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**Breaking** Apple Buys NeXT


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**Breaking** Apple Buys NeXT
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-12-22, 13:31

And the world changed!

Anyone remember this? If you don't … well …

The thing I remember most is that my dad approached me a few weeks later and was asking about a tech stock he should buy. I told him to buy Apple. He said, no, Apple was bankrupt. I said, no, Apple just re-aquired Steve Jobs and they're shooting for the moon.

He had a thousand dollars to invest. That would be worth something like $75,000 today.

That story will remain in my mind forever. Mostly because I was drinking about a thousand dollars per month, and wish I'd had the sense to take my own advice.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)

Last edited by kscherer : 2021-12-22 at 16:02.
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2021-12-22, 15:40

Good bet Apple would have died without NeXT, best move they made during the 90’s.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2021-12-22, 18:04

Ah, to interview Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-12-22, 18:21

Or Michael Dell

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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2021-12-22, 20:24

I remember feeling very conflicted and confused at first because I had been rooting for Be at the time.

All these years later, the screenshots of BeOS still look so oddly appealing to me, even with those weird truncated window title bars.



In hindsight, there is virtually zero doubt that Apple made the right choice.

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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-12-28, 19:00

I don't know. At the time — and even more so now — I think BeOS looks like MacOS and Windows 3.0 had a love child.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2021-12-28, 19:20

Maybe that's why I admired it. Hey, this was the early 90s after all.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-12-28, 19:45

I often wonder what platform Gil Amelio and Nolan Bushnell ended up on!!!


...
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PB PM
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2021-12-28, 20:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
I don't know. At the time — and even more so now — I think BeOS looks like MacOS and Windows 3.0 had a love child.
I was also thinking it was the ugly step child of Windows 3 and Mac OS9, or some oddball Linux distro. Even a under the hood rebuild, with Mac OS9 UI would have been better, IMO.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2021-12-29, 01:22

I thought BeOS looked kinda cute. It also took some ideas from Apple/IBM Taligent mock-ups: https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith/...500322304?s=21 (but I couldn’t find evidence that that Taligent person moved on to Be)

That said, 1) Platinum is my favorite of that era by a long shot, and 2) my goodness, the Be hardware was hideous. Purple, grey, and then green-yellow lights? What?
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PB PM
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2021-12-29, 08:17

I feel thankful that I was blissfully unaware of this as we trekked on with our Steve Jobs era Mac from the 80’s. We bought our next Mac just after his return (G&W Power Mac G3). Saw those odd 90’s Macs in the lab at school though, but we skipped from Jobs Mac to Jobs Mac with glee.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2021-12-29, 16:05

Alright, ya' bastards. I went and did the unthinkable.

It took over an hour to install, it's painful as hell to use because acceleration with a modern mouse is horribly screwy, I struggled to get networking working with a static IP address (DHCP seems not to be implemented), I struggled even more to get a copy of OmniWeb from my Mac into this system with zero useful networking tools, and I had to temporarily disable AppleNova's forced HTTPS redirect, buuuut…



As expected, mouse issues aside, it feels a lot like a super primitive Mac OS X. Lots of even the most basic niceties are missing, but the bones are plenty familiar, especially as someone who used the Mac OS X Public Beta as his daily driver 21 years ago and has since used a variety of Linux distros as well.

There go several hours of my life I'll never get back. If there's anything you want to see from a "real" OPENSTEP 4.2 system (released circa January 1997), let me know!

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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2021-12-29, 16:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
If there's anything you want to see from a "real" OPENSTEP 4.2 system (released circa January 1997), let me know!
Minecraft?

Oh, and get a life, Brad. Your wife misses you.

Also, man, I wish I had your hack-a-Mac skilz! Way to go.
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PB PM
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2021-12-29, 16:49

Wow, that's some dedication!
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2021-12-29, 17:36

Geeeeez. I never used Omniweb, but DAAAAMN that's a callback.

I want to see the print dialog!!!




...
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2021-12-30, 15:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
I want to see the print dialog!!!
Ask and ye shall receive.

I couldn't find a working print driver, but much like Mac OS X, the print dialog still functions without a real printer and allows you to open/save a preview (though as Postscript, not PDF).





Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Minecraft?
I'm afraid that when this version of OPENSTEP released, Java was still just barely out of its initial 1.0 release, and JREs that old are rather hard to come by, to say nothing of their anemic feature sets...

