Apple legends: how to create Mac18 review

Today, Apple brand is most often associated with its mobile devices — iPod, iPhone and iPad. But far back in the eighties these names, which was destined to lead the technology revolution of the new century, haven’t even been invented. The main product then the Apple was the machine that made the concept of a personal computer available and familiar to a wide range of users — Macintosh. How did its glorious history?

It was 1979. A young “Apple” company, which soared to success on the wings of the famous Apple II, continued to reap the fruits of engineering genius Steve Wozniak, thanks to the creative genius of his namesake jobs out of the club enthusiasts. However, already at that time it was clear: even the most successful model requires a large-scale renovation, and the manufacturer was not a worthy replacement. Such could be considered the Apple III, if not one “but” — the announcement was just an improved version of its predecessor. Picky the market wanted more, and jobs gradually ceased to pay attention to this, as would say today, “minor update”.

The head of the company, perfectly understood the then the product was, in fact, the brainchild of his buddy. Quickly realizing that he has a chance to show the world his personal vision PC, ambitious jobs invited Apple in to two former employees of Hewlett-Packard, John Couch and Ken Rothmuller. Being an avid lover of design which characterized the technique of a famous brand, Steve entrusted beginners the development of the computer, the likes of which, according to his idea, the world has seen. The project received the code name “Lisa” (as it turned out, after the daughter of jobs) and was supposed to be a reply to Cupertino’s long-standing desire of the market to have a available PC on 16-bit architecture (in the Apple II used an 8-bit CPU). In those days the price of computing was very different from today, and the concept of affordable PCs was part of the phone cost over two thousand dollars. In addition, Lisa had to be equipped with two floppy magnetic disks (floppy disks), and also be suitable for solving various business problems, transforming computers from the prerogatives of large organizations in a routine part of any office.

By the early eighties, a new team has achieved some success: the Coach and Rothmuller managed to build a module, who had a bitmapped screen and a keyboard. By the standards of HP it was nice, however, jobs such modest advances were satisfied. Worse, an incorrigible perfectionist simply did not know what he specifically wanted, and the task of the engineers was not part of the creative accomplishments of. Work stalled almost before it began.

However, soon the chief appeared very good idea. One of the investors in Apple who agreed with jobs ‘ a million dollars, was the largest American manufacturer of Xerox. In the town of Palo Alto, where he lived and worked Steve, was located equipped with the latest technology research center Xerox PARC in which the company carried out advanced researches in the field of electronics. It haunted bill Atkinson and his mentor Jeff will consult the engineers of Apple who was then working on your own project budget computer, and they persuaded the chief to visit PARC. The management of the centre, not knowing with what intentions toward them tricky jobs, opened its doors, and in one of the rooms, he finally saw something that lacked the Apple. The young genius looked into the future.

Computer that hit Steve was called Xerox Alto was equipped with all necessary modern computing machine. Main what drew the attention of Steve, was a graphical user interface and software, able to work with him, and a manipulator-the mouse was in those days not so familiar solution. Of course, the Alto interface needed serious revision — for example, the screen could display a limited number of Windows to be dragged on the screen with the mouse; every action is weighed in its own team that did the new approach is a continuation of the old logic. In addition, the computer was a clear example of “technology for technology”, not designed for practical use — only one mouse was not only unnecessary then equipped with three buttons, but cost about three hundred dollars. The total value of the final model at the time of the announcement amounted to 75 thousand space dollars. But jobs and his team, in contrast to the busy photocopy business leaders Xerox, once it became clear that how to turn a raw idea into a great invention. Subsequently, Steve remembered that if Xerox gave its developments to a greater value, the company certainly would be the industry leader.

They were doing their photocopies and had no idea what I can do with the help of computer — just like jobs on the Xerox bosses. — They had a chance to take the entire market, but the main fight in the history of the industry was lost even before it began.

