the STORY of APPLE
Personal computer in our time a little surprise for someone — for many people it is as common as a telephone or a television. The hundreds of millions of PCs, operating in the world today, more than 90 percent belong to the class of so-called IBM-compatible computers (see «Science and life» No. 8, 2001 ). Therefore, generally, speaking «PC»mean IBM-compatible PC, and Vice versa. However, there are personal computers that are not similar to the standard IBM PC. This Macintosh Apple. During its quarter-century history that began at the dawn of the microcomputer revolution, computers, Apple not only has withstood the competition with introduced later IBM-compatible PC, but took a special place among personal computers, will largely determine trends in the development of the whole industry. The history of Apple, which turned into a huge Corporation with billions of dollars in sales and thousands of employees, began. in the garage of one of its founders.
By the end of the 60-ies of the last century with the development of electronic systems have become widely used integrated circuits. Initially, the processor mainframe consisted of several integrated circuits. However, the number of transistors on a single chip (integration circuit) has increased steadily, reaching several thousand elements. In accordance with the empirical rule, formulated in 1965 by Gordon Moore, the density of elements on a chip has doubled every year and a half. Thus, it became evident that the day is near when on a single chip will be able to place a processor.
First fortune smiled a small American company Intel. Working on the project calculator, Intel engineers have managed in 1971 to create the processor on the same chip (from the English. chip — crystal, chip). A new 4-bit microprocessor, received index 4004, had too modest and were not suited to the role of the Central processor mainframe, but Intel continued development and a year later released for 8-bit crystal 8008 with quite a good feature mi. A year later came the famous Intel-8080, which served as the basis for a variety of microcomputers, including the first commercially successful microcomputer Altair-8800 (see «Science and life» No. 8, 2001 ).
Not asleep and competitors Intel — around the same time firm Motorola, National Semiconductor, MOS Technology has launched its own design single-chip microprocessors.
Thus began the era of microcomputers.
the First affordable enthusiasts microcomputers such as the Altair-8800, was simply a set of parts, they were still able to collect (see «Science and life» No. 8, 2001 ). So in the mid 70-ies in the United States there were many computer clubs where enthusiasts can share information or to get advice on the build your own microcomputer. Some engineers sought not so much to collect the microcomputer of the already finished parts, according to instructions, how to develop your own. The industry was in its infancy, no standards existed, and any idea or development had the right to life.
One of these fans was Steve Wozniak, 26-year-old engineer Hewlett-Packard company from the town of Palo Alto, located in the Silicon valley in California. He has developed on paper for more than one project of your own computer and even wrote several compilers with Fortran and basic interpreters. However, lack of funding prevented the implementation of the plan. Regarded as the best microprocessor Intel 8080 and Motorola-6800 were too expensive Wozniak. And yet he found a suitable processor at an affordable price. It was a 6502 chip firms MOS Technology with system commands, similar to the one used in Motorolla-6800.
One of the drawbacks of the first microcomputers was their very primitive user interface, complicating communication between the operator and the machine. So, Altair-8800 had no monitor, no keyboard, no mouse. Information had to be entered using the switches on the front panel, and the results are displayed on the led indicators. Later on the model of the big machines were used teletype — Telegraph keyboard. It is clear that the work for this computer is demanded from the user a lot of training and therefore have been the lot of few fans.
Wozniak revolutionized the interface microcomputers. for the first time applying for a data entry keyboard similar to the keyboard of the typewriter, and to display information — ordinary TV. The characters displayed on the screen is 24 lines by 40 characters each, the graphics mode was absent. The computer had 8 kilobytes of memory — half of them occupied the built-in basic, and the remaining 4 kilobytes, the user could use for their programs. Compared to Altair-8800, which had only 256 bytes of memory, progress has been significant. In addition, Wozniak has provided for his computer expansion slot (connector) for connection of additional devices.
By the beginning of 1976 the manufacture of microcomputer was completed, and Wozniak brought his creation in the Homebrew computer club, to demonstrate his followers. However, most of the club members did not appreciate the idea of Wozniak and criticized his system for the use of the microprocessor is not firm Intel. But buddy Wozniak 21-year-old Steve jobs immediately realized that this computer has a great future. Unlike Wozniak, the engineer to the core, jobs had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He therefore proposed Wozniak to organize a company to start mass production of computer in order to sell it to everyone in the mail in the form of a set of parts. Wozniak agreed, and in the April 1, 1976 (the so-called April Fool’s Day — like our «the First of April — I do not believe anyone») was founded Apple Computer Company; officially registered it was almost a year later, in January 1977. A new computer called the Apple I.
