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Steve Jobs: (66)
Some Comments about Developing Applications for the Apple Macintosh 128 Computer from a 20 Year Perspective
Date: January 1984
Author: David Craig
Topics: 3rd party developers,Lisa,Software Design,Technical
Some Comments about Developing Applications for the Apple Macintosh 128 Computer from a 20 Year Perspective
This commentary contains my recollections about developing 3rd party software for the Apple Macintosh computer during the years 1984 to 1986. This paper was written as my contribution to the Macintosh's 20th anniversary celebrations in February 2004.
During this time I worked for a small company in Wichita Kansas called PPP Inc. (PPP or P3 = Programs for Professional People) which developed a new Macintosh application for the stock market named The Investor. This application was written in Lisa Pascal and contained around 50,000 lines. I and another individual designed the program, I implemented it.
The original Macintosh (called the "Macintosh 128" since it had 128K bytes of memory) provided a fascinating development and application environment which I enjoyed immensely. The Macintosh's rich ROM-based software toolbox in a 64K byte ROM along with the machine's small footprint and superbly clear screen display made the Macintosh a wonderful application platform.
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT USING THE LISA WORKSHOP ENVIRONMENT
Macintosh development in the early days (circa 1983-1985) was done using the Apple Lisa computer and its Lisa Workshop development environment. I originally used a Lisa 2/5 model which contained 1M byte of RAM, an internal 400K 3.5" Sony floppy drive, and an external 5M byte ProFile hard drive (yes, 5M as in mega bytes was considered a rather large drive in those days). I later used a Lisa 2/10 model which had an additional 10M byte internal Widget hard drive which gave me a total of 15M bytes of hard drive storage.
The Lisa Workshop hosted a command line interface which accessed a wonderful mouse based editor, a Pascal compiler, a 68000 macro assembler, an object file Linker, the RMaker resource compiler utility program, and the MacCom Lisa-to-Macintosh utility communications program.
The Lisa Pascal language was very powerful and compiled Pascal source files to Motorola 68000 object code files. I never found a need to use the Workshop's 68000 assembler since everything I needed for my application could be written in the higher level Lisa Pascal language. Macintosh application resource information was created as text files which were then compiled to a binary format using the RMaker resource compiler. Transferring a Macintosh object program from the Lisa to the Macintosh required the Lisa utility program MacCom which copied Lisa files to a Macintosh formatted disk in the Lisa's 400K internal disk drive. MacCom combined separate Lisa data and resource fork files which were stored on the Lisa's hard drive and stored them as single documents on the Macintosh floppy.
Macintosh programming was based on a collection of programming libraries called "units" in Pascal parlance. These resided on the Lisa and implemented the Macintosh application programming interface (API) called the Toolbox and Operating System by Apple. These libraries came on Lisa formatted disks called the Lisa Macintosh Supplement. I recall receiving around 3 or 4 supplements each with around a half dozen disks with these libraries. These disks also contained Macintosh utility and sample applications such as the Uriah Heap desk accessory by Andy Hertzfeld (called desk ornaments in the early days), the Edit text editor, and the File application by Cary Clark which showed detailed examples of Macintosh programming.
Macintosh development using a Lisa 1 model was also possible though I never worked with the Lisa 1. For this computer, which did not contain an internal Macintosh compatible 400K byte floppy drive, you transmitted your Macintosh program from the Lisa to the Macintosh via the Lisa's serial using a special Lisa utility. A special Macintosh utility received the transmitted file.
Macintosh development was also done using the Lisa Monitor development environment, but I never used this (I actually did play with the Monitor one time but thought the Workshop was a better environment). The Monitor was the Workshop's predecessor and was also command line based though its command structure was more UCSD p-system based then the later Workshop command structure. I was told that some people at Apple preferred the Monitor to the Workshop since the Monitor compilation and assembly was faster (specifically, Bill Atkinson and MacPaint and the Macintosh Finder team, Bruce Horn and Steve Capps). I've also seen Workshop references in Apple Macintosh source code to the "porkshop" but think this was somewhat unfair.
Around later 1984 or 1985 Apple provided the Macintosh Development System (MDS) which ran on the Macintosh 512K model I recall (I believe the Macintosh 128 couldn't run MDS but may be wrong). This allowed you to develop 68000 assembly language programs on the Macintosh. I never used it since I didn't write in assembly language (too tedious) and I had a Lisa with the Workshop and its wonderful Lisa Pascal language.
