Still Sputtering

Voice Card  -  Volume 21  -  John Card Number 10  -  Thu, Sep 5, 1991 5:30 PM

This is a response to VC 21 Paul 2 ("SPSS")...


I agree that software is as vital as hardware in determining how useful a machine will be to any business. However...


What STILL gripes my cookies, even after all these years, is that even by 1985 standards those IBM morons were saying the Mac was a toy. It was a different world back then (eons ago in computer terms). Granted, by today's standards, software available on the Mac was of limited use in a business setting. In those days, typing in lowercase was a major breakthrough. But relatively speaking, the Mac was way out in front even then.

Although crude, the original Macwrite at least allowed some mixing of text and graphics. The IBMs of the time didn't allow any kind of graphics. Macpaint, although simple by today's standards, was a hell of a lot better than nothing. Multiplan was far superior to spreadsheets available on the IBM at the time. I didn't care for MacProject, but there was nothing like it in the IBM world.

You could argue that BOTH the PCs and the Macs were toys. Maybe. But even in the dark ages of the early 80s, many businesses were already coming to depend on these toys. I wrote software on 48K Apple IIs (even more of a toy than the PCs), that handled all client billing chores for businesses with thousands of clients. "Toy" is a relative term.

What bothered me the most was that the PC boneheads couldn't see the potential inherent in the Mac's graphical user interface. The original Mac seems as quaint as a Model T to us now, but the PCs of the time were (and to some extent still are) horse-drawn carts. In both cases, the proponents of the old technology resisted the new. The difference is that in the mid 80s, the arrogant cart drivers very nearly succeeded in strangling the new technology before it could gain a footing. Had they succeeded there would be no Archipelago today!