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DaveNet 1997: Apple

The mailing lists are quiet, just days before MacWorld Expo. This is usually not a quiet time. There's usually lots of testing and bugfixes, intrigue, deal-making, announcements, and other movement. 1/1/97

Many current Macintosh developers would be happy to continue developing for the Macintosh OS as-is. And if the story is good enough, many will follow Apple to NextStep. 1/5/97

Lower the pressure, and water turns into steam at a lower temperature. 1/8/97

Gil talks to Kim. He finishes. I shout his name. Gil! He comes over. We shake hands. I sense this man wants hug. So... I give him one! Even I'm amazed that I did it. 1/8/97

I don't feel like a parent, but I do feel like an uncle. We're not finished shipping Mac software. We'll keep going as if nothing was wrong, and hope that becomes a self-fulfilling belief. 1/18/97

The Mac software business is hitting bottom. If you take a positive view, which I like to do -- there's nowhere but up from here. 1/23/97

Everyone wants to hear about Apple. 2/12/97

Apple concentrated the risk in its internal developers, its employees, and lost. Apple's initiatives, the list is famous, required evangelists to twist the arms of developers to support them. If they were the right initiatives, no evangelists would have been needed. 2/12/97

Maybe it's time for Mac users and developers and clonemakers to make an offer to Apple and the makers of the PowerPC chip, Motorola and IBM, to separate our destiny from Apple's. 2/20/97

We crossed a line this week. Apple thrust out its hand with ceremony and a big smile. From here there's no turning back. They offer to deprive me of an enemy. Oooops. 2/27/97

There's no going back. The AppleScript-Frontier tragedy is behind us. We're solidly in the web publishing market, with Apple's support. I wanted to go forward, and we're now going forward. 2/28/97

We've been working on Apple's web presence for the InternetWorld show next week in Los Angeles. As part of the site, we'll focus on the achievements of the Macintosh net developer community. If you're part of that community, we'd like to include you, your product, and/or company in the site. 3/6/97

Postscript: The InternetWorld project was a success, but at the show, most of the people we were working with were laid off. The collaboration ended there.

Last week Apple cancelled further development of OpenDoc along with several other technologies. I've written about OpenDoc many times. We can now close the OpenDoc loop. 3/17/97

Some developers are more even viable than the platform vendor. After all, Microsoft develops for the Mac, and no one talks about Microsoft going out of business. We make assumptions about Microsoft's behavior in the Mac market, but then don't look at the facts. They're leading in a lot of areas in the Mac net platform. Why discount it? Other developers are leaders, like Adobe, Quark, Netscape and Macromedia. They can provide what Apple doesn't have enough of, the ability to move developers. They have a lot of power when it comes to defining the platform. Hey, an Apple computer without their communities isn't much of a platform. 3/19/97

I listen to Gil Amelio speak yesterday in the Merc, and I don't believe him. 3/28/97

I think it's ironic, being a Mac developer, that I'm going to meet up with my potential Unix brothers and sisters on Bill Gates's operating system. 4/10/97

Today, the powerful Mac developers are in a holding pattern. Apple took a big turn in December, already four months ago, and there's been almost no communication from Apple to developers. We keep shipping new software, as if what we are doing mattered, but given the financial news, and the lack of clear direction from Apple, we don't know if the new software is relevant! I'm sure many Mac users are equally befuddled. 4/21/97

Apple must give up competing with Microsoft. It was possible quite a few years ago, but now Microsoft is a juggernaut and Apple is lost in space, trying to find its way back home; but home doesn't exist anymore. 4/21/97

Let's come up with a new name for AppleScript, get a legal release from Apple, and port it to Windows and Unix, so it can take its proper place among the available scripting syntax choices. 5/19/97

Java runs much better on Windows NT 4.0 than it does on a Mac. There goes the entire cross-platform story. We warned the Java people that this was a fatal flaw, over and over, when there was still time to fix the problem. There was a total disconnect -- they saw the Mac as a dead platform, but missed that its revival was central to their purpose. 6/18/97

$400 million could have capitalized 100 startup software companies. 7/8/97

Amelio was the wrong choice to lead Apple. 7/8/97

Amelio is confused, out of breath, over his head, gears stripped, without grounding. He has no power within Apple. 7/8/97

