Macintosh – Patronizing the Naive User (Jul, 1984)
The complaints in articles about Apple seem strangely timeless.
Patronizing the Naive User
There is a lot of talk now about the naive user, what the naive user doesn’t want, and the hazards from which the naive user must be protected. Unfortunately, some of the steps that computer companies take on behalf of the naive user show a misunderstanding of what “naive” means in this context.
THE APPLE III BITES AGAIN (May, 1982)
Actually, it never stopped biting. The Apple III was an unmitigated disaster. One of the reason’s for its “reintroduction” was that Steve Jobs had insisted that it not have a fan. The chips inside would get so hot that they would pop out of their sockets. Apple’s official advice to customers when this happened was to lift the computer a few inches off of the table and drop it to reseat the chips.
Regarding it’s hard drive, it’s kind of crazy to think that it only spun at 60 RPM. Modern drives usually spin at 7,200 RPM and high end drives spin at 10-15,000 RPM; though the former usually have 3.5″ platters and the latter 2.5″ so there is a lot less metal to fling around. As pointed out by Michael Covington in the comments, the drive actually rotated 60 times per second, or 3600 RPM. Not that far off from today’s drives. My bad.
The OCR software kept reading “Apple III’s” as “Apple Ill’s” which seems appropriate.
Also, once again Interface age shows that they really could have used a spell-checker, or at least a copy-editor as this piece is rife with spelling errors (which I generally left in).
THE APPLE III BITES AGAIN
by Tom Fox
Sitting tall and handsome, the Apple III is the desktop computer of the future—or so it was intended, when introduced about a year ago. Since then, development hangups and production delays have allowed the competition the time to play catch-up. Recently re-introduced as the “new, more powerful Apple III,” how does the system measure up to its challengers?
“My Apple’s telephone just called up the home office!” (Jul, 1984)
This was the first modem I got for my Apple IIc. I remember being crushed when I tried to log in to a particular bulletin board system and it came back with: “300 baud? Yeah right, come back when you’re at least at 1200.”
“My Apple’s telephone just called up the home office!”
The exciting world of telecomputing. With a Hayes system, you just plug it in! Communicating is so easy with a complete telecomputing system from Hayes. Hayes Smartmodem 300™ is a direct-connect modem for the new Apple IIc. Hayes Micromodem IIe installs easily in an expansion slot in the Apple II, IIe, III and Apple Plus. Packaged with Smartcom I™ companion software, both are complete systems. Best of all, both systems are from Hayes, the established telecomputing leader. Just plug in-and the world is your Apple!
COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR – Mactribesmen (Jul, 1984)
The Mac had only been out for six months and already the fanboy trope was already in full effect.
“I’ve already experienced what happens when one is less than enthusiastic about Macintosh: the Mactribesmen descend in force with fire and sword.”
COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR
The AT&T Computers
Jerry Pournelle holds a doctorate in psychology and is a science-fiction writer who also earns a comfortable living writing about computers present and future.
I’ve just come back from COMDEX Winter in the Los Angeles Exposition Center, where I got to play with the new AT&T computers.
When AT&T announced a computer line, there was a bit of panic on Wall Street; after the prices were announced, the excitement died away. Too expensive. Who’s worried about a computer line whose lowest-cost item is a $9950 desktop? How can that affect the micro world? That’s what many Wall Street analysts said, anyway.
I don’t own any computer stock—the conflict of interest is obvious—but if 1 did, I’d give that analysis a lot of thought. People, that AT&T desktop computer is one hell of a machine.
Steve Jobs was Always Steve Jobs (Nov, 1982)
In 1982 Martin Amis, yes that one, wrote a book about video game culture called “Invasion of The Space Invaders”. In it he included a Steve Jobs quote from when he was still an Atari employee. It is classic Jobs:
“The computer,” says Atari’s Steve Jobs, “is one of the pinnacles of Western rational thought. They bring together physics, electronics, chemistry and mathematics; they bring logic, and philosophy, information theory, all that. And the people working on these computers possess a passion about the discovery and creation of something. It’s a passion that I have only seen matched in people pursuing what they consider to be the truth of their existence. It’s the same purity of spirit I have experienced in monks.”
Also check out his thoughts in this interview with Byte Magazine done when the Macintosh was introduced.
The hip young heroes of Atari, for instance, are convinced that they stand on the very brink of evolutionary breakthrough. The development of the video games is seen as roughly equivalent to mankind’s slow crawl from the primal broth of creation. Any day now, it seems, homo sapiens will once more be toweling himself down on the fresh dunes of tomorrow. “The computer,” says Atari’s Steve Jobs, “is one of the pinnacles of Western rational thought. They bring together physics, electronics, chemistry and mathematics; they bring logic, and philosophy, information theory, all that. And the people working on these computers possess a passion about the discovery and creation of something. It’s a passion that I have only seen matched in people pursuing what they consider to be the truth of their existence. It’s the same purity of spirit I have experienced in monks.” So perhaps the foul-mouthed, grimacing youths of the arcades aren’t just improving their geometrical and spatial awareness: what they’re really doing is searching for the meaning of life.