Concerning the Macintosh Plus computer which debuted in 1986, this computer was the last Macintosh whose system software was developed by Apple using the Lisa computer and its Workshop environment and the Lisa TLA 68000 assembler. Future Macintoshes were developed using Apple's MPW environment.
Note that the Lisa Workshop also supported a C compiler around 1985, but very little Macintosh development used Lisa C.
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT USING THE MACINTOSH MPW ENVIRONMENT
I used a beta version of the MPW (Macintosh Programmer's Workshop) programming environment around late 1985 early 1986 for Macintosh development. This was Apple's successor to the Lisa Workshop which was being discontinued since the Lisa hardware had been discontinued in 1985.
MPW ran on the then new Macintosh Plus computer which contained 1M byte of RAM and an internal 800K byte 3.5" floppy drive. I recall using an external floppy drive for my MPW development of The Investor application which worked fine, but compiles were much slower than the Lisa Workshop compiles.
MPW was a very good development environment which I still use today (it now is up to version 3.4 or 3.5 I believe).
MACINTOSH TOOLBOX AND OPERATING SYSTEM API
Macintosh programming was based on the Macintosh application programming interface (API) called at that time the Macintosh Toolbox and Operating System routines. There were around 500 of these routines in the original Macintosh. As a comparison, I just counted the number of routines in the Macintosh API MPW 3.2 Pascal interfaces from 1990 and there were around 2,300 routines (almost 5 times as many).
The Macintosh API introduced (at least to me) new programming topics such as event based programming, resources, and internationalization of text, numbers, and dates.
One idea that the Macintosh API attempted to teach developers was that the Macintosh was really a software system and not a hardware system. Prior Apple systems (the Lisa excluded) such as the Apple II and III families were more hardware oriented and minimal API information existed. Instead of writing data to a memory location for screen displaying, you instead used the QuickDraw graphics library. Apple wanted Macintosh developers to use the Macintosh API extensively since it already provided most of the core features of applications, ran fast, and was well documented. API usage also tended to promote a standardized user interface which really did not exist for Apple's earlier Apple II and III computers.
The Macintosh Print Manager was a joy to use. It provided a device independent architecture for printing really nice looking text and graphics. The old days of sending printer specific control codes to a printer and hoping for the best were at an end.
The Macintosh Memory Manager and its use of double indirect memory references called handles was an eye opener. This handle architecture provided a simple way to maximize the use of the Macintosh's limited memory size when memory blocks needed resizing; the Macintosh team has to thank Tom Malloy of the LisaWrite word processor team for this .
The Macintosh API was documented in a wonderful collection of notes called collectively "Inside Macintosh". Originally distributed on a chapter basis these eventually were collected in several volumes. Each chapter documented a specific Macintosh API "manager" such as the Menu Manager. Volumes 1 to 3 from 1984-1985 documented the original Macintosh API information. Volume 4 from 1986 documented the Macintosh Plus and the API changes made for this machine (such as the new SCSI disk manager). Volume 5 from 1988 documented the Macintosh II and its extensive API additions (such as Color QuickDraw).
The early Inside Macintosh chapters also contained API features which were later removed by Apple. For example, the Core Edit manager supported styled text and was a superset of the simpler TextEdit manager. Core Edit was documented in a 1982 or 1983 Inside Macintosh chapter, but was removed from the 1984 Inside Macintosh. Core Edit was used in the original MacWrite word processor.
Inside Macintosh was from my perspective very well written and provided in a very readable fashion a structure which made understanding the Macintosh API much easier. Inside Macintosh's structure was designed from the beginning and all the chapters had the same appearance and readability even though they were written by many different people. Caroline Rose was the key person behind the original Inside Macintosh chapters. She was ably assisted by around a half dozen writers.
Technical notes were also provided as part of the early Inside Macintosh releases. I recall a note from Bill Atkinson describing the internal format of MacPaint documents (he was responsible for the wonderful drawing application MacPaint, the QuickDraw graphics library, and the HyperCard user-oriented "software erector set").
Actual Macintosh system programming sources were also provided as examples. These included all the Macintosh "definition procedures" which implemented features such as window and menu appearances (Andy Hertzfeld wrote these). The sources for the more interesting ROM managers such as the Window or Menu Managers was alas not provided (maybe today, how about it Steve Jobs?).
The User Interface Guidelines chapter was in my opinion the most innovative area in Inside Macintosh. This provided a description of the Macintosh's ideal user interface and a rationale behind the decisions.
