[LINK] Jobs the Worlds "Doability" Marketeer. Was Jobs - not all bad

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Thu Oct 13 15:53:09 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Kim Holburn
> Sent: Thursday, 13 October 2011 12:05 PM
> To: Link list
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Jobs not all bad
> On 2011/Oct/13, at 12:45 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> > 2c worth.
> > 
> > 1c: Apple's wish for the walled garden is far, far older 
> than the iPad
> > or iPhone.
> Of course.  For a long time Macs had an incompatible floppy 
> drive, back when floppy drives were important.  They had 
> their own proprietary mouse/keyboard bus, mind you, it was 
> far superior at the time to anything IBM PCs had.  They had 
> their own networking system, well, so did everyone else at 
> the time too.  They were innovative and made lots of 
> mistakes, as everyone who is innovative do:  Apple III, I 
> used to use one;  Jobs desire to make systems without fans 
> lead to a couple of dead ends, (the cube anyone?);  the 
> Newton; the first speech recognition software; the hockey 
> puck mouse (the one button mouse).  It's easy in hindsight to 
> criticise design blunders.  On the other hand, they put 
> together stuff that really changed the way people worked.  At 
> the time of the Amiga, Macs had networking and laser 
> printers.  You didn't have to have a server, you just 
> connected them up and they talked.  Anyone who was there at 
> the time of the first laserwriters will tell you what a huge 
> ad!  vance they were, while PCs and Amigas and everyone else 
> were printing on dot matrix or line printers (if they were 
> lucky) and I can tell you, configuring PCs and printers was 
> not for the faint-hearted.  Macs and Laserwriters?  You 
> plugged them in and they worked.
> <SNIP>

I have a slightly different recollection of the world of printers and

I remember star lasers, Qume 10's, Tektronix, and the HP LaserJet all
predating the apple LaserWriter.

Possibly it was just Computer Solutions customers in Darwin that were
lucky enough to get advance colour lasers, CPM with unix spooling via
Serial (@19.2K) LPR (in 1984.) Albeit with only two or three fonts
(courier, Helvetica and one other...) with only 10 and 12 pitch.

Then again, maybe I was smoking something and dreamed the whole thing.
No, it was the price.

A dot matrix printer circa 1984 was $900.00.
A Qume Laser 10 was $14,000 and the Tektronix Phasers were $26,000.

Ahhh, no wonder only schools and desk-top publishers could afford to buy
Apples with LaserWriter's. (The Alto with Ventura and an HP was almost
double the Apple/Pagemaker/Laserwriter package.)

On the topic of networking, I remember Circa 1983, NEC HO2's with CPM
using serial networking and of course, ICL Oslan (2-10 MB coax) in 1984.
Further I remember 1200/9600 (depending on 3/5 wire crossover - with or
without DTR) bps Kermit and xmodem file transfer serial networks between
IBM PC's (Mainly for LPR purposes).

What Apple did introduce was the layman non-geek "do-ability" (just plug
it in and it works.)
In that regard, Non-geeks could manage complex 8-12 machine networks
whereas the equivalent in an IBM network needed a 3270 Hub, four hundred
miles of cabling with a Compsci degree and an IBM apprenticeship. (Or a
unix server).

And apple didn't invent speech recognition; I had (still have the board
somewhere) a 16 bit Kurzweil speech recognition programme which I ran on
an ITT 286XL, several years before the Newton made it's appearance.

Apple didn't invent. It repackaged and marketed, (very very well,) other
peoples inventions.


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