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iPhone Patent Wars: Xerox PARC & the Apple, Inc. Macintosh: innovator, duplicator & litigator - Page 3

post #81 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

"Jobs invited Bill Gates of Microsoft (then struggling to enter the market for business programs on its own DOS platform) to become a new developer of Mac office applications"

 

"Gates also realized the potential for selling Apple's Macintosh user interface on IBM's PC hardware."

 

"Neither Xerox nor Apple had patented any novel aspects of the Alto, Star or Macintosh because nobody foresaw the need to patent anything within the new field of graphical user interfaces in personal computing."

 

"Microsoft's Windows 2.0 appropriated much of the functionality of the Macintosh, introducing only trivial changes like renaming the trash can and locating the menu bar within windows"

 

"in 1985 Gates had secured a licensing contract with Apple's chief executive John Scully to use some Macintosh concepts"

 

"By late 1995, Microsoft was ready with Windows 95 (above), a new version of DOS hosting a graphical user environment that copied the Mac's look, feel, gestures, behaviors, keyboard shortcuts, terminology and even its human interface guidelines so closely that few people were even aware that virtually none of it actually originated at Microsoft."

 

 

Well, there were a couple of innovations.
For starters, it worked on literally thousands of models of computers, with various screen sizes and resolutions, with different memory management systems, ... 

post #82 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

The author's claim is that "while popular legend says that Apple simply got its Macintosh ideas from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center after seeing the group's advanced technology in 1979, this 
isn't the case
."  But Dilger's primary source, Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley CONTRADICTS everything he just spewed out.  The folks who started and influenced Apple's Macintosh project were PARC insiders!  So it is necessarily the case that Apple got its Macintosh ideas from PARC -- and Apple improved upon their innovation as some might argue.

The sources have mixed messages. Jef Raskin suggests he worked on the graphics-based Macintosh separate from Jobs who was on the Lisa team (which was terminal-based) and he convinced Jobs to go to Xerox to see an example of the kind of thing he was working on (GUI) and that example was the Xerox Star:



Raskin said he didn't have a formal relationship with PARC. He did note that the Lisa, which Jobs was working on stole things from the Xerox Star:

"The fact was that the Macintosh project was officially started-- it had really been started in 1978-- it was approved and was a going project before that visit took place. So it's chronologically not possible for that visit to have sparked the Macintosh. I have read over and over that that visit is what started the Macintosh project, that Jobs saw it and said, "There shall be Macintosh." But no, the Macintosh project was already in existence. Actually, I had worked with Bill Atkinson and some other people because I was on the outs with Jobs by then, and Bill Atkinson was on his wonderful list; so I had finagled things to get Jobs to PARC so he could begin to understand what I was trying to do.

Most people don't know also that the Lisa machine in those early days-- this was 1979-- was a character-generator, green-screen machine; it didn't have a bitmapped screen, it was not Macintosh-like. That all came from the Macintosh project to the Lisa. I went over then to Ken Rothmuller, and I was telling him why this was a dumb thing you're doing, that the future is in bit-mapped screens, and take a look at what we're doing on the Macintosh project. But it was Lisa that got all the funding, and Jobs behind it, and two hundred engineers, and cost $15,000, and my little project with just a handful of people was doing the right thing.

But the basic idea of a graphics-based, user interface-oriented machine for Lisa came from the Macintosh project. The only book I've ever seen that mentions that is Owen Linzmeyer's Apple Confidential. Everyone else has gotten it wrong: they say that the Macintosh was a downsized Lisa, when really the Lisa was an upsized Macintosh. Exactly backwards.

ORCHESTRATING JOBS' VISIT

Pang: One thing that's been said about Jobs' visit to PARC-- which was one of several that Apple people made to PARC-- was that it was necessary to get him to understand the importance of this technology, and that it mainly served a political purpose.

Raskin: That was my intent, yes. There were other things going on that I didn't know about. The deal between Apple and Xerox over stock, I didn't know about any of that at the time. And I don't know if that was after the visit, or before it, or in conjunction with it, I have no first-hand knowledge. But apparently other things were grinding away. And of course the Macintosh project was killed several times, and it was usually Jobs who was killing it, because he didn't understand it; I figured if he understood it, and could see something like it, before we were ready to show anything, that he would be more sympathetic. And I think that became true. He decided to take the Lisa project and try to do it there.

Now, the Lisa was very Star-like; the Lisa stole things from Star right and left-- it stole people, it stole ideas, even stole the font names, exactly. I didn't like that, and I thought we could do better. Certainly the Macintosh benefited from Lisa development; later on, Lisa software came over to Macintosh, and Macintosh software went over to Lisa. And there was cross-pollination, which was fine. But the Lisa was very Star-like. And the Macintosh also inherited things which to this day I don't think are very good interface ideas. But that's what happens when you don't have someone who has their own ideas, and has to borrow a lot.
"

http://www-sul.stanford.edu/mac/primary/interviews/raskin/parc.html

The Lisa and Mac teams were competing so accounts are going to be a little biased. There are some more references here:

http://www.mackido.com/Interface/ui_history.html
http://www.mackido.com/Interface/ui_horn1.html

The second link from Bruce Horn who came from Xerox says:

"the difference between the Xerox system architectures and Macintosh architecture is huge; much bigger than the difference between the Mac and Windows. It's not surprising, since Microsoft saw quite a bit of the Macintosh design (API's, sample code, etc.) during the Mac's development from 1981 to 1984; the intention was to help them write applications for the Mac, and it also gave their system designers a template from which to design Windows. In contrast, the Mac and Lisa designers had to invent their own architectures. Of course, there were some ex- Xerox people in the Lisa and Mac groups, but the design point for these machines was so different that we didn't leverage our knowledge of the Xerox systems as much as some people think."

