On my way to my local beer garden with my camera, I finally stopped to take a good snapshot of one of my favorite Berlin windows displays, which belongs to the local computer repair and resale company Fux Data. Click to embiggen.
How wonderfully retro is this? The display used to be a sort of Prenzlauer Berg oasis for retired Macs, featuring an old Macintosh IId, Power Mac G4 Cube, Apple IIe, iMac G3, eMac and Macintosh Plus, as well as the odd man out, an ancient Commodore CBM still looking fiercely ready for a nice game of Global Thermonuclear War.
Recently, though, the display has changed with the addition of presumably empty boxes for the unibody MacBook Pro and iPad. It’s like a couple of metrosexual twenty-somethings busting up a senior dance at the local retirement castle.
There’s not much news to this post, I’ve just always wanted to share. I’ve probably spent more hours than I can count puzzling over the G3’s clearly kicked-in CRT: my current working theory is it’s the aftermath of the ill-advised installation of OS X 10.5.
Look once and this 5.25 floppy drive looks exactly like the device that accompanied your old Apple IIe, but look again and you’ll see the Attenborough brand… denoting it as the creation of Chambers Judd.
Attributed to the Attenborough Design Group, a fictional collective whose raison d’etre is to imbue natural self-defense and survival-of-the-fittest mechanisms into gadgets, the “Floppy Legs” has one major trick up its sleeve that Apple’s own disk drive didn’t: if you spill a liquid in its vicinity, it will quickly spring to its feet with an air of alarm.
I’ve got to tell you, I wish modern Apple equipment did this. The ever encroaching flood of a freshly-spilled beer has drowned not one, but two of my Apple Wireless Keyboards to date.
Fantastic. 25 years after it was first written for the Mac, Apple has chosen donate the source code of MacPaint and QuickDraw to the Computer History Museum, making one of the earliest and most efficient pieces of art software ever available to public scrutiny for the first time ever.
Originally released back in 1984, MacPaint was a revolutionary piece of software that first introduced common image editing conventions like the lasso tool and the paint bucket. From a programming perspective, though, MacPaint is even more impressive: it was so efficiently programmed and its memory constraints were so tight that MacPaint actually revealed bugs in the underlying system that could only be exposed by running so close to the edge of available memory.
According to a whimsical Steve Jobs, up to twenty-four man years went into the writing of MacPaint. If you’re interested in taking a glimpse at coding perfection spread across 5,804 lines of Pascal and 2,738 of assembly, go take a look.
Gradaddy’s song “Jed’s Other Poem” off of their album The Sopftware Slump has to be one of the most sweet and lonely ballads ever ostensibly written by a sentient robot, but Stewart Smith’s retroactively official “music” video for it — which prominently features an Apple IIe running a hand coded AppleSoft II program illustrating the lyrics — is probably what has made the song so famous.
Now, that music video has come, in a round about way, to the iPad. Smith, the original video’s programmer, happened to notice that the guys from Panic Software had an old Apple IIe sitting around, so he asked if they could run his animation on it. They didn’t have the old cassette drive to help Smith out, but they did have an iPad… and that worked just fine.
In this highly-entertaining final installment of his series about Steve Jobs, Macworld founder David Bunnell is taken by Jobs to his favorite lunch spot (you’ll never guess where it is). And for once, Jobs changes his parking habits.
At a posh dinner party, Steve Jobs eats a plate of raw vegetables with a blonde bombshell sitting on his knee. Instead of going to Macworld and plugging the Mac, he’s too busy partying with Tina the nymphette.
Part 13 of Macworld founder David Bunnell’s personal history of the first Mac: “My Close Encounters With Steve Jobs.”
In part 12 of Macworld founder David Bunnell’s story of the early Mac, Bill Gates is the only developer to actually deliver on his promises of software for the Mac. Microsoft’s Excel literally saves the Mac just when sales drop to nil, but at the same time Gates’ engineers are reverse engineering the GUI for the first version of Windows.
Yerga Cheffe figured out how to turn his old Apple IIe into a dedicated Twitter machinee, not only displaying tweets in that gloriously pixel blurred Apple II font but blowing up the user’s profile picture into a glorious 8-bit portrait. The venerable IIe is too underpowered to actually run a networking stack or Twitter client, so it’s only the display that is being used, but even so: this is what Twitter would have looked like as an 80s door program.