Apple II, Steve Wozniak finally explained why it didn't support lowercase letters

Apple II, Steve Wozniak finally explained why it didn't support lowercase letters
Steve Wozniak finally explained why the Apple II did not support lowercase letters, one of the oldest mysteries in the history of personal computers.

The story was emailed to the Vintage Computing and Gaming website, which gave him asked Numi about this age-old affair (age-old for lovers of the subject).

Wozniak explained that at the time he was very poor and lived practically for the day, investing all his possessions in his IT projects, which he carried out in his apartment. We are in the early 1970s, he was an excellent typist and worked for HP. In those years he saw a friend write on a teleprinter connected with ARPAnet and decided to do something similar. The video part didn't give him big problems, but he needed a keyboard.

At the time, keyboards weren't a product that was in stores like today. He bought one for sale in a magazine devoted to technology. He paid $ 60 for it (about $ 333 now). Wozniak: “That price of $ 60 was the biggest obstacle to the entire development of Apple's first computers.” To pay for them, Wozniak skipped that month's rent and was forced to pay it in cash from the following month. Moreover, it certainly did not take the most performing keyboard of the time, since it only had capital letters, but the more complete ones cost much more, up to 200 dollars (today about 1,000 dollars).

Thus Wozniak's access terminal to ARPAnet only had capital letters. It remained so even when the design of the first actual computer of the then newborn Apple, based on a 6502 microprocessor, started.

"I really wanted a keyboard with lowercase, but I was out of money and had no savings." Wozniak could have made up for it by programming lowercase letters, but it was a long and risky alternative, as it was basically forced to do everything alone. Finally he and Steve Jobs, who at the time had little experience in the field, decided to keep only capital letters. The solution was used on the Apple I and kept on the Apple II.

Wozniak: "So, in the end, the actual reason there were no lowercase letters in the Apple I and Apple II is because I had neither money, nor savings. "It is always the fault of the vile money.


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