Tag Archives: Newton

Jef Raskin did NOT like Steve Jobs

Note: I’ve been meaning to blog about this since I came across it last month, but haven’t had the time…

Normally, this kind of thing doesn’t grab my attention, as I have little interest in anything related to Steve Jobs or the Macintosh, but this caught my eye.  For those who don’t know – likely anyone who is unaware (or has forgotten) that Apple made computers before Macintosh (David Pogue, I’m looking in your direction) – Jef Raskin gave birth to what would eventually become the Macintosh long before Jobs had anything to do with the project.  Woz designed the Apple II.  Dr. Wendell Sander and Dan Kottke designed the Apple III.  Other companies designed the iPod and its interface.  And that pretty much sums up Jobs and his responsibilities at Apple.  At least according to Jef Raskin, who didn’t have too many kind things to say about the Apple co-founder.

If you’re unfamiliar with the pre-Macintosh history of Apple Computer and the days leading up to the introduction of the computer for the rest of us, take a minute and read through Steve Weyhrich’s excellent narrative history of Apple here.  You see, Apple, Inc.’s revisionist history gives all the credit to Jobs for bring Macintosh to market but the reality is, Raskin had already done much of the design groundwork and the project was well under way when Jobs forced his way on to the team (and subsequently forced Raskin out the door when the two disagreed over design ideas).  Jobs had little to do with the design of the Apple-1 or Apple II – that was Woz – and his legacy for the Apple III, Apple’s first attempt at at business machine, was to design a case that caused overheating and other problems which contributed to the ultimate failure of the machine.

So other than the Reality Distortion Field – which admittedly, has done wonders to nurse Apple back to health in the 13 years since his return – has Jobs really done that much for Apple?  Well, he did kill several underperforming, money draining projects and streamline Apple’s production systems.  And he has a knack for hiring smart people who do know a thing or two about design.  But when it comes to the true design genius at Apple?  Probably not as much as Jobs would like you to think…

Newton, Franklin, Macintosh

It’ been a while since I’ve checked in here, and I’m sure the two of you who still bother to stop by here now and then are beginning to wonder if this blog would ever be updated again.  Good news!

Today, I dug the Newton eMate 300 out of storage with a mind to upgrade the battery and apply the 2010 patch.  I was able to locate the eMate itself, but the box containing the AC adapter, manuals and accessories seems to have gone into hiding.  So, I’m left with a dead eMate and a PCMCIA modem without a dongle.  It looks like the AC adapter can be had on eBay for a few dollars, though for the same $35, I can get an entire system and accessories.  In fact, there’s quite a glut of eMates on eBay at the moment.  In the meantime though, my Newton ambitions are on hold.

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In other news, I was given a couple of vintage computers this weekend – one more related to this blog than the other.  Up first, we have a Macintosh Classic from 1991.

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It’s dirty and didn’t come with a keyboard or mouse; the letters “HD” are written on the top in black marker, leading me to believe this is the higher end model with the hard drive and extra memory.  The AppleSerialNumberInfo website didn’t recognize this number and Chipmunk.nl identified it as an iPhone 3GS (I wish), so I don’t really know much about it.  I’m not much of a Mac collector, so short of powering it up once or twice and poking around a bit, I doubt I’ll do anything with this.  Maybe someone at KansasFest 2010 would enjoy it more than me.

The other item, a Franklin Ace 2100, is of much more interest.

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For those unfamiliar, Franklin was a computer company  in the 1980’s that specialized in cloning Apple II computers.  They were so good at it, in fact, that Apple sued them and eventually won, bringing an end to the line of clones and setting an early precedent for copyright infringement in the young computer industry.  Interestingly, Franklin Electronic Publishers continues to operate, though these days they’re not in the PC industry any more.  The 2100 is part of the 2000 line of Apple IIe clones, and it seems likely that one of the reasons Apple went after Franklin is that these machines were consistently better than Apple’s.  This one, for example, came with 384K of RAM, a 65CS02 processor and an RGB interface out of the box, all expensive add on options if you went with Apple’s offering.  I didn’t get the monitor with this one, but it looks like I can use a standard composite monitor.

And finally, for my remaining Apple /// fan, I haven’t entirely abandoned my efforts there.  The ProFile directory structure is still corrupt and I’ve instead turned my attention to getting the CFFA 2.0 up and running.  I’ve gone as far as installing the card and partitioning it (I think), but I’ve stalled at selecting which OS and program launcher to use.  BOS?  SOS? Catalyst?

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