Mac Folklore Radio

Hosted by Derek

Ye olde Macintosh stuffe read to thee. Junk food for old time (pre-1999) Apple Macintosh zealots.

52 Episodes

Technology
                        

The Dirt on Apple Security (1989)

     4/15/2021

The early days of Apple’s culture of secrecy. If you had people digging through the garbage bins outside your corporate headquarters, you would be paranoid too!

Original text from Macworld Magazine, November 1989.

Introductory news clip from The Computer Chronicles with bonus crazy background saxophone for some reason.

Hugo Fiennes quote from the Computer History Museum’s iPhone development team panel discussion.

Steve Jobs’ “Super Secret Apple Rumours” podcast from the MWSF 2006 GarageBand demo.

Alleged insider comments on the damage Apple’s internal secrecy has done to Mac OS X at Michael Tsai’s blog, one of the few Macintosh news sources worth reading these days.


The First Macintosh Clone (1989)

     4/1/2021

Steven Levy on a little-known Macintosh clone project from 1989. Original text from Macworld Magazine, April 1989.

Our sponsor for April 1st: The Mac Zone!


Duo Trouble (1993)

     3/7/2021

Is it too late for Apple’s lightweight laptops? Steven Levy’s summary of the awkward PowerBook Duo situation.

Original text from Macworld Magazine, December 1993.

PowerBook Duo commercials courtesy of the RetroMacCast on YouTube (1, 2). Watch the Duo and Dock in action (insert, eject).

PowerBook Duo commercial in Swedish

Titanium PowerBook G4 introduction at Macworld San Francisco 2001

12-inch PowerBook G4 introduction at Macworld San Francisco 2003

MacBook Air introduction at Macworld San Francisco 2008


David Pogue - PowerBook Duo and Duo Dock Review (1993)

     2/15/2021

David Pogue reviews the PowerBook Duo 210/230 and the companion Duo Dock. NuBus and SCSI weren’t hot pluggable, meaning you had to shut down the machine every time you docked or undocked!

Original text from Macworld Magazine, March 1993.

PowerBook Duo Dock sounds courtesy of the RetroMacCast on YouTube (insert, eject).


folklore.org - Macintosh Launch Day 3-Pack (1984)

     1/22/2021

Happy Birthday, Macintosh! Andy Hertzfeld and company rush to complete the first release of the Macintosh system software, then cobble together a demo before launch day.

Original text at folklore.org: Real Artists Ship, It Sure Is Great To Get Out of That Bag, and The Times They Are A-Changin’

Make your own four-voice 256-byte wavetable music, sine wavey or otherwise, with ConcertWare or MusicWorks.

Andy Hertzfeld “six person hours of testing” quote from his 2005 NerdTV interview. (video, transcript)

The entire January 24th, 1984 Apple Shareholders Meeting on YouTube.

Try Software Automatic Mouth in your browser or Macintalk in Mini vMac.

A Macintalk mini-documentary.


Interviews with StuffIt Creator Raymond Lau (1996/1998)

     1/3/2021

Two interviews with StuffIt creator Raymond Lau, conducted during Apple’s darkest days (Maclopedia 1996, AppleWizards 1998).

StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 review. Yes, people were already complaining about software bloat in 1991.

Raymond’s personal website

Raymond’s palmpilotfiles/palmcentral.com

Raymond’s PhD Dissertation: “Subword Lexical Modelling for Speech Recognition

Today, Leonard Rosenthol is a PDF Architect at Adobe.

StuffIt End-of-Life Announcement

Michael Dell’s “appearance” at November 1997 Steve Jobs Keynote

Barry Diller

Wikipedia claims PackIt III development stopped after Harry Chesley went to work at Apple.

Rumor Monger, part of Harry Chesley’s output in Apple’s Advanced Technology Group


The Road to Power Macintosh (1994)

     12/2/2020

The story behind Apple’s big RISC. Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld, May/June 1994.

Watch a special Christmas message from MFR.

The Alberta Goat Breeders Association (and the reason for linking to them)

Half-Moon Bay Review article on Jack McHenry

Apple’s extremely terrible internal marketing video for the Power Mac

The Digital Antiquarian’s take on the PowerPC transition

Gary Davidian Oral History (video 1, 2; transcript 1, 2)

Richard Lary’s highly entertaining (but not Mac- or PowerPC-related) career highlights (video, transcript)

Metrowerks CodeWarrior for PowerPC was ready in late 1993. Eat that, Symantec!

