Talk:Apple III

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any reason why this article writes "///" instead of "III"? -- Tarquin 18:43 Feb 9, 2003 (UTC)

It was standard form when referring to the pre-Macintosh Apple machines, intended to recall the styling of the machines' logos. "Apple II" was generally written "Apple ][" and the Apple III used slashes.

Liam Proven 14:14, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That was also the way the Apple /// was listed in all the Apple textbooks and manuals.KAS 14:04, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
And very important, the metal ID badge on the front case of the Apple III and III Plus had the model number three printed as three forward slashes: "///"--Apple2gs 20:06, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Apple switched to slashes for the II series as well around the time the //c was introduced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

20 Megabyte Profile[edit]

Apple Computer also made a 20-megabyte Profile that sold for $3,500.

That figures out to $175 per megabyte by yesterday’s standards! My computer today is 250 gigabyte. Lets see, 250 gigabyte at a cost of $175.00 would be about $43,750,000. I would say buying a hard drive today for a couple of hundreds bucks is a bargain. Thank god for technology.

I owned an Apple /// Business computer with a 20 megabyte Profile and used it over 10 years, well up into the nineties. Later I only used the machine for a couple of jobs as time went on. It sat in our spare office. I had become so accustomed to using its flagship software “Three EZ Pieces” and Apple Business Basic (ABB) that I kept on using it. It did things that the newer computers didn’t. I wrote one program that would fill out invoices. The printer would imprint through four carbon copies. Before I wrote that program we filled out our invoices on the IBM Selectric typewriter that cost $800.00. The problem with the Selectric typewriter was that when a mistake was made, it messed up 4 carbon copies and the whiteout look unprofessional. The Apple /// and ABB made office life much better. I also wrote an industrial engineering program AutoCAM with Apple Business Basic that did “cam layout” for Brown & Sharpe Screw Machines in just a few minutes (saved an hour over conventional methods) and then later with Visual Basic 1.0 (on an HP) when it first came out, and now written in Visual Basic 6.0. I also wrote a payroll, and a quoting program for the Apple /// machine and used it in my company. I thought it should be mentioned that the Apple /// came with a PROFILE with a capacity of 20 mgs at a cost of $3,500. I noticed on the front page the also made a 5 meg. My cost for the Apple /// with CRT, CPU, Profile 20 meg, printer and some software was about $9,000. Available software was scarce and SLOW. We never used the accounting program because it would take forever just to switch out of receivables to payables. That was why I was motivated to learn ABB. When I got it, it sat in a corner on the floor for about 6 months because no one knew how to run it. But once I got started with Three EZ Pieces and Learning Apple Business Basic, I was hooked. I think I still have some books and software round here for that machine. KAS 14:01, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

The ProFile hardisk came in sizes of either 5 megabytes and 10 megabytes, nothing else (e.g. Seagate ST-506 or ST-512 mechanism). If yours did have a 20 megabyte hardisk mechanism, it would have been as a user upgrade--and that I believe, would have required a custom firmware ROM for the drive written to support it too. The hardisks themselves were MFM type, and interfaced with the Lisa, Apple III and Apple II via a bi-directional parallel controller interface.
The very first 20 megabyte hardrive sold by Apple was the Apple HD20. It connected to the Macintosh through the floppy port controller and relatively slow, unlike the later SCSI based Apple HD20-SC. Which brings up an interesting point, in that the Apple III was able to use SCSI hardisks later in life by borrowing SCSI controller cards from the Apple II line (special drivers are required however).Apple2gs 20:06, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
That’s strange, it was my understanding it was a 20-megabyte. Thanks for the update. I know one thing, after the accounting program was installed; I never used the program after the first few days. It took at least 5 to 10 minutes to switch payables to receivables. It was Peachtree I think, but who knows since it as slower then a snail I didn’t take notice to remember the name. It did seem like we had a lot of unused space on the drive, even after the programs were installed. It’s nice to have a person with knowledge to converse with. Have you ever used the Apple ///? The ProFile sounded like a muffled jet engine whirling around. It was made well because in the all the years it was booted everyday; it just kept on whirling around, day in and day out. I actually liked that machine and it was a boost to my self-esteem that I could run it when most of my competitors didn’t have computers. I remember IBM would come around and smooze us to buy one of their low-end computers for about $20,000 to $25,000. We’d go to their meetings and listen to their presentations, but still, in the end, the argument was they were pricing themselves out of the market. KAS 04:10, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Those old MFM ST-5xx drives were notorious for being noisy (and slow). I've never used one, but came close to owning one when a second hand shop I came across had one in stock, along with several controller cards for the Apple III. I regret not purchasing it in retrospect, not only to make my Apple III more workable, but to have as a historic piece of computing (it was afterall, one of the first consumer available hardisks; certainly the very first one Apple ever offered). Yes, I do own an Apple III...with 256K RAM, an external Disk III and Monitor III. I even have four compatible digital color RGB monitors to use with it, but not had a chance to hook any up so far as it's not often I take my III out of storage. I picked it up about 12 years ago which was quite a find even then...they're not exactly that common as only perhaps 100,000 were made. I would be interested in finding more software for mine, it's an interesting machine.Apple2gs 19:40, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
It’s great to see the love for the Apple /// still out there! My ProFile sat between the CRT and the CPU, and This will make you sick. When the company went BK in 2001, (just after 911 due to NOTHING moving with PO's for months) I didn't have anyplace for the Apple /// and I didn't want anyone to have access to the hard drive, so I destroyed the whole system and tossed it in the industrial trash. I've more then once regretted I did that. However, I think I have some of the original Textbooks and some software. And, I think I have pictures of the system in the office the way it was setup to use – ProFile in the center of the stack. I sure wished you had walked by in 2001 because I would have loved to have given my Apple /// a good home, but no one seemed interested in a dinosaur of a computer. In fact, we affectionately called it Dino in the office. KAS 02:19, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
I have a similar story. One of my friends, back in the very early 90's, found an Apple IIe with ProFile hardisk in the dumpster from a company that had either gone under or simply disposing of obsolete office equipment. He salvaged it all and brought it home...however, and I'll never understand why, destroyed the ProFile by ripping out the physical disc platter to hang on his wall like a trophy! I talked him into giving me the Apple IIe and (now rare) Apple II ProFile controller card before he destroyed those as well and still have them today. I suppose he reasoned if it was in the trash it had no value.
My Apple III was given to me free not long after that incident, someone had one in their garage and offered it to me (I'm sure I saved it from being eventually trashed). I treasure it because it's so unique and interesting a machine, and although similar in many respects to the Apple II, no more an Apple II than a Lisa is a Macintosh. If you ever feel like giving those books and software a good home, let me know. :) Apple2gs 01:35, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
This convesation should be moved to email, or an appropriate old-Apple forum. Talk pages are for the discussion of the article itself. -- Mikeblas 19:17, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

