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37

The Apple II was a hobbyist's computer that unexpectedly found a business niche. Apple recognised that niche in its design of 1980's Apple III. Specifically, it thought that the following were necessary changes to produce a business computer relative to the contemporaneous II+: a full-ASCII keyboard, with lowercase and uppercase entry; an 80-column display; ...


31

For one, the II GS was the newer machine - providing a colour desktop and ADB before any Mac. From a user perspective GS/OS offered everything the Mac did. Plus compatibility with an uncountable amount of existing Apple II software. It was the long awaited upgrade for anyone (still) working with an Apple II - and there where many back then, while the Mac was ...


25

If you include clones, home retro computers were sold far into the 90's, including the Milan (Atari ST compatible, 1997-1999) and various Amiga compatible machines. There were also lots of ZX Spectrum clones produced in East Europe until the late 90's. However, if it's just about systems supported by their original manufacturer, the answer is likely: Acorn. ...


16

The price was defined obviously by marketing team, therefore their decisions are out of reach for the logical engineering mind :) Probably they were relying on the marketing company (like this one https://cdn.hackaday.io/files/460001968064000/byte_6809_articlesx3.pdf) and thought people would be immediately convinced by cool features and buy 6809 whatever ...


16

It was just standard market positioning. The 6800 was still a current product and in use in many systems at the time, so they priced the 6809 as a more powerful alternative to both that and the Z80. The 6809 was expected to be used in higher end systems that cost more anyway, so Motorola naturally wanted their cut of that.


15

I personally don't believe that Winger understood anything that wasn't well understood by both Apple and IBM at the time. I would say that this passage is pointing out the confusion that Apple's approach to "computing in the workplace" bore little resemblance to IBM's well-established approach to "computing in the workplace." The commentary is attempting to ...


14

If we are looking back to home computers, maybe the Q60 was the last real "Home computer clone", a Sinclair QL on steroids using a Motorola 68060 CPU in a PC case using ISA slots. It was first available 1999. I don't know how long exactly it was sold, but I seem to recall well into 2005. Its home page is still up (although it is named after its predecessor, ...


10

As far as the School market in Australia, the locally made Microbee was dominant in the 80's together with the Apple 2e and BBC. The Microbee was mainly sold in Australia (zero to USA) but also sold into Sweden and its neighbours, New Zealand and a few to Israel & Russia. As a result, the USA, UK, etc know very little to nothing about the Microbee. ...


9

This had nothing to do with schools but with political budgets. In many countries schools were equipped with computers manufactured there. There was the BBC micro in the UK, Thomson TO7 and MO5 in French schools and Apple 2 in the United states. Some countries had several manufacturers; a non exhaustive list would be (from countries I know): UK had the BBC,...


9

Slightly disagreeing with the accepted answer because the questioner asked about computers that were built around legacy processor architectures and I wouldn't classify the ARM as such, I propose the Amstrad PCW range. Sold only for home use, in a conventional desktop form, its final form was not discontinued until 1998. Although it had lost software ...


9

Commodore's experiences were driven by the interactions between Commodore management and its dealer network, and should not be taken as indicative of some broader tendencies within the early personal computer industry. To support this assertion, I would point to the other early personal computer companies whose experiences were different from Commodore. The ...


8

Your question conflates two questions into one: Did the IIgs sell more than the Mac in 1986? If so, why did the IIgs sell more than the Mac? Others have given valid reasons for (2), but there is evidence that the answer to (1) is "No". For instance this source says the Mac sold a million units by 1987, which is about what the IIgs sold over its whole ...


7

I would say that the Apple II did tap the business and scientific markets! From the business side, VisiCalc on Apple II was a major driving force in many businesses. One could make the case that it was responsible for the majority of the sudden explosion of bond trading in the late 1970s. The ability to easily calculate spreads across hundreds of issues was ...


7

This is my take on the topic: PCs became an off the shelf product and the case for special school computers diminished. As Thomas says, in the first half of the 80s several countries had their own big budget projects to introduce computers into the education. Custom hardware was built. In Sweden where I live we had Swedish made computers like Telenova ...


7

In 1981 I acquired an IBM 5444 from an old mainframe computer. Luckily I also got the service manual for it, and so was able to design a controller board to interface it to my Sinclair ZX81. The interface circuit only used about a half dozen TTL chips and was quite simple, but the ZX81's clock frequency was slightly too low so I had to disable the drive's ...


