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Old Oct 6, 2011, 2:53 PM   #1
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Default May Steve Jobs rest in peace

This topics hasn't come up here before from what I've noticed.

But, given the importance of what Steve Jobs has done for all of us, I figured I'd put in my "two cents worth", as I was saddened by the news that Steve Jobs is no longer with us

So, to start with, I never realized the importance of personal computers until I bought my first Apple.

I was working for an Interconnect Telephone Company at the time in the early 80's after spending 6 years in the U.S. Navy, selling mostly Key Systems and PBX systems to small businesses and hotels.

There was an Apple Computer store next to our store in a shopping strip that a local Dentist (yes, a Dentist) opened after buying his first Apple computer and becoming more interested in them, and I eventually broke down and bought an Apple IIe with 64KB of memory, an 80 character Display Card, a monitor (mono, of course), and a 12 characters per second Smith Corona Daisy Wheel Printer.

I loaded it with Software (not only the Apple DOS that came with it, but I splurged and bought Apple Writer (using embedded text commands for bold, underline, etc.) and Microsoft Multiplan (yes, a Microsoft Spreadsheet Product running on an Apple).

It was "worth it's weight in gold" at the time. I can't tell you how much time it saved preparing proposals for phone systems, where I would do sophisticated comparison of cost to lease existing equipment (the way most businesses paid for phone systems from Bell at the time), phone line cost (and I would have the local telco prepare usage studies to see the optimum configuration for phone lines needed), long distance cost (using partners that bought lots of AT&T lines hooked to a larger switch and resold service), etc.

I could plug in the numbers for what a potential customer was paying and immediately produce a proposal with savings in equipment, local service, long distance and more, thanks to the "magic" of spreadsheets, with leasing costs (plugging in rates from loaners we had as partners).

In addition to the Apple IIe I bought with my own money (very well worth a lot more than I paid for it at the time), the business I worked for bought an Apple II+ with an 80 character display card with Visicalc, and I acquired that one later in a swap for money owed to me (and I still have that Apple II+ to this day).

Using a computer with that kind of software was absolutely revolutionary. It saved so much time it's absolutely amazing to me, even now. Compare the time spent to using a calculator and a typewriter. ;-)_

We had docs with info about our company, cover pages, warranties, etc., that were used in proposals to potential customers, not to mention the super nice spreadsheet functionality, saving an awful lot of time plugging in numbers using calculators. I also kept databases of potential customers that I could search and schedule appointment times and more.

With MS Multiplan, you could easily link spreadsheets, too (so that the cost you ended up with for equipment also showed up in lease options, savings spreadsheets and more.

After getting tired of "swapping floppies" using Multiplan (since it was a two disk system where you may need to swap from one disk to another, depending on what you're doing) I eventually decided to get a Commodore Amiga instead, selling the Apple IIe. The "bouncing ball" demo was really neat. But, the emulation software designed to let you use "IBM compatible" software on it was too slow to be practical (and I was trying to run Wordstar, Lotus 123 and more).

So, I sold the Amiga and built my first "IBM Compatible" PC. I bought a case, power supply, 640KB of RAM (10 times as much as in my Apples, of course, plugging in one chip at a time, with 8 chips for each 64KB), Hercules Compatible Mono Graphics Card, Western Digital Compatible Controller Card with a Custom ROM, and a Seagate 5MB (not Gigabyte) Full Height 5.25" Hard Drive (ST-506), Battery Backed Clock/Calendar Card, Serial/Parallel card and Mono Monitor (I went with Amber versus Green). I had well over $1K invested in parts alone at that time (approx. $1800 for everything including the drive and monitor if memory serves), and it was well worth it, even in 1980's dollars.

I still have that PC to this day, running DOS 3.3 (and it even fired up the last time I tried it, although I heard a bit of bearing noise from the Seagate 5MB hard drive in it). I've replaced the Power Supply in it once, and replaced the Motherboard in it once (going with a newer 4.77/8Mhz design with a "Turbo" feature). However, it's mostly the same old PC.

But, the Apple computers I used are what opened my eyes to how valuable a Computer can be, and I will never forget how much my productivity increased as a result, and how they opened the door to my interest in computing going forward.

As a result, I will be forever indebted to Steve Jobs and those working with him.
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Old Oct 6, 2011, 4:14 PM   #2
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  • 1985 - Steve Jobs starts NeXT with $7 million.
  • 1987 - Ross Perot buys 16% of NeXT for $20 million. (NeXT was then worth $125 million.)
  • 1989 - Canon buys 16.67% of NeXT for $100 million. (NeXT was then worth $600 million.)
And NeXT didn't ship its first product until 1990.

Everything the man touched turned to gold.
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Old Oct 12, 2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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rest in peace
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Old Oct 12, 2011, 11:08 PM   #4
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Rest in peace. The ipod and the way Steve Jobs handled the ipod and mp3s has changed the music world for ever. Think of how many DJs uses itunes every night........

I had an early mac in 1988 with 512KB floppy disc drive. yes 512KB not even 1.44MB Then a MacIILC I think it was which had a 1GB hard drive and then an iMac. When the iMac finally gave out after 4 years of use I switched to a PC desktop around 2005.......

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Old Nov 6, 2011, 5:25 AM   #5
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My first computer was a Vic 20 but then I got an Apple II+. It was loaded with everything I could throw in it including speech. I was trying to think of the spreadsheet program I used back then when JimC revealed it to be Visicalc. With that program I kept accurate track of a whole bowling league. It was amazing and so much fun instead of doing it the old fashioned way -- pencil and errors. Ive always been an apple person except for my initial visit to the darkside with the Vic 20. Ive worked with Apple since 1988. Its made me a lot of money over the years, and helped feed and raise my family. It made my jobs fun. And for all that I thank Steve Jobs.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 3:53 PM   #6
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R.I.P. Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Using a computer with that kind of software was absolutely revolutionary.
Yes, but we have to admit it's the iPod and then the iPhone that really catapulted Apple to 'superstardom', not the Mac.
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 5:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marawder View Post
R.I.P. Steve!

Yes, but we have to admit it's the iPod and then the iPhone that really catapulted Apple to 'superstardom', not the Mac.
Personally, I've never even owned a Mac.

In my opinion, the earlier Apple Computers is what made Apple popular. If not for the Apple II, II+ and IIe, and software like Visicalc (the "killer" app written by Dan Bricklin that made Apple computers more appealing for business use), they would have been just a small blip on the radar screen (and may not have survived as a company at all), as a lot of other computers were coming into the market at that time.

The Mac didn't come until later. ;-)
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 8:24 PM   #8
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I'll agree if the Apple II+ hadn't come out they may not be a s big as they are today.....

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