The concept of using a GUI and a mouse clearly didn't originate at Apple as that dates back to the 60s but they had to develop their own architectures because they didn't get code or hardware from Xerox.

There are a few common points people make including:

- Apple stole things and doesn't like it when people steal from them
- Apple hasn't really invented anything

The reason those things are said is to try to damage what Apple's brand represents. If someone like Bruce Horn worked at Apple and Xerox, some people are happier to attribute the innovation to the Xerox brand than to Apple even if Bruce Horn innovated while working for Apple. One problem here is separating companies from people. The people are innovating, not the brands but while those people are employed at a particular company and on a particular project, that innovation has to be regarded as a team effort under the brand they are associated with.

If the people who worked at Apple on this said their work was unique to Apple then it's not for outsiders to say otherwise. The Apple brand is just a symbol but the people most closely associated with it are innovative people and they have earned that label. If those people leave, the brand retains that association and some might see that as inappropriate but when you trace through history all of the big changes that have driven the direction of technology, a large number are due to Apple's influence and will be different teams of people. Some feel more comfortable calling that influence marketing or repackaging external or prior concepts but the agenda of dismissing or minimizing Apple's role by using those descriptions is unjustified.

When it comes to the later issues of Microsoft, Samsung etc stealing from Apple, how different would Android running on a Galaxy S compared to the iPhone differ from the Apple Lisa compared to the Xerox Star? It looks like the situations have a few common elements. The Xerox Star went to market first as did the iPhone. The UIs looked and behaved much the same way. Xerox even sued them for copying the 'look and feel':

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/15/business/company-news-xerox-sues-apple-computer-over-macintosh-copyright.html

Apple's response was:

"The Xerox complaint seems to confuse the distinction between ideas and expression; copyright protects expression, not ideas,'' said Stacey Byrnes, an Apple spokeswoman. ''Apple intends to prove in court that the audio-visual expressions in the Lisa and Macintosh interfaces were wholly original to Apple and duly registered with the copyright office.''

They said Xerox's case was weakened by waiting too long and potentially not copyrighting it:

"Ronald S. Laurie, a copyright lawyer with Irell & Minella in Menlo Park, Calif., said Xerox's claim could be weakened because of the long delay in filing suit, some five years after the introduction of the Macintosh. ''There's a legal doctrine that you can't just sit around while someone's infringing your rights and not complain,'' he said.

In addition, he said, Xerox is ''going to have to show that when Star interface was published in 1981 there was a copyright notice published with it,''

''I don't know if it was published without notice,'' he said, ''but I'll bet it was; in those days nobody put c's in a circle on computer screens.''

Litigation always seems to be about where people draw the line. The people from Xerox who worked on the Mac say some things were stolen, some things were unique. Some from Xerox who didn't work on the Mac obviously thought it was stolen. Everybody has a different perspective. A line has to be drawn somewhere though. Where Apple now chooses to draw their line is viewed as hypocritical in light of what happened years ago but there are some important distinctions and I think Apple is aware of what they are and litigates accordingly.

Android certainly ripped off a lot of the look and feel of iOS a couple of years after the iPhone:

http://www.geek.com/android/top-10-features-youll-love-about-android-15-768061/

"Some of the features are simply catchup of the iPhone’s"

but they did at least have their own Java-like software architecture. Samsung however went out of their way to copy Apple's hardware designs. Every design iteration, the Galaxy S, S2 and Tab, they tried to get as close as possible to the whole package of Apple's products. They copied peripherals, boxes, marketing, store layouts. Apple didn't do that to any other company and certainly didn't feed off the success of others. Xerox failed in bringing their developments to market. The Macintosh was the successful product and didn't take away revenue from Xerox. If the Macintosh had never existed, the Xerox Star would still have failed and we very well may not have had the personal computers we have now. If the iPhone had not existed, Samsung would not be where they are now.

I regard Apple as an innovator because they haven't just changed the entire direction of technology once. You don't just do that with marketing and have nothing to back it up. You can't do it if you don't have anything that's unique. Whether those changes originated internally or externally as I say is complicated as you are talking about people who come and go from the company. Tony Fadell was external and was brought in to do the iPod and it's associated with Apple. People who want to damage the Apple brand might say they bought the iPod and Apple isn't the innovator but Fadell built the iPod with a team while he was at Apple.

Describing the Apple brand (or any brand for that matter) in any anthropomorphic way (innovative, arrogant, lazy, greedy etc) doesn't really mean anything but it's used to describe a perceived culture that represents the people that work there as a collective. Apple has a culture of innovation and they have delivered unique products that have changed the technology sector many times. Of the innovative people who delivered those, some have come from outside, have innovated internally, some have left. This is the case with most companies. Google bought Android Inc in 2005 but people associate Android with Google because they have teams of people who worked on it under their brand to bring it to market.

If people prefer to whittle every innovation back down to a well-defined origin, most will probably end up in some back-office or bedroom with an individual or small team going by some unknown company name and what would be the goal of that? Ideally people wouldn't anthropomorphisize companies at all and ideas would all be logged against the individuals or teams that conceived them but people don't have time for that and it's easier to use brands.
post #83 of 100
Awesome article DED. Another great read while out on the patio with a beer and ipad.

Loving life right now.
post #84 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Command_F View Post

Good article, I enjoyed it.

 

We do, however, all rewrite history. Apple did enter a "late 80s partnership with Olivetti (the Italian owner of British PC maker Acorn) that culminated in plans to jointly develop a new mobile processor architecture capable of powering Sculley's pet project: the Newton Message Pad". The alliance didn't create the ARM architecture though, that already existed within Acorn and was used in the Archimedes desktop computer. Indeed, ARM - Advanced RISC Machine - was the new meaning of the acronym originally created as Acorn RISC Machine.

