496: 40th Anniversary of the Mac Draft


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade episode 496. Today's show is brought to you by Vitaly, Delete Me and Squarespace.

00:00:18   I would like to welcome you to the 40th anniversary of the Mac draft. While everybody else is going to be talking about the Vision Pro this week, we'll get back to that next week.

00:00:28   Because on this show today, we're going to celebrate this important day in the history of the Macintosh.

00:00:34   And for this momentous occasion, we have selected a panel of momentous participants to draft a list of Macintosh accolades.

00:00:42   So, please welcome to the show, Shelley Brisbane, Public Radio Journalist and host of Parallel on Relay FM. Hi, Shelley.

00:00:49   Hello, it's great to be here.

00:00:51   Steven Hackett from 512pixels and host of various shows here on Relay FM. Hi, Steven.

00:00:56   Thanks for having me.

00:00:57   And Dan Moran of Six Colors, host of Clockwise and Relay FM, the rebound of various shows on the incomparable. Hi, Dan.

00:01:04   Hi, Mike. Pleased to be here. Pleased to be ready to wipe the floor with my competition.

00:01:08   Okay. Dan introduced the smack talk. We have John Gruber of Daring Fireball, the talk show and dithering. Hi, John.

00:01:15   Hello.

00:01:16   John Siracusa from Hypocritical ATP and host of various shows on Relay FM and the incomparable. Hi, John.

00:01:23   I'm excited to be momentous.

00:01:25   Indeed. And of course, my usual partner in crime, Jason Snell of Six Colors, host of various shows on Relay FM, including this one.

00:01:33   Including this one. Hi.

00:01:35   And the incomparable Hi, Jason.

00:01:37   Hi, Mike. Thanks for having me on my show.

00:01:39   So, here's what we're going to do today.

00:01:41   I'm already thrown off. This doesn't sound like upgrade.

00:01:43   Well, in a minute it's about two because we're going to draft. So, we have five themed rounds.

00:01:48   The order for who is going to be picking first has been selected by random.org, bringing random to you.

00:01:56   Each round will then be started by the subsequent person. So, we're going to be shifting.

00:02:01   The only person who won't get to start a round is Dan. Sorry, Dan.

00:02:05   I don't know what to tell you. Bye, random.org.

00:02:08   We have six participants and five rounds.

00:02:10   Singled out so soon.

00:02:12   Asterisk next to all of us.

00:02:14   I find it very suspicious that he was smack talking and now he's at the bottom of the list.

00:02:18   Look, I'm fair, but I won't stand for it. All right? I just want to say.

00:02:23   So, everybody understand this. You are not allowed to pick the same item as any person who has come before you.

00:02:29   You must have backup picks for each round.

00:02:31   But, of course, please feel free to add any commentary to another participant's pick.

00:02:36   The idea of today, well, we're going to be talking about specific categories.

00:02:40   This is a celebration of the 40 years, the Macintosh, so discussion is encouraged.

00:02:46   For round one, we're going to be setting the table with each of the participants,

00:02:51   as I would like you all to tell me a little bit about the first Mac you ever bought.

00:02:55   Now, of course, if somebody else selected your Mac, give me your second Mac, but then you can tell me.

00:03:01   No, wait, no.

00:03:03   I made the rules. I will not stand for it. The rules are.

00:03:06   You can still tell me what your first Mac was, but then I also want to hear your second Mac.

00:03:10   We want to get as many Macs in this conversation as possible.

00:03:14   So, we go to.

00:03:15   Tyler's gone to his head already. Oh, God.

00:03:17   I know. Look, I'm just trying to bring order. There's like a thousand people on this podcast.

00:03:22   There's got to be some level of rules.

00:03:23   That's true.

00:03:24   Shelley, I will come to you first. What is the first Mac you ever bought? And tell me a little bit about it.

00:03:29   It was a Mac Plus, and I was prepared if I wasn't going to go first.

00:03:33   I had my half Mac, not my second Mac, but my half Mac, but because before I got the Mac, I don't think anybody's going to snipe this, so I'll do it anyway.

00:03:41   Before I got the Mac Plus, I rented a Mac 512KE to make sure I liked this whole Mac thing, and I did very much.

00:03:49   And I got the Mac Plus with the very meager monies I had available to me and started my little attempt at a desktop publishing business.

00:03:58   I loved it very much.

00:03:59   I used it in my childhood bedroom for as long as it lasted.

00:04:02   I actually still own it because there was a point when I left California to move back to Texas where I had the chance to give it away with a bunch of stuff we were getting rid of.

00:04:11   And I physically restrained my husband from taking it to the car and getting rid of it, so it is in a closet in my third bedroom.

00:04:17   The beloved Mac Plus.

00:04:19   It's good. I have Lauren's beloved, I think it's a 512 that was upgraded to a Plus right behind me, but it's still boots.

00:04:29   So that's her childhood computer and college computer too.

00:04:33   I never thought about the idea of renting a computer.

00:04:36   Right?

00:04:37   You could back in those days. There was a guy who had gone to the University of Texas as I had, and he set up a little sort of a Mac shop very near campus, and he would sell you computers, he would rent them.

00:04:50   I think he did maybe some early desktop publishing services. He did memory installations for people.

00:04:56   And so I forget how I found out about him, but he had this Mac 512kE available, and all I needed to do was figure out whether I could run and enjoy PageMaker, and I did.

00:05:06   Although I distinctly remember the sound of the two floppy drives when I was loading the system in the PageMaker. Oh my God, memories.

00:05:14   And so I thought the Mac Plus plus a hard drive, which I paid a lot of money for, a 20 megabyte, megabyte, friends, megabyte hard drive would be the way to go.

00:05:24   And it was, and I enjoyed it. I couldn't afford a laser printer, but I did have half the desktop publishing experience that I needed.

00:05:31   And then I would go to the Alpha graphics shop and spend a dollar a page, and I would print things up for people. And that's how one of my first jobs after college.

00:05:41   Somebody should get in the Vision Pro rental business. That's the next.

00:05:45   Right.

00:05:47   It was like skate rentals at the roller rink where they spray that stuff on them, they just spray that on the face cushion. Nobody wants that.

00:05:55   Used goggles. Thank you.

00:05:58   John Sirikis, sir, what was the first Mac that you ever bought?

00:06:02   Well, despite the dumb rules of this thing, I'm lucky that no one else is going to snipe mine. Although speaking of renting computers, my first computer was a rented Commodore VIC 20, because again, my parents weren't sure that first they didn't want to buy an expensive computer and they weren't sure computers are worthwhile.

00:06:17   But after that, my first Mac was the first Mac, the original Macintosh 128K. And how that came about, it was actually not my doing. I wanted a computer, I got the rented VIC 20. It was not great. We hooked up to the TV, did stuff with it.

00:06:33   The Mac came into my life, my understanding of the chain is my uncle, who was a nerd and still is, convinced my grandfather, his father, to get a Mac. And the first Mac I ever saw was over my grandfather's house on his kitchen table, where I sat there and I went through the guided tour, the Macintosh guided tour, which was an audio cassette that came with the computer that you would put in a tape player and play.

00:06:56   And then you'd do stuff on the screen and it would tell you, you know, go to the next chapter when it beeps or whatever and do stuff on the screen. And shortly after that, an original Macintosh appeared in our home. I know I didn't buy it to myself, but my parents did. I was nine years old. That was my first Mac, the original Macintosh.

00:07:12   We later, Motherboard upgraded that to a Plus, which is a thing that Apple used to sell to you for a huge amount of money. Those were the days. And I still have that computer and it's upstairs.

00:07:21   Amazing. Does it still run, Jon? Last time I turned it on was many years ago. It did still run then, but now, who knows?

00:07:29   You got to get a floppy emu and then you can boot it from an SD card. It's pretty awesome.

00:07:34   I mean, all those capacitors have to be blown in there by now, but I have the original box, the original Macintosh box, all the manuals, all the stuff. It looks extremely beat up because, you know, I was nine years old when we got it and I wasn't there to save it. But I have all the stuff.

00:07:46   We're talking about 40 years of a computer platform. There's going to be a lot of terms and phrases that sound quite strange today. Floppy emu, I think would be hard to beat.

00:07:57   And that's a modern product. Floppy emu is an emulator. It's an SD card reading thing that emulates the floppy port on the classic Mac.

00:08:08   I didn't know it was called that. I remember it was called the Mac. So you can plug it in and boot off of... There's way more computing power and I think the screen on the floppy emu is actually higher resolution than on the original Mac, but it will boot anything on an SD card, which is pretty awesome.

00:08:22   But then you're missing out on the experience, like Shelley said.

00:08:25   Oh God, that floppy swapping. Because I also ran an external floppy drive because obviously the Mac Plus had, well, obviously to me anyways, had only one, but you had to have two in order to run the system and page maker and oh, a file or two.

00:08:38   Stephen Hackett, what was your first Mac?

00:08:43   I actually had to stop and think about this because the first Mac I used as my own was actually from like a job. It was a titanium power book that the owner of the company basically just let me treat as my own machine, which was insane because I was like 17 years old.

00:08:57   But the first Mac I bought with my own money was a 17 inch iMac G4 in like 2006 or so. Got it second hand because I needed something to watch TV on in the little apartment I rented.

00:09:12   And so, uh, it makes me sound much younger than the rest of you, but, uh, sorry about that. But yeah, uh, iMac G4 makes a great, made a great TV for a long time.

00:09:22   You are much younger than the rest of us.

00:09:24   Yeah, I don't think it just sounds...

00:09:26   I was expecting there to be some age related, uh, crosswinds here.

00:09:30   Yeah, like the title of this show, it's the Mac's 40th anniversary. So I was like, wait a second, if the Mac is 40 and I have the original Mac, then how old am I?

00:09:41   I'm the only man who's the children who are wrong.

00:09:43   John Gruber, what was the first Mac that you ever bought?

00:09:48   Uh, I got a, in 1991 when I started my freshman year at Drexel University, they had a, uh, rather famous policy that the, you know, and they had a program from the late eighties or mid eighties even where every student at Drexel had to have access to a Mac.

00:10:07   They didn't have to buy one, but it was sort of insinuated that you should. I mean, and there were labs where you could go, but they sold them to students at a tremendous discount.

00:10:17   I mean, I don't, I don't know if they were half off, but it was, I don't know, somewhere 30, 40% off retail in collaboration with Apple.

00:10:25   And my year, so they'd offer three, there were like three choices and the one was the bottom one was a Mac classic, the middle one was the Mac LC and the high end one was the SE 30.

00:10:39   And I went with the Mac LC because it had a color screen and I thought I'd want to play games and here I am. Uh, what is it? Uh, 34 years later, 33 years later and I still regret not buying the SE 30.

00:10:55   Uh, so that Mac LC was my first one and as, as Syracuse has said in the eighties, for those of us of Ariura, it was a very common thing for parents to sort of, I don't know if I'm going to buy you a computer, you're not going to use it, but my parents wouldn't buy me a computer.

00:11:10   I've told this story on podcasts before, not because they thought I wouldn't use it, but because they thought if they bought me a computer that I'd never leave the house.

00:11:20   Um, so that was actually the first computer I ever owned was, I mean, I had a Atari 2,600 game player, but that Mac LC, uh, with four megabytes of Ram and a 40 megabyte hard drive and the 12 inch color display.

00:11:36   Not, not the good 13 inch one, uh, was my computer until I think 1998 when I bought, uh, when I went and the LC stood for low cost supposedly.

00:11:51   You know how Apple never, even back then never explained color.

00:11:54   Yeah, right. You never explained what SE meant. Never explained. Yeah.

00:11:58   What LC meant, but apparently it was low cost color, uh, which is really what it was.

00:12:03   Uh, eventually I upgraded it to the maximum, the maximum of 10 megabytes of Ram and passed it to my girlfriend who is now my wife.

00:12:17   Uh, when I upgraded my second Mac was a power Mac 9,600 350, which I just got, just my second at once.

00:12:25   A little faster. Yeah. Right. Which was top of the line.

00:12:29   Right. So I went from this LC that had frustrated me nonstop from the day I opened it until I maxed out with the greatest workstation class machine available at the time in 1998.

00:12:42   And then my poor wife, by the time I passed it to her, she was in law school and, uh, trying to use the web like Netscape.

00:12:51   I mean, it was people laugh about classic max and how they'd crash often or something like that. But man, trying to use the web in 1997 with, with, with 10 megabytes of Ram, uh, was, was pretty dire.

00:13:09   Jason Snell. What was the first Mac that you ever bought?

00:13:12   So I really started using the Mac in college at my college newspaper and we had a whole bunch of SEs and one Mac too, and we had a bunch of external displays so we could run page maker and see a full tabloid page and lay it out that way.

00:13:25   And that's where I fell in love with the Mac. I had an Apple two before that. Um, and, uh, intended to run that Apple two for a while longer.

00:13:35   And, uh, by the end of my, that year, my sophomore year in college, I, uh, I bought, I had to buy a Mac. That was it. I was completely, um, around the bend. I'd stopped using the computer in my dorm, the Apple two.

00:13:46   I just went to the newspaper office whenever I wanted to use a computer because I just didn't want to use anything but a Mac at that point.

00:13:53   And they, uh, this was actually at the end of the life of the SE. The classic was just around the corner, although I didn't know that.

00:13:59   And so Apple put the SEs on sale, plus there was the educational discount. And so what seemed like an inconceivably expensive amount of money for a Mac in those days, in the spring of 1990, um, suddenly kind of came within, uh, bounds of being affordable for me.

00:14:17   And, uh, the way my parents set me up in college was that they basically put money into a bank account from my college money and, uh, trusted me with it. Like I wrote the checks for the tuition and all of that.

00:14:31   And it was coming toward the end of my sophomore year and I had the money in the bank. So I made the executive decision after much fretting, just myself to go and buy that Mac SE at the UCSD bookstore.

00:14:42   And, um, you know, in hindsight, you know, best decision I could have ever made and, uh, loved having that. And since I knew the SE well, because we had them at the office as well with a hard drive and a floppy drive.

00:14:56   So you didn't have to endlessly be shifting floppy disks around. Um, and I love that thing. And I used it for, for, uh, the rest of college and into grad school before I got a PowerBook.

00:15:07   Here's to buying Macs with your parents' money.

00:15:09   [Laughter]

00:15:10   This is the only way to do it.

00:15:11   I feel like even with educational discounts, which were considerably better back in those days than they are now. I mean, I got a great one on the Mac plus, which I bought through the university of Texas.

00:15:20   But I feel like there are all sorts of stories about how you cobble together the money for your first Mac.

00:15:26   And in my case, it was that my sister who's younger than me, uh, got a car, very old, very beat up car, uh, when she was, I guess, 16, whenever she got her license.

00:15:36   I, uh, don't have the vision to drive, so I did not get a car. So my, it was my mother who, when I was like, I really like this Mac, really, really, really want it.

00:15:45   And she's the one who said, I'm not buying you a car, but I'll buy you a Mac.

00:15:49   It cost about the same.

00:15:51   That would have been a deal.

00:15:52   Yes. A really old VW Rabbit versus a Mac plus. Yeah, about the same.

00:15:56   My second Mac was a purchase with my sister's college discount. She went off to college. She's four years older than me.

00:16:02   She went off to college and I convinced my parents, let's use her college discount to buy me a Mac.

00:16:07   Because the discounts, look at the savings, you can't afford not to buy it.

00:16:10   They were huge back then. They were really good. Yeah.

00:16:13   Yeah. And so she went to college, she went to college with the Mac 128 motherboard upgraded to a Mac plus.

00:16:18   That was her college computer in, I guess, what was that, 1989?

00:16:22   Yeah. Yeah. That's basically the same computer that Lauren used in college. So that's fair.

00:16:27   No, I didn't, the control of the bank account didn't really bite me until I was a senior in college.

00:16:32   That's when I bought the personal laser rider.

00:16:34   Oh, man.

00:16:37   Yeah. I was around the bend then.

00:16:39   And finally, Dan Morin, what was your favorite Mac?

00:16:43   I'm interested. Are we going to complete a run where nobody had their Mac kit?

00:16:47   No, we are not. We are not. I went last, so I got sniped.

00:16:51   Actually, the education discount thing was relevant to me because my dad worked at a university.

00:16:55   So we use that to he was a staff member. So we got an education discount on my first Mac, which Jon Gruber and I are brothers here because I also started with the Mac LC, same era, albeit with with less.

00:17:08   I think I only had two megabytes of RAM hours. Couldn't even run system seven.

00:17:11   Had to downgrade to six point oh point seven.

00:17:14   It's been a while before it could upgrade to four megabytes so I could finally have multitasking, which was great.

