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Apple Macintosh Turns 30

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the you-don't-look-a-day-over-40 dept.

Desktops (Apple) 154

snydeq writes "30 years ago today, Apple debuted the Macintosh. Here are some reviews of the early Mac models, including the Macintosh ('will be compared to other machines not only in terms of its features but also in the light of the lavish claims and promises made by Apple co-founder Steven Jobs'), the Mac SE ('contains some radical changes, including room for a second internal drive and even a fan'), the Mac IIx ('a chorus of yawns'), and the Mac Portable ('you may develop a bad case of the wannas for this lovable [16-lb.] luggable'). Plus insights on the Macintosh II's prospects from Bill Gates: 'If you look at a product like Mac Word III on that full-page display, it's pretty awesome. ... But the corporate buyer is never going to be a strong point for Apple.'" iFixit got their hands on a Mac 128K and did a teardown, evaluating the old hardware for repairability. What will the Mac look like in another 30 years?

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The more things change the more they... change? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#46056357)

I loved that when I turned on my old Apple IIe it dropped me right to a 'root' BASIC terminal and didn't cost a dime to begin my software enterprise as an elementary schooler. The Mac? Well, Resedit was just not the same...

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 10 months ago | (#46056405)

My experience with a Mac was close... I wondered how the hell I could drop to a command line.

I loved Macs for a good long time though. Even today I think they are pretty good machines even though I prefer Linux. I don't like the movement of Apple towards a Microsoft-like business model where they care about their own corporate agenda more than their users, but as long as they don't make it a total walled garden it still deserves some respect.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056543)

You could hit the debugger switch, which was an add-on or semi-hidden piece, and get to a debug prompt. A very limited CLI.

The main thing, though, was that NOT having a CLI on the classic MacOS was a 'burning the ships behind' moment. By removing that as a fallback, applications had to be graphical and work without CLI install/diagnostic processes, Even minor utilities had to have some effort put into a proper user interface.

This worked, mostly. Some apps reimplemented command lines, and a lot of apps went to the super-limited interface, of course... but most stepped into the relatively new paradigms of the GUI (Apple not being the first, but popularizing it)

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#46056725)

You could also run A/UX, which if I recall correctly was a good 'best of both worlds' solution.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#46057227)

I also recall it costing almost as much as the machine itself, and only running on their super-expensive machines. I like to putter around in unix, but I was lucky and always had access to a Solaris machine (either at work or school) while Mac was pre-OSX. I was running OSX as soon as it was available.

I wonder... a time machine and a NetBSD install (3, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 10 months ago | (#46058943)

A/UX was indeed expensive. But even the early Macs could be decent Unix machines, as time (and open source a decade or more later) proved. The SE/30 was an incredible machine - able to take up to 128MB of RAM back when 'standard' was 1MB or less! Mine has seen lots of use as my piddly little home webserver [homeunix.net] .

Re:I wonder... a time machine and a NetBSD install (4, Informative)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 10 months ago | (#46059369)

Remember that many of the early UNIX variants (SunOS, HP/UX, some others) started out on the 68000 chip. It was a very well designed and flexible chip. Then PowerPC was supposed to be a platform. (Remember CHRP [wikipedia.org] ? of course not).

Macs have this image of oddball hardware, but except for NuBus it really wasn't all that true.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 10 months ago | (#46058981)

Well, IIRC, the only reason that A/UX even existed was because the US government had a requirement of POSIX compatibility for all computer purchases, even if the actual people and departments who wanted to buy the machines and use them had no intention of ever taking advantage of that.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (4, Interesting)

knarf (34928) | about 10 months ago | (#46057471)

Not having a CLI and forcing developers to either limit their applications to what could be pointed at and clicked, or implementing their own application-specific CLI is one of the reasons why the Macintosh ended up being a niche platform, derided by some as having its manual 'printed on drool-proof paper'. If there is one thing Apple did right when they introduced OSX it is their decision to 'allow' command line access.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46058155)

Not having a CLI and forcing developers to either limit their applications to what could be pointed at and clicked, or implementing their own application-specific CLI is one of the reasons why the Macintosh ended up being a niche platform

You misunderstand what Apple was trying to do - they were not appealing to that market, the existing Apple II/IBM PC/C64 crowd. People who already had experience using computers with command lines. Apple was trying to bring computers to the "rest of us," expanding the personal computer market *beyond* the demographic that already used them.

