More Mac Bits

Author: Dubman
Date: 04 Feb 1984 6:57 pm

A followup to my previous letter, "Bits About Mac"

> Mac documentation is excellent.  I glanced through the manuals and they've
  got something for everyone, hackers included.  Some are very elementary, but
  a bunch give good inside data (more of which is to come).  One of the great
  things about Mac is that, from a users standpoint, you don't have to read a
  single word to operate it.  My friend told me to "click the mouse button
  twice" and from there on I was home free.

> Here is an amusing excerpt from BYTE in an interview with Steve Jobs, Andy
  Hertfeld, Bill Atkinson, and the other wizards who developed the computer:

       Smith: The diagonal lines look better, too; the jaggies are removed
               somewhat, and things like that.  So, with that, we said, OK,
               what's that going to mean? And we ended up with 128K and...
        Atkinson: 22K bytes on the screen, and in a 64K machine you couldn't
                  have afforded it.  That drove us to 16 RAM chips instead of 8.
        Hertzfeld: By then, we knew we were going with 128K bytes anyway, to
                   run the applications.

       Jobs: I just though I'd show this to you.  This is the IBM video board;
              it's only video, nothing else. It's 69 integrated circuits, more
              chips than an entire Macintosh, and it basically does nothing.
              And it doesn't even do that very well.

Jobs is right.  The Macintosh disk controller is one chip.  And IBM is really
going to get blown away by this computer.  So is everyone else who has nothing
but a name behind their name. No, I am not a salesman from Apple.  I am a
long-time Apple II owner, but this computer is really superb. IBM's PcJr is a
peabrain, not a peaut, with a keyboard made with surplus Radio Shack calculator
keys. The IBM's graphics are colorful but not as crisp as the Mac's.  Compared
to the Mac, everything else is SLOW! Ever tryed to make an Apple II delay in
assembly language?  Loop to 65,536 for a short delay.  And the Mac's
AVERAGE speed is 6 times as fast as the Apple II's, besides having far faster

Okay, the microprocessor is not a true, true, 32-bit, its a restricted,
yet enhanced 32-bit (no doublethink there) But the IBM isn't really a 16-bit,
either.  If you really look at it, it has a lot of 8-bit characteristics.

Conclusion: The Mac will be a success. Not might be or should be but will be.
Apple is installing them by the umpteen (too early to get raw figures) in
universities and if the activity in my local store is indicative of sales
nationwide... Every few days the store gets 8 Macs.  As soon as they get them
they are out the door.

The only reason NOT to by one is that Apple has even more amazing stuff up
its sleeve. But I wouldn't wait if I had the money.


Jonathan Dubman - care of:

               Mort Dubman                AT&T Bell Laboratories
                ihnp4!ihuxn!mort        Naperville, IL.

More Mac Bits
104 Feb 1984 6:57 pmDubman