Revising Apple II History

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Perform a Google search containing “Apple” and “history”, and one of the top results will be the Apple II History online museum. Maintained by Dr. Steve Weyhrich, the site’s content originated in 1991 as part of the newsletter of the Metro Apple Computer Hobbyists (MACH) User Group in Omaha, Nebraska. With Steve’s permission, an early Web user compiled his articles into an online site in 1994, which Steve adopted and redesigned using Adobe GoLive in 2001. During that time and since, Steve has continued to maintain the site, though a few sections became outdated and no major changes have occurred.

There’s more to Steve than the Apple II, though. When Steve felt motivated to build a Web site for one of his other passions, I encouraged him to use the WordPress content management system. Developing his new site was a learning experience for both of us, as he found himself with needs I’d never encountered and questions I didn’t anticipate. We shared the discoveries we made in trying new features and plugins.

Enthusiasm for WordPress proves contagious. When I first installed WordPress to launch Showbits, it took me about a year before I realized I needed to bring my older site, Gamebits, into this modern blog publishing platform. Steve experienced a similar acclimation, and after a year of using WordPress, he undertook to convert Apple II History. After several months, his work was ready to be unveiled at KansasFest 2010:

Besides being the first major redesign to the site in nearly a decade and being immensely more attractive and navigable, the site has several new features. The homepage has a blog (with RSS feed!) that chronicles changes and additions to the site, and photo galleries use the latest AJAX interfaces for dynamic pop-ups and the like. Most important, while adapting the site’s 111 pages, Steve took the time to update much of the content, changing items that were in the present tense a decade ago to the past, and adding new material made available to him since the site’s founding. This wealth of knowledge is offered under Creative Commons, encouraging the use, reference, and distribution of this valuable resource.

Apple II HIstory is one of a growing number of Apple II Web sites that use WordPress. Syndicomm is also a recent convert, joining the ranks of, Juiced.GS, 6502 Lane, Bluer White, The Lost Classics Project, and A2Unplugged. I’m a fan of the software myself and have used it in conjunction with Spectrum scripts I’ve written, making it one of the most Apple II-compatible CMSs available.

Apple may have abandoned our computer almost twenty years ago, but our community has allowed neither it nor its rich lore to gather dust. Thanks to the dedication of historians like Steve Weyhrich, our history is more detailed and more accessible than ever before. I encourage you to visit his site and lose yourself in the annals of time he has documented and made available for our benefit.