 

I grew up with Acorn Computers, starting learning to code in BBC BASIC on an Acorn Electron when I was 9 and then progressing through the ubiquitous BBC B and then an Archimedes A3010 (with it's ARM250 CPU) which seemed so much more refined when compared to Windows of the day (3.0 at that point?).

 

One of my housemates at university had an Acorn RISC PC and I was so envious! That was an awesome machine.... 

post #85 of 100

I worked at Xerox PARC and Xerox OSD (where Star was built) 1980-1984. I'll just say that the PARC, Alto, and Star parts of this article contain a number of factual errors, oversimplifications, minimizations, and misinterpretations, some repeated from other secondary sources. For more accurate info see the relevant Wikipedia articles and http://www.digibarn.com/friends/curbow/star/index.html and other pages on that site. The videos on digibarn.com are unfortunately dead links, but some are on Youtube. Here's a video demonstration of Star, recorded in 1982: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn4vC80Pv6Q (already cited previously in the comment thread).

 

The Star screenshot is inaccurate: it is a mashup has been floating around for several years of an actual Star screen image mixed with an image from my PhD thesis. I developed a partial simulation of Star for research purposes and simplified the UI a bit.

post #86 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The sources have mixed messages. Jef Raskin suggests he worked on the graphics-based Macintosh separate from Jobs who was on the Lisa team (which was terminal-based) and he convinced Jobs to go to Xerox to see an example of the kind of thing he was working on (GUI) and that example was the Xerox Star:




Raskin said he didn't have a formal relationship with PARC. He did note that the Lisa, which Jobs was working on stole things from the Xerox Star:

"The fact was that the Macintosh project was officially started-- it had really been started in 1978-- it was approved and was a going project before that visit took place. So it's chronologically not possible for that visit to have sparked the Macintosh. I have read over and over that that visit is what started the Macintosh project, that Jobs saw it and said, "There shall be Macintosh." But no, the Macintosh project was already in existence. Actually, I had worked with Bill Atkinson and some other people because I was on the outs with Jobs by then, and Bill Atkinson was on his wonderful list; so I had finagled things to get Jobs to PARC so he could begin to understand what I was trying to do.

Most people don't know also that the Lisa machine in those early days-- this was 1979-- was a character-generator, green-screen machine; it didn't have a bitmapped screen, it was not Macintosh-like. That all came from the Macintosh project to the Lisa. I went over then to Ken Rothmuller, and I was telling him why this was a dumb thing you're doing, that the future is in bit-mapped screens, and take a look at what we're doing on the Macintosh project. But it was Lisa that got all the funding, and Jobs behind it, and two hundred engineers, and cost $15,000, and my little project with just a handful of people was doing the right thing.

But the basic idea of a graphics-based, user interface-oriented machine for Lisa came from the Macintosh project. The only book I've ever seen that mentions that is Owen Linzmeyer's Apple Confidential. Everyone else has gotten it wrong: they say that the Macintosh was a downsized Lisa, when really the Lisa was an upsized Macintosh. Exactly backwards.

ORCHESTRATING JOBS' VISIT

Pang: One thing that's been said about Jobs' visit to PARC-- which was one of several that Apple people made to PARC-- was that it was necessary to get him to understand the importance of this technology, and that it mainly served a political purpose.

Raskin: That was my intent, yes. There were other things going on that I didn't know about. The deal between Apple and Xerox over stock, I didn't know about any of that at the time. And I don't know if that was after the visit, or before it, or in conjunction with it, I have no first-hand knowledge. But apparently other things were grinding away. And of course the Macintosh project was killed several times, and it was usually Jobs who was killing it, because he didn't understand it; I figured if he understood it, and could see something like it, before we were ready to show anything, that he would be more sympathetic. And I think that became true. He decided to take the Lisa project and try to do it there.

Now, the Lisa was very Star-like; the Lisa stole things from Star right and left-- it stole people, it stole ideas, even stole the font names, exactly. I didn't like that, and I thought we could do better. Certainly the Macintosh benefited from Lisa development; later on, Lisa software came over to Macintosh, and Macintosh software went over to Lisa. And there was cross-pollination, which was fine. But the Lisa was very Star-like. And the Macintosh also inherited things which to this day I don't think are very good interface ideas. But that's what happens when you don't have someone who has their own ideas, and has to borrow a lot.
"

http://www-sul.stanford.edu/mac/primary/interviews/raskin/parc.html

The Lisa and Mac teams were competing so accounts are going to be a little biased. There are some more references here:

http://www.mackido.com/Interface/ui_history.html
http://www.mackido.com/Interface/ui_horn1.html

The second link from Bruce Horn who came from Xerox says:

"the difference between the Xerox system architectures and Macintosh architecture is huge; much bigger than the difference between the Mac and Windows. It's not surprising, since Microsoft saw quite a bit of the Macintosh design (API's, sample code, etc.) during the Mac's development from 1981 to 1984; the intention was to help them write applications for the Mac, and it also gave their system designers a template from which to design Windows. In contrast, the Mac and Lisa designers had to invent their own architectures. Of course, there were some ex- Xerox people in the Lisa and Mac groups, but the design point for these machines was so different that we didn't leverage our knowledge of the Xerox systems as much as some people think."

The concept of using a GUI and a mouse clearly didn't originate at Apple as that dates back to the 60s but they had to develop their own architectures because they didn't get code or hardware from Xerox.

There are a few common points people make including:

- Apple stole things and doesn't like it when people steal from them
- Apple hasn't really invented anything

The reason those things are said is to try to damage what Apple's brand represents. If someone like Bruce Horn worked at Apple and Xerox, some people are happier to attribute the innovation to the Xerox brand than to Apple even if Bruce Horn innovated while working for Apple. One problem here is separating companies from people. The people are innovating, not the brands but while those people are employed at a particular company and on a particular project, that innovation has to be regarded as a team effort under the brand they are associated with.

