- Apple SilenType
The Apple SilenType was Apple's first printer, released in June 1979 for US$599 [ [http://apple2history.org/history/ah13.html Apple II History Chapter 13] ] , at the same time as the Apple II+. The SilenType's
firmwarewas written by Andy Hertzfeld, who later worked on the Apple Macintosh. The SilenType is a thermal printer, which uses a special paper and provides 80 column output. It was also compatible with the Apple III. The SilenType printer needs its own specially designed interface card, or an Apple III with the built in Silentype port [ [http://searchdocs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=1003&coll=ap Apple.com - Silentype: Pinouts (10/94)] ] . It is mechanically identical to Trendcom's Model 200, except for the Apple logo in the lower left corner of the front cover, [Bernsten, Jeff. Genie, A2 Roundtable, Apr 1991, Category 2, Topic 16] but the internal digital board was completely redesigned by Apple, removing the relatively expensive microprocessor and memory chips, relying on software in the Apple II instead. It was succeeded by the Apple Dot Matrix Printer, released in October 1982 for US$699.
A company named
Trendcommade two printers that were significant in the history of the Apple II. They had two models, the 100 and the 200. Instead of using the mechanics solenoids that drove pins in a print head, these were thermal printers that needed a special heat-sensitive paper. Like other thermal printers, their operation was very quiet, about as loud as sliding your finger across a piece of paper, but the printed results were hard to archive, because unless stored very carefully, the paper tended to curl and the images fade as ambient heat darkened the overall surface.
The SilenType was inexpensive compared to other printers of the day (most of which cost over $1,000), although the printing looked very much like that produced by a
dot-matrixprinter. The Trendcom Model 100 printed 40 characters per line on paper that was about 4 1/2 inches wide. The Model 200 could print 80 columns per line on paper 8 1/2 inches wide. Compared to the first printer offered by Radio Shackfor their TRS-80computer (which was also a thermal printer but used a silver thermal paper), the Trendcom printers were very nice.
The significance of the Trendcom printer was that Apple chose it as the first printer they released under the Apple name. It could be programmed to control printing of each dot in a column, and so was ideal as an inexpensive means of printing Apple II
hi-resgraphics. Apple included a special interface card and released the printer as the "Apple Silentype" in June 1980 for $599. It was identical to Trendcom's Model 200 except for the Apple logo in the lower left corner of the front cover.  One legend suggests that part of the popularity of this printer at Apple stemmed from the fact that its small size allowed it to fit under the seat of Steve Wozniak's private airplane.
List of products discontinued by Apple Computer
* [http://www.myoldmac.net/SELL/apple-silentypePrinter.htm MyOldMac.net] – Apple Silentype printer information
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.