00:17:18   I did come with the dug up some photographic evidence for our private chat there of the Mac LC and me as a 13 year old using it.

00:17:28   I had a style writer. I had those gravis joysticks.

00:17:33   I had a twenty four hundred baud modem that's peaking out there.

00:17:37   All the all the great stuff. Dan, you are robbing the world by not publishing this image.

00:17:42   I'll put it up somewhere. I'll put it up online. But yeah, against against the rules.

00:17:48   So I won't go on about that one, although I did. I did love that Mac.

00:17:52   My second Mac was a Performa 6300.

00:17:57   So I guess I went in the opposite direction from Jon, which is I feel like I really took a step back with the Performa because that was a not great machine, including logic board on it died at some point.

00:18:08   We had to get that replaced. One of the cathode ray guns went on the monitors.

00:18:13   You couldn't see anything that was red, which was real fun. There were a lot of problems with that computer.

00:18:19   I was not a big fan of it, but it lasted. That one lasted for like the mid 90s all the way to my freshman year of college.

00:18:24   I took it to school with me. I think we did get the monitor fixed at some point.

00:18:29   Also bought with my with my dad's education discount. That was like for years.

00:18:35   Man, I was so sad when I finally graduated. I think even then afterwards I worked at a university for a little while and I think I could use the education discount there.

00:18:42   But eventually I finally like lost access to it and they got worse, which was a real bummer.

00:18:47   But yeah, I do. I mean, I really fond memories of that that LC.

00:18:52   It was fantastic. 40 megabyte hard drive. I remember opening it up like it was the pizza box, they call them, because they were super long and flat.

00:19:01   And you could like undo a couple of clips on the back and pull up and the whole thing was just kind of laid out there.

00:19:07   I think I was really like trepidatious about opening at the time that we had to like upgrade something else.

00:19:12   So you would open it and be like full of dust because it hadn't been opened like ever.

00:19:18   And those things were just suck dust in. So but I it's amazing all the things that computer could do, given its relatively low amount of power.

00:19:29   Although I did occasionally run into things where it like would tell you, like, I think there are games you couldn't run because the resolution on that monitor was weird.

00:19:37   And like games like I remember it's like Maelstrom or something like wouldn't run because it couldn't do like 640 480 or anything.

00:19:44   Maelstrom definitely worked. I can verify.

00:19:47   There was something out there, some game that would not run because it was at a weird resolution.

00:19:51   There were a lot of them, a lot of those sort of arcade games on the early Mac, especially the color ones demanded 640 by 40. And from this picture, it looks like you had the 12 inch monitor.

00:19:59   Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can tell you can tell because the 12 inch monitor fit perfectly in in the silhouette.

00:20:06   Yeah. I think the basic problem was circa 19, like right when System 7 came out around 1991 92.

00:20:14   There were a lot of seemingly if then statements in games that were like if color assume 13 inch 640 by 480 and otherwise go small.

00:20:23   And it was like, no, I need the small 512 resolution but color.

00:20:28   Yeah, right. And nothing. No, there weren't any really like there weren't that was the whole like the low cost color thing. Like there weren't really color max that were that dimension.

00:20:36   Like I think the twos right the Mac twos were the ones mainly.

00:20:40   So it's part of I mean, the main reason I regretted not getting the SE 30 instead is that the SE 30 was so much faster and I just didn't appreciate at the time how much I would have.

00:20:50   I did enjoy the sharpness of the one bit monochrome displays, but it was so much faster. It was ridiculous.

00:20:58   Yeah, yeah. My best friend had a had a SE 30 and that was the one that my first Mac that I used.

00:21:03   And like, you know, I the color was attractive, but at the end of the day, I agree. I feel like that SE 30 definitely.

00:21:09   You could connect a monitor to the SE 30. I had a monitor on my SE 30.

00:21:13   Well, in fact, I was working at a place where we all had Mac pluses and there was one SE 30.

00:21:18   So we would just gather around it and stare in awe, not because it looked any different itself, but because we had a portrait, a radius portrait monitor connected to it because the person who had it was doing page layout stuff.

00:21:29   And we would all just stand around going, oh, it also had two floppy drives, which is pretty awesome.

00:21:35   All right. Now we have reached the end of our first round. Competitors, congratulations.

00:21:40   We all did really good. I'm proud of everyone. We got to the end of it.

00:21:44   We remembered our first Macs.

00:21:46   Yeah, I'm really proud of everyone and I expect everyone is shooting daggers at Steven, I think is what's happening.

00:21:51   Jon's going to point out Dan didn't actually pick a Mac.

00:21:55   No, I did the performance 6300. It had to be. That was per rules.

00:21:59   All right, good. But I'm just wondering, Mike is only the host. Mike's not playing?

00:22:03   Correct. If you subscribe to upgrade plus, you get my kicks.

00:22:07   That's why he's here.

00:22:09   You get upgradeplus.com. Other than that, no.

00:22:12   I mean, look, here's the situation. I came to the Mac way later than anybody else. I'm not going to make anybody happy with the things that I'm going to be picking.

00:22:20   Like I will tell you at least this one, the Intel iMac was my first Mac. The first Intel iMac. So that kind of sets the stage for me.

00:22:29   Just think about that. Mike's first processor transition was the Apple Silicon transition.

00:22:33   You were three architectures in.

00:22:36   I want to let you know everybody, processor transitions, they go pretty well.

00:22:40   I have a 100% success rate. Really, really, really good. No problems at all.

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00:24:10   So we move into the second round now. We're a little bit open to interpretation here.

00:24:15   What I want to ask you is what you think is either your favorite Mac ever or what you think is the best Mac ever.

00:24:21   You can choose the way that you want to answer this.

00:24:24   Again, I would like as many Macs represented as possible in this round.

00:24:28   If somebody else picks what you want to pick, please feel free to tell me, but I don't want another one.

00:24:34   And we're going to start this round with John Siracusa.

00:24:37   Lucky me, I will snag this one that I know some other people on this panel would also choose.

00:24:45   This also happens to be a computer that I owned.

00:24:47   When I convinced my parents to let me use my sister's educational discount to buy a computer, I got an SE30,

00:24:52   which I think the retail price starts at $4,300, and it was worth every penny of my parents' money, let me tell you.

00:25:00   Because remember, I was coming from a plus.

00:25:02   By that point, I had a plus, I had the 20 megabyte hard drive that Shelley had underneath it because those hard drives fit right underneath it.

00:25:09   I had an external floppy drive, I had an image writer, the original image writer, not the image writer 2.

00:25:14   It was quite a setup, but by 1989, faster computers existed.

00:25:20   I had touched them in the Apple retail stores, not the Apple stores, but authorized Apple resellers.

00:25:26   I'd go in there and I could touch a Mac 2, and I could touch an SE30, and boy were they faster.

00:25:31   So much faster. And I knew that it had even more capabilities, so I got that SE30, and it was amazing.

00:25:37   Because it looked just like my other computer, it fit right on top of my hard drive, same exact size case, but it was, you know,

00:25:41   a lighter shade of platinum, and it had a floppy drive, and it had an internal hard drive, plus the one that was underneath it, so now I had two hard drives.

00:25:49   And then I had the external floppy drive, it worked with my printer, and then eventually I bought a Rastrops 264 color board for it,

00:25:56   and connected a 13 inch trinitron monitor, so I could play games at 6 or 8 before eating, unlike Dan.

00:26:02   And boy, that system, I used that system until the blue and white G3.

00:26:07   That SE30 had legs, it was fantastic, it ran all my software, it was a small, it was the best of the classic Macs.

00:26:15   Small, compact little classic Mac. Before they did like the sort of new Coke thing, Coke classic thing of having the Mac classic,

00:26:21   the Mac classic wasn't it. There was these original compact Macs that got better and better, and the SE30 was essentially

00:26:28   the end of the line for when Apple stopped making every new computer better than all the other computers.

00:26:34   That was, you know, it was early in the PC industry, like, there was the 128, then came the 512.

00:26:39   512 was better than the 128, or equal, in every way. And then came the Plus, same deal. And then the Mac 2, right?

00:26:45   And the SE30, right, that was the end, because right after the SE30, the LC came out. And that was the first time Apple had said,

00:26:51   "You know what? We're going to make a computer that is not better than all our previous Macs.

00:26:55   We're going to make one that's low cost, and it'll have crappier specs, but it'll be cheaper."

00:27:01   And up to that point, Apple didn't do that. Every new computer they came out with was like,

00:27:05   "What was the previous computer? Let's just make this one better in some way, and more expensive probably."

00:27:10   And the SE30 was the pinnacle of that, it was like, the end of the line for the compact Mac, the best compact Mac they would ever make.

00:27:17   Huge longevity, I loved that computer, I loved that I could expand it and make it do more exciting things.

00:27:23   I loved dragging a window from the monochrome screen onto the color one, and having the window half on the color screen and half on the monochrome screen,

00:27:30   it would blow my PC using friend's mind. The same window would render in black and white and in color on that screen.

00:27:35   Fantastic, loved it, still up in the attic. I have tested that one about five years ago and it still worked.

00:27:41   It was a little bit wonky, but I did get it to work in boot. Who knows how it's doing now, but RIP to a real one if it's not working.

00:27:49   I think there's no more John Siracusa opinion than the Mac topped out in 1989. 34 years ago, that was it. Shut it down.

00:27:58   It was like a change in the way Apple made computers. The idea that every single new product you make has to best all your previous products is not tenable,

00:28:06   for a company that wants to have a reasonable market. We accept that people make products in lines. Here's the medium range, low end or whatever.

00:28:13   But in the very early days of the PC era, everything was better than what came before it. Obviously that was unsustainable, I didn't know that at the time.

00:28:20   I didn't know we had hit the peak and Apple would start slumming it with those LCs and the Performas and the Centris models. It became a modern product company and the market matured.

00:28:31   But back then it was like every new computer is the best ever.

00:28:34   Well to be fair, it was also the creation of a product line because you had one computer that would supersede another and you might have a couple in the lineup at the same time.

00:28:43   But when you have the classic and the LC and the SI, that's a line. Whatever you think of the individual computers, they have their role to play.

00:28:50   And so you're always going to have something that's going to be less than optimal.

00:28:55   And that seemed, I mean for somebody who, I mean I ended up buying an SI, I didn't end up buying an SE or an LC, but there was this sort of looking at the line and the options available and going,

00:29:05   "I really want another Mac. I've got to upgrade my old Mac, but I can't afford the best one, whatever that one is. So I'm glad there was something below it that didn't suck."

00:29:14   Yeah, it was product segmentation though. They could charge a bazillion dollars to the Mac 2 FX because you could buy cheaper Macs.

00:29:20   Some Mac anniversary, probably 15 or 20 years ago, we did a story at Macworld about, where we asked a bunch of people what they thought the best Mac of all time was.

00:29:30   And I believe Mr. Grouper, Mr. Siracusa, and Adam Enks at least, three of the six people I asked all said SE30.

00:29:38   It was a lot less varied of a story. I hope this draft, the draft format works. Nobody else can pick that one now.

00:29:45   That was the Mac's 25th anniversary.

00:29:47   So that was 15 years ago.

00:29:50   I'll put a link to that article in the show notes in case people want to read it. It will be there for you.

00:29:55   And we'll find out today if that will stand. Very exciting.

00:30:01   But first we're going to go to Stephen Hackett. Stephen, what do you think is the best Mac of all time?

00:30:07   Hmm. Well, best and favorite are two really different questions.

00:30:12   Right? Indeed. But I want you to pick one of them.

00:30:15   Yeah, not both, even though my answers are sort of both. So I'm going to go with best/most important. I'm picking a third option.

00:30:26   No, Stephen. There's already enough rules.

00:30:30   I'm going to say the late 2010 MacBook Air. This was the machine, right?

00:30:37   The first MacBook Air, right? iPod hard drive, wacky hinges, the ports were on a little flappy door.

00:30:46   Like what a weird idea. And the 2010 MacBook Air, 13 inch, 11.6 inch, all SSD, MagSafe, regular USB ports.

00:30:55   It would eventually get Thunderbolt. It is the template that defines the next 10 years of notebooks.

00:31:03   And not just for Apple, but really the entire industry. You had Ultrabooks on the Windows and Intel side that were kind of aping that design and some of the features.

00:31:13   But if you look at even what we have now, right, the wedge design is gone.

00:31:19   But so much about that MacBook Air, its DNA is still with us today. And that is a real testament.

00:31:26   So I had a couple of these over the years. My wife used an 11 inch for a long time and I definitely have fond memories of those machines.

00:31:34   But it was it was pretty hard to beat and it was affordable.

00:31:38   When the MacBook Air first came out, it was really expensive and you didn't get all that much computer for your money.

00:31:44   So it also was a change of sort of the value proposition of the MacBook Air.

00:31:49   And Apple said, you know, this is what we think the future of notebooks is like.

00:31:53   And they were right. And that's a that's a cool thing.

00:31:56   There's also the unibody. I mean, obviously, the original MacBook Air was the first unibody.

00:32:00   And this was like, you know, the second major one. But that unibody thing proven out with the first not so great MacBook Air is like, yeah, all Mac laptops would be unibody from that point on.

00:32:08   Yeah, absolutely.

00:32:10   Yeah, that that's the defining Mac of the of the 2010s, if not all time. Thanks, Stephen, because you stole my pick there.

00:32:16   Yeah, I was also on.

00:32:18   It totally changed what a laptop was and is and still is.

00:32:23   It changed the definition of it entirely and it went from being an outlier to being the very definition of it.

00:32:28   Talk about like a model to model change.

00:32:32   Right. Look at that original MacBook Air was rough.

00:32:36   I had both. It was just a little bit ahead of its time.

00:32:39   Yeah. Speaking of the flappy door, it kind of reminds me of the trend in the 80s when you wanted the front of your car to be sleek and you didn't want ugly headlights marring it up.

00:32:47   You'd put the headlights and they would flip up. Right.

00:32:49   And I feel like that thing was like, we don't want ports marring the outside of this beautiful laptop.

00:32:53   Let's put them in a flappy door like the headlights on our Datsun 280Z.

00:32:57   Yeah. Those things always get stuck. Yeah.

00:33:00   Yeah. One down. Yeah.

00:33:02   My younger brother had one.

00:33:04   It's similar kind of thing where he had a little bit of money from his parents, from our parents.

00:33:10   We had the same parents and he decided to splurge it in a way that wasn't really responsible.

00:33:15   He could have bought a different computer that would have been better for his needs.

00:33:18   And he was playing a game on it once and got a burn on it, like an actual surface burn on his legs.

00:33:24   So that machine saw some.

00:33:27   I discovered that the original MacBook Air ran faster in the morning.

00:33:31   And that's because I had west facing windows in my office heated up in the afternoon and it would just shut down one of its two processor cores in the late afternoon.

00:33:41   It was knocking off early.

00:33:42   That's not a good computer, but it was replaced with a great one.

00:33:47   Real time follow up. The Datsun 280Z didn't have flip up headlights. I regret the error.

00:33:51   John, you must leave.

00:33:54   We move to John Gruber. John Gruber, what is the best Mac ever made?

00:33:59   All right. I feel bad because I feel like I got to be sniping somebody after me.

00:34:05   But screw it. I mean, somebody, you know, I'll go last in some other round.

00:34:09   I'm going to go with what's left. I'll go with the original iMac.

00:34:15   I you know, and I will count as original iMac the second round, the ones that added the colors, you know, which I know had like it was like one from two hundred thirty three to two hundred sixty six megahertz with the G3.

00:34:27   But they kind of came out with I think within a year of each other.

00:34:33   And that was what my wife upgraded to from my old hand me down LC from ninety one.

00:34:40   She got a purple iMac and it was like going from dying of thirst in the desert to being poolside with unlimited margaritas.

00:34:55   I mean, it was well and and I not even talking about the machine.

00:35:00   It just exempt we all just went through the anniversary of this machine and celebrated it.

00:35:05   So I don't have to say too much, but it really did. It wasn't just a great computer.

00:35:10   It really was. And then my parents got one. My wife's mom got one.

00:35:15   I mean, we just bought them for everybody in the house who wanted to like get on this Internet thing.

00:35:19   And they used them for years. They were great, long lasting machines.

00:35:24   The all in one thing really did help.

00:35:26   It made people who'd never had computers before feel pretty good about putting them somewhere in their house where people would see it.

00:35:35   And it it exemplified the OK, there's a new regime at Apple and this performa, blah, blah, blah.

00:35:45   We're selling different models at Circuit City than we are at Best Buy and all that nonsense.

00:35:51   Now, here it is. This is the iMac. Get them. They're cool. They're beautiful. And design really matters.

