Apple II Stories October 1, 2019

42 years on, Kickstarter campaign aims to create clear case for the Apple II

Some 42 years after the Apple II was launched, a Kickstarter campaign aims to create a clear case for the Apple II and Apple II Plus…

Apple II Stories May 26, 2014

“Where’s the mouse?” Today’s kids try to figure out an Apple II [Video]

If you ever wanted an illustration of how far computer technology has come in a single generation, this video portrays it well. A bunch of kids who’ve grown up with Macs, iPads and iPhones, and for whom apps and the web are as natural as breathing, try their hand at an Apple II – starting with the challenge of how to switch it on.

Scarily, I’m old enough to have used an Apple II and now feel slightly nostalgic, but I don’t think I’ll be trading in my MacBook Pro anytime soon.

Apple II Stories April 21, 2014

Samsung acknowledges one Apple invention: there’s an Apple II in its Innovation Museum

Samsung and Apple may spend rather a lot of time arguing about who invented what in patent trials, but Samsung does at least acknowledge one Apple invention. The Samsung Innovation Museum, opened to mark the 45th anniversary of Samsung Electronics, includes an Apple II, described as “the first home computer.”

Apple II Stories January 24, 2014

Apple product database app Mactracker updated adding dozens of vintage systems

Mactracker, the definitive app for tracking Apple product information, received a substantial update today, on the Mac’s 30th birthday. Both the OS X and iOS versions have, for the first time, added Apple’s non-Macintosh computers to the database, including the entire Apple II line, and many early Apple monitors and accessories.

Apple II Stories December 12, 2013

Apple spruces up online support portal with new, simpler design

Apple has recently updated its online support portal on Apple.com with a more modern look and feel. The new design puts easier access to support for each of Apple’s products, with large images and clean lines. The older design (screenshotted below) was much more boxy and cluttered.

In the old layout, customers would have to click through to ‘All Products’ to get help about more obscure products. With the new design, the infinitely scrolling carousel puts everything on the portal homepage. It is also much clearer where to find the Apple communities and access phone support as other aspects of support have been removed completely from the page.

Apple II Stories November 20, 2013

The $5k and Apple II donation from Steve Jobs that kickstarted sight restoration for 3.5M people

A $5000 donation by Steve Jobs in the late 1970s was key to the successful creation of a charity which, 35 years later, has helped restore eye-sight to 3.5 million people in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, India and other countries, reports the NY Times.

Jobs also donated to the Seva Foundation an Apple II computer in 1980, with a copy of the spreadsheet Visicalc and a 5MB drive which he said the charity would never be able to fill.

“You’ll never be able to use all the [capacity],” Dr. Brilliant recalled Mr. Jobs telling him. “It’s five megabytes!’”

The Apple II was returned to Steve’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs after spending 33 years in Katmandu, Nepal, by SEVA co-founder Dr Larry Brilliant, a long-time friend of the couple. Dr Brilliant said that the charity would never have existed without that initial $5k donation. Ms Powell Jobs said her husband has been proud to support the charity.

“Steve was always very clear about his role in the genesis of Seva and it was his privilege to help support the heroic on-the-ground work of the doctors and health professionals involved in this courageous effort,” Ms. Powell Jobs said in a statement. “It’s amazing Seva found the Apple II donated by Steve and our family is thrilled to have it returned.”

While Jobs was often criticised for a lack of visible philanthropy (though no-one knows how much he gave away privately), Dr Brilliant says he believed this was because Apple took 100 percent of his time and energy.

“I only know how to do one thing well,” Mr. Brilliant said Mr. Jobs told him. “I think I can help the world by doing this one thing.”

The full piece is worth a read.

Apple II Stories November 12, 2013

With permission from Apple, The Computer History Museum and the Digibarn Computer Museum announced today it is publishing the original DOS source code for Apple’s 1978 Apple II. The Apple II was the first fully assembled computer with a monitor that Apple sold following the Apple I and originally retailed for $1298 for the base model with just 4K of memory.

A blog post from The History Computer Museum explains that Apple contracted Paul Laughton of Shepardson Microsystems to write the Disk Operating System for the Apple II in just seven weeks. In April of 78, Steve Jobs and Shepardson signed a contract (pictured below) that would see Apple pay $13,000 for a file manager, a BASIC interface, and utilities. The source code being released today is scans of original documents that Laughton kept over the last 30+ years: expand full story

Apple II Stories February 1, 2013

Atari founder on Finding the next Steve Jobs (Video)

TNW pointed us to this video of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell giving a speech at Campus Party Brazil. On top of talking about the early days of Atari and the video game industry, Bushnell also told a few stories about Steve Jobs’ days as an employee at Atari in promotion of his upcoming book “Finding the next Steve Jobs.” Around 13 minutes into the video, Bushnell spoke about giving Jobs and Woz Atari parts for the first Apple computers, Jobs’ work ethic, and told a few other Apple-related stories throughout his talk.