Work has begun to boil again, and the deadline for their implementation was negligible — only half a year. Daily urged the engineers and designers of Apple managed to bring developments Xerox to mind, and the graphical user interface the future of computer appeared to be so familiar now the concept of Drag’n’drop, and through the efforts of bill Atkinson’s virtual window on the screen you can easily “override”, not limited to multiple items. With this feature called “regions”, part of the graphics library LisaGraf, associated with a funny episode. One morning the staff of the campus upset by the news that Atkinson was involved in a serious accident on the way to work in his sports car crashed into a truck. Having survived miraculously, bill was taken to a nearby hospital in an unconscious state. After learning about the incident, jobs headlong rushed into the ward to Atkinson, who had already recovered, and his first question was seemingly the usual “are You okay?”. It is well known character chief bill replied: “don’t worry, I still remember Regions”. The fact is that just over a year ago, Steve Wozniak was in a plane crash on his private jet, and then temporarily lost his memory. If the amnesia happened and Atkinson, precious time would be lost forever.

Problems the Lisa team was missing without it. Rothmuller previously hired, initially responsible for the software, turned out to be a very conservative type and did not want to modify the system for the sake of graphics. In addition, the goal is to save the notorious price tag level of $ 2,000 was abandoned halfway, and the process of development demanded more and more investments. All this, of course, didn’t like jobs who regularly rowed with staff of division, and eventually Mike Scott and Mike Markkula, the then two leaders of Apple had to replace it with a Coach. Former HP engineer was requested to complete the project.

However, Steve jobs clearly did not belong to those who easily endured defeat. Soon after disagreements with management, Steve began to know their own plan, which he intended to take revenge on their former subordinates, and the first thing that came to mind was the semi-abandoned project, Raskin and Atkinson. Fortunately for jobs, in the hands of the engineers was already a prototype, which is called Raskin decided very simple — the Macintosh. By the way, this word Jeff made a mistake — “correct” spelling was “McIntosh”.

Ruskin machine was designed for retail sale at a price of a thousand dollars, and its production cost was only about three hundred. The unit was a much smaller version of those computers. A small but proud team Mac focused on the concept that would become the Foundation of Apple is the tight hardware-software integration. New computer was supposed to be so convenient as it is simple.

The first prototype had a Macintosh bitmap screen resolution of 256 x 256 points and was built on the mother Board developed by Burrell Smith — a self-taught engineer, who considered his mastermind Steve Wozniak. The heart of the machine was a Motorola 6809 processor, a transition model between 8 – and 16-bit chips; some engineers claimed that, with proper development, this CPU could easily circumvent newer counterparts in performance, even cheaper to produce. This is a principle — optimizing for a specific hardware configuration, successfully used Apple today, providing the company is one of the highest margins in the industry.

Voltage within the unit increased. Most of ON sale wrote lured away from the team II young Apple engineer Andy Hertzfeld; with other colleagues he worked nights, sometimes completely knocking out power. Much worse is, as one of the originators of Lisa, the engineers could not find a common language for the further development of the project. Corrected position of jobs, examine the potential in endeavors Ruskin. When he came to the team, Steve declared himself a sort of rebel as opposed to hulking Lisa fresh concept. Later it is here that he will say his famous phrase that perfectly expressed the credo of the Mac:

Better to be a pirate than join the Navy.

Becoming at the helm of the Macintosh, jobs immediately began to set all their own way. The first thing the newly minted chief persuaded Ruskin, who adhered to the 8-bit architecture, you put the computer on the Motorola 68000 processor, the same one that replaced the successful model 6809. By the end of 1980, the engineer built a new prototype — a compact, powerful and is still in production. Macintosh began to gain the features of, in due time to ensure the success of the famous Apple II, turning into the logical development of his ideas.

