A Steve Jobs doll towers over this 1/3 scale mini Macintosh. (All photos: John Leake)
It stands shorter than a Steve Jobs doll. It can be held in the palm of your hand. It runs System 6, and elicits squeals of delight from vintage Mac fans.
It is the Smallest Mac in the World.
Hot on the heels of the news of the world’s oldest working Macintosh comes a breakthrough of much more modest proportions. John Leake, co-host of the RetroMacCast, has created what may be the world’s smallest working Macintosh using a Raspberry Pi computer, PVC, some off-the shelf parts and a Mac emulator running under Linux. He calls it “Mini Mac.”
Why? As Leake writes on his blog, “this is one those ‘because I can’ projects with no practical use – my favorite kind!”
The endless runner genre continues to iterate across a variety of gaming apps for iOS, with clones and actual, unique ideas vying for the same space. Knightmare Tower, from Juicy Beast Studio, is one of the latter: a vertical endless runner with a twitchy, compelling take on the genre.
Players take on the role of a Knight, whose gameboy gaming session is interrupted by a letter from the local king. All of the king’s princess daughters have been captured by an evil skull, and must be rescued (sigh). Tired trope aside, the Knight leaps into action astride a wooden rocket ship, intent on flying to the top of the evil castle tower and rescuing a princess per level.
I remember when I got my first computer, ever, at the age of 24. It was a Macintosh Performa 638CD, and it came with this sweet little 14.4 baud modem that was my entree to the whole of the internet, which really wasn’t that popular back then.
I remember finding this cool little icon on the Mac with a little hand-drawn person on it, called eWorld. Hmm, I wondered. What the heck was eWorld?
Clicking through, I found an adorable little electronic village, all in that hand-drawn, gentle style. Oh, this must be like Compuserve, or Prodigy, right?
Well, yes and no. The softer, gentler world of eWorld was only for Macs, and it was my favorite place to go. Never mind that it was kind of empty; it was beautiful and I loved it.
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.