[SIGCIS-Members] Fwd: The compelling history of the personal computer behind an industry behemoth

Gerard Alberts G.Alberts at uva.nl
Fri Jun 9 04:39:34 PDT 2023

Thank you Kat, thank you Laine
and more than  that, Laine, thanks again for  the book,
Van: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> namens Laine Nooney via Members <members at lists.sigcis.org>
Verzonden: vrijdag 9 juni 2023 13:14
Aan: Kat Brewster <kbbrewst at uci.edu>
CC: SIGCIS <members at sigcis.org>
Onderwerp: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Fwd: The compelling history of the personal computer behind an industry behemoth

lol happy to weigh in on this public listserv about my "highly inaccurate" cover, given I wrote the book!

Historical purists, please know that you are not alone! This is not the first time I've been challenged about the cover image (check out my lowest scoring Amazon review, from someone who has not read the book but had alot of feelings about the cover).

As Kat pointed out (thanks Kat!), the image is the "Computer" graphic from The Print Shop--a program originally released for the Apple II, and many systems thereafter, resulting in its widespread use and significant popularity among home and education micro users. As noted, I have a whole chapter about The Print Shop in the book.

As a visual motif for the book, I felt the Print Shop graphic would be a more resonant image with a broader public beyond contemporary Mac dads and computer historians--given I suspect most people who ever encountered an Apple II 40 years ago could not, if you paid them, accurately describe exactly what it looked like without looking at a picture. One of this book's goals has always been to offer a history in which all computer users might see themselves--not just expert users who made computing a profession, passion, or identity, but users who likely forgot they were ever a part of computing history at all. For me, The Print Shop's affable computer face fits that brief better than a picture of an Apple II.

And here's the real kicker--the assumption that the image is some other kind of Apple is itself incorrect (tho I love the implication that I am so checked out I'd put the wrong Apple on my cover--really ya'll?!). The actual reference object for The Print Shop computer graphic is, weirdly enough, a Northstar Advantage<https://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=652>. One of the creators, Marty Kahn, worked at NorthStar, specifically developing graphics utilities for the Advantage, before taking a job at Brøderbund; he and his partner David Balsam did all their initial prototyping on Marty's Advantage (I know this b/c I was the first person in 25 years to track these men down and interview them). If the "wrong" computer was good enough for Marty, it's good enough for me :)

Now, for anyone who has an interest in reading the book, my publisher is currently offering a promotion if you buy directly from the press: 40% off if you use the code NOONEY40 on their site<https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/A/bo195231688.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BUY%20NOW&utm_campaign=Nooney_Single_book>.

Happy computing, Apple II forever, etc etc,

Laine Nooney<http://www.lainenooney.com/>

Assistant Professor |  MCC<http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/mcc/> @ NYU<http://www.nyu.edu/>  | they/them

-Need to make an appt? Click, don't email: https://bit.ly/2GIHuK0
-Probably typed by voice recognition, so please cherish typos

On Thu, Jun 8, 2023 at 7:42 PM Kat Brewster via Members <members at lists.sigcis.org<mailto:members at lists.sigcis.org>> wrote:
While not an Apple II, the image on the cover is a Print Shop graphic<https://twitter.com/Sierra_OffLine/status/1657778489070583809?s=20> -- and purposeful, if Laine is to be trusted here! I think it's kind of tongue-in-cheek for a book that is more about the age of the Apple II rather than the Apple II itself.

On Thu, Jun 8, 2023 at 4:17 PM Brian Berg via Members <members at lists.sigcis.org<mailto:members at lists.sigcis.org>> wrote:
I had not noticed this originally, but it was noted to me that the origin of the cover image is highly inaccurate re: how the Apple ][ looked in 1978 with the availability of the Disk ][ option, which in effect replaced the original cassette for mass storage, as shown at

Brian Berg

On Thu, Jun 8, 2023 at 8:19 AM Jonathan Coopersmith via Members <members at lists.sigcis.org<mailto:members at lists.sigcis.org>> wrote:
A pleasure to see UC promoting The Apple II Age
Jonathan Coopersmith

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From: University of Chicago Press <directmarketing at uchicago.edu<mailto:directmarketing at uchicago.edu>>
Date: Thu, Jun 8, 2023 at 8:45 AM
Subject: The compelling history of the personal computer behind an industry behemoth
To: <j-coopersmith at tamu.edu<mailto:j-coopersmith at tamu.edu>>

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The Apple II Age
Laine Nooney
Now available, this 352-page history explores how the Apple II's software helped a machine transcend from hobbyist's plaything to essential home appliance.
Skip the iPhone, the iPod, and the Macintosh. If you want to understand how Apple Inc. became an industry behemoth, look no futher than the 1977 Apple II. Designed by the brilliant engineer Steve Wozniak and hustled into the marketplace by his Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, the Apple II became one of the most prominent personal computers of this dawning industry.
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“The Apple II Age is a joy to read and an extraordinary achievement in computer history. A rigorous thinker and a bright and witty writer, Nooney offers a compelling account of the initial attempts to make computers inviting to the public. The Apple II Age, like the old microcomputer itself, is bound to intrigue both experts and newcomeres to the subject.” —Joanne McNeil, author of Lurking: How a Person Became a User

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