Since we're all running GUI-based machines now, you could say that in a broad sense Apple succeeded. The fact that they didn't own the desktop completely after Windows 3.0 came out says that they failed.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#46056643)

I don't like the movement of Apple towards a Microsoft-like business model where they care about their own corporate agenda more than their users

I was unaware that there was a time when that WASN'T the case.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (0)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#46056955)

I think feeling is that they are moving OSX towards more of an iOS/Windows 8 model where you are not allowed to installed arbitrary software easily if at all.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (2, Informative)

DewDude (537374) | about 10 months ago | (#46057241)

As someone who's used Windows 8; you are able to install arbitrary software in Desktop mode. Maybe not arbitrary Metro apps; but who cares about that?

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 10 months ago | (#46057249)

I think feeling is that they are moving OSX towards more of an iOS/Windows 8 model where you are not allowed to installed arbitrary software easily if at all.

For years OEMs have been struggling with the fact that hardware margins are slim, slim, slim. Obviously Apple's are 'less slim,' but still slim. They've realized their path to shareholder results is really software and services in an ecosystem, be it consumer or corporate.

If you don't want this there will always be open-platform solutions...

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 10 months ago | (#46057793)

I think feeling is that they are moving OSX towards more of an iOS/Windows 8 model where you are not allowed to installed arbitrary software easily if at all.

Except that will never be the case.

First, the Mac App Store is a nice idea, but it's not the be-all end-all. Gatekeeper is easy defeated, and defaults to Mac App Store + Signed Apps.

Signed apps are just that - signed. You buy a developer cert from Apple ($99). You sign your app and release it however you want - obviously not through the Mac App Store since you don't need it for that.

And it really only matters if the app was downloaded from the internet. Gatekeeper isn't working if you compiled it yourself. Or you can run unsigned apps without leaving the system completely open (the popup happens, but you can have it ignore that one app always).

And there are plenty of apps that CANNOT be put in the Mac App Store. Firstly, apps are sandboxed from there, so you cannot access files outside. Which limits the utility of well, utilities. Second, companies like Microsoft, Adobe and others are huge players on Mac and they will never use the Mac App Store. (It's not the 30%, either - companies like Autodesk find they make more money per sale from Mac App Store than their traditional channels)..

And no demo apps.

Finally - you need to develop apps on something. There's no way you can limit your OS to "App Store Only" and still be able to develop on it. iOS is fine - no one develops apps on their phones (and we've had years of experience on it - on-mobile development has remained a mere curiosity since PalmOS days).

Hell, just because of the development loophole already means there's one method of arbitrary software development that's always possible - full source code distribution. If Apple somehow made it possible to lock down OS X, but still allow development, well, you just need to distribute source code and every user has to build it to get it to work. Though it would be pretty ironic for a closed-source OS to enforce open-source distribution.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#46058027)

Having to buy a developer licence qualifies as 'easily', in my opinion. The rest of the stuff is also 'for now'. As it is, there are already apps that can only be run if they're installed through the OSX app store. The concern is that things will keep heading this way. I see I've been modded down again though, so I guess there's no worry for Apple people. Enjoy. Let's see what happens.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#46058923)

As it is, there are already apps that can only be run if they're installed through the OSX app store.

That's by developer choice, who cares if someone choses to distribute through the Max app store vs. a website?

There are ALSO still a number of apps that you can download to install - they do not even have to be signed, although that requires one extra step after you download them to run (you have to work around gatekeeper, which is as easy as a right-click Open).

I personally use app store versions when I can because they are so easy to work with - they can auto-update, and if you get a new system you can re-install a lot of software at once. But doing so imposes no limits on me as a user.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#46059315)

Don't forget Debian/Ubuntu Apt-Get. It is a very similar concept. The only difference is you can add a repository in a config file, but for the most part, Debian and Ubuntu users stick to what is in Apt-Get before they go out of the default box.

Funny, there was no ./ article about The Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057651)

I don't like the movement of Apple towards a Microsoft-like business model where they care about their own corporate agenda more than their users, but as long as they don't make it a total walled garden it still deserves some respect.

When I saw on Wikipedia on Tuesday night that the next day was the 30th anniversary of the famous Super Bowl ad, I went to the Wikipedia article about it. Did you catch what Big Brother was saying on the screen--the thing that the Macintosh was supposed to destroy?

Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!

Oh, the irony! Apple has turned into that. They brought the walled garden to the world of phones and tablets, and given Microsoft's moves relating to its own walled garden, I wouldn't be so sure that Apple won't try the same thing for their iconic 30-year-old line of machines.

