!Re: Nuke Redmond!

From: Eric Smith <eric_at_brouhaha.com>
Date: Mon Apr 10 13:26:00 2000

> And another example, not even hardware, and not strictly about the Mac. I
> have an Apple LW2NT printer. It uses Level 1 Postscript. I have the Adobe
> 'red book', so I know the standard, device independant, commands. But
> where, oh where, do I find the device dependant commands. The ones to set
> the serial port baud rate. To enable/disable the startup page. To read
> the page count. Etc, etc, etc.

The LaserWriter Reference Manual. Addison-Wesley.

> No, there are many gaping holes that are not filled by any Apple
> documentation that I've seen.

The Macintosh models up through the Macintosh Plus were closed. They
didn't document the internal video interface because you weren't supposed
to open the box. You can certainly argue that making it a closed box
may have been stupid, but the fact remains that they documented all the
interfaces that they wanted you to use. (And the floppy interface was
not a supported interface for non-Apple products.)

With the Macintosh II and SE models, they opened it up, and they published
documentation on the supported interfaces, which now included NuBus on the
II, and the PDS (Processor Direct Slot) on the SE. (The floppy interface
was still, and has always been, not a supported interface for non-Apple

If you really wanted to know what was going on with the floppy inteface,
it wasn't hard to figure it out. But even with the relevant technical
info (reverse-engineered or otherwise), it wasn't an especially useful
interface for anything, so it's no great loss that they didn't fully
document it.

My point was that they did a damn good job of documenting the stuff that
was needed to get software developed for the machine. And hardware, once
they decided to open it.
Received on Mon Apr 10 2000 - 13:26:00 BST

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