By and large, the Macintosh itself was assembled by a single engineer a few weeks. At the same time the team Lisa was plagued with failures: it consisted of more than twenty first-class engineers and many programmers, however, after two years of work on the car in their possession had only one prototype for this device was extremely dangerous. In addition, the end product is inevitably lost Mac into a compact and cost almost three times more expensive, though, and assembled from ready-made components.

Seeing the situation, which turned out to be rivals, Steve jobs has put in a subordinate logical, but unrealistic framework: the computer you had to pass the following year, with his on the table size should not exceed the one for the phone book. This tactic come to the liking of not for everyone, and soon left the team himself Ruskin. In his place was a young and energetic Herzfeld, becoming the main programmer for the Macintosh. By bringing together the existing developments, Andy altered the LisaGraf, making it one of the main components of the new system is QuickDraw.

Due to the requirements of the jobs to make the Macintosh as compact as possible, the engineers had to place the PCB vertically, which determined the form of the finished product. The case itself is, however, satisfied the picky chef. Before he approved the design, there were a lot of quarrels and scandals around a dozen different layouts, each of which jobs certainly found one flaw. Not accustomed to the novelty and the usual expansion slots: Steve hated this feature, and it is strictly prohibited to install it.

Those who want slots, it will be easier to buy a Lisa, said jobs.

By the spring of 1981 the staff managed to come to a General consensus regarding the concept of the device. At this stage again intervened, jobs and demanded that all future applications for OS were made in the same style, in order to simplify the task of software developers. The latter was actually created from scratch: abandoning the insufficient quality of LisaWrite editor, Steve directed the programmer to Randy Wigginton to write your own equivalent of MacWrite. Interestingly, Wigginton was among those who left Apple because of disagreements with jobs, but the last one offered him two dollars from each sold Mac with the maximum amount of payments in million dollars. The idea was successful, and Randy has developed a program in record time, later confessing that he… never used a word processor previously. And here began the first serious problem.

MacWrite itself was done well, but he showed a solid drawback in the design of computer — small screen width. The display used in the current prototype, provided only 384 points horizontally, and to increase this figure needed a new GPU that is needed to develop your own. After working on the chip for many months, the team abandoned the project, and not released from the initial stage, but the moment was lost. In the end, the Burrell decided to use PAL, special custom feature, and Mac finally got a 512-point screen. Future Mac OS was called System Software.

No matter how ridiculous, but one of the most difficult tasks in the development of the computer became his final name. Mark McIntosh sounded the same c Macintosh, belonged to the same company, engaged in production of acoustic systems. Simple negotiations failed, and the problem was solved by using a solid monetary contribution: Apple paid the firm a hundred thousand dollars.

On leaving the finishing line, engineers are faced with the problem of choosing the drive. At the time, Lisa was his version of drive — Twiggy, however the reliability caused them doubt. Initially, supplier, ALP, could not execute the order in full and in the allotted time. Resistant jobs did not want to seek the services of the Japanese Sony drives which he sharply criticized, and it was decided to make own version. However, when the release date of the Mac has already had nowhere to move, it turned out that the team was still far from completion. The situation was saved from one of the employees, agreeing with Sony on the supply without the permission of the chief. So when it came to jobs, he grinned and thanked the engineer in his own style: “Oh, you son of a bitch!”.

The Apple Macintosh went on sale on 24 January 1984. Especially for this event was a timed demonstration of the famous infomercial “1984”, shot by Director Ridley Scott.

Despite the consequences, which directly or indirectly led to his release, — change strategy, a gradual decline in sales and eventually the resignation of jobs, who was dissatisfied with too high final cost of the device, on startup the computer was very successful. But the thing is that the “square” Mac, whose ideas soon formed the basis of the contention Windows, marked the beginning of the series, in a few decades has become not only a symbol of the new Apple, but simply a necessary tool. And now, perhaps, give a word to Steve, who presented the device at the scene thirty years ago. Probably better than him about himself can only say the computer itself:

How it’s good to finally be out of the box.

According to the materials of the i-programmer

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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