Apple Mac (was: !Re: Nuke Redmond!)

From: John Wilson <>
Date: Tue Apr 11 22:08:50 2000

On Tue, Apr 11, 2000 at 08:00:03PM -0400, Jerome Fine wrote:
> Even DEC never learned that an open architecture was far more
> beneficial in the long run.

What I find interesting is that Apple, DEC, and IBM were all vey successful
at marketing their open architecture machines *first*, and only later decided
to switch to proprietary machines (at least within the markets we're talking
about), and they all got sat on as a result. How can Apple have been so
blind as to not realize that those pitiful 50-pin sockets with the weird
interface and funny lopsided cards were the main reason for the ]['s success.
IBM was obviously copying that idea, but even after changing the formula
screwed Apple up, IBM followed suit and tried to talk us all into switching
to MCA. By the time they came back to us, they were reduced to referring
to the familiar slots as "industry standard", when earlier the rest of the
industry had called the same thing "IBM compatible". Introducing the AT-386
motherboards was a stroke of genius on Intel's part, since that steered the
clone makers back towards the open ISA bus and I think the 80x86 market
would never have blossomed the way it did if IBM had been successful in
diverting it.

> I never took much interest in VMS, so I never found out just how much
> a DEC Orange Wall cost for VMS. Can anyone provide an answer?

I don't know either, but I assume that like the other OSes, DEC forced you
to buy the doc set along with the binaries whether you wanted it or not. If
that's correct then the cost of the documentation isn't really much of an
issue -- if you couldn't afford the docs, you couldn't afford the system in
the first place. The VMS sites I've been at certainly had access to full
programming docs, even if there was only the one copy.

As for Apple not documenting things just to make sure the applications were
all well-behaved, that wasn't quite a smashing success. A lot of things
slipped through anyway which had to be sorted out later -- original programs
could get away with not being 32-bit clean (thanks to the 68000's 24-bit
addressing), or they could have hard-wired dependences on a 512x342 screen
size. And IIRC there was a little trouble when the Mac II came out with
folks who assumed that it and all future machines would use color displays...

John Wilson
D Bit
Received on Tue Apr 11 2000 - 22:08:50 BST

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