Despite humble beginnings today Apple Inc. enjoys unprecedented popularity and prosperity with its products routinely selling over a million devices in a single day. It is a major innovator in the computing and consumer landscape and as shown in this retrospective the history of the Apple II computer plays a large part in the current successes of the company. The late 1970s saw the dawn of the Apple II the company's first hit product. It provided the breathing room for Apple to become self-sustaining and ultimately blossom into one of the greatest business and technology successes in history. This account provides a unique view of early personal computing and Apple as a company focusing almost exclusively on the role of the Apple II within that story. It extends outward to the products publications and early online services that made up the ecosystem for the platform during its active years and follows the story to present-day enthusiasts who still find new things to do with a computer that got its start more than 35 years ago.