"Skip the iPhone, iPod, and the Macintosh. If we want to understand how Apple Computer became an industry behemoth, we have to look elsewhere: at the 1977 Apple II. Designed by the prodigious engineer Steve Wozniak, and hustled into the marketplace by his Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, the Apple II would become one of the most prominent personal computers of this dawning American industry. The Apple II was a versatile piece of hardware, but its most compelling story isn't found in the feat of its engineering, the personalities of Apple's founders, or the way it set a stage for the company's multi-billion-dollar future. Instead, computer and video game historian Laine Nooney suggests that what made the Apple II iconic was its software. In software, we discover the material reasons people bought computers. Not to hack, but to play. Not to code, but to calculate. Not to program, but to print. The story of personal computing in the United States is not the story of the rise of the hacker. It is the story of the rise of the user. Offering a constellation of software creation stories, Nooney puts forth a new understanding of how the hobbyists' microcomputers of the 1970s became the personal computer we know today. From iconic software products like VisiCalc and The Print Shop to historic games like Mystery House and Snooper Troops, to long forgotten disk-cracking utilities, The Apple II Age offers an unprecedented look at the people, the industry, and the money that built the microcomputing milieu-and why so much of it converged around the unbeatable Apple II"--