Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple II chapter?

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Bill_Loguidice's picture
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I was wondering if anyone had an interesting anecdote or two I could include in an upcoming book I'm working on with Matt Barton for Taylor & Francis, "Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time." It's due out later this year and is the next entry in the "Vintage Games" series. We're working anecdotes and quotes into the book from both insiders and passionate users. Naturally, since I'm asking here, this would be for the Apple II chapter.

I'd love to hear about why you like the Apple II as a game system, why you like it as a general computer, how you programmed on it and why, etc. Basically why YOU care about the Apple II series (then and now) and in turn why an "outsider" might get into it.

Another angle I'm working on - and one that's obviously no news to this community - is some of the reasons why compared to other contemporary platforms, few new homebrew games are still being created for the Apple II. Obviously, most of the effort and energy is put into new hardware and add-ons. Any thoughts on that would also be of great interest.

Feel free to respond to this topic or send me a PM or email. Thanks for the help! (Please note that if you share something, it would be preferable for me to include your real name in the book if it's something I end up being able to use!)

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

How many other computers have the longevity of the Apple II? None
Others may come close, but they still don't get the cigar.

How many other computers have evolved over the last 35 years? None
Others may come close, but "Close" only counts in Horse Shoes, Hand Grenades and Small Tactical Thermo-Nuclear Devices.

Apple II..."There Can Be Only One."

Smile

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

Why do you think the Apple II has had the longevity it's had, Steven?

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

I had other computers, like the TI994/A, but by far the Apple //c left a mark in me, so much that for the past year I have acquired and renewed a complete system. Even when you look in eBay, the platform that sells more and pricier is always the Apple II.
The hardware itself is sturdy: I have dismantled, washed and replaced components with no protection or care, and always works.
Cheers

Javster

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

"Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time."

Did it have game cartridges? If it did, only then would I call it a "video game console." Otherwise it was a general computer. Nintendo has definitely always been a game console and not a computer. Atari came out with the 400 and 800 which inherited the game cartridge but these were computers that could be programmed. Commodore had a cartridge slot but I don't even remember anyone using it. The Apple II is not a "video game console", the Apple II is not a "game system", it is a general computer. General COMPUTER Period.

The Apple II...

The Apple II is totally hackable, programmable, and to this day there are few "open" platforms of the likes of the Apple II. Steve Wozniak included the schematics, pretty much everything down to timing in 100 nanosecond intervals was documented. Good luck finding anything like that today -- the raspberry pi might come somewhat close, except for the proprietary closed Broadcom chip. "Game consoles" were and still are designed to be closed systems.

In 1977, Steve Wozniak created a computer with sound and graphics. He wrote Break Out Little Brick Out in his own version of BASIC on a computer that he created. The Apple II was popular because it was approachable, and programmable. Lots and lots and lots of revolutionary software was created for the Apple II: Visicalc, AppleWriter, ... And games! Lots and lots and lots of games. The reason why compared to other contemporary platforms that few games are being created for the Apple II today is that the game probably already exists on the Apple II, and there is no money to be made creating Apple II games. What "new" game could one possibly create for the Apple II? Karateka, Lode Runner, all the classics have been re-created on "contemporary" systems. And, there is still a desire to play many of these games on the Apple II and/or an emulator.

I recently loaded Oregon Trail using Blurry's JACE (Apple II emulator) on my Mac. This old game entertained a ten year old for way longer than I thought they would want to be into playing a 25+ year old game when they have handheld game consoles, iPhones, a PC, a Mac, ... but they played the Apple II version of Oregon Trail through to the end. Go figure.

www.hoop-la.ca/apple2

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

Don't worry about the "console" part. Just like the "Vintage" part in "Vintage Games," there are some things that are unavoidable from the publisher's marketing department. We explain away "console," "platform," etc., early on in the book. If it was ultimately up to us, both titles would have been changed. In the end, it's what's inside the book that matters, not the title.

