I started out with my nose pressed to the digital window in 1977. In those days we fiddled and dreamed. I was an unpaid, unknown champion for Apple when it was a tiny company selling a dream. In 1984 I stood behind a guy at the local computer shop and watched him work with a program called MacPaint. I got it, both the concept and the computer. It was a zillion dollars and not a great productivity tool. I bought the dream.
The Mac was the real beginning of the personal computer as we know it. Everything that Apple has done and Microsoft copied is based on core concepts contained in that first 128K Mac. True, some of the science had come from Alan Kay and others at Xerox PARC but Apple actually made it all work and then shipped it. The next “Mac Idea” will take some doing but will be based on making the complex simple and accessible to a wider number of people. The goal is to harness the computer, making knowledge more accessible and meaningful. At the same time the goal should be understanding the importance of values, without which, advancement is only adding layers of complexity to a world that needs more simplification.
Thanks to Patrick Rhone ( on Twitter @patrickrhone ) for posting this linked story below. You can also follow Patrick at minimalmac where he sorts out the tension between complex systems and minimalist ideology.
We heard more about Alan Kay back when Apple was taking off with the Mac and its siblings. The article is the best thing I’ve read on the subject of technology in years. The place where ideas can be examined at the machine level to use a programmer metaphor.
Note: This post was based on inspiration which for me, started in the fourth grade. Publishing should be because of the knowledge, wit, art contained within. Marketing can kill a good story quicker than anything. What if it doesn’t make money? That wasn’t the purpose of the knowledge, wit or art in the first place.