Apple IIe Admiral Broach, Patti Engineering.

1984 Apple IIe Earns its Keep, Steve Jobs Would be Proud!

admiral_broach_webOur nation mourned the death of Steve Jobs last year. As the co-founder of Apple, he brought many innovative products to life during his creative career. We wanted to share this story with you about one of Patti Engineering’s original customers, Admiral Broach Company and their Apple IIe.

We are certain Steve Jobs would be happy to know that one of his early accomplishments has been a workhorse for a thriving American business and is still going strong today. “In with the NEW…Out with the OLD!” may be the general mentality for most in today’s high tech, fast paced, ever changing world. Not so for the 1984 Apple IIe used regularly by Pat Considine, owner of the Admiral Broach Company in Clinton Township, Michigan. Admiral Broach has been refurbishing and manufacturing new broach tooling and broaching machines since 1976.

Broaching developed with assembly line and mass production as an economical way to remove metal. A broach is metal cutting tool equipped with a series of cutting teeth. As Pat describes it, a broach is a ‘glorified drill’. The broaching business is a skilled trade similar to tool and die; art and science are thoroughly intermixed in their work to build broach tooling.

Our engineers were astonished when on a recent visit to Admiral Broach to work on the control system for a broaching machine refurbishing job; they noticed this rather large antiquated computer and dot matrix printer. They stood in disbelief that Pat still uses this relic. Pat shared with us his reason for not parting with his 1984 Apple IIe work horse.

This story proves “In with the NEW…Out with the OLD!” may not be the best philosophy. While it is true that newer technology is often better, it is not always the case. Pat’s 1984 Apple IIe with its dual 5.25 floppy drives, 12 inch monitor and dot matrix printer, continues to be a valuable resource for his business. Back in 1984, Pat and his wife Debbie bought their Apple IIe for a whopping $2,000 (approximately $4,300 in today’s inflation adjusted dollars). Debbie planned to use their new Apple IIe to do the books for their growing business. Less than a year later, Pat purchased an engineering software program to configure pin dimensions to manufacture the precise custom broach gear tooth measurements required for a broach job.

Pat explained that this old software program, “Involute Gear Manufacturing Info”, is extremely user friendly, prompting him to input all the needed values for the program to quickly calculate the specific custom pin dimensions required to manufacture the broach gear teeth. Prior to using this software, Pat paid an outside engineering company for three plus hours for the calculation of the same pin dimensions. Over the course of 28 years, the Apple IIe has certainly paid for itself many times over!

Through the years Pat has looked into newer software programs from many of the big name companies. Pat found the newer programs to be more complicated and cumbersome. None has compared to the simple user friendly program he purchased 28 years ago!

It just goes to show us all that the old adage we may have heard from our parent or grandparents, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, makes sense! Thanks for sharing your story Pat!

Admiral Broach is one of Patti Engineering’s original customers. Admiral Broach uses our engineering services to update the electrical control systems when refurbishing broaching machines. We have enjoyed a great working relationship with Pat and Debbie Considine, owners of Admiral Broach, for twenty years. To learn more about Admiral Broach visit their website at

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Sam Hoff's Bio


Samuel M. Hoff, Chief Executive Officer, started the company from his home in 1991. Since then he’s expanded his business to more than 35 college-degreed engineers. Patti Engineering has engineering offices in Auburn Hills, MI, Austin, TX, and Indianapolis, IN.