Computer Graphics Primer

1979 Computer Graphics Primer is based on a homemade weather station.

It’s 1979. I have now performed a mind-meld with the technological marvel known as the Apple One computer.

Steve Jobs, a figure who emerges from a Volkswagen bus in torn jeans, arrives dockside at my houseboat. He asks to see the weather station I have created with the Apple. I oblige him with a boat-based demo. He asks me to loan him some gas money to get home. Then he asks me to write a book about the Apple computer–specifically, the Apple II. I agree.

Guess what? Steve enriches my existence with a new Apple II, introduces me to Woz (Steve Wozniak, the technical wizard of the Apple), and Computer Graphics Primer is born. In full color! And you thought ‘bleeding edge publishing’ was a recent phenomenon?

1979 The first computer book written all on my own-- I had to look like a businessman.
Sams invited me to their printing factory in Indianapolis. I had never flown on a jet plane, and this was thrilling. +

I get Midwestern editorial flack for the word "Primer." Some say it is the undercoating of paint. Others tell me it is what makes a bullet go bang. It's all a lesson in how incredibly anal editors can be. Another bestseller, the book, helps me quit my tech writer job and go full-time as a writer.

Now, if I could just meld with a girlfriend who does not protest that I love computers more than…

To improve my programming skills, I bought an Apple 1 personal computer from the Byte Shop in San Rafael. Steve Jobs came to my houseboat to see the weather station I built with it and asked me to come to Cupertino to replace it with an Apple II.

The Apple-1 computer started the PC revolution. I still have my Apple 1.

Here is one of the first advertisements for the Apple-1. Note the price of $666.66. That’s the number of the devil, and Steve Wozniak came up with it.

Here is one of the first advertisements for the Apple-1. Note the price of $666.66. That’s the number of the devil, and Steve Wozniak came up with it. +