In your recent interview with The Mac Show Live, regarding the anniversary
of the IBM PC, you stated that "every computer is a Macintosh".
What is Apple's role in the anniversary of the PC? This was about one
product. I certainly wasn't seeing the anniversary of the PC as the anniversaries
of revolutionary home computing. I just don't understand how you see every
PC as a Macintosh. The modern Intel based personal calmer represents a
lot of innovation completely separate from Apple's work (And some derivative,
yes). The Macintosh contributed to the revolution, but that statement
is ridiculous. Macs are a far cry from perfect, and not the ideal for
many people, computer designers included.
As a whole the interview was very inspiring, and I'm glad to have heard
Actually, the comment about every PC being a Macintosh was very accurate.
I'm not sure where you were, but the PC - Macintosh differences until
1991-1993 were like night and day. The PC was command line based and the
Macintosh had a GUI, with windows, menus, buttons, mouses, etc. PC users
decried the GUI as a toy, not a serious computing platform. The PC had
greater market share, but didn't stay on this separate platform path.
The transition to a GUI, and eventually to one close to a Macintosh, was
a far greater step than refinements since. Some of these are just simple
alternatives, which can't be over-valued due to increasing the complexity
of having less consistency in how things are done. Others of these are
more akin to rearranging the furniture. The great change was in becoming
a modern GUI machine. In that sense, virtually every machine is a 'Macintosh'
I do agree with your comments about Macintosh being far from perfect.
They are even further than they once were from it. Also, PC's did indeed
innovate, and sometimes in very good ways. So did the Macintosh. So would
any machine have. I'm not claiming otherwise in this regard.
My name is Pete Maddux-I'm a special ed social studies teacher at a
Lincoln, Nebraska H.S. I have a question about CD-Roms that I try to buy
for my classes. I am frustrated because many of my classes have students
with a very wide-range of abilities. I am finding that CD-Roms are either
made for the general education classroom or are at a very low level. Do
you know of anybody that produces CD-Roms in which the teacher can either
use the text provided or override the text and write in information tailored
to the specific needs of their students?
I never thought about this and I don't know if it exists.
If not, it's a good idea for the future.
If teachers could get involved in this way (and writing their own test
questions too) then computers in the classroom would be closer to what
we intended 20 years ago. By providing a tool for the teacher to provide
content easily, the teacher is more motivated and feels like a master
of the software, rather than a slave. The basic curriculum would still
be supplied so that the teacher would only have to enhance it where appropriate.
I am a 16 year old student from the south east of england and I've
chose to find out some stuff about u. May you send me some information
how you became successful. many thanks,
I started working on science fair projects involving electronics when
I was quite young. My father was an electrical engineer. I got my first
ham radio license when I was 10 years old, in 6th grade. By then I had
learned about logic and gates from articles that I stumbled on in my home.
I built a tic-tac-toe playing machine with transistors and diodes and
resistors, nailed into a 3-foot by 4-foot piece of plywood. By 8th grade
I built an adder/subtractor with transistors and diodes. By 9th grade
I learned how computers work by doing simple things, one after another.
I learned this from a science fair project that I saw, not from any friend
or from any book. i was totally self taught in this area all my life.
In high school I started designing computers. I found ways to get computer
manuals that described the inner structure of computers. I had chip manuals
from my father. We lived in Santa Clara Valley, now called Silicon Valley,
and my father had major contacts in the local transistor, and later chip,
I could never get the parts to build one of my computer designs. My father
didn't know what I did. I did it totally alone. My teachers and friends
did not know that I designed computers. I got in the habit of watching
for new chips every few months and trying to redo my computer designs
using fewer and fewer chips. I developed a lot of 'tricks' to save chips.
I was competing with myself, trying to use fewer chips than I had ever
used before. I came up with so many tricks, competing with myself, that
I had a talent in this area. I knew that someday I wanted to own a 4K
minicomputer. If it cost as much as a house, I'd live in an apartment.
That's what I told my dad.
After 3 years of college I got a job as an engineer designing calculators
for Hewlett Packard. I lost my contact with computers, and didn't see
the growth of microprocessors, from the first 4-bit one. But I kept busy
with electronics projects of my own. I designed some of the first hotel
movie systems, home pinball games, early VCR circuits, arcade games (including
Breakout for Atari). One day I saw a friend using a teletype to access
computers all over the country, using the forerunner of the internet,
known as the ARPAnet. So I built a home terminal to use my TV, the only
free output device I had. I had no spare money to speak of.
A friend came by and told me of a meeting for people that had terminals
and things. I thought that it was a great chance to show off my clever
terminal design. This meeting of the HomeBrew Computer Club, the first
such club in the world, was actually to discuss microprocessors. There
was a low-cost kit that you could buy called the Altair 8800. I was embarrassed
because I knew nothing of this. But I took home a microprocessor data
sheet and discovered that they were very similar to minicomputers. This
was a world that I had been very good in, back in school days.
I couldn't afford an Intel microprocessor, but a company introduced one
for $20. I bought it and built my first computer, using my own terminal
for input and output. It was the first time anyone used a normal typewriter
style keyboard instead of technical front panels full of switches and
lights. But I saw that this was actually cheaper and used a ton fewer
chips. The $60 keyboard was my most expensive purchase.
I started getting a following at the computer club, but I was too shy
to talk. I would only show off things and answer questions. I passed out
schematics and helped people build their own. Steve Jobs suggested making
a PC board for $20 and selling it for $40 to help people overcome the
time problem of constructing their own computers. I agreed, and we formed
I could tell that the BASIC language was the key to people getting use
out of these new computers. I'd never programmed in BASIC, but I decided
to write my own version of it. I'd never had courses in writing languages,
but I'd thought a lot about it over the years. So I studied a BASIC manual
and wrote my language. This took much more of my time that even designing
Right away I started trying to add color to this Apple I computer, based
on ideas that had popped into my head while working at Atari late one
night. I started condensing parts. I always looked for ways to use fewer
chips. The Apple ][ turned out 10 times as good and half as many chips
in the end. It was the first low cost computer ever to offer color, paddles,
sound, BASIC in ROM (working when you turned it on), dynami RAMs (low
cost), graphics, hi-res graphics, graphic commands in BASIC, and much
That product moved into first place. It was the first computer that you
could use right out of the box, without constructing it or following complicated
technical steps to do things. Soon thereafter Commodore and Radio Shack
had computers for sale too. But the Apple ][ was hugely expandable and
the others weren't. A year later the first spreadsheet program got written.
It had to be done for the Apple ][ because only ours had enough RAM. We
also developed the floppy disk (I did this one) and our competitors didn't
have enough RAM for an OS, or slots to expand their computers in this
way. So we took over the world and became very successful.