One of my friends was the son of a Taiwanese official. He had an Apple II clone on which we played often. Shortly before leaving Geneva for Madrid, I sold my moped. I asked him if he could get me a computer like his. A couple of weeks later, my Orange II (what an original name) arrived. When we opened the computer, it was full of Taiwanese delicatessen sent by his family, but it worked flawlessly. Archiving my programs on a tape recorder proved to be extremely challenging and I lost many of my early works. However, I was finally able to buy a (143k) disk drive and from then on, I was able to work on more complex projects. During this period I used the LISA macro-assembler to write most of my programs. I really enjoyed working with this tool because it was extremely fast. I recently found the product's documentation and decided to upgrade it to modern standards. You can download it from here.
In 1981, while studying at Collège Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, I had the opportunity to take a couple of computer science classes. The computer department had a PR1ME mini-computer with two 5MB hard disks they called "Castor" and Pollux (how cute!)". This system was the pride and joy of the department. We used terminals to develop our programs, which we could backup on 8'' floppy disks that we bought by the unit (because they were quite pricey). Developing programs for the PR1ME was not a lot of fun because it was painfully slow and we only had 80 columns terminals. That said, the editor we used to edit our programs (ED) was quite decent for the time. In 1982 I moved to Madrid and I never heard again of Prime Computers but I kept a fond memory of the ED text editor. That is why I was so disappointed to see that my brand new Apple II clone was well behind the state of the art. Editing an Applesoft program was hard. If you wanted to edit a line, you had to retype it. If you were looking for a specific string you had to go through all your program looking for it manually. There had to be a better way. That is why I developed G.A.P.E. in 1984.
This application was my first commercial program. When Apple launched the Lisa in 1983, I was really impressed by the GUI and tried to replicate it on my home computer. I created an application that allowed to easily created CBT (Computer Based Training) courses that ran on my own windowing system, which I was very proud of. I sold limited rights to the product to a catholic editorial group in Spain called Edelvives that also operated a large group of schools that used Apple II computers to train their students.
I used the money to fly to the US to attend an Apple II event in San Francisco in order to find a company interested in my program. I was lucky, Britannica Software, a company owned by the publishers of the well known encyclopedia, decided to published it in the US. I was only 19 and I felt I owned the world.
Britannica asked me to make several changes to the product. By the time I completed them, the market had changed and Britannica was no longer interested in the original Apple II. They wanted products for the recently announced Apple IIgs. They published two of my games for that platform, but that is a different story. As for Teacher's Wizard, the project was canned and it was never published outside of Spain.