CPUShack: A look back at the Motorola 88000 family

The Computer Chronicles visits the Somerset Design Center

Andy Bechtolsheim on Motorola’s slow development cycle (CHM video, transcript)

Rich Siegel: interview podcast with iMore and The Mac Observer; Apple’s “Meet the Developer” on Rich; Rich on Twitter, still developing for the Mac 36 years on

Intro from Power Mac Reseller Training VHS tape with guest appearance from Jack McHenry

Regarding the introductory paragraph: keep in mind that in 1994, the longest QuickTime video I had ever seen was 15 seconds.


folklore.org: Black Wednesday

     11/1/2020

A shakeup in Apple II engineering frees up Andy Hertzfeld to work on the Macintosh.

Original text from folklore.org. Jef Raskin and Andy Hertzfeld audio excerpts from “The Macintosh at 20” panel hosted at Macworld Boston 2004. Highly recommended!


Why Did Apple Kill Newton? (1998)

     10/3/2020

The Newton MessagePad soap opera from product launch to cancellation, and all that could have been.

Check out “Love Notes to Newton” for even more history, interviews, and a great soundtrack. The director, Noah Leon, was interviewed on embedded.fm #262 and the RetroMacCast #440.

Steve Jobs quotes: WWDC 1997, EDUCAUSE 1998, Borg-like compliance and audience hissing at Internet Explorer at MWNY 1998

Hermann Hauser on Intel inadvertently inspiring the ARM: video, transcript

Avie Tevanian on the business decision we didn’t want to hear: direct quote, video (1, 2), transcript (1, 2)

Bob Supnik on Dan Dobberpuhl’s brilliant StrongARM: video (1, 2), transcript (1, 2)

On the memory leak that caused higher than normal recognition failure rates in early OS releases: “I can’t even get my unit to recognize the word ‘Newton’


Scrooge McDuck (1980)

     9/13/2020

The very first image displayed on the very first prototype Macintosh, an Apple II expansion card with a Motorola 6809E.

Original text at folklore.org.

Audio excerpts from Andy Hertzfeld’s keynote speech at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2000. Listen to the full keynote, preserved in 2004 by yours truly from a long-gone RealAudio streaming server.


MFR Housekeeping 2020

     8/28/2020

“Mask ROM” means something a little different in 2020.

E-mail your article and topic suggestions to derek at macfolkloreradio.com.


Newton MessagePad 2000 Review (1997)

     8/24/2020

Surf the Web, deal with e-mail, crunch spreadsheets, write real documents, and keep your life together with this 1.4-pound wonder.

Written by Jeff Pittelkau, MacUser June 1997.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Palmtop Blues (1995)

     8/10/2020

Of Newton and Magic Link, Marco and Envoy. The Newton and its competition continue to make progress… sort of.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld April 1995.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Not Ready for Prime Time (1994)

     7/14/2020

Newton will be great if it can live down its beginnings.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld January 1994.

Text available in HTML and ePub.

Audio from the Newton TV Commercial Collection.


Patching the Newton (1993)

     7/1/2020

From the days before flash ROM and easy firmware updates, the tale of Landon Dyer’s accidental inspiration for what to do when your ROMs are truly read-only.

Non-techies may wish to skip the middle bit and go straight to Landon’s Newton post-mortem at 12m10s.

Original text from dadhacker.com.

Intro audio clip from Michael Tchao at the Apple User Group Breakfast, Boston MacWorld 1993. Patch talk from the Q&A section at 1h23m25s.

Outro audio clip of Steve Capps (ex-Newton) and Donna Dubinsky, former CEO of Palm and ex-Claris VP, from the Computer History Museum’s Computing In Your Pocket panel discussion.


Newton Storage History (1993)

     6/25/2020

Landon Dyer describes how he made the Newton storage architecture crash-resistant at the last minute before the Newton shipped.

Original text from dadhacker.com.


The Story of Tetris Max

     5/27/2020

Steve Chamberlin tells the story of the birth, death, and afterlife of the slickest shareware Tetris for the Macintosh.

Hear Steve’s interviews about Floppy Emu, Tetris Max and more on the RetroMacCast episodes 317, 351, and 358.

More about Steve’s various projects and items for sale at bigmessowires.com: Floppy Emu, Mac ROMinator II, Plus Too FPGA Macintosh, and homebrew CPU.

Visit famed Tetris Max music composer Peter Wagner and check out his 2020 remake of Bricklayer/T-Maxx.

Original story text from Steve’s web site.


