Former Apple designer recounts teasing Steve Jobs over NeXT vs OS X

Posted:
in General Discussion
Imran Chaudhri, co-designer of the iPhone, says he bought a NeXT Cube specifically to stop Steve Jobs saying how much better it was than the Mac.

Ex-Apple executives Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, now partners in technology firm Humane
Ex-Apple executives Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, now partners in technology firm Humane


During the week marking OS X's 20th anniversary, ex-Apple designer Imran Chaudhri has recounted a story from its development. Later to become a major part of the iPhone design, Chaudhri was an Apple intern during OS X's earliest development.

this happened so often that it got to the point where if he walked in and saw the cube in the room, he'd just let it go

still the best $150 i've spent

happy 20 years mac os x!

— Imran (@imranchaudhri)


Under Scott Forstall, Chaudri worked on the design of OS X's Aqua interface. He ultimately became the director of design at Apple's Human Interface team.

It was while designing the iPad that Chaudri met Bethany Bongiorno, Apple's director of software engineering at the time. The two left Apple in 2017 to form Humane.

Stylized as "hu.ma.ne," the company is described as "the next shift between humans and computing," and even "the best human experience, ever." The company has yet to reveal what "innovative technology" it is creating.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    The quoted tweet is the second of 2. The first is:
    in 1995, while interning at apple, i bought a NeXT cube for $150 at stanford surplus while designing mac os X with steve, he liked to tell us how the NeXT was better so i started bringing in my cube to win arguments by showing him that things weren't as good as he remembered
    Now the article actually makes sense.
    entropysshaminosteve_jobswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 133member
    How would he have bought the NeXT 'specifically' for that in 1995? Steve wasn't back at Apple and OS X wasn't in the work. 
    He had the NeXT fo years and brought it in to proof Steve wrong. 
    steve_jobswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,455member
    More Steve Jobs wannabes. Money quote from AppleInsider: "The company has yet to reveal what "innovative technology" it is creating."
    steve_jobs
  • Reply 4 of 14
    XedXed Posts: 1,028member
    sirdir said:
    How would he have bought the NeXT 'specifically' for that in 1995? Steve wasn't back at Apple and OS X wasn't in the work. 
    He had the NeXT fo years and brought it in to proof Steve wrong. 
    I'm not 100% sure what you're trying to say, but my best guess is that you're confusing the stated year of 1995 when they were working on the port with the official announcement of Apple agreeing to buy NexT (because the port was clearly going to work) and getting Jobs to be the interim-CEO (iCEO) which happened on 16 September 1997.
    edited March 25 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    XedXed Posts: 1,028member
    lkrupp said:
    More Steve Jobs wannabes. Money quote from AppleInsider: "The company has yet to reveal what "innovative technology" it is creating."
    In terms of wanting to want to change the tech world why is that a bad goal? Should people simply give up if they they won't be the next Steve Jobs?
    edited March 25 elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Retelling Imran's story, PPT style, for clarity:

    • in 1995, while interning at apple, i bought a NeXT cube for $150 at stanford surplus
    • while designing mac os X with steve, he liked to tell us how the NeXT was better
    • so i started bringing in my cube to win arguments by showing him that things weren't as good as he remembered
    • this happened so often that it got to the point where if he walked in and saw the cube in the room, he'd just let it go
    • still the best $150 i've spent


    jony0sphericfastasleepmarklarkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,311member
    I really like stories like this, shows how hands-on Steve was and how he had a part in every aspect of the company.
    Xed said:
    lkrupp said:
    More Steve Jobs wannabes. Money quote from AppleInsider: "The company has yet to reveal what "innovative technology" it is creating."
    In terms of wanting to wants to change the tech world why is that a bad goal? Should people simply give up if they they won't be the next Steve Jobs?
    Yeah because if that was the case, Cook best quit now.
    edited March 25
  • Reply 8 of 14
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 620member
    Xed said:
    sirdir said:
    How would he have bought the NeXT 'specifically' for that in 1995? Steve wasn't back at Apple and OS X wasn't in the work. 
    He had the NeXT fo years and brought it in to proof Steve wrong. 
    I'm not 100% sure what you're trying to say, but my best guess is that you're confusing the stated year of 1995 when they were working on the port with the official announcement of Apple agreeing to buy NexT (because the port was clearly going to work) and getting Jobs to be the interim-CEO (iCEO) which happened on 16 September 1997.
    Apple didn’t announce their intention to buy NeXT until December 1996. It is hard to believe that Apple was working with Steve Jobs as early as 1995. I’m guessing that the designer is misremembering the date. 

