- Apple II F.A.Q.
Apple announces the IIc
- Writen by George A. Miller, July
Apple IIc Advertisement
1984: On the very same day the ill-fated Apple
III was quietly discontinued after selling only
120,000 units over four years, the new Apple
IIc (US$1,295) was introduced in San Francisco's
Moscone Center during a boisterous celebration
"Apple II Forever" that was interrupted
briefly by an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the
Richter scale. Apple took orders for more than
52,000 Apple IIc systems in a single day, surpassing
the number of Macs the firm had sold in the prior
three months. Here
is an Apple IIc for sell (maybee sold now).
Apple announces the Apple IIc
Writen by George A. Miller.
Published at Creative Computing VOL.
10, NO. 7 / JULY 1984
24, 1984 Apple Computer made an earthshaking
announcement: the Apple IIc. The Moscone Center
in San Francisco shook for nearly three minutes
with the force of 6.2 on the Richter scale. The
occasion for the announcement was a combined
dealer/sales convention for Apple. The theme
of the convention was "Apple II Forever," which
neatly summarizes Apple's long range strategic
plan for the Apple II.
of the Apple IIc on
April 24, 1984 at the Moscone Center in San
Francisco. After showing pictures of the new
computer and the television ads the would show
it to the world, CEO John Sculley asked the dealers
in attendance if they would like closer look,
and Apple employees scattered throughout the
audience pulled out Apple IIc computers from
beneath their seats and held them up in the air.
This photo shows the computers being held high
for all to see.
Apple's objectives here were
to introduce The Apple IIc, describe how it fit
into the company's marketing strategy, show off
new software that was made to work with the new
computer, and emphasize that Apple was still
firmly behind the Apple II line of computers.
Steve Jobs also took some of the time to report
on the sales of the Macintosh in its first 100
days. Picture and text used with permission of
the Apple II
IIc contains a 65C02 CPU operating
at 1.02 MHz--essentially a low heat version of
the processor used in all Apple IIs. It contains
128K of RAM and 16K of ROM, which includes Applesoft
Basic. A 5-1/4" disk drive is built into
the unit along with a full-function keyboard.
The power transformer has been removed from the
main unit and attached to the power cord. This
allows the Apple IIc to run off of an AC outlet,
a car cigarette lighter, or a battery pack. The
unit has a slim design, is ivory in color, and
weighs only 7-1/2 pounds. The little handle on
the back is most useful for propping the unit
up for a proper keyboard angle. It is only marginally
useful for toting the unit since you also need
to tote the power cord, disks, and the RF modulator
in hopes of tracking down a TV set to plug into.
The rear panel contains a potpourri of sockets
which lets the Apple IIc neatly communicate with
the outside world. There are sockets for a display
screen, a printer, a modem, a mouse, a joystick,
and a second floppy disk drive. In keeping with
Apple's international outlook, each socket is
labelled with an icon which identifies the function
of the socket. A built-in speaker allows five
octaves of sound.
IIc offers three graphics modes: 16-color
low resolution (40 by 48), six-color high resolution
(280 by 192), and monochrome ultra-high resolution
(560 by 192).
The keyboard is really nice. The keys are full-stroke
and have an audible click. Upper- and lowercase
are available, and there is a tiny switch at
the top of the keyboard to allow you to switch
from 40 columns to 80 columns. Next to that switch
is another one used to change the keyboard from
QWERTY to Dvorak. On the international versions
of the Apple IIc the keyboard switch will allow
instant flip from your country keyboard layout
IIc sells for $1295. Accessories include
a printer, mouse, monitor, monitor stand, carrying
case, second power pack, and disk drive. The
printer is called the Apple Scribe thermal-transfer
printer. It costs $299 and is capable of high-quality
text and graphics in black and white or color.
If you get the color ribbon, you can print in
cyan, magenta, and yellow. By careful control
of adjacent colors you can create combinations
of these colors. Clever software should permit
a whole rainbow of output.
The mouse sells for $99 and is the same mouse
as comes with the Macintosh. In fact, free with
your purchase of the mouse is a program called
Mousepaint, which bears a strong resemblance
to MacPaint. The monitor is a very small, green
phosphor screen which sells for $199; the stand
for $39. The carrying case costs $39, and the
external drive, $329. Apple's Imagewriter can
also be connected to the IIc. Perhaps most interesting
was the announcement of a future accessory called
the flat display. This is a full 80-column by
24-row, low power LCD display is scheduled to
be released in the fall and will sell for $600.
With this display and the battery pack, the Apple
IIc may actually achieve portability.
of the facts. Now for some editorial
comment and speculation: It is clear that the
Apple IIc is a direct attack on the IBM PCjr.
The two machines sitting side-by-side look very
much alike. They both have 128K memory, one disk
drive, an external power pack, and basically
the same back panel of sockets. They are basically
the same price, and both claim heritage of their
family line of software. The keyboard on the
Apple IIc is much better than the IBM PCjr. The
CPU on the PCjr is much larger and faster than
the one on the Apple. The Apple IIc will be able
to run on a battery; the IBM PCjr was not designed
to be battery driven. You can attach a mouse
to either. The IBM PCjr allows bus expansion
out the side and ROM cartridges in the front.
This war will have no clear winner. Apple fans
will buy the Apple IIc, and IBM fans will buy
the Apple II will live forever. There
is enough momentum to let it coast to the age
at which it will become a museum piece. The Apple
IIc has got to be the final transmutation of
the Apple II for the following reasons: The Apple
II requires a 5-1/4" disk drive for compatibility
with its base of 10,000 programs. The Apple IIc
is about as small a package one can design with
a full-function keyboard and a 5-1/4" disk
Apple has staked out a very bright future with
its Lisa/Macintosh and will start devoting more
of its energies to the 68000 chip and the 3-1/2"
disk drive. The Macintosh is a revolutionary
machine. The Apple IIc is evolutionary and the
final (I believe) installment in the Apple II
Apple claims that 90 percent of the 10,000 Apple
II programs will run on the Apple IIc. 10,000
programs should not be sneezed at; however, how
many of them are really useful? Software becomes
obsolete, just as hardware does. You can use
only one word processor at a time, yet there
are dozens for the Apple II. The newest wrinkle
is the mouse. How many of these 10,000 programs
use the mouse?
These observations notwithstanding, Apple has
made a very strong move with the Apple IIc and
its marketing of it. I am convinced of the long
term viability of Apple as the computer company
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