The most innovative PC and OS ever is 20 years old today :)
Posted on 2004-01-24 01:25:12 by donkey
What's innovative about it? The OS they made themselves was a joke, so they took someone else's, made a new graphic engine on it and butchered it somewhat. But hey... at least it works now.... :p

"The transition is over!!! We're at 40%!!!" (Steve Jobs at the recent Keynotes) pretty pathetic figures if you ask me and pretty dangerous for their future as well :notsure:
Posted on 2004-01-24 06:17:42 by Hiroshimator

they took someone else's, made a new graphic engine on it and butchered it somewhat.

You mean UNIX.:grin:
Posted on 2004-01-24 07:07:48 by QS_Ong
what unix? :P

MAC OS X is not a UNIX OS :grin: (useless semantics but they haven't passed the tests yet ;) )
Posted on 2004-01-24 07:58:46 by Hiroshimator
A bit of respect please, for the people that invented the concept of personal computers, and userfriendliness.

Ultimately Microsoft and the IBM PC clones may have won the battle, but their roots are here, with the early Apple I/II Personal Computers, and the Apple Lisa/Macintosh, that brought userfriendly computers with graphical interfaces to the people.

If you don't respect Apple, I suppose you're just jealous or ignorant.
Posted on 2004-01-24 08:47:09 by Henk-Jan
Apple did not *invent* that, they were one of the first to implement it on a broad commercial setting but they were not the inventors :)
Posted on 2004-01-24 08:51:32 by Hiroshimator
Apple actually did invent the Personal Computer. There's no denying that.

Whether they invented userfriendliness or not is hard to say, but it was a very important part in their view of what a Personal Computer should be: everyone should be able to afford and USE it. Most other people were still just busy with getting stuff to work at all, they weren't thinking about how other people would be able to use the stuff, so Apple was indeed pioneering in that area aswell, even though there might have been others doing the same.
Posted on 2004-01-24 08:54:58 by Henk-Jan
no, IBM invented the "Personal Computer"

Apple took a UI concept they nicked from Xerox and put it in a box, it was a very nice box at that :)

They (Jobs really) also made the mistake of letting their own products compete directly against each other :/
Posted on 2004-01-24 09:08:32 by Hiroshimator
Completely wrong. IBM's "Personal Computer" was a reaction to the success of the Apple II. IBM was just smart enough to register it as a trademark or something.
The concept however existed years before, in the Apple I and later the Apple II.

As for Apple stealing Xerox' GUI. Not entirely right either.
Apple developed the entire desktop metaphore. Sure Xerox had some raw materials, but Apple made it into an end product, which was far more advanced. If you've actually seen either, you'd know.

Shall I jot you down as 'ignorant' then?
Posted on 2004-01-24 09:47:01 by Henk-Jan
do as you wish, as shall I :)
Posted on 2004-01-24 10:00:40 by Hiroshimator
I remember going to an Apple convention in 1983 - I got one of those cool striped stickers for the car. All the color displays were really something to see. Nothing from the presentations really stuck in my memory, but I do remember leaving very inspired. I learned what a nibble was on an Apple computer.
Posted on 2004-01-24 10:25:04 by bitRAKE
My first experience with a Mac was the 128, way long ago. 128K but with virtual memory. Steve Jobs was a visionary, he brought innovation to the stagnation in OS design of the early 80's. It is always easy to look back 20 years later and say it was an obvious direction to take but it wasn't, it was a new and radical departure from the command line bullshit of MS-DOS and Unix. In reality the ideas behind the Star at PARC were around since the 60's and their influence on the Mac is blown completely out of proportion, Jef Raskin was the driving influence behind the GUI system and he had written papers on it without PARC and while he was still in University, his thesis "Quick-Draw computer systems" was written in the mid -70's. Ofcourse Job's visit to PARC had an influence but it does not diminish the work of the hundreds of programmers and companies that brought GUI to the desktop and designed the first modern Personal computer OS. The Star system was only a platform for delivering fonts, that was all Xerox was interested in, the graphics driven OS was a concept before PARC was even started, the innovation is not only in the idea of a GUI but in its implementation as a viable OS, not some esoteric unworkable research tool.
Posted on 2004-01-24 12:17:34 by donkey
Woz was the real genius if you ask me.
Jobs was more into the comercial side of things.
Posted on 2004-01-24 17:11:19 by bitRAKE
Originally posted by Hiroshimator
they took someone else's, made a new graphic engine on it and butchered it somewhat.

From :

As you may or may not already know, MacOSX is Apple?s newest operating system, due out March 24th, 2001. This operating system is a Mach based BSD UNIX with a pretty Graphical User Interface (GUI), affectionately called Aqua. The combination of the two, Mach BSD and Aqua, lead to the most powerful operating system ever conceived. The UNIX underpinning that is Mach BSD allows for a fast and stable base over which Apple has placed Aqua to help all users interface with this powerful weapon
Posted on 2004-01-25 08:58:45 by QS_Ong
If you ask me, Jobs was the visionary, Woz was the technician that could realize the visions.
I think both Steves are geniuses in their own right, and when they worked together, something special could happen.

