Monday, May 9, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell's new article is about Apple, the first mouse, and intellectual property theft

Malcolm Gladwell's new article is about the early days of Apple:

By 1979, Apple was already one of the hottest tech firms in the country. So Jobs proposed a deal: he would allow Xerox to buy a hundred thousand shares of his company for a million dollars—its highly anticipated I.P.O. was just a year away—if PARC would “open its kimono.” Jobs was given a couple of tours, and he ended up standing in front of a Xerox Alto, PARC’s prized personal computer. Describes the innovations the Alto featured, including the mouse, icons, and “windows.” Xerox soon began selling a version of the Alto. It was slow and underpowered—and Xerox withdrew from personal computers. Jobs, meanwhile, raced back to Apple, and demanded that the team working on the company’s next generation of personal computers change course. He wanted menus on the screen. He wanted windows. He wanted a mouse. The result was the Macintosh, perhaps the most famous product in the history of Silicon Valley.
The article is for subscribers only. There's also a slideshow of early mouse designs. It all started with a butter dish and roll-on deodorant stick.

*Buy vintage Macs at eBay.