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ordinary people, and then (to) make it joyous and fun to boot, we'd really have something that was special.
Was it hard to shoehorn all the software ambitions into the Mac?
You bet. Rod Holt, who was the original engineering manager, has a sort of pungent phrase: fitting 10 pounds of s--t in a 9-pound bag. We were always on the verge of running out of memory. We didn't have enough memory to do what we wanted to and so we had to be ingenious, but even so we were right on the edge.
What's an example of something you had to sacrifice?
Various features in the Toolbox had to be pared back. We had to move some code from ROM to disk. The disks weren't that capacious, so it ate up another 10 percent of everyone's disk if you wanted a
What made the Mac successful over the Lisa?
What I like to think is (that) the Macintosh was tapped back into the original spirit and vision of Apple, where both the Lisa and the Apple III were more like Apple trying to be a grown-up company.
Apple had a fantastic, amazing set of people, but they weren't necessarily the type of people who would work at large corporations. It was a lot of rebel spirit, and Apple maturing was hiring all those more mature, seasoned managers (and) developing big projects--the Lisa had hundreds of people working on it. By the time the Lisa shipped, there were over 300 people in the Lisa division.
The Mac was more like a back-to-the-roots thing. Really the reason the Mac succeeded was the people were passionate and brilliant and motivated and devoted their lives to it. Whereas, the Lisa maybe had a little bit of that, but it was much more corporate, and a job, as opposed to a passion.
When you look at the last 20 years of PC development, are you surprised at how much has changed, or how little?
Both. On the hardware side, how much. Moore's Law predicted it, but then to actually see it play out in such a stunning fashion. I mean now the computer I'm using every day has literally 8,000 times the memory that the original Mac had. The hardware is so capable compared to that, it's almost like a dream. Whereas the software is where it's disappointing. The basic software since the Macintosh has evolved at a snail's pace and in some ways it's even gone backwards in usability.
The metaphor of the interface has hardly changed at all.
That's right. That's not because of a lack of possibilities. It has to do with the business dynamics of the industry--essentially Microsoft getting the monopoly and being anti-innovation and establishing an environment where innovation was crushed rather than rewarded. That's the PC industry the last 10 years.
Was it a mistake to not license the Mac OS?
Definitely, but on the other hand it's just one of those things that you'll never know. It's so much in the genetics of Apple to control, to not be an open thing. And if the Mac was open like that, it would have just been so different that you can't ever say what really would have happened.
But I err to the side of openness. People say the Mac was closed...at some levels it was closed, like you couldn't stick a new circuit board in it. But it was conceived to be very open from the very beginning in the software sense. It encouraged open APIs. It wasn't open source, but we considered it to be an open system. But it wasn't open in the sense that we could license it and build a software business...at the time Apple just didn't see the value equation. Even at any given point along, once they did really see that it was the right
In 1984, $2,500 was a pretty steep price for the Mac.
Yeah. I have a story in (the book) called "Price Fight" about how the engineers the whole time we were developing the Mac thought it would cost $1,500, and we felt rather betrayed.
How do you feel about the iPod being closed now?
The same way. I think Apple is making a blunder not licensing FairPlay. Ultimately, when you boil it down, it comes to respect for your customer. I think Apple is showing disrespect to the customers by locking them in.
Do you think they'll change?
Hard to say. I've had discussions with Steve Jobs about that exact topic. He doesn't see it. What it will take is a really strong competitor.
No, it's not Microsoft. Microsoft's business model is licensing the software, and that's what they've done in the Media Player range to a variety of different companies. It's maybe the combination of Microsoft
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