From the days before the hot-selling PowerBook 100 series, David Pogue reviews a sleeker, less expensive alternative to Apple’s 1989 Macintosh Portable.
Original text from Macworld, September 1990.
Enjoy some gorgeous photos of the original Outbound Laptop System from applerooter.net.
NuTek’s years of labour finally bear fruit–kind of. The trail of NuTek coverage stops cold after early 1994. We don’t know exactly what happened but this review provides some strong hints.
Original text from Macworld, February 1994.
The review states you can toggle between the Duet’s Mac and PC modes from the front panel. Nothing is labelled “Mac/PC” in the advertisements. Did they change the silkscreen for production models? Wouldn’t it be funny if they just wired up the turbo button or the keyboard lock switch and left the labels as is to cut costs?
Benjamin Chou is still around, helping startups.
NuTek’s plan for Macintosh World Domination: a clean room implementation of the ROMs and System 6, cheap hardware, and enough investor money to survive the inevitable legal assault from Apple.
Macworld speculated a Macintosh clone with a 68030 CPU, colour monitor and hard disk could cost just $600USD at a time when lowly Macintosh LC systems sold for $2700USD. The faster 32-bit data path IIsi sold for $3700 in complete configurations, and the more expandable IIci, $6,000USD and up.
Original text from Macworld, April 1991.
IBM PC clone production went into high gear thanks to PC-compatible BIOS vendors like Phoenix and chipset manufacturers like Chips and Technologies. Did you know C&T founder Gordon Campbell went on to co-found 3dfx, the Voodoo company?
Savour the varying quality of different IBM PC compatible chipsets.
John Warnock gave Apple a good needling in this article, likely because of the ongoing Font Wars. See Chuck Geschke and John Warnock retelling the story.
Lee Lorenzen speaking about Apple’s lawsuit against Digital Research, and Bill Gates admitting he intended this to serve as a distraction while work progressed on Windows. Lee’s “sick cow” story.
Steve Jobs WWDC 1997 Q&A: “I was hoping that you would venture an opinion this morning on how you see the future evolution of the Macintosh compatible market.”
Steve Jobs says of the Mac’s logic board “The lines are too close together!” while Burrell Smith surreptitiously adds some means of expansion.
Jerry Manock/Jef Raskin/Bill Atkinson “convection enhancement device” quote from “The Macintosh at 20” panel hosted at Macworld Boston 2004.
Pixar on attention to detail: “We sand the undersides of the drawers.”
Adrian Black showing the 512k expansion decoder circuit to the left of the 68000.
MacGUI’s detailed history of Mac 128K memory upgrades: the Dr. Dobbs article, the early 128k adopter outrage, the high list prices for the Apple 512k upgrade kit.
Steve from Mac84TV tries out a 3DFX Voodoo2 card for the Rev A iMac’s Mezzanine slot.
Burn a NeXT Cube, they said. It’ll be easy, they said.
Steve Hayman and diskzero recall the death and unlikely rebirth of NeXT.
Audio clips from these interviews packed with insight into Apple’s resurgence in the 2000s:
NeXTEVNT 2015 with Michael Johnson, Doug Menuez, Peter Graffagino and Don Melton
Scott Forstall at CHM’s iPhone Tenth Anniversary panel (second half)
What happened to Dell’s WebObjects-based online store? (left/right channels out of phase; use headphones)
Watch perhaps the coldest crowd ever put in front of Steve Jobs as they take in a demonstration of a flight booking web application built in WebObjects running on Windows NT in 1996–at a Microsoft conference, no less. [originally hosted at Microsoft until 2019, now purged]
Sheldon Breiner (1936-2019) gives Apple a taste of its own medicine.
Developer Jonathan Hoyle on a Mac2Win easter egg. Jonathan Hoyle grilling Steve Jobs about Apple’s developer predicament in 1997. (Hoyle identifies himself in other WWDC 1997 sessions.)
Original text from Macworld, November 1992.
Don Melton, former WebKit and Safari team lead at Apple, recalls some close encounters with Steve Jobs.
Don did a wonderful interview about his computer journey before, during, and after heading the Safari project on episode 11 of the Debug podcast.
Steve Jobs Quote Compilation Index
WWDC 2004: “Our competitors buy the panels we reject”
All Things D 2007, Bill Gates: “He’s really pursued that with incredible taste and elegance… I’d do a lot to have Steve’s taste”
Game Changers, Guy Kawasaki: “It’s a perfect match because he’s a showman who can really introduce a product, and he has great products to introduce”
WWDC 1997 Keynote: “The line of code that a developer can write the fastest, the line of code the developer can maintain the cheapest, and the line of code that never breaks for the user is the line of code the developer never had to write.”