Re:Funny, there was no ./ article about The Ad (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#46058949)

The garden in the ad was ideology. The garden of the app store is one of functionality...

The inability of Apple Haters to distinguish ideology from functionality has colored and distorted their worldview for years, and it looks like it will for years to come.

Either that or you are just way to fixated on the word "garden", not even understanding there are many different kinds of gardens too...

Re:Funny, there was no ./ article about The Ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46059357)

> The garden in the ad was ideology. The garden of the app store is one of functionality...

Uh, no, the App Store is a Garden of Profit.

"And the Jobs did decree, ye shall sell no software for this device, verily, without rendering unto Apple a percentage of the purchase price."

MS Word (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056539)

MS Word on the original Mac was an incredible change. (This was before MS went all gung ho on Windows: they were still doing MS DOS and Windows was this DOS addon). I remember doing my physics papers on it and being able to put in math symbols and format and a bunch of other font and formatting things - all with a click of the mouse! And the WYSIWYG interface that printed what you saw on the screen!

That was mind blowing back then. Because before that it was a text editor and trial and error in getting it to print well - or just an old fashioned IBM Selectric and a bottle of White-Out.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I had to write papers in the snow, uphill, both ways,.... AND LIKED IT!

Re:MS Word (2)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#46056791)

Because I used a Mac at home, work allowed me to purchase Windows 286 and Word for use at work. I was probably one of the few who ever used Windows 2 for any real work.

Re:MS Word (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 10 months ago | (#46057053)

I had a mac at home that had the add on card to run windows/dos. it was an actual 386 computer on an expansion card and it's output was piped to the video board via a 15 pin jumper cable.

Re:MS Word (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 10 months ago | (#46057375)

I had a mac at home that had the add on card to run windows/dos. it was an actual 386 computer on an expansion card and it's output was piped to the video board via a 15 pin jumper cable.

Brings back memories - I had a PC Transporter in my Apple][gs that let me run MS-DOS so I could emulate a VT100 and dial in to my wok mainframe. As a side note, the color finder first appeared on the Apple][gs via GS/OS. A great machine, but Apple was already moving away from the ][ series in favor of Mac. As i recall, there even was an Apple /e/ hardware board for the LC.

Re:MS Word (1)

operagost (62405) | about 10 months ago | (#46057613)

Aldus Pagemaker (before Adove) was apparently the killer app for Windows 2.x. I think it's the only Windows program we had in my high school computer class. We did most of our work in MS Word on the Xenix 386 system, of course.

Re:MS Word (1)

mccalli (323026) | about 10 months ago | (#46058591)

Word 4.2 (I think it was .2) combined with my Mac LC and a Stylewriter was and remains my favourite word processor setup of all time - it got me through the last two years of university (first year I started with an ST, using First Word Plus). Loved 4.2 - perfect mix of simple but powerful.

5.x brought in envelopes and a bunch of stuff I don't recall and didn't use, but started to get slow. 6.x is where the rot set in for me and I've never really liked any version since, whether PC or Mac.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:MS Word (2)

Solandri (704621) | about 10 months ago | (#46058841)

I remember doing my physics papers on it and being able to put in math symbols and format and a bunch of other font and formatting things - all with a click of the mouse!

The scalable fonts also meant you could print banners by printing sideways on a dot-matrix printer, and not separating the individual pages. Perfect for printing title boards for posters or your science fair project.

I still don't understand why after practically inventing scalable fonts (Postscript) and scalable GUI elements in a drive for resolution independent displays (a 12-point font was always the same physical size regardless of your screen size or resolution setting), Apple abandoned them with iOS. It's like they deliberately chose to go backwards. Come to think of it, if you look at their 1984 commercial, they've pretty much become the monolithic overlord preaching conformity that they promised to overthrow in the commercial.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

unimacs (597299) | about 10 months ago | (#46056959)

I loved that when I turned on my old Apple IIe it dropped me right to a 'root' BASIC terminal and didn't cost a dime to begin my software enterprise as an elementary schooler. The Mac? Well, Resedit was just not the same...

Didn't cost a dime? Even a IIe would have set you back between $2,500 and $3,000 in today's dollars.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 10 months ago | (#46057367)

Came with it obviously. One thing that did "cost a dime", although several generations of copies before I saw it, was the wonderful integer BASIC that came with an assembler (wonderful for the assembler - I never used the BASIC). Before that I spent ages converting commands to hex and nearly always lost a byte somewhere and had to do it all over again (a pain since I only had a couple of half hour sessions with it a week). I didn't actually do anything useful with it, just noises and throwing stuff in video memory, but it was fun.

