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Case Studies

As Apple Computer, Inc., began to withdraw support for the Apple II series and focus on the Macintosh line, the market for Apple II hardware and software began to wane. Many Apple II users began to migrate to other platforms, such as the Macintosh and IBM PC-compatibles. In an attempt to capitalize on its well-known brand name among previous Apple II owners, Applied Engineering began to market products for the Macintosh and Commodore Amiga lines. However, because of stiff competition in already active markets, and AE’s late entries, Applied Engineering could not duplicate the success it had experienced with the Apple II, eventually going out of business.

In its day, Applied Engineering built a solid reputation among Apple II owners for their innovation, excellent build quality, and generous warranty support. AE was quick to fill in gaps in the market for Apple II add-on boards and expansion options, often developing products for the Apple II line that neither Apple Computer nor other third-party vendors offered. Today ReactiveMicro.com is the only company left supplying upgrades, parts and repair for AE products.

The TransWarp family of Apple II accelerators actually consisted of multiple products. The original TransWarp took over from the standard 1-MHz 6502 or 65C02 used in the Apple IIe with a 3.6 MHz version of the 65C02 (which could also be run at 1.8 MHz, selectable through hardware) and turned on and off completely through software. The TransWarp was later followed by a TransWarp II and TransWarp III, the latter of which was announced but never actually went into production. With Apple Computer’s release of the Apple IIGS, Applied Engineering followed with a TransWarp GS, which provided an accelerated version of the 65C816 processor on which the IIGS was based.

Multi-function cards were a mainstay of AE’s product offerings, of which the Serial Pro serial interface card was a typical example. Besides offering a standard RS-232 serial port, the card included a ProDOS-compatible realtime clock, thus combining two cards into one and freeing up an extra slot. When used with a dot-matrix printer, the Serial Pro offered several screen-dump print options, such as printing either of the two Apple II high-resolution pages alone, both in a single dump, or the first high-res page rotated or inverted.

The term “desktop publishing” is attributed to Aldus Corporation founder Paul Brainerd, who sought a marketing catch-phrase to describe the small size and relative affordability of this suite of products in contrast to the expensive commercial phototypesetting equipment of the day.

Desktop publishing was started in 1984 after the introduction of MacPublisher, the first WYSIWYG layout program that ran on the original 128K Macintosh computer. The DTP market exploded in 1985 with the introduction in January of the Apple LaserWriter printer, and later in July with the introduction of PageMaker software from Aldus which rapidly became the DTP industry standard software.

By the standards of today, early desktop publishing was a primitive affair. Users of the PageMaker-LaserWriter-Macintosh 512K system endured frequent software crashes, the Mac’s tiny 512 x 342 1-bit black and white screen, the inability to control letter spacing, kerning (the addition or removal of space between individual characters in a piece of typeset text to improve its appearance or alter its fit) and other typographic features, and discrepancies between the screen display and printed output. However, it was a revolutionary combination at the time, and was received with considerable acclaim.

Behind-the-scenes technologies developed by Adobe Systems set the foundation for professional desktop publishing applications. The LaserWriter and LaserWriter Plus printers included high quality, scalable Adobe PostScript-fonts built into their ROM memory. The LaserWriter’s PostScript capability allowed publication designers to proof files on a local printer then print the same file at DTP service bureaus using optical resolution 600+ ppi PostScript-printers such as those from Linotronic. Later, the Macintosh II was released which was much more suitable for desktop publishing because of its larger, color screen, support for multiple displays, greater RAM capacity and its SCSI storage interface which allowed fast, high-capacity hard drives to be attached to the system.

Although Macintosh-based systems would continue to dominate the market, in 1986, the GEM-based Ventura Publisher was introduced for MS-DOS computers. While PageMaker’s has a pasteboard metaphor closely simulated the process of creating layouts manually. Ventura Publisher automated the layout process through its use of tags/style sheets and automatically generated indices and other body matter. This made it suitable for manuals and other long-format documents. Desktop publishing moved into the home market in 1986 with Professional Page for the Amiga, Publishing Partner for the Atari ST, GST’s Timeworks Publisher on the PC and Atari ST, Calamus for the Atari TT030, and even Home Publisher, Newsroom, and GEOPublish for 8-bit computers like the Apple II and Commodore 64.

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