Name four Apple spinoffs
- Claris - Claris was spun off Apple because third party
developers were complaining about competition from MacWrite and
MacPaint. It was intended that Claris would actually go public at
some point, and the well respected Bill Campbell (who had headed
Apple USA) was tapped to be CEO, but he quit soon after it became
clear that Sculley would not follow through.
- Newton Inc. - Ever since Michael Spindler took control, Apple
tried to find a buyer for the struggling Newton. Gil Amelio spun
the group off in a new division, but companies like Phillips and
Sony were still uninterested. Finally, when Steve Jobs returned,
Apple cut its losses and absorbed Newton Inc. back into Apple and
shut it down.
- Taligent - Pink was dead even before it started. The mere
presence of the project sucked resources away from the vitally
important Blue project, and never made any progress. During the
PowerPC/IBM merger talks, it was spun off and 50% of it was sold to
IBM. Ostensibly, it would provide an advanced operating system for
PowerPC workstations, but it failed soon after.
- General Magic - There were actually two PDA projects at Apple.
Unfortunately, for Project Looking Glass, Newton had the backing of
Larry Tesler and Steve Capps. Looking Glass was spun off into a new
company called General Magic, and it worked on creating personal
communicators. Several models were sold, and were notable for their
unique interface. After a number of patent sales to Microsoft in
1998, the company shut down.
When did Apple first try to use a four core processor in a
- 1987 - Project Aquarius started in 1987 and was a ridiculous
project. The 68k line was not advancing fast enough to stay
competitive with the x86 line, so Apple decided to create its own
processor instead of adopting the nascent 88000 RISC processor from
Motorola or even the shipping SPARC processor. After two years of
development and millions of wasted dollars (including a $10 million
Cray), the project was canceled.
What was the first workstation to run Macintosh software with
support from Apple?
- Apollo - To make up for the death of BigMac, Apple began a
devastating relationship with the struggling workstation
manufacturer Apollo Computers. Apollo was wilting in the face of
the powerful Sun Microsystems. The company had been the earliest
successful workstation manufacturer, but in the 1980s, it had lost
the title to the low cost, high volume Sun. Now Apollo was
struggling for survival, and the Macintosh seemed like a sure fire
way to differentiate its products from Sun's. Apollo wanted to
license the Macintosh interface for its operating system, Domain/OS
(based on Unix), and would allow Apple to sell rebranded Apollo
workstations to high end designers, and to enterprise.
Apollo did most of the work and was relatively successful. In a
number of months, Macintosh software was running on top of
Domain/OS reliably - and much faster than on the Macintosh. On top
of that, existing Domain/OS applications ran, too. Apollo had
devoted most of its limited resources to porting the Macintosh and
was still losing ground fast to Sun.
Apple stunned the company by abruptly canceling the agreement (at
the behest of Gassée). Apollo was eventually forced to the
brink of bankruptcy and was acquired by HP in 1989. Gassée
would go on to pioneer the creation of the Mac II.
Who was the longest serving board member?
- Mike Markkula served on the Apple board for almost 20 years. He
was the first board member after helping bankroll the incorporation
of Apple with the two Steves in 1976 and served until Steve Jobs'
return in 1997. He played a big roll in removing Jobs from the
company in 1985, and presumably, this was Jobs' revenge.
Which Apple CEO contributed to the invention of the CCD?
- There were several gearhead Apple CEOs (John Sculley invented a
color CRT only weeks after the Trinitron was patented), but Gil
Amelio was the most illustrious. While he worked on his PhD at
Georgia Tech and worked at Honeywell and Rockwell, he was awarded
16 patents, one of them for the CCD, which is used in digital
cameras and scanners.
What company manufactured the first MessagePad?
- Sharp - Apple desperately did not want to be the only company
to manufacture the Newton and managed to recruit several OEM
companies to use Newton Intelligence, including Matsushita, Sharp,
and Motorola. Sharp, however, was the longest lived partner
(excluding Siemens in Europe). It produced its own version of the
MessagePad, called ExpertPad, and manufactured all MessagePads
until the 110.
What was the first wireless PDA?
- Motorola Marco - The Marco was Motorola's foray into PDAs. It
had two-way paging built in and allowed for Internet access on the
road (through NewtonMail). Service was prohibitively expensive, and
so was the unit. Motorola discontinued the model in less than a
What was Apple's second Mach-based operating system?
- MkLinux - Apple's first Mach based operating system was a
prototype running on the Jaguar prototype. The second was a novel
project financed by Apple and executed by PrimeTime Freeware called
MkLinux. MkLinux was a total GNU Linux distro, but instead of
porting the Linux kernel to the PowerPC, it was ported to the Mach
kernel. This meant that MkLinux could run on every platform Mach
could (a lot of platforms) and made it easier to port applications
from the PC. After a couple years, the project was spun off and is
now run by an independent foundation.