If the people who worked at Apple on this said their work was unique to Apple then it's not for outsiders to say otherwise. The Apple brand is just a symbol but the people most closely associated with it are innovative people and they have earned that label. If those people leave, the brand retains that association and some might see that as inappropriate but when you trace through history all of the big changes that have driven the direction of technology, a large number are due to Apple's influence and will be different teams of people. Some feel more comfortable calling that influence marketing or repackaging external or prior concepts but the agenda of dismissing or minimizing Apple's role by using those descriptions is unjustified.

When it comes to the later issues of Microsoft, Samsung etc stealing from Apple, how different would Android running on a Galaxy S compared to the iPhone differ from the Apple Lisa compared to the Xerox Star? It looks like the situations have a few common elements. The Xerox Star went to market first as did the iPhone. The UIs looked and behaved much the same way. Xerox even sued them for copying the 'look and feel':

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/15/business/company-news-xerox-sues-apple-computer-over-macintosh-copyright.html

Apple's response was:

"The Xerox complaint seems to confuse the distinction between ideas and expression; copyright protects expression, not ideas,'' said Stacey Byrnes, an Apple spokeswoman. ''Apple intends to prove in court that the audio-visual expressions in the Lisa and Macintosh interfaces were wholly original to Apple and duly registered with the copyright office.''

They said Xerox's case was weakened by waiting too long and potentially not copyrighting it:

"Ronald S. Laurie, a copyright lawyer with Irell & Minella in Menlo Park, Calif., said Xerox's claim could be weakened because of the long delay in filing suit, some five years after the introduction of the Macintosh. ''There's a legal doctrine that you can't just sit around while someone's infringing your rights and not complain,'' he said.

In addition, he said, Xerox is ''going to have to show that when Star interface was published in 1981 there was a copyright notice published with it,''

''I don't know if it was published without notice,'' he said, ''but I'll bet it was; in those days nobody put c's in a circle on computer screens.''

Litigation always seems to be about where people draw the line. The people from Xerox who worked on the Mac say some things were stolen, some things were unique. Some from Xerox who didn't work on the Mac obviously thought it was stolen. Everybody has a different perspective. A line has to be drawn somewhere though. Where Apple now chooses to draw their line is viewed as hypocritical in light of what happened years ago but there are some important distinctions and I think Apple is aware of what they are and litigates accordingly.

Android certainly ripped off a lot of the look and feel of iOS a couple of years after the iPhone:

http://www.geek.com/android/top-10-features-youll-love-about-android-15-768061/

"Some of the features are simply catchup of the iPhone’s"

but they did at least have their own Java-like software architecture. Samsung however went out of their way to copy Apple's hardware designs. Every design iteration, the Galaxy S, S2 and Tab, they tried to get as close as possible to the whole package of Apple's products. They copied peripherals, boxes, marketing, store layouts. Apple didn't do that to any other company and certainly didn't feed off the success of others. Xerox failed in bringing their developments to market. The Macintosh was the successful product and didn't take away revenue from Xerox. If the Macintosh had never existed, the Xerox Star would still have failed and we very well may not have had the personal computers we have now. If the iPhone had not existed, Samsung would not be where they are now.

I regard Apple as an innovator because they haven't just changed the entire direction of technology once. You don't just do that with marketing and have nothing to back it up. You can't do it if you don't have anything that's unique. Whether those changes originated internally or externally as I say is complicated as you are talking about people who come and go from the company. Tony Fadell was external and was brought in to do the iPod and it's associated with Apple. People who want to damage the Apple brand might say they bought the iPod and Apple isn't the innovator but Fadell built the iPod with a team while he was at Apple.

Describing the Apple brand (or any brand for that matter) in any anthropomorphic way (innovative, arrogant, lazy, greedy etc) doesn't really mean anything but it's used to describe a perceived culture that represents the people that work there as a collective. Apple has a culture of innovation and they have delivered unique products that have changed the technology sector many times. Of the innovative people who delivered those, some have come from outside, have innovated internally, some have left. This is the case with most companies. Google bought Android Inc in 2005 but people associate Android with Google because they have teams of people who worked on it under their brand to bring it to market.

If people prefer to whittle every innovation back down to a well-defined origin, most will probably end up in some back-office or bedroom with an individual or small team going by some unknown company name and what would be the goal of that? Ideally people wouldn't anthropomorphisize companies at all and ideas would all be logged against the individuals or teams that conceived them but people don't have time for that and it's easier to use brands.


That is quite a post! Thank you for the effort. Some fascinating insights and information.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #87 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

This Dilger guy also claims that Xerox licensed out all their patents in the hope that Apple could commercialize their invention because Xerox was so inept, blah, blah. some more BS, blah, blah.  

 

When you make up nonsense like this, it makes it impossible to have a conversation. Nowhere in the article is there any suggestion that Xerox had any UI patents, that they licensed them to Apple, or that Xerox was inept. It actually says the opposite. 

post #88 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhalbert View Post

I worked at Xerox PARC and Xerox OSD (where Star was built) 1980-1984. I'll just say that the PARC, Alto, and Star parts of this article contain a number of factual errors, oversimplifications, minimizations, and misinterpretations, some repeated from other secondary sources. For more accurate info see the relevant Wikipedia articles and http://www.digibarn.com/friends/curbow/star/index.html and other pages on that site. The videos on digibarn.com are unfortunately dead links, but some are on Youtube. Here's a video demonstration of Star, recorded in 1982: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn4vC80Pv6Q (already cited previously in the comment thread).