Plus, OpenStep (note the capitalization) was a competitor to Java because it was intended to be a platform-agnostic SDK, much like how the JDK code running in the JVM is platform-agnostic. So, I'd be surprised to see if any version of Java existed for it.

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kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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2021-12-30, 15:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
I'm afraid that when this version of OPENSTEP released, Java was still just barely out of its initial 1.0 release, and JREs that old are rather hard to come by, to say nothing of their anemic feature sets...

Plus, OpenStep (note the capitalization) was a competitor to Java because it was intended to be a platform-agnostic SDK, much like how the JDK code running in the JVM is platform-agnostic. So, I'd be surprised to see if any version of Java existed for it.
You give up too easily!
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2021-12-30, 19:27

starts looking for an OPENSTEP 4.2 distribution of gcc…
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kscherer
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2021-12-31, 11:51

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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
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2021-12-31, 19:14

Love this Brad! 👏👏👏
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2021-12-31, 20:55

Love So Much Thank You


...
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-01-01, 16:07

Welp, this is the best you're gonna get, Ken! I officially throw in the towel.

I pulled down all the oldest jars I could find (between five and ten years for different versions of lwjgl, lzma, jinput, etc) and ran a local web server with some modified code hoping I could get OmniWeb to load something in that applet box, but the best I could get is it trying and failing.

But hey at least we get to see a neat Apple-branded espresso machine icon.





I also spent way too much time installing and trying to figure out NeXT's Foundation Kit libs and some 20+ year old ported VNC client code thinking that I could at least fake it and stream the game running from another machine. Alas, I kept hitting bus errors as the client was negotiating the connection, and that probably means the VNC protocol has drifted enough over the decades that modern servers can't talk with clients as old as this.

It was an interesting journey at least.

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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-01-01, 16:13

What an epic attempt. This could be worthy enough to earn a Minecraft community viral tweet! (which, with $4.55, will get you a small latte at Starbucks)

Can't wait for our upcoming UHC!!!


..
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2022-01-02, 03:02

Alright alright alright… one more epic attempt possibly worthy of a viral tweet before I put this topic aside.

Some background: I tend to hoard "key art" assets from a lot of different media — mostly from video games but also from some movies and tech products. There's a ton of really great art that Apple and NeXT produced in the '80s and '90s for various manuals, fliers, and such. I love the old "Picasso" style illustrations of the '80s and the sketchy pastel illustrations they used around early '90s products like the Newton and eWorld.



So, I've needlessly hoarded a few things from Apple that I've been able to find over the years, but one particular asset has long eluded me, and I've never been able to find a decent copy of it. Finally something relevant to this topic again! It's this Apple-NeXT merger announcement:



Woof. That thing has really seen better days. It seems that every instance of this image I've found on the internet is cursed under an awful patina of JPEG compression. This one has undoubtedly been through several generations of re-saving and re-compressing to end up so soft and grainy. Unfortunately, the original image was hosted during the nascent days of the Internet Archive, and although they do have the HTML from some of NeXT's website before Apple replaced it all with redirects, they don't have that image (or many others from 1996/1997 for that matter).

Almost two and a half years ago — some time in September 2019 if my filesystem dates are to be believed — I resolved to find the original image. After apparently just one or two evenings digging through search engines and mirrors and archives, I had saved a bunch of similarly garbage images but gave up. I considered recreating the original image on my own, which is something I've done for other impossible-to-find assets on rare occasions, but I only put a few minutes into a Photoshop file before giving up on that too. There were just too many images to source and fonts to find to actually recreate that.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I installed OPENSTEP in a local VM and clearly completely lost my mind.

Here ya' go, folks. As far as I know, there's no other like it on the planet. I present to you my entirely remade "APPLE AND NeXT ANNOUNCE MERGER" image!



Now with twice the resolution.

I was able to find and manipulate some stock photos to get pretty close to the original nav button graphics it had. I had to create a bunch of the other stuff from scratch, though, like the floating WebObjects icons, "Merge" button, and even the NeXT cube logo. Of course they didn't use the official logo. They just had to make a custom version without the gaps and with shaded gradients on the sides.

Good grief!

And now back to prepping for that upcoming UHC.
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drewprops
Space Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2022-01-02, 06:53

Whoa.

This must surely be the most epic and obscure NeXT related quest to have happened on this planet in recent memory. A testament, a soaring tribute, to the power of rabbit holes followed. Don Bradote tilting at operating systems.

...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2022-01-03, 12:01

So much fun, Brad. Thanks for the memories!
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