Bob Bishop, co-founder of Apple’s R&D lab and the keynote speaker at KansasFest 2011, passed away recently. You may learn more about his legacy through the Apple ][ History website or a recording of the keynote.
In Bishop’s obituary, his colleague and friend Mr. Wozniak shared that “[Bob’s passing] indeed is VERY sad for me. It really makes you realize that all the good people you have known will pass someday. Bob was an important person in my life during the early Apple days, the later Apple days, and afterwards. I try to live by the concepts in his book Shades of Reality.”
Bob was part of the early history of the Apple computer and has developed numerous commercial software titles, worked side-by-side with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, written a book on assembly language programming, and published articles in most Apple II magazines. Bob has lived what most of us only dream about, and he has the stories to prove it.
In 1976, Dr. Bishop knocked on Steve Jobs’ door and ended up owning an Apple I. Soon, he bought one of the first Apple II computers. A few months later, the first graphical Apple II games, like Rocket Pilot and Star Wars, came from Bob’s keyboard before Apple had even finished the documentation. Later, Bob brought speech to the personal computer with Apple-Talker and Apple-Listener. In 1978, Bob and Steve Wozniak founded Apple’s research and development division. His program Apple-Vision was included on DOS 3.3 master disks, demonstrating the audio and video capabilities of the Apple II. Even after retiring in 1981, he continued using, programming, and writing about the entire Apple II line.
The stories do not end with the Apple II. Bob has hosted a radio show using the “Mr. Logic” personality, written essays, founded a comic book club, designed a computer programming language, and written online riddles.
Thank you, Bob Bishop, for everything you’ve accomplished and shared.