Apple's 15 years of NeXT

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  • Reply 21 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I don't recall the software package the designers were using, but I do recall it having similarity to Adobe Illustrator. May have been... I don't know, but it was pretty cool.



    Perhaps Macromedia's Virtuoso? (The folks who brought you Freehand and Flash.)
  • Reply 22 of 68
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    Yes, very interesting, indeed. Where does DED get all of his history info from? A compilation from Wikipedia and other various sources?



    Can't wait for the trollers to pick apart some of the statements in this article!



    My take is that it is a conflation of history, legend, conjecture, and stuff that he pulled from his butt.



    Part of the legend is that Apple between Jobs was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Well, for a while Apple did bleed red ink for 18 months or so. [I am will to be corrected on the exact length of time that it ran a deficit.] Bankruptcy means that the company can't pay its obligations. However, I am aware of no time that Apple did not have at least $4 billion in cash reserves.



    On the product side, a reading of the facts in the column makes it clear that Apple's product problems centered around two issues; (1) a product line that was too broad, and (2) an irrational supply chain. The solution was to simplify some products offerings and to eliminate other product categories. If you were an Apple customer, the most significant disruption to your purchase plans was probably Apple's elimination of its line of printers.



    On the OS side of things, Apple abandoned Copland, the code name for the developmental version of System 8. However, Copland's failure was not a technical one, it was an internal political failure. Apple set as a goal of System 8 that it be preemptive multiuser multitasking operating system that was 100%-compatible with System 7. The requirement that it be 100%-compatible with System 7 proved to be a "bridge too far." The technical features of Copland worked. Many of them were incorporated into System 7.5. Ironically, Classic was probably less compatible with System 7 than System 8 would have been.



    It is worth noting that the extant version of Windows when Apple killed Copland was Windows 95. [Start me up.]



    OpenSTEP was the extant OS that was closest to Apple's goals for Copland. However, it took Apple five years to bring its OpenSTEP-derived MacOS X to market after it abandoned Copland. Sometimes you can't solve a problem until you step back and take a different tack. However, one can only imagine what Copland could have become if it had been given that additional five years.



    The notion that Apple was doomed without Jobs is nonsense. Jobs was forced out at Apple in 1985. The extant Macintosh was the Macintosh 512Ke and a year prior to the introduction of the Macintosh Plus. The Apple Scanner, Macintosh II, TrueType, System 7, the PowerPC transition and other products and technologies too numerous to mention were developed while Jobs was gone. Make no mistake--I believe that Steve Jobs was probably the most brilliant corporate executive of my lifetime. However, Apple has been blessed [and cursed] with a lot of brilliant people.



    Obviously, Apple would be a different company today if Steve Jobs had not returned. However, I have no doubt that without Jobs Apple would still be around with throngs of devoted customers like me.
  • Reply 23 of 68
    Thanks, I enjoyed reading this as well.
  • Reply 24 of 68
    Good article, outlines a lot of the efforts Steve Jobs put to make the world a better place.



    From the first Apple product I bought - an iPod Nano - the feel has always been so great. The amount of thought put into making each product better is wonderful. As a hackintosh user, experiencing the beauty and simplicity of Mac OS X felt really awesome. The iMac I eventually bought has so many useful features, yet is so simple to use in the end.



    Thank you Steve Jobs, and thanks to the wonderful people who have worked together on such innovative, awesome stuff.
  • Reply 25 of 68
    That was a nice read - stuff missing from the authorised biography that I would have loved to read about. Of course, the "what if" and "what next" sections are mere speculation, but I loved reading about the OS evolution.



    Special thanks to mydriftmeyer for the link. I want to try installing NeXTStep using VMWare Fusion. I just need to check how do-able it is.
  • Reply 26 of 68
    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.
  • Reply 27 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ukor View Post


    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.



    This was directed at the reply from Mr. Me.
  • Reply 28 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ukor View Post


    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.



    it was $150M, not 500M, and that was at a time when the Apple had over a billion in cash reserves.



    Make no mistake, that totally insignificant investment was only done for the public, to make it help keep confidence that Apple was sticking around and keep developers happy.



    Proven by the fact that even today , people like you still refer to it and think it was important.

    It was a publicity stunt that worked. All the journos wrote about it as though MS took over Apple.