Apple II Stories December 20, 2012

Just released:

1. Karateka | $2.99: Jordan Mechner, creator of the popular Prince of Persia franchise, and developer of the original fighter classic “Karateka” for the Apple II, is today bringing an HD remake of the game to iOS. Available on the App Store now for $2.99 for iPhone and iPad, the remake of the original 1984 fighter looks to essentially be a port of work done on the HD remake released on consoles last month. The video above features Mechner talking about the remake and comparing the original Apple II version to the new iOS title.

Created on an Apple II by Jordan Mechner in his Yale dorm room, Karateka became a #1 bestseller and influenced a generation of gamers with its groundbreaking rotoscoped animation and cinematic cutscenes… 28 years later, Mechner returns to his indie roots with a new take on Karateka for today’s digital game platforms, featuring art by Jeff Matsuda (The Batman) and music by Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin (Civilization IV).

2. Ravensword: Shadowlands | $6.99 expand full story

Apple II Stories November 29, 2012

Apple releases update 5.1.1 (10A831) for second and third gen Apple TVs

After releasing update 5.1 for second- and third-gem Apple TVs back in September, Apple rolled out 5.1.1 today to Apple TV owners following the public launch of iTunes 11.The 5.1 update includes Shared Photo Streams, AirPlay, iTunes account switching, and more, so we aren’t expecting to discover much in today’s update.

From Apple:

Apple TV Software Update 5.1.1

iTunes Up Next Adds support for Up Next with iTunes 11 or iTunes Match. See upcoming songs when playing music on your Apple TV. Add new songs and edit what’s queued with your Remote or with the Remote app.
Stability and performance Includes performance and stability improvements with the iTunes Store, AirPlay, Netflix, iTunes Match, and wired Ethernet connections.

Apple II Stories November 19, 2012

Apple teases Black Friday ad, down under

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We’re hoping to get more specific shortly. [AU Apple Store]

Apple II Stories November 15, 2012

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The Apple Bears appear to be winning over the past month and change. Apple’s stock price is now at its lowest price since May and is closing in on its February price in the 520s. At 530, Apple’s market cap is now below 500 billion. So much for those $1 trillion valuations? expand full story

Apple II Stories October 25, 2012

Apple announces iCloud up 40M users to 190M since July

During its Q4 earnings call today, Apple announced it is now up to 190 million iCloud users. That’s an increase of 40 million users since it last updated us on the progress of the service in Q3. Back in July, Apple said the service was at 150 million users—up 25 million in three months since they reported 125 million users in April. iCloud is clearly continuing to pick up speed and increasing its growth rate, with the company adding 40 million new users in the last three months for its fiscal Q4.

Apple II Stories October 24, 2012

We knew Apple had a beautiful new glass store planned for Palo Alto when plans were discovered last year, but Apple made things official today by announcing a Oct. 27 grand opening for the new location at 340 University Ave. Apple sent out the email above (via FoneArena) to inform customers the store will open at 10 a.m. local time, and the first 1,000 people will get commemorative T-shirts. The 15,030-square-foot store is located just a couple blocks from the old location, which was Steve Jobs’ neighborhood Apple Store, and was expected to cost $3.15 million. We’ll bring you more this weekend with images of the new store during its grand opening.

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Apple II Stories August 8, 2012

From 9to5Toys.com:

It appears that Apple is offering $50 off across the board yielding savings of 6-10% depending on the original price.  This is the first time Apple has offered the 3rd generation iPad refurbished at the Apple Store.

Apple’s refurbished iPads get a new battery and encasement and come with the same 1 year warranty as new iPads. expand full story

Apple II Stories July 31, 2012

We broke the news late last year that Apple was working on a Hulu Plus app for Apple TV. Unfortunately, getting the app to the Apple TV was a political issue, not a technical one.

We’ve gotten word that inside Apple there are Apple TVs running the Hulu Plus app natively. The app is feature complete and ready to roll out to Apple TV users on current builds. In fact, it has been ready for at least a month and development is now on hold.

While there are no technical issues standing in the way of the Hulu Plus release on Apple TV, there appear to be some political ones. At some level at Apple, there appears to be some consideration that the Hulu Plus app could eat into iTunes TV sales on the Apple TV. Where Netflix tends to run older programming, iTunes is the Apple TV’s only outlet for current TV programming….

Today, our Apple TVs are lighting up with some Hulu Plus goodness. If you do not see it, a quick reboot will bring it up. Hulu offers a free one-week trial here. Pictures directly from the screen are below.

Update: Hulu has updated its blog with the news and provided an unnecessary instructional video (Above).

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Apple II Stories July 24, 2012

iCloud up 25M users to 150M in Q3

Today, at Apple’s Q3 2012 earnings call, the company provided some updates on numbers for the quarter. Apple Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer shared iCloud is now up to 150 million users. Last time Apple checked in in April, it reported 125 million users for Q2. This marks an increase of 25 million users during Q3. Hit up the links below for all of the updates from today’s conference call:

Apple II Stories July 13, 2012

Target offering $25 gift card with new iPads, $20 on iPhones. Best Buy has everything Apple on sale.

