(You're reading all posts by Jim Merithew) Jim Merithew is director of content at Cult of Mac and Cult of Android. He is the former photo director of Wired and editor at large of Raw File, Wired's photography blog. In more than 25 years as a journalist, including eight years at the San Francisco Chronicle, Jim has led award-winning teams and relentlessly spread the gospel of the bicycle. He also plays guitar in Pickle Horse. Follow him on Instagram (@tinyblackbox) and Twitter (@tinyblackbox).
About Jim Merithew
Apple's latest mystery is its biggest yet. Literally.
CUPERTINO, California -- What's inside the mystery building Apple is fabricating for its big September 9 event? The giant construction project is almost as big of an enigma as what the iWatch will actually look like or do.
The boxy structure, which sprang up behind the Flint Center for the Performing Arts here on the De Anza College campus, looks like a cross between an igloo and a winning confection on Cake Wars. Naturally, the enormous two-to-three story building sparked intense curiosity among the Apple faithful when pictures emerged Thursday, so we had to go take a look for ourselves.
Will it hold something as mundane as a demo area where tech journalists can fondle Apple's latest, greatest gear? Does it contain a full-size home of the future to show off amazing HomeKit implementations? Will it house a runway for an Apple wearables fashion show or a giant stage for a post-announcement Dr. Dre concert?
Whatever it holds, it is truly a massive undertaking. It's surrounded by green fences and countless security guards. We, like you, can't wait for Apple's big reveal — here's what we saw walking around the outskirts of the secretive project Thursday afternoon.
Something big is brewing
The temporary venue where Apple will hold its September 9 press event sits directly outside the 2,405-seat Flint Center, which is notable for its role in Apple history: The company has revealed some of its most important devices in the theater, which is tucked away on a quiet community college campus just a couple miles away from Apple HQ.
"There have only been two milestone products in our industry: the Apple II in 1977 and the IBM PC in 1981," Jobs said at the Flint Center in 1984. "Today, one year after Lisa, we are introducing the third industry milestone product: Macintosh."
Hook you up
Apple is definitely laying the groundwork for something big on September 9: Workers are running a fair amount of power from generators outside the fence that surrounds the construction site, which is set up with table saws and other tools of the building trades.
Behind the fencing and hidden from prying eyes, the workers are building something on the site. The huge, pristine structure also features a stage that could host a concert or iWatch fitness demonstration.
No one can fill a big white box quite like Apple. We can imagine the iDevice of our dreams jumping out of this one: Will it be the iPhone 6? Or how about the long-awaited iWatch? Perhaps it will be something totally new that the rumor mill hasn't even dreamed up yet.
Most of the trucks on campus appeared to be generic white rentals, but we spotted one with a sign indicating it was owned by Devcon Construction. Was the company hired to build this tantalizing structure for Apple? Devcon is known around Silicon Valley for building sleek, modern, high-tech campuses for companies including Adobe, Cisco and Yahoo!
Cult of Mac contacted Devcon's vice president of construction but did not receive a reply by press time. Workers on the super-secret Apple project know the secrecy drill, though, and were very tight-lipped about the goings-on at the construction site. Security was tight.
All photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac. Additional reporting by Nicole Martinelli.
There's still something magical about the Leica M6, a rangefinder camera introduced in 1984. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Who won the Super Bowl in 1984? Apple did. Aired during the third quarter of the big game, the "1984" commercial introduces the Macintosh to an unsuspecting public (and generates a ton of buzz).
Judge Harry T. Stone presides over hilarity in Night Court, a sitcom that starts its nine-season run in 1984.
Shape-shifting pop star Michael Jackson bags a record eight Grammys in 1984 for his record-shattering album Thriller.
The rivalry between classical composers Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart captures critics' fancy in 1984 movie Amadeus.
What time is it? Game time. The Casio Cosmo-Flight gives new meaning to the term "wrist rocket" in the mid-'80s.
Truman Capote, the famously troubled author of In Cold Blood, dies of liver cancer August 25, 1984, at age 59.
Prince double dips with Purple Rain, a movie (and accompanying soundtrack) about a Minneapolis musician. Everybody goes crazy.
When I worked on my college paper a million years ago, my buddy Bruno had Leicas. This made him the coolest person in the whole wide world.
The cameras were tiny and had the smoothest-operating lenses I had ever touched. They were a feat of German engineering. For me, it was love at first sight. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop lusting for one of those tiny black boxes.
I immediately started my quest to get one. I had to have a Leica. And because this was the mid-’80s, I definitely wanted an M6, which was introduced in 1984. Hell, it was advanced. It had a meter. The first real meter in a Leica, if you disregard the much-maligned M5.