Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

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Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

Hi AppleFritter Members-

Yesterday I was at an Apple Retail Store. While walking through the Store, my sense again was emphasized that the Company behind this Store had come to seem like a completely separated one from the Company we know the produced the Apple II computer line.

What, if any, sort of effect do you think it would have on customers if an initial area, in a somewhat prominent spot near the front of the store where people walk in, a table with a few museum quality, full Apple II and Retro Macintosh (Pre-1998) computers - maybe including an early Macintosh Laptop and early Apple CD Play - were nicely set up and running some sort of eye-catching graphics and sound-using software?

Then as customers would walk passed this comparatively modest-sized table or group of tables, which could constitute a connection to Apple's (and which customers could stop to look at and even try the machines of), then customers would transition into the vast majority of the Store with the new Apple Computer and other new Apple product offerings.

What sort of effect would adding this context have on current Apple customers, relative to not having such an initial context-establishing modest store section, especially given the remarkable remorse expressed by much of the public over the loss of Apple's Steve Jobs, long-time creative genius of incrementally-evolving, and sometimes radically new, enticing Apple products?

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

I don't think, if you were to suggest it to them, that they would care to do anything like this. In fact they would probably not even know what you meant when you mention the Apple II to them. Steve Jobs hated the Apple II, that's why he did his best to kill it as quickly as he could after the Mac first came out.

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

I agree with Magnusfalkirk. Most think that the Mac started the company. Steve would have like it if the II was just a foot note. A lot/most of people that were into Apple II went to IBM when Apple dropped the Apple II line. They felt the Apple II Forever, that they heard, had duped them that they would never trust Apple again. Most people walking by are not interested in the past. Only in what can you do for me today. They only want the next generation before anyone else.

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

Yeah, SJ tried to kill the Apple ][ line, but couldn't do it. The last Apple //e rolled off the line in 1993, while SJ was out and about. When they quit their full support for advancing the line they became a company that was interested in faster product cycles like most other companies, with minimal backward support. That only accelerated when SJ returned. At least OS 9 still had file support for reading ProDOS 8 files.

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

I believe a lot of the Apple fans of today don't even connect a Mac running OS X with an Apple 2 or anything else. I don't think people even realize it is the same company.

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

I've heard things to this effect about SJ disliking expending any Apple company resources on the research/development/production of then-existing or newer models of the Apple II.

But SJ's view seems inconsistent even with the most non-sentimental, bottom-line revenue realities of Apple from the late 1970s through the entirety of the 1980s! For example, I've read too that were it not for the literally billions of dollars in revenue generated for Apple through sales solely of the various 3 sub-models of the Apple //e, Apple would not have had the capital reserves required to avoid bankruptcy (circa the late-1980s/early 1990s), let alone to invest in the further development of new Mac models. Where's the respect, SJ?

However, I have noticed through YouTube searching that I haven't found a single archived "Keynote Speech" by SJ which introduced any new Apple II computer model - although there are archived SJ Keynotes from the mid-1980s for Mac model(s).

Incidentally, when I've been at current Apple Retail Stores, once or twice I've slipped in a comment here or there about an Apple II computer to an "Expert", "Genius", "Creative" (annoyingly, apparently, a noun there) as well as, I get the de facto sense from conversations with so called "Creative[s]", usually a lie), "Novice", and even an "Ignoramus" (as officially dubbed on their cult-suggesting dangling I.D.s), and --- most surprisingly of all --- even such Apple Retail Store employees who look unambiguously old enough at least to have been in their early teens during the Apple II's Long-Destroyed Benevolent Dominance of kind, Open Architecture Form Factors --- literally have looked at me as though my premise is certainly mistaken, if coherent, that there ever existed Apple computers that were not automatically also Macintosh computers!

Especially given the freaky cult-like training/[brainwashing]? to which Apple Retail Store employees I believe are subjected (and then all memories of these experiences are erased from their consciousness upon their departure from Cupertino), radiate evidence of this harsh initiation through their unusual-for-a-retail-store (representative normal reference point: Best Buy [which too, incidentally, sells Apple products] "Too friendly"/"You're being watched" mixed message. Anyway, especially given this intense pre-job training, I'm amazed that Apple Retail Store employees seem not to have been indoctrinated at least with the rudimentary basics about Apple as a company.

Like knowing in some general sense that the most crucial make-or-break decade-or-so that determined Apple's fate as a company --- the outcome, of course, being that Apple grew into a large, well-established company (even if it did falter to the brink of bankruptcy during the 1990s), rather than one that, from the get-go, failed altogether following a run of a handful of years --- factually have to acknowledge that, at its core (so to speak), the revenue brought in from the thousands and thousands of loyal Apple II customers in the educational, home computer, and small business markets was essential to the financial survival of Apple. In this financially factual regard, SJ's negative disposition towards the Apple II line is irrelevant. There simply would be no iAnything today were it not for the essential unbroken chain of financially-profitable continuity at all times precedent, was due to the unsexy, non-chick-magnet (believe me, I speak from [ill-conceived] experience --- I once tried lugging an Apple //e [Enhanced, mind you] CPU to a bar as slick self-marketing point to pick up chick(s). Long story short, the women there well, let's just say they didn't seem *more* interested in me as a romantic prospect on account of the //e-in-tow). Hahahahahaha.... just kidding.