Re:The more things change the more they... change? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#46059255)

You did need to boot a formatted disk so you could save the program. Those 5 1/4 at the time were around a dollar a floppy (Well the cheap ones were 50 cents. but they lead to a lot of bad sectors). and I am sure the Apple IIe wasn't free either. So it cost you bit more than a Dime.

Loved my Mac SE (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#46056363)

Still have it, should check to see if it runs.

All Across America Today... (2)

glennrrr (592457) | about 10 months ago | (#46056471)

Capacitors are failing on analog boards that haven't been powered up in 20 years.

Re:All Across America Today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056559)

But they're fine on digital boards? Electrolytic capacitors sprinkled about on old motherboards are rarely a problem if you go back 20 years, more likely it's leaky batteries. Those don't just stop working, they leak corrosive crap all over the place.

Re:All Across America Today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057167)

"Electrolytic capacitors sprinkled about on old motherboards are rarely a problem if you go back 20 years, "

    Yep, now the caps are likely to fail after only five years.

It probably will (4, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | about 10 months ago | (#46056495)

They used lead solder back in those days, assuming the floppy drive isn't too dusty and your boot disk is intact.

When Steve Jobs died I booted a mid-80s Mac and it came up fine. MacPaint (source code here [computerhistory.org] ) was an amazing feat given that it had to run in 128KB (really 192KB - like most Mac applications of its time, it made extensive use of the code that was in the 64KB of ROM).

So was the "disk copy" program that could copy a 400KB (400,000 byte) disk in only 4 passes. It stole a large chunk of the 22KB RAM normally allocated to video to do it.

Re:It probably will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056565)

Yeah.. back in the 90s when everything was still expensive those old all-in-one units were great for little tasks involving telnet or ssh on a home network. I remember buying one from a university surplus auction and then finding the relevant version of MacOS on an archive somewhere and getting everything configured to use TCP instead of an Appletalk stack and then setting it up so I could continuously watch the console messages coming from my little Linux box.

Yeah.. weeks of work for what today would be a 5 minute task... but there was no problems with those Mac circuits. None at all.

Re:It probably will (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#46056567)

They used lead solder back in those days

You mean I shouldn't give babies pacifiers made of 8086 boards?

Re:It probably will (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 10 months ago | (#46056803)

MacPaint source code here...

From the fine source:
; FUNCTION Monkey: BOOLEAN;
;
TST MonkeyLives ;IS THE MONKEY ACTIVE ?

Any relation to this [youtube.com] ?

Re:It probably will (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056997)

Monkey was a debugging and testing tool that would randomly click and move the cursor around. It would occasionally find things to click on that might crash because no human thought to click there.

Re:It probably will (1)

ejasons (205408) | about 10 months ago | (#46058449)

And, in particular, programs could test to see whether the monkey was running, and if it was, disable potentially destructive functions, such as file overwriting, etc.

Re: It probably will (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 10 months ago | (#46057035)

The Monkey was something they used for debugging. You can read about it here: http://www.folklore.org/StoryV... [folklore.org]

Re:It probably will (1)

glennrrr (592457) | about 10 months ago | (#46057105)

Well, I had a Mac Plus, and there was definitely a problem with the solder joints cracking on the analog board failing. I had to pop the case open and resolder it at least once.

Re:Loved my Mac SE (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 10 months ago | (#46058521)

My SE rocks.

Got it for free; basically, local small-town newspaper had been using it to lay out classified ads, but had moved on (newer machines after 15 years) and the screen was completely burned in with the layout software entry form.

Ebay to the rescue. Now the SE has a new CRT, 4 megs of ram, and a SCSI-to-ethernet adapter so that I can use Ethertalk and TCP/IP on the in-house network.

Cool little machine. At least, after I bought the extra-long Torx screwdrivers I needed to get into the case. Damn Steve Jobs.

My Mac Sucks (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056369)

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Netscape will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even BBEdit Lite is straining to keep up as I type this.

I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

Re:My Mac Sucks (1)

hummassa (157160) | about 10 months ago | (#46056653)

Is this evidence of time travel? ;)

Re:My Mac Sucks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056821)

My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 300 mhz machine at times.

Have you disabled PointCast? All those updates must slow down your home network.

Re:My Mac Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056931)

A nostalgic troll for a nostalgic article.

Good work.

Re:My Mac Sucks (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 10 months ago | (#46057207)

Well, file copying is hardly CPU bound. Although the operating system can implement it poorly, the most likely case is that your old mac hard drive is going bad. The thing about hard drives is that they usually degrade slowly.

