This year (1997) in Apple’s history is special, and still the most mysterious. It would seem that about him so much is written – very different and contradictory …
Not surprising. In 1997, the predictable and comfortable flow of computer history, due to the irresponsible actions of one person (in fact), whirled swirls, which led to the sudden extinction of thousands of companies, a change in the landscape of the industry.
It would seem that nothing much has happened. One company, pushed aside by its own unreasoned actions on the periphery of the computer industry, where it slowly and ignominiously withered, without exerting any (seemingly) influence on the world around, suddenly changed her mind about dying.
In the fate of this company, no radical changes occurred. It continued to slide to the final point of its existence, and it seems, not by inertia. But something all the same has changed. As if someone had experienced an unknown superweapon, naturally not reporting it in the newspapers and warning nobody, and a “tectonic shift” began.
I apologize for the chronological inconsistency, but I can not return to the beginning of the apple metamorphosis. I just can not find an answer to two questions: “What kind of a super weapon?” And “when, in fact, all this happened?”
I do not know the answer, and I’ll just tell you more about a few events of the mysterious year, suddenly I did not notice something important?
This is the seventh part of the series about turning Apple into NeXT Apple. Previous parts:
NeXT Apple .
Apple chooses the path .
Carboniferous period (Carbon) in the history of Apple .
A monster called Mac OS X
Mac OS X: Core Fund
The 13th birthday of the Mac’s system
Nothing boded … On the morning of November 8 (but new style) in 1917, in Petrograd, there were trams, people came back after the night shift, shops opened and smelled of fresh bread – and the check was already pulled out, the explosion was inevitable, there were a few moments left.
On January 24, 1997, on his 13th birthday, the Mac’s system received several gifts. First, now she had a real official name, Mac OS. Prior to this, in all official documents, it was (simply or shamefully, or somewhat arrogantly) called simply System. Secondly, on this day came out Mac OS 7.6 (Harmony), which, for the first time in many years, did not support the “classic” Mac’i. The list of outcasts included not only Mac Plus and Mac SE, but also Mac LC, Mac II, Mac IIx and Mac IIcx. Third, what was also new and unusual for Apple, the promise “to update the classic system every six months” was meticulously executed.
About Ellen Hancock, we have said more than once, in the unfolding drama in 1996-97, her role is not the most positive, but we must give her due: she did a lot of useful and necessary for the company, for example, restored the development of the “classical” system, developed strategy of its development and now, step by step, embodied the conceived.
In Mac OS 7.6, much has changed for the better: on Macs with PowerPC, it worked significantly faster than 7.5 (in many critical places in the system, in parallel with the code for 680×0 now was the code for PowerPC), but because of the termination of support for 24-bit mode much has been simplified. The engineers no longer had to remember the gray antiquity, now they had the right to “sharp movements”.
Not without bugs “first magnitude”. The new installer of the operating system was named among its most important innovations. He really was good, but …
The installer had two installation modes, “Easy Install” and “Custom Install”. If you choose the first one, the installer himself decided what and how to install – not the worst choice, between us: the installer’s authors, over the months of its development, installed the system thousands of times more than you install in your entire life.
And those who chose Custom Install, and within ten to fifteen minutes thoughtfully selected the composition and features of the installation, clicking the “Next” button, received the same Easy Install as their careless colleagues.
This mega-bug was a by-product of some urgent editing at the last minute, and as always in such cases, it became a scandal. Correction of this bug took a second or two, but distributions have already gone to customers …
And two days later, on January 26, 1997, the new “permanent adviser to the head of the company,” Steve Jobs , crossed the uninhabited passage (deceptively defenseless).
The check was pulled out. The world still looked the same as a second ago, but fate has already turned the page.
G3, Phil Schiller, “Ready, Set, Go!”
Contemporaries Apple Event (he was officially called that way) in November 1997 something did not seem: in their opinion, the news was not enough, and they themselves were some not cool. I thought so too. But, after watching the video of this event in almost 21 years, I changed my point of view …
PPC 740/750, a representative of the fourth generation of PowerPC processors, was a real “grand piano in the bush” for Steve and Apple. And they squeezed out of this gift of fate everything that was possible, and even more. In Mac’ah, only PPC 750 was used, on Apple they were called G3. It seems that this way (with the letter “G”), the generations of processors were named in the secret plans of the consortium Apple-IBM-Motorola: G0, G1 (PPC 601 and 602), G2 (PPC 603 and 604), and now – G3.
They had nothing to do with the creation of this processor. On Motorola, too, were in shock: in fact, the 740/750 was created as an “easy” processor (like 601 and 603), which was planned to be supplemented with a “heavy” option (like 602 and 604), but it turned out that miracles with a plus sign too happen – 740/750 was phenomenally good. His performance was superior to that planned for his “big brother”, and the power consumption was low, in strict accordance with the technical assignment …
The project to develop the “older brother G3” was closed, the forces were transferred to the next generation, and Apple received a powerful undeserved trump card. G3 really “roasted” the Pentium II, G3 / 266MHz won the performance of the Pentium II / 300MHz.
PowerMacintosh G3 and PowerBook G3 were represented by Phil Schiller. He came to the company in March 1997, and … He did not talk about Megahertz and benchmarks. Mentioned – and that’s it. He just compared the “weak” (according to public opinion) Macs with the “cool” PCs to the steepest Pentium II with the highest clock speed available on the market and puzzled them with the same tasks in Photoshop (desktops) and Macromedia (laptops) , and … Won. Torn! The audience clapped!
Such races Phil Schiller (sometimes he was assisted by Steve Jobs), probably thousands of times – but in the presented video he does it for the very first time.
Online Apple Store
In one of the articles about Metrowerks, one of the most promising companies of the late 90s who fell victim to Steve Jobs’s tectonic shift, describes the complexity of distributing software products “off-line” . Boxes, production, logistics …
Therefore, it is difficult to overestimate the opening of Apple’s own online store (for the sale of hardware and software).
Another important step towards profitability and prosperity, which is obvious and understandable – one could simply mention it casually, and go further.
But in the history of the Online Apple Store, in addition to its unique need and utility, there is something else. In its time, promoting WebObjects, NeXT Software has developed, for a number of companies ready to pay dearly for a quality on-line turnkey shop, such a store for Dell.
This fact, with enormous pleasure, was mentioned by Steve in all the convenient cases. But when Steve returned to Apple, got a “special relationship” with Microsoft, Michael Dell, the owner and head of Dell, publicly stopped using the store from NeXT (instead Dell Computer, together with Microsoft, created his own) – apparently, Steve had to return the received for Dell Store money.
Developers of the former Dell Store, they are WebObjects developers, and Apple employees, were tasked to adapt this project to the needs of their new homeland. Having saved at least half a year and a lot of money, they created the Online Apple Store.
Thank you, Dell!Viewing:-23
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