The Apple II Story: Sophistication & Simplicity

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Dr. Steven Weyhrich has published his long-awaited book on the history of the Apple II: Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life and Times of the Apple II Computer.

The 565 page book covers everything to know about the Apple II: its development by Jobs and Wozniak, its computer languages, everything about the hardware, the accessories, sofware, magazines that sprung up, the online boom (and bust) and all the people involved in the glorious times of the Apple II, all covered in 47 chapters. Two appendices cover the software hits and a complete Apple II timeline.

The book is beautifully produced in hardback and spares no effort with product photos. Anyone researching the history of the Apple II or just wanting to go back and relive those days will want this book for reference. It's a work of passion and scholarship.


Check It Out: The Apple II Story: Sophistication & Simplicity

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I must be getting old. A book on the history of the Apple II speaks of a time when as a younger version of myself we bought our very first “real” computer - an IIc. Ah! The good old days were an exciting time. That was a tough purchase decision to get spousal approval on.


Oh yeah. Our first “real computer"was a llc. Then we upgrade to a lle that had a RAM card, a full sized card covered with ICs on both sides that add a whopping 1 mb of RAM. It was enough to load all of AppleWorks at one time. My wife was able to keep track of our wedding guest list, make and print mailing labels for invitations, keep tack of RSVPs, gifts, and thank you notes. It was an amazing achievement for a home computer at the time. The lle also had a color monitor, unlike the llc that had a green screen monochrome, not black and white. I spent many hours playing Chuck Yeager Flight Simulator on the lle. I got pretty good at coding in BASC, whatever Apple’s version of BASIC was called.

Then in 89 or 90 we got a Mac Classic and the world changed

Lee Dronick

Same here, an Apple IIc, it certainly had a positive effect on my life.  I bought while I was still in the Navy and when I retired from that my knowledge of Apple II got me a job with Beagle Bros.

The expense? Somewhere, in my archives I still have the receipt, but it was a good chunk of change.


I think basic had AppleSoft in its’ name. It was the MacPlus that opened my eyes to the possibilities of personal computing. And I remember Beagle Bros. smile

Lee Dronick

I am the hirsute guy with the beard.

John Martellaro

My wife wrote her Ph.D. thesis with an Apple IIe, Pie Writer and an attached daisy wheel printer.  I am mentioned in the book on pages 176-179.


Wow, lots of IIcs. My first computer was a ][+. I chose it because it had Applesoft basic rather than integer basic, which was in the ][. Since I was using it for business I didn’t want to have to program around the need for 2 decimal places.

I didn’t have to get spousal approval but I did have to get boss approval. I ended up programing a payroll program in Basic and of course used VisiCalc for other financial tasks. DiversiDOS was my first shareware purchase, and my MicroModem IIe was a speedy 300 Baud. One of my last projects on an Apple ][ computer was a cash basis bookkeeping program system using DB Master Pro by Stone Edge Technologies, an amazing program given the platform on which it ran. Ah, those were the days!


I’m anxious to read the book. I purchased my Apple II (serial number 8961) in 1978. I still have it, and it still works. These were the days before Disk Drives. My first peripheral was a Hayes MicroModem. This allowed me to access my Apple II from work - before we were permitted to have time-share access.

John Martellaro

truhill:  Ah yes.  The Hayes 300 baud modem.  A friend and I logged into the university computer with our Apple IIs to edit the Apple club newsletter, and we were giddy with tech.  Plus, I was using a cassette-based assembler to write software. OMG.

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