Monthly Archives: November 2010

Apple III: Random Appearances

The Apple III seems to show up in the strangest of places.  This video was recently posted to YouTube:

????????? ??????? – ?????! (No, I don’t know what it means, either…)

Boingboing picked it up and it had a moment or two in the viral internet sun.  Apparently, the Soviets were doing digital photo manipulation several years before the release of the first version of Photoshop, which is very cool.  But of course, what caught my eye was the Apple III the technician is using to control the PERICOLOR-1000, which is actually a French device running Russian software.  From the brief glimpses we get of the III, it’s hard to make out the keys but the “><” key in the upper right corner where the “|” is normally found on every Apple III I’ve ever seen, would seem to indicate that it’s a non-US keyboard.  Also, from the position of the Apple keys, this is an Apple III, not a III+.  I wonder if they have to pick it up three inches and drop it to reseat the chips between every image…

While the video doesn’t provide any information or historical context for the III, it’s always nice to see something like this.  Other than magazine ads from the era, and videos made in the present day by Apple III enthusiasts, Apple III-relevant multimedia is scarce.  The III appears briefly here and there in Apple II ads made when Apple was trying to convince the consumer that the III was part of the Apple II family, company shareholder reports, and not really anywhere else.   I chalk it up to Apple trying to position the III as a business machine and the fact that it had a very brief – and very rocky – lifespan.

The Apple III also gets a brief mention in this recent interview.  Eyal Akler of DaniWeb sat down with Woz and unfortunately, their discussion of the III is limited to the same old thing: its flaws.  It would be nice to see an article or interview that didn’t just rehash the technical problems suffered by the III and took a look at all the other stuff that was actually really great about Apple’s first business computer…  From an Apple II standpoint, there’s nothing new in the piece and, is it just me or do you get the sense that Woz is beginning to tire of the same old Apple II questions again and again?  Not that I blame him…