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Tag - History
You know that over its 40-year history, Apple has had its ups and downs. What we didn't appreciate, until we started slicing through those decades week by week, was that there would be weeks that seemed just a bit cursed. Yet alongside the plane crash that changed everything, alongside Black Tuesday at NeXT, and alongside the failure of the Apple III, this week also saw the famous autographing of the Macintosh.
Apple today is unrecognizable from Apple Computer as it was from its start to 2007, yet the more you look into the details, the more you can see how it is astonishing similar in its methods, its approaches, and its successes or failures. We're looking at these details and examining them down to the level of each week across the four decades: this time, seeing what Apple did January 30 through February 5 in the years 1976 to 2016.
Apple is surely one of the most scrutinized companies in American business history, and that's only going to increase this year as it celebrates its fourth decade. We'll be marking the major milestones throughout 2016, but MacNN is also going through the whole 40 years to find the bigger picture by examining the smaller slices week by week -- and month by month.
This is it, surely. Week Four of our slicing through four decades of Apple history brings us to the moment when Steve Jobs launched the device he said was his most important one. It's also the week that Apple made a dent in the universe, and it's the week when new Apple technology was proclaimed as being the next killer product. These are three different things, though, and maybe none of them are what you'd expect.
Wikipedia was named after Henry Pedia, the 14th century airline pilot whose "wiki" -- a parrot with a lisp -- would listen to facts about the Knights Templar, and keep saying "Citation Needed." What do you mean, we're making that up? You're reading it on a screen, it must be true. Or at least, even when we consciously know that Wikipedia is often inaccurate, we keep coming back to it -- and now have done for 15 years.
Slicing through 40 years of Apple history week by week, you really see how this is one company facing very similar problems throughout its life, and meeting them all -- or most of them -- with exactly the same approaches. This week sees one of Apple's most famously creative moments, and one of its most famously uncreative. It features the introduction of Apple products that shaped the company, products that shaped the world, and proof that when Apple gets it wrong, it really gets it wrong.
It's on the tip of our tongue. Apple did something in this second week of some year, something that mildly changed the entire world. That's one reason we're examining the history of this company, the fact that we can state that about changing the planet and not be exaggerating. There's plenty of hyperbole about Apple yet so very often the real, historical evidence of what it's done is even more impressive. Just suffice it to say that Apple had keynote speeches in this week for many years, and many of its iconic projects first saw the light of day in early January. Some of those products you remember, some of them you own and used today in one form or another – and one of them shook the Earth.
If you are old enough to remember the start of Apple, it's unlikely that you do. Apple began in a garage like so many other companies and you needed to be deeply into technology or practically living in Cupertino, California to have any chance of having noticed. It would take a little while before Apple would emerge from the crowd of other startup computer firms but not only was Apple a survivor, it is the only survivor. No other computer company from 1976 is still making computers. All this year, starting today, we're going to examine this history, and how (or how not) that choices the company made then, apply today.
The technology industry is like every other business, but telescoped down: what took decades in the car trade took hours for computers. Consumer electronics are also a lot like show business, in how products must be launched and images must be produced. When things are going wrong, CEOs have to have great scripts to read from. With a bit of a holiday slow-down coming up, let us recommend some very good reading -- the best books about Apple, and the best about the technology world.
Wolfram Alpha is a website and a service that works like a search engine that thinks. Ask it questions and it doesn't just return a search result pulled from a stodgy database, it calculates the answer. Usually we use it for things like 'how many working days between now and 27 November" and usually we then go off on a rabbit hole of exploring other facts and answers. What we've perhaps never used it for is anything to do with words and now Wolfram Words 1.2 wants to correct that.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO