Do You Remember?

Do You Remember

So, I blogged about life in Mac BU, and href="">Scoble picked
up on it. It’s always interesting when this happens, because some of the
comments from Scoble’s readers can be a bit amusing. For example, Robert noted
Microsoft’s early investment in the Macintosh platform, and one of his readers
questioned when that investment ever happened. I don’t know. Maybe he thinks
that creating software doesn’t cost anything.

Anyway, it got me thinking about that original software investment and how
it all started, and I thought, “Hm… I wonder if anyone remembers the Software
Dating Game.” For those who don’t know or don’t remember, the first Apple
sales meeting for the Macintosh featured a spoof on the old Dating Game with
Steve Jobs asking questions on behalf of the new lady, Macintosh, of three
potential suitors in the form of executives of different software companies.
The problem is, I could only remember Bill Gates and Mitch Kapor as two of the
suitors, but I couldn’t remember the third (or even the company he
represented). So, I did a little googling, and ran into href="">this—gads,
do they look young! Ah, yes. Fred Gibbons. Software Publishing Corp.
Harvard Graphics. How could I forget?

By the way, the ToastDesign site has quite a few items to facilitate a nice
little trip down memory lane. I like href="">this one. Check out the
two pictures on the top of the right-most column. Remember the “Portable” Mac?
I think about that, and then think about the 15” PowerBook G4 that’s sitting
on my lap as I type this, and I can’t help but marvel at the operation of
Moore’s Law.

Of course, some of the memories are not so pleasant: remote debugging using
a PC connected to the Mac via SCSI interface (shudder). But, it’s still good
to remember how far you’ve come even if there were a few folks who didn’t quite
figure out how to come along for the ride.



Comments (6)

  1. Channel9 just interviewed Anders Hejlsberg and he told us that it was impossible to develop on the first Macs (he and his team wrote TurboPascal for the Mac while he was at Borland). They ended up buying a Sun machine and building TurboPascal for Unix, which they then ported over to the Mac. Never released the Unix version, either.

  2. Rick Schaut says:

    It was before my time, but I understand that the original Microsoft development for the Mac was done using cross-compilers on a PDP 11. Partly due to inertia and partly due to the support for p-code, we were still using a cross-compiler as of Mac Office 98. Mac Office 2001 was the first to be built using a development system actually hosted on the Mac.

  3. Most of the first Microsoft Macintosh apps were developed on Sun Workstations running at 1 or 2 Mhz. The pcode compilers and interpreters that ran on those machines were developed on Microsoft’s big Decsystem machine, which was a PDP-11 decendent. The Unix variant that Microsoft developed and sold, XENIX, ran on all of those machines and they were connected via Ethernet. The different development machines were all named after Muppet characters.

    The original Mac development for Mac Word was done on a Sun Workstation whose system name was "Waldorf". I remember having to telnet momementarily over to the "Ernie", "Bert", and "Snuffie" machines to look at code that was being written by some of the other Mac groups (Multiplan, Chart, Excel and File). I think I remember that the Decsystem was called "Big Bird".

  4. While reading Rick’s blog, I came across a link to some photos about the ">early 1984 Apple Macintosh introduction. Check out this screenshot of MacPaint. It’s interesting to see that MacPaint was featuring 6 menus. Six. Two of them are…

  5. _Remember_ Mac Portable? Buddy, I still _have_ one! 🙂

    Man I loved that thing, I I could carry it in the saddlebag on my Harley, it was a lot better than the 512Ke+ I used to strap in on the pillon (the seat on a bike behind the rider, for you non-cyclists). Mind you, the 512Ke+ got better horrified looks on the road. 🙂

    Moore’s law? The _battery_ on the portable weighs more than the entire 12" PowerBook G4 I carry now. 🙂

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