 

The Star screenshot is inaccurate: it is a mashup has been floating around for several years of an actual Star screen image mixed with an image from my PhD thesis. I developed a partial simulation of Star for research purposes and simplified the UI a bit.

 

If you're a PhD, perhaps you could be troubled to provide examples of your "number of factual errors, oversimplifications, minimizations, and misinterpretations." 

 

As is apparent from the video, the Xerox Star did not let you, for example, directly manipulate icons via drag and drop. You had to select it, then go to the keyboard and hit a specialize "Move" key. That's not the same thing. Same thing with copying and duplicating files, which worked more like the Lisa. 

 

If you have material corrections to suggest, please do so the facts can be updated. But don't just complain that they are many grievous errors and that you can't be bothered to point one out, because that's just ridiculous. 

 

Also, the Macintosh was originally intended to ship in 1982. It was not really a secret project at Apple. Microsoft and others had access, and there was public discussion of its features before it was released. The fact that the Amiga and Atari and Microsoft could announce or even ship partly finished products that were comparable is not evidence that they were ahead of Apple in working on the GUI. They were, like Google's Android, just less concerned about shipping a quality product. 

 

The market had access to the Star in 1982, to various other GUI computers in 1983, and lots of other product variants between 1984 and 1995. Apart from Apple's Macintosh and Microsoft's copy of it, none were successful.

 

It wasn't as if everyone was buying Xerox products for ten years and then some knockoff from Apple stole their business and leveraged an existing monopoly position to spread its own alternative. That was Windows. 

post #89 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

If you're a PhD, perhaps you could be troubled to provide examples of your "number of factual errors, oversimplifications, minimizations, and misinterpretations." 

[...]

If you have material corrections to suggest, please do so the facts can be updated. But don't just complain that they are many grievous errors and that you can't be bothered to point one out, because that's just ridiculous.

 

I didn't say I couldn't be bothered. The original article has a bunch of errors due to sloppy research. I'm not going to do the author's research for him. I did point to some better source material that gives more complete and accurate information. Malcolm Gladwell is not the best source for some things. I'm not going to do a point-by-point correction. I will mention a few things.

 

The Alto was a research machine (as was higher-powered Dorado that followed). It was never intended to be sold as a regular commercial product. It was used in many ways. Many different groups at PARC and elsewhere wrote many different software packages for it. The programming was quite "close to the metal", and the UI styles varied widely. The screenshots in the article are very isolated examples of what ran on it.

 

Quote:

As is apparent from the video, the Xerox Star did not let you, for example, directly manipulate icons via drag and drop. You had to select it, then go to the keyboard and hit a specialize "Move" key. That's not the same thing. Same thing with copying and duplicating files, which worked more like the Lisa.

 

The people who designed the Star UI did call the interface "direct manipulation", and that was not incorrect. Cf. http://www.digibarn.com/friends/curbow/star/retrospect/sidebar.html. They didn't have direct dragging of icons. I can guess about the reasons: 1. COPY/MOVE keys subsumed that. The icon did "go into the cursor" and was set down somewhere with a click. 2. The icons were on a grid. 3. Repainting a full icon as you dragged it would have been slow on the hardware available.

 

Star didn't have overlapping main windows, but the dialog boxes did overlap the main windows. That was a deliberate design choice to make the UI simpler for users who had never seen this kind of thing before. There were plenty of examples of existing systems with overlapping windows (in the Smalltalk system, for instance).

 

The Star mouse was originally a high-quality ball mouse (it did not break in two weeks). Not too much later it was replaced with a very nice optical mouse that was much cheaper to manufacture.

 

The Star people developed internal standards documents like the Apple HIG guidelines. They had certain design constraints, just as the Mac people did. The standard UI paradigms we have today are as much a result of historical accident as purposeful evolution.

 

The Star was a pioneering system. The Lisa and Mac were also pioneering, and came a little later. There was a lot of cross-fertilization. Many people moved between these organizations (and to Microsoft and other places too). It's true Xerox didn't do well in the long run at this; neither did the Lisa. It's hard to be a pioneer, and often what you build is too expensive and too new.

post #90 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

If you're a PhD, perhaps you could be troubled to provide examples of your "number of factual errors, oversimplifications, minimizations, and misinterpretations." 

 

 

Erm, I think you owe dhalbert an apology.

 

Had you followed dhalbert's link you would have had the opportunity to end up here

 

Given the animosity directed towards Mr Halbert I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to contribute any more to this discussion but I, for one, would be interested to hear (read) his take on the matter.  

post #91 of 100

An informative and interesting representation found at the following link

 

http://www.digibarn.com/stories/desktop-history/bushytree.html

 

Note: the original image contains hyperlinks (not active in the image posted on this forum)

 

Tnxs to dhalbert

post #92 of 100

Following some of the links in the above image I stumbled upon this page

 

http://www.apple-history.com/gui

 

When Jobs accused Bill Gates of Microsoft of stealing the GUI from Apple and using it in Windows 1.0, Gates fired back:

 

No, Steve, I think its more like we both have a rich neighbor named Xerox, and you broke in to steal the TV set, and you found out I'd been there first, and you said. "Hey that's no fair! I wanted to steal the TV set!"

 

The fact that both Apple and Microsoft had gotten the idea of the GUI from Xerox put a major dent in Apple's lawsuit against Microsoft over the GUI several years later. Although much of The Mac OS is original, it was similar enough to the old Alto GUI to make a "look and feel" suit against Microsoft dubious.

 

Putting the blame game/finger pointing to one side- it is a great comeback from Gates, it is a shame that we don't have access to Jobs' retort.

post #93 of 100

and 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

 

 

Also, the Macintosh was originally intended to ship in 1982. It was not really a secret project at Apple. Microsoft and others had access, and there was public discussion of its features before it was released. The fact that the Amiga and Atari and Microsoft could announce or even ship partly finished products that were comparable is not evidence that they were ahead of Apple in working on the GUI. They were, like Google's Android, just less concerned about shipping a quality product. 