Later -

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

I've heard things to this effect about SJ disliking expending any Apple company resources on the research/development/production of then-existing or newer models of the Apple II.

But SJ's view seems inconsistent even with the most non-sentimental, bottom-line revenue realities of Apple from the late 1970s through the entirety of the 1980s! For example, I've read too that were it not for the literally billions of dollars in revenue generated for Apple through sales solely of the various 3 sub-models of the Apple //e, Apple would not have had the capital reserves required to avoid bankruptcy (circa the late-1980s/early 1990s), let alone to invest in the further development of new Mac models. Where's the respect, SJ?

However, I have noticed through YouTube searching that I haven't found a single archived "Keynote Speech" by SJ which introduced any new Apple II computer model - although there are archived SJ Keynotes from the mid-1980s for Mac model(s).

Jobs ended up hating the Apple II because it wasn't a project/platform that he was solely in charge of; the same thing goes for the Lisa. In fact, he started the Mac project specifically because he was removed from managing the Lisa project.

You may want to read Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, I think it would answer a lot of your questions about him.

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

Hey Twilight_Rodent,

Thanks for the reply.

I find it difficult to understand SJ's apparent wholesale dislike for the Apple II computer line. I'm thinking of the photographs that I've seen of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack both holding up (seemingly proudly or happily about this achievement of theirs) a circuit board either for an Apple I or for an Apple ][.

I can understand that, as the computer industry was evolving during the late 1980s/early 1990s into making exponentially more powerful computers for personal home computer sale (and the Web just another year or two from launching on a large scale), that Steve Jobs may have believed, perhaps correctly, that the Apple company which he co-founded with Steve Wozniack, needed to withdraw all of its resources that long had been devoted to the Apple II computer line to the more powerful, business-intended Macintosh line.

I didn't know that there was a specific trend of disappointed Apple II computer owners turning to IBM computers - that's interesting.

I still have some Apple II catalogs from around 1986/1987, when I (was excited to get) my first Apple computer (a //e Enhanced), at least one of which lists 3 simultaneously manufactured Apple II computers at that time: the Apple //e Enhanced, the Apple //c, and the newly-released (I suppose ROM 00 Apple IIgs).

I remember that at least one of those official Apple II computer (plus various accessories) catalogs actually literally say in print something like "A proven past. A limitless future." (I believe that a these catalogue[s] then substantiate this claim in part by referring to the backwards software compatability of the Apple IIgs to previous model Apple IIs, as well as the IIgs's ability to utilze more sophisticated (especially graphics and sound utilizing sofware designed specifically for it).

I wonder whether, if an explicitly-printed/advertised false claim comprised a substantial part of what was relied upon by at least a substantial percentage of relatively home computer-lay Apple II computer customers, that those customers would have a legal right that they could pursue for having been knowingly mislead by a company into spending thousands of dollars on a sooner-than-customers-were-led-to-believe obsolete Apple II computer model, rather than, if they knew the truth about the relative brevity of an Apple II computer's actual Company backing, support, and committment to them, spending about half the price on a lower quality (but accordingly not expected to last as long), say, Commodore 64 or Commodore 128, that was able to do most of the basic software applications that the Apple IIs could do.

That price difference was even more of a sacrfice by customers, when it's considered that an overall $2,500 purchase in 1986, with 25 years inflation at about 2.5% per year, I'm guessing actually would constitute in today's dollars about $6,000 in actual buying power!

There could be a problem, I'm thinking, that most likely whatever the statute of limitations to bring such a lawsuit would be, most likely long has ended, now about 25 years after that brochure was printed in distributed free to customers who then purchased Apple II computers.

(When alloting for 25 years' inflation, it occured to me that the Apple //e Enhanced computer system that I bought in 1986, in actual buying power probably by far was the most expensive computer I ever have bought! And it had only 128K!)

Regards -

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

When Apple II was past its peak. A lot of the A2ers went to IBM. They felt duped a bit. But when they went to look to what was taking its place was the Mac. The Mac was more of closed system. IBM on the other hand lots of slots, more like an Apple II.

SJ was using the Apple II to keep the mac going in the beginning. He never liked for some reason 2 competing products in the same company.

Nothing is forever. In the computer world, it is less likely. Everything is outdated almost as it comes out. I was always surprised that they did system GS/OS 6. The name if I remember was sponge bob, something that was just sucking up $$.

Even some of the programmers were made saying they wasted time learning the wrong system. But everything is always in flux. Even the Apple/Mac user groups seem to change. They did not want to here anything about the Apple II. You were practically riducluled if you brought it up. So the user groups got smaller. Years later I was told of Woz was going to be on the west side group, So I showed up with 2- IIgs woz covers to get double Wozed. I was standing in line, one person who was sitting turned to me and said in stern voice, MY Apple I is signed by him, then turn away no simle or any real emotion. It seemed like a snub. It brought back memories of those Apple/Mac user groups of lore. Even the person that told me about was mad and said that one of them should be hers, since she forgot or did not think to bring one. So I said here take one. Maybe there was something in the air, or maybe I just rub people wrong at times just by standing still. Even the Woz was talking lightly if at all about the the A2, after all it was a Mac group now and Apple II is ancient history.