No Mac addicts, I don't own any apple product

Re:My Mac Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46059069)

MacOS 7 was incredibly slow copying files, especially if you put the Finder in the background. And the UI would grind to a halt in the process.

It might be a classic "troll" but the complaint was legit.

Re:My Mac Sucks (0, Troll)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 10 months ago | (#46057279)

Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

We are cool hipsters with disposable income to burn. Macs give us that air of cool superiority to go with our turtlenecks and sandals.; and allow us to scoff at those great brainwashed masses who hew to Microsoft's corporate line. We have Steve Jobs; you have a nerdy guy with glasses.

MS has brainwashed you to prefer a perception of speed over elegance and design; Steve has said elegance and esthetics are what counts and he said it so we believe it. Besides, your tests are run on benchmarks optimized for Wintel so the mean nothing to use, we will continue to have the luxury of enjoying our mocha latte duple grande overpriced vent while we bask in the beauty of MacOS.

Even MS has realized the inherent advantage of the Mac interface and has made week attempts to copy it with Windoze; btw we're V10 and your only on what, 8? How 1997 of you. While you double right click mouse up to d something we have buttonless mice, and we know less is more.

So while you sheep blindly follow MS we know we are ones who slay Big brother, the crazy ones who make a difference, the cool Mac next to the nerdy corporate PC, toasting your bunnies (mmm tasty, as are the escargot); and simply Think Different. So crawl back under the bridge, troll, and let us enjoy our smug superiority as we bask in the glory of Macintosh

Re:My Mac Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057377)

Good god! I haven't seen that troll on Slashdot in years! I think I was still a "mac guy" when I last saw it!

It always screamed "troll" to me, though, for numerous nitpicky reasons. The 8600 didn't have a 300MHz processor, it was PPC604-era which topped out at 275, and it was early-604, so it was probably slower than that. Maybe a 132? It also probably never had 64 MB of RAM, since those old boxes had finnicky SRAM setups with balanced slot arrangements, and most of them topped out at 32 MB. So, first of all, the supposed specs of his "fast" Mac were bogus, and second, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as fast as he thought. That P-Pro 200 would've probably trounced it nicely. Also, his "test" is I/O bound, so he's an idiot.

I became a "mac guy" when I got a G3/300/64 in 1998 and I discovered Slashdot about a year later. This troll almost got me to respond more than once. Here it is a decade and a half later, and I'm finally calling his lying ass out.

Re:My Mac Sucks (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 10 months ago | (#46058351)

According to http://www.apple-history.com/8... [apple-history.com] the troll’s specs are correct, it could use up to 1GB of RAM (the last one I worked on had 256MB), and the 300MHz model was actually one of the last PPC604 computers to go into production, only months before the G3.

Re:My Mac Sucks (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#46057387)

The funny thing about this is I Googled the post and it matches exactly an Eve Online discussion forum post from 2009, but nothing else. I thought for sure it was lifted from a usenet discussion somewhere.

Re:My Mac Sucks (1)

trazom28 (134909) | about 10 months ago | (#46058853)

Why don't you bring this up on a CompuServe forum?

M/AC is tbad (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 10 months ago | (#46056425)

is bat., bad. woipl thd smegn/ camill

Failz0r5! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056537)

All \our times have Things I stiil sadness And it was this mistake or

1984 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056541)

Too bad 2014 turned out like 1984 with mass surveillance beyond our wildest imagination and no freedom to make the software you want without paying for the approval of highly social risk averse, rent-seeking middlemen at every level.

Re:1984 (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#46056737)

Siri came out a little too late to us in a 2001 commercial.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057403)

"On March 24, Apple will introduce Mac OS X... and you'll see why 2001 won't be like '2001'!"

Re:1984 (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#46057919)

But is still couldn't open the pod bay doors.

hmm (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 10 months ago | (#46056637)

But the corporate buyer is never going to be a strong point for Apple.

Pure anecdote, but my current job in software development and the previous two were at small companies that were 100% Apple shops. At this point the latest Windows version with which I have any real experience is XP. I spend 95% of my time either in a cross-platform browser, a cross-platform IDE or at a bash prompt. So the only real advantage to Windows (ignoring gaming) is to make the last one of those (bash prompt) more annoying.

Re:hmm (1)

adnonsense (826530) | about 10 months ago | (#46056765)

Similar here, at my previous job... except irony of ironies, while even the manager and sales droids were very happy with their Macs, the Photoshoppers were Windows only.

