My Favorite Apple

One thing leads to another- Apple Computer Design History

Written By: Scott - Dec• 19•15

My Saturday mornings usually start with me doing fun stuff – usually computer oriented Apple reading, writing and research. Dorky, but fun, nonetheless.

This morning was about Apple’s early fonts, and particularly, the Apple Garamond typeface.Apple blue jean cap Very dorky, I know, but this project started as a result of my new addition to my Apple collection, my new, old Apple denim cap.

One thing leads to another and I ended up on a great little site- a research project from 1998 by a University of Toronto graduate student named Ed Tracy on  Apple and the History of Personal Computer Design.

Apple fans know Apple’s place in the history of computer design and many of us have the Holy Grail of it’s history- AppleDesigns: “The Work of the Apple Industrial Design Group,” so as I read Ed’s work I appreciated his dedication to Apple design history.

As an aside, I did find one of his introductory statements amusing-

The microcomputer is rarely regarded as a valuable historical artifact in itself…

Then as he gets into his research Ed examines the various Apple models and their design history beginning with the Apple I (1976). He follows it through The Design Revolution, Apple’s design stumbles and wraps up with their renewal to the standard they once held.

I like how he characterizes Apple’s design philosophy as  “to make technology accessible without intimidation.”

If you have an interest in the history of personal computers and their design, Ed’s bibliography and related links is a treasure-trove of golden nuggets.

Brand New 1984 Apple Portable Computer

Written By: Scott - Dec• 13•15

How is a 30 year old machine still brand new? Because it was never opened. A 29 year old, Steve Jobs made history with this, Apple’s first portable personal computer back in 1984. It is the Apple IIc, or //c if you prefer. It weighed in at a hefty 7.5 pounds andApple IIc had to be plugged in wherever you were going because it lacked a battery (a separate battery pack was available). Plus, the monitor and its stand weren’t built-in and needed to be carried along too, but even with its shortcomings, this machine launched Apple’s portable computing history.

You know I love the history of Apple’s personal computer portability and I was thrilled when I found this brand new, still in the factory box and never opened APPLE IIc. OK, it wasn’t really ‘new’ because it was launched in 1984 (actually, this particular machine was produced in 1985). After I acquired it I learned a company in St. Louis bought it new at the time and never used it, or even opened it. They put it in a storage closet where it sat. The monitor and its stand were also still in their factory sealed and unopened boxes and I got them too. Crazy.

I did do the traditional Apple fan ceremonial opening of this treasure too and I know you are dying to see it 🙂

You know I love old Apple machines and products still in the factory sealed boxes, never opened. They are rare and expensive, but my what a treasure when you can find them.

Spoiler Alert: And, in case you are wondering, no, I didn’t open the boxes either.

Factory Sealed Apple IIc Box- 1985

1985 Apple IIc in its factory sealed unopened box

 

Apple Computer History- 35 years ago today

Written By: Scott - Dec• 12•15

applestockcertHow’d you like to buy 100 shares of Apple (AAPL) spending $2,200 and then turn that into 5,600 shares worth $632,800?

That’s exactly the return on your investment had you bought those 100 shares back when Apple went public on today’s date back in 1980.

Apple stock price history

These are the figures Stephen Gandel of Fortune crunched yesterday.  Not a bad return on your money, eh?

But you want to hear a funny?

Thirty five years ago today, Apple’s IPO was deemed risky by folks way smarter than Steve. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 8.35.56 AM

 

Image Source: Apple Stock, Fortune; Apple IPO article: Wall Street Journal

Original iPad Retires to the Apple Computer Museum

Written By: Scott - Nov• 29•15

My Mac Museum is a place for vintage Apple computers and memorabilia, but not everything dates back to the late 70s or early 80s though. No, I have added their products well into the 90s and even the first iPods from 2000 and 2001. I don’t usually add my everyday machines when I upgrade, not officially anyway. I might stick them on a shelf, but in my mind, they aren’t really in my collection.

