Tech Friday: Word processor WordStar in 1980 for the Apple II

Posted By on April 3, 2020


Above is a graphic sent by a friend, who knows of my long time Apple addiction … and it had me pondering the Steve Jobs vs Steve Wozniak struggle when trying to grow Apple Computer back in the early days (watch the Danny Boyle Macintosh_SE_1987movie called Steve Jobs). One of the founders was an advocated for a closed system (Jobs) and the other, the engineer (Woz), believed that computer geeks wanted to be able to expand their computers. Both views had their merits.

Initially the early Apple computers were expandable, but by 1984 when the Apple Macintosh arrived, the slots were gone, the box (or unique all in one case) was buttoned up and Macintosh OS very restrictive. My first Mac was the SE with a 20MB hard drive and thankfully I found a way to “open it Apple3_5Disksup” and install a Radius accelerator card and full page external display. In my opinion, that was still one of the greatest advancement in my computing life as it help my Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co. along with software like Aldus Pagemaker grow and compete by “desktop publishing.” At the time others relied solely on typesetting companies and artboard oriented graphic artists to pasteup pages and flats … which we were doing too.

Although I can’t claim to have been an Apple II advocate back in the day, I did want one. At that time I was only familiar with mainframes, card decks and a borrowed TRS-80 Tandy with a cassette tape deck (when I took over classes at Miami University as a graduate teaching assistant for a professor on sabbatical). Eventually I did buy my first computer, a Compaq computer running MSDOS (which I still boots up).


All in all, it is interesting to have had a front row seat to personal computing history … thanks for the forwarded graphic, Jeff!      


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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