Two months after introduction of the Apple III, only three software programs were available for it, one of them a mail management program written by Apple’s Mike Markkula. New programs were not expected for six months. The Apple III’s software and hardware were very buggy; it would often crash when using the Save command, causing great frustration to journalists using the computer.
The result of the fault-ridden design was that the motherboard quickly got too hot and warped, causing chips to pop out of their sockets, resulting in severe problems with the entire system.
Dan Kottke, one of Apple’s first employees, discovered the solution to the Apple III’s problem. One day he picked the machine up a couple of inches in frustration and slammed it down on his desk. The III jumped back to life. Kottke knew it was a faulty connector, but he didn’t tell anyone, as he was a “lowly engineer” (the phrase Jobs used to explain why he wouldn’t give him stock options). This was Kottke’s revenge.
Apple’s official suggestion to customers in response to this problem was to pickup the Apple III system and drop it onto a desk to reseat the chips temporarily. As if that wasn’t enough, the built-in real-time clock stopped working after several hours of use, and the Apple II Plus emulation didn’t always work properly.