Young Macintosh Days

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 2006-03-30 Print this article Print

: Answers"> Young Macintosh Days: Answers Question 4. What was Carl Sagan?
Answer: C. The code name for the Power Macintosh 7100.
Released in January 1994, the 7100 ran a PowerPC 601 processor, the first generation of PowerPC chips. However, when it was revealed in the pages of MacWEEK that the code name of the model was Carl Sagan, the astronomer complained and brought legal action against Apple. The product team didnt take to his rejection of their bestowed honor (the code naming of a product for a living person) and when asked by management to rename the model came up with the name "BHA," reportedly standing for "Butt-head Astronomer." In 1995, Apple and the scientist came to a settlement. "Dr. Sagan has made great contributions in many areas of higher learning and in particular has made complex subject matter interesting and understandable to a wide audience. Apple has always had great respect for Dr. Sagan, and it was never Apples intention to cause Dr. Sagan or his family any embarrassment or concern," the company said in a statement. Question 5. According to Mac users in 1997, Mac OS 8: Answer: D. All of the above. Mac OS 8, introduced in 1997, proved a big step forward for the platform—bringing a number of features from the long-awaited next-generation Copland OS. Unlike earlier steps in the previous System 7 series, Mac OS 8 required a PowerPC processor, orphaning many older machines. However, the advances came with great pain, breaking many third-party applications and plug-ins. Worse, the multithreaded Finder was very slow for many ordinary tasks, such as copying files. I attended a "party" at the 1998 Macworld Expo Boston held by the development team of the Mac OS 8.5 update. It was an informal affair—a bag of chips tossed on a hotel room table—marked only by the rather defensive tone of the t-shirts handed out to attendees. In white letters on a black background, the shirt proclaimed that "Mac OS 8.5 Sucks Less." And it was so. It really wasnt until the arrival in 1999 of what Apple called a "nanokernel" in Mac OS 8.6 that things were settled and the performance issues really resolved. And by that time, the speeds of the PowerPC G3 and PowerPC G4 chips had climbed, helping the situation. Question 6. Mac vs. Windows: The last round? Answer: False. According to my late colleague Don Crabb, the conversation between Gates and Jobs was fake, done by means of a slick video tape fed into the venue in real time. It sure fooled me and most everyone in the hall. "One last note: Bill Gates, whose 25-foot-high video image filled the Castle midway through the Jobs keynote to bless the Apple/Microsoft agreement, was not live, not on satellite. He was, dear friends, on a videotape. It was a good tape, and it was made to look like Bill was just then calling in. But it was still just a tape, all the gee whiz aside. The lack of a downlink dish ought to have given it away! Still, it was a nice touch ... A nice bit of PR spin," Crabb wrote that day. The announcement proved to be a boost in the arm for Apple and its core users. After years of hearing that "Apple was dead" from the press and analysts, and with the NeXT team still finding desks in Cupertino, Mac customers were concerned that Microsoft would pull back Office from the platform. While nobody cared for the applications, Office was the cross-platform standard and the best word processor on the Mac. Microsoft pledged to continue development of the Office productivity suite and Internet Explorer for the Mac platform, and to invest $150 million in Apple stock. Apple said it would make Internet Explorer the default browser for the Mac. And finally, the pair agreed to a broad patent cross-licensing agreement that ran until 2002. Microsofts Mac Business Unit in Santa Clara, Calif., was given the green light to make "real" Mac applications for OS X, without adhering to the Windows version. As a result, Office 2004 on the Mac was very well received by the Macphile community. Next Page: Apple Hardware Trivia: Answers

David Morgenstern is Executive Editor/Special Projects of eWEEK. Previously, he served as the news editor of Ziff Davis Internet and editor for Ziff Davis' Storage Supersite.

In 'the days,' he was an award-winning editor with the heralded MacWEEK newsweekly as well as eMediaweekly, a trade publication for managers of professional digital content creation.

David has also worked on the vendor side of the industry, including companies offering professional displays and color-calibration technology, and Internet video.

He can be reached here.


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