A creditors committee will have a better chance of finding a profitable business at the core of Apple. The great adventures will be over, finally. There are still people who would pay a few thousand dollars for a faster bigger Mac. There's the core of the business. 7/8/97

Apple CEO Gil Amelio has resigned. 7/8/97

A version of NT that's customized to make sense to a Mac user would be very welcome. 7/11/97

At times I worked with Apple people toward a common goal, and at times we were bitter adversaries. A mixed experience. In March of this year I did a project with about a dozen Apple people. They opened my eyes. Sweet wonderful people. We could finish each other's sentences, there were areas in which we were in total agreement, on the same side, ready to play. 7/21/97

Now the myth of the two guys is in our way. In my life, never has a myth so much needed to be exploded. Look at all the important fun work we have to do. Upgrading the web. Keeping free speech free. Making sure creativity isn't stifled by Microsoft's power. Everyone has a stake in these things. The Mac and its community can play a role, but only if we let go of the two-guys myth and acknowledge that our power comes from ourselves and each other, not from Jobs and Wozniak. 7/21/97

The evangelist in me came out... I went back to the dinner table on a mission to fully experience the world thru the eyes of a Mac zealot, to seek their truth, and at the same time to keep my eyes and ears open, to see if I could learn something here. 7/30/97

We keep working on our Windows software, but our Mac stuff is so far ahead, why can't we all work together and make something happen here? 7/30/97

The clone vendors are eating Apple's lunch. 8/1/97

It makes some sense for Apple to want out of the clone licenses. An easy way to quickly boost their numbers. It is also a way to quickly separate from the loyalty of Macintosh users, many of whom own machines made by Power Computing and others. 8/2/97

How much happier we would be if instead of crippling each other with fear, we competed to empower each others' creativity. 8/5/97

They're playing a desperate game of chicken, perhaps hoping to sweep the cloning issue aside with noisy announcements. But the issue is still there. The issue is trust. Is Apple telling the truth when they say they are acting in the best interests of the platform? I don't think they are. 8/6/97

Apple points the finger at the cloners, let's point the finger back at Apple. But who would you point to? It's funny! Apple is always in chaos. No one is responsible. People say Apple did this or Apple said that. Who at Apple and which Apple? 8/9/97

If you look at the history of Apple, you'll see that instead of rising to competition, they often ignore it, or try to use legal means, or bundling clout, to erase it. 8/23/97

The power of a non-Microsoft operating system with lots of apps has been bottled up forever behind a wall of fear. Letting go was good for Tom Seaver (it was realistic, he realized) and it would be good for the Mac OS to give up any pretense of having cash value, since it doesn't actually have very much of that as an Apple-owned thing. 8/26/97

Even if your eyes don't get misty over the fate of the Mac users of the world, think about it this way. The customer is always right. Oooops. 8/29/97

Apple is making huge changes in the structure of the Mac market. We have no clear statement from the company about licensing, or really, what the Mac OS is, and where it is going. 9/2/97

Talking with a reporter yesterday, he expressed surprise at the low $100 million price Apple paid for Power Computing. I said that was no surprise to me. There are lots of bargains in the Mac market waiting for someone with a checkbook. Lots of power, lots of unique software. Cash-starved developers everywhere you look. 9/3/97

System 7, shipped in 1991, still hasn't been commercialized and marketed. 9/12/97

There are lots of Mac OS servers out there. Makes sense. Shops that do production work on Macs tend to have a bunch of Macs lying around. The system managers are comfortable with the Mac file system and utility apps. 9/24/97

I've become a full-time Windows user. 11/3/97

On Saturday we released Frontier 5.0a22 for Windows 95 and Windows NT. Early today we released the same software for Macintosh 68K and PowerPC. 12/10/97

At a party in San Francisco Saturday night I chatted with a woman who's still at Apple. She's a nice person. Under different circumstances I'm sure we'd be friends. I said I wished Apple the best. She smiles, and I get a raised eyebrow. Hmmm. I think I understand what this means. "I was trying help Apple!" I said in response. 12/17/97

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