On another note, Mac OS X is by no means a new idea. Steve Jobs had left Apple before and started the NeXT computer company. They already made RISC-PCs with a unix-based OS, but with a much better GUI (the main problem of unix-systems really).

NeXT failed... Both the hardware and the software are extinct now.
Be tried the same thing with their PowerPC-based BeBOX and their BeOS. Their hardware didn't work well, so they tried to at least save BeOS by porting it to regular PCs, but this was a commercial failure aswell... Be is now extinct, I believe, although there are others still developing BeOS further.

Anyway, MacOS X is simply NeXT take two, and this time around, they have actually succeeded. They pretty much closed the technical gap between MacOS and Windows, while retaining the Mac's specific GUI system, wellknown for its elegance and userfriendliness.

Whether you consider it as "the next MacOS" or "BSD with a new GUI", it's certainly a big improvement, and it's one of the reasons why Macs are again rising in popularity.
Posted on 2004-01-25 10:29:50 by Henk-Jan
their marketshare has been diminishing each year despite having mac OS X

Windows XP is a very decent home user OS and many people realized and moved on I guess :notsure:
Posted on 2004-01-25 10:51:58 by Hiroshimator

The Alto personal computer becomes operational. As it evolves, the Alto will feature the world's first What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editor, a commercial mouse for input, a graphical user interface (GUI), and bit-mapped display, and will offer menus and icons, link to a local area network and store files simultaneously. The Alto will provide the foundation for Xerox's STAR 8010 Information System.

but PARC was just 'raw materials' right? :) (what's a mere decade in the computing world after all)

Most certainly based on Jef Raskin's thesis (from 1967) but still the first :p
(he's also the one responsible for the dreadful 1-button MAC mouse :grin: )
Posted on 2004-01-25 11:08:43 by Hiroshimator
There have been recent reports of growing marketshare: for example.

Furthermore, the Mac was NOT the first Apple with a GUI, for that you have to look at the Lisa, which was developed in 1979 I believe (not quite a decade, is it?).
But it was too luxurious and too expensive, so the Mac project was started, basically a low-budget version of the Lisa (removing pre-emptive multitasking for example, to make things lighter).

Other than that, look at what you've pasted... Nowhere does it talk about the desktop metaphore.
Mice existed before the PARC project anyway. And WYSIWYG editors are a very obvious application for a GUI. Possibly even one of the main reasons for designing a GUI.
However, these are just 'raw materials' that would later form the desktop-metaphore driven GUIs that we know today. And the Lisa was the first with that. Compare it to STAR, and you will notice the difference. Star looks most like an X server without a window manager, while Lisa already looks like a 'modern' OS.

As for the 1-button Mac mouse... The story I've heard is that Apple actually invited a number of people who had little or no experience with computers, and had them use 1-button and 2-button mice, and timed how long it took for them to work the system.
The 1-button mouse turned out to have the smallest learning-curve, so that is the one they took.
In a way, the 1-button mouse is the symbol of what Apple stands for: computers should be easy to use for everyone.
And you can still use mice with more buttons if you think you really need them, so it's not a very strong point to argue anyway.

So please, try to dig a bit deeper before you judge.
Posted on 2004-01-25 12:24:43 by Henk-Jan
Lisa 1 was released in 1983, the Alto was released in 1973.

About the 1 button-mouse: I just read what the Apple designer himself said about it. :)

That parc had an OS, it had ethernet, used a mouse.... if that's not an influence and one of the first computers as we know it, what is?

here is a little STAR (released in 1981) screenshot

Posted on 2004-01-25 12:58:01 by Hiroshimator
Looks like the Apple mouse designer says nothing that contradicts what I said.

As far as I can find, only the Xerox Star was ever released commercially, in 1981 yes. Everything else was just prototypes.

And while the Star may have had the desktop metaphore, it was released AFTER the Lisa started development (1978 or 1979), and the earlier models did NOT have a desktop metaphore.
Who was actually the first, is hard to tell (one can find early Lisa screenshots on the web, going back to about 1979 which already show desktop metaphores)...
It is however a fact that Apple developed the desktop metaphore without a prior example, and only Apple ever made it a commercial success, Xerox did not (apparently only Apple's version was cheap and/or good enough to actually use).

Besides, now you are saying it's an influence. Ofcourse it was, as I said, they were the 'raw materials' that Apple built their Lisa and Mac on. You used stronger words before, I suppose.

At any rate, Apple and only Apple gave us the PC and GUI that we know and love today (the Xerox stuff was workstation-class).
It is believed that Bill Gates' first encounters with an Apple Lisa is what sparked the development of Windows.
Posted on 2004-01-25 13:14:26 by Henk-Jan