MWSF 2001 (Titanium PowerBook G4 intro): “We have the most powerful notebooks in the world … but they have the sex. We want both!”
MWSF 1999: “Our relationship with Microsoft, it’s kind of like a marriage … it’s terrific about 99% of the time… about 1% of the time we argue over stuff, usually having to do with multimedia. Y’know, in life, that’s not a bad ratio.”
MWSF 2001: “We very much appreciate the applause but you shouldn’t be applauding because this is how it ought to work!”
MWSF 1999: “We don’t think design is just how it looks; we think design is how it works. … We think we’ve got the most incredible access story in the business. And you know what’s it’s called? It’s called a door.”
WWDC 2004: “The back of these displays looks better than the front of most of our competitors’. … First time I saw one of these I couldn’t talk for the first minute.”
WWDC 1999: “We’re giving away fifty of these new PowerBooks… and the winner of the first PowerBook is… oh! Steve Jobs! No…”
iBook Dual USB Intro, 2001: “Michael Dell said some disparaging things about us lately, publicly. We’re not going to engage in that sort of thing, but let me show you their product. … It looks like this and you can see it’s about that thick, and it’s got some nice fans in the back so you can keep an eye on them…”
CAUSE 1998 on “digital convergence”: “I converged myself last week, actually. Can you tell? I don’t know what it means. Here’s what it means: it means your television’s gonna make toast. Y’know? That’s what it means. […] People go their TVs to turn their brain off […] I used to think like many you might have thought that there was this giant conspiracy of the networks to put mediocrity on television and dumb us down! … But I then found out the truth which is far more depressing, which is the networks give people precisely what they want!”
Apple 2003 Q4 investors call: “We’re gonna integrate toasters and computers. We think people want toast when they’re working on their computers. We can have computer control, just get it exactly how you–we can put up pictures of toast, and you pick the one that looks like what you want, and it’ll come right out the side!”
CHM iPhone Event w/Fiennes, Ganatra, Hertz, Forstall: Scott Forstall’s Steve Jobs cafeteria payment story
Xserve Launch Event/WWDC 2002: (on Apple’s extremely poor record of committing to enterprise products) “I wasn’t here when Apple did a lot of those … I look at that as a dream when, you know, Apple was in a coma.”
CHM iPhone Event w/Fiennes, Ganatra, Hertz, Forstall: “My interview at NeXT was funny because .. I’d been there 10 minutes… Steve barges into the room, grabs the guy …”
New Pathways Into the Library of Congress: “Bicycle for our minds” bit
CHM iPhone Event w/Fiennes, Ganatra, Hertz, Forstall: “You’re a billionaire, you don’t understand!”
MWSF 1999: “Maybe it’s telling you to revert back to a Macintosh”
CAUSE 1998: “The goal used to be to make the best computers in the world… goal 2 we got from Hewlett-Packard, which is we have to make a profit! .. along the way somewhere, those two got reversed. … It’s very subtle at first but it turns out it’s everything.”
CAUSE 1998: (on user interface design) “we’ve just stuck warts on the side of what we had 10 years ago instead of rethinking everything”
Seybold 1999 Keynote: John Warnock: “The wonderful thing about having Apple back is that this industry is no longer boring. Thank you, Steve.”
Guy suggests Christmas gifts for figures in the Macintosh world circa 1993.
Apple Board of Directors interview clip from the Macworld Boston 1997 keynote, the most depressing Apple keynote on record excluding every smarmy self-congratulatory Tim Cook keynote ever.
Original text from Macworld, January 1994.
Chris Espinosa on…
Original text from the “Making the Macintosh” exhibit at Stanford University Library. Original tape available if you’re in the neighbourhood and feel like preserving it and uploading it to archive.org. :-)
My favourite: Chris gently walking you through an upgrade to System 7 while highlighting its advantages over Windows 3.0.
Chris Espinosa tries to build a Steve Jobs-approved calculator.
Original text from folklore.org.
Testing software on real world users often yields surprising results.
Origin of the Apple Human Interface Guidelines video with Chris Espinosa reading Bruce Tognazzini’s “Apple Presents Apple” user testing post-mortem.
Original text from folklore.org.
Early Macintosh developer documentation had a bit of a rocky start.
Outro clip from Joanna Hoffman’s delightful interview with the Computer History Museum which you should at least read through, if only for the story of her sneaking into and out of Russia without official clearance. [video 1/2/3, transcript 1/2/3]
Original text from folklore.org.
Which Mac is the current bestseller?
Is Apple giving up on industrial design?
