Back in 1982, computers were not as intuitive, and Apple didn’t hold workshops in the Apple stores, which didn’t exist. So, some training tools were developed by enterprising third parties, one of which was FlipTrack, who produced a three-cassette audio course called “How to Operate the Apple II Plus”. They later did one for the //e as well (which is digitized at the Brutal Deluxe site), but today it’s the II Plus.
I’ve seen ads for this around in the magazines of the day, and I’ve seen a couple pass through eBay within the past couple of years. One of those I got, and so here it is.
The “FlipTrack” concept works like this: side one of the tape has the basic lesson, interrupted relatively frequently by beeps where you are supposed to stop the tape and type whatever it is you’re working on, or wait for your television to warm up, or whatever. Occasionally there are special little bloopy noises that mean that there’s an extended part of this discussion on the other side of the tape. The procedure is to stop the tape, flip it over, reset the tape counter, listen to the extra bit, and then rewind back to zero, flip it back over, and continue forward. The stuff on the second side either dives deeper into the subject, or has information tailored for people with, e.g., two disk drives.
I digitized the tapes, but I had to make a decision about what to do with the FlipTrack parts. In the end, I just chopped it up, and flipped the tape for you. So, in these audio files you have no choice but to tread along the path with the lucky/wealthy enough to have two disk drives or be interested in the order in which mathematical operations are applied. The m4a files are about twice as big and in principle higher quality, the mp3 files are for maximum compatibility. But the quality of the original was the quality of a spoken word audio tape from the ’80s. (Edit: Actually, these are pretty clipped, even though I watched the levels fairly carefully, I may re-capture them to see if I can make it clip any less.)
There are three cassettes, a manual, a flyer and a feedback card inside the binder.
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus operator’s guide
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus tape 1 (mp3, m4a)
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus tape 2 (mp3, m4a)
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus tape 3 (mp3, m4a)
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus tapes 1-3 (mp3 format) (zip)
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus tapes 1-3 (m4a format) (zip)
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus feedback card
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus flyer
- How to Operate the Apple II Plus binder (and tape) scans