Pair of Twiggys

Fred Cisin cisin at
Wed Mar 15 13:48:19 CDT 2017

On Wed, 15 Mar 2017, Noel Chiappa via cctalk wrote:
> 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.

A closed system (aka "monopoly") has significant characteristics.
1) lack of difficulty integrating "other" peripheral stuff, through 
greater quality control, and INABILITY to add "other" peripheral stuff.
Examples: a) MFM V RLL V ESDI V SCSI hard disks - much more struggle for 
users than "here is THE drive.  Buy it. It JUST works."
(Q: which meaning of "just" is that?  simply? or barely?)
b) specific example: Sunshine EPROM programmer (ISA almost free)
specific example: ECC memory board  (I don't think that Apple was even 
using parity)

2) MAJOR hurdles to development of an after-market industry.
I've heard that Jobs was displeased when he was shown the numbers of what 
percentage of Apple2 disk drives were being purchased from vendors other 
than Apple.
Woz ENCOURAGED an after-market   ("open" system)
Jobs sought to eliminate or at least rein it in.

A closed system tends to be more profitable to the controller of it, but 
can be presented to the public as a means of quality control.
Check out the "right to repair" link that Chuck gave us!
"Replacing a bad screen on an iPhone must be prevented, because it is TOO 
DANGEROUS, and a consumer could cut a finger on the broken glass!"

> 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?

On computers, the OS is predominantly Windoze and Apple, with Linux and 
Chrome as less common, but present alternatives.
on Phones, the OS is predominantly Android and Apple.
How successful will Microsoft's tablet OS be?

Below the user interface, is Android very similar to Linux?

>    > 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.)

"copied from" V "based on" V "inspired by"?
Apple didn't "steal" it; the PARC researchers encouraged them to go with 
Apple was not that open when it was their turn to be copied from, when
DRI produced GEM, or MICROS~1 produced Windoze 2.

(There was a conflict, that keeps recurring in this industry!  Apple had 
agreed to let MICROS~1 use certain stuff in Windoze; but then felt that 
Windoze 2 was a different product (citing "ALL NEW!" marketing) that 
wasn't included in the agreement.
But, that is not the only time.  Seattle Computer Products was 
"grandfathered" royalty free unlimited license to MS-DOS.  When SCP was 
on the rocks and considering selling out to AT&T, etc. ("assets include 
unlimited license to MS-DOS"), MICROS~1 took the stance that that would 
not apply to anything but Verion 1.  In an uncharacteristically 
reasonable move, MICROS~1 bought SCP, keeping it off the market without a 

>    > - The one-button mouse.
> Err, some of us don't see that as an 'improvement'... :-)

some point to "cognitive delay"
some point to simpler instructions in documentation

I loved the Logitech 3 button mouse.
For a while, I even velcro'ed the PCJr keyboard on top of its mouse!

> > If you sit someone who knows how to use a Mac in front of a circa-1979 
> > Xerox Alto, they'll be pretty mystified.
"Hello, computer"
"Use the mouse."
"Hello, computer" (into mouse)

> 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.

early attempt/prototype/proof of concept  V  later evolved/refined product

I only played with a Lisa once.  My cousin, David Ungar, was working on 
Smalltalk, and had a pre-release one in his office in Evans Hall. I bet 
him that they could not find ANY of their floppies that did not yet have a 
thumbprint on the media.  When he put on gloves to open a fresh box, did 
that count?
I tried to make an extra floppy for it, but 300 Oersted ("360K") did not 
"'Maserati of the mind'?  Yeah.  Fantastic toy!  I want one!  But 
way too expensive for me, and unusable for my rush-hour commute with no 
place to put a sack of groceries or a bunch of computers."

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

More information about the cctalk mailing list