Archive for ◊ December, 2012 ◊

24 Dec 2012 Sophistication & Simplicity
 |  Category: Book  | Tags: , ,  | 14 Comments

Just over twenty years ago, the final part of the Apple II History was uploaded to the A2 Roundtable on GEnie. From a series of newsletter articles explaining the various models of Apple II computers released by Apple, it had evolved into a much longer work, that also delved into the Disk II drive, DOS, ProDOS, software, peripherals and other hardware, and many other topics. These articles were written to be available to reprint in newsletters for Apple II user groups around the country (and eventually around the world), and in general was well received.

In all the years since the release of the original version of the History it has become a much more polished document, and one that better tells the story of how the Apple came about, evolved, and affected the company which produced it. I have also learned more of the story of what happened after 1995, when a combination of a hard drive crash on my IIGS and lack of functioning backup discouraged my further participation in the Apple II community for several years.

As I’ve made revisions and corrections to the chapters over the years, I have had many who have wanted a print version of the History. For a while I resisted these suggestions; my thought was that since it had been online for so long and continued to be available on web pages, why would anyone want to buy a book? Regardless, the requests continued to appear at times.

So, for the past year, I have been working on revisions and updates to the history, and a re-ordering of the information to be able to offer it as a book. The result is the best version of the History than I’ve ever had, and with the rising interest in retrocomputing in general, the time is opportune to produce a print book.

I am pleased to announce that I have a publisher. Variant Press of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has agreed to print the Apple II History as a book. Entitled Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life & Times of the Apple II Computer, the book is scheduled to be available in April 2013, running over 500 pages. It will have the text of the Apple II History as found on this web site, including some revisions not posted here, many of the pictures that appear here in the various chapters (as well as a few not found on the web site), and include a never-before-released chapter dealing specifically with KansasFest and the Apple II story in the years after Apple abandoned the platform.

Variant Press has previously published the story of Commodore, in Brian Bagnall’s book, Commodore: A Company On The Edge, and plans to continue that story with Commodore: The Amiga Years (to be released in the summer of 2013). Variant has also published books on Lego Mindstorms programming.

The cover has not yet been finalized, but when there is more information I will post it. It will be available through Amazon and other book retailers. We are also looking into creating a digital book version as well.

17 Dec 2012 Randy Wigginton At KansasFest 2013

This year will be the 25th KansasFest, the annual meeting of Apple II enthusiasts held in Kanas City, MO. It will also be the 35th anniversary of the release of two important parts of the classic Apple II experience: The Disk II drive, and Applesoft BASIC. It was these two innovations that played a major role in propelling the Apple II ahead of its contemporaries.

It is fitting that for this KansasFest, the keynote address will be given by Apple employee #6, Randy Wigginton. Wigginton helped Steve Wozniak with the software used to control the Disk II drive, and when Woz was too busy to write his own floating point BASIC, it was Wigginton who took the source code from Microsoft and adapted it to the Apple II, creating Applesoft BASIC.

To hear more about Wigginton, his time at Apple and afterwards, plan to be in KC this July, from the 23rd to the 28th! Check out their web site here.