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The Evolution of Apple...
January 1976 to May 1995
Let’s take a trip back in time and review the evolution of a
computer company. It’s not IBM or Microsoft. This company is Apple
In the year 1976, before most people even thought about buying a
computer for their homes. Back then the computer community added up to a
few brainy hobbyist. So when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs sold a van and
two programmable calculators for thirteen hundred dollars and started
Apple Computers, Inc., in Jobs garage, the reach for success seemed far.
But these two young business men, Wozniak 26 years old and Jobs 21
years old, had a vision. “Computers aren’t for nerds anymore,” they
announced. “Computers are going to be the bicycle of the mind. Low cost
computers for everyone.”
From the first day on the founders of Apple kept their vision
intact, and they spoke it at every turn. They only hired people into the
company that had the same visions as they did.
In early 1976 Wozniak and Jobs finish work on a preassembled
computer circuit board. It has no Product keyboard, case, sound or
graphics. They call it the Apple I. They form the Apple Computer Company
on April Fool's Day and sold the Apple I board for $666.66 at the Home
brew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California.
In 1977 the Apple II is available to the general public. Fully
assembled and pretested, it includes 4K of standard memory, and comes
equipped with two game paddles and a demo cassette. The price is $1,298.
Customers use their own TV set as a monitor and store programs on audio
cassette recorders. Compare this price with computers today. The price
about the same, but the computer has changed tremendously.
In 1979 Apple II+ is introduced, available with 48K of memory and
a new auto-start ROM for easier startup and screen editing for $1,195.
Apple II Pascal is also released.
In 1980 Apple FORTRAN introduced and proves to be a catalyst for
high-level technical and educational applications. Apple III announced at
the National Computer Conference. It has a new operating system, a
built-in disk controller and four peripheral slots priced at $3,495, the
Apple III is the most advanced system in the company's history. Product
In 1981 Accessory Products Division formed to handle production
printers, modems and other peripherals. The Apple Language Card is
introduced. It allows Apple II users to run programs in either Pascal,
FORTRAN or Pilot. The IEEE-488 interface card is announced and allows
Apple II computers to be linked to over 1,400 scientific and technical
International Business Machines came on the PC scene in August of
1981 with the IBM Personal Computer. Apple greets its new competitor with
a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal with a headline that reads,
"Welcome IBM. Seriously." Apple's first mass storage system was also
introduced this year, the 5MB ProFile hard disk, priced at $3,499.
In November of 1983 AppleWorks, an integrated package containing
word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications all in one, is
introduced and will soon become the world's best selling software.
In February of 1985 Jobs and Wozniak receive National Technology
Medal from President Reagan at the White House. The ImageWriter II, HD-20
hard disk and Apple Personal Modem were also introduced this year.
In January of 1987 Apple introduced a new desktop communications
products including the AppleShare file server software and AppleTalk PC
Card. They are priced at $799 and $399. Also introduced in 1987 is the
AppleFax Modem, priced at $699. Now you get a fax modem with the purchase
of an Apple computer.
In February of 1988 Apple introduces AppleCD SC, an optical
storage device that gives access to huge amounts of information. Priced at
$1,199, a single CD-ROM disc can store up to 270,000 pages of typewritten
information. Also in 1988 Apple files suit against Microsoft and
Hewlett-Packard to protect its Macintosh audio visual display. The lawsuit
is seen as having industry wide implications regarding copyright laws. In
late 1988 Apple introduces the Macintosh IIx computer, priced at $7,769.
It is the first Macintosh II computer to use Motorola's 68030
microprocessor and 68882 math co-processor. It is also the first Macintosh
FDHD, Floppy Drive High Density, Apple's new 1.44MB floppy disk drive that
can read and write to MS-DOS, OS/2 and ProDOS formats. Also a new
configuration is announced for the Macintosh SE. The new unit features two
megabytes of RAM and an internal 40 megabyte hard drive. It
retails for $5,069.
From April till July of 1989 Apple II Video Overlay Card is
introduced. It provides video overlay capabilities for the Apple IIGS.
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Steve Jobs, Personal computers, Snow White design language, Apple II family, Apple IIGS, Floppy disk drives, Macintosh, Apple II series, Apple Inc., Apple III, NeXT, Apple
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