I’ve read a heap of books about Apple, its people, products, and history. These include, but are not limited to (and in no particular order):
- Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders, by Jim Carlton (ISBN 0-7126-7901-4)
- Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date, by Robert X. Cringely (ISBN 0-14-025826-4)
- The Mac Bathroom Reader, by Owen W. Linzmayer (ISBN 0-7821-1531-4)
- iWoz, by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith (ISBN 978-0-7553-1407-2)
- The Apple II User’s Guide, by Lon Poole with Martin McNiff & Steven Cook (ISBN 0-931988-46-2)
- Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, the creation of Apple, and how it changed the world, by Michael Moritz (ISBN 978-0-7156-3941-2)
- Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, by Walter Isaacson (ISBN 978-0-7481-3132-7)
- Becoming Steve Jobs: How a reckless upstart became a visionary leader, by Brent Schendler and Rick Tetzeli (ISBN 978-1-444-76200-6)
And then there are the numerous articles, blog posts and reminiscences about my favourite tech company by past and present employees, journalists, users, and podcasters.
You could say I’m steeped in the Apple culture, and not just because I’ve literally bled six colours!
I’ve certainly known of Ron Wayne’s part in Apple’s founding, and how Mike Markkula not only helped Apple establish itself with finance and guidance, but also by writing some of the early Apple-branded software to help showcase the Apple ][’s capabilities when it was first released.
What I didn’t know until last week was one little snippet of information about Mike Markkula’s impact on the Apple culture which is still on display in many products and in product announcements throughout its history – the programs he wrote were published as being authored by none other than “Johnny Appleseed”.
Yep, that’s right – the perennial Apple-using chap who shows up in probably every screenshot of a phone call, contacts list, iMessage chat, or e-mail shown during Apple keynotes and product announcements, and as a dummy name programmed into many Apple products, started his association with Apple 40 years ago as the programming nom de plume of one of Apple’s early founders.
I simply cannot imagine how this fact has eluded me all these years – I suppose there’s a chance I missed it when reading or hearing about it in the past, but it really is exactly the sort of factoid I tend to remember and take note of. I can find it referenced on websites going back to at least 2010, and I’m sure it must have been mentioned or relayed somewhere before then.
I know I don’t know everything there is to know about Apple – but I obviously know at least a little less than I previously thought!
It says something of my obsession that I was thrilled to learn even this little tidbit – here’s to learning a heap more!