 

 

Less concerned about shipping quality? The Amiga blew away the Mac 128. No ifs, ands, or butts. The original Mac was unbalanced and underdesigned, severely lacking on memory for example, which made development painful. The Mac shipped in 1984 for $2500. It had only 128k RAM. A 9" screen. Black&White video only. No multitasking. Floppy drive with only 400kb. The Amiga 1000 shipped 1 year later, with a 13" color monitor, capable of displaying up to 4096 simultaneous colors, it had 4-channel stereo sound via the Paula chip, preemptive multitasking, 880kb floppy, and it had an 86-pin expansion port and upgradeable RAM to 512kb. The Amiga had much better graphics, sound, storage, and memory for 1/2 the price of a Mac. The first color Mac didn't arrive until the MacII, at a ridiculous price of $5500, and still inferior than the Amiga's custom chips at gaming. (Had no hardware acceleration, and displayed a max 256 colors) From a developer standpoint, the basic kernel design of the OS was superior to as well. The Amiga 500 was an even more insanely valued system given what you got. The Mac might have been good for DTP, but the Amiga was much much better for artists, musicians, and gamers. (as was the Atari ST)

 

The overall theme of the piece is that Apple didn't steal from Xerox because they took the ideas and executed on them better (woe would history be different if Xerox acted crazy and patented every last little UI item and then viciously sued everyone without delay.).  The Amiga is an example of someone else building a GUI based computer and executing on it far better. Should Commodore have been sued to prevent the Amiga from existing?  (It is indisputable that the Amiga custom chips far surpassed anything on the home computer market at the time) Commodore failed as a company for other reasons (mostly due to having shitty management, but also because they were forced into bankruptcy by an ill-timed patent law suit on *The Exclusive OR Cursor*)

 

What pisses people off about what Apple is doing these days is that they are not just patenting radically important inventions, but they are patenting all kinds of trivial BS and suing over some of it, in an attempt to prevent others from improving on their designs incrementally, which is what they did to Xerox. For example, they sued HTC over a patent for recognizing phone numbers in text to make them clickable, a trivial idea using regular expressions, not even worth asking a undergrad in college to do, and in fact, the patent on it was not even targeted at mobile, but targeted at a desktop phone book app on the NeXT (which actually was predated by the shareware Phone app for the NeXT prior to the patent filing)

 

 

Apple is clearly not just trying to prevent slavish copy cats, they are also trying to interfere with all competitors, even legitimate innovators of quality HW. HTC makes very nice industrial designs (ala HTC One X), is being crushed by Samsung, and does not deserve to be kicked like a dead horse by Apple.

 

If Apple is excused for copying because they took something someone else invented and improved it's quality (e.g. Xerox's Mouse, or number of clicks to move a file in the GUI), then other companies which take Apple designs and improve on them equally deserve to be excused or lauded. This editorial attempts to carve out an exemption for Apple, having benefitted from an era when people didn't patent crap like crazy and sue everyone for rounded button corners, while excusing current litigiousness and attempts to preserve marketshare, not by continued innovation, but by legal protection of past innovation.

post #94 of 100

"Neither Xerox nor Apple had patented any novel aspects of the Alto, Star or Macintosh because nobody foresaw the need to patent anything within the new field of graphical user interfaces in personal computing."

 
This is a nutshell is what's wrong today. The computer revolution happened during a time where people could hack and produce designs and not have to pay lawyers or go to the courts. Microsoft and Apple arose in an environment, standing on the shoulders of giants that came before them, using hugely valuable ideas for free, and now they are filing tons of patents and suing the next generation of industry like crazy.
 
What if Woz and Jobs had been sued over the Apple II because some dude at the Homebrew Computer club patented a bunch of designs that they had learned from and improved on? It's not like they invented computers out of thin air, they had stood on a decade of prior invention, none of which they had to negotiate licenses for.
post #95 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjc999 View Post

Apple is clearly not just trying to prevent slavish copy cats, they are also trying to interfere with all competitors, even legitimate innovators of quality HW. HTC makes very nice industrial designs (ala HTC One X),

 

Although I no longer own a HTC, it is a shame that their earlier advances in the field of mobile handsets (and UMPCs) are overlooked.

 

HTC had 5" screens and phones that could run full PC OSes long before terms such as "phablet" has been coined.

 

Prior to 2007, it is difficult to argue that they were not the most innovative and inventive player in the smartphone arena.

 

It might be the case that had HTC not expanded the smartphone market, Jobs might not have seen the need to try to improve upon the short comings of Windows Mobile.

 

Sorry off topic..

post #96 of 100
So - Is history repeating itself? Partly I think Screwgle /Samsturd have copied the look and feel of iOS, only this time the copy is essentially free upfron, whereas Windows was licensed to PC manufacturers. At least this time, the cloners (Samsung etc) haven't taken 95% of market like Microsoft cloners did the last time in the 90's.

I now see the reason Steve was so incensed having been through this before and I guess his thinking was "I'm going to make sure it won't happen again" unfortunately the horse has already bolted even with the patents and the litigation is damaging Apple.

Unfortunately the so-called "race to the bottom" is a sad thing for the smartphone market and ultimately the consumer is left essentially with two choices. I risk buying a Android powered phone with all it underlying problems which I won't go into here, we all know what they are and iOS, which has less issues imho.

As long as Apple keeps its current market share, it will be fine and keeps alive a healthy competitive market. If it drops down to less than 10% market share we will be left with a market just like the computer PC market and we all know how that turned out for the consumer.

