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I met Ettore Briano at the beginning of the 1980s, a time when – at just sixteen years old – I approached the world of personal computers by purchasing one of the first Apple IIs from his shop; It was the beginning of a path of growth that marked my life, not least through my relationship with Ettore and his shop, a historical reference point first with typewriters, then with personal computers and finally with cash registers, but who is remembered by everyone as the Apple man par excellence, the first in Savona to believe in the personal computer business, becoming in fact the only authorised Apple centre in our region. Under the elegant and refined direction of Ettore, his brother Giorgio, Marco Ruffino, a specialised technician, and his collaborator Claudia at the ‘reception’, they determined the success of a shop that was for a long time considered Savona’s flagship. Elegance in the furnishings, professionalism and courtesy in dealing with customers: you went to Ettore’s and there was no lack of competence, the purchase was safe, and assistance was always available. A new world (computing) for Savona and its province with Briano snc at its heart. How can we forget the typical expressions… words like ‘magic’ and ‘little rockets’ often accompanied sales with a hint of irony, at a time when the technical part was simplified so as not to embarrass buyers, but which were part of the seller’s expressiveness and painted his character. Over the years, as well as being a customer, I collaborated with Ettore and tried to help him out by working alongside the talented Marco: with the experience gained in the field, my profession was born, so I owe my personal fulfilment to this shop and to Ettore. When Ettore – many years later – decided to start thinking about retirement, the shop was sold to the current owner, Pier Angelo Fazio; it was at that time that Fazio – still in business today and owner of ‘Briano Multimedia’ together with our mutual friend Marco Canavese – contacted me to ask if the immense warehouse of the technical workshop bequeathed to him by Ettore could be of commercial interest: decades of Apple products, many still sealed and never used, unsold products, spare parts, manuals. .. were objects that had no commercial value in fact, but could have a collector’s and historical value. I explained the situation to Pier, and he told me that he had no interest in reselling that material in the world of collecting, so he would keep a small part of it for himself, as a token, but the rest I could decide what to do with, whether to take it or have it disposed of. With his permission, I transported all the material from the shop and the laboratory to my home, and after a short time I came up with the idea of creating an association to give life to a public museum that could tell the story of personal computing, through those relics that were not only in perfect condition, but many of them had not even been seen by the general public, for reasons of cost or the relatively low diffusion of the personal computer market in the early years. Ettore’s work, his ‘heritage’, thus became – thanks to Pier Angelo’s donation – the embryo of what is now the All About Apple Museum: officially recognised by the Californian company

a non-profit association and cultural centre for the learning and history of the personal computer with the unique feature of displaying the pieces switched on and in operation, so that the visitor can touch and use these objects, reliving (or experiencing for the first time) the experience of computer evolution from its very beginnings. On 11 May 2002, for the first time, we showed ‘his’ collection to the public and told them about the idea of the museum. Ettore was still unaware of it, it was a great emotion for him, and after that day, in the years that followed, he continued to donate Apple material that he still kept in his home, proving that he approved of the idea of the Museum and how much he cared about Apple, which had significantly characterised his life and business. Ettore is no longer with us, but what he collected in his business, later donated by Pier Angelo, will always remain visible through the museum, which has grown through the work of a large group of people: members and volunteers who have made its creation and maintenance possible. Over the years, the Museum’s notoriety, especially after Apple’s recognition and our trip to Cupertino, has generated a multitude of donations from all over the world, and Ettore’s initial holdings have increased hundreds of times. Today our warehouses contain more than 10,000 items of all kinds: computers, peripherals, manuals, prototypes, accessories… it is physically impossible to display them in the limited premises at the Darsena, generously offered to us by the Savona Port Authority.

I would like to conclude by mentioning Ettore’s passion in recent years: wooden toys. Zûgâ cömme zûgämu’, to play as we used to play, had become his passion and obsession: a collection of wooden objects, often handmade, with the toys our grandparents used: the blowpipe, the slingshot, the tank, the shanghai, the cart, the yo-yo, the spinning top, marbles, and a thousand others. I would hear and see Ettore occasionally, and he would tell me about his project, he wanted to make an exhibition at our museum and he wanted to set up his own museum through an association. Of course, we have very little space today, but in a physically larger context, what better opportunity to reserve an area for him? In this way, the circle would close, history would find its fulfilment, and from up there, perhaps Hector would be even happier.

Alessio Ferraro