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

My first thought was a flashback vision of Arkon Electronics on Queen Street in Toronto with the big lighted color Apple logo for their street signage.

I go into Apple Stores to: go on the internet, test software on Lion, and play that demo racing game on the iPhone. I am not interested in any of the latest Apple products and services. I am waiting, probably in vain, for a new Macbook Air to come out that uses Apple's ARM-based CPU and doesn't have any cooling fans. Otherwise, I am happy to hack on my aging Macs, and for anything new I am tending toward open source. The Apple II was open source, I could happily hack away on it and still do to this day using emulators. When people ask about my first Apple (an Apple II) they usually assume that it was some kind of Macintosh -- and that assumption has also come from the geniuses in the Apple Store.

Apple II's in the Apple Store? I agree with the other posters, I don't think it's going to happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_museum

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

Hey mmphosis,

Interesting comments - thanks. Yeah, I'd be amazed if current Apple Retail stores were to implement my thought about having an initial section that briefly offers the lay customer at least the opportunity to get a sense for a representative sampling of the product history --- dating back at least to the 1980s --- that evolved into the current products on which most of them came to check their e-mail and Facebook (hahahahahahaha)...

Just this past weekend I was reading through Walter Isaacson's brand new biography on Steve Jobs. (By the way, if you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it -- you even might enjoy just selected parts, easily findable in the book's index.)

There was a part of this biography when Jobs expresses, essentially, that his core drive in leading Apple Inc. forward is to consistently get rid of old products when new, "better" ones are created by Apple. He wants his products and stores and packaging, I infer, to reflect his core psychological needs for (1) simplicity [here and now; not historical product roots]; (2) control (hah hah, Customer! As long as you stay within the confines of my **controlled** world, you can do anything you want freely on the iPad --- even magical things! But tug the leash I'll lure you into slipping around your neck with this product, and you'll see just how not-free you really are with *my* iPad! You want proof? Sure! Try to do something as simple-seeming as removing the iPad II's battery. My friend, you'll need a welding torch to do that! And no, I won't ever disclose a simple speck about the iPad 2, such as how much RAM it has. You have no right to know that! You're only paying a median price of $690 for this some pros/some cons gadget!

Regards --

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Re: Apple Retail Stores - Bridging the Gap?

Hi Dr. Webster,

Thanks for your comments about my contemplating, without much hope, an Apple Retail Store Company History-Infusion possibility!

As you suggested, I read much of Isaacson's biography on Jobs this past weekend and, in addition to being an unexpectedly engrossing book, it revealed for me a great deal about who Jobs was, and how he progressed throughout his life. I thought it was fascinating that such a parallel can be drawn between the (possibly traumatic) roots of Jobs' childhood; and additional key negative life events that he experienced; and the closed nature especially of his final products (e.g. the iPad II). Closed. A coping strategy to rejection. An exaggerated dislike (almost fear) that if people are allowed to get into things, they'll mess them up. Same philosophy in his decision for his new Apple headquarters to be constructed with non-openable windows. A woman he asked out who rejected him because of a distrust of him predicated on her diagnosis as a clinical psychologist that Jobs fit, precisely, the DSM's criteria for Narcisisstic Personality Disorder. His "black and white" thinking -- both about people and about products being perfect or trash.

I do think that Jobs created some, in many respects, great recent technological inventions for everyday use (although clearly not ones with "open architecture", friendly towards [what Jobs noted to be the 1% of the consumer base that was curious about an Apple computer's makeup / wanted potentially to modify and create new things for it).

But it's as though, if you understand Jobs' underlying motivations, I think that Jobs created some great things for the "wrong" (non-benevolent, non-openminded, non-egalitarian) reasons!

I've pasted here part of my reply to another e-mail addressing the Apple Retail Stores having an historical section thought --

Thanks again for your reply to my Apple Retail Store thoughts! --

Best Regards --

_________________________

Just this past weekend I was reading through Walter Isaacson's brand new biography on Steve Jobs. (By the way, if you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it -- you even might enjoy just selected parts, easily findable in the book's index.)

There was a part of this biography when Jobs expresses, essentially, that his core drive in leading Apple Inc. forward is to consistently get rid of old products when new, "better" ones are created by Apple. He wants his products and stores and packaging, I infer, to reflect his core psychological needs for (1) simplicity [here and now; not historical product roots]; (2) control (hah hah, Customer! As long as you stay within the confines of my **controlled** world, you can do anything you want freely on the iPad --- even magical things! But tug the leash I'll lure you into slipping around your neck with this product, and you'll see just how not-free you really are with *my* iPad! You want proof? Sure! Try to do something as simple-seeming as removing the iPad II's battery. My friend, you'll need a welding torch to do that! And no, I won't ever disclose a simple speck about the iPad 2, such as how much RAM it has. You have no right to know that! You're only paying a median price of $690 for this some pros/some cons gadget!
________________________

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