Happy birthday to Steve Wozniak and Bill Budge

August 11th, 2011 2:36 PM
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Filed under Happenings, Steve Wozniak;
2 comments.

As A2Central.com and Open Apple both recently acknowledged, today is Steve Wozniak's birthday. The creator of the 34-year-old Apple II turns 61 today.

But today is also Bill Budge's birthday! After Woz practically invented personal computers, Mr. Budge was one of the first to see their limitless potential, using the Apple II to create the popular pinball game Raster Blaster and, later, the DIY tool Pinball Construction Set. Mr. Budge's name often received higher billing than the title of the software, a rare status in an era when Warren Robinett had to resort to inventing the Easter Egg to get his name into a game.

Though he may not be as famous as Steve Wozniak, Bill Budge is nonetheless an important person in the computer industry and its history, and I'm glad he's still around to celebrate his 57th birthday.

Happy birthday, gentlemen!

Conflicting birthdays for the Apple II

June 20th, 2011 3:50 PM
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Filed under History;
3 comments.

Some important dates to observe this month:

  • • June  5, 1977: Apple ships the first Apple II. (Wired)
  • • June 10, 1977: Apple ships the first Apple II. (Geekazine.com)
  • • June 11, 1977: Apple ships the first Apple II. (Juiced.GS)
  • • June 20, 1977: Apple ships the first Apple II. (Berkeley Heights Patch)

The Juiced.GS date I know to be false; it was given on a wall calendar that came with an insert indicating some dates were marked as estimates, accurate to the year and month but not the day. The sources for the other three dates are a mystery to me.

On the most recent episode of the Retro Computing Roundtable, Carrington Vanston observed how strange it is to see history disappearing within our own lifetimes. We have enough living history that this shouldn't be happening. Who can confirm when the first Apple II shipped?