00:35:58   And here we are 25 years later. And I think that spirit.

00:36:03   Maybe not the colorful part, but I think the hardware design really matters.

00:36:11   Ethos still holds true at Apple today.

00:36:15   The iMacs are colorful now. The 24 inch iMacs do come in colors. They are all in one. They do they do minimize themselves in your environment.

00:36:22   So people aren't embarrassed to have them around.

00:36:24   And I also have relatives who would refuse to buy computers because they looked too computery, even though they were quote unquote better computers.

00:36:30   Having a computer that people are willing to put in their house that they think looks nice and doesn't look like something that we tech nerds would love is super important.

00:36:38   And I'm glad they did come back to it with the 24 inch. I mean, it's ridiculously thin.

00:36:42   And we think, why is it so thin? It makes no sense. You got to have a breakout box, blah, blah, blah.

00:36:45   But the thinness makes it hide itself and be more acceptable.

00:36:49   And the original colorful iMacs were the start of that. Regular people willing to have a computer in view of company.

00:36:55   Yeah. And I think I think these today's iMacs really are the spiritual descendants of the original iMac in a way that the ones that just look like a display for the previous years, the latter years of the Intel era.

00:37:11   They were good computers, but they weren't iMacs. Right. They were called iMacs. But I think fun and colorful is part of the iMac brand.

00:37:20   The iMac came out right when I was leaving Mac users. So it was funny because I had been on the inside and the iMac came out and I was on the outside looking in.

00:37:30   But at the same time, everybody I knew who now knew me as the computer person would say to me, should I buy an iMac?

00:37:36   And a lot of these people were it wasn't so much that they were concerned about whether it would be aesthetically pleasing in their house, but they were artists and creatives and they would look at the iMac and they go, that's fun.

00:37:47   I like that. That's a computer that I feel comfortable with as a user, not even so much as how it looks.

00:37:53   And so I can't tell you the number of people who got me to help them buy an iMac and got me to help them to upgrade its memory, which is really fun because you had to turn it upside down and take it apart, basically.

00:38:04   But it was just it was a thing. And the people I knew all had different colors. So I would remember who had what iMac. Oh, that's the that's the person with the tangerine one.

00:38:13   And I just ran around fixing iMacs and helping them buy better USB mice for them for years and years and years.

00:38:20   And there's so much good feeling toward Apple. It was I felt I felt more on the inside of that that group of people who was like, oh, I like Apple now.

00:38:30   It's not just that weird company that makes that expensive stuff. They've made a thing that I enjoy and that makes computing, whatever that means to them, mostly Internet access fun.

00:38:40   And it came at such a pivotal time, right? The first iMac shipped with Mac OS 8.6, if memory serves correctly. Not an amazing operating system.

00:38:51   It took a while for OS X to get out the door and even then a couple more years to get get pretty good. But the iMac helped revitalize interest in Apple before all that stuff could happen.

00:39:03   And it helped make that transition possible. And it's just so fascinating that the hardware was so.

00:39:11   So far out ahead of the software in this in that those few years gap, but didn't matter because all the reasons you said, Shelley, right, like it was friendly and approachable.

00:39:20   And fun. And you could get the color you wanted. And Tangerine was the best color. And you could have this computer that felt like an extension of your personality in a way.

00:39:31   And that was enough to buy Apple time to kind of get the rest of their technology ready to go.

00:39:36   Steven, how can someone who admitted that he's only been using a Mac for what you say, like two years. How are you besmirching system 8.6 Mac OS 8.6?

00:39:47   It was it was actually really good. I'd say 8.5 kind of turned the corner and 8.6 and then nine was really good and better than Mac OS X until several years into the Mac OS X era.

00:40:00   Yeah, very true. Very true.

00:40:02   I retract my statement. The iMac 2 was such a phenomenon. I mean, I remember I remember people because it came out just as I was graduating high school when I went to my first year of college.

00:40:13   There were people who had those PCs that like they stuck the little translucent like plastic on because they're like, oh, blue. That's why everybody loves this.

00:40:24   You missed the point. And that was just amazing. Like, I mean, you know, not even getting to like the George Foreman grills and whatever, but like, man, blue plastic for a while.

00:40:34   People like I'm surprised they didn't have like a run on blue plastic and whoever was manufacturing that.

00:40:39   To Stephen's point about the hardware being out ahead of the software, Mac OS X, the interface looks like the iMac. The pinstripes you see on that interface are the pinstripes from the iMac.

00:40:48   The color, the aqua color. Right. And it's you would if you didn't know the history, look back and think, oh, those are made together, but not really like it was kind of one inspired the other.

00:40:58   And then the fun thing is with Mac OS 8 that came with the iMac or whatever, you could go into the appearance because of the appearance manager going to the appearance and you could change your scroll thumbs and all your other things to orange to match your tangerine iMac.

00:41:11   Like it was color matched to the Mac operating system that came with it. But when you saw Mac OS X, you're like, oh, it's the iMac operating system.

00:41:19   And then once that once the you know, like they just fit together perfectly. They just weren't lined up time wise.

00:41:26   I believe out of the box, it would be color matched to your Mac. Right. So you'd get like my wife's had purple scroll bars out of the box and the desktop background and stuff to you like the 24 inch iMac.

00:41:37   Yeah, they still do that. They did it again with the wallpaper, too.

00:41:40   I must also add that my wife, who admittedly has relatively small hands and particularly short fingers, love the mouse so much that she used it for several Macs to come.

00:41:51   The little purple hockey puck mouse. I know people who say that and they're wrong and I have small hands.

00:41:58   Everybody, every terrible thing has some buddy who loves it. Don't think too deeply about that, Jon.

00:42:05   Jason Snell, what is the best Mac ever made?

00:42:08   Well, I was going to say again, the MacBook Air that Steven took because I was sure Steven would take the G3 iMac.

00:42:16   I am going to be one of those people who, unlike Jon, who thinks the Mac peaked a long time ago.

00:42:22   I'm going to go off of Steven's pick and say after a good decade plus run of the MacBook Air, I think the best and my favorite Mac ever is the M2 MacBook Air.

00:42:39   Which brought a new design language in, but it's still very Apple. It's got the rounded corners.

00:42:46   It is flat in the way. It reminds me, the laptop it reminds me the most of is actually the titanium PowerBook.

00:42:53   It's got that same kind of vibe. It's a lot thinner because it's many years later, but it is flat and, you know, flat in the one dimension and then got the curved edges in the other dimension.

00:43:03   How do you take an iconic product like the MacBook Air that really represented the Mac for, you know, obviously the best selling Mac for whatever, 12, 13 years.

00:43:13   And how do you replace it with something at all, let alone something that's better?

00:43:18   And I think that the M2 Air hit it out of the park. I think it is a great successor.

00:43:24   I bought one. It's very pleasant. I have the midnight color, which I also, I mean, is it a color?

00:43:29   It's a very, very, very dark blue, but it is nice to have a Mac that color.

00:43:33   And, you know, it's got MagSafe and it's got multiple ports, which is fancy because there was a while there where you couldn't have all those things.

00:43:43   And I just, I think it was a great, hard act to follow the first MacBook Air design, that core wedge design.

00:43:51   And I think with the M2 Air, they did it. They nailed it.

00:43:54   And it is, yeah, I know it's present. It's a current product, but I also think it is a really great example of a laptop.

00:44:01   So, it's so killer. I love that computer so much.

00:44:04   Who needs history?

00:44:06   Yeah, screw it.

00:44:08   Forget it. The best is right now.

00:44:10   Dan Morin, what is the best Mac ever made?

00:44:13   Well, I had my, I was going to take the 11-inch Air, which sort of got snaked out of me by Steven.

00:44:17   And then I thought about sneaking in the M1 Air right in between the two of those.

00:44:21   That seems a little…

00:44:23   So, I am going to go with a laptop though, because I do think, you know, for a lot of people, the laptop is the preeminent Mac experience.

00:44:31   And I'm going to pick my first Mac laptop, the PowerBook G3 Pismo, which was the first PowerBook with FireWire.

00:44:40   It also had a TDD drive, which was great. And it was, you could add an AirPort card into it.

00:44:47   It was the first PowerBook, I believe, with Wi-Fi.

00:44:51   And I added my own. I did a little thing where you'd pull back these keyboard tabs and you'd flip it over and you'd pop the little AirPort card in.

00:44:58   You had to plug in the little antenna cable and everything.

00:45:01   And that thing was awesome. I took it with me when I studied abroad in the UK.

00:45:07   And I was telling the story recently about how there was no internet in the dorm I was living in in Edinburgh.

00:45:14   And so I had to take it down to the computer lab, which was just another dorm room where they put a bunch of computers.

00:45:19   And I discovered somebody after the first couple of weeks where I was using these terrible Windows PCs they had there.

00:45:24   Somebody would just like, I saw somebody unplug the ethernet cable and just plug it into their laptop.

00:45:28   And I thought, aha, that's what I'm going to do. So I sat there down there on my PowerBook with the network cable plugged in there.

00:45:35   It had a pretty good, for the time, color screen. It was expandable, right?

00:45:40   You could pop out the drive or pop out the battery if you need to put a second battery in.

00:45:46   It had a pretty respectable 400 megahertz G3 chip in it.

00:45:50   And like I said, it was the first one with FireWire, which was like at the time kind of wild.

00:45:54   Like, you know, USB had kind of by that point almost gotten standardized, although I remember having to bring some like,

00:46:01   I had to get like a memory card reader because I had a very early digital camera.

00:46:04   And like getting a driver for that to run on the Mac in that day and age circa 2001 was really terrible.

00:46:14   So I think I had to like wait for a while before I could actually like download pictures onto this thing because I kept waiting for them to like actually have a driver to run this memory card reader.

00:46:23   But I really love that computer. It lasted me, I don't know, five or six years, I think, until sort of, I think, had an ignominious death with the power supply going.

00:46:32   But I for me, you know, I think I was very on the fence about the idea of buying a PowerBook versus the iBook, which was pretty new at that point.

00:46:42   And I, you know, opted for something with the more power and it did not let me down. It was a great workhorse.

00:46:48   Back when Apple's laptops look like they can be used by Batman.

00:46:51   Yeah, they had a little curved slate, curved black, two-tone black one, but they had that bronze keyboard to it was a bad weird, but awesome.

00:47:00   Yeah. The Apple logo was upside down on all those notebooks.

00:47:05   Which is wild. I had a friend I shouldn't I I'm always hesitant with example people even like 25 years later.

00:47:15   But I knew someone who left Apple and took with him a prototype Pismo with a black keyboard that had like a sticker on it, like a sticker he couldn't get off that said it was supposed to be destroyed.

00:47:29   They also had a really cool feature where on either side of the palm tray there was like a release door so you could have a battery and an optical drive or two batteries like so many good ideas.

00:47:45   You could replace the hard drive in that one. I think you could actually pull that out and replace that like like it was pretty upgradeable for a laptop.

00:47:52   Yeah.

00:47:53   Shelly, what's the best Mac ever?

00:47:55   So I had to lean hard into favorite Mac ever because first of all I was pretty sure I was going to get sniped and I also couldn't choose like deciding is hard and I leaned into one that I owned as opposed to one that I coveted.

00:48:09   I've coveted various MacBook Airs. I've weirdly never had a MacBook Air of my own. I just timing has been wrong and against me and there are other Macs that I covered that I won't mention because I don't know they might come up at some point.

00:48:22   So I'll just choose one of my two favorite Macs of all time. The PowerBook G4 12 inch. I love that Mac because it's not a MacBook Air but it is the first small laptop that's really full featured.

00:48:38   It had all the ports you need. It had had a I don't recall I don't think was a super drive at that time. I guess it was a CD-ROM. It was a drive but it was an optical drive.

00:48:47   And it had all the ports you required. It had Wi-Fi. It was square so it didn't have the sort of rounded nice Apple design but it was not ugly square and it was compact and it was considerably lighter in weight.

00:49:02   I'm a small laptop person anyway but I never found the iBook that appealing. I didn't care that it was kind of cutesy and people made fun of the design. That wasn't the thing.

00:49:13   It just didn't have everything I wanted. If I was going to spend money on a laptop at that point I had probably a desktop and a laptop in my life and I was like alright if I'm going to buy a laptop it should be a good one because the way I would do it was I would alternate.

00:49:25   You replace the desktop and then a couple years later you replace the laptop and back and forth and that way you always have something relatively new.

00:49:31   And so if I wanted a laptop I wanted a good one. And for me that 12 inch powerbook was so good. The performance was great too. I think that was in the time when you could really expect good performance from laptops as opposed to oh it's a laptop.

00:49:47   I guess it's going to be a little slower. It's going to run hot or burn you to death or whatever it is. And that was absolutely not the case with the 12 inch powerbook.

00:49:53   It lasted me for a really long time. It fit in a little sleeve. I could carry it over my shoulder in a bag extremely comfortably. I had that thing for ages and I ended up replacing it with a big flat slab of plastic MacBook and I was not happy to have to do that because just the size of it was absolutely perfect.

00:50:15   And small hands, small lap, whatever. It just fit me perfectly. I love that machine.

00:50:20   The only time Apple brought the keyboard all the way to the edge of the laptop there was nothing. The keyboard went edge to edge because it was a 4x3 not sort of a 16x9 screen so that keyboard you could see it from the side of the computer. They used every inch of the width of that for those nice keys.

00:50:34   And that was fine with me.

00:50:37   I'm genuinely surprised that nobody picked this before you because it is such a beloved machine.

00:50:42   It was on my list.

00:50:43   And so I'm happy that that got included.

00:50:47   The 12 inch powerbook was so great. It was always "get me the smallest laptop Apple makes" for quite a while there.

00:50:55   I remember seeing one in a Starbucks years after it was new. It was like five, six years later.

00:51:04   And because of the way I saw it out of the corner of my eye, I couldn't see how thick it was, but I just saw the way that the keyboard went edge to edge and I had this double take moment where I was like, "What is that?"

00:51:18   And I was like, "Oh, that's a six year old G4 12 inch laptop."

00:51:23   But it really was that good looking. Other than the thickness, for years to come, the design was still like, "Ah, chef's kiss."

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00:53:38   I would now like to know, similarly, favorite/best Mac software of all time? I want to pick from each of you.

00:53:46   This could be Apple software, it could be third-party software, or anything in between.

00:53:51   I want to know what your highlight is in the 40 years of the Mac for software. Stephen Hackett, we will start with you.

00:53:58   Oh boy. This is one that I struggled with a little bit, but I think I'm going to go with Dashboard as my favorite macOS feature.

00:54:10   Look, widgets are back, people think widgets are new, they're not new. But Apple put them in the wrong place.

00:54:17   They don't belong on the desktop. They belong in the safe little house they can live in, and you can go visit them when you want them.

00:54:23   And bring it back, that's what I'm saying. Bring back Dashboard.

00:54:28   And when they arrive, they should leave a little water ripple.

00:54:30   Unless you're in college and your titanium power book can't do the water ripple, but your college roommate's aluminum power book can, and you're jealous, just for example.

00:54:40   Would you just not get the effect? What happened?

00:54:42   It just plopped on there, but yeah, you didn't get the effect.

00:54:45   What if there was a hack where you could take widgets from the desktop right now and put them in a separate layer?

00:54:50   There you go. There you go. Yeah, just hold down Command while you drag. It's fine, there you go.

00:54:56   Do you have any highlights for Dashboard widgets, Steven, considering you love it so much?

00:55:01   I think the coolest thing, and it was something Apple supported, was, I think it was called Web Clips, where basically you could cut out a part of a website in Safari and make it a widget.

00:55:12   So you could build your own, effectively, with drag and drop, and that was pretty awesome.

00:55:17   I did that at work. My dashboard on my Mac at work, if you flick the cursor into the corner, all it was was essentially snippets from the monitoring web pages for all the servers at work and everything.

00:55:28   And I had clipped out exactly the graphs that I was interested in and arranged them all over, so I could just hit my mouse in the corner and see instantly a giant dashboard across many, many different web pages, just with the graphs clipped out.

00:55:39   So it was so information dense. Great, loved it.

00:55:42   Surely you all had the Macworld dashboard widget, which showed you the five latest headlines on macworld.com.

00:55:49   Best widget ever. I probably did.

00:55:52   I actually built one using, because you could build them, I think with like JavaScript and HTML and CSS.

00:55:58   So I made one at the time because I wanted a widget to tell whether or not my friends were on Xbox Live.

00:56:05   And there was like a API that you could query, and it was not designed for that.

00:56:12   It did not look great, but it actually worked for a while, which is pretty cool.

00:56:17   So you could just pop open dashboard and it had my friends list and it would tell me if people were online or not, which was, again, probably about the closest I ever got to being a developer.

00:56:26   John Gerber, what is the best Mac software of all time?

00:56:29   Oh, boy, I was hoping I would go last year and that someone would snipe some of my picks.

00:56:37   I'm seriously torn. Can I mention the two that are most torn between...

00:56:43   That's a pro-draft move. You mentioned things you don't pick.

00:56:45   Mention them, but you only pick one.

00:56:47   I'm going to mention on the one, and they are at extremes.

00:56:51   One's a bit esoteric and one is used by almost every Mac user.

00:56:55   It's BB Edit and Safari. Is anybody mad if I pick either of them?

00:57:01   John, I'm just saying I've got a list of four possibilities. They are bookended by those two.

00:57:05   So pick one, pick both, pick neither. I don't care.

00:57:09   I even went to work at Barebone Software, which really shows how much I love BB Edit.

00:57:18   But I'm going to pick Safari because I think it remains to this day the most important app that Apple makes.

00:57:32   And I think people can't... There was a time when the web first started, and it was called Mosaic.

00:57:40   And then the early years in Netscape where the browsers looked like Mac apps and felt like Mac apps.

00:57:48   And then an Internet Explorer for Mac wasn't bad. It could have been so much worse.

00:57:56   It started out good, and then it got bad.

00:57:58   Yeah, and then it got bad. And then we had Chimera, which was trying to put the Firefox Gecko rendering engine into a Mac app.

00:58:07   And then came Safari, which was a true Mac app with a rendering engine that was faster than anything else.

00:58:16   And rendered things like form widgets that looked like actual Mac controls.

00:58:22   Everything looked like the web was a first-class platform on the Mac because of Safari.

00:58:30   Right from the first version when it was in beta. And it's been true ever since.

00:58:35   And I think because Safari remains such a great Mac app, forget about the rendering part, everything it does with the web.

00:58:45   The application itself, the way that the menus are organized, the features that it has, the Apple script support, everything.

00:58:55   It brought tabs to Mac. The way that tabs work in any app that have tabs is defined by Safari.

00:59:04   So just from a user interface level, it is just a terrific app.

00:59:09   And I think it's raised the bar for all other browsers.

00:59:15   If you use Chrome, I know Chrome is the second most popular browser on the platform and the most popular browser by far in the world.

00:59:21   But I think Chrome for Mac is way better of a Mac app, even though it's not a great Mac app, than it would be if not for Safari.

00:59:30   And we're talking about the Mac today. I still think it's a great app.

00:59:34   But all the work Apple did with Safari to create WebKit, and I know they started with the, I forget what the name of it was.

00:59:43   KHTML.

00:59:45   But the fact that they control their own rendering engine is what put the iPhone into a position to have a great handheld mobile web browser from the get-go.

00:59:58   Which was essential to the appeal of the iPhone in the early years before apps, native apps, became a thing.

01:00:05   So I'm going to go with Safari.

01:00:07   I had this on my list and one of the reasons is I think people who don't remember that era might not remember it.

01:00:11   But this is, I think, the fundamental example of Apple deciding that it needs to control technology that's important to its business, its core business.

01:00:19   And if you don't remember that era, it was the era of the iMac, and iMacs and other Macs were getting dinged against Windows because web browsing was worse on the Mac.

01:00:30   And the reason web browsing was worse on the Mac is because Internet Explorer was worse on the Mac, and there was nothing Apple could do about it.

01:00:37   Because Internet Explorer was the bundled default Mac web browser, and it was controlled by the Mac business unit at Microsoft.

01:00:44   And it wasn't sabotage, but there wasn't a priority to make the Mac browsing the best.

01:00:50   And so that's why Safari happened, is that Steve Jobs basically said, "They're killing us here, and it's because of Microsoft, and we have to do our own browser. We just have to."

01:00:59   As ridiculous, I remember the reports, as ridiculous as it sounded that Apple was going to just write its own web browser, they had to.

01:01:06   And they did, and it has been a cornerstone of their success literally ever since they shipped the first version of it.

01:01:13   You don't want to rely on your major competitor to...

01:01:16   Because if you talk about owning and controlling it yourself, it's not even just like an uninterested third party was doing it.

01:01:21   Although I do have to defend Microsoft's Internet Explorer for the Mac, because the main problem was that it was not the same application as Internet Explorer for Windows.

01:01:30   So despite the fact that IE5 had amazing CSS support, industry-leading CSS support, it behaved nothing like the product of the same thing on Windows.

01:01:38   And every single website in that era was made to work with a thing called Internet Explorer that was on Windows.

01:01:43   And the thing that was on Mac was not a bad browser, but it just didn't work.

01:01:47   And so you'd go to a website and it would be like, "I don't know what browser you're using."

01:01:51   I was like, "I'm using Internet Explorer." It's like, "No, you're not. You're using whatever the hell that thing is that Microsoft puts on the Mac, which has lots of amazing features, but doesn't have the exact same quirks as Windows Internet Explorer."

01:02:01   And it was brutal. And yeah, if you're Apple and you're like, "Can we make it work better with sites that work on Internet Explorer for Windows?"

01:02:08   No, you can't, because you don't make the browser. So go beg Microsoft, I guess.

01:02:12   It was fundamentally the continuation of the idea of the Mac as a second-class citizen, in this era where it seemed like everything's going to be a level playing field because everything's on the web.

01:02:20   The web is the great leveler!

01:02:22   Right? But it wasn't, because everything relied on stupid ActiveX and the Mac version didn't support it and was never going to support it because Microsoft had zero interest in bringing it there.

01:02:30   So I remember those, like, "Oh yeah, you could change the colors of all the little buttons and everything." But so much stuff just wouldn't load at all.

01:02:39   And the sad thing is, it was superior in so many ways. That's why if you went to a web developer's website, like Homepage, and they had a Mac, it would use CSS instead of font tags. It would look beautiful.

01:02:50   But it looked like garbage in Windows Internet Explorer, which is what 99% of the internet was using.

01:02:55   My first cover story at MacUser was a shootout between Netscape and the first version of IE for the Mac. And I said that the IE version was better, which I thought, "Oh my god, everybody's going to hate me."

01:03:08   But, you know, like a year later, Apple made it the default browser, right? Like, it was so much better than Netscape was.

01:03:14   But the Mac business unit at Microsoft, those were not bad people. They were trying their best to make good Mac software, but they were never a priority at Microsoft and they were never going to be.

01:03:25   And for Apple, it was an existential priority for them. So what do you think? So Safari.

01:03:30   To bring it a little bit into today, right? Just Safari. There's obviously a lot of talk about what apps are and aren't going to be on the Vision Pro. And there's a part of me that's just like, "It's fine. We have Safari." It's going to be okay.

01:03:45   I can watch Netflix in Safari. It will be okay. Because it's a great browser and it's available.

01:03:52   Jason, what is the best Mac software?

01:03:56   Well, Jon picked Safari, so I will pick BBEdit, an app that I have been using for 30 years. I've written about it a lot. There's a BBEdit tag on Six Colors because I've written about it so much.

01:04:10   And it's a weird app whenever I try to explain to people, like, what... it's not an IDE for developers, but you can do development with it. You can do web development with it.

01:04:21   I have written... you know, most of the words I have written in the last 30 years have been in BBEdit. And then as a text engine, I was just doing this thing the other week.

01:04:32   I'm on the same team as Dan. We did the MIT Mystery Hunt. We had a good time. One of the things you end up having to do is put things in spreadsheets or make calculations.

01:04:39   And I had a weird document that was... it was marching band instructions. And you had to... I had to convert it into XY coordinates. This is the kind of thing you do at the Mystery Hunt.

01:04:49   And I realized I needed to take it into BBEdit because I needed to do a regular expression match on the text instructions to turn them into tab delimited data that I could then run a calculation on.

01:04:59   And I'm like, well, BBEdit is the answer because... or removing... there was another thing where I needed to remove things that were duplicates and leave only the things that had only appeared once.

01:05:11   And it's a... I don't have to script it. I don't have to build software to do it. It's a feature in BBEdit. And so it is my writing tool. It is... I can open Python scripts that I've written that are running on servers.

01:05:23   I can open them remotely, make changes, save them back with syntax highlighting and even now language server support. And it's my text utility of choice.

01:05:33   So like, I couldn't live without it. And I know that it's not for everyone. As Jon said, it's esoteric. But like the reason it has so much value and has had it over 30 years is that there are so many different little chores that it lets me do. Plus it lets me do my job.

01:05:48   The other thing I want to throw out there is the people at Barebone Software. You know, this was written in Pascal originally and now it is a modern Mac OS X app in the Apple Silicon era.

01:05:58   That's what happens when you have an app for more than 30 years. It is the ship of Theseus of software. It has been through so many different eras, so many different processor transitions unlike mic. And yet it abides. So BBEdit abides and I love it. And 30 years and still going strong.

01:06:18   BBEdit and I think maybe Audio Hijack are like the two things like, oh man, if somebody made me use a Windows machine, I could probably get by mostly with it. But no BBEdit and no Audio Hijack would basically be like, but why? Why is this life worth living without them?

01:06:34   I similarly use BBEdit for making a lot of text. And one of the things I do in it, which points out another great feature is its ability to let you do file management. I don't mean like moving files around in the way you, but working within Finder. But I mean with working with multiple files at once, which is its, you know, heritage as a coding app, as a developer's app.

01:06:56   And what I do is I produce my book every year as HTML files, like 25 files that I have. And I manage that all in BBEdit. And I can do what Jason was talking about before with regular expressions. I can do any number of find and replace actions on multiple files, not just individual files.

01:07:13   So I can go through my whole book and say, let's correct that ISBN number on 25 files at once. Okay, no problem. And it's terrific. It's continued to evolve and grow over time. The one big ding on BBEdit that has always existed is that it is not accessible to voiceover. And for a group of people in my life, that is important, but that has changed as of BBEdit 15. So I'm really happy to say that I can recommend it unreservedly, BBEdit for the win.

01:07:40   Yeah, I was gonna do the same comparison Jason did with like that it's been around for so long, for in most people's estimation when you round off for essentially the whole history of the Mac. And I've also used it since the very beginning.

01:07:51   And it's gone through all those same transitions that the Mac has gone through. The Mac still exists, we're talking about it 40 years later, but the Mac of today is at such a far distance from the original Mac.

01:08:00   Different processor, different operating system, different paradigms, like it has evolved so much. And the interesting thing about BBEdit is as it evolved from Pascal and going through every processor transition and going to Mac OS X, going to 64-bit, all that stuff.

01:08:14   It has made slightly different choices than the Mac itself has, mostly because the guy who's running it is an old school Mac user like me. And so the thing, one of the things I cherish about BBEdit is, despite it being 30 years old, it continues to let me work the way I've always worked with Mac stuff.

01:08:33   Out of the box it comes like, oh it's all in one window and you've got a sidebar and you do all these things youngsters like. But you can just go into settings, which I don't have to do because I set these settings in the 90s and never change them again.

01:08:45   And it lets me have a bazillion windows, bazillion unadorned windows, no windows with sidebars, nothing opening in tabs, no projects. I can do that sometimes if I want to, but my default mode of operating is the way I've always wanted to work. And the Mac has not done that as well, let's say.

01:09:03   The Mac has forced changes due to the cultural shifts in the way software works from Apple, including the built-in Mac apps. But BBEdit has always said, we will continue to let you work more or less the way you have always worked, even as we still keep BBEdit as a modern application that defaults out of the box to something that a youngster like Mike or Stephen would like.

01:09:27   Dan, what is your pick? Just breeze on by that. Yeah, I, you know, I thought about going like feature like, like Stephen, I was thinking about Expose, which I'm a big fan of and I've used for many years, but I think I'm going to go with a software, an app and what it represents, which is terminal.

01:09:45   And not necessarily because the terminal app is an amazing app. I think it's pretty good. But the what it represented when Mac OS 10 rolled around essentially, and the fact that you went in from the classic Mac OS to an app built on these BSD underpinnings, and what that opened and enabled for every Mac user.

01:10:04   The fact that you weren't limited, not even just to Mac software, but like, to stuff that was solely designed for the Mac, you could get all these utilities, you could do all these things from the command line that had, I mean, there was no command line right in in the original Mac OS, you can get like to a debugger or something, but that was about it.

01:10:22   And to this day, I think that made the Mac much more accessible and much more powerful in what it could do. And I, you know, I use the terminal app almost every day for something or other. I mean, we were just talking about bbedit.

01:10:38   And I was looking up the language server thing is like, Oh, that's a thing I should look at. And it's like, Oh, go install this Python thing in the command line. It's like, All right, I can just open that up and do this right here.

01:10:47   You know, utilities that are on the building the command line from like SSH and SFTP and all that stuff was like, you know, all these tools that were basically now freely part of the operating system that you used to have to go and get a separate app for or you know, you were lucky if there was an app to do it.

01:11:04   FFmpeg and like all those sorts of tools that let you do things, it just made a wealth of freely available software, you know, something that people could tap into and it just it amped up what the Mac could do.

01:11:19   And I think that has that along, you know, with the sort of Mac OS 10 built on top of it really changed the direction of the Mac OS and really helped make it one of the things that like gave it so much longevity because it wasn't just a Oh, it's that weird little OS sitting off in the corner there that survived is the only thing that survived Windows taking over the world.

01:11:40   It was like, well, no, because now we're tapped into all the Linux and Unix and BSD stuff that's out there. So for me, I think that sort of underpinning on the OS is just it's hugely influential in the trajectory of the Mac.

01:11:54   There was speculation to I mean, a lot hasn't changed about Apple, we've always had a sense of what especially the sort of Steve mindset, and everybody knew next step to had, you know, was a was advertised as a Unix workstation and had those Unix underpinnings.

01:12:11   But before they officially said, here's Mac OS 10 1.0. I remember there was a lot of speculation that they might seal that off that everybody knew that Unix layer would be there.

01:12:21   But what Apple exposed that and instead they as you said, Dan, they they leaned into it, they had a big they made like a member when we used to have those badges on web pages, they had a big steel fake 3d looking steel Unix, Unix with a big trademark or registered trademark, whatever the hell it was like, yeah, it's Unix lean into it.

01:12:43   This is Unix. I know this.

01:12:45   Yeah, I wouldn't. When Mac OS 10 was coming out, we did a special, like newsstand issue called total OS 10 for Mac world that was just sold on newsstands. And I commissioned Greg Noss, our pal Greg Noss, who was like the person I knew who knew the most about Unix.

01:13:01   And I was like, Greg, just write a bunch of how to's about how you do things in the command line on the Mac because nobody knows. And, and that was that moment of like, oh, all the skills that I learned editing stories for my college newspaper in VI my freshman year in college are suddenly applicable again, because I'm back at the command line.

01:13:20   And, and like Dan, I'm in there all the time running scripts and doing all sorts of stuff. It's great.

01:13:26   I avoid it like the plague.

01:13:27   Yeah. Shelly, what is Mac software whole time?

01:13:32   Well, I'm going to have to do a pick and a mention because I was stuck by on the, with parenthetical on this topic, which says best Mac software or feature. And I was like, wait, what?

01:13:43   Yeah, you can pull an OS feature.

01:13:44   So I've got, I've got one of each. And so my pick is FileMaker Pro. FileMaker has been around the Mac platform for ever 1985. I think it is. What I didn't know until I looked into it was that it was born as a DOS app and that they decided the people who had developed it decided that they no longer want to develop it.

01:14:04   And a company called ForThought took it over and then eventually it became Clarus and FileMaker just grew and grew as a database app on the Mac. And I think for a lot of people, FileMaker was a way you could do mail merges or keep track of your simple inventory or whatever you might want to put in a single level database.

01:14:23   But then it continued to grow more powerful. And the reason I pick it is not only because I love it, not only because I've built a million databases in FileMaker, not only because at some point after I came back to Texas from California working at Mac user, I actually earned a few bucks making databases for other people in FileMaker, but because FileMaker developed this ecosystem.

01:14:42   There were people who were doing that, developers who were working in it full time. There were publications that would show you how to turn a template into a full function database.

01:14:52   I had a job at a company once where there were about 40 users who were working in FileMaker every day and they would spit stuff out of FileMaker that would turn into web pages.

01:15:01   So you could do more than just have a relational database of things that you wanted to count. You could actually turn, you know, create web content out of it.

01:15:11   So FileMaker continued to grow and evolve and it is not at the high level it once was in terms of usefulness to every, to the larger world. There are many other ways to do the things that we once did with FileMaker.