Meanhile at my current job, where the developer workstations are pretty much all Linux, I am looked down upon because my laptop of choice comes pre-installed with a certified UNIX OS.

(Posting from my home desktop Linux right now BTW, in case anyone wants to accuse me of being a hipster).

Re:hmm (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#46057201)

> I am looked down upon because my laptop of choice comes pre-installed with a certified UNIX OS.

No. You're looked down upon because you think that means something.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057067)

Most technology start-ups and many web development companies have standardised on the Apple MacBook Pro or Apple MacBook Air.

Re: hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057837)

In other words the non-corporate business market. All 3% of it.

Re:hmm (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 10 months ago | (#46057361)

It also runs internet explorer saving you the bother of having a VM. But I rather have a better bash prompt.

Re:hmm (1)

PPH (736903) | about 10 months ago | (#46057931)

But the corporate buyer is never going to be a strong point for Apple.

Really? Back in the 'old days', Boeing selected the Mac SE as the standard desktop for office employees. Networkable, with an easy to use GUI, it was a good enough for people whose jobs didn't involve a full blown workstation. These were Apollo, IBM, and Sun machines.

But then someone got the Microsoft bug and we were told to switch. Trouble was, the cost estimate justifying the switch priced a Mac complete with a full suite of software against a PC with a DOS prompt. So when the IT people delivered the PCs to our desks ..... nothing. No budget for applications or utilities. And it stayed that way for about 6 months. PCs collecting dust until someone played the 'sunk cost' game and sprang for more budget. That ended up pushing the PC cost well above that of the Mac.

Meanwhile, I had this useless PC sitting on my desk which (for some strange reason) had been equipped with a second hard drive. I got permission from management to try out this new OS called Linux. Which was free, so no budget authorization required. And I never looked back. For the rest of my career there, I never ran Windows natively on my desktop (I could run a session on an NT server via an X11 display protocol).

Back to the Mac: When we were running Macs, we had a couple of guys with pagers that covered all support calls between Seattle and Renton engineering facilities. Once we had switched engineering to PCs with Windows, about 10% of the IT staff in our building was dedicated to keeping the PCs of the other 90% running. I suppose I could do the support cost math ......

I suspect that whoever pushed the original switch to Wintel probably retired on his MS stock options.

The Computer for the Rest of Us (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056675)

That's how they pitched the Mac... that is to say, a computer that's not just for computer nerds.

"I think a nerd is a person who uses the telephone to talk to other people about telephones. And a computer nerd therefore is somebody who uses a computer in order to use a computer."
    - Douglas Adams

How the hell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056683)

That video has no volume control? It's hidden under some sort of fade graphic? Oh the irony that Apple got its reputation for a user interface, but that this video made me want to hurl the computer right at the head of the idiot who decided it's OK to cover the interface of the video player.

Re:How the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057359)

Why this particular video?...and not just any video that uses the Quicktime player?

Say what you will about the video, but the UI controls fade thing is something that comes from the player...and maybe ( I haven't checked) you can change it in your own settings.

30 years old.... (3, Funny)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 10 months ago | (#46056855)

...and *still* stuck in their parent's basement, unable to make it in the business world.

Re:30 years old.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46058493)

At some points in the recent past AAPL had the highest market-capitalization of any company on the planet.
That sort of fits my definition of 'making it' in the business world.

First Macintosh (1)

rexbinary (902403) | about 10 months ago | (#46056879)

I purchased my first Macintosh in 1990. A Macintosh LC to replace my Apple //e. I would have purchased a Mac much sooner, but I was waiting for a color model I could afford. I couldn't see moving from my color //e to a black & white Mac. When did you purchase your first Mac, and which one was it?

Re:First Macintosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057097)

I bought a Power Mac 7500 in 1995, one of the first PCI-based Power Macs, because it could take the DOS compatibility card and let me run Windows on the same machine. Of course, I never did buy the DOS card because about that time, PCs got amazingly cheap and even the slowest 486 was faster than the DOS card.

The 7500 itself was $2700 (without keyboard or mouse), the 17" CRT monitor was $900, and it came with 16MB of RAM, a 1GB hard drive, and 4x speed CD-ROM. I paid $300 for an extra 8MB of RAM too! Eventually I upgraded everything: 64MB of RAM, 10GB hard drive, G3 processor, and 32x CD-ROM. I got a good 10 years out of that machine.