Compared to the later book-based Inside Macintosh information that Apple produced around 1990, the original chapter-based Inside Macintosh information was for me more readable and concise. The later material tended to be wordy and overly simplistic.
In 1984 and 1985 Apple supported the Macintosh operating system on the Lisa. This system was called MacWorks and allowed most Macintosh applications to run on a Lisa 2 computer. MacWorks booted the Macintosh OS from a single 400K floppy disk and even displayed the standard "happy Macintosh" boot icon. I recall MacWorks running well as long as the applications you used were well behaved (my Macintosh application The Investor was).
EARLY MACINTOSH DEVELOPMENT DISAPPOINTMENTS
Though the original Macintosh provided a revolutionary user interface and application programming interface (API), there were some disappointments from my perspective.
Programming the Macintosh took a long time. Instead of having an application interface consisting of a simple command line interface whose output was a bunch of text lines in a fixed size font, you instead had to manage menus, multiple windows, resources, and events.
Apple could have developed higher level API routines which would have lessened some of the 3rd party development work. For example, in addition to the TextEdit manager, the Macintosh ROM would have contained a TextEdit tool which would have displayed and handled multiple text windows. Unfortunately, this would have required additional programming resources on Apple's part and possibly a larger ROM (say 128K instead of 64K bytes). This type of problem was later solved to some degree by Apple's MacApp object oriented environment but that was many years down the road from 1984.
Sophisticated Macintosh applications required more resources than the Macintosh 128 provided. The original Macintosh's 128K bytes of memory and 400K byte disk drive were on the small size when it came to sophisticated applications (I recall reading that even in Apple there was lots of discussion about this). The original Macintosh was really around a 90K byte memory machine since the screen took 22K bytes of memory and a bit of memory was devoted to system code such a ROM patches and file system buffers. I recall my Investor application was around 200K bytes in size and though it ran on the original Macintosh it was slow due to constant application code segment swapping. The Macintosh 512 ran our program well. It is a shame that the original Macintosh didn't have a bigger memory (I recall reading about a 256K Macintosh) and more disk space (the Macintosh originally used a Lisa 860K byte 5.25" Twiggy floppy drive which would have been wonderful, but in late 1983 Apple changed to the 400K byte 3.5" Sony micro-drive).
From a programming perspective, the Lisa Pascal language was good, but it could have been better. For example, routine and variable names were significant to only 8 characters. This meant that the names such as FlushBuffersNow and FlushBuffersSoon were seen as the same name, FlushBuf, by the Pascal compiler. Apple should have changed the compiler to support at least 16 character name significance, or even better 32 characters. 8 character significance was a real pain for me and reminded me of Apple's Apple II and III Pascal compilers. This naming limitation also caused the Macintosh API routine names to sometimes be very abbreviated.
Macintosh API routine names should have been named to indicate their origins. For example, I thought all Event Manager routine names should have started with EM or EM_ such as EMGetNextEvent or EM_GetNextEvent . This would have at least provided a visual clue in source listing that differentiated your application routines from Macintosh API routines. The Lisa API did this to a far better degree than the Macintosh and both used the same Lisa Pascal compiler.
Macintosh debugging using the MacsBug 68000 debugger was too low-level. I wanted a source level debugger since MacsBug was assembly language based.
Internal Macintosh API data structures should not have been published in Inside Macintosh. Apple knew these were going to change so should not have tempted developers into using this information which can cause incompatible applications when new OS versions are released. This would have been difficult to do given the Lisa Pascal compiler's scoping limitations, but Apple could have changed the compiler to support public and private information better (a Modula-2 reference mechanism could have been useful here from what I know).
The Macintosh API use of global variables was not good (these were also known as "low memory globals"). These promoted the Macintosh as a single process system which later was difficult for Apple to upgrade when it wanted to run real processes on the Macintosh. These global variables also made the Macintosh API non-reentrant which caused problems for interrupt-based tasks.
After using the Lisa and its wonderful Office System during my Macintosh development days I was disappointed that more of the Lisa's software architecture was not implemented on the Macintosh. The Macintosh was based mostly on the Lisa's visual aspects but missed other architectural elements which would have made the Macintosh a better system in my opinion. Too bad Apple could not have better leveraged off of the Lisa's best features to create a Macintosh that was really Lisa version 2 (I know the Macintosh team would cringe at this, but suspect the Lisa team would say that would have been the correct approach which was best for Apple's long term prosperity).
