Stephen Hackett

24 posts on MacStories since November 2016

Stephen is the co-founder of Relay FM, where he hosts several podcasts. He also writes the blog 512 Pixels and shares a home office with way too many old Macs. He’s been covering Apple since 2008 and has a dogcow tattoo on his right ankle.

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The iPhone 4S

We are used to a fall release schedule when it comes to iPhones, but that hasn't always been the case. The first four iPhones came out in the summer, usually after being announced at WWDC.

2011's iPhone 4S changed that for good, and in some ways that phone draws parallels to the new iPhone XS. Both are the second generation of a radical new design, and both boast improved cameras, networking, and battery life. That's not to mention how Siri is at the heart of the iOS version they both ship with.

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The History of Aperture

For years, iLife defined the Mac experience, or at the very least, its marketing. An iMac or MacBook wasn't a mere computer; it was a tool for enjoying your music, managing your photos, creating your own songs, editing your home videos, and more.

iLife was brilliant because it was approachable. Programs like iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand were so simple that anyone could just open them from the Dock and get started creating.1

Of course, not everyone's needs were met by the iLife applications. iMovie users could upgrade to Final Cut, while Logic was there waiting for GarageBand users. And for those needing more than what iPhoto could provide, Apple offered Aperture.

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10 Years of App Store: A Timeline of Changes

It's hard to remember using an iPhone before the App Store. However, for the first year, the iPhone could only run the handful of apps that Apple created for it. Anything else required using mobile web apps in Safari.1

On March 6, 2008, just nine months after the original iPhone went on sale, Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall announced that Apple would ship an SDK for third-party developers to write applications that could run natively on the iPhone, without the clumsiness inherent in web apps.

After Forstall took some time going through the details of the SDK, Steve Jobs came back on stage to answer a question that had no doubt been circulating the room:

How do you distribute software on a device like the iPhone?

The answer was an App Store.

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The Power Mac G4 Line

The tower form factor may be a thing of the past, at least until the new Mac Pro shows up next year, but for years, if you needed the most powerful and flexible machine money could buy, the Power Mac was the only way to go.

For almost five years, the heart of the Power Mac was the PowerPC G4 chip. Starting in 1999 it clocked at just 350 MHz, but by the time the Power Mac G4 line was retired, a tower with dual 1.42 GHz CPUs could be ordered. In that time frame, things like Gigabit Ethernet, SuperDrives, and Wi-Fi became mainstream.

The Power Mac G4 came in three distinct cases over the years it was available. Each style of machine saw several revisions while in service, bringing the total number of models to 10. That's a lot of computers to cover, so let's get started.

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The Power Macintosh G3 All-in-One: Function Over Form

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the iMac, the all-in-one that saved Apple and radically changed the consumer technology landscape.

Any nerd in their 20s or 30s probably remembers seeing one those colorful, curvy iMacs in school growing up. Their friendly design and relatively low cost – for a 90s Mac, at least – made them a staple in education for years.

I certainly saw and used my fair share of them in middle and high school, but I also got to experience the iMac G3's weird older sibling, the Power Macintosh G3 All-in-One.

Yeah, the one that looks kind of like a big tooth.

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The Initial iPhone SDK

None of these apps were built by third party developers.

None of these apps were built by third party developers.

As noted by Craig Hockenberry, it has been a full decade since Apple shipped the first version of the iPhone SDK to developers.

It's hard to remember today that, in the beginning, the iPhone didn't have third-party apps. It came with a handful of built-in apps written by Apple for things like checking stocks and the weather, jotting down quick notes, making calendar events and reviewing contact information.

These apps were, for the most part, self-contained. The rich environment we enjoy on iOS today where apps can share lots of data with each other just wasn't present in 2007.

The outlier in this paradigm was Safari, which put the Internet — or at least the parts that didn't require Flash — in the palm of our hands.

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A History of the Xserve: Apple’s One Rack Wonder

Within the next few months, macOS Server as we know it today will be going away, with many of its services being deprecated. Things like hosting calendars, contacts, email and wikis are going away as Apple focuses the product on "management of computers, devices, and storage on your network."

This shouldn't come as a surprise. macOS Server has been languishing for years, with many of its most common features being integrated into the mainstream version of macOS.

For fans of macOS Server, this just another in a long string of disappointments over the years. But none of them were as big as the cancellation of the Xserve, Apple's rack-mountable 1U server, back in January 2011.

Remember this thing? Not many do.

Remember this thing? Not many do.

Running the risk of reopening old wounds, let's look back at this unusual product and its nine year lifespan.

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