[NTLK] More random historical thoughts

From: Maurice Sharp <msharp_at_mac.com>
Date: Tue Nov 07 2006 - 15:53:48 EST

When I joined, being a part of Newton was what I imagine being a part
of the Mac product at Apple was during the Apple II days. We were the
pirates. We talked with other parts of Apple, but we felt different.
We had our own engineering group, our own QA, our own marketing, even
our own developer support and evangelism. None of it reported to the
Mac side organizations... we would talk to them, but we were
separate. And we had budget to do things.

Walter Smith was busy putting the final touches on NewtonScript and
the whole application layer and APIs was getting polished. In my
first job building the prototype Newton ToolKit, I had a lot of
interaction with engineering (actually, I always had a lot of
interaction with them.)

On a fairly regular basis, Steve Capps would get an idea, work late
into the night/into the morning hours, making changes, adding things
etc. The next morning we would come in to a new build of the OS that
had some wonderful differences. I also remember playing with the math
recognition, that was a cool feature. You could write in "2 + 3 ="
and the machine would figure it out... of course that was a simple
example. The "=" was what told the recognizer to do the math. A pity
that did not make it into final.

There were some amazing engineers there, both hardware and software
folks. The Culberts were forever doing cool things (they are still at
Apple as far as I know.) Steve Capps, Andy, Landon, Stadler, the list
goes on.

For developers (inside and out), we had the Runt development
machines... imagine a MP100 with a black rectangle sticking out the
side... almost as wide as the screen, about as deep as the screen,
and a few times as long as the device... these were hooked up to a
Mac via a cable. We flashed the ROM onto the device, booted up, and
checked out the latest build. We could also listen in on the unit via
the cable.

Later on we had the NuBus ARMistice boards that went inside the
Mac... much easier to use.

more later

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Received on Tue Nov 7 15:53:52 2006

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