Immediately found and the buyer. The owner of the computer store «The Byte Shop» Paul Terrell agreed to purchase from the newly minted company party 50 computers at $ 500 each, but with the condition that they will all be assembled and ready to use. The young companies simply do not have money to buy accessories for the entire party, however, jobs was able to get a loan in 15 thousand dollars for one month. It was a big risk, but it came true — Wozniak and jobs had time to build and test in his parents ‘ garage of jobs all computers, and Terrell really not deceived, purchasing for their store the entire party. In the Floor Terrell sold for ten months, nearly two hundred copies of the Apple I at the price of 666 USD. Now each surviving instance of these two hundred became a collector’s rarity and worth much more than those 666 dollars that were paid for him in 1976.
At that time, as Apple I slowly sold in the store of Terrell, Wozniak was already working on the next version of the computer, called the Apple II. In it, he tried to correct many of the shortcomings of the first version: the computer has received the color and the graphic mode, the sound and extended memory, eight expansion slots instead of one and a cassette player as a means of conservation programs. Finally, the Apple II was dressed in a sleek plastic case.
to expand the mass production of the Apple II, was needed considerable. First, jobs and Wozniak tried to interest the idea of mass production of his computer company in which they previously worked, — Atari and Hewlett-Packard, but to no avail. Then most people personal computer seemed to be only a fun toy, it is highly questionable from a commercial point of view. However, jobs was able to captivate my idea entrepreneur Mike Markulla, which has invested in a startup company 90 thousand dollars of his own savings, and also introduced jobs with more serious investors.
the first model of the Apple II was, as in the Apple I, the 6502 microprocessor firms MOS Technology with a clock frequency of 1 megahertz. In the permanent memory was recorded basic working only with integer data. RAM 4 Kbytes easily expanded up to 48 KB. Information was displayed on a color or black-and-white TV, working in NTSC, standard for the United States. In text mode display 24 lines of 40 characters each, and in the graphics resolution was 280 by 192 points (six colors).
for the First time, the Apple II was shown on the First computer fair on the West coast in April 1977. The famous Apple logo — bitten colored Apple — has been developed by this time, a young artist Rob anonym-to-order jobs. Exposure Apple at the fair has attracted the attention and impressed the experts — first, because it was situated at the entrance and was visible to all incoming and secondly, due to the kaleidoscopic live video shows, demonstrated on the big screen, excellent graphics capabilities of the new computer.
Competition Apple has made new models of computers PET company Commodore (based on the 6502 processor) and TRS-80 company Radio Shack (on the basis of processor Z-80). Like the Apple II, these models can be attributed to the second generation of microcomputers: they did not bear the stamp of the initiative were fully assembled and ready to use. Competitors differed low price (about $ 600) and functional completeness — the set includes a monitor and a cassette drive. Model Apple II without a monitor and a cassette drive and with a minimum amount of memory 4 Kbytes cost twice more — 1298 dollars. But the power of the Apple II was in its extensibility — users can increase memory up to 48 Kbytes and use eight connectors for connecting additional devices. In addition, due to the color chart of the Apple II could serve as a great gaming platform. And indeed, soon after the arrival of Apple II games for him turned into a serious business for individual programmers, and for small start-up firms.
the Apple II was the first computer that is popular among people of different professions. His owners did not require a deep knowledge of microelectronics and the ability to keep the soldering iron in my hands. Knowledge of programming languages was not necessary — to communicate with the Apple II used a small number of simple commands. As a result, the computer could be used by scientists and businessmen, doctors and lawyers, students and Housewives. Subsequently, a variety of models of so-called home of 8-bit computers of different manufacturers, in fact, repeated the concept, first founded by Steve Wozniak in the design of the Apple II: built-in keyboard case, basic in ROM, the drive on a cassette recorder, TV output.
But there was one difficulty that prevented use the Apple II in business — an imperfect way to save the information. Cassettes and household tape — constant headache many first microcomputer users. No businessman would not put up with numerous failures and repeated lengthy downloads of programs from a cassette tape. We needed to find a more elegant solution. And it existed — drives floppy drives have long been used in large and mini-computers, just have to find a way to use the drive in the microcomputer. In December 1977, when President Apple Marcella made a list of improvements that need to be implemented next year, the word «floppy» stood first. But in July 1978 the drive Disk II controller was available at a price of 495 dollars. Many experts later acknowledged that the development of the floppy drive for Apple in the strategic plan was not less important than the creation of the computer. The drive is so expanded the capabilities of the Apple II in a way that it can completely be attributed to the third generation of microcomputers.
Built-in ROM basic was not able to manage complex file system on floppy disks, so for the version of Apple II floppy disk drive was developed disk operating system Apple-DOS, and version 3.1. In late 1978, the computer has improved, giving him the name of the Apple II Plus. It is now suitable for use in the business sector. The businessman has at its disposal a powerful tool for business management, information storage, aid in decision making. It was at this time began to take shape classes of software that are so familiar to us now — text editors, database management system, personal information managers (PIMS).
