Larry Tesler on PARC and Apple

Filed under: People

On the 9th of November 2011 a group of engineers and other notable people who worked with Steve Jobs talked publicly about the Apple and Pixar founder during an evening organized by The Churchill Club, a Silicon Valley non-profit business and technology forum.

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Among them was Larry Tesler, who started as an engineer at Xerox’s famed PARC center, where (among other things) he invented the technique we now use to copy and paste on a computer and then worked for 17 years at Apple as VP of Advanced Tech and Chief Scientist.

I’ve taken the liberty to transcribe (and edit a bit) the very interesting six minutes of the video recording (start at 30:45, or see a clip) where Tesler tells about Apple’s involvement with PARC, its technologies and people.

“Xerox was facing a lot of competition from Asian companies in copiers when their patents expired and one thing they found was that they had a very high manufacturing cost and they were really having trouble competing with these new forces in the market.
At the same time they had Xerox PARC, developing very exciting technologies including the Ethernet, GUIs with windows and improved mice from what existed before. (more…)

Tuesday 08 November 2016, 2:00 pm
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The Lisa/Macintosh XL, one of the “most unforgettable old Macs”

Filed under: Hardware

This summer I noticed a question on Quora, asking “What are the most unforgettable old Mac computers?”

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While most of the answers (predictably) waxed poetic about mainstays such as original or the G4 iMac, the TAM (Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh), the Portable or some odd but cool looking model such as the Macintosh TV, I chose to go against the grain and listed the following choices:

-) Macintosh XL: Lisa born again as a Macintosh and a indespensable development tool in the early years
 
-) Macintosh SE/30: fast and powerful, but still compact as the first one
 
-) Macintosh Quadra 900/950: the biggest, heaviest, baddest Mac ever
 
-) PowerBook Duos: coupled with the DuoDock they were a groundbreaking concept
 
-) white iBooks/PowerBooks with IBM G3 processors: insanely great battery life for the time
 

Shrine Of Apple: Lisa Pascal Workshop 3.0

While the speed and power of the SE/30 or Quadras are a well-known fact and many have lauded the virtues of old PowerBooks (I am among those) I think I should expand a bit and offer more context on the first item, i.e. the importance of Lisa/Mac XL during the early years of the Macintosh’s life.

When in January 23 1985 Apple renamed the Lisa 2/10 to Macintosh XL, thanks to the addition of MacWorks XL, a Lisa program that allowed 64K Macintosh ROM emulation, it stressed the Lisa/XL had way more memory and storage space than the early 128K/512K Macs. (more…)

Tuesday 27 October 2015, 4:22 pm
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Meet the Apple 32 SuperMicros

Filed under: Hardware

In the original press release from January 1984 one could read that the

Macintosh, along with three powerful new Lisa 2 computers, forms the basis of the Apple 32 SuperMicro family of computers. All systems in the family run Macintosh software.

and that

“We believe that Lisa Technology represents the future direction of all personal computers,” said Steven P. Jobs, Chairman of the Board of Apple. “Macintosh makes this technology available for the first time to a broad audience–at a price and size unavailable from any other manufacturer. By virtue of the large amount of software written for them, the Apple II and the IBM PC became the personal-computer industry’s first two standards. We expect Macintosh to become the third industry standard.”

This was a marketing attempt Apple made to capitalize on the distinction between the old 8 and 16 bit and the newer and more powerful 32 bit microcomputers and at the same time a way to present the Mac and the Lisa together to help a bit with the (poor) sales of its’ first computer with a GUI.

The “Apple 32 SuperMicros” monicker was actually used internally at Apple since November 1983 and than used in some of the promotional material the following year, grouping the Mac with three Lisa configurations (without an external hard drive, and with a 5 MB or 10 MB ProFile drive).

The brochure scans are taken from ballistikcoffeeboy ‘s photostream on Flickr.

Monday 26 January 2009, 8:01 am
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More hands of Cupertino

Filed under: Design

In “The hands Cupertino” it’s been stated that notwithstanding Apple’s long and heterogeneous output there is a constant in its promotional iconography: the use of hands.

To make the point more clear here are more examples, taken from a very wide spectrum of Apple products, strategies and eras.

Apple Mac Hand
Apple Mac II hand expansion cardApple Mac hand check
(more…)

Monday 08 December 2008, 8:49 am
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The hands of Cupertino

Filed under: Design

If you take a look at Apple’s output of information and promotional material there is one thing that stands out: the prominent use of hands.

During its’ thirty year the Cupertino company has conceived, produced and release an incredible amount of products and strategies but has been incredibly consistent in its imagery. Be it the need to explain the workings of the mouse, to show the very small footprint of its computers on the desktop or the reduced thickness of a player, the professional results one can get, the revolutionary interfaces or just how easy the networking is, Infinite Loop’s “hands on” and extremely personal approach is unmistakable and very clear from the iconography of Apple’s ads throughout its history.

hands on the Lisa

A computer everyone can useHere's how you can use it
(more…)

Monday 17 November 2008, 5:01 pm
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