Of Folklore and Technical Writers and Whatnot…

This one meanders.

A great site I recently ran across is Folklore.org: Macintosh Stories. It’s “a web site devoted to collective historical storytelling.” Currently it hosts stories about the creation of the original Macintosh—and there are quite a few, and by rather notable names from that era. The primary author is Andy Hertzfeld, a key member of the original Macintosh team (who later left to found General Magic). Most excellent reads.

Well, I spent much time reading the above stories a month or two ago, then I lost the link and couldn’t remember the name of the site. So I tried to google my way back and in doing so I ran across Differnet.com, Andy’s own homepage, of sorts. On this page I clicked one of the many links and it lead to the homepage of Caroline Rose. She is an interesting piece of Silicon Valley history. She is apparently one of the most gifted technical writers of our time, having been principal author and editor of all three volumes of Inside Macintosh, having established and been manager of NeXT’s publications department, and having received acclaim for many other pieces of technical writing. Further searching lead me to this recent article from MacMinute that gives us Caroline’s thoughts on Apple’s and its current OS, Mac OS X (which she documented in its earlier state, when at NeXT!).

And the last step of this wandering post comes from my search to find the explanatory link for General Magic, above. It turns out the article is hosted on the site of Tony Fadell, lead designer of the iPod who has notable experience in the handheld industry, having contributed to some early, pioneering designs. These designs include the Philips Nino, which I used to know a thing or two about, as well as the Philips Velo-1 and the Sony MagicLink PIC-1000 (a device using General Magic’s “Magic Cap” OS)—all of which I am lucky to have, at one point, owned. (I was all about PDA’s for a while.)

So many connections – James Burke would be pleased.

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2 Responses to Of Folklore and Technical Writers and Whatnot…

  1. Andreas Rimm says:

    Great stuff! One thing to another. Did you work in the industry, in the “golden era”?

  2. No…

    I did not work in the industry, I just reveled in the scene at the time. I was obsessed with the home computer phenomenon starting in late 1982. I was 10 at the time. I’ve never looked back.

    I never will.


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