Thursday, October 18, 2012

All About Apple

Not a whole lot of riveting news to share. I've mostly stayed home the last few days, working and reading Walter Isaacson's mammoth biography of Steve Jobs. I never knew Jobs could be such a pill. I like his exacting standards and tendency toward minimalist, beautiful product design and packaging -- but I'm really, really glad I didn't work for him.

It's interesting reading about the early days of Apple -- especially since my family bought an early Apple computer in 1983, the Apple IIe. I remember writing programs for it when I was in high school, using the computer language Basic. I even created an Atlas, writing paragraphs and compiling facts about dozens of countries -- drawn from what were even then our dramatically outdated encyclopedias. I wrote programs to draw the countries' flags on the screen, even though our monitor produced only green lettering on a black background and was incapable of rendering anything in color. The many tricolor flags of Europe all looked roughly the same: three stripes of varying shades of green. Man, I put a lot of work into that project. And I did it for fun!

I suppose it was a way of traveling the world at a time when I couldn't pull up stakes and do it physically, being an unemployed teenager. (My McDonald's job came later.)

I wonder what ever happened to my computerized Atlas? We tossed all the software and floppy discs that went with the computer -- I'm sure it was in among all that. Yes, this computer used those big 5-inch floppies. They look incredibly antiquated now, but at least they kept us from having to wrestle with those horrible screechy cassette-loaded programs, like the ones used by Calfitzmus. (Oh, look at that. I wrote about some of this already -- almost exactly four years ago!)

My mom kept the Apple IIe itself for many years, long after it had outlived its usefulness. I think it had stopped working entirely by the time I finally hauled it to Goodwill about ten years ago. If the people at Goodwill were smart they sold it as a collectible -- but I suspect they probably put it out with the trash.

Steve Jobs, of course, went on to drive the creation of the MacIntosh before being driven out of Apple in 1985. He launched a company called NeXT that produced this thing, which I don't even remember. And that's as far as I've gotten in the book so far!

(Photo: Shops on Pembridge Road near Notting Hill Gate. This is the area that everyone walks through to get to the Portobello Road market, so there are lots of quirky shops catering to the tourists.)


  1. I don't think Steve Jobs was exactly from earth. Know what I mean?
    I swear, though, every time I look up something on my iPhone or take a picture with it that I need for something or, or, or...use it for any of the many random things I use it for throughout the day, I always say, "I love Steve Jobs."

  2. Rick read that book too. From what he told me it's a wonder anyone wanted to work for him! Lots of brilliant people are not easy to get along with, yes?

    We've always been Apple fans. We had the very first Apple--it was so tiny! We still have it. It's even signed on the inside of the back cover. I doubt it's worth anything but we still hold on to it. Of course, Rick's career was with HP (Hewlett Packard) so us being Apple people was not too popular. ;)

  3. I've never been an apple person, since the business world is all HP that's what I went with at home too. But I remember my first real job, backing up data to those big discs since the computer didn't have a hard drive (I had to load the program I was using, take that disc out, & then put in the data disc - ha!).

  4. P.S. My first job was at McDonald's too. You look so cute in your uniform! I hated it, by the way. Especially when I had to wait on my ex-boyfriend who was then dating my ex-best friend!

  5. We've had nothing but Apples and Macs getting our first two in 1984 I believe. One for us and one for the kids. We've had at least one of every model they made I think.

  6. Ms Moon: I do know what you mean. He was on his own plane, for better or worse. But I too am appreciative!

    Lynne: It must be exhausting and frustrating to be a visionary. Do you mean you have the first Mac? I think the first Apple was actually just a circuit board back in the '70s. I had fun at McDonald's because all my friends worked there too -- I stayed for a year, until I went to college!

    Bug: Yeah, I remember switching discs, too. Seems so silly now!

    Ellen: It's hard to find people who have been consistent Apple consumers going that far back. Most people are much more recent converts.

  7. Uhm, yeah, oops. I meant the first MAC. Although I wouldn't put it past Rick to have bought the first circuit board either! ;)