In 1979 graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of technology Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston created a program VisiCalc — the world’s first electronic spreadsheet. This tool is best suited for accounting. The first version was written for the Apple II and caused explosive growth in sales of these computers. People bought Apple only to work with VisiCalc. In fact, this was the first time when the program was sold to the computer.
Thus, in just a few years, the microcomputer has evolved from a toy electronic musician and programmer at business tool people of many professions. Computers spread around the world in millions of copies and took his place on the desks of engineers, doctors, businessmen, scientists, teachers and students. Considerable credit for this belongs to the Apple company, one of many pioneers of the microcomputer industry, which has managed, thanks to the genius of its founder Steven jobs and Steven Wozniak, to rise above the General Amateur level developments in this area, to guess the direction of the development of microcomputers and time to offer the right solutions.
IBM PC AGAINST APPLE
the Explosive growth of the microcomputer industry has finally attracted the attention of the largest computer corporations of America — IBM, DEC, Hewlett-Packard and other Giants also decided to participate in the new section of the pie. But if the first microcomputers DEC and Hewlett-Packard no luck — the market did not accept, then the share of the IBM PC, introduced in 1981, fell unprecedented success. Personal computer IBM has become the de facto standard for the industry and for several years was driven out of the market almost all competing models. We cannot say that this has contributed some outstanding abilities IBM PC, on the background of its competitors it does not stand out. Probably played a role, authority «Blue giant».
it Seemed that the days of Apple considered, moreover, that the new model — Apple III, which could compete with the IBM PC — failed — in the computer revealed a number of shortcomings. In those years many reputable firms were forced to abandon the development of their own original computers in favor of production had demand in the market for IBM-compatible models, but simply — copies someone else’s computer. But not Apple. In order not to disappear, required an outstanding standard solution. And it was found — a graphical interface. In 1984 came to light Apple Macintosh — the first computer controlled by the mouse.
in Fairness, it should be recognized that the GUI was not invented by Apple, as engineers research center of the Xerox company in Palo Alto. In the early 80-ies and Steve jobs and Bill gates had visited the centre and was familiar with his development. But the visits were different. Jobs created the Macintosh, and the gates began developing graphical Windows operating system, the first version of which appeared in 1985. Only ten years later, with the release of Windows’95, this operating system has compared its features with MacOS, used in the Apple Macintosh back in 1984.
by taking advantage of the Macintosh, Apple has been able to hold on the PC market, though not in a leading position. For some time she continued to maintain both their line of computers — 8-bit Apple II processor-based MOS Technology 6502 and its modifications and 16-bit (later 32-bit) Apple Macintosh-based Motorola 68000 processor and its variants. After the failure of the Apple III, the company was engaged in the improvement of its predecessor. In 80-ies consistently appear modifications Apple IIe, Apple IIc, Apple IIGS. The demand for 8-bit models remains high. First, this is a great gaming platform, and many Apple II sold as a home computer. Secondly, thanks to the clever marketing policy the company has managed to gain strong positions in the field of education. In the mid 80-ies more than half of American schools were equipped with computers Apple II. The release of the Apple II and its variants was completed only in 1993, but many instances still are kept by their owners, and even continue to work. Apple II marked a whole era in the development of computerization and has already become a kind of «the cult computer».
And Macintosh computers were able to win a place under the sun in the areas where demand their outstanding graphics. The vast majority of publishers in the world still uses equipment from Apple. No one better than Mac does not cope with the DTP, image processing and other printing works. It is no secret that almost all major graphics programs and program layout was initially created for Macintosh and only later were moved to the Windows platform. Still in a strong position Macintosh and education.
According to various sources, today Apple controls 8-10% of the global market for personal computers. Most Macintosh computers is among US users. In Russia, the share of Apple is much lower and does not exceed, as is, to within a few percent. Apple has always been largely focused on the domestic market, with foreign markets much less attention.
among the many firms that started a quarter century ago microcomputer revolution, survived only by Apple, the rest either went bankrupt or were absorbed by their more successful competitors. And all this time Apple has rested on the crest of technical progress. Will continue the word «Apple» to remain synonymous with technical excellence? As they say, let’s wait — we’ll see.
Steve Wozniak — the Creator of the first Apple computers. Steve Wozniak and Steve jobs — the founders of Apple. it looked like the Apple I and his motherboard. Famous Apple II was born in April 1977. Heart of the Apple I and Apple II — a microprocessor MOS Technology 6502. Apple III — the computer does not live up to expectations. Apple Macintosh sample 1984 — the first computer with a graphical interface. Compact version of the Apple IIc. the Most common modification of the Apple IIe computer. Modern Macintosh — iMac. PowerMac — the server in the Macintosh family of computers.
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