Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Walking down the memory lane: The Apple II Turns 35 now!

Apple IIA history-making machine
On April 16 and 17, 1976, a scrappy startup named Apple Computer introduced the Apple II at San Francisco's West Coast Computer Faire. The most sophisticated of the early personal computers, it was an enormous hit -- helping to jumpstart the PC revolution and foreshadowing the impact of the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

The two Steves 
The Two Steves
Steve Jobs (left) was 22 when the Apple II debuted at the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire; Steve "Woz" Wozniak was 26. Here are Apple's founders at the Faire, classic expressions already in place. Their complementary gifts -- Jobs' visionary consumer sense, Woz's engineering wizardry -- made the Apple II a breakthrough.
 Apple I 
The first Apple of them all
The Apple II's primitive predecessor -- known at first simply as the Apple Computer -- didn't even come in a case until retailer Paul Terrell insisted on it. Designed by Woz and selling for $666.66 in 1976, it sold a few hundred units -- back when when that was enough to make it a success.
 Apple II with open case 
Expandability was built in
The Apple II had an easy-to-remove lid and eight slots for add-in cards, making it one of the most customizable computers of its era. Here it is with a Hayes Micromodem II installed -- providing dial-up access to bulletin board systems and other online services at a zippy 300 bits per second.
  Apple III computer 
The follow-up that flopped
In 1980, when the Apple II was still a huge hit, Apple released a souped-up, more business-oriented computer called the Apple III. One of few products ever released by the company that is most famous for having failed, it was pricey and flaky, and couldn't compete with 1981's IBM PC.
Apple IIc PlusThe Apple II evolves
For more than a decade, the original 1977 Apple II inspired additional models, even after the arrival of the Macintosh. 1988's Apple IIc Plus -- in a trim, pseudoportable case -- was the final new computer in the II line. Another moodel,, the IIe, stayed on sale until November 1993.