Steve introduces the iPadWell today, I am officially adding a machine that is as cool as Apple and it is not from the rainbow colored logo era either, but it is one machine that was magical and revolutionary, as Steve called it.

My overriding favorite theme of Apple’s innovations is their focus on making computing mobile and personal. Their history in this regard is rich and deep, and evident everywhere here at MyFavoriteApple.

Steve predicted this machine in 1983. Back when he envisioned it, technology simply wasn’t around for him to get it made. So, fast forward to January 27th, 2010 and you gotta know he couldn’t contain himself when he introduced it to the public.

It was mobile, and compared with the Macintosh Portable at 16 pounds, this baby weighted only 1.5 pounds. It didn’t use a mouse, nor a physical keyboard. No, and it isn’t the iPhone, that came out 3 years earlier.

iPad It was this new thing called the iPad. I’ll never forget. I had to wait until April 3rd and I was crazy to get my hands on one too.

 

And I did.

 

 

Well today, 5 years later it was placed in my collection. I use my 4th Gen iPad and the other family members have all their machines and iDevices, so it is time. I’ve kept my eye on it for a couple of years now, so I’d know exactly where it was when I felt I could make a move on it.

Original iPadI bought this machine the day it launched- April 3rd, 2010.

If ever an Apple machine deserves to be in a museum, it is the iPad.

It was innovative and cool as hell. It represented a brand new product line for Apple. And while it may seem ho-hum now after 5 years and multiple generations and models, the day will come when the iPad will mark a major chapter in touch screen and portable computer history, as it was a personal device developed for mass web consumption and communication. Folks who were intimidated about using computers bought it in droves, not really knowing it was just that, a computer, and just like Steve intended.

To me, as somewhat of a self-appointed Apple historian, it belongs right up there with Macintosh.

Line of Apple portable computers

Apple IIc, Macintosh Portable, PowerBook 100 and the iPad

 

Original iPad 2010

What’s cool too is I bought a keyboard for the iPad at the same time and never opened it, so it goes in the museum right alongside its iPad.

Original iPad Keyboard

Resources: Apple Identify Your iPad Model,

Apple’s First Portable Computer Launch

Written By: Scott - Nov• 29•15

One of my favorite computer collecting themes is Apple’s portable machines. Come hell or high water Steve was goingApple IIc to make personal computing portable, and that he did.

Apple’s first attempt was the Apple IIc in 1984, when Steve was only 29. The IIc weighed in at 7.5 pounds and was made to transport around. The ‘c’ referred to it being compact. It’s easy to look back and see why it really wasn’t what we today think of as portable. The monitor and its stand were not built-in and had to also be carried around.

You know Apple loves making multi-media presentations rolling out their products at these events, so here is the Apple // Forever theme for the IIc.

 

Apple announced it with great fanfare. In fact, they sent a multi-page foldout invitation to the  “Apple // Forever” at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 24th, 1984. It’s a pretty cool piece of Apple history too.

IMG_3152 Apple IIc Invitation 1984 IMG_3161 IMG_3158 IMG_3157 IMG_3155 IMG_3153

Trivia Pursuit- Apple iPod Questions

Written By: Scott - Nov• 27•15

My family sat outside around the fireplace over the Thanksgiving holidays and played Trivia Pursuit 25th Anniversary Edition, and while I’m usually not very good at playing myScreen Shot 2015-11-27 at 1.18.54 PM wife pulled a card with questions I was chomping at the bit to answer. The questions were all Apple questions.

Now while I don’t really consider myself an expert in knowing all things Apple, I did score 33 of 36 on a retro Apple quiz the other day, earning the title ‘Apple nerd extraordinaire’.

I possess an above average knowledge of Apple factoids-dates, people, places and things about Apple, well at least I thought I did.

When she pulled the card, looked at me and smiled, I was immediately clued in that those questions were something I’d either love or hate. Oh, and the way we play, we don’t actually move around the board and get cheese, instead, someone just asks questions and we see who can answer first, like a race. Everything is always a competition.