    Edit: According to Avi Tevanian NeXT wasn’t even in contact with Apple until just about a month before the decision to acquire them. So that 1995 date is definitely wrong. 

    edited March 25 Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,076member
    The guy is doing a shameless self-promotion on the back of a guy who can’t contradict him anymore.

    NeXT was better, in MANY ways, e.g. the side on which scrollbars are is more efficient for western left-to-right scripts.

    E.g. the floating, pop-up-able, vertical application menu is much better than the menu bar, the latter sucking badly both on small and really big/multiple screens.

    A guy who buys a NeXT to prove his point without actually having adapted to the NeXT workflow has zero credibility.

    I used NeXTs from 1989 till … and both Mac OS of various flavors before and after. There are still Tricks NeXTStep could teach macOS, which ever more turns into a version Windows, because the number of people at Apple who still understand the design principles of NeXT and have any influence are homeopathically diluted…
    edited March 25 jeff_cookthtmacpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    The Open Sesame Distributed computing App blew my mind.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    thttht Posts: 4,031member
    rcfa said:
    The guy is doing a shameless self-promotion on the back of a guy who can’t contradict him anymore.

    NeXT was better, in MANY ways, e.g. the side on which scrollbars are is more efficient for western left-to-right scripts.

    E.g. the floating, pop-up-able, vertical application menu is much better than the menu bar, the latter sucking badly both on small and really big/multiple screens.

    A guy who buys a NeXT to prove his point without actually having adapted to the NeXT workflow has zero credibility.

    I used NeXTs from 1989 till … and both Mac OS of various flavors before and after. There are still Tricks NeXTStep could teach macOS, which ever more turns into a version Windows, because the number of people at Apple who still understand the design principles of NeXT and have any influence are homeopathically diluted…
    Yeah, I miss the Shelf to this day.

    Another interesting milestone to think about is Swift. When Apple announced Swift, I felt that it represented the end of NeXTSTEP. Objective-C and a dynamic runtime is the magic that was NeXTSTEP, Mac OS X and its derivatives. As Swift increasingly becomes the default language for app development and as Obj-C becomes deprecated, I think it represents a different type of operating system. It really would deserve a Mac OS XI or Mac OS 11 moniker when that happens.

    Speaking of the NeXTcube, it was a beautiful industrial design. I'm not talking about the outside. I'm talking about the inside. Was hoping that Apple returns to that type of design: a I/O mezzanine with boards that slot into it. Had 2 slots on opposite ends of the mezzanine board (4 slots total) with 5.25" bays and power supply in between. The CPU system board and NeXTdimension GPU/media board would go into the slots. Apple has variants of this with the Mac Pro through the years, but never all the way. The 2019 Mac Pro could have gone all the way if the CPU and RAM were on a daughter board with a 64 lane PCIe interface. The 2013 Mac Pro essentially did the CPU main board, I/O mezzanine board and PCIe slots for GPU boards, but it was expandable like the NeXTcube was or the 2019 Mac Pro is.

    Will be interesting what Apple does with the rumored Mac Half Pro. Half because it is rumored to be about half the size of the 2019 Mac Pro. If it is $2000 definitely quite tempted.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    davendaven Posts: 626member
    I still have my OpenStep computer but need a keyboard and mouse for it. It would be fun to fire it up. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    colinngcolinng Posts: 115member
    daven said:
    I still have my OpenStep computer but need a keyboard and mouse for it. It would be fun to fire it up. 
    Would this help? 

    https://www.drakware.com/shop/p/nextusb

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    I wish I could buy a NeXT Cube!
    edited March 26 watto_cobra
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