Re:First Macintosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057757)

My first was a Performa 475, loved that machine. Came with a 14.4 modem and I would spend all night dialing into different BBS's looking for the occasional game or pixel porn to download. Borrowed the 2k from my grandmother and paid her back with interest, good times.

http://lowendmac.com/quadra/quadra-605.html

I find it amusing. . . (0, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#46056967)

that in the commercial Apple was referencing 1984 and all the invasion of privacy and Big Brother-ness that went along with it, and now they are doing essentially the same thing.

Re:I find it amusing. . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057163)

Yes, but what you're forgetting is that Apple is a bigger contender now, and something something Google evil something, and mumble mumble look at the shiny new iPad! Oooooooo! Shiiiiiny! Shiny shiny look shiny happy!

Re:I find it amusing. . . (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#46057237)

The great irony with that commercial is that even when that thing was made, the PC represented an attempt to resist centralized control. Even in 1984 that commercial was bogus misleading tripe.

Even funnier still is how that girl looks distinctly Scandinavian...

Re:I find it amusing. . . (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | about 10 months ago | (#46058691)

You're joking. The PC was an attempt to retain control, quickly churned out by IBM. It was just there to keep down the new micros that were starting to look popular, and the design was never intended to last.

It worked too - IBM retained control over the business market for quite a while, and didn't realise until OS/2 and microchannel that it had actually lost the control it thought it had kept.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:I find it amusing. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46059941)

The great irony with that commercial is that even when that thing was made, the PC represented an attempt to resist centralized control.

I know, right? It sure is a good thing that a single vendor didn't emerge dominant over the entire personal computer industry. Thank goodness Windows came along to keep Apple in its place.

Actually just the opposite... (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#46059019)

all the invasion of privacy and Big Brother-ness that went along with it

Apple is the only large company left that is not trying to track everything you do to resell to others. Your data is YOUR DATA on an iOS system, not going into the Googleplex to figure out what ads to send you...

They are exactly as they were in the ad, a fighter against a central overseer directing your whole life.

In what way? (1)

Brannon (221550) | about 10 months ago | (#46059223)

Especially with regards to the Mac platform I have no idea what you are talking about.

OSX is good with KDE installed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46056995)

Macs are ok if you install a decent desktop enviroment to replace the horrible apple UI. It is a bit of work, but you can install KDE on OSX.

128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 10 months ago | (#46057017)

We got one in our lab the first day. Although there were a couple of other graphical workstations just starting to come out, this was by far the cheapest.

The original Mac did not have an internal disk, but a 384K floppy. 128KB was way too small. You couldnt get rid of the annoying watch icon until about 512K.

Today you get a million times more memory- 128GB flash drive- for a lower price.

Re:128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (1)

aiadot (3055455) | about 10 months ago | (#46057179)

Today you get a million times more memory- 128GB flash drive- for a lower price.

But why? 640KB ought to be enough for everybody.

Re:128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 10 months ago | (#46057385)

Two things.

First The Floppy was 400k, not 384k.
Second, comparing a computer to a flash drive is disingenuous. I can buy a 16 gb flash drive for twenty bucks. A 16 gb sodimm kit would cost me $180, and a computer to go around those memory chips would probably cost a few hundred bucks if I built it myself, and closer to a thousand If I got it from Apple.

Cheaper than an original Mac, at the time, but not dramatically so. Of course, it is orders of magnitude faster, and more capacious.

Re:128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057833)

closer to a thousand If I got it from Apple.
 
MacMini is 600, base price. For what most people do it's more than enough. Don't blame Apple for being lunkheads about how much they feel they need to put under the hood but never use. Then again... we do live in a SUV society.

Re:128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#46057759)

Today you get a million times more memory

Hell, only 5 years after the 128K Mac was released, Apple released the SE/30 which supported up to 128M of memory. A factor of a thousand in 5 years.

Re:128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 10 months ago | (#46058057)

"support" is different from "afford" An installed megabyte was $100 in 1990.

Re:128KB for $2500 ($5700 2014) (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 10 months ago | (#46059403)

Yes. But many years later, I got an SE/30 and maxed out the RAM, just to have finally done it. Fortunately it didn't cost too much on eBay.

CPU speed unnecessarily crippled (1)

mc6809e (214243) | about 10 months ago | (#46057019)

Memory was shared poorly between the CPU and video. Compared to the Amiga and Atari ST, the Mac128K ran very slowly. While the Amiga and ST could overlap CPU memory cycles and video memory cycles running the CPU at nearly full speed, the Mac designers had the CPU waiting every other four CPU cycles to give video time to access memory. The CPU effectively ran just slightly faster than half speed for most codes during pixel display.

