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Apple Businesses

Apple History At 223

oaklybonn writes "Andy Hertzfeld seems to be the primary author on this fascinating site, which details many of his experiences in the Macintosh (Bicycle??) development efforts. It includes such choice commentary as: "we were amazed that such a thoroughly bad game could be co-authored by Microsoft's co-founder, and that he would actually want to take credit for it in the comments.", on a page describing a game bundled with the original IBM PC." Reader themexican adds "As a plus, Hertzfeld notes in the faq that the python code running the well-designed and easy to navigate site will be made public in the near future."
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Apple History At

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  • Bicycle (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:46AM (#8097663) Homepage Journal
    What, no elaboration on why it was called the Bicycle? Fine, I'll enlighten you.

    Apparently there was a story in Scientific American, or Popular Science, or some such magazine where the scientists were trying to determine what was the most efficient of animals in terms of locomotion. Which creature moved with the least amount of calories burned? Well, humans were waay down the list, pathetic in terms of other creatures. The top animal with the most efficient means of movement was an eagle or something. Then, one guy had this idea to measure how efficient a human being is on a bicycle. It was awesome, he was drastically more efficient, able to go further and without burning as many calories. It knocked the bird out of first place.

    So, early on, Apple was planning on calling it the "Bicycle for the Mind." I don't know if it makes as much an impact if you don't know the story behind it.

    I got this anecdote from one of the Apple behind-the-scenes books (I forget which), like Apple Confidential [].

  • Apple history (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kris Thalamus ( 555841 ) * <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:49AM (#8097672)
    A model by model Apple history can be found here [].
  • by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:03AM (#8097719) Homepage
    Andy Hertzfeld is one of the guys who helped design the original Mac, and also one of the people behind Eazel [], the GNOME UI polishing group. Eazel was the group that contributed Nautilus [] file manager to GNOME. Strangely, Eazel's webpage [] now displays jibberish...
  • Re:MS co-founder? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Richard M. Nixon ( 697603 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:16AM (#8097771) Homepage Journal
    Well, the site is /.'d, but is he talking about Bill Gates?

    I can get to it, it took a little bit to load but I got it now. At least the article that talks about the game.

    The game they are talking about is Donkey.
    (Somehow I doubt that's related to Donkey Kong.)

    It says the authors were Bill Gates and Neil Konzen, it was written in BASIC, poorly animated, and called Donkey because at certain points in the game a "donkey" appeared in the middle of the road and you would then have to quickly hit the space bar, or the game would end. (I'm guessing the space bar was for stopping?)

    That article also mentions that MSDOS was a clone of an earlier version of CP/M.
  • Re:Cheapest Mac (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:18AM (#8097784)
    go to and look into getting a blue and white G3. it can be upgraded if you like, but it it'll run OSX and Darwin...
  • Re:Bicycle (Score:4, Informative)

    by vought ( 160908 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:34AM (#8097825)
    Apple had a higher-ed program for equipping labs with Macs in the late 1980s and early 1990s called "Wheels for the MInd".

    The Susan Kare-style logo at the top of the WotM letterhead was the same featured in the Folklore site. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Still cool, even if you don't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:44AM (#8097855)
    An interview with Andy Hertzfeld []
  • by javiercero ( 518708 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:44AM (#8097856)
    Actually the PC was not "open" at all, IBM was not too happy when the clones started appearing.

    It was copied, that is for sure, but it was far from "open." A plagiarized design doesn't make it "open" in the same fashion that a blown up safe lock box is also an "open" box.

    And most of the games you mention have more in common with the machines you dissed than the actual original PC. I.e. most of the Doom engine was actually developed in NextStep, a lot of the 3DS software that game designers adopted in the 90s come from an Atari ST design program, most of the multi channel audio we know assume as standard was inspired by the Amiga (.mod's were the .mp3's of the 80s! :)), and on and on.... the PC ended up becoming more like the mac, the amiga, and the ST, not the other way around... to the point where current PCs have far more in common with those platforms in "spirit" than the original PC.
  • by the JoshMeister ( 742476 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:47AM (#8097866) Homepage Journal

    Here are several other great Apple history resources.


    • [] is one of the best Internet sources, with information on every computer Apple ever produced
    • [] has year-by-year info on Apple with some cool, hard-to-find pictures



  • by netsrek ( 76063 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:49AM (#8097874) Homepage
    It's the name of the Apple higher ed magazine [] here in Australia.
  • Re:Cheapest Mac (Score:5, Informative)

    by boaworm ( 180781 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:52AM (#8097886) Homepage Journal
    I'm looking to get the cheapest Mac that runs Darwin.

