Open Apple turns three

Filed under Musings;

Last week marked a significant milestone: the third anniversary of Open Apple. The monthly Apple II podcast launched on February 7, 2011, giving me pause to reflect how this adventure began.

Open AppleI first had the idea for an Apple II podcast on Sunday, April 12, 2009, while listening to the TrekCast. If there could be a podcast about Star Trek, a show that’d been off the air for four years, why not one about a computer that’s not been manufactured for 16? I had the topic, but no structure — I thought Juiced.GS associate editor Andy Molloy and I could just spitball news and memories for a few hours, break it up into some monthly episodes, and see what happened. But nothing did.

Fast forward to August 12, 2010, when I started compiling a list of domain names that would be attractive to an Apple II user. I shared that list with some fellow KansasFest attendees, prompting Mike Maginnis to identify himself as the owner of, a domain I’d investigated and found to be held by a private registrant. I asked him what he was planning to do with the domain, and he said he’d been thinking of launching a podcast — a marvelous synchronicity! Given my previous enthusiasm for the idea, I asked if I could could piggyback on his initiative. He, Andy, and I started brainstorming what the show would sound like. We chatted with the hosts of the RetroMacCast for technical suggestions, built a Web site, and recorded some practice sessions (there exists a complete, unaired "episode zero").

Finally, on February 5, 2011, Andy and I crowded into the Computerworld recording studio, called Mike on Skype, and recorded our first episode… twice, due to technical difficulties. Two days later, we put the first episode online. Until that day, only the three of us were aware Open Apple was launching; it came as a complete surprise to everyone else.

Now it’s three years later, and we just aired our 35th episodeactually our 41st, due to some inconsistent episode numbering. In total, the show has produced 59 hours and 39 minutes of airtime about the Apple II. If Open Apple were a sitcom, it would’ve been running for 162 episodes, or eight seasons.

It’s amazing how effective Mike and Andy have been at turning a concept into reality. Every month, they keep the show moving by scouring the Web for news and guests, booking recording times, and getting the word out that we are the only monthly Apple II podcast, and the only co-hosted podcast. Nothing occurs in a vacuum, of course — there are several other excellent retrocomputing podcasts out there. But just as the podcasts support each other, so too do the crew of Open Apple, making real what no one person could’ve done.

My thanks to everyone who’s built and supported this wonderful community outlet, from the hosts to the guests to the listeners. Here’s to many more years on the air!

Also read my co-host’s more thoughtful and detailed reflection on our podcast’s history.

  1. And thanks to you and the team for the podcast! If it were every 15 days, I would be even happier ;-)

    Keep up the good work,

    ps. and if you want detailed explanations for OMF Analyzer and FSTs, please tell me ;-)

  2. Happy Anniversary to an awesome podcast. I agree with Antoine, please do them bi-monthly. Actually, how about weekly? I know you and Mike are just sitting around bored for the other 353 days in the year anyways.

    PS: Did you get your copy of Retro Fever yet? What’s your high score? :)

  3. Brian, Retro Fever arrived last Wednesday — the same day we published the episode of Open Apple in which I ordered it! I haven’t opened it yet, though; I’d like to get myself to shoot an unboxing video, using the Elgato video capture method described in that same episode.

  4. Olivier Guinart says:

    Happy anniversary! Mike and you are doing awesome work, since podcast #1. Looking forward the next 30 years! :)

  5. Congratulations, Ken and Mike, on the fine podcast that continues to be fun, interesting, and relevant. Thank you.

  6. Doug Dingus says:

    I listen regularly. Thanks. Your podcast is well produced, entertaining, and a source of inspiration to fire up my //e Platinum and do stuff every so often.

    Thank you for that.