The Original Macintosh
Anecdotes about the development of Apple's original Macintosh, and the people who made it (122 stories)
“Better is the enemy of best.” -- Alan Kay

The command symbol is indeed used in Nordic countries (officially on maps and road signs) as the symbol for "information" (usually a tourist reception center or historical site). The symbol is standard on European maps (cartography). The symbol is ancient (hence not copyrighted); see the "symbol" history explication of the International Communicology Institute ( The symbol is now used internationally for "communication", for N-E-W-S and is now widely replaced by the ℹ️ symbol on keys or by the "i" in a "circle" in signage.

Didn't everyone notice? Steve/Apple made a lot of money (from Samsung) when they "trade marked" the Rectangle with Rounded Edges for the first design of iPhone! It's one of the Trade Mark infringement in the case vs. Samsung...

Remarkable to read this 40 years later. Thank you for documenting this chapter in history. 🔥

I will purchase that Big Mac from you if yo want to sell. ;-) (and no, not the McDonald's kind)

My beard/stache is so thick I could be president of the world if I wanted it....I just don't want it.

Do you remember when the Macintosh broke the GFLOPS and was classified as a weapon? LOL. Gotta love marketing.

Charles must have done something right...I think he was one of the first space tourists. He made it big with Microsoft. But I agree...I'm not a fan of Hungarian Notation at all.

When are managers going to understand you can't predict the unknown? "How long will this take??". Me: "How long is a piece of string?"

That was a funny prank. However, if those ladies still had those signed magazines, they would probably be worth a little money these days.

You get what you ask for...

Thank you, Bill. For everything. I was in a small grade school in the middle of Vancouver Island, Canada. When I first saw HyperCard it transformed my world. To me, it was the birth of the internet, and still is. That one moment started my journey into Computer Science. 9 years ago I came to Apple to work in the shadows of the greats. I just wanted to say thank you for giving my life a purpose, for giving me the thing to be passionate about, and for pushing so hard. You brought so much surprise and delight to people's lives.

Guess what they just showed onstage at the Microsoft Build 2019 conference?

This story is available in audio form at (March 2019 episode)

This story is available in audio form at (Feb 2019 episode) Also check out Bill Atkinson's interviews on TWiT with Leo Laporte, Triangulation episodes 244/247 and 361/362. Excellent stuff. He's not joking about the LSD. :-) Thanks for everything, Bill!

The part about Steve just yanking the plug on your Apple II was painful...

These stories are so inspiring to me as a software developer, IoT builder and technical book author. It's amazing to read about the things that these hardware/software OS pioneers were able to pull off. I read the book, Revolution in the Valley, and it was fantastic.

Today is the anniversary of that sad day.

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. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️