The Original Macintosh
Anecdotes about the development of Apple's original Macintosh, and the people who made it (122 stories)
“Systems programmers are high priests of a low cult.” -- Alan Kay

I recently rewatched the Computer History Museum interview of you and Andy regarding MacPaint and it struck me anew how groundbreaking it was. I grew up with MacPaint and HyperCard - and I wanted to say thank you for creating these wonderful tools. If the Mac was the bicycle for the mind, MacPaint and HyperCard were the Concorde.

Hi, the IIc ROM v0 (which is actually the 2nd version) contains a placeholder for AppleTalk which replaced booting from an external drive. This was later removed in v3. Could you tell us more about the effort to bring AppleTalk to the IIc, why it was abandoned, and why booting from external drives was never restored in the IIc ROM? Thanks!

We thank you because you guys give technology to our hands. You kick the door open for a lot of creative people. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A lesson from Burrell : Creative man eats Pineapple Pizza 😎😎😎

what does the date april 1979 stand for?

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@Sos Sargsyan. You must be joking...a book was written about these stories. lol

I believe Jef was the "father of the idea of Mac". But, I hardly find it fair to say that Jef (or anyone else) were the sole inventors of the idea. I'm sure that kid in the early 60's who fell in love with computers imagined one day owning an easy to use computer in his bedroom. Or that mom working in a giant mainframe room wishing they could afford having a computer at home that was easy to use. So the idea is worthless. Sure, Jef had the idea (even an 8-bit prototype). But the "Macintosh" was the Macintosh because of Burrell, Steve Jobs, Hertzfeld and many more.

@Glen I was thinking the same thing. After all, it was a countdown right?

People complaining about disk swapping...makes me laugh. If Matrix were here, he'd laugh too. Back in my day, we copied via cassette tape and command line. You whippersnappers and your fancy mouse machines!

@ask@me I think Edward was talking about bodge wires on production products.

Your skin is thicker than mine. I wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes with Jobs after he told me to shut up. I suffer from a high temper and a short fuse. lol

Does anyone know if the original Mac was a two layer board? Four layer? More? I doubt it was more than four. I imagine it was only two but would like to know.

Even today (2018), these pieces of the Mac (and Apple itself) History are delightful to read. I wonder what all the characters think looking back to those days when they were creating the future of computing industry. I write this lines in an iPhone, which is some sort of “great-great-great-grandson” (in computer life) of their early work!

I have a few copies of Alice. At the Mac's rollout, I was in Academic computing support at a University, mostly helping students and faculty with email, programming (PASCAL, BASIC, FORTRAN if I'm remembering correctly), and Statistical analysis (SPSS and SAS). We had a Lisa in the office, a few IBM PCs, and some peripherals and terminals. Then in January 1984 about ten or so pretty boxes appeared, with weird little one-piece computers with mice. (Mouse? where am I going to get a third hand to run a mouse? No function keys? black letters on white screen? this thing is nuts.) I was told that I needed to figure it out, because our university had ordered a lot of them, and our office, among others, was going to be supporting it. MacWrite, MacPaint, MacDraw, and Beta MacTerminal. No hard drive, just a single slot for the disk. Got it figured out, got hooked, showed it to a LOT of students, faculty, and parents who bought one, and figured I should be a Mac Evangalest like Guy Kawasaki. So....on to Alice: one of our Apple education reps, who would drop by periodically with t-shirts, pens, buttons and posters - wandered in with a few copies of the game. I played it a bit and showed it off to everyone I could. Over the years as the Mac evolved and its "cool" factor increased, I realized that these original goodies should be preserved, which I did. Many years later, I showed Alice to my pre-teen son. He had recently made a hollow book by carving a box into the pages, in Scouts, I think. can guess what happened next. He decided to carve a bigger hole in my Alice box. When I saw the box on the floor with shredded cardboard and tissue poking out of it, I had a FIT. I explained that he would have to buy me a new one, if I could ever find one. Years later, I found one, and he paid for it from saved allowance. So now I have the damaged case, a good case, and two (presumably) good disks. I don't have anything to run them on. I have some early Macs and some external drives, but I don't recall which ones do and don't work, and which have the correct requirements to run Alice. I no longer have my original 128K Mac. Some day I'll put all my original stuff on eBay, I guess.

You did a great job, man. Something that always amazed me in all stories about the Mac was how open mind you are. For instance, here it is you, creating amazing stuff, having a solid academic background, respected and admired by everyone and yet willing to tell people how smart was a low rank technician, with no college degree, and no credential to show other than fixed Apples II. Apple was fortunate to have people like you. God bless you.

The biggest calculator mistake in history is when Microsoft messed up the default calculator in Windows 10. It's too clumsy to use.

Just in case if the link above is not reachable. The original talk:

By "tomorrow", I presume you really meant the next Monday, not Saturday?