The NuTek Archives: Articles from MacWEEK

Because the NuTek clones predate the widespread use of the Internet, and because the MacWEEK print magazine is long since defunct, we’ve searched the Internet to see what MacWEEK articles we could find online about NuTek to share here. Here’s the only one we’ve found so far.

NuTek Chip Set Could Pave Way For Legal Clones

MacWEEK, January 29, 1991

A small start-up company is preparing to mount an assault on Apple’s proprietary bastions.

NuTek Computers, Inc. last week claimed to have developed technologies that will allow OEMs to create Mac-compatible computers without violating Apple patents and copyrights. NuTek will rely on Mac-compatible ROM it said was written from scratch and on the Open Software Foundation’s Motif user interface.

The company, funded by U.S. and Taiwanese venture capital, said that by the fourth quarter it will deliver all the components required for Mac compatibility, including Mac-compatible operating system software in ROM and on disk, user-interface software based on Motif, and three VLSI (very large scale integration) application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that replicate the Mac’s internal logic functions.

OEMs will need at least six months thereafter, NuTek officials said, to build Mac-compatible machines, using Motorola 68020 or 68030 microprocessors.

Apple said it could not comment because it has not seen NuTek’s technology.

Computers developed with NuTek’s chip set and software will have all the capabilities of Macs, according to Benjamin Chou, the company president. They will be able to use Mac peripherals and run all off-the-shelf Mac programs, except for those that access the hardware directly, he said. (sound like another product we all know? -Ed) Mac interface calls will be remapped to the Motif interface, but applications will retain full-functionality.

NuTek said it has not decided whether it will attempt to replicate System 7.0’s features.

The company is currently negotiating with three key OEMs who have “global distribution channels,” the company said.

Analysts who had seen prototypes of the Mac compatibles said the execution appeared sound. “They’ve taken a very reasoned approach,” said Bill Higgs, vice president of InfoCorp/Gartner Group in Santa Clara, Calif.

NuTek stressed that it had taken scrupulous precautions to protect itself legally, following clean-room procedures and documenting all steps of its development process. It said it is financially prepared to withstand a legal battle with Apple and will shoulder legal liabilities on behalf of its OEMs.

A legal battle is not unlikely, experts said. “I suspect Apple will try to find a way to challenge this,” said Jack Russo, a computer law attorney based in Palo Alto, Calif. Apple will look for whatever it can “claim was derivative of its original work,” Russo predicted.

NuTek Computers Inc. is at 1601 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, Suite 250, Cupertino, Calif. 95014. Phone (408) 973-8857, Fax (408) 973-8557.

Articles Missing in Action

  • MacWEEK, Dec. 19, 1990, Vol. 4, no. 42, p. 1
  • MacWEEK, Jan. 8, 1991, Vol. 5, no. 1, p. 173

Keywords: #macweek #nutek