How an Apple II gave Stephen Hawking his voice


Technology helped Professor Hawking share his astonishing work with the world.
Photo: Pete Souza/Wikipedia CC

Earlier today, Tim Cook posted a tribute to the late professor Stephen Hawking, who passed away on March 14, aged 76. “We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP,” Cook wrote.

As one of the world’s most visionary physicists and popular science writers, it’s no surprise to hear that Hawking inspired folks at Apple — just as he did people all around the planet.

But Apple and Hawking share an interesting connection: It was an Apple machine that first gave him the ability to verbally communicate using a computer.

Today in Apple history: New card runs Apple II software on Macs


Running Apple II programs on a Mac with an Apple IIe Card was pretty darn awesome.
Running Apple II programs on your Mac was pretty darn awesome.
Photo: Microwavemont/YouTube

March 1: Today in Apple history: Apple IIe Card lets users run Apple II software on Macs March 1, 1991: Apple introduces the Apple IIe Card, a $199 peripheral that lets users turn Macs into fully functioning Apple IIe computers.

The ability to emulate the popular Apple IIe computer on a Mac brings Apple’s two operating systems side by side for the first time. While not quite the equivalent of Apple letting you run iOS on a Mac today, it’s not a world away.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple


Steve Wozniak wax sculpture fake eyes
Woz was upset at the lack of respect shown to the Apple II division.
Photo: Madame Tussauds

February 6: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple February 6, 1985: Frustrated by Apple’s shifting priorities, co-founder Steve Wozniak leaves the company to pursue outside interests.

His departure from Apple — which comes the same year that Steve Jobs leaves to form NeXT — represents a big change for the company. It is brought about by Woz’s dissatisfaction at how the Apple II division is treated, and his desire to start a new company.

Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac


Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K in an original Mac ad.
Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K.
Photo: Apple

January 24: Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first MacJanuary 24, 1984: Apple ships its first Mac, the mighty Macintosh 128K.

Bringing a mouse and graphical user interface to the masses, and heralded by an acclaimed Super Bowl commercial that’s still talked about today, the first-gen Mac will quickly become one of the most important personal computers ever released.

iMac Pro packs more memory than every Apple II computer ever built


Apple II
This amazing stat comes from Apple's first ever applications software engineer.
Photo: Computer History Museum

A midrange model of Apple’s new iMac Pro comes with a massive 11 times as many bytes of electronic memory as the Apple II, the company’s first breakthrough computer.

Doesn’t sound all that impressive? We’re not just talking about a single Apple II unit. Instead, that figure refers to the sum total of all electronic memory ever installed on all 6 million Apple II computers ever built!

Today in Apple history: Apple II gets its first ‘killer app’


VisiCalc, the world's first
The world's first computer spreadsheet.
Photo: VisiCalc

January 2: Today in Apple history: With VisiCalc, the Apple II gets its first killer app January 2, 1979: Entrepreneurs Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston incorporate their company Software Arts to publish a little program called VisiCalc.

The first spreadsheet for the Apple II, the $100 VisiCalc becomes personal computing’s first “killer app.” It helps transform personal computers from “cool to have” toys into “must have” business accessories.

Today in Apple history: Woz spends Christmas building Apple II disk drive


Disk II pic
The Disk II was a massive success for Apple.
Photo: Wikipedia CC

December 25 Today in Apple history December 25, 1977: Steve Wozniak spends the holidays building a prototype of the Disk II, the Apple II’s revolutionary floppy disk drive.

“I worked all day, all night, through Christmas and New Year’s trying to get it done,” Wozniak recalls in his autobiography, iWoz. “[Early Apple employee] Randy Wiggington, who was actually attending Homestead High, the school Steve and I had graduated from, helped me a lot on that project.”

Wiggington takes December 25 off. Woz does not.

Today in Apple history: The final Apple II model arrives


The Apple IIc Plus was the sixth and final model in the Apple II line.
The sixth and final model in the Apple II series of computers.
Photo: TanRu Nomad

September 15 Today in Apple historySeptember 15, 1988: Apple releases the Apple IIc Plus, the sixth and final model in the Apple II computer series. It’s a great machine, with impressive capabilities, but suffers from poor marketing and support.

With the Mac around, Cupertino simply doesn’t seem interested in the Apple computer anymore.

Face ID logo resurrects a classic Macintosh icon


The iPhone X's FaceID feature looks impressive.
Photo: Apple

For a company that insists it doesn’t like to look to the past, Apple’s new Face ID logo will certainly feel familiar to longtime Mac users.

Apple debuted the new logo during its iPhone X keynote yesterday to show off the phones facial scanning features. It features a simple smiling face that looks three dimensional, but it’s actually just a repurposed version of the classic Happy Mac icon originally created by Susan Kare for the original Macintosh.

Check out the similarities: