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Apple History At folklore.org

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the fun-reading dept.

Apple 223

oaklybonn writes "Andy Hertzfeld seems to be the primary author on this fascinating site, which details many of his experiences in the Macintosh (Bicycle??) development efforts. It includes such choice commentary as: "we were amazed that such a thoroughly bad game could be co-authored by Microsoft's co-founder, and that he would actually want to take credit for it in the comments.", on a page describing a game bundled with the original IBM PC." Reader themexican adds "As a plus, Hertzfeld notes in the faq that the python code running the well-designed and easy to navigate site will be made public in the near future."

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Mac Anniversary (4, Interesting)

ahacop@wmuc.umd.edu (63340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097662)

So, what happened with the rumors of a special announcement on Monday in commemorate the Mac's anniversary?

Re:Mac Anniversary (2, Funny)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097669)

Well, all Apple did to celebrate was release...a security update. Ta Da!

Not my joke, just copying from an earlier post from another story.

Bicycle (5, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097663)

What, no elaboration on why it was called the Bicycle? Fine, I'll enlighten you.

Apparently there was a story in Scientific American, or Popular Science, or some such magazine where the scientists were trying to determine what was the most efficient of animals in terms of locomotion. Which creature moved with the least amount of calories burned? Well, humans were waay down the list, pathetic in terms of other creatures. The top animal with the most efficient means of movement was an eagle or something. Then, one guy had this idea to measure how efficient a human being is on a bicycle. It was awesome, he was drastically more efficient, able to go further and without burning as many calories. It knocked the bird out of first place.

So, early on, Apple was planning on calling it the "Bicycle for the Mind." I don't know if it makes as much an impact if you don't know the story behind it.

I got this anecdote from one of the Apple behind-the-scenes books (I forget which), like Apple Confidential [amazon.com] .

Re:Bicycle (0, Redundant)

bangmonkey (731599) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097748)

Way to go beyond not just reading the article, but also repeating the contents. +5 Insightful indeed.

Re:Bicycle (0, Redundant)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097765)

First off, when you posted, it is +3 insightful.

Second, this wasn't in the contents. Go check the site yourself, the story isn't mentioned, only that they were going to use the name "Bicycle" (Why? It doesn't say)

Ungrateful wretch, I will tell you, YOU, bangmonkey, no more interesting stories.

Re:Bicycle (0, Redundant)

bangmonkey (731599) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097928)

http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macin tosh&story=Bicycle.txt&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date& detail=medium Mentions the origin of 'Bicycle' for the team (Jobs quoted as saying computers were bicycles for the mind), as well as efforts to use the term. Linked with the word 'Bicycle' in the article :P I concede that your story was more in-depth.

Re:Bicycle (5, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097761)

You also have to understand the energy crisis culture at the time the fact that more scientific research went into bicycles in the previous ten years than probably all of thier history previous.

It was right about at that time that the number of bicycles in America once again outnumbered cars.

In 1980 in think there like 10,000 people in America who had ever heard of the Tour de France. In 1984 it was nearly as commonly known as the World Series.

Bicycle was actually a buzzword.

There is a species of albatros that lives entirely at sea for months at a time, generally soaring at little more than wave hight. It is so adapted to this enviroment and so efficeint in flight that it can sleep while so soaring.

Even though water is a dense medium animals that are adapted to it do not have to expend energy supporting their own weight. I've got the chart from MIT around here somewhere, but can't lay hands on it immediately, as I recall the dolphin and tuna and salmon topped the list for animal motion by its own power (a soaring bird may use little energy, but that's because it's not doing much of anything. Air and gravity are.) A Portugese Man-o-War simply floats with the tide, as a man in an innertube might. Torpor is very energy efficient.

So what animal is the most efficeint will change with your definition of "motion."

It is interesting to note, however, that not only is a man on a bicycle more energy efficient than a swimming dolphin, but he is more energy efficient than the same man riding a horse.

This is why the invention of the bicycle was such a stunning technological step that transformed society even before the advent of the motor car. The first smooth paved roads were made for the bicycle. The cars uspurped them.

KFG

Re:Bicycle (3, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097825)

Apple had a higher-ed program for equipping labs with Macs in the late 1980s and early 1990s called "Wheels for the MInd".

The Susan Kare-style logo at the top of the WotM letterhead was the same featured in the Folklore site. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Still cool, even if you don't.

Re:Bicycle - no surprise (3, Insightful)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098220)

Then, one guy had this idea to measure how efficient a human being is on a bicycle. It was awesome, he was drastically more efficient, able to go further and without burning as many calories. It knocked the bird out of first place.

No surprise they were enamored by the efficiency of a bicycle. After pounding on my old Apple II/e's keyboard through grade school & high school almost anything was bound to be more efficient. Those were keys of lead. Even an old-fashioned manual typewriter was easier on my hands. It definitly kept the phrase "pounding the keyboard" going strong. At least it turned me into a really good typist.

Although I have to admit I was so fascinated by the thing at the time I really didn't mind. Graphical interface? Mouse? *Phhft* who needs 'em.

Re:Bicycle - no surprise (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098280)

I cheated - I actually had an AppleMouse // (except all I had was the mouse, the manual, and a mousepaint disk - no controller card for me!) In fact, the mouse itself was the Apple MO100 (AFAIK), same as the one used on the pre-ADB Macs. About three apps worked with that mouse (I had the hardest time getting Publish It to even go into the config panel - damn broken //c keyboard).

The //c I used was great, except for the fact that the whole computer once got rained on big time. It was dried out, but the keyboard was damaged, so many keys stuck, and several keys would repeat MUCH too quickly. To see the effect, dunk an old Giga Pet in water for a while, and after it's dried out, try to use it. Similar keyswitches (but the Apple had plastic keys with something to give them some click), same water susceptibility.

FROTHY FROTHY PIST!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097664)

My foot up your first post!!

Re:FROTHY FROTHY PIST!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097730)

Wanna fuck, fly bitches when I walk!

NIGGERS!

Apple history (5, Informative)

Kris Thalamus (555841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097672)

A model by model Apple history can be found here [apple-history.com] .

Nostalgic (4, Interesting)

CHaN_316 (696929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097847)

Just looked at that site, and saw the 1998 iMac [apple-history.com] . I shuddered when I saw those awful hockey puck mice that Apple chose to include with iMacs. Worst episode ever....

At my university, they replaced them pretty quick with *REAL* mice. (Yes, I risk of sounding like a troll... but you know what I mean if you've ever used one of those mice)

But the Macintosh Classic brought back some fond memories of elementary school. I remember sitting in computer class, and the teacher would say, now double click on clarisworks, and then she'd lecture for about 5 minutes then let us use the program.... because clarisworks took that long to load.

Folklore (2, Interesting)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097680)

"As a plus, Hertzfeld notes in the faq that the python code running the well-designed and easy to navigate site will be made public in the near future."

Cool. This looks like a neat software setup for a website. I'll be interested in trying it out after it gets released.

Re:Folklore (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097726)

Assuming its the site software that's causing the slowdown, he could stand to improve the code to better withstand a slashdot.

Yeah, it holds up so well under load (-1, Offtopic)

rs79 (71822) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097926)

Doesn't anybody code in C any more?

Re:Yeah, it holds up so well under load (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098009)

Doesn't anybody code in C any more?
Oh, for fuck's sake. Yes, people code in C, when they're writing applications. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a web interface written in C? There are some C-based CGIs out there, but very few in widespread use. That's because they take longer to develop, each fresh C-built interface introduces potential new vulnerabilities, etc. It's easier and less time consuming to rely on someone else's C coding (the interpreter for a scripting language) than to write the C yourself.

Web development, for whatever PHB reason, is supposed to be "fast." When writing a content management system for the web, especially if you need to interface with an SQL backend, C is not the fast track to completion. The C code may execute faster, but alas, on the web no one cares. PHP, Perl, and even Python will get your development done long before writing it in C, and without nearly as many potential vulnerabilities. If you can write good PHP/Perl/Python code, the only time you worry about security is when the interpreter is found to be vulnerable, and then it's only a few minutes to upgrade.

To put it bluntly: it's far easier to write shitty C code than it is to write shitty PHP/Perl/Python code, where "shitty" includes potentially crippling vulnerabilities. When it comes to web development, you leave the low-level malloc()s and memcpy()s up to the interpreter developers, and you put your own man-hours into higher-level scripting.

... and its Slashdotted already (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097686)

Didn't take that site long before it went down.

Re:... and its Slashdotted already (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097778)

the power of python!

And then....... (-1, Offtopic)

UezeU (731858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097694)

Eve took a bite......

MS co-founder? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097699)

"we were amazed that such a thoroughly bad game could be co-authored by Microsoft's co-founder, and that he would actually want to take credit for it in the comments."

Well, the site is /.'d, but is he talking about Bill Gates?

The same Bill Gates whose Harvard days DOS code was examined by Byte magazine and declared brilliant?

Oh and all you guys got into Harvard too, right?

Fucktards.

Re:MS co-founder? (3, Informative)

Richard M. Nixon (697603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097771)

Well, the site is /.'d, but is he talking about Bill Gates?

I can get to it, it took a little bit to load but I got it now. At least the article that talks about the game.

The game they are talking about is Donkey.
(Somehow I doubt that's related to Donkey Kong.)

It says the authors were Bill Gates and Neil Konzen, it was written in BASIC, poorly animated, and called Donkey because at certain points in the game a "donkey" appeared in the middle of the road and you would then have to quickly hit the space bar, or the game would end. (I'm guessing the space bar was for stopping?)

That article also mentions that MSDOS was a clone of an earlier version of CP/M.

Re:MS co-founder? (4, Interesting)

javiercero (518708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097795)

LOL! Nice try at Troll dom. Actually it was Allen who wrote most of the code, and it was not DOS but BASIC. One is an operating system, the other one is a language. Actually Bill Gates did not graduate from Hardvar, and it got there due to family conections not sheer brilliantness (scion). Oh, and he claims he dropped out, officially he got in trouble with the administration because the machine him and Allen used to develope the basic code, a PDP, did not belong to them.. but rather the school. They actually moved the computer that was not their property to their dorm room, they used university property to develop a commercial language. Actually BASIC was not even their own invention, so they basically made a port of the language.

DOS was not an MS product, they bought the code from a Seattle based company. As far as I know MS were in the compiler business before 1981, and I doubt Gates wrote a single line of DOS code, he definitively was not in any shape way or form the main architect/coder of DOS. And if you even had any remote idea about what you are saying, you'd know that the DOS that gates and CO. bought was a quick and dirty copy of CP/M-86.

Gates may be a good marketer and commercial thug, he is by no means a decent coder. And BTW next time try harder, pulling a never existing article from Byte out of your arse is just too boring.

Re:MS co-founder? (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097887)

Not to forget gorilla.bas another super game. BASIC was authored in 1963 by mathematicians John George Kemeny and Tom Kurtzas out of Dartmouth College.

Close but no cigar for you! (2, Informative)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097919)

BASIC was written by Bill Gates, not Paul Allen. Microsoft was founded in 1975 and release its first product, BASIC in 1976.

The original author of Q[uick and dirty]DOS was Tim Patterson who much later went to work for Microsoft in the compiler group. Bill gates did not work on the code.

Uh, check the history books (5, Informative)

Brataccas (213587) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097989)

I'm soooooo tired of people claiming Gates (or MS for that matter) created BASIC. The language [byte.com] and compiler were invented in Dartmouth while nine-year old Bill Gates was hundreds of miles away in his nice cushy private school in WA. Hell, even the original C reference pre-dates the formation of MS.

As was mentioned by another poster, MS is a marketing marvel, but this myth about it's founders being technnical geniuses has just got to go. It scares the kids...

Re:Close but no cigar for you! (2, Informative)

andyr (78903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098160)

Bill Gates wrote a BASIC interpreter (for the Altair ??)

Cheap shots aside, (Sir) [slashdot.org] Bill by all accounts did an excellent job of sqeezing it into a very small space.

Credit [sysun.com] where it is due.

Cheers, Andy!

Very early MS history. (5, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097993)

Bill Gates and Paul Allen wrote a ROM BASIC they sold to Altair/MITS, an S-100 CP/M computer with real neat switches and lights. Ironically it was written on a PDP-11 running what would ultimatly become SCO UNIX. The Altair was a neat machine, but no it didn't run Linux and no you wouldn't like to see a Beowolf cluster of them.

Microsft DOS came from Seattle Computer Products QDOS; MS licensed QDOS-86, told IBM they had an exclusive (a lie) and the rest was history.

QDOS was a bad clone of CP/M, which was written by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, which was sold to Novell which was sold to Caldera, now SCO. Gary originally worked at Shugart and, lucky devil that he was, ended up with a very expensive 8" floppy drive. He decided to write a disk loader for it, hence "Disk Operating System" or "DOS". The rest of us loaded software from casette tapes using the BIOS; disk drives were very evry expensive.

Back in the day, Digital Reaserch sold Operating Systems and Microsoft sold languages. When DR decided to sell a langauge around '83 the rumor was MS retaliated by selling an OS. The motivation may be a myth, but it was a popular one back then.

Gates pubilshed some undocumented Z-80 instructions in, I think, Dr. Dobbs. It was the last usefull thing he ever did.

SCO ownes all (2, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098241)

Microsft DOS came from Seattle Computer Products QDOS; MS licensed QDOS-86, told IBM they had an exclusive (a lie) and the rest was history.

QDOS was a bad clone of CP/M, which was written by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, which was sold to Novell which was sold to Caldera, now SCO.


If MS-DOS is from QDOS, there will be some code in QDOS. QDOS is from CP/M so there must be some code from that in it as well. So some of the code was owned by SCO. Wich means that SCO ownes the code to all off MS codes.

The real problem is not if SCO ownes MS codes. The problem is who /. readers are going to cheer for when SCO is suing M$ over the code.

Re:MS co-founder? (2, Informative)

G-funk (22712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098098)

Actually gates did write some parts of the early parts of dos, namely the FAT filesystem.

Re:MS co-founder? (-1, Redundant)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097863)

Anybody know where Gates' dad went to College? I'm kinda wondering if the legacy system might have had something to do with his admission to Harvard.

Re:MS co-founder? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097938)

Bill Gates is smarter and richer than you. Get over it.

Did Apple buy OSDN? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097705)

What's with the constant Apple ass-kissing on Slashdot?

Apple history? At folklore.org? (-1, Offtopic)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097709)

Can they DO that?

Folklore already... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097710)

The mighty SlashDot myth has slayed the strong Folklore Python.

Anybody got a Conan like mirror?

Well... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097713)

That Susan Kare is a hottie! She can design my icons any day!

I've always wanted to do this... (-1, Troll)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097716)

Text of the article:

The first version of the IBM PC was introduced in August 1981. Apple responded by running an ad in the Wall Street Journal with the headline "Welcome, IBM. Seriously." Even though he was usually tight with money, Steve Jobs allowed the Mac team to buy an early unit to dissect and evaluate. The day it became available, we ran to the store and purchased one to take back to the lab.

Needless to say, we were not very impressed with it. From the perspective of the Macintosh that we were already in the midst of bringing to life, it seemed like ancient history the day it came out. There was little, if any, Woz-like cleverness in the hardware design, using dozens of extraneous chips without having any cool features. The 8088 was a decent processor compared to the 6502, but it paled next to the 68000 we were using in the Mac.

But the most clunky part of the system was the software. MS-DOS seemed like a clone of an earlier system, CP/M, and even the demo programs lacked flair. It came with some games written in BASIC that were especially embarrassing.

The most embarrassing game was a lo-res graphics driving game called "Donkey". The player was supposed to be driving a car down a slowly scrolling, poorly rendered "road", and could hit the space bar to toggle the jerky motion. Every once in a while, a brown blob would fill the screen, which was supposed to be a donkey manifesting in the middle of the road. If you didn't hit the space bar in time, you would crash into the donkey and lose the game.

We thought the concept of the game was as bad the crude graphics that it used. Since the game was written in BASIC, you could list it out and see how it was written. We were surprised to see that the comments at the top of the game proudly proclaimed the authors: Bill Gates and Neil Konzen. Neil was a bright teenage hacker who I knew from his work on the Apple II (who would later become Microsoft's technical lead on the Mac project) but we were amazed that such a thoroughly bad game could be co-authored by Microsoft's co-founder, and that he would actually want to take credit for it in the comments.

Macs are so much better than PCs. That's because Macs are for an elite cadre of artists and creative people.

Wind0wz is sux0rs!!!

Natalie Portman is Soviet Russia!!!

Love Andy Hertzfeld (1, Interesting)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097717)

Met him at the West Coast Computer show in Vancouver demoing Thunderscan around '86 or so, and he had the exact same green shirt on that I was wearing.

The man is a Geek God. Turning a printer into a scanner? Sheer genius.

Re:Love Andy Hertzfeld (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098215)

The man is a Geek God. Turning a printer into a scanner? Sheer genius.

Uhhh you might want to give credit where credit is due. This was something that came out with one of the Amiga compatible printers in 1986, and like many things appeared first on that platform.

A refined UI? Multitasking? Color graphics? Built in Audio?

You only have to go as far as an Amiga

Re:Love Andy Hertzfeld (1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098274)

LOL! Amiga users, still reinventing history after 19 years

A little more history... (4, Informative)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097719)

Andy Hertzfeld is one of the guys who helped design the original Mac, and also one of the people behind Eazel [slashdot.org] , the GNOME UI polishing group. Eazel was the group that contributed Nautilus [gnome.org] file manager to GNOME. Strangely, Eazel's webpage [eazel.com] now displays jibberish...

Eazel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098176)

Strangely, Eazel's webpage now displays jibberish...
Not so strange; the company--it was a company intending to build a commercial environment from GNOME, not a "GNOME UI polishing group"--tanked.

Hertzfeldt? (0, Offtopic)

Mahtar (324436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097723)

For a moment, I confused Andy with Don Hertzfeldt.

I'm such a consumer whore.

Re:Hertzfeldt? (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097826)

I'm such a consumer whore.

And how!

Interpreted code and high volume traffic (3, Insightful)

commbat (50622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097725)

"As a plus, Hertzfeld notes in the faq that the python code running the well-designed and easy to navigate site will be made public in the near future."

Shows if you want to run a site written with an interpreted language and expect Slashdot level interest, you'd better be running it on one hell of a monster machine.

Sheesh!

Re:Interpreted code and high volume traffic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097731)

Actually it seems to be holding up quite well, it's just a bit slow.

PHP would have puked its guts all over the place by now.

Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (5, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097737)

I think it boils down to the core concept that "users do not want to use a computer". From this leads designers to think of ways of alleviating redundancies and mundanity and in its place add comfort and features. The Mac UI really was a significant milestone for computers when it was first introduced. The GUI concept was a long time in coming and the Mac was so far ahead of the rest that it is only the lack of business acumen of the folks at Apple that hampered such a revolutionary product.

Even today the interface is still significantly different and better than the alternatives. The concept of only a single window frame with a single menu bar at the top of the screen is easy for new users to grok. The reduction of mouse buttons to one makes such things as "Press the right-click... nono the button on the right... no, don't double click it, only click it once... no, press Control-Z to undo that... no, just stop touching the computer until I can come over, mom" a thing of the past. Who would have thought that a seemingly backwards step as the single mouse button would be such a revolutionary step forward for computing?

It's almost like Apple has sucked all the brainpower out of Silicon Valley and packed it all into their Macintosh line. I have never owned a Mac, but I have many friends who do and who constantly rave about how much they love it. And I believe deep down that the reason they love it so much is because fundamentally they hate computers, but their Mac behaves unlike any other computer out there. It does its job and gets out of the way, unlike other operating systems which force you to spend half your time fiddling with screen refresh rates and Config menus just to get down to your real business.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (3, Interesting)

Becho62282 (172807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097792)

I think one of the reasons Apple's UI's have always been favored by their users is their simplicity, and at the same time their high level of sofistication.

Making a UI easy enough for a first time user to just turn the machine on and instantly have things act like they would like them to, or expect them to has always been a feature that Windows never accomplished. I remember sitting and using a Mac for the first time when I was 6 (in 1990) and I didn't need any help from our teacher to use it (no comp at home till later). It just worked and acted like I thought it should. My first Windows experiece was Win3.1 in '94 and that peice of junk just stank. My comp at home by that point was using Mac OS 7.1 and functioned amazingly while this Win3.1 thing was barely useable.

As I grew up and PC's did too eventually Windows came to being a fairly useful OS, while it still seems to fail miserably with it's UI, it has gotten some things right. Apple has responded with the greatest UI I have ever experienced on any platform, Windows, *nix, Mac. OS 10.3 is just amazing, it's slick, user friendly, colorful (but not cheezy), and best of all IT WORKS!

The thing that Apple has done with it's UI is amazing, it has changed with the landscape of the computing world, and always been the forefront of what every other UI seems to want to become. Sadly for the average user (aka Windose drones) they won't get to see an interface this user friendly ever. Apple just keeps pushing forward the computing experience for people, and I am glad people are starting to finally take notice

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (4, Interesting)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097853)

The reduction of mouse buttons to one makes such things as "Press the right-click... nono the button on the right... no, don't double click it, only click it once... no, press Control-Z to undo that... no, just stop touching the computer until I can come over, mom" a thing of the past.

First of all, Apple invented the double click, which totally breaks the motif that Apple intended to create with the introduction of the mouse.

Secondly, by getting rid of the right mouse button, Apple introduced things such as "control click.. no, control, not option.. no, not alt.. control.. yeah" You will never convince me that control clicking, or click-and-hold (which doesn't even work outside of the finder) is an adequate replacement for a second mouse button.

Of course you can plug in a multibutton mouse into the mac and it works, this doesn't help people with laptops.

The lack of a right mouse button and a scrollwheel on mac laptops makes things very frustrating.. and we have to resort to installing things like SideTrack to do things with the touchpad that PC touchpads do by default.

In fact, Apple should just integrate SideTrack into the OS, or add a damn scrollwheel.

Don't forget other UI disasters Apple is responsible for like Home and End keys that never seem to do what you expect.

For example, in Safari, I expect that when I'm editing a text field, if I hit home, the cursor should move to the beginning of the field, not scroll to the top of the page. If I'm selecting emails in mail.app, hitting up and down selects the next and previous emails, but hitting home doesn't take me to the top of the email list, it scrolls the currently selected email.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (4, Informative)

typhoonius (611834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097987)

Don't forget other UI disasters Apple is responsible for like Home and End keys that never seem to do what you expect. For example, in Safari, I expect that when I'm editing a text field, if I hit home, the cursor should move to the beginning of the field, not scroll to the top of the page. If I'm selecting emails in mail.app, hitting up and down selects the next and previous emails, but hitting home doesn't take me to the top of the email list, it scrolls the currently selected email.

Use Command+Left to go to the beginning of a line or Command+Right to go to the end of a line. Alt+Left and Alt+Right skip words. It's not a bad system necessarily, just one you aren't used to.

Amazing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097891)

I'm boggled about how a comment about Apple's design and history can be off-topic in a story about Apple's design and history.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (3, Insightful)

Riktov (632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097908)

The reduction of mouse buttons to one makes such things as "Press the right-click... " a thing of the past. Who would have thought that a seemingly backwards step as the single mouse button would be such a revolutionary step forward for computing?

Although for most users at the time, who had never before seen any mouse, let alone a three-button Xerox Alto or two-button Microsoft mouse, the Mac one-button was the first and original. Let's just say it was Microsoft's seemingly revolutionary two-button mouse (or more to the point, windowing environment,) that turned out to be a backwards step.

Nonetheless, could you live without the scroll-wheel? You must admit that's a worthwhile innovation, and it's astounding that Apple still hasn't appropriated it.

The concept of only a single window frame with a single menu bar at the top of the screen is easy for new users to grok.

Sorry, I have always considered this a confusing, bad design. It's a relic of single-tasking from the original Mac OS. The problem is that it's not just a single window frame. In the original Mac with single-tasking, the desktop was monopolized by a single app, even though that app might have multiple windows. But with multitasking, all the windows from different programs are on the desktop, yet there is no visual mapping from the menubar to its associated windows in the foreground program.

Fitt's law be damned, in a windowing GUI, a window defines the territory of a program, and that's where everything should fit.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (2, Interesting)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098033)

But with multitasking, all the windows from different programs are on the desktop, yet there is no visual mapping from the menubar to its associated windows in the foreground program.

This is true. The single menu bar does save space, and it is consistent (two bonuses in my book), but it does feel like it isn't part of the app. I think that most users forget the menu is even up there.

To many people, the toolbar has become the menubar.. originally the toolbar was a place to put the most common things from the menubar, but now it has become a place to jam everything. The menubar has become almost completely redundant.

It also violates HIG which says that UI elements shouldn't ever be context sensitive. i.e. a button shouldn't disappear and reappear based on what you are doing (it should grey out instead).

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (4, Insightful)

sapporo (552550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098056)

Sorry, I have always considered this a confusing, bad design.

IMHO, there's more to that design decision that you think. The fact that the Mac's menu bar is placed at the top of the screen makes it a lot easier to point at with the mouse, because you simply cannot move the mouse pointer too far. This makes it far superior in terms of usability that Windows-style menus at the top of each window.

For more details, I recommend reading "The Humane Interface" by Jef Raskin. UIs should be based on scientific usability studies, not developers' tastes - that's what Gnome and KDE suffer from.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098200)

IMHO, there's more to that design decision that you think. The fact that the Mac's menu bar is placed at the top of the screen makes it a lot easier to point at with the mouse, because you simply cannot move the mouse pointer too far. This makes it far superior in terms of usability that Windows-style menus at the top of each window.

But by exactly the same argument it is a horrible mistake to have min/max buttons and scroll bars on each window. The scroll bars should be at the very right of the screen, and min/max buttons at the top of the screen.

Design is always about compromise. Jef did some great work, but again: don't forget that his original studies were done with the premise of a single-tasking system.

The 1 or 2 button mouse preference comes down to the same thing. No, he did NOT prove that a 1 button mouse "is better". What they did show is that under the presumption that it is more important for a novice (who is unlikely to ever control-click or command-click) to use the system than a power user, then it is better to have a one-button mouse. This lead to the compromise that many power users have to put up with a single button on their trackpads, or lug around an extra mouse with their laptop.

Jef has also published a lot of nonsense IMHO, like "red being a bad color for the close button since it attracts attention".

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (5, Insightful)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098223)

"Sorry, I have always considered this a confusing, bad design. It's a relic of single-tasking from the original Mac OS. The problem is that it's not just a single window frame. In the original Mac with single-tasking, the desktop was monopolized by a single app, even though that app might have multiple windows. But with multitasking, all the windows from different programs are on the desktop, yet there is no visual mapping from the menubar to its associated windows in the foreground program."

There is good reason for the way the Mac OS handles itself the way it does. While it would seem like a good idea to contain all parts of a program within a single window, there are several problems with this... many of which become very confusing to the end user.
  • Too many menus!

  • As the user begins opening more and more applications, it takes longer for the user to find the correct menu among several windows. Going by the Human Interface Guidelines, a single menu on the screen reduces the time needed to locate the correct item. The menu also identifies the currently active application by displaying the application name/icon within itself.

  • Where did my menu go?

  • By making the menu part of the window, the menu is forced to travel around the screen with the window, unless the window is maximized to full screen. By locking the menu into a single, isolated place on the screen, it causes the interface to become much more predictable for the user. Predictability equals efficiency.

  • How do I create a new document after closing the last one, without having to relaunch the entire application?

  • With a menu stored entirely within a window, you can't... unless your application displays windows within other windows. Under the Human Interface Guidelines, this isn't an issue. The app continues running until the user decides to kill it himself. As applications get bigger over time, so does their load time. The time wasted per year by creating a new instance of an app each time the user mistaken closes the previous document when he meant to create a new document, could add up to hours or even days worth of time.
There are other issues, but these are the major ones that tend to cause the most trouble. This is not to say there aren't problems with the Mac OS in it's current form though. For whatever reason, Apple apparently did away with most of the Human Interface Guidelines somewhere between Mac OS 8 and Mac OS X. As a result, things are now much more complicated than they need to be. So, if there is a problem with something in Mac OS 9/Mac OS X, blame Apple... not the Human Interface Guidelines they should have been following.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (2, Insightful)

Pyrometer (106089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098252)

The concept of only a single window frame with a single menu bar at the top of the screen is easy for new users to grok.

Sorry, I have always considered this a confusing, bad design. It's a relic of single-tasking from the original Mac OS.

I always thought this myself comming from the Windows land, however, think of it this way ...

It is a multi-tasking OS, however, as a user you can only interface with one thing at a time. Hence you can only interfact with a single menu item no matter how many menu items are displayed on the screen. Therefore, the fact that there is only a single menu item is a moot point.

In regards to the "visual mapping", that is why it is a standard on the Mac to have the application name as the first entry in the menu item. It gives you that visual mapping so to speak ... off course it is generally obvious which application you are working with in any case.

Re:Why is Apple's UI so much better than the rest? (0)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098243)

I have never owned a Mac, but I have many friends who do and who constantly rave about how much they love it.
Macs seem to be much more likeable than PCs indeed. However, there are other things Mac owners admit to be factors in them constantly raving about how much they love their machines. For example, they have to pay a much higher price for their hardware than PC people, so they try to eliminate doubts about wheter it was really worth it. They already have the machine, so it _must_ be worth it. And, of course, raving about how much your PC can do and how super the OS and everything is doesn't make as much sense, because most people already know about these things, they're taken for granted. It's the standard Macs are compared to. No question, they come out on top in many areas, but just the fact that Mac users praise their machines is absolutely no indication that Apple owns all the brainpower of Silicon Valley; they don't.

Cheapest Mac (-1, Offtopic)

ahacop@wmuc.umd.edu (63340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097738)

I've been looking at a few of these archive sites. But, none of them allow you to search through their database with any sorting options. I'd like to be able to say show me all the Macs that can run OS X. Or Show me all the G3's that can run OS X.

I'm looking to get the cheapest Mac that runs Darwin. I wanna do some Darwin hacking.

Re:Cheapest Mac (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097784)

go to lowendmac.com and look into getting a blue and white G3. it can be upgraded if you like, but it it'll run OSX and Darwin...

Re:Cheapest Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097810)

Froogle says that there are beige G3s going for a bit more than $200, but they don't 'officially' support OS X, becuase they don't have USB. I'm 95% sure that it would work though, especially if you were willing to settle with 10.1 or 10.2, as opposed to to 10.3. The cheapest machine that is offically supported would probably be an old iMac going for about $300. The original bondi blue one probably has some collectors value, especially if you can get your hands on a Rev. A.

Re:Cheapest Mac (4, Informative)

boaworm (180781) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097886)

I'm looking to get the cheapest Mac that runs Darwin.

There is a difference between the cheapest Mac that runs OS X, and that runs Darwin. Darwin (the core) will run on a lot older hardware than OS X itself. For instance, you can run Darwin on the PowerMac 8NNN series, but dont try to take a retail OS X and install.

Have a lookt at Low End Mac [lowendmac.com] and Accelerate your Mac [xlr8yourmac.com] . Perhaps they can give you some kind of hint. Now finally, i'd just like to point out that if you indeed want to run OS X, keep in mind that the "minimum requirements", like 128MB ram, is NOT sufficient imho. My G5 even choked on 512MB :)

iPods predicted in 1984? (2, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097763)

I was watching CNN the other day and they were doing a small segment about the Mac anniversary and showed the 1984 commercial. It was the first time I noticed this, but the running girl seems to be wearing an iPod on her hip.

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (4, Interesting)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097802)

The 1984 ad [apple.com] has been sorta re-released by Apple, with the iPod added in. Looks like a pretty good post-addition, doesn't look very obvious of an edit.

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (2, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097816)

Heh. Now if they showed Big Brother heaving a hammer at her first and her ducking out of the way quickly before she shoots back, then it would be perfect!

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (2, Interesting)

Radon Knight (684275) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097955)

Does anyone know of a site where you can download the movie and save it to disk? The ad was, I believe, directed by Ridley Scott (of Alien and Blade Runner), so I'd like to keep a copy for myself.

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098180)

Download this...

http://tinyurl.com/3arpf [tinyurl.com]

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (1)

allgood2 (226994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098245)

You can get the new ad from the Apple site, along with tons of other items. See http://www.apple.com/quicktime/whatson I'm not certain where the ad is exactly locate, but its on the site somewhere.

Otherwise a site that gives you access to some of Apple's more memorable ads is http://www.redlightrunner.com/appleads.html This site has the original 1984 ad, but not the newest version.

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (1)

allgood2 (226994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098303)

just found the exact url http://www.apple.com/hardware/ads/1984/

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (3, Informative)

the JoshMeister (742476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097892)

So you can compare, here's a link to the original commercial [isd.net] , which you can see didn't have an iPod in it. ;o)

(As has been mentioned, Apple digitally added the iPod in the 2004 version of the commercial.)

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (1)

Xyde (415798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098326)

From comparing the movies together, it appears they re filmed that whole sequence - they don't look like the same women (one is taller, slightly older)

Re:iPods predicted in 1984? (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098181)

Indeed. Big Brother Jobs corrected a mistake in the origional ad and ammended it to show us his forsight.

--
In London? Need a Physics Tutor? [colingregorypalmer.net]

American Weblog in London [colingregorypalmer.net]

Well designed and easy to navigate.. (0, Redundant)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097768)

When it's not /.'d...

*sigh*

Where do I go to pay for a subscription? (rhetorical)

So much for credit huh? (-1)

xp0rnstar (199803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097782)

We were surprised to see that the comments at the top of the game proudly proclaimed the authors: Bill Gates and Neil Konzen. Neil was a bright teenage hacker who I knew from his work on the Apple II (who would later become Microsoft's technical lead on the Mac project) but we were amazed that such a thoroughly bad game could be co-authored by Microsoft's co-founder, and that he would actually want to take credit for it in the comments.

And it ends there. Too funny if you ask me.

As for the Python portion of the site, could be a form of python based nuke system. Wouldn't be that hard to make, although running mod_python on certain machines would act strange if the admin didn't set it up properly. IMHO python is a lot easier than PERL, but we know what they say about opinions...

I'll play devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097798)

Okay I'll bite. Was Donkey.bas the greatest thing in the world? Heck no. But it isn't as bad as this article makes it out to be. Donkey was never meant to be a true game. It was friggin' demo. I remember running and thinking, okay that's nice. What else is there?

There was plenty. The PC when it was first introduced ran all the Infocom games at the time. It ran Wizardry and all the Epyx games. Sure it wasn't as homey as the Apple II my friend had, but all the business were buying it.

I'm opening myself up for -1 Trolls and Overrated, but the PC wasn't *that* bad. It's easy to take a swipe at Gates for something thrown together at the last minute. It's not like he was making Choplifter or anything. In the end, the PC's open architecture that led it to be the computer platform of choice. The C64, Amiga, Atari ST were all great gaming platforms but just couldn't keep up with the ever upgrading of the PC. The roots of today's Half-Life 2, Doom 3's and Counter-Strikes all have roots with that first PC so long ago.

Re:I'll play devil's advocate (5, Informative)

javiercero (518708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097856)

Actually the PC was not "open" at all, IBM was not too happy when the clones started appearing.

It was copied, that is for sure, but it was far from "open." A plagiarized design doesn't make it "open" in the same fashion that a blown up safe lock box is also an "open" box.

And most of the games you mention have more in common with the machines you dissed than the actual original PC. I.e. most of the Doom engine was actually developed in NextStep, a lot of the 3DS software that game designers adopted in the 90s come from an Atari ST design program, most of the multi channel audio we know assume as standard was inspired by the Amiga (.mod's were the .mp3's of the 80s! :)), and on and on.... the PC ended up becoming more like the mac, the amiga, and the ST, not the other way around... to the point where current PCs have far more in common with those platforms in "spirit" than the original PC.

Re:I'll play devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097912)

It was copied, that is for sure, but it was far from "open." A plagiarized design doesn't make it "open" in the same fashion that a blown up safe lock box is also an "open" box.


Um...no, it wasn't plagerized. The people who made the first clone were locked in a room and didn't come out until they finished their clone. All they did was pass the output of their design to people outside of the room who would either say whether the outout of the clone chip was the same as the IBM chip.

IBM did themselves in by assuming that no one could make a duplicate of their design. Based on this assumption, they didn't bother to copyright/prevent people from making the motherboard EXACTLY like they did.

Re:I'll play devil's advocate (2, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098302)

The computer was open architecture. A collection of parts, with the capability of freely swapping those parts out for others from any vendor. Those parts themselves, such as the Intel chips, were freely available on the open market. Making an IMB PC clone is no more "plagerizing" than making a car would be.

The BIOS was propriatary and it was the clean room reverse engineering of such that allowed the true clone.

KFG

Re:I'll play devil's advocate (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097913)

I love the quote "Needless to say, we were not very impressed with it. From the perspective of the Macintosh that we were already in the midst of bringing to life, it seemed like ancient history the day it came out."

Ironic that that machine immediately made the Mac ancient history...

Re:I'll play devil's advocate (1)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098043)

In the end, the PC's open architecture that led it to be the computer platform of choice. The C64, Amiga, Atari ST were all great gaming platforms but just couldn't keep up with the ever upgrading of the PC.

How would you explain the success of the consoles, then? They are usually as closed as can be; the upgradability potential of a Sony Playstation nowhere matches the potential of said Amiga. Commodore and Atari failed because of their incredibly foolish marketing, but not because "open" is better than "closed" in gaming industry. On the contrary, open architecture is interesting for an engineer or at least a hardware geek, who simply likes to tweak his system - but for a gamer it's just a pain in the ass (the drivers! the compatibility issues! the crashes! the horror! the horror!). For a gamer the best solution is: buy a relatively cheap console this year... and just throw it away (or hand it down to a younger cousin) two years later, replacing it wit the newer model. And don't waste your mind on any technical issue ("how the heck should I know what version firmware is it?"), just keep on fraggin'.

Re:I'll play devil's advocate (2, Interesting)

kinnell (607819) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098076)

In the end, the PC's open architecture that led it to be the computer platform of choice

I think you'll find that it was IBM's name that made it the platform of choice - IBM had a reputation for business computing, therefore the IBM PC was a serious computer. It took a long time for the PC architecture to become open, and this happened long after the PC was the platform of choice.

let the games begin (0, Flamebait)

humankind (704050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097807)

It's really interesting to watch the Mac viral marketers come out of the woodwork for stories like this.

Oh, that's why it's so slow.... (2)

vought (160908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097820)

I started surfing folklore.org earlier this evening and I was nearly finished reading everything when...

Slashdot hit.

I had an idea, so checked here withi 20 minutes, and sure enough, it was the banner story. Shit. I was almost done reading the whole story of Macintosh as interpreted by Andy H.

Offtopic: python (4, Funny)

Negative Response (650136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097822)

that the python code running the

Site is terribly slow, it is running python all right.

Mirror? (1)

bluewee (677282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097846)

Anyone got a mirror?

Re:Mirror? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8098089)

Why, got any coke?

.

Inside the Apple Studio with... Andy Hertzfeld (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097855)

An interview with Andy Hertzfeld [crazyapplerumors.com]

HOWARD DEAN SUPPORTS THE TCPA ! (-1, Offtopic)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097857)

No joke [theregister.co.uk] .
This makes me wonder why this isn't an article here at slashdot: it's definitely news for nerds and it involves important political developments.

Re:HOWARD DEAN SUPPORTS THE TCPA ! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8097903)

Have you read the article? While your accessment of its contents isn't wholly untrue, it's still a bit misleading. Still, I haven't been keeping up with The Register enough recently, thanks for the prod in the direction of doing so ;).

For those interested in Apple history... (5, Informative)

the JoshMeister (742476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097866)

Here are several other great Apple history resources.

Sites:

  • www.apple-history.com [apple-history.com] is one of the best Internet sources, with information on every computer Apple ever produced
  • apple.computerhistory.org [computerhistory.org] has year-by-year info on Apple with some cool, hard-to-find pictures

Books:

Other:

Liked DONKEY.BAS? (5, Funny)

Dahan (130247) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097877)

If you liked DONKEY.BAS [archive.org] , try the all new Donkey .NET [microsoft.com] !

Re:Liked DONKEY.BAS? (2, Funny)

Riktov (632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097930)

From the page: Structured Exception Handling. This new object-oriented construct in Visual Basic .NET enables a highly robust way to handle run-time errors in your code.

Hey, I don't want to catch() anything this Donkey throw()s!

I guess the real question here is... (1)

cscx (541332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097969)

Does it work with Mono?

aut0tr0ll is teh sp0kE!? (-1)

CHECKTHEGOATS (735227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097939)

Hello master.

sid=94412
formkey=1sXov1fafP

This is a joint venture that will be mutually advantageous to both parties involved.

Speaking of Apple History... (5, Interesting)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8097988)

They are responsible for what I am sure must have been the longest line-up in history [mac.com] !

Re:Speaking of Apple History... (1)

chrispy666 (519278) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098162)

Yeah, I was there !! and I wish I hadn't waited from 08:00 til 14:43 for it !

the store looks nice, but really not as stunning inside as it is from the outside. The week-end after, one could enter the shop without even queuing at all. talk about useless hype...

Mac information (3, Interesting)

aarku (151823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098024)

http://everymac.com/ [everymac.com] has some good Macintosh information, specs, and history.

aut0tr0ll is teh sp0kE!? (-1)

Jack Froidalbungle (730156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8098042)

Hello master.

sid=94412
formkey=ieosqNnXG2

This is a joint venture that will be mutually advantageous to both parties involved.
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