Talk:Timeline of the Apple II family

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Changes to Apple II Timeline chart?[edit]

How does one make changes to the Apple II chart? If I edit the page, all I can see is "Timeline of Apple II Family models" (in {{ }}) but no way to edit it. It's missing the "Apple IIGS with 1 Megabyte of RAM" (aka ROM 3) released in August 1989. Also, I'm not so sure it should or shouldn't have the Enhanced IIe, Platinum IIe and Memory Expansion IIc. I don't see the Platinum Mac Plus listed in the Mac timeline as a direct comparison, though I do see the Mac SE FDHD, which is similar to the Enhanced IIe.Apple2gs (talk) 19:48, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

This is a Wikipedia Template. You need to edit this page: Template:Timeline of Apple II Family models. Ghettoblaster (talk) 20:02, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I've brought this up in other places, but the 1989 IIGS RAM upgrade seems a minor modification. By 1989, if every Mac that simply shipped with more RAM got it's own model number, the Mac chart would be twice as big. Besides, the IIGS upgrade could be achieved with software and an expansion card on earlier units. While the Enhanced IIe, Platinum IIe and Memory Expansion IIc clearly incorporated, in some cases, major design or motherboard changes, or both. As I have said before, the distinction must be whether Apple marketed the product with the modifications, if the IIGS (ROM 3) was marketed as such, then I say add it. The reality is, the enhanced IIe replaced the CPU! – something no Mac could do, but would have certainly warranted a model change (the fact it was socketed on a IIe board makes it no less trivial – it's the heart of the computer). The Apple IIc Memory Expansion makes an equally important provision for RAM, that was otherwise impossible, thanks to a motherboard redesign. This alone is analogous to the Mac 512K & Plus difference. The fact that the case was changed to Platinum is simply the final consideration for it as a separate model. By contrast, the Mac Plus changed to Platinum, but NOTHING else changed. It didn't even ship with additional RAM configurations. Personally, I classify it as a different model, but it is truly just a minor modification to an existing model, of some historical note. The Platinum IIe is absolutely a different model, more than just because it has a new color (not that color isn't important – Apple sold some peripherals in both colors for a period to match different products and certainly the iMac would not have been released in 5 colors if it didn't make a difference). But the Platinum IIe has a new keyboard and added keypad, plus a redesigned motherboard, whether or not the enhancements were trivial, and brand new marketing materials to show off the new features – including right on the box. As far as Mac comparisons, the addition of a pre-installed graphics card and/or more RAM was enough to distinguish one model from another, especially during the Perfoma years (the only difference between the PowerBook 145 & 145B was RAM!). In fact, during the same IIe period, Apple sold the 512Ke as a 512K/800 and a Macintosh ED the only difference between them was the latter two had the Mac Plus keyboards and the ED was sold only to education without full tech support (sold separately). That's why the determining factor CANNOT be arbitrary perspective of what constitutes more than a minor upgrade, but rather how Apple marketed it, in combination with which features are offered. Given that this is a detailed timeline, it would not be out of the question to include each ROM revision, since they are seemingly of some importance within the Apple II community (however, the Macintosh 128K, 512K & Plus all went through ROM revisions, the latter to make SCSI bug fixes, the former added disk drive functionality, analogous to the UniDisk ROM, though nothing is made of these changes). However, outside of the ones mentioned here, the others seem to be largely minor bug fixes of these primary upgrades. From an historical perspective the Apple II problem seems similar to Apple's current branding problem since 1998: i.e. how to differentiate models which have obvious improvements but exactly the same name (e.g. PowerBook G3, Wallsteet, Lombard & Pismo). Simply because a computer was never marketed with a different name is not enough to trivialize the improvements. To prevent an iMac timeline sort of dispute, I would vote to set a standard which includes any upgrade to the timeline that was not simply a bug fix (usually marked by free distribution) or added enhancements for a peripheral (which was usually free if you bought the peripheral). In which case, both the 512K and 1MB upgrades to the IIGS would be included. I would also argue that the Limited Edition ("Woz" signed case) should be included because of all the improvements beings discussed, thie was an actual undisputed marketed model by Apple, however trivial it seems.--Mac128 (talk) 05:51, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Added IIGS (1 MB, ROM 3) model as per the associated reference, Apple defines it as a unique model. Though I often find Apple's online technical documentation flawed and the absence of such information does not necessarily negate other known facts, it does not categorically confirm them either. Nevertheless until references to the contrary can be established it cannot be ignored.--Mac128 (talk) 03:59, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Bell & Howell, EuroPlus, et al?[edit]

When reviewing an article like this: http://oldcomputers.net/bellandhowell.html it is difficult to deny the Bell & Howell II Plus as a unique model, despite the fact that inside it is "just a II Plus". Clearly the EuroPlus and J-Plus were no different: II Plus with minor modifications for specific purposes. These changes were built-into the IIe so that there was no distinction. But the II Plus seems to have been marketed and sold as 4 distinct models. Certainly Macs sold only outside of North America are included on both its graphical timeline as well as text. But should they be listed on the graphical timeline? Most definitely they should be indicated on the text timeline.

Also, there's the Woz Edition IIGS. Again a separate model which my research indicates was sold for about a year, comprising about 50,000 units total. This would indicate that a non-commemorative model was also being sold, presumably at a lower price. If so, there were two distinct models being marketed and sold, regardless of whether they were otherwise identical. However, since the iMac Wiki articles seems to not make a distinction between the various "flavors", perhaps the IIGS should not either. But, the iMac article also does not make distinctions between different upgrades in processors or other features, which flies in the face of some Apple II distinctions.

If the case alone is not a reason to delineate a model, certainly the addition of features is, based on the precedent set during the 90's Macintosh model proliferation. Sometimes the only thing differentiating one Performa model from another was the presence of an audiomedia card. Certainly the Bell & Howell model has this and more.--Mac128 (talk) 03:58, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Timeline as SVG[edit]

I started a discussion about a new timeline, as an SVG here. Chime in there if you have any thoughts. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 02:08, 29 August 2013 (UTC)