I saw a great story on Slashdot the other day. They were highlighting an on-line reprint of BYTE magazine’s review of the original 128K Macintosh, entitled, “The Macintosh: The many facets of a slightly flawed gem,” published in August, 1984. It’s a great piece of nostalgia and gives a fair account of the machine, not ignoring the fact that the machine was significantly held back from realizing its full potential by the measly 128K of RAM Apple afforded it.
The review was written by Bruce F. Webster. I fondly remember Webster as the author of The NeXT Book, published in 1989, which gave an in-depth overview of the new NeXT hardware and NEXTSTEP operating system that really conveyed a true sense of the platform. I recall spending hours as a teen in the local mall’s Waldenbooks poring over this text as I lusted for a machine that was many thousands of dollars out of my reach (my parents were never keen on buying me a $9999 machine). Years later—not too long ago, really, I found a local NeXT refurbishing house and picked up a NeXTStation Turbo Color system for $250 complete [pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]. But even with NeXT hardware on my desk, I still wanted that book. To complete the circle, a short while later, I grabbed a copy of The NeXT Book from eBay for $95. I now feel complete.
At any rate, Webster’s review is a nice find for any retro computing fan, I think. Makes me want to pull my old Mac 128K out and give it a spin.
The Slashdot story about this review can be found here. It has an interesting comment thread with some input from Webster. I will soon be posting an article here that ties this article and the previous ByteCellar article together in…an interesting manner….