7

Nop. 1500 USD was resale for the drive. Just for the drive. But noone - at least noone with a tie - bought just a drive. The mentioned Apple 'drive' was a Apple Profile, a complete setup including disk, controller and power supply in a case plus cabeling and a interface card. Not to mention the software (inside and drivers for SOS/DOS). All at a retail ...


7

Commodore went bankrupt in 1994 and sold their assets to ESCOM who re-released the A1200 and A4000T. Then ESCOM went bankrupt in 1997 but one of their licensees, QuikPak, continued to produce the 68060-based A4000T into 1998 until ESCOM's lawsuit against QuikPak halted production. Here is a photo of an A4000T manufactured on 1998-03-30. Soon we will see ARM-...


6

I had a quick browse of the archive.org computer magazines section, searching for 'Australia' and 'Australian'. The sampling is unlikely to be fair, since I believe archive.org carries only what users happens to have kept and uploaded, but from this I found: a long-running line of Commodore magazines: Australian Commodore Amiga Review, Workbench Magazine, ...


5

First of all, it's rather frivolous to ask for a hard disk with a microcomputer in 1977. If one could afford a hard disk, one would buy it with a mini. And even then it would be rather an SMD drive. The only hard drives (as in non-exchangeable, fixed closure) available in 1977 were the namesake Winchester drive (IBM 3340) and its direct follow up of 1975 (...


5

There were SCSI cards for the Apple II, so you could attach a SCSI hard drive. Hard drives were also supported by ProDOS, with a volume size of up to 32M, and hierarchical subdirectories. So, it was easy, there were packaged solutions, and no need to design your own controller. :-) For the Commodore PET, there were also harddrives available, e.g. the D9060,...


5

Pentagon-1024SL was a ZX Spectrum souped-up clone, manufactured and sold in Russia in the late 2000s. This was of course already oriented towards retro enthusiasts, and probably only a limited amount of units has been produced for sale (as opposed to DIY construction).


5

No, they where neither rare nor expensive in 1982. Already in 1981 Apple did fit by default 250ns 4116 (usually AMD) to the Apple II+. Since the machine only needed 450ns RAMs, it's safe to assume that there wasn't any noticable price difference. I just checked several II and II+ and only one from ~1978 got 450ns RAM and another from ~1979 or 1980 got 300ns ...


4

There was a big "Apple II Forever" push encouraging users to upgrade. Also schools likely bought IIgses in bulk for their computer labs, driving up the sales figures.


4

The Apple II was a computer targetting nerds (probably even before that term existed in its current meaning). It implied taking things apart, tinker with it and, generally "needs inside knowledge" - A corporate image entirely different to Apple today. IBM was known as "we'll not explain or require you to understand how it works, you simply pay us (a bit ...


4

One thing that I heard is that IBM dealers got a discount on all products they sold based on the number of units they sold. The discount on a mini computer due to "selling" a PC could be more then the cost of the PC. Hence there were very large discounts for small companies that bought PCs from some of the dealers. Another factor is that a PC with a ...


4

In no particular order, some of the issues included: Market Timing: The IIc was introduced near the end of the 8-bit era, after the iconic introduction of the Macintosh. Competition: The IIc competed with the Apple IIe, the Apple IIGS, and the Macintosh LC with Apple IIe card. Price: The IIc was $1,295 while the IIe was $995. Clones like the visually ...


4

Small ISVs certainly existed. I work for a large ISV, but the product I work on traces its history to a company started in 1974, to commercialise some academic research. The intention was to be a consultancy, but it rapidly turned into an ISV, simply because the potential customers wanted to license that kind of software, rather than pay consultants to tell ...


3

The times we are talking about, late 70's to early 80's, were crazy with new uses for technology. Nobody understood it fully. Looking back today, it is easy to see that computers were valuable to business. It is easy to spot the uses and advantages. In fact, as time passed, they became indispensable to successful business endeavors. I was young then, but ...


2

Dell currently manufactures the AIO (all in one) that is a single monitor/computer form factor. Nobody in their right mind (in my opinion after working with them) buys them because they use laptop hard disks (that are much less reliable) and take a special tool to open (making their support much harder) and if the screen died the entire computer is scrap. ...


2

Apparently one of the sticking points of Apple achieving a foothold in an IBM workplace is that Apple did not compete with IBM to completely match the professional business/scientific hardware capabilities that IBM offered. One of the particular nitpicks had to do with parity memory. IBM offered support for it on the PC/AT and Apple did not, and so the ...


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