Apple Computer Educom 1987 John Sculley Keynote Address On The Knowledge Navigator

The Knowledge Navigator Video

A side project that I work on involves archiving media related to computer history, including a lot of material from my Dad’s days in computer software and hardware. Recently, I’ve been finding media for sale online or receiving tapes as donations. I have a YouTube playlist featuring this media, and I’m adding material to when I have time. One piece of media that was often discussed in articles but never seen was the 1987 Educom Keynote address from then Apple CEO John Sculley on The Knowledge Navigator. Educom was a conference for academic computing in higher education and the Knowledge Navigator was a what if pitch to institutions and companies of what John Scully and Apple thought could be possible. During this conference, Sculley was the keynote speaker, and with the Knowledge Navigator video Apple showcased their vision for the future of computing, presenting ideas not feasible at the time. Video calling yea AT&T had experimented with that years prior but it was a bit kludgy didn’t have that Apple magic or the benefit of future networking technologies allowing for high quality streaming. At the time, many in the media either laughed at or discredited these ideas, but looking back, you’ll see that Apple predicted a lot of future technology.

For years, this keynote address was considered lost media, with Libraries mentioning it in their catalogs, yet no existing online copies existed.

The significance of this video lies in the fact that the Knowledge Navigator video was created for Educom and was introduced by Sculley during the Keynote Address. While other related videos existed online for many years, this key video, marking its introduction, did not. Now how did I find this tape? I was able to buy this tape from a former NEXT employee who listed it on eBay giving us another glimpse into Scully’s at the time crazy ideas for the future.

Apple would release subsequent videos through the ’80s into the ’90s, showcasing the Knowledge Navigator and similar concepts.

I’m not sure to what capacity this media was released It seems the subsequent videos may have been more widely circulated and the keynote would have been mostly circulated in higher education institutions. The label on mine does not look mass printed like other tapes I’ve seen so I may have a copy that is close to the master tape no idea.

If you have any media of this type you want to donate and have archived I’ll be happy to see what you have I mostly look for media that is not currently online. The more obscure the better.

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