The operating system was seriously called SOS? That's too funny to be true! 00:55, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Apple III comparison to IIGS[edit]

The more I learn about the Apple III, IIe and IIGS, the more I believe the distinction to oust the III from the Apple II family is unreasonable. The fact is, Apple intended the III to be the successor to the II, in exactly the same way the IIGS was positioned to replace the IIe. Unlike the IIGS at some point Apple decided the III should be perceived as a completely different machine that had nothing to do with the II and why shouldn't it, it was! Having said that, the IIGS was also a completely different machine, but Apple took the opposite strategy and basically tricked the II community by calling it a "II". The IIGS though, unlike the III, allowed the II emulation (and it was emulation, nothing about the IIGS hardware would run Apple II software natively) to utilize the full power of the IIGS, whereas the III intentionally crippled the ability of the II software to use more than standard II Plus specs. Otherwise, the two computers filled exactly the same niche in Apple's II family at different times, names notwithstanding. Like the IIGS to the IIe, had the III not been plagued with problems, it likely would have eventually replaced the II Plus and through its backward compatibility, JUST LIKE THE IIGS, eventually become the successor. It might also have changed their place in history. Nevertheless, as it played out, the IIGS was a logical successor to convert text-based users into GUIs and left unimpeded, it would have ultimately converted all IIe users and I would have expected it to eventually become a IIGS card for the Power Mac line, instead. Had the III been successful, the IIGS would have likely never happened and the III would have gone straight to a Mac card. What I'm saying here is, the III is a different family than the IIe in name only, just like the IIGS is the same family in name only. These distinctions must not be lost due to the passion for the platform most II users express.--Mac128 (talk) 04:48, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

