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Turin, the Apple I comes back to life: a look at the myth of Information technology

di | 10/5/2011

This morning in Turin, Italy, one of the rare examples of Apple I came back to life in Politecnico Main Hall. The first Apple computer built in the garage by two young hobbyists evokes deep emotions, but also tougths on the cultural revolution and lifestyle made possible by the personal computer. A revolution that Apple greatly contributed to start.

 After years of inactivity and a little dust  of one of the rare examples of Apple started to work again again this morning in Turin.

The restart of the precious relic of retro-computing was preceded by the presentations made by a series of distinguished professors and experts of the Italian Information Technology scene: they offered interesting perspectives on the meaning of the machine as it started the informatics revolution in the late ’70s.

In addition to the introduction of Francesco Profumo Rettore of Politecnico di Torino, we cite the work of Professor Raffaele Meo professor of Computer Science, Mario Ricciardi cinema expert, Professor Vittorio Marchis, professor in history of technology.

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Particularly evocative was the intervention of Marco Boglione, entrepreneur and president of Basicnet, the collector who bought the Apple I at an auction for a sum exceeding 150 thousand Euros. Boglione recalled the origins not only  of Apple but alsofo Microsoft as two ventures that were born not by economic calculation or a simple desire to create wealth, but as two works created primarily for the passion and the wish of creating something completely new, revolutionary.

“We often imagine business men as cold people driven by greed or desire for wealth, but the opposite is true – Boglione said in his speech, concluding” The Apple I is important because it is a machine that best evidences how the largest and most important initiatives are born from the mix of passion, love and feelings with the technology. “

Immediately after the intervention of the guests and the technicians of the Polytechnic Boglione raised the blue veil covering the Apple I to bring it to light and also back in operation.

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In the preliminary stages the engineers explained in detail all the precautions needed to re-boot the Apple I in complete safety, a procedure essential when one considers that the circuits and the capacitors installed on the motherboard were assembled more than 35 years ago.

The restart of the system went smoothly, before viewing on an oscilloscope the wave function of the clock and then sent to the NTSC monitor the first screen full of ASCII characters. After switching occurred in countless flash and video, a MacBook Pro was used to send the program to the Apple I BASIC interpreter.

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The demonstration ended with the inclusion of a simple BASIC program to display the words “Hello Polito,” hello Politecnico di Torino. The first of the Apple computer is back running to greet the world, and users to 35 years ago, a long period in which computers have become ubiquitous and the Apple brand has greatly contributed to create.

Related articles with pictures and video (please use translation services by Google Translate)
- Interview with Marco Boglione, the collector, owner of the Apple I, “the symbol of a madness that changed the world”
- Rebooting  Apple I: step by step, the expert work and the big challenge in retrocomputing.
- History of Technology: Apple I, the result of a “savage thougth”
- Apple I: the ignition movie

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