MFR Chat Room

     5/15/2020

Join the MFR discord: https://discord.gg/WB4tJHw

Create a free account and verify your e-mail address to start chatting.


Glory Days (1989)

     5/2/2020

Why did the original Macintosh team disband immediately after 1984–and where were they five years later? Checking in on Steve Jobs, Burrell Smith, Andy Hertzfeld, Randy Wigginton, Steve Capps, and Bill Atkinson.

From Macworld February 1989. Text available in HTML and ePub.

Andy Hertzfeld’s Frox Demo (1990)

Bill Atkinson talking about PhotoCard

Buy gorgeous nature photography work by Bill Atkinson

Atkinson Interview - Triangulation 244, 247

Don Melton Safari stories: text, podcast

Andy Hertzfeld demonstrating Eazel’s file manager for Linux

The Machine that Changed the World - The Paperback Computer

General Magic Documentary

Love Notes to Newton


Douglas Adams - Pathways and Relationships (1987)

     4/19/2020

Douglas Adams’ delightfully irreverent take on HyperCard from MacUser December 1987.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Douglas Adams - Under-the-Desktop Publishing (1991)

     4/7/2020

As elegant and intuitive as the classic Mac environment may have been, life went downhill fast if you needed more than two serial ports or your SCSI chain went south. The one and only Douglas Adams shares a personal horror story. Source: MacUser, November 1991.

Full text available at Douglas’ website.


Burrell Smith on Design - Doug Clapp Interview (1992)

     3/22/2020

From Doug Clapp’s The Macintosh Reader, PDF page 171-176, a rare interview with original Macintosh hardware designer/wizard Burrell Smith. An extra special thanks to vintageapple.org for scanning and uploading this and many other old Macintosh books.

Text available in HTML and ePub.

Burrell’s contrary statement on PC Board Aesthetics at folklore.org.


Burrell Smith 3-Pack (1979-1981)

     3/18/2020

A bonus episode to keep my tiny listener base company while they’re stuck inside because of you-know-what. Stay safe.

From folklore.org: I’ll Be Your Best Friend, We’ll See About That, and Pineapple Pizza.

Interview with Collette Askeland, PCB design and layout sorceress, at Drop III Inches.


Sound By Monday (1982)

     3/7/2020

Steve Jobs threatens to pull the sound hardware out of the original Macintosh design.

Original text available at folklore.org.

Download SoundLab, Talk Demo, and Hendrix at Macintosh Garden.


Larry Tesler on the Legacy of the Lisa (1985)

     2/21/2020

R.I.P. Larry Tesler, 1945-2020. With audio from Larry’s presentation on the development and testing of the Lisa user interface, and Bill Atkinson speaking about making modal interfaces useful.

You can hear more about Larry’s days at Apple from the Steve Jobs Legacy Panel, 2011.

Written by Larry Tesler, Macworld September 1985.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Meditations on HyperCard (1988)

     2/16/2020

Bonus video! Watch Bill Atkinson demo HyperCard live on stage in 1987.

The problem with HyperCard isn’t HyperCard, it’s what people are saying about it.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld February 1988.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Ultimate BMUG Thursday Night (1988)

     1/25/2020

A humorous look at a typical Macintosh User Group meeting.

Written by Ted Jones, BMUG Newsletter Summer/Fall 1988.

Text available in HTML and ePub format.


Tales of the MultiFinder (1988)

     1/12/2020

Behind Apple’s first multitasking system software is a controversy that cuts to Apple’s core.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld January 1988.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Desktop Christmas (1992)

     12/12/2019

David Pogue’s Macintosh holiday gift guide.

Written by David Pogue, The Desktop Critic, Macworld December 1992.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Plunge (1987)

     12/9/2019

You know you want a Macintosh II. But wouldn’t it be wiser to wait?

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld November 1987.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Turkey, Stuffing, and Interchangeable Power Cords (1996)

     11/10/2019

The little things that Macintosh pilgrims can be thankful for.

Written by David Pogue, The Desktop Critic, Macworld November 1996.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


John Carmack on the Steve Jobs Rollercoaster

     11/2/2019

The co-founder of id Software shares his collection of Steve Jobs stories. Published by John Carmack at F—book.

Audio from the Macworld San Francisco 2000 keynote, October 1999 iMac DV launch event, and WWDC 2007 keynote.


A Secret Call to Andy Grove (1991)

     10/13/2019

The grassroots, cloak-and-dagger effort that brought NeXT and Intel together. Written by Chris MacAskill at cake.co.

