Pair of Twiggys

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Wed Mar 15 10:37:21 CDT 2017

    > From: Raymond Wiker

    > Steve Jobs ... was also a stickler for perfection and largely unwilling
    > to make compromises.

Absolutely; and that's a large part of the reason for the success of Apple.
His products were just really well done.

It's also, I think, a big part of the causality for another Apple
characteristic: their push for closed systems. The thing is that Steve wanted
to make the user experience as good as possible (another hallmark of Apple
stuff) - and when the 'system' includes pieces being independently sourced
from multiple entities, it's hard to make that happen - there will be
glitches, etc. So that's why he usually wanted to bring the entire thing
inside the Apple envelope.

    > So, Steve Jobs ... should get some of the credit for the fact that
    > we're not all running Windows on variations of crappy PC hardware.

I think that's not accurate; Linux may not have a large user base among
non-technical people in the laptop area, but it does show that there are other
alternatives. And when it gets to smart-phones, of course, things which are
neither Apple nor uSloth are the majority there, no?

    > From: Chris Hanson

    > What the Apple folks saw and what was implemented for Lisa and then
    > Macintosh were vastly different.

I don't agree with the "vastly". (Having said that, I salute the Lisa/Mac
people for doing a very good job of producing a excellent user interface.)

The changes in the interface (menu bar, etc) are not that large; they are
mostly minor refinements to the basic image/pointing-based interface
pioneered by Xerox.

The biggest improvement, IMO, was not in the details of the window system, but
that everything used a common user interface - and the lack of that on the
Alto was not planned, but more a result of the fact that the Alto was so far
into new territory, and not done as an integrated system, but as a platform
for research.

    > - The one-button mouse.

Err, some of us don't see that as an 'improvement'... :-)

    > If you sit someone who knows how to use a Mac in front of a circa-1979
    > Xerox Alto, they'll be pretty mystified.

Yeah, but that's in good part because the Alto user interface is such a dog's
breakfast - Draw is nothing like Bravo is nothing like etc, etc. But, like I
said, that was inevitable, given the process that produced the Alto.


More information about the cctalk mailing list