The Northern Spy — A.P.P.L.E. is Back

Back in the late seventies and through the eighties, the quintessential user group was the Apple Puget Sound Program Library Exchange (A.P.P.L.E.) later known as TechAlliance. Based near Seattle (hence the name), A.P.P.L.E. provided its members with Apple ][ software collections at low cost, held informational seminars, and published the magazine Call-A.P.P.L.E. Steve Wozniak was an enthusiastic supporter, and the club prospered for a number of years. In 1990, many of its functions were taken in house by Apple, and the club became a small users group under the banner of Tech Alliance Co-Op.

Now, A.P.P.L.E. is back. Revived by Bill Martens as a historical reclamation and archive project, the new A.P.P.L.E. started in early 2002 by Bill Martens, Rick Sutcliffe, Val Golding (the original founder and editor) along with others. Initial efforts will concentrate on resurrecting the old archives and software for the Apple ][ people who are still around, but the club will be a modern one, also carrying Macintosh software libraries, information, and articles.  The group also managed to receive all the materials from the last president, Norman Dodge

The first issue of the new Call-A.P.P.L.E. will be Volume 14, number 1, dated May 1, 2002 and will appear April 10. It will carry editorials, details of Steve Jobs’ Tokyo speech, a reproduction of material from volume 1, number 1, and, yes, The Northern Spy as a regular column.

The Northern Spy for May and subsequent months will also appear here, but only after they are available on the Call-A.P.P.L.E. site. The column for May is a modified version of a speech given by Rick Sutcliffe at EPIC Con, the convention of the Electronically Published Internet Connection, an association of eBook authors and publishers, coincidentally also held this year in Seattle.

Anyone with an interest in the products of Apple Computer Corp., whether past or present, can join A.P.P.L.E. The magazine, Call-A.P.P.L.E. will be available electronically at, but membership will confer benefits such as access to a bulletin board, the software library, on-line help, and special deals on hardware negotiated by the club from major manufacturers.

Membership costs $25 per year.

User groups are the way to go, folks. They empower little brother and little sister, provide low-cost answers, cooperative solutions to hardware and software problems, open up new horizons, and do it all without creating obligations to the big corporate world. Join up now!

–The Northern Spy

About the Author


Opinions expressed here are entirely the author's own, and no endorsement is implied by any community or organization to which he may be attached. Rick Sutcliffe, (a. k. a. The Northern Spy) is professor of Computing Science and Mathematics at Canada's Trinity Western University. He has been involved as a member or consultant with the boards of several community and organizations, and participated in developing industry standards at the national and international level. He is a co-author of the Modula-2 programming language R10 dialect. He is a long time technology author and has written two textbooks and nine alternate history SF novels, one named best ePublished SF novel for 2003. His columns have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers (paper and online), and he's a regular speaker at churches, schools, academic meetings, and conferences. He and his wife Joyce have lived in the Aldergrove/Bradner area of BC since 1972.