For example, the Macintosh should have supported virtual file names instead of file names tied directly to the file system. The Lisa finder (called the Desktop Manager) supported virtual names containing up to 63 characters even though the low-level file system supported only 31 character names. There could also be multiple Lisa documents with the same name in the same folder. The Macintosh should have also been document-centric and not application centric. Lisa users never dealt with Lisa applications directly (these were called tools in Lisa parlance) but instead always manipulated stationery pads which produced documents.
Around the end of 1984 I attended a wonderful Macintosh programming seminar called MacCollege. Held at Apple's Cupertino headquarters it provided a facility with direct access to Lisa computers for development and Apple's original Macintosh technical support team.
Support people such as Scott Knaster, Cary Clark, and Russ Daniels presented Macintosh information, answered programming questions, and helped resolve bugs in your application.
I recall at the end of MacCollege signing a large piece of cardboard paper which had around a hundred names of all the MacCollege graduates (I wonder where this is today?).
Here is a list of the key materials that I used during the early Macintosh development days. I still have all these materials including The Investor source code listing and internal architecture manual.
Lisa Workshop manuals (3 volumes, dated 1983 and 1984)
Inside Macintosh manuals (3 volumes for the early days)
MacCollege class notes (around 200 pages)
BYTE magazine and its Macintosh articles (February 1984)
MacWorld magazine premier issue (February 1984)
The big day finally arrives
Date: January 1984
Author: Andy Hertzfeld
Topics: Marketing,The Launch
January 24, 1984 - the big day had finally arrived. We had looked forward to the date for so long that it didn't seem real to be actually experiencing the long-awaited public unveiling of the Macintosh at Apple's 1984 annual shareholder's meeting. We were excited, of course, but also nervous about our hastily contrived demo software, and still exhausted from the final push to finish the system software
I attended one of the rehearsals held over the weekend, to help set up the demo, and it was fraught with problems. Apple rented a powerful video projector called a LightValve, that projected the Macintosh display larger and brighter than I thought possible. But the Mac had to be connected to the projector through a special board that Burrell cooked up to compensate for the Mac's unique video timings, and the LightValve seemed to be quite tempermental, taking eons to warm up and then sometimes shutting down inexplicably. Plus, Steve wasn't into rehearsing very much, and could barely force himself into doing a single, complete run-through.
Most of the software team usually didn't come to work until after 10am, but this morning we gathered in our fishbowl office in Bandley 3 at 7:30am, so we could walk over together to the big auditorium at Flint Center, which was a half mile away. We got to the cavernous room (which seated up to 2,500) early, but it was already filling up, and soon it was packed tight, with standing room only. The software team sat up close in the second row, in a section reserved for Macintosh division employees.
Finally, the lights dimmed, and Steve Jobs appeared at a podium on the left side of the stage. He was resplendent in a finely tailored black suit complete with a prominent bow tie, looking more like a Las Vegas impresario than a computer industry executive. You could tell that he was nervous as he quieted the rousing applause and began to speak.
"Welcome to Apple's 1984 Annual Shareholders meeting. I'd like to begin by reading part of an old poem by Dylan, that's Bob Dylan", Steve flashed a big smile as he started to recite the second verse of "The Times They Are A-Changin'", stretching an occasional vowel in a Dylanesque fashion:
Come writers and critics
He thanked Apple's board of directors individually by name for their support in a turbulent year, and then turned the meeting over to Apple's chief counsel, Al Eisenstadt, to run the formal part of the shareholders' meeting. Al ran through some procedural stuff, and then he introduced Apple's CEO, John Sculley, who was just hired nine months ago, for a report on the business.
John reported on Apple's latest quarter, which saw disappointing Lisa sales more than balanced by a fantastic Christmas for the Apple IIe, whose sales had more than doubled from the previous year. But the crowd seemed distracted, impatiently waiting for the main event that was now imminent. John seemed to sense that, and hurried through the bulk of his presentation. Finally he concluded by thanking Mike Markkula and the executive staff for supporting him during his first few months at Apple, thanking one individual in particular.
"The most important thing that has happened to me in the last nine months at Apple has been a chance to develop a friendship with Steve Jobs. Steve is a co-founder of Apple, and a product visionary for this industry, and its my pleasure now to reintroduce Steve Jobs."
