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The Evolution of Apple - January 1976 to May 1995

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The Evolution of Apple - January 1976 to May 1995

Let's take a trip back in time and review the evolution of a computer company.

It's not IBM or Microsoft. This company is Apple Computers, Incorporated.

In the year 1976, before most people even thought about buying a computer for

their homes. Back then the computer community added up to a few brainy

hobbyist. So when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs sold a van and two programmable

calculators for thirteen hundred dollars and started Apple Computers, Inc., in

Jobs garage, the reach for success seemed far.

But these two young business men, Wozniak 26 years old and Jobs 21 years old,

had a vision. "Computers aren't for nerds anymore," they announced. "Computers

are going to be the bicycle of the mind. Low cost computers for everyone."

From the first day on the founders of Apple kept their vision intact, and they

spoke it at every turn. They only hired people into the company that had the

same visions as they did.

In early 1976 Wozniak and Jobs finish work on a preassembled computer circuit

board. It has no Product keyboard, case, sound or graphics. They call it the

Apple I. They form the Apple Computer Company on April Fool's Day and sold the

Apple I board for $666.66 at the Home brew Computer Club in Palo Alto,


In 1977 the Apple II is available to the general public. Fully assembled and

pretested, it includes 4K of standard memory, and comes equipped with two game

paddles and a demo cassette. The price is $1,298. Customers use their own TV

set as a monitor and store programs on audio cassette recorders. Compare this

price with computers today. The price about the same, but the computer has

changed tremendously.

In 1979 Apple II+ is introduced, available with 48K of memory and a new

auto-start ROM for easier startup and screen editing for $1,195. Apple II

Pascal is also released.

In 1980 Apple FORTRAN introduced and proves to be a catalyst for high-level

technical and educational applications. Apple III announced at the National

Computer Conference. It has a new operating system, a built-in disk controller

and four peripheral slots priced at $3,495, the Apple III is the most advanced

system in the company's history. Product

In 1981 Accessory Products Division formed to handle production of printers,

modems and other peripherals. The Apple Language Card is introduced. It allows

Apple II users to run programs in either Pascal, FORTRAN or Pilot. The IEEE-488

interface card is announced and allows Apple II computers to be linked to over

1,400 scientific and technical instruments.

International Business Machines came on the PC scene in August of 1981 with the

IBM Personal Computer. Apple greets its new competitor with a full-page ad in

the Wall Street Journal with a headline that reads, "Welcome IBM. Seriously."

Apple's first mass storage system was also introduced this year, the 5MB

ProFile hard disk, priced at $3,499.

In November of 1983 AppleWorks, an integrated package containing word

processing, spreadsheet, and database applications all in one, is introduced

and will soon become the world's best selling software.

In February of 1985 Jobs and Wozniak receive National Technology Medal from

President Reagan at the White House. The ImageWriter II, HD-20 hard disk and

Apple Personal Modem were also introduced this year.

In January of 1987 Apple introduced a new desktop communications products

including the AppleShare file server software and AppleTalk PC Card. They are

priced at $799 and $399. Also introduced in 1987 is the AppleFax Modem, priced

at $699. Now you get a fax modem with the purchase of an Apple computer.

In February of 1988 Apple introduces AppleCD SC, an optical storage device that

gives access to huge amounts of information. Priced at $1,199, a single CD-ROM

disc can store up to 270,000 pages of typewritten information. Also in 1988

Apple files suit against Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard to protect its Macintosh

audio visual display. The lawsuit is seen as having industry wide implications

regarding copyright laws. In late 1988 Apple introduces the Macintosh IIx

computer, priced at $7,769. It is the first Macintosh II computer to use



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