Macintosh Development Stories: Folklore.org

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Andy Hertzfeld's Folklore.org is a sort of historical blog, documenting the development of the original Macintosh computer.

For Mac geeks and computer people in general, it's a fascinating look into a very special time in computer history -- after the success of the Apple II, Steve Jobs and crew at Apple were attempting to create the next big thing. After releasing the Apple Lisa, which was a flop primarily due to its $9,995 price tag, Apple needed a hit. The Mac was a home run (despite its minimal memory, small screen, and other limitations), and Folklore.org documents the minutiae of its development. The stories are written by the team members themselves, including insight about the famous Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field.

Here's a sample from the story It's the Moustache That Matters:

Burrell started thinking about what it would take to get promoted. It obviously wasn't a matter of talent or technical skill, since he was already far more accomplished in that regard than most of the other hardware engineers. It wasn't a matter of working harder, since Burrell already worked harder and was more productive than most of the others. Finally, he noticed something that most of the other engineers had in common that he was lacking: they all had fairly prominent moustaches. And the engineering managers tended to have even bigger moustaches. Tom Whitney, the engineering VP, had the largest moustache of all.

So Burrell immediately started growing his own moustache. It took around a month or so for it to come in fully, but finally he pronounced it complete. And sure enough, that very afternoon, he was called into Tom Whitney's office and told that he was promoted to "member of technical staff" as a full-fledged engineer.

Read more at Folklore.org - be sure to check out the comments at the bottom of each page.

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June 26, 2007 - 7:00am
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