Steve reappeared on the left side of the stage as the lights dimmed again. "It is 1958", he began, speaking slowly and dramatically. "IBM passes up a chance to buy a young fledgling company that has invented a new technology called xerography. Two years later, Xerox was born, and IBM has been kicking themselves ever since". The crowd laughs, as Steve pauses.
Steve had cooked up this spiel for the sales meeting in Hawaii last fall, to introduce the 1984 commercial. I had seen him do it a few times by now, but never with as much passion, intensity and emotion, dripping from his voice.
"It is ten years later, the late sixties", he continued, speaking faster now. "Digital Equipment Corporation and others invent the mini-computer. IBM dismisses the mini-computer as too small to do serious computing, and therefore unimportant to their business. DEC grows to be a multi-hundred million dollar company before IBM enters the mini-computer market." Steve pauses again.
"It is now ten years later, the late seventies. In 1977, Apple Computer, a young fledgling company, on the West Coast, introduces the Apple II, the first personal computer as we know it today. IBM dismisses the personal computer as too small to do serious computing, and therefore unimportant to their business," Steve intoned sarcastically, as the crowd applauds.
"The early 1980s. 1981 - Apple II has become the world's most popular computer, and Apple has grown to a 300 million dollar corporation, becoming the fastest growing company in American business history. With over fifty companies vying for a share, IBM enters the personal computer market in November of 1981, with the IBM PC." Steve is speaking very quickly now, picking up momentum.
"1983. Apple and IBM emerge as the industry's strongest competitors, with each selling approximately one billion dollars worth of personal computers in 1983. The shakeout is in full swing. The first major personal computer firm goes bankrupt, with others teetering on the brink. Total industry losses for 1983 overshadow even the combined profits of Apple and IBM."
He slows down, speaking emphatically. "It is now 1984. It appears that IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers, after initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future and are turning back to Apple as the only force who can ensure their future freedom."
Steve pauses even longer, as the crowd's cheering swells. He has them on the edge of their seats. "IBM wants it all, and is aiming its guns at its last obstacle to industry control, Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right?"
The crowd is in a frenzy now, as the already famous 1984 commercial , which was shown for the first and only time during the Superbowl two days ago, fills the screen, featuring a beautiful young woman athlete storming into a meeting of futuristic skinheads, throwing a sledge-hammer at Big Brother, imploding the screen in a burst of apocalyptic light. By the time the commercial is finished, everyone in the auditorium is standing and cheering.
Steve describes the Macintosh as the third industry milestone product, after the Apple II and the IBM PC. "Some of us have been working on Macintosh for more than two years now, and it has turned out insanely great!"
All this time, a lone Macintosh has been sitting in its canvas carrying case near the center of the stage. Steve walks over to the bag and opens it up, unveiling the Mac to the world for the very first time. He pulls it out and plugs it in, inserting a floppy, and the demo begins to run, flawlessly . The Macintosh becomes the first computer to introduce itself, speaking in a tremulous voice:
Pandemonium reigns as the demo completes. Steve has the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face, obviously holding back tears as he is overwhelmed by the moment. The ovation continues for at least five minutes before he quiets the crowd down.
The rest of the meeting was an anti-climactic blur, as Steve runs through some marketing material and introduces new versions of the Lisa. He shows a slide-show tribute to the Mac team, with voice-overs from the most important contributors. Finally, he turns the meeting back to Al Eisenstadt, to announce the shareholder tallies and complete the formal portion of the shareholders' meeting.
Every member of the audience was given a copy of the first issue of MacWorld magazine, with Steve on the cover, as they departed. Most of the Mac team hung around near the stage, congratulating each other, waiting for the crowd to disperse.
A little bit later, after we returned to Bandley 3, we were surprised by a large Apple truck that pulled up in the parking lot near the back of the building. It contained 100 brand new Macintoshes, one for each member of the team, personalized with a little plaque on the back. Steve presented one at a time to each team member with a handshake and a smile as the rest of us stood around cheering.
We were so keyed up that it was impossible to get back to work that afternoon, but most of us didn't want to go back home, either. The Macs were supposed to go on sale that very day, immediately following the introduction. I thought that it would make it more real to me if I actually could go out and buy one, so five or six of us walked to the nearest Apple dealer, to see if that was possible. The first, closest dealer didn't have any units in stock, and said that they weren't for sale yet, but we didn't give up, and the next dealer was willing to sell me one, even though he didn't have any units in yet either.
