ARMageddon and ARMistice

Filed under: Hardware

Twenty five years ago, in May 1992, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Chicago, Apple CEO John Sculley previewed Newton, a groundbreaking pen-based “personal digital assistant” technology. Manager and Newton champion Michael Tchao declared it “so easy to use that it actually assists the user”.

But the black, videocassette-sized device, with a 3-by-5-inch screen shown to the CES attendees wasn’t really working. (more…)

Sunday 01 October 2017, 11:49 am
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Jaguar Vs Cognac

The two projects, which aimed to bring RISC technology to the Macintosh, had totally different approaches and resources. Here are some of the main points which put them at the antipodes.

Jaguar had dozens of engineers from the start and was a very ambitious project.
Cognac, at least initially, had a much smaller team. Work started as a stopgap solution to bridge 68k and RISC, later evolved into a “plan B” and then became the only way forward for the Macintosh.

Since the 88k architecture wasn’t compatible with the 68k one, Jaguar engineers chose to start with a clean slate, even tough this meant that there would be the need to recompile all previous software for the Macintosh. This was similar to the IA-64 debacle of Intel’s Itanium , which was humiliated by AMD’s evolutionary way to add 64-bit computing capabilities to the existing x86 architecture.
The Cognac team was much more pragmatic. (more…)

Wednesday 23 August 2017, 10:04 am
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The 88110 CPU and the RISC workstations that never were

At the beginning of the Nineties both Apple and NeXT were planning to unveil new RISC machines, powered by the Motorola 88110 CPU. At that point the Motorola 68000 family, also known as 68k or m68k, was clearly a dead end and it was time to move on.

The MC88110 was part of a new RISC architecture from Motorola, the 88000, dubbed m88k, and looked like the right solution for both businesses, though it arrived a bit late on the market.

Originally called the 78000, to stress its kinship with the 68000, the new architecture promised to outclass the performance of the processors used in top of the line Macintoshes and NeXT workstations. (more…)

Friday 28 July 2017, 11:56 am
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“Firing Steve Jobs”: an upcoming documentary featuring John Sculley

Filed under: News

“Firing Steve Jobs” is an independent documentary about one of the most dramatic and important moments in Steve Jobs’ life: the one in which he was forced to resign from Apple.

It is currently in the final days of its Kickstarter phase and you can (and should) back it by choosing one of the many options, from a mere 5 USD pledge to a 5000 USD “Corporate Sponsor” reward.

The documentary will focus on former Apple CEO John Sculley, who fired Jobs in 1985 and then led the company until 1993 and angel investor Armas Clifford “Mike” Markkula Jr., the first and arguably most important Apple backer, who helped incorporate Apple in 1977.

“Firing Steve Jobs” will also feature many Silicon Valley and early Personal Computer era personalities such as Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld, Larry Tesler, Jay Elliot, Paul Terrel, Chuck Peddle, Alvy Ray Smith and Alan Cooper.

Thursday 20 July 2017, 11:21 am

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The early days of Apple Computer, Inc.

Filed under: People

2017 marks quite a few big anniversaries for Apple.
While most news outlets and users celebrated the first 10 years of the iPhone, on January 3 longtime Apple employee Chris Espinosa reminded us that forty years ago, Apple was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc.

The April 1, 1976 date which many remember was Apple’s first and acerbic incarnation, when Jobs, Woz, and Ron Wayne formed the Apple Computer Company as a partnership. (more…)

Friday 30 June 2017, 1:00 pm
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