We have seen a lot of third-gen iPad deals recently in 9to5Toys offering the entry-level 16GB model, for instance, in the neighborhood of $460 to $470, approximately $30 to $40 off the normal retail price. Those deals usually go quick, but one big retailer plans to offer a similar deal this coming week. Starting July 15, Target will offer a free $25 gift card with the purchase of any iPad 2 or new iPad. The deal will last all week until July 21, and, as always, Target REDCard users can get an additional 5 percent knocked off their purchase, giving the iPad 2 an effective price of $355. New iPads will start at $450 with the discounts. Find a location with stock here.

Target will advertise the deal in its flyer this weekend, we are told, which features a number of Apple products on its cover (pictured above). Other deals include the 16GB iPhone 4S discounted slightly to $179, a free $20 gift card for the 8GB iPod touch priced at $195, and a free $10 gift card for the 8GB iPod nano at $129.

Additionally, this week Best Buy knocks a few bucks off of just about every Apple product in its catalog.

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Apple II Stories May 10, 2012

Lost ‘Blue Busters’ Apple video featuring Steve Jobs surfaces (video)

[ooyala code=JteXBuNDobnZVO8RQQ-Wf9aGCW58INoJ]

You may have come across versions of the “Blue Busters” Ghostbusters-style internal sales video originally created to be shown at an international sales meeting in Hawaii in October 1984. The version featured on YouTube is clearly lacking an appearance from then-Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs. Today, former Apple employee Craig Elliot, the same one who released that video of Jobs playing FDR, has provided Bloomberg with a copy of the original that indeed features Jobs in full Ghostbusters attire with an Apple II strapped to his back. He also explained in the interview above that the video was made to rally the troops during the height of big blue’s (IBM’s) success.

The full ad, minus the interview, is below:

[ooyala code=9iOXRuNDrulbO4hy5_flfqTmT_fP68b3]

Apple II Stories March 15, 2012

For a couple of seconds this morning Apple’s stock hit 600. It is currently dropping slightly, but we imagine some of you aren’t about to sell your yachts. expand full story

Apple II Stories March 11, 2012

Ship times for Apple’s new iPad slipped again this evening to two to three weeks in the United States, which was previously March 19 across the board. Many European Stores have been at two to three weeks for a few days now.

Meanwhile, Apple told USA Today:

“Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” Apple said in a statement. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.”

Remember, those “charts” are the iPad 2 charts, and that thing was already a big success. Apple sells a new iPad once a year and keeps its price controls consistent. Many consumers (present company included), who know the same model iPad will cost the exact same as it costs now in another 360 days, always buy Apple products right when they are released. That is bound to cause a bit of a spike.

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Apple II Stories January 29, 2012

[vodpod id=Video.16019270&w=650&h=420&fv=si%3D254%26amp%3BcontentValue%3D50119105%26amp%3BshareUrl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2F8301-3445_162-57367950%2Fthe-dark-side-of-shiny-apple-products%2F] Flashless

After the NYTimes exposé and Tim Cook’s response, the question remains: Why is the media focusing on Apple and not questioning any of the other electronics companies that manufacture with Foxconn in China?

Obviously, Apple has the money, the brand, the prestige, and it grabs attention. However, it is not like Apple can make gold from straw. Apple simply cannot build its products anywhere other than China.

On the flip side, @NicePaul takes recent Forbes numbers and creates the following infographic that illustrates the opposite point:

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Apple II Stories January 24, 2012

Apple just emailed customers who pre-ordered the book “Inside Apple” from the iBookstore to let them know the book is now available to download and read. Those interested in downloading the book can do so from this direct link.  The Amazon Kindle version should be available in less than an hour.

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Apple II Stories September 13, 2011

In response to the HP Print Control scanner app that we covered yesterday, a source at Apple told us that Apple is working on an app called “scanner” that uses iOS devices camera to act like a digital scanner.  Clearly this is meant for higher iPhone class cameras rather than current iPad or iPod touch cameras.

Here’s what we’ve heard on how it works:

  1. The user opens the app and holds the iPhone over the document or object they want scanned.  They then snap a picture of it.  Apple’s on-board software then resizes the image to ‘letter’ or business card, A4 or whatever depending on original document.  Resizing includes aligning edges that get skewed by a sigle scan point rather than traditional scanning methods.  The user can then manually change the size of the document or the use (biz card?)
  2. On board software then separates images blocks from text.
  3. This is where it gets murky.  At last word, Apple was trying to do OCR both on-device and using alternative cloud methods for recognizing text.  Third party Optical Character Recognition (OCR) vs. in house solutions were also being tested.
  4. The resulting file can then be saved as a PDF, .Pages, exported to contacts (in the case of business cards for example).

Third party apps already exist in this field but word is that Apple wanted a polished in-house app that directly tied to its contacts and Pages apps.  Apple has numerous patents in this field so they’ve been thinking about this for awhile.

It isn’t certain when or if this application will be released or if Apple will bundle it as part of its iOS, iWork Apps, or a separate app going forward.

Google does something similar to this with their Docs App in Android. expand full story

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