Apple II Pie

© 1992 Steven Weyhrich
(Sung to the tune of “American Pie” by Don McLean)

NOTE: To read these lyrics properly, the phrase “Two-E” refers to the “Apple //e” computer. It wouldn’t come out sounding right if I’d put “IIe” in it’s place; it might be read as “eye-eye-e”.

A long, long time ago,
I can still remember how those programs
Used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance,
That I could make those users dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while.
November breezes made me shiver
With every upload I’d deliver
Bad news on the desktop
I couldn’t make the text stop.
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about our faltered pride
But something touched me deep inside
The day
the Two-E
died.

So, bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI[1]
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank Mountain Dew and sighed,
Typin’ “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.”

Do you know your Apple’s core?
Do you have faith in Woz’s lore
If the Red Book tells you so?
Do you believe in ROR[2] and ROL
Can BASIC save your mortal soul
And can you tell me why Pascal runs so slow?
Well, I know you love that Lisa hack
‘Cause I saw you mousin’ in the back
Well, MacWrite[3] was big news
But AppleWorks got great reviews, oooh
I was a twenty-something computer fan
With a loaned assembler and some program plans
But I knew I’d be just an “also-ran”
The day the Two-E died.

I started singin’
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST [4] to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank Cola Jolt and sighed,
Typin’ “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.”

Now for twelve years[5] we’ve been on our own
The software comes on my telephone[6]
But that’s not how it used to be
When ol’ Steve Jobs planned a brand new box[7]
With designs he borrowed from Xerox
And the cash, well it came from you and me[8]
Oh, and while our Woz was looking down
Steve Jobs stole his designer’s crown
The III plan[9] was adjourned
No money was returned
And while Wagner wrote “Assembly Lines
We liked our BASIC programs fine
And most thought ProDOS was divine
The day the Two-E died.

We were singin’
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank Dr. Pepper and sighed,
Typin’ “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.”

HUFFIN, PUFFIN, move files with MUFFIN
Single drive, lots of disks I’m stuffin’
Eight piles high, and fadin’ fast…
With Macs out landing in the grass
The Pirates[10] tried for a forward pass
Moving Two-E to the sidelines, in a cast
Now, the IIc Fair was sweet perfume
And “Forever!” was our marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
‘Cause the Mac-heads tried to take the field
Our Apple II’s refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the Two-E died?

We started singin’
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank Diet Pepsi and sighed,
Typin’ “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.”

Ohhh, and there we were all in one place
An online conference lost in space
With no bucks left to start again
So come on, Tom be nimble, Tom be quick
Uncle-DOS[11] made all our Apples tick
‘Cause Merlin is the hacker’s only friend
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No one that I could tell
Could break that Sculley’s[12] spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Sculley laughing with delight
The day the Two-E died

He was singin’
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank lemon tea and sighed,
Typin’ “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.”

I met a girl who sang of Blues[13]
And I asked her for some Apple news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went to the computer store
Where I’d seen the Apple years before
But the man there said the Two-E couldn’t play
And in the schools[14] the children screamed
The teachers cried and the hackers dreamed
But not a file was open
The disk drives all were broken
And the news mags that I’d liked the most
Softalk, inCider — were all toast
They’d grabbed the last train for the coast
The day
the Two-E
died

And they were singin’

Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank Snapple soda and cried,
Saying, “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be the day that I die.”

They were singin’
Bye, bye to my Apple II pie
Hooked my RamFAST to the SCSI
But the SCSI was fried
And hackin’ boys drank Snapple soda and cried,
Saying, “This’ll be the day that I die.
This’ll be
the day
that I die.”

NOTES

  1. [1] “SCSI” stands for “Small Computers Systems Interface”.
  2. [2] These are 6502 assembly “opcodes” for rotating bits from the carry bit through the accumulator, one bit to the right (ROR) or to the left (ROL).
  3. [3] MacWrite was the graphic-based word processor that came with each of the original Macintosh computers.
  4. [4] The RamFAST card was a SCSI hard-disk interface care that was faster than Apple’s High-Speed SCSI card, and more popular with the only Apple II community.
  5. [5] In 1993, when this was written, the Apple II community felt like they had been abandoned by Apple ever since its engineers began working on the successors to the Apple II series, i.e., the Apple III, the Lisa, and the Mac.
  6. [6] >i.e., by modem from either an online service or the Internet.
  7. [7] The Mac
  8. [8] This refers to the chronic complaint by the Apple II community that it was the sales of the Apple II, II+, IIe, IIc, and IIGS over the years that kept the company financially afloat, while it used those dollars not to advance the Apple II, but rather to pay for the research and development and early losses from the Apple III, the Lisa, and the Mac.
  9. [9] In other words, the failed Apple III computer.
  10. [10] Steve Jobs’ smaller team worked on creating the Macintosh while the “official” major new project at Apple was the the Lisa. One of his mottos for this team was “Why join the Navy when you can be a pirate?”, and they flew a skull and crossbones flag over the building where they were doing their work.
  11. [11] Tom Weishaar created some mythical characters when he began to write his DOSTalk column in Softalk to illustrate his descriptions of Apple DOS, Applesoft BASIC, and the Apple II Monitor. Using one of these characters, he later had a question-and-answer column in his Open-Apple newsletter called “Ask Uncle-DOS”. Because he answered the questions himself, the name eventually began to be applied to Weishaar himself.
  12. [12] John Sculley, CEO of Apple during most of the latter Apple II years, had the unfortunate role of being in charge while the Mac slowly ascended, and the Apple II declined. Although in retrospect his decisions were probably the right ones for Apple to have taken, at the time he was not well liked by those whose favorite computer platform was being starved to death. For this reason, he was viewed as unfavorably as the devil of McLean’s song.
  13. [13] “Blues” in this context refers to “Big Blue”, IBM’s old name. At this time, IBM was a fierce competitor of Apple, and was viewed by Apple II fans as being nearly as evil as Steve Jobs’ money-sucking Macintosh. Therefore, a “girl who sings of Blues” is a computer salesperson who doesnt know about anything but PC’s.
  14. [14] Schools were the Apple II’s traditional area of strength, but the salesmanship of Macintoshes and PC’s was slowly turning them away from the old technology to the new.
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One Response

  1. 1
    Dee March 19th, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Being only in my early teens back then, I actually read this parody in the GravenStein Apple Users Group’s big newsletter several years before I’d ever heard the song itself! Almost 20 years later, I still think of it whenever I hear the song on the radio; re-reading its references brought back a lot of fun memories of things I’d forgotten.

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