Burrell and I get our pictures in Newsweek
Date: January 1984
Author: Andy Hertzfeld
Topics: The Press,The Launch,Marketing
The marketing campaign that launched the original Macintosh was almost as imaginative and innovative as the product itself. It included a carefully orchestrated press blitz, masterminded by Regis McKenna, the legendary Silicon Valley marketing guru whose business card read "Regis McKenna, Himself", and his team of bright, young female assistants, who we nicknamed the "Rejettes": Andy Cunningham, Jane Anderson and Katie Cadigan.
The basic idea was to create a perception of the Macintosh introduction as an epochal event, by garnering as much attention as we could from every possible venue, coordinated to appear around the time of the introduction at the shareholders meeting. Some of the monthly magazines had more than three months lead time, so the press briefings and interviews began in October 1983 with Byte Magazine , and became more numerous with each passing week.
One of the most sought after goals of the press campaign was to obtain a cover story from either Time or Newsweek during the week of the Macintosh launch. Regis and his team were expert at the delicate dance of courtship that such an endeavor required, since journalistic ethics mandated that the cover could not be bought or promised ahead of time. In mid-December, after interviewing Steve and some of the design team, we heard that Newsweek was potentially interested in doing a cover story.
It looked promising enough that the Rejettes arranged an impromptu trip to New York City for Steve Jobs to meet the top brass at Newsweek. Apparently, they were interested in featuring Burrell Smith and myself in the article, too, so we accompanied Steve on a whirlwind three day trip to New York City, staying at Steve's favorite hotel, the Carlyle, which cost over $400 per night. We got a tour of Newsweek's main offices, demoed the Mac to the editorial staff, and even spent some time chatting with Katharine Graham, the long-time publisher of the Washington Post and Newsweek.
After we returned to Cupertino, we got word that we had passed muster and that Newsweek was enthusiastic about doing a cover story about the Macintosh introduction. Burrell and I were interviewed again by Newsweek reporter Michael Rogers, who had written a novel called "Silicon Valley" that I read the previous year, and were scheduled to be photographed the following day.
The software still wasn't finished, even though there were only five days left to work on it, and tension mounted as weeks of relentless pressure were taking their toll on the team . When the Newsweek photographer arrived, he wanted to photograph me in my office, but I was afraid that would be too disruptive to the rest of the team, so I told him that I often worked at home, and convinced him to take the picture in the messy office of my house in Palo Alto.
Unfortunately, somehow the San Jose Mercury found out that we had been granted the Newsweek cover, and mentioned it in their business gossip column that came out on Friday. Newsweek didn't want the world to think their cover was pre-determined, so that was enough to make them change it - switching, at the last minute, to a stand-by cover asking the burning question "Can We Keep The Skies Safe?"
But it was still amazing to come into work the day before the introduction, and see the January 30, 1984 issue of Newsweek, opened to a four page story about the Macintosh, which began with separate pictures of Burrell and myself in our respective houses. Burrell was sitting on the floor playing his beloved 9-string guitar, with engineering diagrams spread out on the rug in front of him. I was sitting on a chair in the spare bedroom of my house that I used for an office, in its usual state, which was extremely cluttered.
There was a long review of the Macintosh, which was generally positive, although it said that some users may find the graphical user interface to be "visually tiring to use". Burrell had the best quote in the entire article, which was used to end it. When asked what he wanted to do next, he responded "I want to build the computer of the 90's. Only I want to do it tomorrow."
The week following the shareholder's meeting, Steve Jobs and the Mac design team flew to Boston, to recreate the Mac introduction on the East Coast, in front of the Boston Computer Society. Steve Wozniak also came along, and participated in a panel discussion with the design team following the intro spiel.
Burrell and I sat together in a row of seats near the middle of the plane on the six hour flight to Boston. We were just settling in for the long flight when a stewardess approached us, holding a copy of Newsweek, open to the page with our pictures.
"I recognized you from your pictures", she told us, "Can I have your autograph?"
I was flustered, because no one had ever asked me for an autograph before. I demurred, but eventually Burrell and I both signed our names near our pictures, feeling slightly embarrassed.
I turned on my Walkman, pushed back my seat and tried to relax, hoping to be able to fall asleep, but around twenty minutes later, we were approached by a different stewardess, also holding a copy of the Newsweek issue. "Are you the guys who designed the Macintosh?", she asked, "I'd love to get your autographs."
