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Apple II Computer – 1977 AD

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Apple II

Apple II.png

Steve Jobs (1955–2011), Steve Wozniak (b. 1950), Randy Wigginton (dates unavailable)

The 1977 Apple II, shown here with two Disk II floppy disk drives and a 1980s-era Apple Monitor II.

The Apple II series (trademarked with square brackets as “Apple ][” and rendered on later models as “Apple //”) is a family of home computers, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products,[1] designed primarily by Steve Wozniak, manufactured by Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.), and launched in 1977 with the original Apple II.

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Apple II in common 1977 configuration with 9″ monochrome monitor, game paddles, and Red Book recommended Panasonic RQ-309DS cassette deck

“If the Altair 8800 was the machine that put computers in the hands of individual hobbyists, then the Apple II was the machine that put computers in the hands of everyday people. Steve Wozniak, the lead designer, and Randy Wigginton, the programmer, demonstrated the first prototype at the legendary Homebrew Computer Club in December 1976 and, along with Steve Jobs, the team’s financial wizard and chief promoter, introduced it to the public in April 1977 at the West Coast Computer Faire. The Apple II was the first successful mass-produced personal computer.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“The Apple II was based on the Apple I, which Wozniak designed and built himself. The Apple I was sold as a single-board computer: purchasers needed to supply their own keyboard, monitor—or a television and a radio frequency (RF) modulator—and a case. The Apple II, in contrast, came with keyboard and case, although it still needed an RF modulator to display on a TV.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“The Apple II was widely popular with techies, schools, and the general consumer.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“It offered BASIC in ROM, so users could start to write and run programs as soon the machine powered on. It came with a reliable audiocassette interface, making it easy to save and load programs on a low-cost, consumer-grade cassette deck. It even had color text, a first for the industry.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“In 1978, Apple introduced a low-cost 5¼-inch external floppy drive, which used software and innovative circuit design to eliminate electronic components. Faster and more reliable than the cassette, and capable of random access, the disk turned the Apple II from a curiosity into a serious tool for education and business. Then in 1979, VisiCalc, the first personal spreadsheet program, was introduced. Designed specifically to run on the Apple II, VisiCalc helped drive new sales of the computer.” (B07C2NQSPV)

“The Apple II was a runaway success, with Apple’s revenues growing from $775,000 to $118 million from September 1977 through September 1980. Apple ultimately released seven major versions of the Apple II. Between 5 million and 6 million computers would ultimately be sold.” (B07C2NQSPV)

The TRS-80 Model I pictured alongside the Apple II and the Commodore PET 2001-8. These three computers constitute what Byte Magazine called the “1977 Trinity” of home computing.

SEE ALSO: First Personal Computer (1974), BYTE Magazine (1975), Homebrew Computer Club (1975), VisiCalc (1979)

Apple II advertisement from the December 1977 issue of BYTE magazine.

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