The Original Macintosh
Anecdotes about the development of Apple's original Macintosh, and the people who made it (122 stories)
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -- Steve Jobs

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?

There is also a very good interview about the Development of MacPaint here: MacPaint Interview and Demonstration, with Bill Atkinson and Andy Herzfeld (Interviewed by Aimee Gardner and Al Kossow on May 6, 2010, in Mountain View, California, X5818.2010)

After the Source Code is released to the public you can take a look at the special Monkey routines in MacPaint. In "MacPaint Interview and Demonstration, with Bill Atkinson and Andy Herzfeld" from May 6,2010 the Monkey, its invention and Storys about it is mentioned. Starting at the 38 min.

This is interesting. My coworkers have referred to this key as the quadcopter key.

Burrell, if you are reading this...we'd love to hear from you! I have so many questions for you. Not just about your time at Apple.

Great story! Great gesture by Mr. Jobs! Greater gift by Mr. Jobs to give each of the first 100 on the Mac Team their own Mac with their individual name molded into the case! Definitely an incredible thing, but what’s more incredible than that computer case is that the Mac Team lead by Jobs cast the molding for everything that Apple is today!

I met Hulk Hogan once. It was just as magical.

I remember using Slackware Linux back in the 90's and being amazed that the X window system didn't support copy-n-paste across the board. Meaning, I could copy text from a textfield but it wouldn't always paste into another textfield. It was a gamble as to which fields would actually copy and which would actually paste. I think they've fixed that now. :-)

Doubtful anyone but me is reading this after YEARS of silence but oh well...the 68K is a hybrid 16/32-bit design. Often it's quoted as a 16-bit MPU because of the 16-bit ALU. Also, having an 16-bit EXTERNAL data bus also lends itself to being labeled 16-bit. Even though, I believe, it's 32-bit internally. @Drew Page: There were no 8-MHz 8-bit computers in the early 80's. 800-KHz was not uncommon. There were a few computers running < 1-MHz. Also, the TRS-80 Model 1 ran at 1.774-MHz. Not all Z80 based computers ran at 4-MHz.

My title would certainly be "Code Monkey" as it is now.

I installed a 4200 pair telephone cable into one of the Apple buildings in 1979 or 1980. I was among the first women Construction Cable Splicers for PT&T at that time. I am guessing it was on Bandley. A typical large cable was 3600 pair. This 4200 pair required a larger case in manholes and the copper wires were thinner. As far as I know it was the first 4200 pair cable laid in Cupertino, Ca. It required extra training and I know phone company engineers were watching closely. It was built by 2 women. I terminated 8,400 wires on 66 blocks in the middle of the building that only had a roof on it- I drove my PT&T van into the building.

Epic burn from Steve! I wonder if Adam Osborne ever bought his kids Macs?

It's easy to make fun of someone who has died. Perhaps everyone should stop with the silly jokes about Jef?

Who's the "Father of the Macintosh"? The mystery is finally solved. It's Steve Jobs. How do we know? The Macintosh said it himself.

It's disheartening to read this, although not all that surprising really. Read any history book and you'll find that memorable leaders throughout it often rule dis-compassionately without remorse and employ intimidation, coercion, insults and other forms of abuse to drive results from their ranks and to thwart dissension. Having said that, I think it's immoral and reprehensible to steal ideas and call them one's own. There is no excuse for that. Those whose ideas were co-opted but never credited deserve some kind of hero's award for putting a great idea/project ahead of their pride.