Jerry York and Apple

Filed under: People

Jerome B. York became part of Apple’s board of directors in August of 1997 and remained in this role for almost thirteen years until his death, in March of 2010.

Steve Jobs - Jerry York part of new Board of DirectorsYork’s addition to the board was briefly introduced at Macworld Boston ’97 by Steve Jobs with the following words:

Jerry did a lot of the turnaround work at Chrysler and IBM and is extremely well-known and respected in the financial community for his work.

For the occasion there was a video put together with sound bytes from all of the new members, among which were also Gareth Chang from Hughes International, Bill Campbell from Intuit, Larry Ellison from Oracle and Ed Woolard from DuPont.

This is what Jerry York said about Apple and about the concepts of Reality, Experience, Focus and Passion:

Jerry York - Apple's new Board of Directors intro

  • Companies have to look at everything they’re doing and determine […] what are core componencies, what are the core parts of the business.
  • At Chrysler we had to take nearly 4 billion dollars out of the cost (?) structure to get Chrysler fully competitive, particularly with the japanese.
  • Apple has very strong positions in two market segments: first education and secondly creative content.
  • Whenever you have a strong position in a market segment you can capitalize on that.
  • And companies can spend billions of dollars to build their brand. Apple does not have to do that: it’s already been done.
Friday 19 March 2010, 12:55 pm

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Larry, John, Steve, and Bruce

Filed under: People,Software

If you click on the About menu item under System 6, on the right you can see a list of names: Larry, John, Steve, and Bruce. These are the names of the developers of this version of the Finder, the interface of the Macintosh

Finder 6.1.8

At the time Apple still used to give credit to developers by allowing them to appear in the info boxes of the software they had created. Usually their names appeared in full, sometimes even with pictures, but here all we have are the first names. Let’s see who these four are.

The last two, are the easiest to guess: they are of course Steve Capps and Bruce Horn.
Horn is the creator of the original Finder, a task in which he had the crucial assistance of Capps, who later had a key role in the Newton.

Larry is Larry Kenyon, longtime Apple and Mac developer. Kenyon, among other things, worked on Multifinder, the version of the Finder that starting from System 5 allowed Macintosh users to keep open many applications and switch between them bringing their windows to the front.

John is John Meier, who also worked on the Newton project and would keep on being a developer of subsequent versions of the Finder, the only one of the four names to do so.

Monday 15 February 2010, 6:26 pm
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The birth of the iPod Division

At the end of May 2004 Apple’s organization underwent a major shakeup. Three years after the introduction of its digital player, the Cupertino company created a new iPod division.

Jon Rubinstein from hardware to iPodJon Rubinstein was appointed Head and his role changed from “Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering” to the new “Senior Vice President iPod Division”.

The rest of Apple’s activities at the time were redirected into the Macintosh Division, with Timothy Cook at the helm.
Although Cook’s role was widened, his formal status didn’t change, at least according to the Executives Profiles page on the Apple website where he kept the old title of “Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations”.

The reorganization reflected the growing importance of the iPod at Infinite Loop, in particular after the introduction of the enormously successful iPod mini.

Five years later the iPod division came to an end when Apple’s digital walkmen joined the iPhone in the new “Devices Hardware” division, headed by new Senior Vice President Mark Papermaster

The screenshots of Jon Rubinstein are from cached versions of the website on the Internet Archive and are “courtesy of Apple”

Wednesday 20 May 2009, 1:09 pm
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The Apple IIsi

Apple IIsiCodenamed “Centossa”, the Apple IIsi was the swan song of the Apple II line: dating back to the first half of 1988 and envisioned as an heir of the IIgs.

The Apple IIsi predates the Mac IIsi with whom it shares not only the name but also some form elements and is probably one of the lesser known Apple products of the Eighties. Its mastermind is Jean-Louis Gassèe, head of R&D after Jobs departure and it is just one of the many projects which were started after the successful launch of the Mac II in 1987.

The industrial design of Apple IIsi is of course heavily based on the form factor of the Apple IIgs for hardware reasons, but also shines on its own, thanks to the work of Ken Wood and Robert Brunner of the Palo Alto studio Lunar Design. In fact this was proably one of the jobs that helped Brunner later becoming the head of a reformed Apple IDG (Industrial Design Group), envisioning new guidelines and a brand new direction after the frogdesign era.

Wednesday 01 April 2009, 11:31 pm

The people behind the Macintosh

Filed under: People

Storie di Apple - Original Mac people

“The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay. I can’t spend enough time here, unfortunately, because I have other responsibilities. But every spare moment I have, I dash back because this is the most fun place in the world.

This is the neatest group of people I’ve ever worked with. They’re all exceptionally bright, but more importantly they share a quality about the way they look at life, which is that the journey is the reward. They really want to see this product out in the world. It’s more important than their personal lives right now.

The Apple II had a magical feel about it. You couldn’t quantify it, but you could tell. The Macintosh is the second thing in my life that’s ever felt that way. Opportunities like this don’t come along very often. You know somehow that it’s the start of something great. So everyone wants it to be perfect and works really hard on it. Everyone feels a personal responsibility for the product.

The Macintosh is the future of Apple Computer. And it’s being done by a bunch of people who are incredibly talented but who in most organizations would be working three levels below the impact of the decisions they’re making in the organization. It’s one of those things that you know won’t last forever. The group might stay together maybe for one more iteration of the product, and then they’ll go their separate ways. For a very special moment, all of us have come together to make this new product. We feel this may be the best thing we’ll ever do with our lives.”

Steve Jobs in 1984 in the first issue of Macworld

Saturday 24 January 2009, 9:27 am
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