Wait a second, I thought to myself, Woz is on this flight. And sure enough, when I stood up and turned around, Woz was also standing, pointing at us and cracking up. He had convinced the stewardesses to cooperate in pulling one of his typical pranks on us. I started laughing too, because it was a pretty good one.
The Mac team had a reputation for being spoiled
Date: April 1984
Author: Andy Hertzfeld
The Macintosh team had a reputation for being spoiled, which was certainly true by the middle of 1984, but it wasn't always the case. Even though Steve Jobs was fond of bragging that the Mac designers were Apple's best engineers, that wasn't necessarily reflected in their compensation.
Two weeks before I transfered to the Mac team after a shake-up in the Apple II group in February 1981 , I received my regular six month review and was slated for a nominal raise in salary, from $22,000/year to $24,000. I thought that I should still get my raise, even though I had switched groups, so after working on the Mac for a few weeks I approached my new manager Bud Tribble about it.
"Well, that sounds reasonable to me," Bud told me when I explained the situation to him, "but there's a problem. I'm only getting paid $20,000/year."
I was shocked that Bud was making so little, since the average manager in the Apple II group was making at least twice that much. I asked Burrell Smith about his compensation, and found out that he was getting paid even less than Bud, since he started at Apple as a lowly service technician , and had hardly gotten any raises as his responsibility grew. Less than two months ago, the Mac was an iffy research project under Jef Raskin, and Steve Jobs hadn't adjusted anyone's salary since he took over.
The next day, I talked with Steve and told him about my incipient raise, and asked him why, if the work we were doing was so important, Burrell and Bud had such low salaries. Steve was unexpectedly nonchalant, professing that he didn't know what their salaries were, and that he hadn't given anyone raises because no one had asked for one. He said that we had much more important things to worry about than our salaries, but he had no problem giving all three of us modest raises right away. But even after the raises came through, the Mac team continued to be relatively underpaid compared to the rest of Apple.
Rod Holt, the designer of the Apple II power supply and the first Macintosh engineering manager, was an extraordinary, opinionated individual who could expound brilliantly on a startling range of topics. He was the unlikely combination of a committed socialist and a multi-millionaire, by virtue of his being one of Apple's earliest employees. On one occasion, the Mac team hired an older analog engineer to work on the disk controller, and paid him almost twice what Burrell was making, even though he was only doing a small fraction of the work. When we complained, Rod invoked his economic theories, how people should be paid according to their needs instead of their talents. We didn't necessarily buy that, but we really weren't working mainly for the money, and Rod was so charmingly philosophical that we let it slide.
Our offices at Texaco Towers were also kind of quaint by Apple standards. Most of Apple's offices were outfitted with high tech, partitioned Herman Miller cubicles, but Texaco Towers was more old fashioned, with funky, older desks and second hand furniture. Steve was generally tight with money, and usually turned down any extravagant requests. For example, he allowed us to buy an IBM PC to dissect for $2,000 in August 1981 , but nixed our similar request for a $20,000 Xerox Star.
Burrell and I used to walk down to the nearby Texaco station to get soft drinks from their vending machine most afternoons around 4PM. One afternoon, in the summer of 1981, Steve brought a visiting dignitary by for a demo while we were out, and, frustrated by our absence, decided to have a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks installed so we wouldn't have to miss work time to get beverages, making free sodas our first unusual perquisite.
The team's lifestyle began to change as it grew throughout 1982. In mid-1982, we moved from Texaco Towers to Bandley 4, a more standard Apple building back at the center of the main campus, and the salaries of the early team also rose as we had to pay competitive salaries to newcomers. Bandley 4 was a typical, ordinary Apple building, but it was only intended to be temporary quarters for the Mac team, until the building across the street, the much larger Bandley 3, could be renovated to accommodate us.
The design for our new quarters in Bandley 3, which we moved into in the summer of 1983, showed the first signs of extravagance. The software team was ensconced in a large area with glass doors that we dubbed "the fishbowl", since a passerby could observe us without opening the door. The showpiece of the building was a large atrium in the lobby, with fancy skylights and some interesting furnishings.
To one side of the lobby were two video games, which we had the opportunity to purchase cheaply a month or so after moving in; I paid for Burrell's favorite, Defender , while Randy Wigginton contributed Joust. On the other side of the lobby was an expensive stereo system bought by Steve, featuring a compact disc player, which was new technology at the time, and almost 100 CDs, which was just about every one that was released at the time.
