Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Jun 2013 18:24 UTC
Apple A rare piece of probably unknown (to most) Apple history: the first portable Mac - which wasn't the Mac Portable and wasn't built by Apple. "I'd never heard of the Walkmac, which wasn't built by Apple but by electronics pioneer Chuck Colby, who founded Colby Systems in 1982. The Apple-sanctioned model you see here was 'modded' around a stock Mac SE motherboard and hit the market in 1987, two years before Apple put out its Macintosh Portable in 1989 for $7,300. Subsequent Colby models were built around the SE-30 motherboard and had an integrated keyboard (that black mat in the picture above is a mouse pad)."
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 2nd Jun 2013 19:05 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

When I spoke to Brian Dougherty about GEOS he mentioned a portable Mac; the plan was to use GEOS with a Mac UI because the hardware team could not (initially) produce a portable Mac with enough power to run the regular Mac OS.

Applications in PC GEOS contained a generic tree of objects describing the user interface features the app required with the ability to provide hints for how to realize those elements. The operating system then had a specific user interface library that would map those generic UI objects to specific UI elements like menus or dialog boxes.

The same binary of an application could be made to run under an entirely different look and feel. For example, at one point we wrote a Mac UI that turned a PC running GEOS into a machine that was almost indistinguishable from a Mac. You could go to preferences and select either the Mac UI or the Motif UI (Windows-like) and the system would restart and all of the applications would come up under the look and feel you selected. You almost have to see this live to believe how cool it was.

We actually got into extensive discussions with Apple about developing a low cost notebook that would run GEOS with the Mac UI. It got killed by the hardware group doing Mac notebooks, but it went all the way to a board meeting we attended with Scully et al before it died


IMO Apple must have had a lot of internal struggle in bringing about a portable Mac. Scully was willing to compromise on the purist ideals to get to the market quickly, where as the hardware team must have been pushing to do a Real Mac^TM

This whole WalkMac thing plays into my idea that Scully was willing to compromise in almost any way just to get a portable Mac out there.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by moondevil on Sun 2nd Jun 2013 20:41 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Oh man, GEOS!

In Portugal Phillips PCs were sold with it back in 1992!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Sodki on Sun 2nd Jun 2013 22:45 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

Oh man, GEOS!

In Portugal Phillips PCs were sold with it back in 1992!


Yes, but mine was from 1991! A Phillips PC with a 286 CPU that I still have laying around. And I also have the original diskttes for GeOS, which truly was an amazing system. Unfortunately it doesn't run on FreeDOS, but I might give it a go with my original MS-DOS 4 diskettes. Oh, if only I had a working diskette reader... :-)

Reply Parent Score: 4