The story behind the Apple Graphing Calculator

I used to be a contractor for Apple, working on a secret project. Unfortunately, the computer we were building never saw the light of day. The project was so plagued by politics and ego that when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead. In August 1993, the project was canceled. A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple’s doors, so I just kept showing up.


I asked my friend Greg Robbins to help me. His contract in another division at Apple had just ended, so he told his manager that he would start reporting to me. She didn’t ask who I was and let him keep his office and badge. In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him. Since that left no managers in the loop, we had no meetings and could be extremely productive. We worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week.

This is one way to make great software. Graphing Calculator shipped initialy on more than 20 million machines and is part of the OS X till this very day (in classic mode). Yet the project never officialy existed. Sounds like a fairy tale? It sure does. This is an exceptional story, that reminded me of Milton from Office Space.

via 37Signals / Wired

OS X running on an ordinary x86 PC

As they use to say, it was just bound to happen. Although many have said that it would not be possible, deep down in my heart I knew that one day some clever hack would make running OS X on a typical x86 machine possible. And so it has happened.

Apple Mac OS X running on Intel x86 PC

OS X PROVEN hacked and running on an ordinary PC

All in all, it does not appear to be a hoax as the installation instruction is very detailed.

The only downside is that it requires a pretty decent CPU to run (smoothly) and a helluva lot of disk space to install. That means no fun for me (yet!). But still, it’s a small step of one man and a big step for all humanity. Job well done!

UPDATE: Wired has more info about OSx86.

Thx Clint for the link!

Apple and Intel merger?

Apparently there seems be some hidden truth beneath the Apple’s decision to switch to the Intel chips. Robert X. Cringely suggests that it might be that Intel is planning to buy out Apple (just another word for merger). I must say that he uses some really convincing arguments. On the other hand the rumor that Intel might be producing PowerPC chips for Apple was very sensible and convincing too.

Here are some excerpts:

If Apple is willing to embrace the Intel architecture because of its performance and low power consumption, then why not go with AMD, which equals Intel’s power specs, EXCEEDS Intel’s performance specs AND does so at a lower price point across the board? Apple and AMD makes far more sense than Apple and Intel any day.


The vaunted Intel roadmap is nice, but no nicer than the AMD roadmap, and nothing that IBM couldn’t have matched. If Apple was willing to consider a processor switch, moving to the Cell Processor would have made much more sense than going to Intel or AMD, so I simply have to conclude that technology has nothing at all to do with this decision. This is simply about business – BIG business.

Read the full article: Going for Broke.

Apple confirmed the switch to Intel

Apparently the rumors were true and we will see Pentium based Macs. We could already see a 3.4GHz P4 running Mac OS X at the WWDC conference just yesterday. At least people were saying that it was actually a P4 as I did not see it with my own eyes. It is definitely a huge change for Apple. What I really would like to know is if I will ever be able to install Mac OS X on my x86 processor as a secondary system, next to my beloved & hated Windows XP. Although many people say that it won’t happen, I certainly hope that it will. Either officially or using some ugly and nasty hacks. But it doesn’t matter. I just want to have my yours Mac OS X!