Mac Folklore
February 18, 2004 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Mac Insider Folklore Bill [Gates] responded that "No Steve , I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox, and you went in to steal the TV, and found that somebody else had stolen it. So you say, "hey, that's not fair. I wanted to steal the TV". Jobs vs. MS Windows, The Mac Unveiling and other interesting tidbits from the pre-Mac era at
posted by Ogre Lawless (5 comments total)
sorry mate, somebody beat you to it.
posted by krunk at 5:42 PM on February 18, 2004

This sort of epochal Jobs/Gates dichotomy lore should be contrasted with the alternative viewpoint of the initiator of the Macintosh Project, Jef Raskin. He likes to point out that the Mac and a Apple's quest for user-focused, goal-centric UI was instigated before the visit to PARC, as part of an ongoing discourse that originated during the 1960s concerning GUIs. PARC was an important part of that conversation, but not the only, single origination point:

In the late 1960’s I had come to realize the importance of what is now called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) displays. It would not do to have a limited set of fonts on a display and a different set of fonts on paper ... I published a proposal that argued that computers would have to be built without them. A few years later, in the early 70’s, the researchers at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) came to the same conclusion independently ... The halo effect also assigns superhuman abilities to the famous, often overcoming a reporter’s credulity: Jeffrey Young writes of the first time that Steve Jobs (along with Atkinson and others) saw the work done at PARC. "Atkinson and the others were asking Tesler questions, one after the other. Tesler was quoted as saying, ‘What impressed me was that their questions were better than any I had heard in the seven years I had been at Xerox... Their questions showed that they understood the implications and the subtleties...’ " But Young did not ask why they had such a high level and rapid understanding that no other mortals could achieve; the halo effect had blinded him. The real reason for their near-instantaneous grasp is that they had been carefully prepared for the visit. I had repeatedly explained the details and rationale of the work at PARC to Atkinson, Jobs and others. PARCs philosophy was therefore well known at Apple.
posted by meehawl at 5:43 PM on February 18, 2004

Holy shit, that's the hyperlink from hell.

Anyways, Pirates of the Silicon Valley is a pretty nifty flick.
posted by angry modem at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2004


IIRC Xerox made an investment in ( i dont recall if in cash or stock) under the auspices of developing the tech and ideas in the PARC system, which was left to wither and die in Xerox as the old think execs didnt have a clue what it would be used for, as at the time there were no computers as such to do anything with it.
posted by MrLint at 6:55 PM on February 18, 2004

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