Intro audio from Steve Jobs’ 2010 appearance at All Things D with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.


That Vision Thing (1991)

     9/15/2019

An in-depth look at the beginning of Apple mismanaging itself into oblivion in the early 1990s.

Written by Cheryl England, Macworld September 1991. Fun fact: Cheryl England founded MacAddict magazine in 1996.

Audio from the Computer Chronicles’ coverage of Macworld Boston 1996. Steve Jobs inventory management quote from the WWDC 1999 keynote.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Soul of a New Macintosh (1990)

     8/21/2019

The twisted tale of the Macintosh LC, or “how Apple did almost everything it could to stay out of the entry-level computer market”.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld December 1990.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


MFR Housekeeping (2019)

     7/21/2019

Some stats to celebrate MFR 2.0’s first birthday.

I welcome your old-time Mac stories and reading requests by e-mail: derek at macfolkloreradio.com

An iTunes podcast directory review or star rating would also be nice. Think of it as paying your shareware fee. :-)


Adventures in the RAM Trade (1989)

     7/18/2019

The worldwide DRAM shortage of 1988 encourages back-door deals and money grubbing.

Audio clips from The Computer Chronicles (Laptop Peripherals, 1988) and the Macintosh IIcx product introduction (Jean-Louis Gassee, March 7, 1989).

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld January 1989.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Making of the Macintosh II (1987)

     6/30/2019

A backstage look at the creation of the Macintosh II and the unsung heroes who designed it.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld May 1987.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Test of Time (1994)

     5/20/2019

Ten years on, a look at why some software is still standing, and why other products have died off. From the Macworld 10th anniversary issue.

Written by David Pogue, The Desktop Critic, Macworld February 1994.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Not-So-Great Compromise (1990)

     4/14/2019

The trials and tribulations of working with Apple’s first portable Macintosh. Audio excerpt from the Macintosh Portable press event in 1990.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld March 1990.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Mac Surgery (1989)

     4/1/2019

David Pogue goes through the harrowing process of installing an accelerator board in a compact Mac.

Text available in HTML and ePub formats.


Switcher (1984)

     3/15/2019

The story of the Macintosh’s very first multitasking environment as told by the programmer himself, Andy Hertzfeld, at folklore.org.

Audio excerpt from the “Macintosh at 20” panel hosted at Macworld Boston 2004. Highly recommended!

Text available in HTML, ePub, and at folklore.org.


Bill Atkinson on Joining Apple Computer 40 Years Ago (2018)

     2/12/2019

Bill Atkinson, well-known for QuickDraw, MacPaint, and HyperCard, reflects on the 40th anniversary of his start at Apple.

Audio excerpt from the Churchill Club’s 2011 event discussing the legacy of Steve Jobs.

Text available at folklore.org.


Can a Plus Be a Minus? (1986)

     1/15/2019

Taking the upgrade path is costly and confusing but ultimately satisfying. Steven Levy documents his upgrade journey from a Macintosh 512k to a Mac Plus.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld October 1986.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Hello Again (MFR Housekeeping)

     12/14/2018

Welcome back, Mac Folklore Radio Listeners–both of you. Some rambling from your podcast host after a nine year absence.

Thanks again to vintageapple.org and the mysterious “SteveM” for all the new reading material.


The Desktop Christmas (1993)

     12/10/2018

Cheap and cheery gifts to put under the Apple tree.

Written by David Pogue, The Desktop Critic, Macworld December 1993.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


A Shut and Open Case (1987)

     11/27/2018

How “unauthorized” modifications to the Mac became commonplace.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld January 1987.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Defying Gravity (1993)

     10/25/2018

The DiskDoubler Story: How to succeed by really trying.

Written by Guy Kawasaki, Wise Guy, Macworld December 1993.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Goal of a New Machine (1993)

     10/1/2018

Guy Kawasaki’s take on the PDA: the Personal Telephone Assistant.

Written by Guy Kawasaki, Wise Guy, Macworld September 1993.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The NeXT Best Thing (1989)

     9/16/2018

Journalists are summoned to a preview of the NeXT cube.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld March 1989.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


Look Mac, No Hands! (1995)

     8/2/2018

One man’s quest to eliminate the keyboard.

Written by David Pogue, The Desktop Critic, Macworld August 1995.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


The Meaning of Slow (1991)

     6/14/2018

Passing the time with Apple’s StyleWriter.

Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld December 1991.

Text available in HTML and ePub.


(OldComputerPods) ©Sean Haas, 2020