Monday, December 16, 2019

Joining Apple Computer 40 Years Ago

Bill Atkinson (Hacker News):

I wanted to port the UCSD Pascal system to the Apple II. We needed to build software in a cumulative fashion with libraries of reusable modules, and Apple BASIC didn’t even have local variables. My manager said "No", but I went over his head to Steve. Steve thought Apple users were fine with BASIC and 6502 assembly language, but since I argued so passionately, he would give me two weeks to prove him wrong. Within hours I boarded a plane to San Diego, worked like crazy for two weeks, and returned with a working UCSD Pascal System that Apple ended up using to bootstrap the Lisa development.


I convinced project manager Tom Whitney that the Lisa computer needed to include a mouse in the box so we could write software that counted on a pointing device.


Steve Jobs wanted me to leave Apple and join him at Next, but I chose to stay with Apple to finish HyperCard. Apple published HyperCard in 1987, six years before Mosaic, the first web browser.

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