Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apple II series

The Apple II was the first highly successful mass produced microcomputer product, manufactured by Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) and introduced in 1977. It was among the first home computers on the market, and became one of the most recognizable and successful. In terms of ease of use, features and expandability the Apple II was a major technological advancement over its predecessor, the Apple I, a limited production bare circuit board computer for electronics hobbyists which pioneered many features that made the Apple II a commercial success. Introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire in 1977, the Apple II was among the first successful personal computers and responsible for launching the Apple company into a successful business. (Competitors with the Apple II for the title of "first mass-produced microcomputer" include the IBM 5100 [sold fully assembled] and the Altair 8800 [sold in kit and assembled form, but mostly as a kit], both introduced in 1975; the winner depends on the definition of "mass-produced".) Throughout the years a number of different models were introduced and sold, with the most popular model manufactured having relatively minor changes even into the 1990s. By the end of its production in 1993, somewhere between five and six million Apple II series computers (including approximately 1.25 million Apple IIGS models) had been produced.

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