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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Documenting the Macintosh – An interview with Caroline Rose

Filed under: People,Software

Caroline Rose joined the Mac Team at Apple in June 1982.
Caroline Rose at DevelopAlthough she didn’t appear in any official pictures, interviews or promotional material of the time, her pivotal role in the developing of Mac software is undisputable and has been honoured more than once by her colleagues.

Caroline was the technical writer of the Mac development team, producing most of the first three volumes of “Inside Macintosh“, the official guide for third party software developers. Her systematic approach to clarity also helped internal Apple developers who, thanks to Caroline remarks, sometimes rewrote their software improving it substantially.

Caroline left Apple in 1986 but later returned to Infinite Loop becoming the editor of a journal for Mac developers: in the meantime she kept herself busy managing the publications group at another important (and Apple-related) computer venture, NeXT. After that, in the last 12 years she has worked as an independent technical writer and editor.

We got in touch with Caroline and she graciously agreed to answer some questions about her work at Apple and most of all about the early days of the Macintosh, which this year has turned 25 years old.

Stories of Apple: Can you tell us how did you end up working for Apple?

Caroline Rose: I was working at Tymshare, down the block from Apple, when they called me. They had been having difficulties with a writer who wasn’t technical enough, whereas I had not only writing experience but also programming experience. Someone I used to work with at Tymshare who had left for Apple highly recommended me. I breezed through the interview (and the rest is history ;-).
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Monday 10 January 2011, 5:00 pm
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A Darwinian opening

Open AppleOn the 16th of March 1999 Apple announced Darwin, the open source core of Mac OS X.

While the product was actually released more than an year after, on the 5th of April 2000, the move signalled a big change for Apple, which openly embraced the open source movement after the false start of MkLinux a few years before.

Open AppleThe announcement of Darwin (and of an open source version of QuickTime Streaming Server) was closely related to the the first version of Apple’s NeXT generation operating system, Mac OS X Server, announced in January at Macworld.

So in March, just a few days apart, Apple shipped both its new server operating system and at the same time released freely many of its core foundations.

Darwin’s birth and Apple’s push into the open and free world were initially met with mixed reaction, with many people not knowing whether or not to trust Apple’s motives and the Apple Public Source License (APSL) chosen for the source code. OSI logoThe license was modified at least three times and only in 2003, after being already accepted by the Open Source Initiative as an “open source license” it also gained the “free software license” status by the more stern and orthodox Free Software Foundation.

The Cupertino company eventually began to get acceptance of its open efforts, adding through the years many projects such as Bonjour/Zeroconf, WebKit and Calendar Server to mainstays Darwin and Darwin Streaming Server enduring to this day a fruitful although occasionally rocky relationship with the open source community.

Monday 16 March 2009, 11:13 pm
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Ten years ago: here comes Mac OS X Server

Filed under: Software

On Jan. 5, 1999, during the Macworld Expo, Apple announced Mac OS X Server as its’ new server operating system offering, which was declared to combine “the proven strength of Unix with the simplicity of Macintosh”.

Mac OS X Server 1
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Monday 05 January 2009, 1:38 pm
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Apple’s software lineup in 2001

Filed under: Software

In 2001 Apple was still at the beginning of its slow transition from the Mac OS 9 era into the X one and also building up what would become a prominent role in the desktop video market.

In may of that year a promotional video was released in which Steve Jobs showed off the first Apple Store: in the last part the camera pans on the aisles and we can take a look at the main software offerings from Apple, still a mix of classic product lines and solutions coming from the NeXT acquisition.

Apple products - May 2001

From left to right you can see boxes of Mac OS X 10.0, Mac OS 9, AppleWorks 6, Final Cut (Pro) 1.2.5, AppleShare IP, AppleCare while in the lower part are Apple Media (blank) CDs and WebObjects 5.

Wednesday 10 December 2008, 8:55 am
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