Bell & Howell and Mac ][

January 3, 2018

Question from E-mail

I have here in my office, running, the very Apple ][ mentioned above! It is rather unusual, and I’ve never seen another like it, or been able to find out more about it. It’s all black, and the label reads, “Made exclusively for Bell & Howell by Apple Computer Inc.” Tags on the back bear the following: Model No. A2S1016B Serial No. A2S3-005203 Apple Computer Inc., Cupertino, California It contains a memory expansion card, an async serial card, a Disk ][ Interface and a card bearing the Microsoft logo. I was wondering about the relationship between Bell & Howell and Apple. I’ve never seen any mention of it, and never seen another machine like this one. I thought Bell and Howell made that old 8mm movie projector my dad would never let us touch! 🙂 What were they doing in the computer biz? If you are too busy to answer individual messages, then just let my thank-you stand. Your machine, your ideas, have touched the lives of more people than I believe it is impossible to imagine. That’s just simply incredible.


In very early Apple ][ days, Bell & Howell saw it as a good supplement to their school product line that included projectors and such tools. As you say, theirs were made in a black case, but were otherwise identical to the other Apple ][‘s. It was a pretty impressive machine. Many may never have seen one. But, Bell & Howell already had respect in the school sales arena. The had salespeople that would be trusted by buyers. So this product was easier for them to sell into many schools. They just had to size up the market and earn money for selling. Thank you, too.