(Note: First published in the Mercury News in January, 1984): “When Apple Computer Inc. rolls out its Macintosh computer on Jan. 24, the company’s self-proclaimed “pirates” will have delivered their treasure. Since 1981, when Macintosh took form in an internal memo, Apple founder Steve Jobs, now 28, has led a maverick clan of programmers and designers on a mission to prove that the success of the Apple II was not a fluke.”
Retro Reading: How the Macintosh computer grew
2004-01-18 Apple 15 Comments
Are there some quotes missing in the story? As it is, it doesn’t make sense, unless Mr. Jobs is really 28…
That was a fun read, I wish it had a continuation to present day following it.
“Now” is 1984 in case you didn’t read the first sentence.
The evolution of the Macintosh is most fascinating when you begin to ask the “what if” questions? What if Apple had licensed the OS back in the 80’s? What if clones had been introduced earlier? What if Apple had chosen BeOS instead of NeXT?
I still have my 128K Mac purchased in 1984. Some things are still very recognizable, even in Panther on a PowerBook 17.
Apple would have gone out of Business since they were and are A HARDWARE COMPANY!!!!
the only way to get away with this is to be a software company.
…currently what i would consider to be both a hardware and software company. To me its the software that makes the Mac and not the hardware. and again thats is about the only thing keeping it superior to the PC.
I still got my FatMac too as well all the old docs for programmming the darn thing esp the “Inside Mac” phone book edn and the beautifully set Inside series. I am glad I was talked out of getting a Lisa and waiting another few years.
As for 80hr weeks, its a miracle any good work was done after awhile. The 3part PBS doc/drama on TV seemed pretty accurate IIRC.
I still marvel at the internal construction of the whole SW kit and its near perfect mating with the 68000. Although it had many problems as the later 9 OS versions tried to fix, in hindsight it should have been much easier to fix the whole thing in 1 fell swoop if only Apple had been willing to abandon backwards compatibility earlier when the better mmu cpus arrived and to follow more HW standards from the PC side like using graphics HW much earlier.
Ofcourse Be showed the way but they had no old SW to run either. Perhaps if BeOS+Basilisk had been shown running the old SW perfectly well, more of Apple execs might have been swayed that direction, but there was no chance of SJ not getting his way in the end once he had his foot in the door.
As for the HW v SW argument, Apple showed that it was both very clearly, the one needed the other since the general PC HW and SW situation both sucked badly at that time. Today its a different story, any really good OS can be written for what is now adequate or even great cheap PC HW. But Apple is also about style and class and that requires controlling the HW.
end of rant mode
[i]Apple would have gone out of Business since they were and are A HARDWARE COMPANY!!!!
the only way to get away with this is to be a software company.[i]
Two problems with this argument:
1) If Apple would have licensed the OS then they would have become a software company. Seems to be a decent business model for Microsoft! Just because Apple “is a hardware company” now doesn’t mean they could have made different business decisions and had a completely different business model today.
2) APPLE IS NOT A HARDWARE COMPANY!!!! Seems that this comment always comes up and everytime I see it I cringe. Apple is a solutions company. They offer a combination of software and hardware, both of which would be of significantly less value without the other. Very few people choose Apple due to their hardware (although some do, for example Virginia Tech’s Cluster, NASA, etc) but most choose Apple products due to their software. Apple isn’t a software or hardware company – they sell integrated products (Computers + Software) which are well designed to be reliable and easy to use.
“Apple would have gone out of Business since they were and are A HARDWARE COMPANY!!!!
the only way to get away with this is to be a software company.”
Did you read the story at all? Did you read what those guys were doing?
Apple is not a hardware company. Look at the specs, ATI graphics this, IBM RISC processor that; running on APPLE MAC OS X. Apple is a proprietary PC system. Yes, Apple Macintosh is a PC; because PC does not specify x86. In fact, Apple’s PC’s precede x86 on the PC. Please…say x86 or even IBM clone but not PC.
Apple is definitely a hardware compagny. Just look precisely to their system. The motherboard is completely designed by apple. The system controler, the I/O contoler, the PCI bridge, the audio circuitry. Apple has invented Firewire, has developed Altivec with Motorola and IBM amd now they are working closely with IBM for their Gx processors.
All the design of their motherboard is done at apple, without saying the design of their computers’s enclosure, which are more than a simple plastic box….
And you are saying that Apple is not a harware compagny. Come On!! Of course apple has to follow some standards as any other compagny with AGP 4x 8x, PCIx, etc….and yes they are not making their own graphical card, and what, Sun machines follow as well some standards, and they don’t have a really proprietary graphical card…..
From this point of view, Apple is a hardware compagny as Sun, or IBM, or SGI…..
Apple is an experience company ( sorta like solutions ). All of those hardware things you talk about are there because they are required to provide the best experience.
Apple is a solutions company. At the moment, hardware is part of the solution.
that makes them a hardware company.
Get real debman (and all of you stuck in the HW/SW discussion!).
Apple makes HW and SW for our “Digital lifestyle”.. get it? They manufacture HW and they have coders making SW that they sell for us to use in our “digital life”… get it? They sell us an experience/solution! We buy overpriced half-PC/half-mac machines that fit our (life)style… get it?
You could go buy a priceworthy cheap mp3 player to fit your no-name PC _or_ you could go to the applestore and buy yourself a thingy that fits and/or improves you/your style! get it??
(All this was written on a G4 Cube using safari. The author was listening to the latest Outkast album on his iPod)
And you think they would make the same amount of money if their hardware ran Microsoft?