    It would be like me giving you $1 today and claiming that I "saved" you. Who would listen?

    But if Donald Trump did it, then the world would listen and believe him.
  • Reply 29 of 68
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post


    it was $150M, not 500M, and that was at a time when the Apple had over a billion in cash reserves.



    Make no mistake, that totally insignificant investment was only done for the public, to make it help keep confidence that Apple was sticking around and keep developers happy.



    Proven by the fact that even today , people like you still refer to it and think it was important.

    It was a publicity stunt that worked. All the journos wrote about it as though MS took over Apple.



    It would be like me giving you $1 today and claiming that I "saved" you. Who would listen?

    But if Donald Trump did it, then the world would listen and believe him.





    Neither of you are correct, and both are. First, it was a significant investment. I don't have the cash reserve figures, but assuming you're correct...remember that Apple was losing up to $700 million a quarter until Jobs came back. Apple was getting close to bankruptcy. The $150 million didn't save them, but it wasn't just a PR stunt, either...though I agree part of it was restoring confidence.
  • Reply 30 of 68
    grubgrub Posts: 24member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ukor View Post


    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.





    It was $150M, not $500M.
  • Reply 31 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ukor View Post


    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.



    It was $150 million publicly and an undisclosed sum privately. Also, as part of the agreement Apple dropped the Windows lawsuit that had been raging and costing millions each year.
  • Reply 32 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by podlasek View Post


    It was $150 million publicly and an undisclosed sum privately. Also, as part of the agreement Apple dropped the Windows lawsuit that had been raging and costing millions each year.



    See DED's article on this: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM...842A41BD1.html



    I cannot find the relevant figures in this series of articles, but I recall seeing that the amount secretly paid to Apple by Microsoft to settle this may have been as much as US $2 billion. Whatever the actual figure, it was way more than the $150 million publicly quoted "investment".



    Apple was fortunate in being able to catch Microsoft out on this "piracy", but at the same time it indicates how desperate Microsoft was to dominate electronic media at the time and resorted to effectively stealing Apple's superior QuickTime technology. Microsoft may have been fortunate that all it had to do was pay up rather than face the consequences of its crime.
  • Reply 33 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ukor View Post


    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.



    Most of that was in Microsoft's favor as they were facing a multi-billion dollar law suit from Apple and anti-trust issues from the government. Propping up Apple not only help detract from their monopoly, but also made them a nice return, settled outstanding lawsuits, AND gave Microsoft something else to copy from for the next 15 years.



    That $150M "investment" is probably one of the greatest moves Steve Jobs ever made in the chess game of Apple vs. Microsoft. In fact, it could be one of the most historic moves ever made by a CEO. Who else could get a bitter rival to invest $150M in what appears to be a lost cause? Who else could then use that momentum to eclipse the rival company while at the same time holding them contractually obligated to develop software (Office and IE) for their competing platform? Steve F-ing Jobs, that's who.
  • Reply 34 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    There would be no tablets. There would be no effort to build Ultrabooks just like the MacBook Air. We'd only have a wide variety of cheap, low quality netbooks to choose from.




    There were tablets. Just not a lot of them. And Sony was make ultrathin TZ series laptops before the Macbook Air came out. You probably don't know that Apple hired the retired Sony engineer who designed those expensive, ultra-thin Sony laptops. You could have gone out and done some real reporting. Just saying.
  • Reply 35 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ukor View Post


    You forgot the $500MM "investment" from Microsoft to keep them afloat. They were on deaths doorstep and Microsoft was keenly interested in keeping them afloat so they wouldn't attract any more anti-trust attention.



    In my opinion, Apple would have gone bankrupt without Microsoft's $500 million.

    But Jobs is not inclined to show any gratitude. He just sticks it to Gates.
  • Reply 36 of 68
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eric475 View Post


    In my opinion, Apple would have gone bankrupt without Microsoft's $500 million.

    But Jobs is not inclined to show any gratitude. He just sticks it to Gates.



    That's exactly right except for everything you wrote. You might want to actually look stuff up before posting next time.
  • Reply 37 of 68
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eric475 View Post


    In my opinion, Apple would have gone bankrupt without Microsoft's $500 million.

    But Jobs is not inclined to show any gratitude. He just sticks it to Gates.