The main reason I don't buy Android powered phones is because I don't like being used as the product (I am not the customer) being sold to the highest bidder where the only incentive for Google to keep its OS up to date is just to keep ahead of Apple to keep users buying it's cloner's smartphones.

I trust Apple more than Google keepng my peronal information private and to produce a reliable OS because it is in Apple's best interest to do so.


Q. How may Google Engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. None - Google Engineers just suck the light out of you instead!
Edited by Paul94544 - 8/12/13 at 10:13am

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply
post #97 of 100
I agree it takes a particular educated person and a good BS detector type consciousnes to buck the mass delusion of the PC illuminati and their programmed masses with their penchant for quick false over simplified sensationalized, no depth sound bites. "You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it". Sadly most of the PC-nerds-dochebag media types and the general public who bleat their message are just like the people of the matrix. Each one of them is an agent of the system. As the Christ said: "Forgive them, they know not what they do".
Edited by Paul94544 - 8/12/13 at 10:14am

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply
post #98 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post


The main reason I don't buy Android powered phones is because I don't like being used as the product being sold to the highest bidder where the only incentive for Google to keep its OS up to date is just to keep ahead of Apple to keep users buying it's cloner's smartphones.

I trust Apple more than Google keepng my peronal information private and to produce a reliable OS because it is in Apple's best interest to do so.

FWIW I think it's at least as important , and perhaps more so, for Google to keep your personal information private. If they lose control of it they also lose some of their value to companies that advertise with them. Much of Google's effectiveness and value comes from how well they protect what they know. It's not shared. On the contrary it's their biggest asset, protected as surely as Apple protects their own crown jewels.

Anyone that thinks Google could be as successful as they are by selling whatever data they have doesn't bother to think it through. If that was what Google did they'd simply be another of the thousands of faceless credit bureaus, data aggregators and consumer research companies that that make their living from data collection and sales.
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/12/13 at 10:29am
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #99 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The sources have mixed messages. Jef Raskin suggests he worked on the graphics-based Macintosh separate from Jobs who was on the Lisa team (which was terminal-based) and he convinced Jobs to go to Xerox to see an example of the kind of thing he was working on (GUI) and that example was the Xerox Star:
 


Raskin said he didn't have a formal relationship with PARC. He did note that the Lisa, which Jobs was working on stole things from the Xerox Star:

"The fact was that the Macintosh project was officially started-- it had really been started in 1978-- it was approved and was a going project before that visit took place. So it's chronologically not possible for that visit to have sparked the Macintosh. I have read over and over that that visit is what started the Macintosh project, that Jobs saw it and said, "There shall be Macintosh." But no, the Macintosh project was already in existence. Actually, I had worked with Bill Atkinson and some other people because I was on the outs with Jobs by then, and Bill Atkinson was on his wonderful list; so I had finagled things to get Jobs to PARC so he could begin to understand what I was trying to do.

Most people don't know also that the Lisa machine in those early days-- this was 1979-- was a character-generator, green-screen machine; it didn't have a bitmapped screen, it was not Macintosh-like. That all came from the Macintosh project to the Lisa. I went over then to Ken Rothmuller, and I was telling him why this was a dumb thing you're doing, that the future is in bit-mapped screens, and take a look at what we're doing on the Macintosh project. But it was Lisa that got all the funding, and Jobs behind it, and two hundred engineers, and cost $15,000, and my little project with just a handful of people was doing the right thing.

But the basic idea of a graphics-based, user interface-oriented machine for Lisa came from the Macintosh project. The only book I've ever seen that mentions that is Owen Linzmeyer's Apple Confidential. Everyone else has gotten it wrong: they say that the Macintosh was a downsized Lisa, when really the Lisa was an upsized Macintosh. Exactly backwards.

ORCHESTRATING JOBS' VISIT

Pang: One thing that's been said about Jobs' visit to PARC-- which was one of several that Apple people made to PARC-- was that it was necessary to get him to understand the importance of this technology, and that it mainly served a political purpose.

Raskin: That was my intent, yes. There were other things going on that I didn't know about. The deal between Apple and Xerox over stock, I didn't know about any of that at the time. And I don't know if that was after the visit, or before it, or in conjunction with it, I have no first-hand knowledge. But apparently other things were grinding away. And of course the Macintosh project was killed several times, and it was usually Jobs who was killing it, because he didn't understand it; I figured if he understood it, and could see something like it, before we were ready to show anything, that he would be more sympathetic. And I think that became true. He decided to take the Lisa project and try to do it there.

Now, the Lisa was very Star-like; the Lisa stole things from Star right and left-- it stole people, it stole ideas, even stole the font names, exactly. I didn't like that, and I thought we could do better. Certainly the Macintosh benefited from Lisa development; later on, Lisa software came over to Macintosh, and Macintosh software went over to Lisa. And there was cross-pollination, which was fine. But the Lisa was very Star-like. And the Macintosh also inherited things which to this day I don't think are very good interface ideas. But that's what happens when you don't have someone who has their own ideas, and has to borrow a lot.
"

http://www-sul.stanford.edu/mac/primary/interviews/raskin/parc.html

The Lisa and Mac teams were competing so accounts are going to be a little biased. There are some more references here:

http://www.mackido.com/Interface/ui_history.html
http://www.mackido.com/Interface/ui_horn1.html

The second link from Bruce Horn who came from Xerox says:

"the difference between the Xerox system architectures and Macintosh architecture is huge; much bigger than the difference between the Mac and Windows. It's not surprising, since Microsoft saw quite a bit of the Macintosh design (API's, sample code, etc.) during the Mac's development from 1981 to 1984; the intention was to help them write applications for the Mac, and it also gave their system designers a template from which to design Windows. In contrast, the Mac and Lisa designers had to invent their own architectures. Of course, there were some ex- Xerox people in the Lisa and Mac groups, but the design point for these machines was so different that we didn't leverage our knowledge of the Xerox systems as much as some people think."

