so su mi

In 1990, during the development of the new Macintosh operating system software, System 7, Apple Computers was being sued by Beatles’ Apple Corps.

The two Apples had an agreement that stated that Apple Computer was prohibited from entering the music market and were again battling in court after the introduction of the Apple IIgs, which had MIDI capabilities. This meant that any new work on audio features was closely reviewed by Apple’s legal department.

Jim ReekesOne of the new features of System 7 was a new Sound Manager, which replaced the older APIs and, among other things allowed higher quality playback of audio.
One night Jim Reekes, the engineer who managed the develoment of audio on the Mac from 1990 to 1999 and, among other things*, created the startup chord, found out that one of the new system alert sounds he created** for System 7 was problematic. It was deemed “too musical” because of its name, Xylophone, and had to be renamed. (more…)

Thursday 02 October 2014, 4:25 pm
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“Where did the computer go?”

Filed under: Hardware

When, at the end of August 2004, Apple introduced the new iMac G5, Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, stated that “A lot of people will be wondering ‘where did the computer go?’”.

wheredidthecomputergo

With the entire system fused with the display in a design only two inches thick, the new iMac was in fact a masterpiece of technological miniaturization. But it not only totally removed the main processing unit from the user’s view, it also packed in less space more power than the preceding G4-based generation, blurring even more the line between professional and consumer products. (more…)

Tuesday 16 September 2014, 2:28 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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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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