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Mac Folklore Radio
30 minutes | Aug 1, 2022
PowerBook 100 Series Introduction (1991)
Apple’s apology for the gigantic expensive Macintosh Portable. Original text from Macworld, December 1991. Audio clips courtesy of The Unofficial Apple VHS Archive’s collection of Apple User Group Connection tapes, which covered Apple’s PowerBook 1xx launch event for employees in 1991. Got all that? Apple telling you how great the design is. Apple telling you how great the product is. John Sculley telling you how great he is. Useful if you’re having trouble falling asleep. Apple demonstrating the Microsoft Jump Rope and the Microsoft Wart. John Medica: R.I.P., press release and tribute by Wake Forest University, also on YouTube. Computer History Museum - Apple Industrial Design Event (2007) featuring Robert Brunner, Manager of Industrial Design during the PowerBook 1xx era, and Jerry Manock, industrial designer on the Apple II through the Mac 128.
19 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Outbound and Gagged (1991)
Original text from Macworld, February 1991, page 73. Macworld published a correction confirming the Outbound 2000 series was indeed FCC-certified for home use. If you’re just gagging to experience the IsoPoint/TrackBar, you can buy one today from Contour Design! HCI guru Bill Buxton on the IsoPoint. Contour Design on YouTube is all RollerMouse, all the time. Ad for the Outbound 2000-series notebooks, and another where they push the Outbound’s upgradability advantage to PowerBook shoppers. Outbound 2000-series notebook reviews: [Dec 1991, Sep 1992]. MacUser only did capsule reviews of the 2000 series. :-( March 1993 obituary for Outbound. September 1993: PerFit service and upgrades available. Enjoy some gorgeous photos of the original Outbound Laptop System and 2000s from applerooter.net.
10 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
Review: Outbound Laptop System (1990)
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.
15 minutes | May 20, 2022
Review: NuTek Duet Macintosh Clone (1994)
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.
38 minutes | Apr 23, 2022
Send In The Clones (1991)
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. Advertisements for the NuTek One and Duet. Why use custom chips instead of off-the-shelf parts? 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. ARDI Executor was open sourced in 2008. 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.”
7 minutes | Apr 16, 2022
What Comes Together Falls Apart (1985)
InfoWorld (13-May-1985) profiles Andy Hertzfeld one year after his departure from Apple. Original text by Kevin Strehlo.
17 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
folklore.org: PCB Aesthetics/Diagnostic Port (1981)
Steve Jobs says of the Mac’s logic board “The lines are too close together!” while Burrell Smith surreptitiously adds some means of expansion. Original text from folklore.org: PC Board Aesthetics, Diagnostic Port. Jef Raskin: Design Considerations for an Anthropophilic Computer Jerry Manock/Jef Raskin/Bill Atkinson “convection enhancement device” quote from “The Macintosh at 20” panel hosted at Macworld Boston 2004. Fiennes on management’s tentative request for iPhone motherboard layout refinement. 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. MacGUI’s collection of original Macintosh memory upgrade boards. Steve from Mac84TV tries out a 3DFX Voodoo2 card for the Rev A iMac’s Mezzanine slot.
35 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
NeXT Cube Serial Number AA001032 (1993)
Burn a NeXT Cube, they said. It’ll be easy, they said. Original text from Simson Garfinkel. Simson maintains a complete NeXTWorld archive on his website. Photos from the actual burning. Rich Page quote from Part 1 of his CHM Oral History. CHM interview with Dan Ruby, NeXTWORLD Magazine’s driving force and editor-in-chief.
20 minutes | Feb 5, 2022
Steve Hayman - NeXT's Black Monday (1993)/The Merger (1996)
Steve Hayman and diskzero recall the death and unlikely rebirth of NeXT. Original text from blog.hayman.net (Remembering NeXT’s Black Monday, Apple & Next 25 Years Ago Today). Additional text from diskzero on the orange website. Thanks to thj for the submission! Audio clips from these interviews packed with insight into Apple’s resurgence in the 2000s: Avie Tevanian: CHM interview video (1, 2) and transcript (1, 2) Jon Rubinstein: CHM interview video (1, 2) and transcript 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]
18 minutes | Jan 13, 2022
A Suit In Time (1992)
Sheldon Breiner (1936-2019) gives Apple a taste of its own medicine. Sheldon’s bio at breiner.com. Stanford Alumni Magazine on Sheldon’s quest to find a giant 3,000 year-old Olmec head. Yes, that’s the late Gerry Davis mentioned in Triumph of the Nerds. Gerry Davis on his relationship with Gary Kildall in his own words. Not very much ado about Symantec’s Bedrock: [1, 2, 3, 4] Original website for Altura Software’s Mac2Win framework. Lee Lorenzen CHM interview covering Xerox PARC, Digital Research, GEM, Ventura Publisher, Fractal Design Painter and the birth of Mac2Win. 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.
47 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
Don Melton - Memories of Steve (2013)
Don Melton, former WebKit and Safari team lead at Apple, recalls some close encounters with Steve Jobs. Original text from Don’s website. 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.”
17 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
Wise Guy - Give and You Might Receive (1994)
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. Hard Drive by David Pogue is out of print but available from used booksellers. Original text from Macworld, January 1994.
46 minutes | Oct 30, 2021
Interview with Chris Espinosa (2000)
Chris Espinosa on… discovering computers in high school the Homebrew Computer Club unusual user group personalities “after school Apple II demo time” at Apple headquarters the mad dash to rewrite the Apple II manual the product documentation conundrum the open secret about the LaserWriter driver in early 1985 how Caroline Rose and others drove simplicity in Macintosh software development 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. :-) More Chris Espinosa: on Twitter and Tumblr with some early Apple history tidbits [1, 2, 3]. My favourite: Chris gently walking you through an upgrade to System 7 while highlighting its advantages over Windows 3.0.
3 minutes | Oct 29, 2021
folklore.org: Calculator Construction Set (1982)
Chris Espinosa tries to build a Steve Jobs-approved calculator. Original text from folklore.org. My favourite classic MacOS calculator was ProCalc. While trying to find ProCalc, I found PowerCalc by John Mauro who went on to co-invent Gorilla Glass, used in every iPhone and iPad.
7 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
folklore.org: Do It (1982)
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.
11 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
folklore.org: Inside Macintosh (1982)
Early Macintosh developer documentation had a bit of a rocky start. Caroline Rose also did some technical documentation work for NeXT. Caroline’s website is hosted by Andy Hertzfeld/differnet.com. 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.
12 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
Adrian Mello - Name That Macintosh (1993)
Apple’s marketing poets meet Mercedes-Benz, Latin, and Sylvester Stallone. Original text from Macworld Magazine, August 1993.
32 minutes | Sep 3, 2021
Interview with Eric Harslem (1992)
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. Eric in 2012 speaking about his donation to the Mathworks Endowment at Texas State University. 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.
10 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
Wise Guy - The Akihabara Syndrome (1993)
Guy boils down your Macintosh purchase decision to three choices from Apple’s bloated 1993 product lineup. Apple has arguably suffered from The Ginza Syndrome(tm) since the days of the Apple II. :-) Original text from Macworld Magazine, June 1993.
9 minutes | Aug 20, 2021
Wise Guy - The F-15 vs the Quadra 800 (1993)
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.
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