01:15:25   FileMaker, the reason I was so surprised that it wasn't basically a DOS app was that it felt so Mac-like because you could get into FileMaker and create databases very simply and you could dig deeper and use formulas to make more complicated calculation fields.

01:15:43   And then you could create databases that looked very nice so that you could make something that you would want to have a client facing database with.

01:15:51   And so it just felt very Mac-like and it felt like because Apple via Clarus continued to support it and continued to allow it to have as much space in the ecosystem as it did, it just felt like it was a very essential Mac app.

01:16:05   And that it was also a way I think that it eventually became a Windows app.

01:16:10   But it was also a way I think for a lot of people who were Mac fans in corporate or even small business worlds to say, "Hey, we need a Mac because FileMaker runs best on the Mac and we can have our 20 users run FileMaker databases and they will be much happier if they're doing it on a Mac than if they're doing it on a Windows."

01:16:26   So on all those levels, I feel like FileMaker really, really has been important for the Mac.

01:16:32   Just I'll throw in my mention because parenthetical feature is important here.

01:16:38   So Mac OS X Tiger was the first Mac OS version to, Mac OS X version, Mac OS X version to include accessibility features.

01:16:48   There had been accessibility features back in the early systems of the 90s.

01:16:53   But between the time Mac OS X came out in 2001 and 2004 when Tiger came out, there was no accessibility.

01:17:00   Tiger brought it back.

01:17:01   Well, that was under a banner of something called Universal Access that eventually has had different names and now we have VoiceOver and Zoom and Display and all the various features that we have.

01:17:10   But under Universal Access, under the tab stupidly labeled "Seeing," there were all sorts of things, VoiceOver and Zoom.

01:17:19   And a feature that I love, a feature that makes my existence as a Mac user possible, was called Black on White at that point.

01:17:26   It made it possible for you to flip it so that you had a negative image and that you had a black background and white text.

01:17:31   Now that's called Invert Colors and it has advanced somewhat since then because now you don't have negative images as you used to.

01:17:38   You can actually look at a web page and see the image as a positive while the rest of the page is dark text on black and then eventually it became dark mode.

01:17:45   But for a long time, it was an exclusively accessibility feature and I will tell you that it just changed my life.

01:17:52   It made it possible for OS X and I to get along because when OS X first came out and I was using the betas and I was actually co-writing a book at the time about OS X,

01:18:03   I had quite a time trying to work in a very colorful light background environment when what I really wanted was a dark background with light text.

01:18:14   So FileMaker and Black on White/Invert Colors.

01:18:17   I've got to say, Shelley, you must really love FileMaker. To put those two together, FileMaker must be real good.

01:18:26   It's… Hey man, it is. I don't know, it's a FileMaker.

01:18:30   And John Siracusa, what is the best Mac software?

01:18:34   I've had a lot of things get sniped. Bb edit was on my list, Safari was definitely up there as well.

01:18:39   I also had Mac OS X on my list but I feel like Dan talking about the terminal is like 50% of what I was going to say about Mac OS X because it was the marriage of Mac and Unix, two things that I loved and continue to love.

01:18:49   So I'm going to set that aside.

01:18:50   I do feel like I would have had to ask you to drill down a little bit rather than like the entire operating system.

01:18:56   Yeah, well there's the other aspect of it is Mac OS X being so forward looking and like the compositing window manager and all that other great stuff, right?

01:19:03   But given that I was all half sniped, I'm going to… I'm backed into continuing my role as the crotchety old man and I'm going to pick the original Mac Finder as the best Mac software/feature.

01:19:17   It's difficult to explain… I mean obviously I loved it, it's a favorite, but it's difficult to explain the importance of that to the early Mac.

01:19:26   Obviously the Mac was sort of the popularization of the graphical user interface which is not something people really think about now because people just accept that's the way the computers worked.

01:19:34   But the idea that it would draw pictures on your screen and each of those little pictures would represent something, like they represent files, folders, applications.

01:19:43   It was so brilliantly executed because that was a new concept and for that to work, the abstraction of this little rectangle thing with a corner curled on it, that is your file.

01:19:56   It's not just like a picture of your file or a pointer of your file, that literally is your file.

01:20:00   That was really important for people to discard the abstraction to just start thinking in back in the old days terms, direct manipulation.

01:20:08   I'm just going to move my file over there. When you type "mv filename path" you're doing the same thing but that indirection never goes away.

01:20:17   The command line indirection doesn't disappear but because people are used to reaching out, grabbing something and putting it somewhere, people very quickly discarded the illusion that these were their files.

01:20:28   They really truly believed that that little rectangle was the file, that little folder icon was the folder, that app was the application and the Mac worked real hard to make that true.

01:20:38   Original Mac applications, they were just one file, that little diamond shaped application, that was the whole thing.

01:20:44   We eventually more or less got back to that with app bundles in Mac OS X but there was a long dark period where applications were folders full of messy things or whatever.

01:20:51   The original Finder, one of the very important things that it did was, if we're going to have these little objects that people are going to directly manipulate with the cursor, for that abstraction to never come back in their face, they should behave in a way that people are familiar with.

01:21:05   That basically came down to windows and folders and icons, put them wherever you want, size them wherever you want and they just stay wherever you put them.

01:21:13   The one to one correspondence between a folder and its window, you couldn't have multiple windows with the same folder, there was no browser interface.

01:21:19   Obviously limiting in the modern age of having more documents because there was no browser at all.

01:21:25   But what I always called the Spatial Finder, the Finder that had this very strict, rigid one to one correspondence with physical reality, let people live in that world of the computer incredibly comfortably.

01:21:39   Because once they got settled there and knew how things worked, the rules were simple, they were never violated, they were incredibly consistent and it let people discard the abstraction and just mess with their files.

01:21:50   And it had some power, you could have list view, icon view, all those other things, eventually you got the little disclosure triangles all while maintaining the same paradigm.

01:21:58   Which was difficult, especially with disclosure triangles because now what happens if you have that folder open but then you disclose the triangle and the answer is the window would close and it would go back.

01:22:07   Anyway, the Finder maintained that illusion for so many years. I was very sad when Apple discarded it.

01:22:14   Not because browsers are bad, they're great, but because Apple never really achieved the marriage of the two.

01:22:20   They just decided, well the old Finder is dead and here's the new one that is this weird mishmash and you can't rely on things to be consistently spatial anymore.

01:22:27   I really wish they had successfully combined them.

01:22:29   But the other reason that's really important and close to my heart is back before the internet I would spend hours and hours and hours and hours, kind of like John's parents feared he would, sitting in front of my computer.

01:22:39   And this computer was not connected to any network. I had no way to get new software onto it.

01:22:45   It was just a computer in my house, no modem, no internet, no BBS, no America Online, nothing.

01:22:51   It was just me and that computer. And in that little world, it was just like playing with a tiny electrical dollhouse.

01:22:59   I was rearranging everything, I was setting things up the way I wanted, I would launch applications, I would use ResEdit to manipulate them.

01:23:05   It was like being in a garage with your car and your tools and there's nothing else there.

01:23:10   Like once or twice a year I'd go to my grandfather's house and get a new floppy disk from the Mac user group and I'd have some new software.

01:23:16   But for the rest of the amount of time I tried to talk to my kids about this, I would use a computer for hours with no access to the internet and no new software.

01:23:23   And they're like "What were you doing?" And a lot of what I was doing was spending time in the Finder, manipulating things, launching new things, moving things around.

01:23:31   I'd go into applications and then I'd go back to the Finder. I should still put up on my old computers.

01:23:36   I had everything so arranged, all the windows were arranged the way they were supposed to be, I had custom icons on everything.

01:23:41   It was beautiful, it was a lovely place to live. Well before we all lived on the internet, I lived inside my computer and the Finder was my house.

01:23:51   I did this too, by the way. I did the same thing. No internet, I used to just click around, just go into folders, "What's in here?"

01:23:59   I would just be digging around, "Oh, I did some real damage." I did some real damage.

01:24:04   What are all these P-list files? They don't look important.

01:24:08   There was a Mac that was given to me when I was a kid. It was a black and white screen, it was a laptop. I don't remember what it was.

01:24:16   But I just remember one day after one of these excursions, I turned it on, floppy disk, question mark.

01:24:22   And that was the end of that Macintosh in my life.

01:24:25   And my brain just went down a ResEdit rabbit hole.

01:24:28   Yeah, I'm glad Sean mentioned that because I was on my list. ResEdit was on my list of things to pick.

01:24:33   Because even the individual application had pieces inside them and it would give you a graphical user interface to those pieces.

01:24:39   Like little graphical editors.

01:24:41   You get really messed up. One of the first things I did was, I loved the game Escape Velocity, and I built a mod for it.

01:24:48   And I couldn't draw anything, so I just took the sprites that were in the original and slightly recolored them or something.

01:24:56   And then put them in there. Yeah, it was amazing, all the stuff.

01:25:00   I did the same thing, Crystal Quest. I made a copy of the Crystal Quest application, and then I edited and ResEdit, and I redrew every single ship.

01:25:07   And so then I could play Crystal Quest, but all the ships were my own creation.

01:25:12   Because it was just monochrome, not the color version of Crystal Quest. I didn't have a Mac 2 in my SE3, didn't have a monitor at that point.

01:25:17   Just hours and hours of fun. Just crack open that game, redraw every single sprite, and then play it.

01:25:24   I'm so glad that Jon picked the Finder, although I did just win money at DraftKings by betting that he would pick the classic Finder.

01:25:33   And he can check his... I actually predicted it before he called it.

01:25:38   And I'll just say, he said it so well, and that's why I'm glad he picked it. I think he said it better than anyone else could describe the classic Finder.

01:25:46   But I'll just say, if you really just take it at the highest level, the Finder, from the user's perspective, was the Mac.

01:25:54   It was the computer. And nobody had ever done that before.

01:25:58   So it wasn't... even today, I honestly think it's... I'm not saying iPhones or iPads should work that way.

01:26:05   But now, iPhones and iPads work the way computers did before, or the way Windows did back in that era, where there was an app that was your file manager.

01:26:15   And you go to this app, and that's where you manage files.

01:26:18   Whereas with the classic Mac, the Finder was the computer, and your files were just there, and then what you did in apps was a level above that.

01:26:28   It was the base reality. And because there was no command line accessible to users, there was no sort of like Windows, the big ding against Windows.

01:26:36   And it was true. It was like, well, underneath there was lurking DOS. And occasionally you would rear its ugly head, and occasionally you had to drop down to it.

01:26:41   And the base reality on the Mac was that pretty graphical... pretty dead, rock-solid, consistent user interface that behaved in a way that people expected.

01:26:51   It was kind of like basic at the prompt on your VIC-20, right?

01:26:54   What happens when you turn the computer on? What is the base reality?

01:26:56   It was basic. It was a command line prompt on the VIC-20. On the Mac, you turn the computer on, and the Finder was there.

01:27:01   And that was always underneath there, especially before multitasking. It was like, you'd go up to the app, and then you'd go down, back down to the Finder, right?

01:27:08   And it was just this layered thing. But every time you quit your app, what's left? The Finder. And you couldn't quit the Finder, although you could add a quit menu item with ResEdit, but it would just relaunch.

01:27:15   I think that's why my then-boyfriend, Curren, husband and I couldn't talk, because he was a Unix geek, and I was a Mac geek, and he was like, "Wait, where's the terminal? Where's the command line?" I don't understand your world.

01:27:27   I love Unix, though. I fell in love with Unix in the '90s at college, and I had things like MacMint on the Mac, which was a Mac application that gave you a little Unix shell, right?

01:27:37   And so I wanted them to be mixed. I wanted my chocolate and my peanut butter together, and I eventually got it with Mac OS X. But the classic Mac was like, "Okay, but that's still just an app that you run on your Mac."

01:27:46   And I did run AUX, which was an earlier unholy hybrid, and I was like, "No, that's not it." And K Linux, that's not it. Mac OS X, now we've got something.

01:27:54   All right, so one more little detail that I just love about the classic Finder and the way that it represented the actual computer itself. And in today's world, if you change the volume on your iPhone, you'll notice that, or it used to be at one point before the, what's the capsule at the top called?

01:28:12   Dynamic Island.

01:28:13   The Dynamic Island. But remember they used to put the volume indicator right next to the volume buttons so that the on-screen indication of the volume level was right by the volume buttons physically.

01:28:25   On the Mac, the floppy disk on your desktop was on the right side, and you'd drag it down to the trash, which was on the bottom right side, and then the floppy disk, the physical disk, would pop out of the Mac right underneath the trash can.

01:28:39   And it would make a puking noise if you had it configured, though.

01:28:42   If you had done it right, it would.

01:28:44   We won't mention the fact that it was sort of confusing that you would, to eject and not destroy a floppy disk, you would drag it to the trash.

01:28:55   I mean, that was just a shortcut. You could always select the disk and select eject from the menu item or hit command.

01:28:59   Put away.

01:29:00   That's usually what I do.

01:29:01   Put away.

01:29:02   Command Y, put away.

01:29:03   Command Y, yeah.

01:29:04   Next round is favorite or best Mac accessory or hardware feature. This is a large game for just tell us something physical.

01:29:14   Look, I made this category so Jon could pick the extended keyboard.

01:29:17   Which Jon?

01:29:18   Well, we'll find out as we go through first.

01:29:21   Jon Gruber.

01:29:23   It's the Apple extended keyboard 2.

01:29:26   Yeah, well, there you go.

01:29:27   DraftKings, pay me.

01:29:29   You wouldn't get good odds on that.

01:29:32   Bad odds, very bad odds.

01:29:33   Every single time, god damn it, Jason comes on my podcast, we start talking keyboards or at least 9 out of 10 times and just goes off the rails.

01:29:44   And I still buy keyboards like an idiot and then I type on them for a little and then I put them away or give them to my son and then go back to my Apple extended keyboard 2.

01:29:54   It is the best feeling keyboard I've ever used.

01:29:58   They last almost literally forever.

01:30:02   I'm on my second one from 1993 and it's going strong and I believe the only reason I stopped using my first one is the E key broke and I keep meaning to like solicit from my audience.

01:30:15   Surely somebody, I don't know how to solder anything.

01:30:17   Surely somebody in my audience.

01:30:19   You got someone who knows about keyboards right here?

01:30:21   Yeah, I could probably do it.

01:30:22   Yeah, actually I should do is send it to Mike. Maybe I will.

01:30:26   Although, you know, overseas, I don't know.

01:30:29   Have fun seeing the food crumbs since the 90s in the bottom.

01:30:33   Mike can meet you somewhere when he's picking up his vision pro.

01:30:36   Yeah, I don't think it's a coincidence that it was the E key, the most used typed key that just sort of flaked out, but it's just great.

01:30:44   And even though it uses Apple desktop bus, ADB adapters have continued to work, including a much, much better one.

01:30:53   For years and years, I used the Griffin I made, which went from ADB to USB and then I'd have to go now that USB is not any Mac.

01:31:01   You'd have to get another adapter, a dongle for your dongle to make it work.

01:31:05   But there's a guy in I think he's in Hong Kong who runs a site called Tinker Boy.

01:31:09   Just search for Tinker Boy on the Web and you'll find it who sells absolutely terrific, much better, the better than the Griffin I made ever was.

01:31:19   It just makes it makes the keyboard. It just makes the Apple extended keyboard to seem like a USB keyboard.

01:31:24   And he even has a USB C one. So there's no second dongle. Just a great keyboard.

01:31:29   I just love it. I would have picked that it was actually on my list, even though I stopped using it years ago for reasons,

01:31:35   because it does require more force to press the keys than the modern very sort of loose keyboards.

01:31:40   And pressing with less force is important for me managing my RSI.

01:31:45   But I use that. That's the keyboard I got with the SE 30. I think it was like a three hundred dollar option.

01:31:50   If you want to be a keyboard and you know, add three hundred dollars in nineteen ninety one.

01:31:55   Right. So do the math on how much that keyboard cost. What percentage of the Mac cost?

01:31:59   It was a work of art. And if a mugger came into your house, you could defend yourself with it because it was solid.

01:32:05   Just beautiful. Wrong headed in that it had the kickstand that raised the height of the keyboard even higher than it already was.

01:32:11   That's not ergonomically great, but I really love that thing. I've still got mine.

01:32:17   I got a couple of spare ones to sell to John in his old age. Oh, no, I have I've got spares.

01:32:21   Yeah. Well, my spares might be in better condition. It's all about condition with this market, you know.

01:32:26   I think I've got at least two new in box. But I still remember I can still remember the sound of it,

01:32:31   because, you know, when it was like I think when we first had my first apartment with my wife,

01:32:36   she very often would tell me that my keyboard was a little loud and maybe I should type less or just come to bed.

