Saturday, May 04, 2013

"Welcome to MacIntosh": A lot of people preferred Apple even during the pre-History of the PC

Welcome to MacIntosh” (2008, by Robert Baca and Josh Rizzo) does give an interesting pre-history of the Apple, in the very earliest days, when lazier hobbyists might have started out with a Radio Shack TRS-80 (like I did).  Long before the Mac, we had the Apple II.  And remember the flurry over the iMac in early 2002 (I was on a waiting list in Minnesota to buy one). 

In the middle of the film, the story picks up the return of Steve Jobs, and his insistence that Apple did not need to beat Microsoft (or IBM and its clones), much less drive it out of business.
Apple was, of course, praised for its relative “simplicity” for non-programmers, and in the earlier days was somewhat behind in the “business apps” (like database programs that can invoke SQL). It tended to be more expensive that an IBM-clone PC.  
But Apple also is responsible for many of the hardware innovations we take for granted today – first the Firewire, and most of all the USB bus and flash drive. (USB seems to have supplanted Firewire.)

There were some glitches.  An engineer placed a magnet for games too close to the hard drive in one model, causing it to freeze sometimes.  The modern MacBook has a magneting power cord, which doesn't seem to hurt anything. but may not be the best idea.
The film spends some space on the movie editing package Final Cut and its apparent superiority in ease of use over any previous editing programs common in the indie movie business. 
Despite the early controversies about financial results, Apple was not basically a “bottom-line” inspired company.  But it has become one of the richest companies ever. 
Toward the end, we say. “There can be no other Steve Jobs”.  But the film was made three years before his passing. 

Apple really did not set out to change the world.  But Facebook did.  

See also review of "One Last Thing", Nov. 3, 2011.  
DVD has extensive interviews by Wayne Bibbens, Charles DeVore, Richard Hasleym Andy Hertzfeld, Guy Kawaski, Leander Kaheny, Jim Reekers, Ron Wayne, and Wayne Wenzlaff. 

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