June 6, 2005 2:41 PM PDT
New life for the old 'Star Trek' project
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as PReP) would be a technically daunting challenge and used that as an excuse to promote its variation, CHRP. That didn't stop Quix Computer, a company outside Lucerne, Switzerland, from succeeding in making the Mac OS work on PReP systems with just a half-dozen engineers. Despite the potential widespread demand for such a product, Apple refused to license the Mac OS to Quix, and as a result, Quix moved on to develop technologies for more receptive companies. Apple couldn't quash Executor as easily. A small company called ARDI in Albuquerque, New Mexico, managed to reverse-engineer the Mac OS and Toolbox to create a version of System 7.0 called Executor that can run on Intel 486, Pentium, and DEC's Alpha processors. Executor is far from a perfect port. It doesn't support PowerPC code, it has no serial port access (meaning AppleTalk and modems won't work), sound input/output is primitive, there are no provisions for internationalization, and neither extensions nor control panels can be used. Nonetheless, Executor runs many standard Mac programs on PCs. Imagine what it could have done with Apple's support.
In late 1997, many of the Star Trek engineers held a reunion in Cupertino following the expiration of their five-year non-disclosure agreements. Rumor had it that there was a new Star Trek NG (Next Generation) project involving an emulator that allowed Mac OS applications to run on Intel hardware under Rhapsody. As the years have passed with no new word on Star Trek NG, it appears to have gotten lost in space again.
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