Hello. I was fooling around on my Apple ][e the other today and finally noticed it's monitor says "monitor///" on it. It's a bit wider than the ][e, so I guess it's an Apple /// monitor. I wanted to ask you: what was it you think about the Apple /// that just didn't work? I've heard it wasn't all that bad a machine, but I've seen pictures of it and sure looks big and bulky. The built-in 5.25in floppy drive idea wasn't seen again, as far as I know, until the Apple ][c Plus (which I used to own, w/ a built in 3.5in floppy on the side of the keyboard). I also heard there were some heating/cooling problems with it. Is what I have heard true?
The Apple /// had a lot of hardware problems, including heat problems and PC traces that were too thin for that time and which shorted out. Also, the clock chip had to initially be left out due to a chip problem. There was very little software at first. Of the 5 main programs that we'd planned, only one was ready, the one being written outside of Apple (Visicalc). It had an Apple ][ mode but we actually added chips to disable functions, like the 80 column display and extra RAM. This was done so that users wouldn't think that the Apple ][ was good for business. It was a marketing concept.
I want to thank you for your contributions and for the US Fest. I would do just about aything to get the complete footage from the show BTW!! ; ) I also still have my Apple IIe that my dad got for me. I have every slot filled except for slot 3! I did tons of BASIC on that!
Serious Apple Computer!
First I want to say thank you, not just for your contributions as an engineer but for serving as a valuable role model as well. My personal experiences with computers evolved from the C64's to Apple IIe's, Windows then UNIX (several varieties) and now I feel as though I found the perfect OS with Linux. With all the discussion of Mac vs. Windows it seems like other good options don't get the recognition they deserve. I would like to know your opinions on these alternative OSes (Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, etc...) as well as the open source movement. Have you ever played around with any of the other systems and if so do you think it possible that you might switch to something other than a Mac?
It's only been Apple ][ and Mac for me. I used a little UNIX in the far past, and have to touch on it for some of the network equipment that I administer.
Over the years I met so many people doing things with Atari computers, particularly the Amiga, that were not easily doable with Macs or any other PC, that I was very impressed. Many of the best people ('best' meaning those that want things other than normal and that can't stop moving and all) are into Linux so I admire it. But with all my time consumed with a large family and many computers to maintain and a network too, and mail and magazines and updates and all, I won't have time for things like Linux for quite a while. I actually look forward to my children being gone.
I just saw the "Pirates of Silicon Valley" on cable the other day. It made me feel very nostalgic.
My Dad bought an Apple //e (with 128K of RAM *AND* an 80-column card) in 1984. I fell in love with it (having only used a Commodore PET before that). I was 13 at the time and devoted countless hours to figuring out how it worked. I taught myself BASIC, machine language, and assembly language. "CALL -151" still makes me grin.
I eventually bought a ][gs in 1987 and used that until I made the switch to PC's in 1994. Nothing, however, will ever compare with the all-around completeness and stability of my Apple //e.
I still fire up my Apple //e emulator from time to time to play an old Infocom game.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know your computer had a huge influence on my life, my career, and my ongoing fascination and interest with computers.
I'm glad that you were well inspired. So many remember how good the //e was. Today's computers are just too frustrating. They don't need to be. Some people even realize that when you added a printer to the //e, with it's mini-OS, the driver was in ROM on the printer interface card. True plug and play. Today we find plug and install and reconfigure and fix conflicts and update versions more than plug and play.