01:32:42   But it just it felt so good. It looked great. I love the font on the key caps. I love everything about that keyboard.

01:32:49   I will also add that I just a callback that my Mac LC came with.

01:32:54   I forget what they called it, but it was one of the worst keyboards Apple's ever made.

01:32:58   The mushy keyboard, which had arrow keys in a bizarre arrangement, like it was like in a row left to left to right, left, right, up and down.

01:33:08   I mean, crazy. Yeah. Apple did that on their on their laptops for years.

01:33:12   And they did it on desktop keyboards a little bit, too. And it was not a great around.

01:33:15   And I used it for a year quickly grew to hate it. And then in my sophomore year of college,

01:33:20   I was in a tournament with playing John Madden football on Sega and in the championship game played against another student at Drexel who had the SE 30,

01:33:32   which came with the Apple extended keyboard to and I put up one hundred fifty dollars cash against his Apple extended keyboard to and he and I would and I gave him my mushy keyboard.

01:33:43   You know, I beat him. And that's and I always felt it was my name.

01:33:47   Falcon is my name. I say there's a punishment there, too, if you give him the other keyboard, like not only did I take the keyboard, you have to use this one.

01:33:57   All right, Jason, Snell, what you got? I'm going to go.

01:34:02   I wanted to so I was thinking about the Magic Trackpad, which I really love.

01:34:06   And I learned in the last few years some things about Apple and the trackpad while trying a bunch of iPad accessories that can't be an Apple trackpad.

01:34:20   What I discovered is Apple has been since the PowerBook 500 series, slowly, slowly iterating on its trackpad software.

01:34:31   And as a result, it has the best trackpad software in class.

01:34:36   And if you try using someone else's trackpad, you will discover that it they're bad.

01:34:42   It's terrible. They're so bad. It's it's terrible in so many different ways, especially if you're used to using a Mac trackpad, which since most Macs that are sold or laptops is almost everybody who's a Mac user.

01:34:54   And I also use the Magic Trackpad at my desk. But what I'm going to pick is the multi-touch glass trackpad, which debuted in, I don't know, 2009, something like that.

01:35:05   But and then came the next year to a Magic Trackpad for the desktop.

01:35:09   But it started on laptops and has continued on laptops. And it's that moment where they've got the glass surface.

01:35:15   It does. It supports multi-touch gestures. They ended up making it not move.

01:35:19   So there was no diving board hinge at all. It really is just pressure sensitive. And it allowed Apple to create a fundamental set of gestures that worked on the Mac.

01:35:29   This is sort of in the post introduction of the iPhone era. But the idea that you put two fingers down to scroll and that, you know, there are different gestures to reveal the desktop or hide all your windows or go into expose.

01:35:43   And they all become, I think, second nature to you as a Mac user, especially if you're using a laptop.

01:35:47   But the nice thing is they make that desktop trackpad so that you can bring that experience over.

01:35:52   Trackpads aren't for everybody. I became a trackball user when I started at Mac user.

01:35:59   I ended up with a Kensington Turbomouse trackball and I loved it.

01:36:04   And but, you know, enough time using an Apple trackpad made me realize I should probably just use an external trackpad when Magic Trackpad came out.

01:36:13   I just I went with that. But I just it was not until I was exploring the world of alternative trackpads with for iPad that I discovered that alternative trackpads are terrible.

01:36:25   And that we take Apple's brilliant software that is, you know, because it's doing things like it knows where your fingers are down and in what order and the space between them.

01:36:36   And it is using very sophisticated software to intuit what you want to do with your pointing device or what shortcut kind of thing it wants to fire off to do expose or switch to another window or whatever.

01:36:50   So I think that is my favorite Mac accessory. And it's not just the Magic Trackpad, but it's that trackpad that's in every Mac laptop since, you know, since the PowerBook 500.

01:37:02   Really since the glass trackpad in the MacBook in like 2008-ish era. The first MacBook Air is where that was introduced. First glass trackpad was the first MacBook Air.

01:37:11   Yeah. So it's multi-touch glass trackpad is my choice. You can use it while it charges. And I do totally sneak to that one right now.

01:37:21   Yeah, that the Magic Trackpad, I also had exactly multi-touch trackpad was on my list because that thing honestly I used mice, I used trackballs. I struggled with RSI in college for using the mice a lot. And the trackpad for me is just it was a revelation.

01:37:35   And yes, my wife has a Lenovo laptop and every time I have to use the trackpad on that thing, I wish for the sweet embrace of death. I cannot figure out how to use this guy. Big clunky plastic buttons at the top and you're like, what is this?

01:37:51   Like, the only thing worse than those trackpads was the eraser nub pointer on those windows. ThinkPad.

01:37:59   ThinkPad, yeah.

01:38:00   Oh my God, those were so bad. Sorry, sorry, Casey. Those are trash.

01:38:04   People love that thing.

01:38:05   Garbage.

01:38:06   I was going to say the original trackpads on the Macs were not glass. They were like the original code name.

01:38:11   They're plastic.

01:38:12   Tiny things. They were plastic. And if you want to really appreciate the glass trackpad, try using an Apple trackpad before they went glass. It was not great.

01:38:19   Not good.

01:38:20   Dan, what is your actual pick?

01:38:22   My actual pick then, I'm going with my backup, which is, so I didn't mention my third Mac that I ever bought was a blue and white Power Mac G3, the tower. I love that thing.

01:38:32   It was a great looking computer. It was super powerful, but they had the best hardware feature of all time, which was it had a door on the side.

01:38:39   The whole side.

01:38:40   You could just open it and pop it down. It was amazing. That thing was so, I mean, after coming from, you know, the LC where you had to take the monitor off and pop it off and then the performer where you had like, I think, screws on the back and you'd like pull up this little handle and drag out the logic board.

01:38:55   The fact that I could, and I had by this time started working and doing it stuff on PCs. And so I always was like, all right, I'm undoing thumb screws. I'm like pulling off side panels.

01:39:04   Then you get your hands in there and you're trying to like pull out ID cables and stuff and like you're going to get your hands all sliced up from the metal.

01:39:11   And it was terrible. Like, you know, I had all these cuts on my hands when I was working in IT because I would constantly be inside these PC towers.

01:39:19   And then the G3 came along and they're like, oh, you need to replace the RAM, pop this latch, fold down. Everything's right there for you. No screws really, except for I think the hard drives. Like that was basically it.

01:39:31   I, as a result, upgraded that machine in every way I could. I put in other drives. I upgraded the RAM. I even put in a G4 processor and upgraded that at one point.

01:39:41   I put in, you know, PCI cards and stuff like that. And it was incredible. It is, I think, probably the most easily serviceable Mac ever made.

01:39:52   Probably, maybe close to the G5. One of the iMacs, the G5 iMac. Was that it? Was there a G5 iMac where you could like pop up the entire back?

01:40:03   Yeah. And like, yeah, my parents had that one and I replaced a few things in there as well. But like it was kind of after that, you know, repairability certainly never reached, I think, that peak of the Power Mac G3 again.

01:40:14   And stuff just got more and more locked down. And that's fine. Like, I don't have a problem with that. I understand the trade offs being made there before that era. That machine was incredible.

01:40:24   Power Mac G5, it didn't have a door that hinged down. It had a door that came off. But they had the cool thing where you could remember you could take out the fan assembly, you could take out the little CPU thing.

01:40:34   It had the hard drives where you put screws on the side of the hard drive and then it would slide into these plastic rails smoothly, like a little roller coaster ride to go into place.

01:40:43   Yeah, they they've continued that even I mean, the 2019 Power Mac Pro that I have here tries to do that, but it makes you lift the entire case off vertically and the computer has to be off to do it. So it sacrifices, it sacrifices utility for outer beauty.

01:40:57   But once you get it once you get that thing off, it's also kind of a work of art inside there.

01:41:01   The only machine I ever had that was more accessible than the Power Mac G3 was briefly I had a PC I built and I didn't have a case for it. It was in a literal shoebox. And I would start, I would literally start it with a screwdriver between two pins to turn it off.

01:41:17   I just wanted to praise the that mounting the motherboard on the side on the door so that you get this big kind of open face sandwich instead of like having to take off a panel. So there's no piece to maintain. You didn't need the space to lower the door.

01:41:33   But that made a huge difference in terms of being able to get in because you had the whole base level plus you had the stuff on the other side.

01:41:39   So I had that machine. It also meant I could keep it clean inside. I never dusted the inside of any other Mac I had, but I, whether it was with very carefully applied compressed air or whether it was just, you know, a rag or something like that, I would open that Mac up every once in a while. And if it seemed dusty, I would clean it up.

01:41:56   It also had the handles on it. So if you did want to put it up on a table to open it, to put a new card in, or, you know, I think Apple had this idea. You're gonna like sling it around different workstations in the studio or something.

01:42:07   I think it was so heavy. But the handles were, it was a great idea.

01:42:12   Yeah, the handles were peaked in comfort with the Quicksilver G4. They were rounded on the bottom and didn't cut your hands. And the handles on the Mac Pro and Power Mac G5, not as good.

01:42:23   My 9600, which I talked about as my second Mac, I think might have been the first with a easily removable door that didn't need tools, was sort of a predecessor to that. It wasn't quite as graceful inside and the fact that the door came off.

01:42:41   But Jon recently reminded me, I forget why Jon, but that we were talking about it after we recorded the show.

01:42:46   Yeah, after you were on my show, that there was a button on top to release the door. It was a beige, you know, or platinum device still, it was pre G3. But the button to release it was made out of G3 or iMac style sort of Bondi blue.

01:43:03   But before the iMac existed, before anything was that color, it was the very, it was the closest predecessor was the G3 had that the green button door that you could open.

01:43:13   Yeah, it was basically a piece of the E-Mate. If you remember what the E-Mate looked like, it was frosty, teal, translucent. That's what the button was. It was 100% beige computer and just this one that was Johnny Ives saying, "Help me, come in here."

01:43:25   It was a call for help from Johnny Ives. It totally was. Absolutely was.

01:43:27   We bought all this blue plastic to try and build a computer and we got to use it up. What if plastic and Gil Amelio said, "No!"

01:43:34   It was like, "I'm fine, I'm putting it on the button." And the button was like wavy shaped too. It wasn't like rectangular.

01:43:39   Dan's point though about it, the era being like the peak of, oh, you know RAM suddenly, I mean it's always been expensive, but all of a sudden RAM seemed way more affordable than it had been like in the early 90s.

01:43:52   You could buy quote unquote PC RAM.

01:43:54   Right. And so there was a lot more you could do and you know, CD drives and DVD drives and there were things, you know, there was a lot of reasons to go into your machine for a stretch in the late 90s and the early aughts.

01:44:08   And it was before cooling became so dire that the whole machine had to be focused around cooling. The G3 had fans and stuff, but you could open up that door and it wasn't like, well, how are we going to make the cooling work if we ever let them do this?

01:44:19   And the stuff was kind of standardized, not just the RAM, but like the drives, you know, you were using ID cables and you had PCI slots and like, yeah, you needed the software and the drivers to run it, but like fundamentally it was still kind of using off the shelf components.

01:44:32   Shelly, what is your pick?

01:44:34   This is the category I had the most trouble with, surprisingly, I guess.

01:44:38   And I will confess there's probably going to be some recency bias here.

01:44:43   This is not an Apple product. It's what I thought of.

01:44:46   In other words, there are probably going to be 100 things that after this I'm going to think of and be sorry I didn't mention.

01:44:51   But I'm going to go with the Elgato Stream Deck because I, there are many, many ways to shortcut what you're doing, whether it's a keyboard shortcut or whether it's an actual shortcut.

01:45:01   There are a hundred ways to do the things that I can do with a Stream Deck, but after years of using Keyboard Maestro and the built-in system keyboard shortcut capabilities, I've just run out of new places to put keyboard shortcuts.

01:45:15   And there are some times when my other hand can be on that Stream Deck and can press a button and can make one thing happen or multiple things if I string it that way.

01:45:25   It's pretty flexible.

01:45:27   And I know some people are all in that Stream Deck life and have multiple ones and have, you know, 30 buttons or 60 buttons or whatever.

01:45:36   I'm a small one, but it's all I need.

01:45:39   And because it can have different functions based on what app you're in or what you're doing, it does more for me than it otherwise would.

01:45:48   And so even though I'm actually using it with other tools that I already had like Keyboard Maestro, I just find it incredibly useful, incredibly simple.

01:45:58   Because I have a small one, I always remember what shortcut I'm looking for.

01:46:02   I've got icons that I can customize that look the way I want them to that say something to me that might not say anything to you.

01:46:09   And so I've just really enjoyed that device and watching it evolve.

01:46:14   I love it.

01:46:16   It's funny, the Apple did the touch bar, invested that hardware and then...

01:46:23   Oh, I should have chosen the touch bar. No, no, no.

01:46:26   And then abandoned it, whereas Elgato just took this little tiny screen and put some buttons on it and wrote some rudimentary software for it.

01:46:36   And it's completely transformed how I use the Mac at my desk.

01:46:41   I didn't say I like the software.

01:46:43   Yeah, it's bad.

01:46:45   We're being kind of bad.

01:46:47   It's funny that they, I think they got it right in the idea of it's buttons I can see and I can customize, but I can also do by feel.

01:46:56   And Apple went in a totally other direction that was much more high tech and not as good.

01:47:00   So.

01:47:01   All right, next up, John Syracuse.

01:47:04   This is a tough one because it's kind of open ended hardware accessory.

01:47:09   I hope what I'm picking qualifies.

01:47:12   It is the original Apple Cinema display, which was a flat panel, 22 inch LCD display with the kind of clear plastic feet on either side with a little clear leg in the back.

01:47:26   And the reason I'm picking this is I actually have the next one, I have the 23 inch one.

01:47:31   This was probably the most shocking piece of hardware I've had in my house attached to my Mac, as evidenced by non computer people commenting on it, because this was around the year 2000.

01:47:46   Computer monitors back then, if you wanted a really big computer monitor, you needed a really big CRT and 21 CRTs existed and Apple sold one and they were the size of a truck.

01:47:56   And they took up a huge amount of depth and they were four by three and they look like just huge television things.

01:48:03   You know, like if you can imagine putting a 21 inch television, a CRT, 21 CRT on your desk, it dominates.

01:48:11   And you can't really make it much bigger than that.

01:48:13   You start pushing the envelope on that.

01:48:14   First of all, CRTs weren't even made that much bigger than that.

01:48:17   At computer pixel ratios, you could get a 34 inch television, but that's not a resolution that you'd want to use with a computer.

01:48:24   And so you were kind of hemmed in.

01:48:26   And then the LCD era came and Apple started selling the 16 by 9, 22 inch flat panel display.

01:48:32   And I had it on my desk and people would come in, someone comes to the house to work on the furnace and they wouldn't be impressed by my computer monitor.

01:48:39   They would say, what is that?

01:48:41   Is that a television?

01:48:43   Because before flat panels were common, people had CRT televisions and CRT monitors on top of their desk running their computers.

01:48:52   And if you did have a flat panel display anywhere, they were small, but this thing was vast.

01:48:56   It was 22 inches. It was giant. It was flat.

01:48:59   It had the clear feet on it. It looks so futury.

01:49:02   And it was just, I think the most impressive accessory that ever, even the Pro Display XDR that I'm using now.

01:49:08   It's a really big LCD, but who cares?

01:49:10   Everyone is used to LCDs now, but back when people were not used to the idea of a large display that is flat, that had that massive resolution, such an impressive piece of technology.

01:49:20   Every time I would sit down in front of it, I would just be amazed.

01:49:23   Like, I can't believe this exists.

01:49:25   Coming from a 9 inch monochrome Mac screen, and now I'm sitting in front of this flat thing that's 22 inches.

01:49:32   And it looked gorgeous. Mine did have two dead pixels on it.

01:49:36   Those were the bad old days when every pixel didn't always work.

01:49:39   That it was the pixel lottery.

01:49:40   But yeah, this I feel like is the point in time when the Mac took a giant leap forward.

01:49:47   And if you somehow were foolish enough to spend the massive amount of money that these things cost, you could have connected to your computer and feel like you were living in the future for a while.

01:49:55   Stephen Hackett, what is your pick?

01:49:59   I've got one that I'll mention and one that I'll pick.

01:50:03   One that I'll mention was the breathing sleep light that Macs used to have.

01:50:07   So you could just see at a moment if your Mac notebook was asleep in your bag or your iMac had fallen asleep on the desk.

01:50:14   A little bit of whimsy and personality that I miss.

01:50:17   A little creepy too. Like a little.

01:50:19   No, no, it's sleeping.

01:50:20   It's a little bit creepy.