Which of these PC manufacturers never discussed building
Macintosh clones with Apple?
- eMachines has never been in negotiations to clone Macs. Gateway
was actually the first company Michael Spindler contacted to start
the Apple clone program in 1994. After a couple weeks of
negotiations, the two parties could not agree on a fee for the
Macintosh, and broke off.
IBM was in talks with Apple from about 1992-1997. When John Sculley
started the PowerPC talks, it was with the understanding the Macs
would be able to run OS/2 and IBM workstations could run Mac OS.
Unfortunately, the Power Macintosh was a hack that prevented Mac OS
from running natively on the PReP platform, so the Mac OS never ran
on IBM workstations.
Apple launched into merger talks with AT&T during the final
days of John Sculley's tenure at Apple. Part of the proposal
involved AT&T's PC subsidiary, NCR, to produce low cost Macs.
AT&T was still smarting from the NCR acquisition and was
acquiring a pager manufacturer, so it passed on Apple.
Which version of Mac OS was the first to use a nano
- Mac OS 8.6 - The nanokernel, NuKernel, was developed during the
Copland project, but it was never used. It was smaller than a
microkernel and only handled communications between the CPU and
operating system. Copland died on the vine, but the NuKernel was
used on Mac OS 8.6, supposedly to be used in Classic.
What two alternative
operating systems were offered as options on the Lisa in 1983?
- C/PM and Xenix - The Lisa
was actually the first first low cost graphics workstation. Apple
wanted to capitalize on this (a little) and allowed Digital
Research and Microsoft limited access to Lisa code to port XENIX
and CP/M. Microsoft delegated development to SCO, however. Neither
products were very popular.
What was Apple's biggest computer?
- Apple Network Server 500/700 - The ANS 500/700 was bizarre.
Apple had launched the Nashville project in 1992 to provide
enterprise servers. These were mostly just stripped down versions
of the high-end desktop models until 1995, when Apple produced its
first big iron, the ANS line. They weighed over 100 lbs. and had
their own wheels so they could be rolled around. They ran AIX and
were the only Apple computers to use the PReP standard.
Who is Tony Fadell?
- Creator of the iPod - Tony Fadell shopped the iPod design
around the entire industry, from Phillips to Sony to Microsoft.
They all declined, and on a whim Fadell took his design to Apple,
where Steve Jobs took a personal interest in the project. After
only a few months of development, the iPod was released and took
What was Apple's second Web browser?
- Cyberdog - The eWorld web browser was Apple's first, and it was
based on AOL code. The second - and the only all-Apple browser -
was Cyberdog. It was an amazingly unique piece of software. It used
the OpenDoc standard, an object oriented programming environment
for OS/2, AIX, and Mac OS, and it was totally extensible. New
components could be added to the browser by any developer, and it
could be embedded anywhere, even in a ClarisWorks 4 document.
OpenDoc could not compete with Microsoft's OLE, however, and
Cyberdog was discontinued.
Which Apple notebook was selected to replace all aging 8- and
16-bit microcomputers in the Australian government?
- eMate 300 - Apple discontinued the eMate 300 immediately after
the Australian government put in an order for thousands of the
machines to replace its TRS-80s, BBC Micros, and other assorted
8-bit microcomputers. Apple was almost sued for breaking its
contract with Australia.
The discontinuation of the Newton was not the end, however. Apple
continued manufacturing MessagePads for Disney theme parks, because
they had a ten year contract to provide the devices to guides.
What Mac magazine did John Dvorak write for?
- Mac User ran Dvorak columns on the last page every month. Most
of the columns were friendly jabs at Apple and Microsoft, but he
also touted the Mac's advantages over Windows. He stopped writing
for Mac User well before the magazine was merged with
What was the most expensive
Mac ever (excluding the 20th Anniversary Mac)?
- Macintosh IIfx - Without a
monitor or keyboard, the IIfx cost just shy of $10,000. A fully
equipped version would cost you over $11,000.
When did Apple buy its first Cray?
- 1987 - Apple bought a Cray to help the designers of
What did John Sculley almost invent in his childhood?
- Trinitron - John Sculley, with the assistance of his auto
executive dad, created a color CRT very similar to the CRT. He
submitted it to the patent office only weeks after Sony patented
the Trinitron, however. He soon lost interest in electronics, when
he began studying at the illustrious prep school, St. Marks.
What is a Graz?
- $1.5 million - Joe Graziano was rehired from Sun Microsystems
and was given a bonus of $1.5 million. From then on, his name
became a unit of currency. Graziano was pushed out by Michael
Spindler after he questioned the financial solvency of Apple. His
fears turned out to be valid, and he remained a close friend to Gil
Amelio and Mike Markkula.
