Trivia / Apple Macintosh

  • Executive Meddling: The only way to describe how Steve Jobs muscled his way into the project over Jef Raskin's objections. Which might be a good thing, really, as the tension in the group already started to mount at the time.
  • Killer App:
    • Given Apple's marketing of the platform to creative professionals, it's not surprising that the killer apps are those that have to do with content production: Pro Tools, Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, etc.
    • An early killer app was AppleWorks/ClarisWorks, an integrated office suite. It outsold Lotus 1-2-3 for a period and made the Mac a serious contender in the business market where Steve Jobs tried and failed. Sadly, it fell behind Microsoft Office in the '90s before Apple finally pulled the plug in 2007.
    • Believe it or not, Microsoft Excel and Word were early killer apps on the Mac.
    • Aldus PageMaker and Adobe's PostScript printer language were a natural fit for the Mac's graphics-intensive interface and taught a generation how to do page layout and design without Linotypes, pasteboards, or expensive and cryptic optical pagesetters.
    • The four channel sound built into every single Mac was a killer app in its own right during the early years. Said feature gave the Mac a leverage over PCs of that era, as up until the release of the SoundBlaster sound card in 1988, most PCs were only capable of beeping music or sound effects through their built in speaker (although some games were actually able to manipulate said speaker to play speech, most developers didn't care much about sound at that time). Said feature put the Mac one step ahead and on the same level as the Amiga and Atari ST.
    • Myst was the killer app for the color classic CD-enabled Macs in the early 90s, being the first game ever to heavily feature cutscenes, voice-over and pre-rendered 3D imagery, and thus take full advantage of the Mac's (superior-to-the-PC) built in audio and CD-ROM drive.
    • For NeXTSTEP / OS X, the killer app was arguably the platform itself, with its highly sophisticated programming toolset. A lot of it is inherited from Unix, which is also a killer app by itself for a lot of developers for the same reason. Go to any programming conference and most of the laptops you'll see will be Macs instead of Windows. This is mainly because Linux can be finicky on laptop hardware and Windows development tools are so bad most programmers won't touch them unless they absolutely have to. Mac OS X offers a Unix environment that runs on laptops with a minimum of fuss.
  • Screwed by the Network: This trope is the reason Apple created its own retail stores. One of the problems compounding the company's Dork Age in The '90s was a lack of attractive displays in stores. Retailers devoted floor space to more popular (and profitable) PCs instead of Macs, usually relegating them to a corner of the store, if they sold them at all. They also often left the machines turned off, crashed, or set them up without a mouse, leading to an unfavorable first impression with potential buyers. Apple stores were created to give Macs and other Apple products an aesthetically pleasing showcase.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Entire books could be and have been written about ideas on which Apple didn't follow through the Taligent and Copland operating systems, the Jaguar platform (eventually replaced by the Power Mac), the Integrated Burrell Machine, the Macintosh Office, MacBasic, G5 PowerBooks, Cell Macs, and several possible mergers that never happened.
    • In 2001, Apple approached Sony because its Vaio notebook line was appealing enough that they were willing to allow Sony to make Mac clones. They even had OS X running on a Vaio laptop (note, this was before the official transition to Intel). Sony declined, on the grounds they didn't want to pull resources away for supporting two OSes when they were busy working on getting Windows optimized.
    • Mister Macintosh, an Easter Egg that would appear at random when the menus were invoked. It was halfway implemented then abandoned. It's legacy could be seen in the Kid Pix software, which drew icons in the menus.
    • The Mac was originally designed to use the Lisa's unusual 800K "Twiggy" floppy (its codename, from the 60s supermodel; the official name was "Apple FileWare" but no one except The Other Wiki ever calls it that anymore). Unfortunately, the Twiggy drive was unreliable and had worryingly low production yields, and in mid-1983, with mere months till the January 1984 ship date, the Mac team substituted the now-iconic Sony 3.5 inch floppy. It had half the storage in that first version, but it was pretty much ready to ship compared with Apple's in-house alternatives. Only two Twiggy Macs are now known to still exist; ironically, based on their use of a 3.5 inch disk rather than a Twiggy disk for the disk icon, they appear to run a version of the system software that came from after the decision was made to change drives, but before it actually changed. Their estimated worth as collectors items is well over US$100K each. (This was also an Oh Crap! moment for the Mac team on multiple levels.) Apple wound up abandoning the Twiggy disk altogether, and the Lisa 2 shipped with a Sony drive as well.
    • Before acquiring NeXT and Steve Jobs, Apple considered basing the next version of Mac OS on BeOS and Windows NT(!)
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