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Bob Bishop's KansasFest 2011 keynote speech

Robert J. "Bob" Bishop (September 1943 — September 28, 2014) was an early employee of Apple Computer who was known for creating the "Apple-Vision" demo for the Apple II computer.

Early life and education[]

Bishop was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin. He moved to California and received a M.S. in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles.[1]


Bishop served as a physicist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.[1] One of his projects included Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon.[2]


Apple II - Apple Vision (1978) by Bob Bishop

While at JPL, he became aware of early kit microcomputers, such as the Altair 8800 and IMSAI 8080, but was uninterested. When he heard about the Apple-1 computer, he found his way to Steve Jobs' home to learn more about it and managed to acquire one in October 1976. Bishop was one of the first to upgrade to an Apple II computer (serial number 0013) in July 1977. It was a 16KB model with only a cassette tape interface for data storage and an early ventless case that began to sag from overheating. Bishop brought this to the attention of Apple staff and his case was later replaced with a vented version. Through trial and error, Bishop overcame limited documentation and became one of the first programmers to release games for the Apple II through Softape in North Hollywood, California.[3][4] He also wrote Micro-Painter in Applesoft BASIC for the Apple II, which was later released in 1980 by Datasoft.[5]

Apple Computer[]

Bishop turned down an offer from Atari in October 1978 and was recruited by Steve Wozniak to join Apple Computer the following December as employee #187. Bishop became a development engineer, sharing an office with Jef Raskin while working with Wozniak in research and development. Bishop's projects included speech recognition and synthesis; he also participated in development of the Apple III with Wendell Sander. However, Bishop was fired on February 25, 1981 by then-CEO Michael Scott along with half of the Apple II engineering team during an event known as "Black Wednesday". Two-thirds of his stock options had vested by that time. After Scott himself was fired, Bishop declined an offer to return to Apple.[2][3]

After Apple[]

Bishop moved to Santa Cruz, California and started a radio talk show as "Mr. Logic" that ran at KSCO for ten years. After that, he sold his house in Santa Cruz and toured every state in the United States and every province in Canada in a motor home.[1][3]

In 1995, Bishop and Rich Whicker, another former Apple engineer, collaborated on the development of the SiMPLE programming language for children.[6]


  • Electronic Index-Card File (1978)
  • Music Kaleidoscope (1978)
  • AppleLis'ner (1978)
  • The Talking Calculator (1978)[4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bob Bishop/Mr. Logic - obit, KSCO News. 2014-09-29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Famed Apple Programmer Bob Bishop Passes Away by Bill Martens, Call-A.P.P.L.E. 2014-11-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bob Bishop by Steven Weyhrich, Apple II History. 2010-07-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Softape, Brutal Deluxe Software. Accessed 2021-03-13.
  5. Disassembly of Micro-Painter for the Apple II by Andy McFadden, SourceGen Disassembly Projects. 2019.
  6. for Kids and for everyone else. ;) by Next Group, Programming Languages Exhibit. 2012-10-04.

See also[]

External links[]

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