This Week in Apple History
Published November 15th, 2004
You can find more information on many of the entries below in Owen Linzmayer's excellent Apple Confidential 2.0. The other entries can be found in TMO's archives, and we link to articles whenever we can.1981:
1982: Steve Jobs writes a letter requesting McIntosh Laboratory (www.mcintoshlabs.com) provide Apple a worldwide release for the name Macintosh for use in the computer industry. Jef Raskin's project had been code-named Macintosh since its inception in 1979, but when Apple attempted to trademark the name in 1982, the request was denied because it phonetically infringed on the trademark already owned by the high-end audio equipment manufacturer of Binghamton, New York. In his letter to Gordon Gow, president of McIntosh Labs, Mr. Jobs writes, "We have become very attached to the name Macintosh. Much like one's own child, our product has developed a very definite personality."
1990: Steve Wozniak marries Suzanne Mulkern, someone he had known in seventh grade and became reacquainted with in 1988. Mulkern, a lawyer, has three children from her first marriage, and Wozniak has three kids from his second marriage. The combined families live together in Wozniak's four-bedroom, 6,000-square-foot ranch-style house perched atop a steep hill in Los Gatos.
1993: The Apple IIe is quietly dropped from Apple's product list. The discontinuation of the Apple IIe marks the end of the Apple II product line after more than 16 years and with over five million units shipped. As a token gesture to the faithful, Apple will continue to offer Apple II technology through an expansion card for some early Mac LC and Performa models.
1995: Apple and Carl Sagan agree to an amicable and confidential settlement of the astronomer's defamation of character lawsuit. Paul D. Carmichael, Apple's director of patents and trademarks, publicly states, "Dr. Sagan has made great contributions in many areas of higher learning and in particular has made complex subject matter interesting and understandable to a wide audience. Apple has always had great respect for Dr. Sagan, and it was never Apple's intention to cause Dr. Sagan or his family any embarrassment or concern." The loony lawsuit grew out of a MacWEEK report that Power Macintosh 7100/66 went by the code name Carl Sagan while still under development. Instead of being flattered, Sagan complained to MacWEEK, "My endorsement is not for sale. For this reason, I was profoundly distressed to see… Apple's announcement of a new Mac bearing my name." In response to Sagan's letter, the project engineers changed the code name to BHA, which stood for Butt-Head Astronomer. Apple's lawyers insisted they come up with a new name, so they settled on LAW, which stood for Lawyers Are Wimps. Nonetheless, in April 1994, Sagan sued Apple in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Two days after settling with Sagan, Apple pulls the plug on Kaleida Labs, retaining its technologies and several key employees. Kaleida was formed four years prior as a joint venture between Apple and IBM. It was supposed to develop ScriptX, a brand-new multimedia engine, but had consumed US$150 to US$200 million in funding with little to show for it.
2003: Apple announces new models in both its consumer and professional line of computers: a 20-inch flat-panel iMac and a dual processor 1.8GHz Power Mac G5 desktop. The US$2,199 iMac features a 1.25GHz PowerPC G4 and a 1,680-by-1,050 pixel display, making it the largest flat-panel ever offered in an all-in-one desktop. The US$2,499 dual 1.8GHZ Power Mac G5 costs just US$100 more than the single processor model of the same speed introduced in August, and is an affordable alternative to the top-of-the-line US$2,999 dual 2.0GHz model.
is the author of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, published by No Starch Press earlier this year (US$13.97 - Amazon).
is the editor of The Mac Observer, and was egged on, in-part, in his obsession with the Mac by Owen's first book, The Mac Bathroom Reader.
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