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Holes In The Histories (08 Mar 2003)
The popular media has a poor track record of presenting the recent history of technology, at least with regard to the commercial side of the story of how human-computer interfaces came to be the way they are. I wondered where the incorrect information had come from and why the authors didn’t pick up a phone and call the people involved—it’s not as if this is ancient history and all the principals and their relatives are long dead (though time is running short in this regard). Had the reporter’s quest for truth and the historian’s thirst for facts evaporated? Before looking at the reasons for the inaccuracies, I should perhaps first explain how I happen to be in a position to write somewhat authoritatively on this topic:

In the spring of 1979 I went to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Apple, Mike Markkula, and proposed that Apple build a new kind of computer. It was to be inexpensive; have a small footprint; use a built-in, graphics-based screen; and—my most heretical point— it would be based on human factors considerations rather than driven by whatever was hottest in electronic technology at the moment. My name for this project was "Macintosh".
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