01:50:21   It's just breathing. Just very gentle.

01:50:23   It's like watching a baby sleep. It's really nice.

01:50:25   We mentioned the iMac G5 earlier that the backs come off of.

01:50:29   That was very handy because all the logic boards and power supplies failed and I replaced billions of them back in my repair days.

01:50:36   But there was a little piece of plastic you had to put back in there or the light wouldn't diffuse correctly and it looked janky.

01:50:41   Anyways, I apologize to everyone in Memphis who I messed up.

01:50:44   But, favorite Mac hardware feature ever and I brought something for a sound effect for some ASMR.

01:50:52   Perfect. Thank you so much.

01:50:54   I know people like ASMR podcasts.

01:50:56   So, it is the G4 Cube's insides coming out.

01:51:01   So, let y'all listen to this.

01:51:03   Good noise.

01:51:09   It's such a satisfying sound. You got clicks and this big handle that latches in.

01:51:15   This was not an amazing computer. Apple very famously discontinued it I think after a year or two.

01:51:21   Well, they put it on ice, Steven.

01:51:23   They put it on ice. Excuse me. Put it on ice.

01:51:25   Any day now.

01:51:26   But it was such...

01:51:27   Come back. It's still like Walt Disney. It's coming, dragging it out.

01:51:31   But it was such a quintessential Steve Jobs era Mac.

01:51:37   The dude just loved Cubes, right? Stores, the next station, this thing.

01:51:42   But the engineering that went into this computer is completely unnecessary but so lovely and interesting.

01:51:49   It's...

01:51:50   It was the...

01:51:52   When I started collecting Macs, this was the first one.

01:51:54   And maybe I'll be buried with it.

01:51:57   Alright.

01:51:58   How are the hairline cracks in your acrylic case?

01:52:01   I've got one in the back corner.

01:52:03   But definitely not as bad as some of the photos I've seen online.

01:52:08   I reviewed that computer and so I had the review unit in my house for a while.

01:52:11   And having it in my house, it was beautiful and I did have it connected to my flat panel display.

01:52:15   But also it made me glad that I never actually bought one.

01:52:18   Yeah.

01:52:19   Yeah.

01:52:20   Yeah, the CD would come out of the top as with the heat.

01:52:22   Yeah, that's great.

01:52:23   It was very strange.

01:52:24   That's right. No fan. It was convection cooled.

01:52:26   The cold air comes in. The bottom goes out. Hot air comes out the top.

01:52:29   What a machine.

01:52:31   I'm always surprised that Apple gave up on it.

01:52:34   I am.

01:52:35   And I always thought that the mistake was going high-end performance with the G4 rather than putting a G3 in it and selling it at a lower price as a more...

01:52:46   I feel like the miscalculation was trying to go really cute and small and high-end performance.

01:52:55   It's sort of like pick one.

01:52:58   Yeah.

01:52:59   I think they were trying to go sharper image to use an old reference.

01:53:02   It was like a rich person's computer that it's small and cute and looks like a work of art and costs more money than you want to spend.

01:53:08   And it's very clear that this was Steve Jobs' baby too because that puts it on ice press release.

01:53:14   It's like you can read between the lines that a group of executives came to Steve Jobs and said, "Steve, we have to stop with the Cube."

01:53:22   And they finally talked him into, "Well, we won't say that it's gone forever. Maybe it'll come back."

01:53:27   And then they walked out the door and were like, "Kill it. Get it out of here."

01:53:30   Steve, stop with all the cubes.

01:53:32   For the next four years, at every meeting, he was bringing it up.

01:53:35   So when we were going to bring it up, he told me we could bring it back, right?

01:53:38   He carried it in by the handle every time. He would just put it down on the desk.

01:53:43   I mean, the Mac Mini is that concept but more affordable, right?

01:53:46   Well, no, I wasn't going to say the Mac Mini. I would say before that, one of the things I remember noting when this machine came out was that the hemispherical base,

01:53:56   the dome base of the iMac with the arm and the LCD display, the flat panel iMac, had less volume than the Cube.

01:54:06   So that was an idea of like, can we make a very small volume computer, right?

01:54:11   But not have it be, to Jon's point, not have it be the G4, like the high end.

01:54:16   It was a lower end computer but it looked expensive. That was the thing about that computer.

01:54:19   It looked and felt expensive and it was, practically speaking, taking the entire guts of the Mac and putting them into a smaller volume than the G4 Cube.

01:54:27   Hemispherically shaped so it was even more a degree of difficulty.

01:54:31   I think they kind of got it right there but even that computer was not long lived because it felt expensive, it felt like you were getting a lot for your money,

01:54:40   and probably the margins weren't as good as when they stuck all the stuff to the back of a display.

01:54:43   And not easy to open.

01:54:45   There's a continuum there I think with Apple doing things that sort of look cool or push the envelope from the 20th anniversary Mac through the Cube through the trash can Power Mac, right?

01:54:56   Or Mac Pro, with things that like, oh we're gonna reinvent it, we're gonna really slim it down and get it in this tiny little cool shape or something.

01:55:04   And then people have to point out it doesn't work great. And unfortunately they move on.

01:55:10   But they really sell it. I remember the G4 iMac being encased in plexiglass on the Macworld show floor and everybody, including me, just oohed and aahed over it.

01:55:20   And I was sad to see that go as I was sad to see the Cube go. Did I own one? No, I did not.

01:55:25   The screen on that was always the real winner for me.

01:55:28   It's sad that they've never gotten to an adjustability level that they had with that G4 iMac screen because that was great.

01:55:36   Yeah, well for me that would have been an accessibility thing. I was not in a position to buy a Mac at that time.

01:55:40   But just the idea that you could move that screen up, down, forward, back, tilt, whatever. That was an amazing thing for accessibility.

01:55:48   And eventually when we had more VISA arms easily available, you had a lot of options in terms of how you could put your external monitor where you want it.

01:55:59   But the idea that you had an all-in-one iMac where you could move the screen and tilt it in any number of ways was just an amazing thing.

01:56:06   Now you gotta pay 400 bucks just to move your screen up and down.

01:56:10   People would move that monitor just like to show their friend. Here, look at this. Because once you realized it was just free to move, people would just grab it and move it. Because it was a useful thing to do.

01:56:19   That's cool.

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01:58:29   So we are now into our final round, which is the Hall of Shame.

01:58:34   Over the 40 years we've spoken about a lot of great things that have happened in the world of the Macintosh, but it's not all been perfect.

01:58:42   So I would like you all to bring something that needs to be noted in the Max history that didn't go so well.

01:58:50   Jason Snell, I start with you. I feel like I've got the Draft of Kings bet here on what this is going to be.

01:58:56   But we'll find out.

01:58:58   Wow, I actually struggled with this.

01:59:01   There are two Macs that I considered here.

01:59:06   The charitably called Mac Pro, late 2013.

01:59:10   It's out there for people.

01:59:13   And also my most hated Mac of all time, the Power Macintosh 6400, the big forehead Mac, which is the ugliest Mac ever made.

01:59:21   But no, I would like to take you to a more innocent time.

01:59:27   It was June 2003. It was WWDC.

01:59:30   And finally, at long last, we had heard what the future of the Mac was going to be when Steve Jobs and a guy from IBM stood on stage and said, "The G5 is coming. It's going to be awesome."

01:59:43   And then Steve Jobs said, "And you know what they're going to do? It's going to go to 3 gigahertz."

01:59:49   Because they were really lagging behind Intel.

01:59:52   I actually got a tour of the factory in New York at Macworld Expo that year.

01:59:58   Apple PR took a bunch of us and we put on bunny suits and we went to the IBM factory.

02:00:02   The IBM-Apple relationship with the G5, it was going to be great.

02:00:06   And what happened was IBM absolutely failed to deliver on the 3 gigahertz promise.

02:00:12   They never made a chip that was capable of shipping in a laptop.

02:00:16   So there was no G5 powerbook at any point.

02:00:19   And this instead became the moment where Apple said, "You know that skunkworks project we have to have Mac OS run on Intel?

02:00:28   Put more skunks in there or whatever and get it going."

02:00:31   Because the Apple-IBM relationship...

02:00:33   I mean, you have Steve Jobs make a claim for the future on stage, which is unlikely, right?

02:00:39   And yet he made it. And you get the sense, I got the sense that he was holding them to it.

02:00:42   They made him a promise and he was going to put it out there in the public and say, "We're doing this."

02:00:46   And they failed to do it. And that was the end of the PowerPC alliance and Apple's relationship with IBM.

02:00:52   And the Intel transition happened shortly thereafter.

02:00:55   And the Intel transition, I would argue, was a huge boon for the Mac.

02:00:59   Not just in bringing them to parity with what was going on in Intel at that point, which is a lot of growth in speed.

02:01:06   But also eliminating the chip conversation entirely and enabling a whole new generation of switchers who switched because with Intel inside,

02:01:16   they knew they could run not emulated, but virtualized copies of Windows just in case they needed a Windows app, which they never actually needed.

02:01:25   Sold a lot of Macs that way.

02:01:26   So I think it is a seminal bad moment in the history of the Mac when IBM Steve Jobs promised us a 3 GHz G5 and it instead precipitated the Intel transition.

02:01:38   I just assumed he said that on stage based on the fact that he wanted it to be 3 GHz and that IBM had never said that they were going to be able to do that.

02:01:45   I mean, if I get up on stage and say it, I'm sure they'll figure out a way to do it.

02:01:48   It's possible. Either way.

02:01:50   Do you see the stricken look on the IBM CEO base?

02:01:53   He just jumped into the crowd at that point. No!

02:01:55   It's kind of like open sourcing the FaceTime protocol.

02:01:57   Exactly.

02:01:58   You just get up there and say it in public. It really motivates the team to make it happen.

02:02:01   Yeah, it did not happen.

02:02:03   Well, and the bigger thing, the 3.0 thing is just like, hey, it's a nice round number.

02:02:07   But the big, big, big, big thing is that they never could put the G5 in a laptop.

02:02:11   Nope.

02:02:12   And that was the era when the rapidity with which everybody who had previously only used desktops because laptops were slower and super expensive.

02:02:24   It was like, oh, now they're affordable. They're sort of the default. It was happening so fast.

02:02:28   It was just untenable for the leading chip to be unusable in a laptop form factor.

02:02:35   That water cooling in the laptop was not happening.

02:02:39   Slushing around.

02:02:41   Jason, that wasn't what I thought you were going to say. We'll see if we get to it at some point.

02:02:45   I would expect someone will probably pick it, but we'll find out.

02:02:48   Dan, what is your pick?

02:02:49   I thought Jason was going to pick mine.

02:02:51   And so we'll see if this is what Mike thinks.

02:02:53   But it was let's harken back to the mid 2010s when Apple's riding high and it seems like every Mac that comes out is great.

02:03:02   What could possibly go wrong?

02:03:05   Introduce another not the skunks from the skunkworks, but another the gentle flapping of a butterfly's wings.

02:03:11   There it is.

02:03:12   On the keyboard and all of a sudden Apple decides, you know, we got to shove this this keyboard in that tiny retina MacBook we made. So we'll put something in with less travel with this innovative new butterfly mechanism.

02:03:25   And it wasn't great. But a lot of us are like, well, it's such a small MacBook. You know, they got to make some compromises to get in there.

02:03:31   And Apple took the exact wrong lesson, which was this keyboard is so good. We should put it in all of our computers.

02:03:36   And they nearly, I feel like tanked their laptop line with a thing that is, you know, basically an unforced error because they did not need to change the keyboard that substantially in order to make it work.

02:03:49   And yet this thing they thought was so great was awful.

02:03:53   And the keyboard being the thing that you, you know, need to interact with pretty much every day.

02:04:00   It turns out that if you mess that up, people get really, really unhappy.

02:04:04   I did not buy a Mac in a MacBook in this era because of how bad it was. I was like sticking with that 11 inch MacBook Air with the older keyboard, basically until I think the Apple Silicon Macs came out and they redid the keyboards again just before that.

02:04:25   So, yeah, I this sort of bookends, I think, Gruber's pick from earlier of the good Apple keyboard with the worst keyboard Apple made, probably.

02:04:33   And yeah, I it was, you know, as Jason can attest from the years of six college report cards during that time, it was so angry.

02:04:42   Oh, people were very, very bad. It was like the one thing that people were really digging the Mac about everything else about it.

02:04:48   Performance was good. The screens were great. Like connectivity was solid. But that keyboard is just so hard to deal with.

02:04:56   How many aggregate hours have all of us in this group right now spent podcasting about this keyboard?

02:05:03   I sold T-shirts. I sold T-shirts.

02:05:05   Good for business.

02:05:07   Got the T-shirt from John.

02:05:08   I never owned one either, but I think that there's at least a couple dozen hours of my podcast talking about it.

02:05:14   I didn't own one either, but I have spent a lot of time around normies who had those computers and loved Apple laptops and Apple computers generally. And then I saw them start to use the computers with those keyboards and they would look at me and they go, "Shelly, why is this terrible?"

02:05:29   It's your fault.

02:05:30   Yeah, it's my fault.

02:05:31   Why did you do it?

02:05:32   Right. Why did you do it? Could you please tell Tim Apple to fix it right now? And I'm like, "I can't. I don't have that power."

02:05:38   One of my favorite things about the butterfly keyboard era was a friend of the show, Mark O'Armond, had one of the MacBook Pros where they put this in and his E key started to stick. I bought that laptop from him.

02:05:52   So I owned that computer for a period of time. And then I sold it on. I think I sold it on eBay.

02:05:59   But it was like a funny thing to me of like it. That one specific laptop spurred a lot of conversation on multiple shows. Just that one of them, let alone the whole thing.

02:06:11   I think this will be a case study in like Harvard Business School sometime because you know, you make a keyboard that has reliability problems. Like that's a thing that can happen to anybody.

02:06:22   But the real business story is here. So then what do you do about it? How do you fix that problem? And Apple, through various internal misfires on their organizational structure and decision making, kept trying to fix it and failing to fix it year after year after year.

02:06:39   And part of this is Apple's penny-pinching nature in that for pretty much all the history of Apple's laptops, they have wanted to have a single keyboard for all their laptops no matter the size.

02:06:53   Because developing a keyboard is expensive and if you just do it once it saves you a lot of money. That's why you got the original 17-inch PowerBook with the same keyboard that the 12-inch PowerBook had.

02:07:03   That same keyboard was in the 17-inch PowerBook. Why? Because it's cheaper to just have one keyboard.

02:07:11   So once they made the butterfly one for the 12-inch MacBook, the single-port 12-inch MacBook, they're like, "Well, we can save a lot of money. We'll just use this keyboard on all our laptops."

02:07:18   And so when it had problems, it was across all of them. And did they say, "Well, let's go back to the drawing board and come up with a new keyboard." Did they say, "Let's go back to the old keyboard." No.

02:07:26   Year after year they're like, "We think we've got it this time. We think it's all sorted out." And then we'd buy them and then they wouldn't work. I got one in the middle.

02:07:33   In the middle of this thing, I think along with the membrane keyboard, I got it at work as my laptop and the keyboard broke.

02:07:38   And I had to have a top case replacement at great expense to my employer. And so that internal story that has not yet been told is how does an organization so successful with so much money fail to fix a problem over so many years and suffer such reputational damage.

02:07:54   Just mind boggling. It's hubris, right? They just thought they could. I expect that they just thought they could fix it.

02:08:00   Each time it was like, "This is Lucy and the football. It's going to work this time. Engineering tells me this keyboard fixes the problem."

02:08:06   It always baffled me that it seemed so commonplace that you feel like, "How is this not caught in Q&A?" Nobody during testing had a problem at all with double letters or things not typing or getting stuck. It shocks me.

02:08:19   It's like the aging. You have to test it like rapid aging testing. We'll use it for the equivalent of one year of usage and see if it has problems. But there's no substitute for actual usage over an actual year with all the food crumbs.

02:08:32   And I think that's the essential thing. I don't think the testing had potato chips over the top of it, right?

02:08:36   I bet they do now. Just throwing food into the sheets.

02:08:39   The problem with the keyboard is one little particle would get in the butterfly mechanism and it wouldn't work anymore.

02:08:43   We spent all this money with all this stuff to test the iPhone antennas. We blew all our money on that. We only made QA money left.

02:08:50   It's wild. The last butterfly keyboard MacBook Pro, by that time they had the repair extension program, so they were replacing them for free.

02:08:58   But a brand new laptop was announced and put into the repair extension program on the same day. What a vote of confidence.

02:09:07   It's like just bringing it in and kicking it straight out the door. It's like, "Come on in, buddy. It's that way. We're selling you a product and we know it's no good."