    Please don't keep pushing the rope that Apple received $500 million from Microsoft. As others have stated, Apple caught Microsoft dead to rights having stolen QuickTime for incorporation into Video for Windows, now Windows Media.



    Microsoft knew that it would lose if the case ever made it to court. Apple knew that Microsoft would fight tooth and nail to defend the lawsuit. Steve Jobs acted like a grownup. He went to Gates and said, "Let's not fight, let's do business."



    Having Microsoft Office on the Mac was more important to Jobs than having a victory in court. Gates agreed return Office to the Mac. He also agreed to buy $150 million in non-voting Apple shares.



    I have followed this for the entirety of these past 15 years. This forum is the first place where I have seen anyone claim that Microsoft paid Apple $500 million. For the sake of argument, let us pretend that this is true. At the time of the settlement, Apple had $4 billion in case reserves. A $500 million payment would have been 12.5% of Apple's cash reserves. This alleged sum was less than the $700 quarterly loss repeated by SDW2001. Steve Jobs was a billionaire. This means that the alleged $500 million payment was a tiny fraction of Steve Jobs's net worth. Remember that Jobs worked for US$1.00 at the time.



    The takeaway message is that Microsoft's payment to Apple--whether it was $150 million or $500 million--was too small to have a significant affect on Apple's long-term prospects.



    Microsoft fans clearly cannot do math. They also have no sense of how business works. There were many options available to Microsoft to get out of its pickle if Apple were as weak as they want to believe:
    1. Wait them out. This is what a big company does when a dying plaintiff files a claim. The courts are slow. When a big company is the defendant in a lawsuit, the courts can be glacial. Microsoft could have simply slowed the case to a crawl until Apple went bankrupt--if Apple were in danger of bankruptcy.

    2. Buy them out. An Apple as weak as the Microsoft fanboys delude themselves it was could have been picked-up for a song. Microsoft could have done what was fairly standard practice: sell-off pieces of the company to others.

    Make no mistake. Microsoft never wanted Apple to go away. It wanted only to control Apple. An Apple teetering on the edge of oblivion would have been Microsoft's best opportunity to control its more innovative rival. The fact that nothing like this happened is lost on Microsoft fanboys.
  • Reply 38 of 68
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 278member
    Looking to the left on my desk, there stands a NeXTdimension Turbo Cube. Given that the 21" NeXT monitor (built by Hitachi, a 40kg monster, I stlll have it) is dead, it is connected to a LaCie photon20vision LCD. And I have an OpenStep VM that runs in parallels on my iMac.



    Nostalgia indeed. Then there were the specials some firms created for the NeXT. Like the Singular Solutions A/D64x A/D converter that was professional grade and could record 48kHz 16bit directly to the NeXT via the DSP port (I still have it in storage and it still works). And the German i.link modem/telephone answering service that used the DSP as well (sold that one years ago). The NeXTdimension board is 32bit colour (24bit colour, 8bit alpha) and it is based on intel's first attempt at a RISC chip, the i860. It runs its own Mach kernel and mainly only does bit blitting and PostScript rendering. I had a VCR attached to it so I could watch TV while I was working, using the VCR's tuner. In 1992/3 or so, but that also still works. The NeXTPrinter did 400dpi and was cheap, because it did not need small computer inside. PostScript was rendered on the NeXT, and then one of the 7 (or so) independent I/O processors on the motherboard moved the data to the laser printer while the CPU independently kept doing productive work. The main board of the NeXT was designed for maximum throughput with tricks that were otherwise mainly found in mainframes. That was at the time that a "mathematical co-processor" for floating point was an option on 386 PCs.



    And software. The Lotus Improv story is worth telling, these days its easy of use/manipulation and use of symbolic names (profit = revenue - cost) instead of cell addresses (A6=B5-G8) and it was multidimensional.





    Improv-Window-BeforeArrange by gctwnl, on Flickr





    Improv-Window-AfterArrange by gctwnl, on Flickr



    Wordperfect had a NeXT version which was pretty decent (better than any other version). Or the TeX environment, which felt blazingly fast because the viewer started to display the first page of the document as soon as it was rendered. And of course, NeXTSTEP is PostScript throughout, so no difference between screen and paper. And Concurrence, or Omni products (yes, the same Omni of OmniGraffle) or Stone Design's Create (still available for OSX). And a system where years after NeXT stopped maintaining it, the Object oriented nature enabled users to retroactively add functionality to existing programs (e.g, someone write a plugin and suddenly all programs using the text object was capable of displaying HTML or inline JPEG, which the system originally could not do. And of course, because it was a BSD Unix as well, we had Postgres (now PostgreSQL, back on Lion), Squid, postfix (current OS X Server MTA), web servers, etc.



