SAN FRANCISCO — If you want to make a truly killer app, here’s a crucial part of the creative process you shouldn’t overlook: Give your “finished” software to someone, ask them to do something with it, and then shut the hell up.
Observe their interaction with the app, and you’ll learn what you’re doing right — and what you’re doing wrong.
That priceless piece of advice comes from Bill Atkinson, an Apple veteran who coded some of the greatest Mac software of all time, including HyperCard and MacPaint.
Upcoming sci-fi shooter Rogue Invader looks like a massive HyperCard stack in glorious motion. Currently on Kickstarter to fund the last bit of development, the roguelike game is the brainchild of Squishy Games founder Nathan Rees, who’s been making games ever since he discovered the joys of MacPaint as a kid.
Apple may have just released OS X Mavericks and made it available to all for free, but it comes with a major flaw that you may not have noticed: it doesn’t run MacPaint… or MacDraw. But don’t worry — thanks to James Friend, you can run Mac OS 7 (System 7) — complete with MacPaint and MacDraw — right in your web browser.
Nearly three decades after Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh, a pair of incredibly rare Mac prototypes have been discovered and restored to working order.
The computers, known as Twiggy Macs because they used the same 5.25-inch Twiggy floppy disk drive found in Apple’s doomed Lisa, were tracked down and painstakingly brought back to life by Adam Goolevitch, a vintage Mac collector, and Gabreal Franklin, a former Apple software engineer.
“Throughout the past 15 years, I have heard stories of and researched the fabled ‘Twiggy Macintosh’ computer,” Goolevitch told Cult of Mac in an email. “It was a thing of myth and legend — like a unicorn.”
Locating these Macs was the first step, but getting them to work was the real challenge. Goolevitch and Franklin embarked on an all-out effort to resurrect these long-lost pieces of Macintosh history.
Now two Twiggy Macs have been returned to life in full working glory. They are — without a doubt — the oldest Macs in the world. With auction prices for Apple-1 computers nudging upward toward the half-million-dollar mark, these incredibly rare prototypes — which look a lot like something you might find at a garage sale — could prove priceless. Here is the story of their amazing resurrection.
The famous Macintosh Picasso logo was developed for the introduction of the original 128k Mac back in 1984. A minimalist line drawing in the style of Pablo Picasso, this whimsical graphic implied the whole of a computer in a few simple strokes. It was an icon of what was inside the box, and became as famous as the computer it represented.
The logo was designed by Tom Hughes and John Casado, art directors on the Mac development team. Originally the logo was to be a different concept called The Macintosh Spirit by artist Jean-Michel Folon, but before the release Steve Jobs changed his mind and had it replaced by the simple and colorful drawing by Hughes and Casado. It’s been beloved ever since, and the graphic style has endured across decades.
Back in 1983, when Apple was first developing MacPaint and its less-featured sister app for the Apple II, MousePaint, they had a menu option called “Aids” which contained image manipulation tools. You can see this menu in documentation for the original AppleMouse II.
Here’s another lovely short video from Matthew Pearce, the man behind the Matt’s Macintosh YouTube channel.
MacPaint doesn’t just explain what MacPaint was, but is more about why it was an important part of the software lineup back in those days. Things we take for granted today (like copying a graphic and pasting it into another document) were new and exciting back then.
As Matt points out, MacPaint in 1984 laid foundations for features you still see today in modern graphics applications.
(And one other thing: Matthew’s original Macintosh 128K looks pristine, and the screen as clean and bright as the day it was made. He even has an as-new copy of the original printed manual. Where does he find this stuff?)