One thing you must keep in mind is the chronological ordering of history. It is easy to look at history today and compare the IIgs to the III. But, keep in mind that when the III was discontinued in 1984, it was two years before the IIgs became public. Also keep in mind that the IIgs was post-Steve Jobs (he was fired about one year before the IIgs introduction.) I don't think the IIgs was ever supposed to be replace the IIe. As a matter of fact, the IIe outlasted the IIgs, as it was discontinued in 1993 (the IIgs lasted only six years.) And to push the envelope even more, I truly don't believe the IIgs would have been produced if Steve Jobs was still around.
Here's how I look at the whole thing. The III was very pivotal in bringing the Apple 8-bit line to business standards. If Apple had the kanones to upgrade the 8-bit line to the Intel 8086 16-bit like Woz originally planned, then they probably would've successfully competed with the IBM PC. But, we'll never know. Instead, they stuck with the 8-bit design, and relied on completely inventing a totally new operating system (SOS), and thereby forcing everyone to purchase new software (kind of like the move from Mac 68k to PPC, or PPC to Intel.) Remember that software ALWAYS dictates the hardware's direction. If Apple was smart enough to implement yellow box-like features to the III (FULL hardware-level II support,) then more people would've bought the III as the next II model. But to actually think that Apple planned on carrying three different platforms - the II, III and Apple Lisa - it is ultimate stupidity.
As for the IIgs, IMHO it was invented purely as a reactive move, and not a long-term proactive move. It actually competed head-to-head with the Commodore Amiga 1000, while the IIe sat back and competed with the Commodore 64K and 128K, among other 8-bit systems. The IIgs didn't have Woz and Jobs. It really wasn't grasped by the schools. Although the IIgs was a great computer, I truly cannot for the life of me fill one paragraph with what this computer contributed to Apple long-term. For starters, GS/OS was a copy of Macintosh System software, so it contributed nothing to GUI design. Its "GS" functions was never used again in any Apple computer. ProDOS 8 was already invented before the IIgs came along. The only thing I can see is ADB ports. As for the III, it came out with several things that were later recycled in other Apple products. ProDOS was inspired by SOS. The keyboard and chassis design (and mistakes) probably improved the eventual IIe that came afterwards.
But, to say that III's success would not have made the IIgs possible is difficult to swallow. To play devil's advocate, Steve would've stuck with the III's success (they say he stayed away from the III because of its problems) had they upgraded to 16-bit, and we may have never seen the Macintosh 128K. Think about it - if the III did indeed compete well with the IBM PC, the III and the Apple Lisa would have been the two computing platforms. Again, the chronological ordering of history must be fully understood. Groink (talk) 10:33, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think you understood my point at all. First, Apple planned on replacing the Apple II Plus with the Apple ///, they never planned on continuing the Apple II line at all, so sure they were that the /// was the next great thing. And the /// was only supposed to carry the company until the Lisa was ready, which would revolutionize the industry. Thus Apple would be a single computer manufacturer, and no one would ever want to use a text-based computer again. But ultimately, what they intended or what might have happened has nothing to do with the fact that the /// hardware ran II software natively, yet was considered a completely different computer & the GS hardware was a completely different computer which only emulated the II, yet the former was called the Apple /// and the latter, a II. Purely marketing. Yet the Apple II community generally embraces the IIGS but shuns the ///, despite the reverse should be true.--Mac128 (talk) 21:49, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Correction: The Apple III did NOT run Apple II software natively. It required a special floppy disk booted and loaded into memory, and from there, an Apple II emulator allowed it to act like and run Apple II software. In many ways, it is similar to the Apple IIe Card in the Macintosh, both required a special piece of software to temporarily transform the computer into "Apple II" mode. The Apple II and Apple III sides did not co-exist at the same time, much like the Apple IIe and Macintosh sides did not co-exist--you were either in one mode or the other. The Apple IIGS ran Apple II software in emulation, but it was built-in and completely transparent. There was no required boot disk or special software, and the native GS side and emulated II side weren't completely isolated and separated from one other, they could be easily blended together. I've seen 8-bit Applesoft BASIC programs that through PEEKS and POKES access the Ensoniq chip or write to the Super-Hi-Res screen, and I've seen 16-bit GS/OS software that can toggle the 1-bit speaker or draw to the Hi-Res screen. Incidentally, the IIGS contributed more than ADB (which was developed for the Macintosh line, but introduced first on the IIGS). It's GUI was the very first to use color at Apple, and many features of GS/OS were later borrowed into MacOS (file copying routines, the concept of the progress thermometer, many other things).
Interestingly, a lot of the Apple III's hardware features got added into the Apple IIe, only scaled back. Double-Hi-Res is very similar to the Apple III's 560x192 video mode (the III was actually less restrictive with color placement), ProDOS is a scaled down variation of SOS, the III's and IIe keyboard, etc. The IIGS was rather interesting though, the entire Apple IIe was placed on a single chip (minus the CPU, RAM and ROM) with, in a way, another computer built around it. I've often questioned whether the GS really is an Apple II or an entirely different computer line, and whether the Apple III was just a more advanced Apple II model. Personally I see the Apple II and III, like how I see the Lisa and Mac. Very close cousins, but a different line of machine.Apple2gs (talk) 03:39, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Contradiction on Discontinuation Date[edit]

The info box claims that the /// was discontinued in April 1984, but toward the end of the Apple III Plus paragraph it's listed as September 1985. Which is it? AngusCA (talk) 21:07, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Fixed the date. I don't know where September 1985 came from. Groink (talk) 10:01, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Apple ceased development of the /// in April of 1984. It continued to sell existing stock and parts until September 1985, when the /// was removed from Apple's price list. A2-computist (talk) 21:46, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

How are these different?[edit]

"The Apple III (often rendered as Apple ///) ..."

Italics constitute an alternate name?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

That's correct. On the cover, Apple used three forward-slashes to write the "///". It is like the Apple II, where it used a right and left bracket "][" to write the "II". You don't see them written like that today, but when you read articles written back in the 1980s about these machines, "][" and "///" were used quite a bit. Groink (talk) 18:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

The Apple II uppercase limitation[edit]

An explanation of my recent edit about the keyboard issue.

Somebody seems to have inferred that the uppercase-only limitations of the Apple II were due to the influence of Teletype keyboards. Teletypes did influence the design of Apple keyboards (and PC keyboards, for that matter; that's why you have a control key) but this has nothing to with the the Apple II limitation, which stemmed from the extra resources needed to represent a full ASCII character set. Note that the first Teletypes that supported mixed case were introduced a full decade before the Apple II. Isaac Rabinovitch (talk) 03:26, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

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