Why did you screw Quadra 900 customers by introducing the 950 just five months after the 900?
Editor-in-Chief of Macworld Jerry Borrell sits down for some questions and answers with Eric Harslem, Apple’s Vice President of Desktop Computers in 1992.
Simpler times: an Apple VP discussing future product plans and openly admitting mistakes, in this case with the Mac Portable. You don’t see Tim Cook apologizing for the butterfly keyboard or the abysmal state of OS X from 2009 onwards, do you? Come back, Eric!
Original text from Macworld Magazine, September 1992.
Some months after this interview was published, Eric, along with Apple’s head of PowerBook development, jumped ship to Dell in 1993 to help turn around its notebook division.
The Apple New Product Process (ANPP) lives on even though Jonathan Ive did his best to prioritize thinness and visual aesthetics over structural integrity, keyboard durability, and battery life.
This is not Macintosh-related whatsoever but it’s Guy Kawasaki, it was in Macworld, and he had some fun flying in an F-15 fighter jet.
Original text from Macworld Magazine, July 1993.
Get your own copy of The Macintosh Way at used booksellers.
Watch a Let’s Play of F/A-18 Hornet in an emulator or play it on your iOS device. I had a copy back in the day. I knew nothing about flight simulators and could not figure out how to do anything, not even exit the game. Flailing at the keyboard, I went from zero to takeoff because I accidentally hit Delete which fired up the afterburners. That was pretty cool.
It’s late 1993, Apple is sinking, PowerPC Macs haven’t arrived yet, the Macintosh system software is showing its age, and John Sculley is out. Incoming CEO Michael Spindler to the rescue! Guy Kawasaki’s advice for Apple’s then-new leader.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, Sculley and Spindler talking about Apple’s plan for the 1990s should help.
Original text from Macworld Magazine, October 1993.
Spindler introduction clip from the Power Macintosh Reseller Training video.
Listener request from Charkes (not a typo): more Guy Kawasaki! Here’s Guy on the pros and cons of working from home.
Remember that in 1994, there was no way any MIS/IT manager would be caught dead letting Macintoshes in the door and onto their corporate network, there was not one but 20 major online electronic mail services worldwide, and Apple quoted PowerBook battery life at 2-3 hours.
Original text from Macworld Magazine, June 1994.
Steven Levy on why Macintosh developers aren’t scared of Claris, the software company backed by Apple Computer.
Original text from Macworld Magazine, June 1992.
ClarisWorks and other seemingly Macintosh-only products did indeed ship on Windows.
The story of how “the best-loved application for the Mac” took on Microsoft Works as told by programmer [Bob Hearn in 2003][bob].
Watch Bob Hearn talking about AlphaGo starting at 4m50s.
The FBI’s attempted investigation of the nuPrometheus League.
I wish there was a dramatic conclusion to this 1990 editorial, but we’ve heard nothing from the nuPrometheus League since their first and only dispatch.
Original text from Macworld Magazine, September 1990.
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.
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.
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.
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.
StuffIt Deluxe 2.0 review. Yes, people were already complaining about software bloat in 1991.
Raymond’s PhD Dissertation: “Subword Lexical Modelling for Speech Recognition”
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
Watch a special Christmas message from MFR.
Metrowerks CodeWarrior for PowerPC was ready in late 1993. Eat that, Symantec!
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
Regarding the introductory paragraph: keep in mind that in 1994, the longest QuickTime video I had ever seen was 15 seconds.
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!
The Newton MessagePad soap opera from product launch to cancellation, and all that could have been.
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’”
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.
“Mask ROM” means something a little different in 2020.
E-mail your article and topic suggestions to derek at macfolkloreradio.com.
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.
Intro audio clip from Michael Tchao at the Apple User Group Breakfast, Boston MacWorld 1993. Patch talk from the questions and answers 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.
Steve Chamberlin tells the story of the birth, death, and afterlife of the slickest shareware Tetris for the Macintosh.
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.
Andy Hertzfeld demonstrating Eazel’s file manager for Linux
The Machine that Changed the World - The Paperback Computer
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.
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.
Burrell’s contrary statement on PC Board Aesthetics at folklore.org.
A bonus episode to keep my tiny listener base company while they’re stuck inside because of you-know-what. Stay safe.
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.
The problem with HyperCard isn’t HyperCard, it’s what people are saying about it.
Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld February 1988.
The little things that Macintosh pilgrims can be thankful for.
Written by David Pogue, The Desktop Critic, Macworld November 1996.
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.
The worldwide DRAM shortage of 1988 encourages back-door deals and money grubbing.
Written by Steven Levy, The Iconoclast, Macworld January 1989.
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!
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.
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.