    And developing. NeXT cranked out kits like crazy (but had no time left to maintain the unix base properly): MusicKit, SoundKit, Enterprise Objects Framework, WebObjects, etc. etc. And developing once, and running identical on 4 hardware platforms (m68k, x86, sparc, hppa) with 'fat binaries'.



    ±400 photo's available here of my NeXT collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gctwnl/ including some very rare items (like original 1989 marketing materials, golden master of NeXTSTEP 3.3, publications, original packaging, etc.). It's like having a really nice collection of stuff of Edison or Ford in their early days, before the big successes. The second set also has a few movies, like the infamous (because of copyright problems) 'flying toasters' screen saver or OmniWeb 3 starting up and displaying the NeXT page on Wikipedia. This is the real NeXT running, not the VM.



    Here is a nice tidbit: Nügi button for Steve:





    Nügi Steve Jobs Button by gctwnl, on Flickr



    Here is the VM running on my iMac:





    OPENSTEP running in Parallels on iMac by gctwnl, on Flickr



    Inside of premiere NeXTworld issue:





    NeXTWORLD Magazine Premiere Issue Vol. 1, No. 2. Jan/Feb 1991. NeXT Insert by gctwnl, on Flickr
  • Reply 39 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    Please don't keep pushing the rope that Apple received $500 million from Microsoft. As others have stated, Apple caught Microsoft dead to rights having stolen QuickTime for incorporation into Video for Windows, now Windows Media.



    Microsoft knew that it would lose if the case ever made it to court. Apple knew that Microsoft would fight tooth and nail to defend the lawsuit. Steve Jobs acted like a grownup. He went to Gates and said, "Let's not fight, let's do business."



    Having Microsoft Office on the Mac was more important to Jobs than having a victory in court. Gates agreed return Office to the Mac. He also agreed to buy $150 million in non-voting Apple shares.



    I have followed this for the entirety of these past 15 years. This forum is the first place where I have seen anyone claim that Microsoft paid Apple $500 million. For the sake of argument, let us pretend that this is true. At the time of the settlement, Apple had $4 billion in case reserves. A $500 million payment would have been 12.5% of Apple's cash reserves. This alleged sum was less than the $700 quarterly loss repeated by SDW2001. Steve Jobs was a billionaire. This means that the alleged $500 million payment was a tiny fraction of Steve Jobs's net worth. Remember that Jobs worked for US$1.00 at the time.



    The takeaway message is that Microsoft's payment to Apple--whether it was $150 million or $500 million--was too small to have a significant affect on Apple's long-term prospects.



    Microsoft fans clearly cannot do math. They also have no sense of how business works. There were many options available to Microsoft to get out of its pickle if Apple were as weak as they want to believe:
    1. Wait them out. This is what a big company does when a dying plaintiff files a claim. The courts are slow. When a big company is the defendant in a lawsuit, the courts can be glacial. Microsoft could have simply slowed the case to a crawl until Apple went bankrupt--if Apple were in danger of bankruptcy.

    2. Buy them out. An Apple as weak as the Microsoft fanboys delude themselves it was could have been picked-up for a song. Microsoft could have done what was fairly standard practice: sell-off pieces of the company to others.

    Make no mistake. Microsoft never wanted Apple to go away. It wanted only to control Apple. An Apple teetering on the edge of oblivion would have been Microsoft's best opportunity to control its more innovative rival. The fact that nothing like this happened is lost on Microsoft fanboys.





    For the record, I am not a Microsoft fan. I have also been an Apple fan and share holder to this day. The investment didn't save Apple, Jobs did. No doubt that they would have been out of business with his vision and drive, but the loan did install confidence that there would continue to be software to run on the Mac, which was increasingly viewed as a dying platform.
  • Reply 40 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    That's exactly right except for everything you wrote. You might want to actually look stuff up before posting next time.



    I can't argue with someone who possesses no logic.
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