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Why are we including an Apple ll in with all of the other computers on our inventory? Simple. It all goes back to why Tom wanted to collect specific vintage computers.
In the beginning of Toms’ collection, he had envisioned owning only those computers he had direct contact with. Whether that meant in a classroom setting, or a working environment, all of these computers left their influence on the direction Tom would eventually take in his life. And, each computer had something unique to offer.
The Apple lle was a computer Tom used while working part time in a small computer shop called Vegas Micro Computers in Las Vegas. Those were still the early days of home and small business computing. Tom was in between his two different attempts at completing college with his degree; which he eventually got. The owners of Vegas Micro let Tom come in whenever he wanted, to either work or play on the computers in the show room. At minimum wage, plus commission, it wasn’t well paying, but Tom had a lot of fun, from setting up new computers as they arrived, to working with new customers as the came in.
Tom’s primary job was to sell computers. Tom could do whatever he wanted, as long as any customer came in through the door, Tom sold them something. It was a great arrangement for Tom, who gravitated toward the Apple ll computers. It was an Apple lle that really caught his eye. The computer was easy to use, and equally easy to upgrade. That is what Tom liked the most. Tom spent many hours at the Apple ll writing programming code, playing games, or just writing and printing letters. The Apple ll did what Tom wanted, which led him to sell more of them than any other computer system in the store.
Sadly, this job lasted only a few months, but that one Apple ll had made its mark. Tom liked the computer’s somewhat compact design, He also liked how easy it was to upgrade, even though he was never allowed to upgrade any of the computers in the store. Tom had intended to save up the money to eventually buy one of these computers for himself, but that never happened. Life took Tom into what seemed like a totally new direction.
Eventually, Tom would find work in the computer technical desk in Las Vegas, where the Apple ll series of computers were still getting calls. That is what brought the computer back into Tom’s memory, and also why he is including one in his collection, and on these pages.
The Apple lle was both the first, and last of the computers Tom had gotten as part of his collection of vintage computers. Edward Hall, the other half of All Things DOS, had won an Apple lle through a Utah School District auction for only $5.00 while living in Spanish Fork in Utah. When Ed and his family came to visit Tom a couple of months later, he gave it to Tom.
Sadly, Tom had gotten his IBM 5150 PC during that time, so the Apple just sat collecting dust. Tom gave the Apple back to Edward in hopes that Ed would work on the computer. But Ed had other things that kept him from doing anything with it, so after Tom finally completed restoring and upgrading his 5150 system, Ed gave the Apple lle back to Tom who is now working to locate parts and peripherals to outfit this computer to make it the best possible Apple lle as possible.
Wish Tom luck. With the death of Steve Jobs, both computer and parts have gone up in price. Yet even with that; Tom has made many friends in the Vintage Computer Forums who with a little time, patience, and money, Tom will undoubtedly reach his goal for this machine, just as he has for his IBM system.