This book is also focused on the entertainment aspects of the computers, consoles, and handhelds covered, with less focus on the general computing aspects. So yes, in this case, the focus on the Apple II chapter will primarily be on the Apple II's history from then through now with a general bias towards gaming. It was an important, influential game platform, which is why it's one of the 20 platforms that made the cut for the book.

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

mmphosis wrote:

AppleWriter, ... And games! Lots and lots and lots of games. The reason why compared to other contemporary platforms that few games are being created for the Apple II today is that the game probably already exists on the Apple II, and there is no money to be made creating Apple II games. What "new" game could one possibly create for the Apple II? Karateka, Lode Runner, all the classics have been re-created on "contemporary" systems. And, there is still a desire to play many of these games on the Apple II and/or an emulator.
www.hoop-la.ca/apple2

Actually, what I was after was why in comparison to platforms like the Atari 8-bit or Commodore 64, both of which receive regular, high quality homebrew game releases (in fact, many could have easily been top titles had they been released back in the day), does the Apple II receive little-to-none. The Apple II holds its own with new add-on hardware with those other platforms, but not with new game software. Certainly one answer could be that a lot of the new game development for the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 come from Europe, where the Apple II was far less of a factor, so there are probably fewer available modern day developers.

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Re: Help with some quotes for an upcoming book for the Apple ...

I´guess with that suggestion your on the wrong trail.....
rather more other things take unwanted sideeffect to that topic....

first to name the european laws on trash and recycling.....
for example in the USA companies like ACsurplus are permitted to sell obsolete parts that have been recovered from
systems thrown in the trash.... in Europe the access to electronic parts, that once have been thrown aeay, is nearly impossible.... instead of using the working old parts - this stuff is locked up in containers and exported to Africa...
this is one of the badest jokes ever told in the history of environment protection.... and a very big handicap for retrocomputing...
another point for axample is the fact that in USA so called Garage sale is a common behavior - in Europe this is in fact
a nearly unknown habit....

such things influence the market of retrocomputing ... it´s much more expensive - if you have to run for items to USA and pay horrible shipmentfees to get access to old parts - required to keep the sytem running ...

then think about facts of history:
Apple computer executed it´s scholar support and granting programm mostly in the USA - while in Europe only very few schools had access to that programm.... the effects are seen today in the market: in Germany for example a working IIe cost aproximatly 130 to 160 Euro ( more than $ 180 ) in the USA you can aquire such a system for far less....

so in fact the amount of people that perform retro-computing in Europe is far less than in the USA ( and of course affects the amount of availiable persons who would sit down and start programming )....

and if programming would be performed on retrosystem in current days, that person working several weeks for creating
for example a game would of course think about his sale market....because most of the predicted customers would be in USA - he would offer his stuff in english language and offer his stuff at US market....

- best example for this: Dipl. Joachim Lange, who developed the first real good working interface for IDE-Harddisks at the Apple II - 1 year before AE introduced the VULCAN Harddsiksystem ...

the company started as soon as possible to expand to USA and then performed its major sales in US market....
you just have to examine closer the history of the development of the so called RAMfast SCSI card which was the last development in the row of his items. The company had representitive in internet only in USA - while the developers residence was in Bavaria at the Starnberger See.

Other facts with "unwanted side effects" affected the merket too.... for example the policy of sales of those companies in the 80´s.... Apple refused to cooperate in those days with large warehouses and limited the sales to it´s own Apple stores ( and the amount of that stores were limited ) while other companies like Commodore had contracts with large warehouse companies and sold their C64 systems same as Atari right off from the containers in the warehouse and shopping malls...

and talking about history ... you should use up some time in the library for research.... for example the first basic description from Mandelbrot was the very basic of first games with Virtual Reality and the first ones have been developed in Europe.... similar is valid to the nowadays so famously recognized startups of companies in FX business of the movie industy ( starting in france )... they have been buyed from US companies - but the very startup performed in Europe....

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