Bandley 3 also had a nice little kitchen, near the software area, with a much bigger refrigerator than we had in Texaco Towers. Steve decided that sodas weren't very healthy, and had the refrigerator stocked with expensive Odwalla fruit juices, delivered fresh every day, as well as an assortment of other beverages.
In the spring of 1984, right about the time that I left Apple, the lobby began to fill up with more interesting artifacts, purchased by Steve Jobs on his various travels. There was an outrageously expensive Bosendorfer piano that was soon accompanied by a BMW motorcycle, on display as examples of exquisite craftmanship, although it was rumored that Steve purchased them to impress the industrial designer that he was enamored with at the time, Hartmut Esslinger, whose firm, Frog Design, designed the case of the Apple IIc.
That was right around the time that the 100 person Macintosh Division merged with the 250 person Lisa Division, with the Mac people occupying most of the management roles. The Mac had completed its journey from a funky research project to the center of the company, but I continue to think that it was more fun when we had a lot fewer resources.
On my first day, I collect new hardware, get a tour of the building, and witness memorable events.
Date: April 1984
Author: Scott Knaster
Topics: 3rd party developers,Lisa,Documentation,Personality
In March of 1983, I moved to California to work at Apple. My first job was answering the Lisa Hotline, helping Lisa customers work through their application questions and problems. Although the Lisa was very cool technology in 1983, and I was happy to be working on it, the applications weren't deep, and sadly, there weren't many customers. This left plenty of time to learn about other things, like the Lisa's development system, which was also used to program the Macintosh, due to ship in 1984.
I had a friend, Cary Clark, who worked in the group that helped third-party developers write Macintosh software. Late in 1983, Cary gave me an amazing stack of documentation: an early version of Inside Macintosh . It was thrilling to learn how, with simple Pascal procedure calls, any programmer could create windows, track buttons and scroll bars, work with pull-down menus, and draw sophisticated graphics. So when Cary told me there was a job opening in his group, I jumped at the chance to work there.
My first day in the Macintosh group was in April 1984. Cary set me up with the standard set of hardware for developing software: in addition to a Mac (128K, of course), I got a Lisa, used for editing and compiling code, and an Apple III, which acted as a terminal to the Mac for debugging purposes. I also received a most precious accessory: an external floppy disk drive for the Mac. This caseless prototype was such a hot item that I was advised to lock it in a desk drawer at night.
After setting up my hardware, Cary showed me around the Mac building, Bandley 3. We visited the software team's "fishbowl" near the back of the building, the hardware group's space, and the areas for marketing, finance, and other teams. The director of finance, Debi Coleman, often yelled questions loudly to other people across the smallish building, a habit I witnessed on that first day.
The building's atrium featured a couple of stand-up video games, a fancy stereo system with the first CD player I ever saw, and, incongruously, a grand piano and a motorcycle, placed there by Steve Jobs as examples of great product design.
As Cary and I neared the end of our little tour, we came to one of the few closed, non-cubicle offices in the building. It belonged to Steve Jobs. As we walked past, I peeked in and noticed an Apple logo woven into the carpet. Steve was having a conversation with a couple of guys from the Accessory Products Group, the division that made printers, keyboards, modems, and so on.
Steve was concerned about a shortage of ImageWriter dot matrix printers. Apple had forecast that about 70% of Mac buyers would also want an ImageWriter, but the actual figure was over 90%, which led to the shortage. To make things worse, the ImageWriter used a part called a microcontroller that was also in short supply. The printer guys in Steve's office were in charge of a new product called the Wide Carriage ImageWriter, a special edition of the printer that was bought mainly by big accounting firms, and usually with an Apple II, not a Mac. The Wide Carriage ImageWriter used the same scarce microcontroller, which further reduced the number of regular ImageWriters. Steve was agitated about that, because some customers were refusing to buy a Mac if they couldn't get an ImageWriter at the same time.
As Cary and I walked past Steve's office, we heard him yelling at the printer guys, reminding them that every Wide Carriage ImageWriter built with the hard-to-get microcontroller would likely cost the company a Mac sale. "If you build even one of those Wide ImageWritersâ¦", and then he told them about a certain part of their anatomy that would be "cut off" if that happened. The printer guys looked like they would rather be anywhere else than right where they were. Before too much longer, Apple did ship the Wide Carriage ImageWriter, the microcontroller shortage cleared up, and I always felt privileged to have experienced so much about the Mac division on my first day.