Stories of Apple is on Tumblr

Filed under: News

If you love Apple’s history and want more there’s another resource: the brand new and official account of Stories of Apple on Tumblr.

As stated in the description, it’s a [svelte and visual] companion to the articles and posts published on www.storiesofapple.net.

Stories of Apple on Tumblr

You’ll find shortish quotes, memorable images and assorted tidbits from Apple’s history, taken not only from the Stories of Apple/Storie di Apple websites but also from other notable sources online, among which are people who are or have been working at Apple and have interesting facts and memories to share.

So follow the tumblr (it’s free), read, enjoy and reblog!

Tuesday 08 July 2014, 5:37 pm

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Susan Kare, Iconographer

Filed under: People

I seldom post videos, but yesterday I had the pleasure to view a presentation that anyone using Macintoshes (or digital devices) simply must see.

It’s called Susan Kare, Iconographer and it’s a video from the EG Conference starring Susan Kare, the artist who, in the early 80s, conceived and drew much of the initial iconography for the “computer for the rest of us”.

Friday 20 June 2014, 12:38 pm
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A Pencil Test for the Macintosh II

Filed under: Hardware,People,Software

Introduced in March 1987, the Macintoh II was the ultimate Mac for professionals. Based on the new 68020 processor, it was the first 32-bit Mac (although it was not “32-bit clean), it had six Nubus expansion slots and was the first Mac with color capabilities, capable of handling up to 16.7 million colors. It was the perfect machine to professionally create, manage and edit audio, photos and moving images.

Pencil TestApple was eager to show off the graphics prowess of their Macintosh II line of computers.
To do this they put together a short, three minute, computer-animated film, titled “Pencil Test”, which was premiered at the SIGGRAPH 88 international trade show, and was widely distributed on the QuickTime 1.0 CD.

The plot sees a pencil tool escaping from a Mac screen to (comically) explore the richness and three dimensionality of “real” objects only to desperately try and return to its pixellated world.

“Pencil Test” was entirely created on a Mac II (some say actually a Mac IIx, but the dates don’t match), by a group of talented artists (more on this later) working with Apple’s Advanced Technology Graphics Group. (more…)

Wednesday 07 May 2014, 4:07 pm

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Two great Apple-retro-styled items: the Disk II SD Card Reader and the Classic Macintosh iPod Nano Dock

Filed under: Design,Hardware,News

The world of retrocomputing (or computing history, if you wish) and modern tech products seldom meet.

I have been asked a few times to haw^^advertise new products for sale but have always refused since I never found new stuff which had something in common with the old technology I write about on Stories of Apple and its italian version. That was until a couple of days ago, when I found, on Etsy, two very nice Apple-retro-styled items made by RetroConnector.

The Disk II styled USB SD Card Reader is an external reader of SD memory cards, which has been styled after the iconic Apple II floppy disk drive from 1978. It’s available in beige, mimicking the color of the original disk drive, or in an unpainted in white and black which were the colors of a rare Bell & Howell edition of the Apple II.

Here it is, in a view embedded from the Etsy listing.

Disk II styled USB SD Card Reader

The other item is a Classic Macintosh iPod Nano Dock, a dock for 6th generation iPod nano. It resembles a Macintosh from the late Eighties, in a painted “platinum” beige to match the color chosen for the Mac Plus by frogdesign. Also: when inserted, the iPod nano acts as a screen for this tiny tiny computer for the rest of us.
Here it is.

Classic Macintosh iPod Nano Dock

Both items are quite costly ($50.00 USD for the card reader and 60 for the dock) and are obviously absolutely unofficial products, not licensed by Apple.
On the other hand they succeed in recreating the look and the memory of the original items, which are now over 30 years old, while also being useful accessories for modern Apple products, which is quite a feat.

Well done, RetroConnector!

p.s. There is no referral in the links and I do not get any percentage or kickback from the sale.

Thursday 17 April 2014, 6:59 pm
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The birth of Photoshop

Filed under: Software

At the end of 1988 Steve Schaffran, founder and Chief Operating Officer of Barneyscan, a California start-up that had just introduced one of the first high-quality 24-bit color film scanners struck a deal with two brothers, John and Thomas Knoll

adobephotoshop2-scatolaDuring the previous two years the Knolls had conceived and developed a program not only capable of displaying images on the screen of a Macintosh but which also included features to resize, sharpen, soften, lighten, darken, adjust curves and “make dozens of other amazing transformations”. Among these, as Schaffran notes, the most useful was the conversion of a color picture “from the red, green, blue color space of the computer display to the cyan, magenta, yellow, black color space necessary for exposing printing plates for printing color”. 

In march 1989 version 0.65 the program, renamed Barneyscan XP, was bundled with the Barneyscan (film) scanner, transforming the Macintosh into a powerful color scanning and retouching workstation for 1/100th of the price of comparable solutions then used in the printing industry. Barneyscan XP, which was actually more lauded than the scanning hardware, was the first commercial incarnation (and distribution) of a program which would be rereleased eleven months later to much greater impact. 

Encouraged by its art director Russell Brown, Adobe decided to buy a license to distribute an enhanced version of the software. (more…)

Saturday 15 March 2014, 3:34 pm
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