Monday, October 08, 2007

Mac Finder memories

In the dim and distant past, if like me you used one of the early Apple Macintosh computers, you'll remember that part of what made Macs fun was the novel graphical interface that allowed you to drag around files on your floppy disks and double click to start applications.

Sad Mac screen of death

The other fun part was the unhappy Mac that would pop up on your screen when the machine crashed, and the little bomb with a fuse to denote a fatal error. Oh, and the plastic interrupt switch you could attach to the left hand side of your machine to reset them (or force into debug mode), but could do without and use a paperclip instead.

Mac Bomb screenOriginal Macintosh Finder

It was a single-tasking world, so the Finder application that looked after the folders and files shut itself down while MacWrite or MacPaint launched, only coming back when these programmes were quit. Much easier to concentrate when there was only one application open filling the entire screen.

It was a while before Switcher was introduced to allow you to swap between full-screen applications, and then a multi-application, multi-tasking world was opened up ... which most of us enjoy today, whether using MacOS, Windows or Linux.

Anyway, the point of this post was to highlight that there's a great article over on the AppleInsider blog that tracks the development of Finder ... plotting its progress right up to the present day, and beyond into the upcoming Leopard release of MacOS that is expected at the end of this month (cue another Apple "event" and perhaps some associated hardware news). Worth a read if you're interested in reminiscing about this stuff - or want to know what you missed out on by being too young to have played with luggable Macs!

Susan Kare's original Macintosh icons

There's also a couple of good articles about Susan Kare who created the original Macintish icons, sometimes dubbed "the woman who put the smile on the Mac".


Coke_Shy_Hero said...

Of course, looking at that icon with the itallic "A" reminds us that a certain other system was available in the days of the "single-tasking world". It had full pre-emptive multitasking and "multimedia" before the phase "multimedia" ever darkened the door of a wiki. Windows even managed to catch up with it by about the year 2000... :-)

Alan in Belfast said...

Ahh ... you give yourself away as an Amiga-ite!