About “the Apple”-6. Newton, part 6:…

Otherwise the skill of public speaking is worse than theft. By the end of may, any price, Newton MessagePad was supposed to be ready to show picky and demanding public. Mission impossible?

Upon returning Scully in Cupertino had a conversation in a raised voice. Scully was surprised and outraged: how Newton may not be ready to show at the end of may, if the completion date was scheduled for April 2? Who is to blame, what to do, who to hang on the corporate flagpole?

About “bugs”

Any heroism – the result of bungling. I think I someone quote, but the idea is so banal and so asks for language itself, I’m not even gonna look for the source. Water is wet, sugar is sweet, heroism – the result…

The team Newton took up the challenge. Instead of a tense, but thoughtful and meticulous work to bring the many components is small in appearance, but very complex and diverse inside the device began the hunt for “bugs”.

“Bug” is a slang indicating the incorrect behavior of software and harderner systems. Bugs, glitches, “bugs” artifacts, data loss… forgive me lovers of the purity of the language, but I will use this word. And without the quotes.

Bug is almost a living creature. Bugs know how to hide, to return, to mimic, to emerge at the most inopportune moment. Some bugs are easy to identify, but these are a minority. These bugs are usually noticed and killed during the writing of the code. The bug is still necessary to detect, record, describe how to reproduce it, the conditions and ways of its manifestation, and to transfer the experts to search for its causes and elimination.

Hunting for a bug scintillating. In the singular, because each of them have to be addressed individually, although sometimes, revealing the cause of one of them, suddenly they realize and fix the cause of several.

Unpredictable, sometimes reminiscent of running in circles or head banging on the concrete wall. And the great joy when the Bay into the repository the bug is fixed, change the status of the defeated malicious bugs into Resolved and report the fix the tester. After checking the status of the bug is changed or Closed (all win!), either Re-Opened (did not work), and so many, many times during the hunting season for bugs.

Bug fix can easily lead to the emergence of several new.

In the list identified in Newton and its software bugs, as of mid-January 1992, there were about four thousand. Small the device was a complex software and hardware systems, much more complex than the first Mac, which, incidentally, was also very difficult. Modern smartphones also order of magnitude (if not two) more complex than Newton. It’s natural. We have a civilization to develop.

Battle on Budd Road

Troubleshooting problems and bugs, which was amazing, doing everything with passion, 15-20 hours a day, seven days a week. Larry Tesler, in fact, Vice-President and veteran, too, hunted for bugs.

He spent in his office 18 hours a day, from time to time conducting a war Council with field commanders in the battle of people with a nonprotein form of life. Some parts of the complex are good, would be worth remaking – on time, but it was not on the war councils decisions were made about the amputation (temporary) impassable broken parts of the code.

Steve Capps, senior project Manager Newton, hunted for bugs, remotely, he had his own house outside of Cupertino and the ISDN channel. He was so successful in hunting bugs (still, the houses and walls help), and soon with him in that house worked in teams of two.

At the end of April, a month before the scheduled date of the Streltsy execution, the list was little more than a thousand bugs, mostly a new identified already in the process of big game hunting. Testers continued to identify anomalies and inadequate response of the device. They also had all hands on deck.

By the end of April the accumulated fatigue dulled the feeling of stress and has become increasingly error-prone. Tesler convinced Scully to announce, by order of the company, the three day weekend. Three days is absolutely not enough, after relaxing more difficult again to undertake the difficult and boring to sparks from the eye thing – but the fatigue has become the most dangerous for the outcome of the campaign. A month later Newton MP had to endure the presentation.

Now Abraham was and marketers – they had to make the script display and coordinate it with developers, test runs have revealed a heap of new bugs, anything that could hinder the successful execution of the “performance” received the highest priority.

The last remaining month flew by. It’s time to fly to Chicago.

CES 92, Chicago

The Apple team arrived in Chicago the day before the demonstrations of Newton, may 28.

The project by that time entered a phase when the growth of the identified bugs increased, and sometimes it seemed that Newton never work as it should. Never before Apple Computer was not so close to loss of face.

Automation of the power supply was not streamlined until the end, it has temporarily disabled. Therefore, the device was very hot, sometimes it was impossible to keep in hands.

The software was still too unreliable, so show them decided without disconnecting from the computer – in this mode, the problems was smaller. But even in this case, no one could guarantee a successful show.

The mood of the team was depressed.

But in spite of that, the presentation went very well. The audience showed interface based on the paradigm of notebooks, not the Finder (the graphical environment on the Macintosh), than applause. Many people gathered.

Showed recognition of geometric shapes, some programs. Newton NewtonOS and, to the surprise of the demonstrators, behaved decently.

Everything was even too good – the audience is happy, the press loves it, the competitors all recorded on film and were happy too – only Newton MessagePad was still absolutely nothing ready.

After Newton MessagePad, in the same hall, using the time, demonstrated their creations competitors, among them was the company General Magic, were the people from Apple, bill Atkinson and Marc Porat. They showed their MagicCap.

Competitors also quickly developed PDA, and it was obvious that they were in this race, even ahead of Apple. Successful show even more whetted the desire of various companies to enter the market with something similar. This show has caused to the interests of the Apple a lot of damage. Now everyone was aware of what it’s like on the mysterious Apple PDA.

That’s why later, when Steve Jobs, Apple brought its secrecy, paranoid, people above that amused – but for the lessons received by the company in the past, she paid too much.

But all hands on deck before the show in Chicago is not a Real all hands on deck… all hands on deck, with the loss of life was still ahead of him in the next part.

To be continued.

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