The concept of using a GUI and a mouse clearly didn't originate at Apple as that dates back to the 60s but they had to develop their own architectures because they didn't get code or hardware from Xerox.

There are a few common points people make including:

- Apple stole things and doesn't like it when people steal from them
- Apple hasn't really invented anything

The reason those things are said is to try to damage what Apple's brand represents. If someone like Bruce Horn worked at Apple and Xerox, some people are happier to attribute the innovation to the Xerox brand than to Apple even if Bruce Horn innovated while working for Apple. One problem here is separating companies from people. The people are innovating, not the brands but while those people are employed at a particular company and on a particular project, that innovation has to be regarded as a team effort under the brand they are associated with.

If the people who worked at Apple on this said their work was unique to Apple then it's not for outsiders to say otherwise. The Apple brand is just a symbol but the people most closely associated with it are innovative people and they have earned that label. If those people leave, the brand retains that association and some might see that as inappropriate but when you trace through history all of the big changes that have driven the direction of technology, a large number are due to Apple's influence and will be different teams of people. Some feel more comfortable calling that influence marketing or repackaging external or prior concepts but the agenda of dismissing or minimizing Apple's role by using those descriptions is unjustified.

When it comes to the later issues of Microsoft, Samsung etc stealing from Apple, how different would Android running on a Galaxy S compared to the iPhone differ from the Apple Lisa compared to the Xerox Star? It looks like the situations have a few common elements. The Xerox Star went to market first as did the iPhone. The UIs looked and behaved much the same way. Xerox even sued them for copying the 'look and feel':

http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/15/business/company-news-xerox-sues-apple-computer-over-macintosh-copyright.html

Apple's response was:

"The Xerox complaint seems to confuse the distinction between ideas and expression; copyright protects expression, not ideas,'' said Stacey Byrnes, an Apple spokeswoman. ''Apple intends to prove in court that the audio-visual expressions in the Lisa and Macintosh interfaces were wholly original to Apple and duly registered with the copyright office.''

They said Xerox's case was weakened by waiting too long and potentially not copyrighting it:

"Ronald S. Laurie, a copyright lawyer with Irell & Minella in Menlo Park, Calif., said Xerox's claim could be weakened because of the long delay in filing suit, some five years after the introduction of the Macintosh. ''There's a legal doctrine that you can't just sit around while someone's infringing your rights and not complain,'' he said.

In addition, he said, Xerox is ''going to have to show that when Star interface was published in 1981 there was a copyright notice published with it,''

''I don't know if it was published without notice,'' he said, ''but I'll bet it was; in those days nobody put c's in a circle on computer screens.''

Litigation always seems to be about where people draw the line. The people from Xerox who worked on the Mac say some things were stolen, some things were unique. Some from Xerox who didn't work on the Mac obviously thought it was stolen. Everybody has a different perspective. A line has to be drawn somewhere though. Where Apple now chooses to draw their line is viewed as hypocritical in light of what happened years ago but there are some important distinctions and I think Apple is aware of what they are and litigates accordingly.

Android certainly ripped off a lot of the look and feel of iOS a couple of years after the iPhone:

http://www.geek.com/android/top-10-features-youll-love-about-android-15-768061/

"Some of the features are simply catchup of the iPhone’s"

but they did at least have their own Java-like software architecture. Samsung however went out of their way to copy Apple's hardware designs. Every design iteration, the Galaxy S, S2 and Tab, they tried to get as close as possible to the whole package of Apple's products. They copied peripherals, boxes, marketing, store layouts. Apple didn't do that to any other company and certainly didn't feed off the success of others. Xerox failed in bringing their developments to market. The Macintosh was the successful product and didn't take away revenue from Xerox. If the Macintosh had never existed, the Xerox Star would still have failed and we very well may not have had the personal computers we have now. If the iPhone had not existed, Samsung would not be where they are now.

I regard Apple as an innovator because they haven't just changed the entire direction of technology once. You don't just do that with marketing and have nothing to back it up. You can't do it if you don't have anything that's unique. Whether those changes originated internally or externally as I say is complicated as you are talking about people who come and go from the company. Tony Fadell was external and was brought in to do the iPod and it's associated with Apple. People who want to damage the Apple brand might say they bought the iPod and Apple isn't the innovator but Fadell built the iPod with a team while he was at Apple.

Describing the Apple brand (or any brand for that matter) in any anthropomorphic way (innovative, arrogant, lazy, greedy etc) doesn't really mean anything but it's used to describe a perceived culture that represents the people that work there as a collective. Apple has a culture of innovation and they have delivered unique products that have changed the technology sector many times. Of the innovative people who delivered those, some have come from outside, have innovated internally, some have left. This is the case with most companies. Google bought Android Inc in 2005 but people associate Android with Google because they have teams of people who worked on it under their brand to bring it to market.

If people prefer to whittle every innovation back down to a well-defined origin, most will probably end up in some back-office or bedroom with an individual or small team going by some unknown company name and what would be the goal of that? Ideally people wouldn't anthropomorphisize companies at all and ideas would all be logged against the individuals or teams that conceived them but people don't have time for that and it's easier to use brands.
post #100 of 100
Actually corporations ARE persons as ruled by the Supreme court, in reality they have more rights, and have the possibility of never dying, thus can become bigger and bigger without limit and have one advantage over human beings; They cannot be locked up in prison only fined and a s long any fine doesn't exceed their resources they won't go bankrupt!   
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltalk View Post

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply
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  • iPhone Patent Wars: Xerox PARC & the Apple, Inc. Macintosh: innovator, duplicator & litigator
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