    There is a difference between the cheapest Mac that runs OS X, and that runs Darwin. Darwin (the core) will run on a lot older hardware than OS X itself. For instance, you can run Darwin on the PowerMac 8NNN series, but dont try to take a retail OS X and install.

    Have a lookt at Low End Mac [] and Accelerate your Mac []. Perhaps they can give you some kind of hint. Now finally, i'd just like to point out that if you indeed want to run OS X, keep in mind that the "minimum requirements", like 128MB ram, is NOT sufficient imho. My G5 even choked on 512MB :)
  • by the JoshMeister ( 742476 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:55AM (#8097892) Homepage Journal

    So you can compare, here's a link to the original commercial [], which you can see didn't have an iPod in it. ;o)

    (As has been mentioned, Apple digitally added the iPod in the 2004 version of the commercial.)

  • by rufusdufus ( 450462 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:07AM (#8097919)
    BASIC was written by Bill Gates, not Paul Allen. Microsoft was founded in 1975 and release its first product, BASIC in 1976.

    The original author of Q[uick and dirty]DOS was Tim Patterson who much later went to work for Microsoft in the compiler group. Bill gates did not work on the code.
  • by typhoonius ( 611834 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:36AM (#8097987)

    Don't forget other UI disasters Apple is responsible for like Home and End keys that never seem to do what you expect. For example, in Safari, I expect that when I'm editing a text field, if I hit home, the cursor should move to the beginning of the field, not scroll to the top of the page. If I'm selecting emails in, hitting up and down selects the next and previous emails, but hitting home doesn't take me to the top of the email list, it scrolls the currently selected email.

    Use Command+Left to go to the beginning of a line or Command+Right to go to the end of a line. Alt+Left and Alt+Right skip words. It's not a bad system necessarily, just one you aren't used to.

  • by Brataccas ( 213587 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:38AM (#8097989)
    I'm soooooo tired of people claiming Gates (or MS for that matter) created BASIC. The language [] and compiler were invented in Dartmouth while nine-year old Bill Gates was hundreds of miles away in his nice cushy private school in WA. Hell, even the original C reference pre-dates the formation of MS.

    As was mentioned by another poster, MS is a marketing marvel, but this myth about it's founders being technnical geniuses has just got to go. It scares the kids...

  • Re:MS co-founder? (Score:3, Informative)

    by G-funk ( 22712 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:24AM (#8098098) Homepage Journal
    Actually gates did write some parts of the early parts of dos, namely the FAT filesystem.
  • by andyr ( 78903 ) <> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:43AM (#8098160) Homepage Journal
    Bill Gates wrote a BASIC interpreter (for the Altair ??)

    Cheap shots aside, (Sir) [] Bill by all accounts did an excellent job of sqeezing it into a very small space.

    Credit []where it is due.

    Cheers, Andy!

  • Interesting. I use KDE, which can either do a Mac style menu across the top or menus-in-apps. Here's an interesting point:

    On my desktop, I use xinerama, either two or three monitors (I have gone as high as five in the past). I use menus-in-apps (aka Windows style). I load many many apps and have them spread out all over the place. I also tend to open new URLs in new windows.

    On my laptop, I use a single 1024x768 monitor. I use menu-at-top (aka MacOS style). I load only a few apps, and have them all maximized (in general). I tend to use tabbed browsing significantly more.

    In both I use Konsole (the KDE terminal app) in a uniform manner... lots of tabs, a primary shell, a root shell, and then several task shells. I use the second desktop in both as a place to kick windows that either are running "in the background" (conceptually, a la xmms) or interesting tangents that I ran across while working on a task (web pages found while googling for something else, half finished documents I was working on, etc).

    I also used to be an emacs kinda guy, and now I use vi. I use Kate often as well (the file sidebar is very handy for making small changes to many files).

    It's interesting, because the menubar difference is very natural, and I move back and forth with no difficulty. I can't recall the last time I hunted for the menu with a false start. For the single screen, MacOS style is the best, especially with a eraserhead mouse. For many screens, Windows style is better because I don't have to move across several monitors to hit a menu.


