Tag - History
We're halfway through our year-long history celebrating Apple's 40th anniversary, and we've reached a milestone for the entire computer industry. These days, that really means a milestone for the world -- and yet, it's one that is barely remembered, hardly celebrated, and when you know what it is, our perspective from all these years later actually makes it hard to really comprehend how monumental it is.
It's a week of departures from Apple -- and not to spoil things too much, but whether people chose to leave or were pointed toward the door, it doesn't seem to have worked out brilliantly for them. Then again, it's not as if this has been an entirely good week for Apple itself, as there are two huge product launches that are marred by mistakes. All in all, there's not a lot in this week of June 18 to 24, across 1976 to 2016, to give you any clue that Apple would take over the world. Except, this is the week it did take over eWorld.
Next week's Worldwide Developer Conference is not exactly Apple's first WWDC: it's actually the 33rd. In the latest MacNN One More Thing podcast, host William Gallagher takes you through the history of this event as it grew into the compelling form we know today. You'll hear the famous moments we remember, the less-famous ones Apple would have us forget, and you will step into Steve Jobs's reality distortion field.
There is something about examining the events of a single week across Apple's four decades that really illuminates how much this company has done. It's as if watching year-by-year, you get inured to Apple's rises and falls, yet comparing specific weeks is like seeing a Before and After picture. Even in this comparatively quiet week of May 7 through 13, the few events are striking for how impossible it seems to be happening to the same company.
When you think "critical turning points in computer gaming history," chances are you might not think about the Mac at all. Richard Moss, a freelance writer, ludologist (gaming researcher), and gaming enthusiast, is going to try to change that. He's writing a book called The Secret History of Mac Gaming, and attempting to crowdfund its production.
If you learn just one thing from slicing week by week through Apple's four decades of history, then you really haven't been paying attention. The odds, though, are that the one thing you will learn is that contracts are really important. Microsoft beat Apple over copying the Mac because the Windows maker had better lawyers, for one thing, and the sheer number of lawsuits flung everywhere rivals the number of patents involved. Consequently, if you were going to do something that crossed a contract, you would sort out the paperwork first.
We're spending this 40th anniversary year of Apple's going through the company's rollercoaster history in one-week slices. Yet this time, let us blur that a little bit, and start with an event that isn't one you can pin to a certain hour -- but instead is a brooding problem that took place over all of April, 1985. For one thing, it's to do with the ousting of Steve Jobs from the company he co-created, and in history's telescoping of details, the usual story you hear is that CEO John Sculley fired him. It's actually not that unreasonable a summary, as he might as well have done, but strictly speaking no, he didn't -- and it didn't happen in one big board meeting.
Quite a bit happened with Apple during the week of April 9 through 15m in the years 1976 to 2016. Yet with some irony, it is the forgotten third partner who, for this one week, looms very large. Ronald G. Wayne co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, then confounded everyone by bailing out 12 days later.
Usually when you speak of a significant figure with Apple, you mean Steve Jobs or Tim Cook. Yet on this April 1 -- the 40th birthday of the company -- we want to examine 40 other figures. Numbers. Digits. The history of Apple as sliced up into numbers. Though speaking of slicing history, do make sure you're reading the year-long MacNN series that examines each week for what happened then across 1976 to today.
Not a great deal happened in this week of Apple history, except for the formation of the company and later its single-biggest financial loss ever. So it's the week of the company's birth and of its near death, that's all. As MacNN slices through the history of Apple's four decades one week at a time, this is perhaps the most striking example of its triumphs and disasters. It's also the week you can see the start of successes and troubles to come.