Steven Levy spent more than a year talking to past and present Apple executives and employees about the company’s former headquarters at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California. As Levy describes it:
Infinite Loop was the place where Apple’s leaders and engineers pulled off a historic turnaround, and it will always be the source of stories and legends—many of them untold. Until now.
It’s hard to pick among the anecdotes in Levy’s history, but one of my favorites is this from Phil Schiller because it captures the tough choice that had to be made when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and his empathy for customers:
Schiller: We’re like, “Steve! Newton customers are picketing! What do you want to do? They’re angry.” And Steve said, “They have every right to be angry. They love Newton. It’s a great product, and we have to kill it, and that’s not fun, so we have to get them coffee and doughnuts and send it down to them and tell them we love them and we’re sorry and we support them.”
There are fascinating details about Apple’s history in Levy’s piece that you won’t find anywhere else, and he’s done an excellent job weaving them into a cohesive, chronological narrative that shouldn’t be missed.
Every so often, an Apple I comes up for auction. The number still in circulation is small. Even rarer are working Apple Is. Next month, auction house RR Auction will sell a working Apple I that’s been rated 8.5/10. The computer, along with peripherals and the original manual, is expected to fetch around $500,000.
Earlier this summer, I had the good fortune of seeing a working Apple I in person during a trip The Henry Ford Museum with Stephen Hackett who donated his collection of iMac G3s to the museum. In person, it’s hard to grasp that the Apple I’s simple circuit board covered with neatly organized, hand-soldered chips played such a critical early step in the history of personal computing.
More interesting to me than the auction though, is a video that the auction house put together to promote the sale, which dramatically pans around the Apple I’s surface revealing the smallest details. It’s a fantastic close-up of a significant piece of computing history that is far closer than you’ll ever be to one in a museum.
You can learn more about the Apple I in this excellent feature by Communications and Information Technology Curator Kristen Gallerneaux on the Henry Ford Museum’s website.
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.
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.
July 2008 was a very busy time for Apple. It launched the iOS App Store, replaced .Mac with MobileMe and launched it second-ever iPhone: the iPhone 3G.
Last month, we looked at the Power Mac G4 line, a series of computers that defined the professional workstation for OS X users for many years.
In June 2003 — 15 years ago this month — Steve Jobs took the wraps off its successor, the Power Mac G5.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Running the risk of reopening old wounds, let’s look back at this unusual product and its nine year lifespan.