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Chief Executive Officer
Writer of Letter
Dr. Dobb's Journal
Homebrew Club Member and Editor
System Master disk
Apple II History
In examining the development of the Apple II, we will take a look at some pre-Apple microcomputer history, the Apple I, and the formation of Apple Computers, Inc., with some sideroads into ways in which early users overcame the limits of their systems.We will follow through with the development of the Apple IIe, IIc, and IIGS, and lastly make some comments on the current state of affairs at Apple Inc. regarding the Apple II.NEXT INSTALLMENT : The Apple I++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++NOTESTHE APPLE I : DEVELOPMENTTHE APPLE I : MARKETINGLet's adjust our time circuits for 1976, and jump forward in time.In July of 1976 the Apple I was released and sold for $ 666.66, which was about twice the cost of the parts plus a 33 % dealer markup. Two hundred Apple I computers were manufactured, and all except twenty-five of them sold over a period of ten months..Although the Apple I was easier to begin using than the Altair (thanks to its built-in ROM code), it was still a time consuming process to set it up to do something useful.Interestingly, although most of the action in the micro world was going on in Silicon Valley, news of the Apple I made its way east.Stan Veit, owner of the east coast's first computer store, bought an Apple I and took it to a meeting of the Association of Computer Machinery.Those attending were quite skeptical that a REAL computer could fit into a small briefcase ; they were sure that the machine was just a portable terminal, attached by a hidden phone line to a mainframe somewhere!.Even as the Apple I was completed and was slowly selling, Wozniak was already working on making enhancements that would make his computer faster and more functional.According to the 1981 edition of the APPLE II REFERENCE MANUAL, the Apple could have memory in the following sizes : 4K, 8K, 12K, 16K, 20K, 24K, 32K, 36K, or a full 48K. (These sizes were determined by the different ways that three RAM chips, either 4K or 16K, could be installed).The strapping blocks were even designed with the flexibility of allowing blank spots in memory if there were no RAM chips available to fill those spots.The first 4K of memory always had to have RAM present, since it was used by the 6502 processor, the ROM routines, and the text screen display.The RF (radio frequency) modulator that had been designed gave off too much interference, and it was probable that the FCC would not approve it. (The RF modulator allowed a user to attach the Apple to a standard television receiver, instead of requiring the purchase of an expensive computer monitor).Rather than have the release of the Apple II delayed for re-engineering of the RF modulator to get that FCC approval, Apple gave the specifications for the RF modulator to Marty Spergel.He ran a small company (called M&R Electronics) that specialized in obtaining hard-to-get parts that electronics and computer hackers wanted for their projects.Their agreement allowed M&R to make and sell the RF modulators, while Apple could concentrate on making and selling the Apple II.Dealers would sell an Apple II with a Sup'r Mod (costing about $ 30) if the buyer wanted to see the graphics on their color TV.In the Apple I days, when Apple was supplying software free or at minimal charge, Wozniak and Baum published an early version of their 6502 disassembler in a hacker's magazine.It was designed to be loaded in memory on the Apple I from $ 800 to $ 9D8 and the routine could be executed from the monitor.This early code was quit similar to the disassembler that was later included in the Apple II ROM..Having an expanded Monitor program in ROM and color graphics were not the only features in the Apple II that attracted people to it.Having Wozniak's BASIC language in ROM, available immediately when the power was turned on, made it possible for non-hackers to write programs that used the Apple II's color graphics.An interesting bit of trivia about Wozniak's Integer BASIC was that he never had an assembly language source file for it.The [ Integer ].BASIC, which we shipped with the first Apple II's, was never.assembled--ever.There was one handwritten copy, all.handwritten, all hand-assembled.Even to this day there is not an official source code listing of Integer BASIC at Apple.And interestingly, the only error I am aware of in the Integer interpreter is one involving a single byte.If a line is entered that has too many parentheses, the TOO LONG error message is displayed instead of the TOO MANY PARENS message..The $ D000- $ D7FF space was most often used by a plug-in ROM chip sold by Apple, known as Programmer's Aid # 1. It contained various utilities for Integer BASIC programmers, including machine language routines to do the following :.Renumber BASIC programsAppend one BASIC program to the end of another.Verify a BASIC program that had been saved on tape (to confirm it was.The other empty ROM socket (covering memory from $ D800 to $ DFFF) was never filled by Apple.Various third-party vendors sold ROMs for that socket (or for the $ D000- $ D7FF socket used by the Programmer's Aid # 1 ROM), but none made enough of an inroad to be preserved in the INTBASIC file that would later be included on the DOS 3.3 System Master disk.In fact, the $ D800- $ DFFF space in the INTBASIC file on that disk contains an image of that same space taken directly from the Applesoft ROM! It is completely useless to Integer BASIC, of course, but disk files being what they are, Apple had to fill that space with SOMETHING.The Integer BASIC interpreter lived in the ROM space between $ E000 and $ F7FF.However, BASIC only used the space up to $ F424.Between $ F425- $ F4FB and $ F63D- $ F65D could be found a floating-point math package that was not used by Integer BASIC, but was available for BASIC programmers who were astute enough to figure out how it worked. (An early Apple user group, the Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange, or A.P.P.L.E., sold a tape and notes by Steve Wozniak they called Wozpak, that documented some of the secrets of the Integer BASIC ROM). Steve Wozniak and Allen Baum, A 6502 Disassembler From Apple,Since Steve Wozniak was the designer of the Apple I and II, exactly what contribution did Steve Jobs make to the effort? Unlike Wozniak, who would not think much of extra wires hanging out of a computer that worked properly, Jobs had an eye for the appearance of the final product.case for the Apple after those Hewlett-Packard used for its.calculators.He admired their sleek, fresh lines, their hardy.finish, and the way they looked at home on a table or desk.".The final case design made the Apple II look quite different from most of their competition.The other computers looked like they had been assembled at home (and many of them were).The Apple had no visible screws or bolts (the ten screws attached at the bottom).It had the appearance of some variation of a typewriter, but still looked futuristic enough to be a computer.The friendliness of the design even extended to the lid, which popped off easily to allow access to the expansion slots, almost inviting the user to look inside (unlike most electronic devices that held the warning CAUTION! NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE) ..Chris Espinosa and Randy Wigginton, two high school students who were early employees of Apple, had written programs to demonstrate the computer's color and sound.People at Apple were working to fix blemishes in the computer cases that had returned from the plastics molding company.The name for this new computer was also finalized as Apple II, following the example of Digital Equipment Company, who had given each newer version of its PDP series a higher number (PDP-1, PDP-6, etc.) . They stylized the II in the product name by using right and left brackets, and displaying it on the case as ] [.The final product bore the mark of each person at Apple :.The computer that appeared at the West Coast Computer Faire was.not one person's machine.It was the product of collaboration.and blended contributions in digital logic design, analog.The original one, used in sales of the Apple I, was a picture of Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree, with a phrase from Wordsworth : Newton...'A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought...Alone.' Jobs had been concerned that the logo had part of the slow sales of the Apple I, and the Regis McKenna Agency was hired to help in the design of a new one.Rob Janov, a young art director, was assigned to the Apple.account and set about designing a corporate logo.Armed with the.idea that the computers would be sold to consumers and that their.chunk from one side of the Apple, seeing this as a playfulcomment on the world of bits and bytes but also as a noveldesign.To Janov the missing portion prevented the apple from.looking like a cherry tomato.' He ran six colorful stripes.across the Apple, starting with a jaunty sprig of green, and the