108 votes
Accepted

How was it back then in 1984, when the Apple II had color, and the new Macintosh didn't?

I was working in software development at the time, and this wasn't seen as a problem. Colour monitors were expensive and not usually high-quality. In PC-compatibles, the Colour Graphics Adapter (...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 13.2k
94 votes
Accepted

Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?

This is most certainly a myth. There was no conspiracy by Steve Jobs or Apple to prevent third-parties from engaging with the ecosystem that would eventually flourish for Classic Macintosh ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
56 votes

Why was MacOS unix certified?

According to Terry Lambert, the engineer who led the project to make MacOS comply with the Single UNIX Specification, [...] it was done to get Apple out of a $200M lawsuit filed by The Open Group, ...
komadori's user avatar
  • 484
49 votes

How was it back then in 1984, when the Apple II had color, and the new Macintosh didn't?

The Mac was designed from the start to be a GUI-based machine so clear, high-resolution graphics were a requirement. At the same time available memory was extremely limited due to cost considerations....
Alex Hajnal's user avatar
  • 9,350
47 votes

How did the early Macintosh computers update the display?

TL;DR: Exactly as you assume. The CPU shovelled the data around, even way slower than your calculation suggests, and everyone was happy about the high speed with which it happened :) To be honest, I'...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
43 votes

What was the first C compiler for the Mac?

The Early Days As you said, the most important languages on the Mac in its early days were Microsoft's BASIC, Pascal, and, of course, 68000 assembly. The Macintosh's System Software and ROMs were ...
Cody Gray - on strike's user avatar
41 votes
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Why do all the Speech Synthesizers have that same Voice?

The ones you list are all S.A.M, from what is now SoftVoice Inc. It was developed first for the Apple II, Lisa, Atari 8-bit machines and the Commodore 64; based on awareness of those versions, the ...
Tommy's user avatar
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41 votes
Accepted

Why did nobody ever succeed in "clean room" cloning the Apple Macintosh?

MS-DOS was not exclusive to the IBM PC and Microsoft sold it to companies that then produced both non-IBM PC compatible and latter IBM PC compatible machines bundled with MS-DOS. They did not have to ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 822
38 votes

How was it back then in 1984, when the Apple II had color, and the new Macintosh didn't?

I imagine it being a huge downgrade for some, not to have color on the Macintosh. Macintosh games were black and white in the beginning, while Apple II had color. For back then the whole assumption ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
38 votes
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How did early computers handle mice?

How exactly did early computers like the Amiga, Atari ST and Macintosh handle the mouse while also carrying out demanding tasks? In case of Amiga and Atari ST it was achieved by not low level ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
37 votes
Accepted

Glitch in the display of a Mac SE/30

As comments on the question already suggest, it looks quite like an address fault when video memory is read. While the picture is not really great, I'd say: Blocks of 8 lines are visible, so it must ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
36 votes

How did the "Programmer's Switch" work on early Macintosh Computers?

The early Apple Macintosh computers (original Mac, Mac 512K, Mac Plus) all came with a "Programmer's Switch" installed on the side. Yes and no. While the switch was there, it was on the ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
36 votes

Why did nobody ever succeed in "clean room" cloning the Apple Macintosh?

TL;DR: It Was Done, But Timing Wasn't Helpful There are at least two technically successful, but economically unsuccessful, 100% (or close enough) clones: Unitron's Mac 512 Clone of 1985 and NuTek's ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
33 votes

Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?

The premise of his argument was that Apple could have ruled the world with the Macintosh (as in, Windows/IBM Compatibles wouldn't have had a 90% or whatever market share) but Steve Jobs was just too ...
JeremyP's user avatar
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31 votes

Why was preemptive multitasking so slow in coming to consumer OS's?

Memory protection. It's not that preemptive multi-tasking is expensive, or hard. It's not. It's easy. It costs (or can cost) essentially the same as cooperative multitasking. You have to save process ...
Will Hartung's user avatar
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30 votes
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How did the early Macintosh computers update the display?

There were three important design aspects of the original Macintosh that allowed the relatively limited video display hardware to provide a pleasing user experience in terms of the performance of its ...
Brian H's user avatar
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30 votes
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How did the classic Macintosh come to use Eurocard connectors?

I’m not sure the Macintosh II designers chose the connector as such, but rather the bus, NuBus, developed at MIT and documented by Texas Instruments (Document No. TI-2242825-0001, published in 1983). ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
28 votes
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Was there a way to play an hourly custom sound on Macs circa 1985-1995?

The Mac had the necessary soft- and hardware to play arbitrary sounds. It is said that the 8 bit/22 kHz DAC hardware was included on Steve Jobs' request especially for his "out of this bag" ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
27 votes

Does DB15 actually exist?

"DB" doesn't mean that it has 25 pins, but that the connector is as wide as the DB-25 you're familiar with (which is actually correctly named). A DB-15 could sort of exist, but it would have ...
hobbs's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

How did the original Apple Macintosh and Atari ST use protected mode?

The (plain) 68k never had anything directly comparable to the Intel x86 range's Protected Mode. When Intel introduced the Protected mode (PM) to its x86 range of CPUs, this lifted a number of ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 35k
26 votes

What was the first computer malware that could infect Mac systems?

The very first virus might have been nVir of 1987 Although technically not one, nVir worked much like a boot sector virus. Its source code did circulate on BBSes very soon after, leading to short ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
26 votes

Did the original Macintosh not have any MIDI or similar music capabilities?

The original Macintosh has a single-channel 8-bit 22kHz PCM output; it reads from memory and sets a new output level once per scan line of the video output. It’s up to software to generate waveforms ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 36.9k
25 votes

Building hello world on a Macintosh IIfx with MPW

Classic MacOS uses : as a directory separator. / doesn't have a special meaning and is a legal filename character. Additionally, a leading : is a relative path, not an absolute path. MacOS ...
Kelvin Sherlock's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

Why did 3.5" floppies win (and not another size)?

So the way Wikipedia puts it, sounds like the decision was basically made by committee. And that's what it was - and what made it succeed. A standardized disk format with a drive interface ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
25 votes
Accepted

What causes the traces to wrinkle like this and should I be worried

They were most likely wrinkled like that from the start, due to the way they were manufactured, and thus you should not be worried. Until the mid-90s, boards often went through an HASL, or "hot air ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 26k
25 votes
Accepted

Does DB15 actually exist?

The second letter of a D-Sub connector indicates the size of the shell. Apple tended to use the DA-15 connector: a larger one than VGA, with a lower pin density and only two rows of pins. There's one ...
scruss's user avatar
  • 21.6k
24 votes

Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?

The first set of Inside Macintosh books was about 1000 pages of documentation covering everything you needed to write a Macintosh application, and was available from the beginning. It didn't only ...
scott.squires's user avatar
24 votes

Were Mac systems faster than Windows in processing performance?

Why Mac systems were always faster than Windows in processing performance? Mind to give any proof to this claim? According to various Benchmarks, the PCs usually outperform Macs of the same time. ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
24 votes

How did the "Programmer's Switch" work on early Macintosh Computers?

The "programmer's switch" is more technically known as the NMI (Non Maskable Interrupt) switch. It is mapped to a priority 7 interrupt on the 68K CPU, which means it is capable of ...
Chromatix's user avatar
  • 16.8k
24 votes

Why was MacOS unix certified?

So the systems could be sold into organizations that happened to have a "must be Unix certified" on their checklist of requirements. Who would have such a requirement? Who knows. Certainly ...
Will Hartung's user avatar
  • 12.3k

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