02:09:17   I ordered this product from the Apple store. Why is it getting shipped from AppleCare? Well, they're eliminating a step.

02:09:24   That keyboard was a good test for the Apple fans whose appreciation of the company could be described as religious because it was indefensible, in my opinion.

02:09:37   There's just no way. If it worked properly, yes, it was subjective whether you liked the feel of the shallow travel.

02:09:45   But the fact that it was so unreliable, clearly, across the board, widespread, it was absolutely unreliable for like three generations. It's still mind-boggling.

02:09:58   I always really liked the way it sounded. It had a fun sound. It was different.

02:10:02   I get it, yeah. So I can get why people, if it had been reliable, why there were people who liked it. I know people who love typing on the no-adjective 12-inch MacBook which had the keyboard.

02:10:16   I know people who absolutely loved it, but just the reliability. How could anybody defend it? It was crazy.

02:10:24   All right, Shelley, what are you putting in a hole of shame?

02:10:27   Name and shame.

02:10:29   I was sure I was going to be sniped. Let us stay in the world of laptops for a moment, why don't we? I'm going back to the mid-90s for the PowerBook 5300.

02:10:39   Got me.

02:10:41   Now, the PowerBook 5300 most famously is known for batteries that will flame, and that problem comes from Sony. That is not the part that can be laid directly at Apple's doorstep.

02:10:54   Can I just pause you for a second here? I don't know what you're going to say.

02:10:58   I don't know. The idea that you can be like, "Oh, the batteries that caught on fire, that's not the worst part of this."

02:11:05   Oh, come on. It's part of Apple history. Stephen will hook you up later with that. Just the batteries caught on fire. But other than that, it was not a fine computer.

02:11:14   So the PowerBook 5300 was a low-ish cost laptop. I would characterize it as a full-on lemon product, because in addition to the fact that it had these lithium batteries from Sony that were subject to catching on fire, and that people in fact hurt themselves, and other people, when they saw indications that the batteries were going to do so, could return them and get new ones, I guess.

02:11:38   But also, the thing just... plastic would fall off of it. Plastic would crack. It was heavy. It was a bad, bad laptop. It was ugly. I had one, by the way. I bought one used for... why did I do that? Because I really need a laptop? I don't know.

02:11:54   I never had any problems with mine, which is why it's funny to me that I am so adamantly speaking of it now. But yeah, that was right in the middle of the 90s when other bad things were happening, and the clone process and everything was happening.

02:12:09   It was a weird time at Apple, but the 5300 just feels like a total lemon, and that even had it worked, it was not optimal Apple design. You'd look at that laptop and you wouldn't... it had a very PC look about it, to be honest.

02:12:27   I remember wanting one when they talked about it, I think probably because it was sort of the color one at that era, the 5300C. But the two things I love about it is that one... oh yeah, that's like a $4,000 laptop in today's money.

02:12:41   You got a PowerPC for your money, Dan. Calm down.

02:12:44   Yeah, there you go. But I also enjoyed that the codename for that laptop is M2.

02:12:49   I just remembered that.

02:12:51   They really brought it all the way back around, I guess.

02:12:53   A few fun details about the 5300. I wrote about the 500 and the 5300 in an article in 2020.

02:13:02   Mac Week referred to it... gave it one of the worst reviews it had ever given an Apple product.

02:13:07   It said the product crashed all the time. Apple agreed that there were problems that would be fixed in a software update.

02:13:13   Five months later, Apple shipped a software update to fix the crashes. However, many of the logic boards that had shipped with the 5300 were lemons, so they had to be completely replaced.

02:13:24   It would take about a month for you to get your computer back after that.

02:13:28   And then my favorite bit is there was a built-in PC card slot. It had two expansion bays.

02:13:35   One was for a battery and the other one was for a floppy drive.

02:13:39   And in a classic moment, this was the heyday of the CD-ROM and the expansion bay was fractions of an inch too small for a CD-ROM drive to go in it.

02:13:52   [Laughter]

02:13:55   Good times. John Siracusa, hit me with your hole of shame.

02:13:59   So, Butterfly Keyboard was topping my list, obviously. The two remaining ones, I think I'm going to leave my second one for somebody else to pick.

02:14:10   And if they don't, we'll bring out your dead at the end. I feel like it's my role on this show to pick the 2023 Mac Pro.

02:14:20   [Laughter]

02:14:22   John, really?

02:14:24   The current Mac Pro.

02:14:26   What it has going for it is that it exists and shows that Apple is still making that product line. What it has against it is literally everything else.

02:14:35   Would you like a Mac Studio that's massively more expensive and is in a giant case filled with air where the guts of that computer are on a motherboard that's like a giant, empty field with just the tiny little guts of a Mac Studio sitting in the middle of it?

02:14:50   Would you like a computer that costs thousands of dollars more than a Mac Studio that is exactly the same speed because it uses exactly the same SOC?

02:14:58   Would you like a Mac Studio in a case that has a lot of carefully machined holes in it? Then the 2023 Mac Pro is the computer for you.

02:15:05   Even more so than the trash can which was mentioned earlier. That Mac Pro at least could do things that other Macs could not because it had different guts inside.

02:15:14   It had different GPUs. You could have two GPUs. For all its faults, it was at least a different computer trying to do different things.

02:15:22   The 2023 Mac Pro is a Mac Studio in a giant case. It is a sad computer. I like that it exists and that it shows that Apple wants to keep trying there.

02:15:32   But they need to try a lot harder. It's going to be very difficult to unseat this as the worst Mac Pro Apple has ever made.

02:15:39   Hang on a second. No, no, no. The trash can?

02:15:44   No, the trash can at least was trying to do something. You could put two GPUs in it and other computers could do that.

02:15:49   John I owned one. Now me and that computer, we had a real tough time. I would record podcasts. It would just turn off.

02:15:57   It would just turn off in the middle. Like consistently. Jason, you know more than anyone. It used to happen basically every Monday.

02:16:04   Where's Mike? Oh well. And we would have to try and like unearth MP3 files that maybe half saved. I cannot allow it.

02:16:12   The Mac Pro, I know it doesn't do what you like. It works though. Well it does it. You don't have one. If you got one and it was a lemon, you'd be making the same complaints.

02:16:19   But the thing is, mine wasn't just a lemon. Steven can attest to this. This was a consistent issue with the trash can. It was a GPU problem.

02:16:27   The Power Macs G4 Cube had the same problem by the way. When I was using my G4 Cube and reviewing it, it would occasionally just turn off as well. So this is the thing that happens with Macs sometimes. You got unlucky. But I have to say at least the trash can was trying.

02:16:38   It's a thing that happens with Macs. We'll see what happens in the future. If within the next five years Apple have to bring a bunch of journalists around a table to talk about the 2023 Mac.

02:16:50   They might if that's the Mac Pro cycle. I don't think, John it's only you my friend. They're just going to bring you in.

02:16:56   The trash can Mac, I mean they designed that thing to go exactly where they designed it.

02:17:00   I like philosophically John's point here which is it is better to try and fail than to not try.

02:17:07   Right.

02:17:08   I think that I would never pick this but I love it is a very Syracusean pick. But I think that the Mac studio that lives inside that giant case is like Jay Gatsby living in a 23 room mansion.

02:17:24   You can literally put two more Mac studios inside there. There's so much room.

02:17:29   That's the move.

02:17:31   I like it. It's really nice but it's really lonely and it's really a waste.

02:17:36   Stevens please save me.

02:17:38   Every single one of my picks has been picked except for one.

02:17:44   And we got to wind back to 1993 and talk about the Macintosh TV.

02:17:51   Yeah.

02:17:52   Nice.

02:17:53   It was an all in one Macintosh LC. You know if you're of a certain age this is like the beige ones defined in my elementary school computing.

02:18:02   But this was in black which makes it instantly cool.

02:18:06   But the black was the coolest thing about it.

02:18:10   They only made like 10,000 of them. Not not great. So the headline here is you got a Mac.

02:18:16   What if your Mac was also a television. And so it's perfect if you think about someone living in a small apartment or a dorm.

02:18:23   Right. It's like oh I can have one thing and do my computing and do my entertainment.

02:18:30   However the system was not really a Mac and a TV. It was a Mac or a TV.

02:18:39   You had to choose am I going to be a computer user today or am I going to watch television.

02:18:45   Came with this own TV remote. Basically it just used this like cable like this card in the back of it.

02:18:54   TV tuner card.

02:18:56   Just some weird ideas and they put it in an LC I think LC 500 series or something that wasn't a great computer to begin with.

02:19:06   Yeah.

02:19:07   Yeah it was bigger than the standard LC case right. It was a kind of a tall case.

02:19:12   It was black too right.

02:19:14   Yeah that too. But I mean it wasn't this flat pizza box like the LC.

02:19:17   Yeah some LCs were all in ones like for the education market.

02:19:20   Yeah and the monitor was wider than the base so it was awkwardly like not matched.

02:19:24   Like it didn't look like the powerful computers where the base would be wide and then you'd have a separate.

02:19:28   This was a narrow base and a wider monitor fused to it. The ugliest. Even more ugly than the molar Mac I think.

02:19:34   14 inch trinitron. I only saw one of these in the wild one time. It was at a blockbuster video.

02:19:41   Why? I don't even know why it was there but it was there. I saw it.

02:19:46   I've got one and it doesn't work and honestly I think I'm okay with it.

02:19:50   Yeah.

02:19:51   No it's better that way.

02:19:53   A friend of mine had the LC 520 I think which is basically the same chassis.

02:19:58   But yeah I remember I coveted one of these of course cause like you know mid early mid 90s when it came out you're sitting there going like.

02:20:05   What do I love more than computers? Computers and television. It's one device that does all of this.

02:20:11   It seemed. This it was a toss up between this and the Macs that you could put the DOS compatibility card in.

02:20:17   Because you had this idea I was going to run all my awesome Mac games.

02:20:20   Yeah man.

02:20:21   There you go.

02:20:22   John Gruber.

02:20:23   What is going in the Hall of Shame?

02:20:25   I'm surprised I didn't get sniped but maybe I think differently. I don't know.

02:20:32   I was really worried cause I couldn't. My second pick was way behind.

02:20:35   I have one shining Hall of Shame moment and it is Mac World Expo San Francisco 1997.

02:20:46   I think the casual Apple fan would think that must have been the highlight and the moment when Apple turned it around.

02:20:55   Apple acquired next at the end of December 1996.

02:21:00   And everybody knows that's the move that brought Steve Jobs back.

02:21:03   That's the move that brought the guts that became Mac OS 10.

02:21:07   That still is the operating system that is now called iOS.

02:21:10   It still underlies Vision OS. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

02:21:17   It's the greatest acquisition in any I think undeniably world history.

02:21:23   But it wasn't obvious at all that this was going to fix Apple.

02:21:30   And I think Mac World Expo, that keynote exemplified just how much that Apple lucked into this solution.

02:21:44   Gil Amelio was the CEO and he gave the keynote.

02:21:48   And I wasn't there. This is the well before.

02:21:50   What a showman. I was in the first row for this one.

02:21:53   This was years before.

02:21:54   Audience was riveted.

02:21:55   Oh man.

02:21:56   Years before I was going to keynotes, but I've seen it and he was utterly unrehearsed and unrepaired.

02:22:03   Decided he would apparently and I've read books about it.

02:22:07   You know, it was he had no right to be the CEO of Apple.

02:22:12   The only thing he ever did that actually worked was buying next, which I think you honestly again lucked into.

02:22:18   And I think the keynote exemplified that the proof that he did not even understand what he had.

02:22:23   He was completely unrehearsed, rambled on and on and on, bored the hell out of people, made no sense, stammered, said things that didn't make any sense.

02:22:32   He said, like, the best things about Mac OS were that it has the Internet.

02:22:36   And this was like the old Mac OS.

02:22:39   I mean, it's just crazy. You can YouTube it.

02:22:41   I don't think anybody on YouTube even has the whole thing because nobody can bear to watch it.

02:22:45   But they've got clips of how horrible it is.

02:22:47   And then only at the end brought out Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but did it almost as though he were bringing out mascots of Apple's past.

02:22:58   And he did it as a part of the introduction of the brand new computer that he was showing off there, which was the 20th anniversary Macintosh, a joke of a computer that he loved so much that he had in his severance agreement, Gil Amelio, that he would be given one.

02:23:13   And it's like, John, imagine watching a terrible movie, one of the worst, most boring movies of all time.

02:23:20   And then the last, the very last scene is great enough that you wish there was another movie.

02:23:27   That's what that keynote is, because at the end, they're like, oh, Steve Jobs, OS 10, goodbye, everybody.

02:23:32   And that was it. After two hours.

02:23:34   And Jobs came out and gave a short spoke briefly, but it was like, there, there's the guy. That's him. That's the guy.

02:23:43   But at the time, there was no plan for Steve Jobs to take over.

02:23:48   I don't think Jobs himself really saw a path to it.

02:23:51   Everything that happened afterwards involved a lot of luck.

02:23:56   And it's not just, oh, he gave a stinker of a keynote. It's that the stinker of a keynote just proved what a shambles Apple was and how inept the executive ranks of the company were and how they just had no idea what they should be doing.

02:24:14   They had no idea what they what they had. They had no idea about anything.

02:24:18   And it to me, while it was the the moment that became modern Apple, it shows just how close Apple came to utterly collapsing.

02:24:31   Yeah, it is simultaneously the low point of Apple's entire history and that little glimmer at the end, which is actually what's going to save Apple, but wrapped in just in kind of garbage.

02:24:42   There's also a story, I don't know if it's apocryphal or not, that Jobs was just incredibly late.

02:24:46   And so they kept throwing things into the keynote and telling Gil as the sweat's coming down to just just stall and keep going because Jobs isn't there yet.

02:24:56   And they want Jobs to be the big finish for this thing. I don't know if that's true or not.

02:25:00   Sure sounds like something Steve Jobs would do.

02:25:02   If he was incredibly late, I wonder why that was.

02:25:05   Stop to pick up some fast food.

02:25:07   I don't know. But yeah, I watched that for my 2020 thing. I watched the clips of that and it is remarkable that they pivot from the product manager of the 20th anniversary Mac, awarding those Macs, you know, first two off the assembly line to the Steves and Steve Jobs looking like it's just like, why am I even here?

02:25:29   And then Steve Jobs having that moment that is electrifying because it's like, literally, this is what everybody came to see and it absolutely is the future of Apple.

02:25:37   But what you had to slog through to get there just is, that's a good choice.

02:25:43   A related moment that is actually still in that kind of trough where we're trying to get our way out of it was the uncharacteristic, incredible miscalculation of Steve Jobs putting Bill Gates up on a giant screen.

02:25:55   I'm talking about the Microsoft deal, the patent cross licensing $150 million investment, a rare miss on how is this going to look exactly? And it went over like a lead balloon and it was not.

02:26:07   I mean, to be honest, it made Pirates of Silicon Valley really good, like that moment in that movie. So like for me, that's a win because I love that movie.

02:26:15   Macworld New York. Remember, there were two Macworlds at the time.

02:26:18   I wonder, I do wonder whether Jobs had a sense that, hey, let's play it this way. Let's show us as the small guys and Microsoft as the...

02:26:28   I think it's going for like a Big Brother type thing, but it really kind of undercut the... The audience was not there for that.

02:26:34   No, they were booing and stuff. That was in Boston. It was right before they went to New York. That one was in Boston and then they went to New York and we got...

02:26:41   There was a really terrible keynote in New York too that would be in the second round of the Hall of Shame, but we don't have one of those.

02:26:47   Yeah. Although speaking of Macworld New York, that is the... How do processors work?

02:26:51   Macworld New York 2000 or 2001 was the Apology Mouse and that was my other pick that I didn't get to pick, which was the HockeyBuck Mouse.

02:26:58   Yeah, Apology Mouse.

02:27:00   A hardware product so bad that Apple had to give free replacements that are better to the entire audience of the game.

02:27:06   Thereby ensuring that at every Apple keynote event after that, people would look under their chairs.

02:27:11   That is the end of the 40th anniversary Mac draft.

02:27:17   Thank you so much to our participants. I would like to again extend our thanks to all of you for joining us today to celebrate this momentous occasion.

02:27:27   Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of Upgrade.

02:27:31   If you would like longer ad-free versions of the show, go to GetUpgradePlus.com

02:27:35   Thank you to Squarespace, DeleteMe and Vitely for their support of this week's episode.

02:27:40   We'll be back next time. Say goodbye everybody.

02:27:43   Goodbye! See you in 10 years.

02:27:46   Yeah, get ready for 50.

02:27:48   [music]

02:28:10   [ Silence ]