  • Re:Cheapest Mac (Score:3, Informative)

    by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @08:27AM (#8098454) Journal
    Now finally, i'd just like to point out that if you indeed want to run OS X, keep in mind that the "minimum requirements", like 128MB ram, is NOT sufficient imho. My G5 even choked on 512MB :)

    I disagree. I run Jaguar on an old Bondi-blue G3 imac at 233Mhz with 96MB Ram !

    And it runs just fine. There's only a limitation in startup time (don't power it of : sleep it if you need to. Boot time is around 10 minutes) , most of the iApps (which are to big to fit on the 2GB harddisk anyway) and MS Office (to big also, but easily replaced by textEdit or shareware alternatives).

    I run my mySQL/PHP/apache test setup on it, my iCal, and my accounting. Perfect.
  • by TimTheFoolMan ( 656432 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @09:40AM (#8098789) Homepage Journal
    In addition to helping with the plethora of menus you've described, the Macintosh-style menu has a major advantage over the current Windows-style taskbar: Infinite height. More specifically, you cannot "miss" the menus by going to high.

    In contrast, you have to hit the correct horizontal range, but also the correct vertical range, both for Windowed menus, and for taskbar buttons. If you move a long-term Mac user to Windows, they will constantly battle with this, as they're accustomed to just mousing up to the top of the screen, clicking, and then just scanning back and forth to find the right menu.

    In Windows, this just is dramatically more challenging, so most users never develop that habit.

  • Re:Bicycle (Score:5, Informative)

    by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @09:57AM (#8098947)
    Still haven't been able to dig that one up. I've got some graphs here comparing human power output to that of a horse, but that's a horse of a different color.

    On the other hand if you've done any riding of both it's surprising at first, but reflection bears it out.

    If you try to sit on a horse like you do on a chair you'll get pounded to death. Your butt will turn to hamburger, your spine will get crunched (forensic examination of Custer's troops showed spinal degredation even among teenagers as I recall). You have to lift yourself up and down in stirrups in rythmn with the horse. Saves your butt and spine, but until you've done a fair amount of riding you'l come home with your legs aching. Riding a horse is a lot of work. This is why the genteel class prefered the surrey. Even if, for some reason, you choose to sit like a sack and take the pounding you'll burn a fair number of extra calories in the process. Riding a horse works all the muscles of the body, each burning calories, no matter how slightly.

    On a bicycle you can simply sit; only the legs are really using extra calories; and fairly gentle pressure on the pedals will give you 8 mph or so on the level. Grandma can do this and keep it up all day. 12 mph is the speed a man with virtually depleted sugar stores can ride all day (although he won't enjoy it very much). An expert can ride at 15 mph until he falls asleep if he eats normally(the record average speed for crossing the US coast to coast is 15.3 mph, that average includes all downtime such as for sleeping. The clock started in California and stopped in Atlantic City NJ).

    I have to note that all of this is highly speed dependant. For instance, it takes a world class athlete (horse or man) to hit 40 mph, but the jockey of a horse galloping at 40 mph is probably working at about the rate of a bicyclist going 20 mph; about .2 hp ( watch a horse race on the tube, the jockey ain't just sitting there), whereas it's obvious that a man on a bicycle going 40 mph is pushing the very limits of human capability. (I'll note though that American professional cyclist Jackie Simes III beat a trotter in a race at Saratoga Springs. I've ridden a bicycle race on the same track. Trust me, the horse was at the advantage here. I never, ever want to race a bicycle on a horse track again)

    The bicycle is at the disadvantage going uphill or into the wind. On the other hand riding a bicycle downhill requires very little energy while riding a horse downhill requires more human energy.

    None of it is very straight forward and thus the claim that a man on a horse uses more energy than a man on a bicycle is provisional based on the conditions.

    As I recall the figure I have is for a horse at a trot of about 8 mph (which is why I chose that figure above) and a man bicycling at the same speed on the level in still air.

    The man on the bicycle will be expending about .03 horsepower, barely more than walking to the fridge.

    Yeah, in the mid 70s I was a bicycle researcher, which is why I have that chart, and why it is "somewhere," although I concentrated more on dynamics.

  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @10:53AM (#8099495) Journal
    Steve Jobs is one of the best things to happen to the Mac from a marketing standpoint. He's also made a lot of frusterating technical decisions. This [] article from the same site describes how Jobs comes down heavily on the side of having Macs be closed systems, essentially simple information appliances that users should never touch or open up. He's not into clones, expandability, modifications, or any of that.

    And he's the CEO of Apple now, and sure enough, we get lots of all-in-one models.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.