How did the Newton handwriting recognition software reach
- Midnight in a Moscow hotel - For two years, the Newton
researchers had toiled away, creating mockups and sample software.
Several prototype tablets had been assembled and were running very
buggy software. The major hanging point was handwriting
recognition. It was incredibly difficult to create handwriting
recognition software that would be able to adapt to different
styles of writing. Fate intervened in a bizarre way. One night
while Apple VP of board relations, Al Eisenstat, was in Moscow, he
heard frantic knocking on his door. When he answered, he saw a
nervous programmer scanning the hallway to see if he was being
followed. The programmer handed Eisenstat a floppy disk containing
handwriting recognition software, then quickly left.
When Eisenstat returned to the states, he gave the code to
Gassée, who in turn gave the code to the Newton team. The
recognizer was remarkably accurate. It actually adapted to learn
different letter shapes, so it learned how to read the user's
Who was a Jobs girlfriend?
- Joan Baez - The folk singer dated Jobs for about two years in
the early 80s.
Who is Jobs' neighbor?
- Andy Hertzfeld lives next to Jobs' Victorian house in Palo
Which of these companies never considered buying Apple or was
never considered for purchase by Apple?
- HP and Commodore - Be was in talks to replace the Mac OS with
BeOS. NeXT was acquired by Apple for NeXTstep. IBM was supposed to
buy Apple for the Mac OS. Sun was in talks to be acquired by Apple
in the late 80s and offered Apple a bail out during Spindler's
tenure. Apollo was going to be bought by Apple for its
Domain/Macintosh hybrid operating system. HP and Commodore were
offered the Apple I design before the two Steves formed Apple, but
What was Microsoft's first database product called?
- Microseed - Microseed was Microsoft's first application. Before
that, all of its revenues came from hardware (the SoftCard) and
programming languages. Microseed was a dog of a database released
before the IBM PC, and it ran on the rare 16-bit 8086. It was slow
and memory hungry.
Microsoft's second database product was called Access, which shared
its name with a terminal program from Microsoft in 1981.
What was the name of the first spreadsheet available on the
- Microsoft MultiPlan - MultiPlan was the killer app for the
Macintosh. The mouse was perfect for navigating around a
spreadsheet. MultiPlan and Word were the first third party
applications to be released for the Macintosh.
What was not a Macintosh?
- Power Mac 7700 - The Pippin ran a embedded version of the Mac
OS that only ran software written on special CDs. Netscape
Navigator was the only application written for it, but there were
several dozen games released in Japan. The RocketBook was the
European PowerBook 3400c.
What was the first Macintosh without the compact Mac body
- Mac XL - The Mac XL was
the Lisa 2 stripped of the ProFile hard drive and bundled with
MacWorks, a program that allowed it to run the Mac OS.
Unfortunately, the Mac XL still had rectangular pixels, so it
warped graphics on the screen.
What type of battery did the Macintosh Portable have?
- Lead acid - Just like a car battery.
What was the first Apple notebook to have a numeric
- Mac Portable - The
Portable had a numerical keypad that was interchangeable with the
trackball. The Wallstreet had a numerical keypad accessible through
the Fn key.
What computer did IBM manufacture for Apple?
- PowerBook 2400c - The
PowerBook 2400c was designed by IBM for the Japanese market, but at
the last minute Apple decided to sell it in the US as well. It was
manufactured in the ThinkPad factory and even used the same
What medium did Apple's first truly multitasking operating
system not come on?
- Bundled with a Mac - A/UX was available on an 80 MB hard drive,
40 floppy disks, or a DAT. It was never bundled with a Mac.
Which company did not release software for the NeXT Cube?
- Quark - Adobe released Illustrator. Lotus released the Improv
spreadsheet. OmniGroup released OmniWeb and OminOutliner. Oxford
provided the works of Shakespeare and the Oxford English
Dictionary. Quark never released any software for NeXTstep.
What microprocessor was never used in a NeXT?
- PowerPC - The i860 was Intel's failed RISC design and was
offered as an accelerator card on select NeXTstations. Like its Mac
counterparts, the ADB interface was controlled by a MOS 6800
processor. The PowerPC was never available, though.
What was the keyboard/mouse interface on the NeXT Cube?
- ADB Apple Desktop Bus
When was FireWire available on a Mac?
- 1995 - FireWire was developed by Apple and released on a PCI
card in 1995. At the time, it was used only for high-end video
cameras and several drum scanners. The first Mac with FireWire was
the Blue & White Power Macintosh
G3 (January 1999).
What was Apple's first multicolor Mac?
- PowerBook 1400 with
BookCovers - A plastic cover could be popped off the PowerBook
1400's list, and a clear cover with a paper insert could replace
it. They were called "book covers" and varied from wood grain to
Some of the sources used in writing this article: