r7y528 at attbi.com
Wed Jun 5 07:57:01 CDT 2002
Apple has had many chances to become the king of operating systems and the
greatest hardware maker around and they have repeatedly thrown it all away.
They had some of the best and brightest, most innovative engineers. They had
so many great ideas and they failed to bring them to fruition.
I worked there, I saw the greatness and the failure.
All that however, is countered by having an interface design and rules of
usage that made all Mac software easy to use. One day at work my boss handed
me an apple digital camera (the old 100 model) and asked me if I could make
I took some pictures, connected to the Mac and showed him his pictures. He
being a Unix and PC guy was amazed that I didn't even have too read the
instructions. I was amazed that anyone would think you'd have to.
That's what made the Mac so great, an easy, simple, once learned, always
known interface. And the rule that if your software didn't adhere to the
rules no one would buy it.
On the other hand Apple made some awful mistakes. They expected a limited
market for the DOS card when they dropped it they were surprised by the
demand, so they made people wait while they made a better model. They
promised purchasers of the IIC a 32 bit clean ROM for the ROM slot, and
never built it. Apple promised a lot, delivered a lot, but kept changing
direction instead of staying focused. Remember "Desktop Mapping"?
As for HyperCard, I used it when it was free, and purchased it when Claris
sold it. But HyperCard needed more and apple didn't want to give it more. If
they had made HyperTalk into a real programming language and a compiler
they could have owned the world.
One of apple's biggest failings is its failure to stick with things when
they aren't an immediate success.
This has nothing to do with revolution, except maybe that Apple started a
revolution, and then threw it all away.
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