I’d rather do the buying anyway. I know the eBay system and games bidders and sellers play. I also have a clue what’s an authentic Apple and what is a reproduction (Read: Fake).

My darling wife tried to get me an Apple thingy one year, a mug, in fact, and it was a newly-made copy cat old Apple mug. I never told her it was a fake, so instead of putting with my mug collection, I drank coffee out of it. 🙂

Anyway, I’m behind on a posting a 12 days of Apple Christmas and now the holiday is only 3 days away. I looked back over my previous list and, actually, it still stands. I have not a thing from this list yet. Some are way too expensive and others just too hard to find. I did have the owner of the leather glove used for the “Test drive a Mac” campaign offer it to me, but I forced myself to use restraint and passed. $$$.

So, with that, here’s my 12 days of Christmas list for your holiday reading enjoyment.

12 Days of Christmas, Part I

12 Days of Christmas, Part II

Merry Christmas!

Scott

The Most Personal Computer & Apple Cubed Notepads

Written By: Scott - Dec• 20•15

Apple The Most Personal ComputerApple’s history of using taglines boasting “The Personal Computer” and “The Most Personal Computer” goes back to the very early 1980s and I’m having difficultly knowing for certain exactly which it used first.

Most factoids about Apple are discoverable, which is one of the reasons I enjoy collecting all things Apple.  The firm’s records are well documented. Additionally, many of the key people are still alive and most have gone on record with their accounts too.

All this makes nailing down a fact or date tremendously easier. Today’s research all started with a new Apple collectible. I’ve documented here on www.myfavoriteapple.comMyFavoriteApple my crazy love for the “old” Apple cube notepads. Yes, I have the replica machines Apple made super cool notepads into. Those are fairly easy to date by using Apple’s Gift Catalogs and their dates.

But now, I have a new Apple cubed notepad and it is one that isn’t a replica of one of their early Macs. No, this one is simply a cube with “The Personal Computer” printed on it. I knew it was probably from the 80s but wasn’t sure exactly the period within that decade.

Apple The Personal Computer Notepad

So I began digging and over the last several hours here is what I’ve found. Apple used “The Most Personal Computer” when they launched the IIe and Lisa in 1983. I think you’d agree when a slogan uses “Most” it would be unlikely to then drop it and simply go with “The.” It’s possible, but again, unlikely. But I was not willing to simply use an assumption like this to date this notepad. I wanted, and figured I could find, something more concrete.

So, I went to my Apple library to find my collection of Apple product catalogs from the 80s and 90s. These catalogs contain most of the Mac relica notepads and I figured they may have this other notepad too. When an item is offered for sale in one of the gift catalogs provided I can’t find any additional dating info, then I’ll go with the year of the catalog to date from.

Bingo. I found Apple’s 1983 gift catalog illustrating this exact “The Personal Computer” notepad.

Apple 1983 Gift Catalog cover

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Then I continued to do web searches just for the heck of it and found a Christmas 1982 magazine ad promoting that catalog, and low and behold, there in that ad my notepad was pictured. I’m perfectly fine then to use the date of 1982 to date this Apple goodie.

 

1982 Apple ad for products in 83 gift catalog

Apple Cube Note Pad 1983 Gift CatalogSo, for now, I’m fine going on record that from my amature research that “The Personal Computer” tagline was used first. Then as a result of the highly competitive PC wars of that day, Apple one upped their own tagline to “The Most Personal Computer,” possibly when they rolled out the IIe in 1983.

There. I settled it after running this rabbit for hours today, but then as I write this journal entry I just happened to notice something else. In that very ad, the one from 1982 I told you about picturing the notepad I just got, well at the bottom of the ad under Apple’s logo are the words, “The Most Personal Computer.”

 

Apple ad logo

Crap…

Update: I found two ads from 1981 from our friends over at The MacMothership‘s fantastic Apple ad archive. They state “The Personal Computer.” There again, another from their 1981 Apple III “Will Someone Please?” campaign is tagged “The Most Personal Computer.” Go figure. My conclusion now is they used them interchangeably. I can find no reference to either prior to 1981, however.