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Comment on "Thirtieth Anniversary of the Apple II"
by Reg — Apr 14
Happy memories of the Apple ][ indeed! My school had just one, lone computer in the late seventies: an Apple ][ won by some clever seniors as a science prize. As a junior and one of the few to be actually interested in computers at that stage, I remember making friends with those a few years ahead of me to get to go to the room in the school's library where it was kept. Such a magical experience. When you turned that machine on, it beeped, "APPLE ][" appeared, then its square cursor blinked mesmerizingly. Like an empty black canvas waiting for the right commands to make magic happen. ]

My "mentor" spent the time keying in assembly to make the speaker click tones, getting it to play rudimentary tunes. Then we examined various Integer BASIC programs, by typing LIST, altering entries on the (numbered 10, 20, 30) lines, and using PEEK and POKE at memory locations to affect the graphics display.

I remember we thought we were clever in getting a "hi-res" image to save using only 33K instead of the normal 34K, by giving a particular POKE command first. (I can almost remember the address now: POKE -13635,33 or something.)

Such primitive computing by today's standards, but you can imagine the thrill for a young person.

I also remember the school principal coming by that library room one time and giving his expert appraisal: "all hot air."

Later, at a P&C meeting, a parent had asked a question: "With computers starting to appear, should the school hold classes that taught how to type on them and use them?"

His response: "We aren't raising secretaries at this school."

Such a stupid, stupid man. He used to be a sports teacher, elevated to school principal by some absurd education system, but he wasn't alone in being ignorant and afraid of the new technology.

I had far more respect for that Apple ][ than I did for any of the teachers, and its genius was the best thing about going to school] than I did for any of the teachers, and its genius was the best thing about going to school.
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