One year of Stories of Apple on Tumblr

Filed under: News

Back in July last year I announced the birth of a brand new resource for “quotes, memorable images and assorted tidbits from Apple’s history”: Stories of Apple on Tumblr.

Stories of Apple on Tumblr - header

One year later, I’m proud to announce that it has gathered close to 7200 followers and amassed more than 600 posts in its archive, which you can peruse, like and retumblr.

Moreso: the posts are all thouroughly and painstakingly tagged by yours truly so you can not only see content about – let’s say – the Lisa, Sir Jonathan Ive or various Apple prototypes, but you can also search for years, such as stuff that was released or happened in 1983, 1997, 2001 or 2007.

Stories of Apple on Tumblr - July 2015

I have loads of quotes, images, graphics, videos, recordings, and plan to keep going for quite a while. I am also working by accretion and will sum up some of the most interesting threads in proper and longish posts here, on the Stories of Apple website.

In the meantime thank you for reading, reblogging, commenting, suggesting, submitting and pointing out mistakes. And if you’re not doing it (yet) follow Stories of Apple on Tumblr!

Wednesday 08 July 2015, 12:00 pm

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The Apple I

Filed under: Hardware,People

40 years ago, on July 29th, 1975, Steve Wozniak booted up for the first time the computer he designed and built on his own.


At the beginning of March 1975, in Menlo Park, Gordon French hosted in his garage the first meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club, where the Altair was demoed.

Wozniak participated with his friend Allen Baum and his imagination was struck most of all by Altair’s Intel 8080 microprocessor. Suddenly, he had an insight. (more…)

Tuesday 30 June 2015, 3:14 am
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The Jonathan Computer

Filed under: Design,Hardware

In late 1984 the Macintosh’sApple’s market share was just 15% and Steve Jobs, John Sculley and their staff were running various scenarios to gain sales without losing the much needed profit to fund R&D and advertising.
According to designer Tony Guido the question at Apple was:

“What would it take to put the Mac on as many desktops as possible, without licensing, in a way that would convince DOS users to migrate toward the Mac?”

At the same time hardware engineer John Fitch, having just completed work on the IIgs, was worried by the lack of follow-up product for the Apple II. Fitch wanted to design a computer around a new chip, the Motorola 68030, which would be powerful enough for business and high end applications, but could also be offered to home users.

Inspired by the Apple II “open” architecture mindset, Fitch proposed a modular approach.
He designed a simple hardware “backbone” carrying basic operations and I/O on which the user could add a series of “book” modules, carrying hardware for running Apple II, Mac, UNIX and DOS software, plus other modules with disk drives or networking capabilities.


Thus beginners, mid-level and high-end customers could all use the same basic hardware but could configure and enhance their systems over time. (more…)

Wednesday 03 June 2015, 3:00 pm
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Must-have apps: Mactracker

Filed under: Software

mactracker iconAre you looking for the best resource for technical data on both historic and new Apple products? The free Mactracker software for Mac and iOS is the answer to your needs.

Sure, you could peruse the Apple Support section of and/or other unofficial but very useful websites, but none of them present the information as well as the slick portable database included (and constantly updated) in Mactracker.

Thanks to a compact and easily browsable interface, in just a few clicks (or taps) you can find exactly what kind of RAM memory the latest MacBook uses, what version of USB is present, which are the differences between the various Airport stations or how many Newton models did Apple make (seven; eight if you count the eMate).

Mactracker for Mac

Developed and curated since May 14, 2001 by Ian Page, Mactracker provides detailed information on [almost] every Apple product ever made. It doesn’t stop at Macintosh systems, but includes peripherals (even obscure ones, like the Apple IIc Flat Panel Display) and Mac/iOS operating systems.

Aggiornamenti disponibili - MactrackerIt is an incredibly useful tool for historians, collectors, hobbbyists, resellers, service providers, IT support professionals and just plain users.

It is not a fixed archive and does not grow in just one direction. (more…)

Wednesday 15 April 2015, 2:00 pm

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“Finding The Next Steve Jobs”

Filed under: Books

“Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep, and Nurture Talent”
Author: Nolan Bushnell and Gene Stone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Ohter info: 256 pages; also available in ebook format

Before starting Apple, in the Seventies, a young Steve Jobs worked at Atari. His big ego and lack of hygiene almost cost him the job, but Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, worked around his quirks and strived not to lose Jobs as an employee, having seen something special in him. During the following decades Bushnell kept in touch with Jobs, in a relationship based on mutual respect.

Bushnell isn’t just “the first and only boss Steve Jobs ever had” but a market pioneer, an engineer and entrepreneur who started more than twenty companies and is widely accepted as one of the founding fathers of the video game industry.

In 2013, assisted by Gene Stone, he wrote “Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep, and Nurture Talent”, published in the USA by Simon & Schuster.


The book is about finding and stimulating creativity and innovation in business by making unusual or plain unorthodox choices, such as those that propelled Jobs and Bushnell’s enteprises to success.

As Bushnell warns the reader

“it isn’t enough to find the next Steve Jobses and hire them; you have to create a situation in which they can flourish, and then your company can, too.”


“Steve Jobs knew that Atari was the kind of place that would allow him to flourish, no matter how arrogant he seemed. That trait made me wonder whether perhaps everyone has creative potential, but only the arrogant are self-confident enough to press their creative ideas on others. Steve believed he was always right, and was willing to push harder and longer than other people who might have had equally good ideas but who caved under pressure.”

Nolan Bushnell Campus Party Brasil

“Finding The Next Steve Jobs” is structured in 52 chapters, each of which is based on a pong, a name and concept which is a homage to the famous Atari videogame, a ping-pong simulator.

Bushnell’s pongs are tidbits, pieces of loose advice which he “sends“ to the reader. They are not rules, because he (and Jobs) don’t believe that creativity can thrive in the presence of strict rules.
Each pong offers a volley of reasonable advices, based on interesting and funny anecdotes from Jobs and Bushnell’s career.

Bushnell (and Stone) are great storytellers and are able to communicate the value of having a staff of wildly creative people whose ideas can guarantee that a company will prosper when other fail.

“Finding The Next Steve Jobs” is not only a source of inspiration for ambitious entepreneurs and company leaders but also a window into the world of  technological startups, in particular those of the late Seventies and early Eighties. Although it is not a biography or history book, it’s a stimulating and suggested read for anyone who wants to understand the climate which gave us Apple and its iconoclastic culture.

Nota: the book cover is © Simon & Schuster, while the (edited) picture of Nolan Bushnell is by Campus Party Brasil and has been released under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 license.

Wednesday 25 March 2015, 12:00 pm
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