About “the Apple”-6. Newton, part 5: Portal to the future

It seemed, in a gray building on Budd Road back legendary times create Mac. People felt the future in what they were doing, and many worked 10-12 hours a day, although nobody is forced. Not their fault that someone or fate or something else had prevented Newton from becoming a landmark event in the history of mankind.

Involvement in something insanely great (insanely great, one of the favorite phrases of Steve jobs) – probably the strongest drug in the world.

From a technical point of view what they were doing, had no analogues in the world. The only problem is that who decides what is important and what is not, and pridumyvaya nuances not seen the future. Very few people to see him, even those who are wrong.

OS & Language, special group ATG

I finally found information about the language developed into a “Paradise for developers”, in the mysterious depths of the ATG. The language was called Ralph, in honor of a black American writer Ralph Ellison (1913-1994).. It was a hybrid of Smalltalk with C++ with lot of interesting innovations, a lot more complex and advanced than Objective-C.

In the late 80s, the language was beautiful, interesting and doomed. He spent a lot of effort, though a little bit to think the Manager would stop its development instantly.

But this was not.

On conventional processors that time this monster was working incredibly slowly, but it was on the horizon the decision in a published theoretical research AT&T Bell Labs. Hobbits were supposed to solve these problems.

Even on the experimental and not really tested at Bell Labs hobbits, who behaved abominably, Ralph was able to prove its viability, and faithfulness of the way in which were engineers AT AT&T. But with the hobbit, nothing happened, time suddenly rushed at a gallop, and in 1990 they found a replacement, the processors with ARM architecture…

The ARM processor was almost a family (Apple owned 43% of ARM Ltd), they were reliable, economical and quite good, but, alas, they are in no way tried to adapt the code compiled from the C-shaped, in fact, language.

Apple was going to work on the project, Ralph Newton, and then make it the primary programming language in Pink. No luck.

Then it was decided to remember Ralph as he was (outside of Apple’s language did not go), and on its basis, taking from him all that is possible to create new language and ARM processors would show the class.

Called the new Dylan language, Dynamic Language, and it was immediately recognized by the whole world. Including Bob Dylan.

Maybe they didn’t know anything about Bob Dylan, one of the most beloved musicians of Steve jobs, or just not remembered it, or the name Dylan liked them so much that for his sake they did not regret their own company, but the musician was outraged and sued Apple Computer to court. The problem was resolved in remained unknown amount of American money.

Dylan legalized, but it has not been applied (directly), neither the operating system nor software Newton MessagePad, and like Pink, too, was not used. Outside the Apple language became popular, I even knew a couple people that it wrote something. And praised the language.

In the early 80’s code for ROM first Macs were first written in Pascal, tested and debug high-level tools and then received after the compilation of the code has been simplified and optimized (mainly in size, to fit in 64 K ROM the very first Macs).

Similarly, programs, subsystems, and utilities written for NewtonOS on Dylan, translated into C++ and debug again. C++ was more efficient, though not as spectacular.

Maybe it is for better understanding of the process of translation of Dylan in C++, but maybe there was still some considerations, one of the developers ordered to write a version is almost ready NewtonOS on Dylan. A couple of months he did that, everything worked, the author said “thanks” and sent to catch thousands of bugs at all levels of the system than the sweat of these two months was engaged in his colleagues.

To do battle with these blood-thirsty insects virtual we will get back.

Larry Tesler was engaged exclusively in the project Newton. Sought and found solutions, programmed, conducted the meeting. In ATG, month after month, almost no head, but this one apparently didn’t care.

But this was not Abraham. The real stress was found.

I have not written anything in this part about NewtonScript – it was all good, he just worked. Small problems don’t count.

Production base

Apple Computer was forced to admit that experience in sales of consumer goods it has, as it never came up. Instead of creating its own industrial base from scratch, and then respond to all the inevitable consequences of the lack of experience, Scully decided to negotiate with someone having a similar experience.

While studying the issue, analyzed the conformity Matsushita and SONY with the requirements of Apple. Did not fit. As a partner chose Sharp because of the successful organizer Sharp Wizard, and in addition, at the time, Sharp was the world leader in the production of LCD-displays.

Agreed that Sharp will produce Junior for Apple Computer under the name Newton MessagePad for himself under the name ExpertPad. In addition, has signed two agreements with Motorola and Siemens.

Sharp Wizard OZ-7000 (in the US) and QZ-7000 (in Europe and other markets) was introduced in 1989. Product dimensions: folded – 163 to 94 mm, in the unfolded – 163 to 184 mm, a thickness of the closed device – 21.5 mm. With 32 K of RAM and a black-and-white LCD-display with 96 points horizontally and 64 vertically, is able to display either 8 strings of 16 characters or 4 lines by 12 characters. The display had no backlight.

32 K internal memory, a slot for IC cards of their own design, a wide range of software for IC-cards.

Japanese MessagePad was interested, they signed the contract.

Don’t know, would the leaders of Apple Computer this choice, if I knew that, when in fact MessagePad would be ready to replicate… April 2, 1992, he did not come out, the deadline was postponed. In the first, but not last, time. You had to answer for the failure of the schedule from the evil samurai? Interesting and enlightening experience, for which the cost does not meet the deadline.

Scully stands in Vegas

Scully had a talent to compose and utter speech. Revolving in circles close to bill and Hillary Clinton, he gained the weight in the once far from the Apple circles. If everything went right, it would be recorded for him.

Especially in the eyes of the layman it was now something of a jobs from 1981, which could not be filled John with pride for the glorious Apple Computer for himself.

He spoke at CES on 7 January 1992. CES is the consumer electronics show, held since 1967 and until now, for 50 years. The conference of 1992 was dominated by video on CD-ROM new Nintendo, a lot of stuff, but listen to Scully, it’s a lot of visitors. And nobody regretted.

His speech John sculley called “Digital convergence”. Soon consumer electronics and personal computers will merge into a new kind of devices. They can carry, they will fit in the palm, they can send faxes, email messages and do a lot of what I can do computers.

Do not hurry to catch me on the fact that in 1992, especially at the beginning of January, e-mail was not. Was. For example, AppleLink, write about it, about what could be the world, if not for the Internet revolution, or could – as it was inevitable – I hope that will be interesting. But we digress.

Scully said breathless audience that such devices, personal digital assistants (Personal Digital Assistant, PDA, for the first time in history they were called this term, at precisely the moment it appeared), will change the world, they are all and everywhere, they will generate unprecedented volumes of the market, by the end of this decade (this is 1992), comprehensive income which will reach three trillion dollars.

If the head of one of the major computer companies tells the audience about a certain direction and its prospects, the only possible conclusion – the company is not only engaged in this direction in the very near future she will either announce the start of sales of something on this topic or at least show something. It’s delivered at the consumer electronics show and not at the Congress of science fiction.

About Newton Scully didn’t say anything, but… could no longer speak. The speech went well, the audience was filled with everyone who was in the audience (and there were representatives of competitors working on similar devices), made conclusions. And amended on stealth Apple.

Unknown, that like John sculley, but the consequences of the speech was enormous, everyone in the development had something similar on PDA, mobilized and accelerated, perhaps even abolishing weekend and what started from this day, you can call the PDA revolution.

Scully, most likely, was convinced that the development of Newton will be completed by their assigned deadline, April 2. The summer CES 1992, opened in late may, it would effectively and very efficiently gathered to announce the show is about to launch a new device.

About the real status of the project with which he was involved personally, he didn’t know. Newton could not be announced in late may 1992. Newton was not ready to be shown to the public, not only in that moment, in January 1992. The project needed at least another year. Scully, inadvertently, caused Apple a knockout blow.

Scully promised that by the end of 90s, i.e. in 2000, the market of PDA will reach three trillion dollars. In the system of naming numbers with the short scale adopted in the United States, in Russia and in many countries, a trillion is a thousand billion.

I wonder what the total market volume, all the manufacturers of mobile platforms, as well as all sorts of gadgets, smart watches, electronic keys for cars, anything with stretch to accept PDA these days? Since 1992 it has been almost 30 years.

To be continued.

0 Comments on “About “the Apple”-6. Newton, part 5: Portal to the future”

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