The first question, I got easily. It was, What company produced the iPod? Then the second, I got too, but fortunately had time to think as my 4 kids shouted out wrong answers. That question was, Which rock diva was the first woman to have her signature engraved on a special edition iPod?

But things went down hill quickly after that.

steve ipodThe third question, along with the fourth, fifth and sixth were questions I totally had to guess. The third, fourth and sixth, I actually had no clue whatsoever. But the fifth was one I can’t believe I guessed wrong. It was about the original iPod from 2001 and I have one in my collection. The question was, How many gigabytes capacity did the first iPod have? I guessed wrong and I’m still mad I didn’t remember the correct answer. You probably do though.

The third, fourth and sixth questions were quickly answered by my kids. Honestly, I was surprised they knew the answers, because I had no clue and I’m supposed to be the expert. And then after thinking about how they knew those answers I realized- those iPods were their generation. So, they knew from personal experience (ages 19, 22, 24 and 26). They actually owned and played these more recent iPods models. The questions were, Which was the first iPod with a color screen and flash memory? What were the 5th generation iPods the first to offer? And, Which  was the first iPod without a screen or scroll wheel?

Very interesting.

Remembering a factoid because you are a collector and facts are part of the fun, is one thing, but remembering because you experienced them firsthand, is quite another. Now that is just too cool!

Questions and answers:

Trivia Pursuit

Trivia Pursuit

 

iPod History and timeline

Hello. My name is Macintosh

Written By: Scott - Nov• 27•15

Today, I’m introducing Macintosh to the world. No, not the original machine Steve introduced back in 1984, instead, it’s my puppy- a Blue Heeler/English Shepard little guy.

My little puppy- a Blue Heeler, English Shepard mix

Macintosh

He was 6 weeks old three days ago when I decided he’d be mine. We’ve had many dogs and cats over the years raising 4 kids, but now that they are in college or out on their own, this little guy was mine to name, all by myself. You know the routine. Throw out names until one resonates and after only two names, my third was Mac. And it fit perfectly. Mac short of Macintosh.

He’s cute, just likes Steve’s Macintosh. Personable too.

So, today, I wanted to introduce Mac to the world, just cause. Say Hello Mac.

Rebels without a cause

Written By: Scott - Nov• 22•15

There is peace in the valley. The seas are calm; the ship is now upright. Steve changed the world, just like he wanted—one person at a time.

We know too, we can change things, just like he said—we are the rebels and we Think Different now.

And Apple, the underdog, won. The threats have subsided: IBM. Microsoft. Mac vs. PC war- causesApple pirate flag we all rallied around.

The need to be pirates is over.

Our leader is at rest and no one can take his place. His vision remains and the journey is the reward.

We are rebels without a cause.

And even though this feels like the end, stories don’t end.

“Cause if you’re telling a story, at some point you stop
But stories don’t end
Stories don’t end”
Dawes– Stories Don’t End

Apple’s 1999 Y2K Super Bowl Commercial

Written By: Scott - Nov• 21•15

Do you remember the Y2K scare? I do. Planes falling out of the sky, security systems failing, money in bank accounts vanishing, stock market crashing- crazy apocalyptic things happening the second the calendar clicked over to 01.01.2000. Businesses rushed to spend tons of money on computer programming all in an effort to save the world-all this brought about by computers. They were going to ruin our lives. It was a worldwide panic. If you are too young to remember then here’s Urban Dictionary’s definition of it all.

The technical reasons for this aren’t the point here, but it had to do with digits, or actually the lack thereof. Of course, Apple computers were programed with the right number so when time rolled over to 1/1/2000 all would be well, but they still made fun at all the end of the world stuff- because it was going to be brought about by all the other guys’ ill programed software running on non-Macs.

Now 15 years later, I think back with a sense of amusement and particularly get a chuckle watching Apple’s 1999 Super Bowl ad poking fun at it all.