| Cult of Mac

Apple II’s original ‘Graphics Magician’ headlines KansasFest

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Mark Pelczarski
One of the most popular games published by Mark Pelczarski's company, Penguin Software
Screenshot: Penguin Software/YouTube

Mark Pelczarski’s first contribution to the personal computing revolution came in a zip-lock bag.

With no App Store in 1979, Pelczarski bagged disks and photo-copied instruction manuals for what was then one of the first digital paint programs for the Apple II.

Camaraderie, chaos and the original iPhone launch stories you’ve never heard, on The CultCast

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Introducing, iPhone
Though Steve played it cool, the iPhone's launch was plagued with huge problems.

This week on The CultCast: You’d never know it from Steve Jobs’ effortless keynote introduction, but the original iPhone was plagued with huge design and production issues that almost made Apple call it quits — right up until the day it was released! To commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, we’ll recount some of the incredible stories behind iPhone’s beleaguered early days, and celebrate how Apple pulled off one of the greatest device launches in history.

Our thanks to Shutterstock for supporting this episode. Kickstart your next interactive project with video clips or music tracks from their collection, and save 20 percent for a limited time at shutterstock.com/cultcast.

Tekserve’s Apple artifacts wind up in Ukrainian museum

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MacPaw Apple museum

Photo: MacPaw

When legendary Mac repair shop Tekserve closed its doors last summer in New York City, Apple fans of a certain age experienced two deaths.

They bade goodbye to the original Genius Bar, technicians that had been servicing their devices for nearly 30 years. Those fans would also never again stare at Tekserve’s impressive Apple computer artifact collection, which was quickly auctioned off to an unknown bidder for $47,000.

The collection returned to a museum display today, more than 4,600 miles away in the Ukraine. Its new home is at the headquarters of software developer MacPaw.

iMac’s terrible code name was an in-joke between Jobs and Schiller

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iMac design: The iMac G3 was a bit fatter than model than today's models.
The iMac G3 could have had a very different name.
Photo: Apple

The first iMac’s frightful code name was an in-joke that reflected Steve Jobs’ respect for Sony.

The working name — “MacMan” — was so horrible it would “curdle your blood,” according to Ken Segall, the Apple exec who eventually came up with the name “iMac.” Nearly 20 years after Apple shipped the iMac G3, we now have an explanation for the craptacular internal name — courtesy of Phil Schiller, the guy who came up with it.

Meet Steve Jobs’ alter ego on the opera stage

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Ashton Kutcher and Michael Fassbender played Steve Jobs in movies. Now Edward Parks III brings his rich baritone voice to the Steve Jobs opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.
Ashton Kutcher and Michael Fassbender played Steve Jobs in movies. Now op
Photo: Dario Acosta/Santa Fe Opera

Edward Parks III will likely be the first singer on an opera stage to perform in running shoes, jeans and a black mock turtleneck shirt.

Yet Parks knows there is nothing casual about playing Steve Jobs. He is soaking up all he can about the late Apple co-founder as he prepares to bring his much-heralded baritone voice to the role this summer in the world premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at the Santa Fe Opera.

“I’m taking in everything that is out there and stuffing it in my head so that I can come away with my own thoughts of who he was and what he means to us,” Parks, 33, told Cult of Mac. “I think at first it was a little daunting. This is going to have a lot of attention, not just from the opera world but in the tech community.”

Still using an original iPhone? We want to know.

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img_0897
A shot of the battered original iPhone belonging to a member of the design team.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Next week marks 10 years since Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone, blowing our collective minds regarding the possibilities that smartphones presented.

Coming up on a decade later, if you’re still using the first-gen iPhone on a regular basis, we want to hear from you!

Today in Apple history: Apple’s first ever computer goes on sale

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apple-1-dec-2014-auction
One of today's surviving Apple 1 computers.
Photo: Christie's

Friday 1 July 1, 1976: The Apple 1 goes on sale, becoming the first computer ever sold by the Apple Computer Company.

Arriving the same month Jimmy Carter was nominated for U.S. president, Family Feud debuted on TV, and the United States celebrated the 200th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence, the Apple 1 is only produced in small numbers, and sells for the unusual price of $666.66.