It only ran at full speed out of ROM and during video blanking intervals.

Re:CPU speed unnecessarily crippled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46057679)

Yeah, I remember when the Amiga came out, I took a look at it and thought Apple should have said to themselves, "from this day forward, every Mac should be at least as good as the Amiga."

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The Mac II with color didn't arrive until 1987, and it was $5500. It supported a maximum of 256 colors. It couldn't do pre-emptive multitasking unless you ran A/UX (an additional $1000 or so).

In retrospect, while the ideas behind the Mac were advanced, the engineering was not. I recall one hardware engineer researching the classic Mac hardware for Linux 68k and calling the board designs "laughable."

Hipster alert! (1)

KatchooNJ (173554) | about 10 months ago | (#46057817)

That video from the link in the post is like a cavalcade of hipsters!

Story time! Perspective: (4, Interesting)

kheldan (1460303) | about 10 months ago | (#46057949)

I remember the first time I saw a Macintosh. I was in my late teens, very much a young techie, and visiting what few computers stores there were at the time was a treat for me, I'd maybe get an opportunity to play with some of the new, cutting-edge stuff I could only dream about affording. At the time I was using Z80-based systems running CP/M, so there were no fancy bitmapped graphics for me, only a text terminal with ASCII/ANSI character sets. I'd heard about this "Macintosh" thing, and happened upon one, and sat and played with it for a few minutes. I found the "graphical user interface" to be "cute", but somewhat useless. After poking around with it for a few minutes, I thought to myself "well, this graphical thing is cute and clever, but let's get a look under the hood at the real operating system" and attempted to find a way to exit to the command line I expected was underlying this frilly graphical thing on the screen. Imagine my surprise (and to a lesser degree, horror!) when I discovered that this frilly, almost childish-looking graphical thing on the screen was in fact the operating system itself! I shook my head and blinked in disbelief and walked away, disbelieving that anyone could ever do anything useful with such a machine. To this day I've never owned an Apple product, but I guess I do have to admit that they were on to something big with the Mac.

..and no, Mac fans, I am not trolling you, and this is not flame-bait either, this is a true story, so spare me the hate, OK?

Re:Story time! Perspective: (1)

mccalli (323026) | about 10 months ago | (#46058505)

I had the same experience the first time I saw a GUI machine - an Atari ST in a shop. Although I'd read magazines (anyone remember Input magazine in the UK?) about graphical interfaces, I hadn't ever actually used one or seen one for real.

My first thought on seeing it was "how do I get out of this and where's the computer?". I was essentially looking to type load "" somewhere and was baffled that I couldn't do it.

Cheers,
Ian

Favorite computer of all time: PowerBook 540c. (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about 10 months ago | (#46057999)

The Blackbird [wired.com] .

It was chunky by modern standards, but back in 1994 it was elegant and sleek. I still think it looks really good. More importantly, I think the 540c was the best computer for *working on* I've ever had. It had a terrific keyboard, a trackpad whose operation has never been equalled in my opinion, and you could swap out the optical drive for a second battery for a then-astounding four hours of battery life.

The screen was in modern netbook range for size (9.4 inches/24 cm diagonal), and very low resolution (640 x 400), but somehow it was very comfortable to work on for a long time. The entire system had only 4MB of RAM, but the software was built around this and it felt like plenty. About the only thing I didn't like was the proprietary Ethernet transceiver connector, (a) because it was proprietry and (b) because it was garbage. That's it. Everything else was as perfect as the technology of the day could make it.

If I could have a mint 540c with software and a pair of fresh batteries, I'd use it instead of my modern laptop for a lot of things like writing where I had to focus on one thing for a long time, use a keyboard and didn't need a lot of CPU. Alternatively I'd settle for a laptop with a really good keyboard.

"WordPerfect Now Easy to Learn" (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about 10 months ago | (#46058565)

To the left of the actual Mac SE review, there is an ad sporting "WordPerfect is Now Easy to Learn". Ach. Those times.

Re:"WordPerfect Now Easy to Learn" (2)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about 10 months ago | (#46060029)

Wordperfect! (OT trivia ahead!)

I recall a documentary about technology on BBC in the 80's (when the BBC cared about technology) - Wordperfect were touting the fact that they were the first corporation in the world to have a full time call-queue DJ ! The spin they put on it was amazing and all the people interviewed said calling their support was great.

Like MS Office of the now, Wordperfect of the then, had weird odd version numbers for Macs.

Wordstar was thankfully the closest DOS came to Vi ;)
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