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MacTurkeyFest 1988

52 words

1K on disk

November 1988

MacTurkeyFest 1988


Due to a logistical conflict, this exposition was moved from October to November and renamed from MacToberFest to MacTurkeyFest. The special surprise guest was Steve Jobs. David Morgenstern reported:

The usually tough BMUG crowd was on their knees in a fit of religious rapture at the visit of a Macintosh saint.

MacWorld Expo 1988 Boston

1,866 words

19K on disk

August 1988

MacWorld Expo 1988 Boston

Trade Show

Cricket, Deneba, Claris, and other booths

Dates: August 11-13 1988
Locations: Bayside Exposition Center, World Trade Center
Exhibitors: 400
Attendees: 40,000 (estimated)


John Sculley, who showed the famous “Pencil Test” 3D rendering vignette of a cursor who escapes from the screen of a Mac. The video was rendered on a Macintosh II and involved 20 members of Apple’s Advanced Technology Group.


The weather was hot and the show was ‘dull’. There were lots of people in suits not buying anything. There was nothing new or revolutionary. The same could not be said about the food at expo parties, we had seafood every night!

As we prepare to wend out way through the multisite monstrosity
known as the Macworld Expo, it is interesting to look back and think that it
was a mere four and a half years ago that Apple introduced the Macintosh as
the computer of the future. […] When we hit the floors of the first Boston expo in August 1985, things were better, but business America was still snickering over the death throes of the Macintosh Office. […] And now the balance of power in the micro industry has shifted to the point where Apple is running at the front of the pack. […] Sculley, Gassee, Yocam and the rest of the Apple gang might not fuel that same feeling of wonder and fun many of us had when we got our first Macs in 1984, but they are moving the company in a direction that all but guarantees it will be around in 1994 and beyond.


Apple showed off its new Apple Scanner, with its bundled software package Ofoto. I remember ordering and using one of these not long after 1988, and Ofoto was indeed an an amazing step forward. The hardware was also well-designed, offering classic “Snow White” styling. If I recall correctly this was a greyscale model — color was yet to come. What I had no memory of, but that contemporary reporting documents, is that the Scanner had suffered from an 11-month shipping delay — apparently because of software holdups. Rumors that Apple would endorse CAERE’s OmniPage software for OCR turned out to be unfounded, however.

One Apple product which was rumored to appear, but which did not, was a new Mac based on the 68030 chip. Steve Costa, a leader of BMUG, shot down rumors at the meeting immediately preceding the Expo to this effect , including those printed in a front-page article in InfoWorld.

Word Processing

This MacWorld marked the debut of Paragon’s Nisus, at least in alpha form. The word processor was viewed as a further development of their existing text editor QUED/M, with advanced features such as a drawing module, while still maintaining modest (1mb) RAM requirements and good performance (“almost as fast as WriteNow, double the features of MS-Word, yet half the size of FullWrite!”). Though nearly finished as long ago as January of this year, Paragon still wanted to incorporate a thesaurus and other features, so November was the now the target shipping date. “Perhaps,” write an excited visitor from Sweden, “this is THE word processor!”

Meanwhile WriteNow version 2 was demonstrated but not shipping.

Desktop Publishing

Springboard introduced Publisher, a $200 package for those looking something easier (and cheaper) than PageMaker.


Was Macworld Boston 1988 the first year for Macintosh multimedia? That’s the impression you get reading the coverage of HyperAnimator, an animation system for HyperCard by Bright Star. The public television program Computer Chronicles chose to lead off their coverage of the Expo with a close-up of the software working its magic on a 1-bit digitized avatar of program host Stewart Cheifet. Contemporary articles, such a a mention in InfoWorld, explicitly linked the program to the goals set out in Sculley’s Knowledge Navigator concept video.

At its heart, this technology sought to map MacinTalk-generated speech to a set of pre-recorded face and mouth image, so that a person could seem to be ‘speaking’ arbitrary text without the need to provide full-motion video. In its own way, a testimony to the inventiveness of programs and programmers. before computers became powerful enough to handle more sophisticated forms of full-motion video.

Software with a more direct connection to the eventual direction of the industry was MacroMind’s VideoWorks, which we discussed last year in Boston. For 1988 Marc Canter introduced VideoWorks Professional. MacWEEK described the improvements as full-color paint; color palette controls; new animation tools; MIDI; 24-bit color support; and on-line help. Just as interestingly, a $700 CD-ROM disc with stock movies, sounds, and animation sequences. Does any copy of this early optical media survive, I wonder?

Speaking of CD-ROMs, MacWEEK produced an entire article on the intersection between these optical devices and the burgeoning world of large-scale content — a market sector that would eventually be called Shovelware. With Apple recently having released software support for the High Sierra data format, both Mac and non-Mac discs could be shown off on the show floor. One Mac-specific title of note weas Brøderbund’s Electronic Whole Earth Catalog (shown in pre-release form):

(See the User Groups section below for information on BMUG’s PD-ROM.)

Math Software

Mathematica was demonstrated publicly, together with a math typesetting program called Milo. The latter was described by Wolfram as a “WYSIWYG electronic math scratchpad” — perhaps based on the same engine as Mathematica, but without the requirement for the user to master that more complex program’s language.

Spreadsheets & Databases

FoxBase 1.1


Silicon Beach Software showed off Digital Darkroom, a greyscale photo editing app that had suffered long delays due to growing pains at the company. Silicon Beach also showed SuperPaint 2.0, its competitor to the recently-unbundled MacPaint.

Speaking of original Apple-branded software, MacDraw II, the long-delayed revision to the first object-oriented drawing program, was finally shipping. But it faced new competitors: Canvas from Deneba and the oddly-named Draw It Again, Sam from Aba. Another new entrant was Cricket Paint, a $195 offering that also brought object-oriented and bitmap graphics into one package.

The next step beyond object-oriented drawing programs was clearly Postscript design, and both Adobe’s Illustrator as well as Aldus’ Freehand were on deck to begin a rivalry which would continue until the eventual purchase of Aldus by Adobe. Adobe’s new version, Illustrator ’88, boasted “new features [that] have enabled Illustrator 88 to gain ground against Freehand,” in the words of Macworld editor Jerry Borrell.

Dubl-Click, best known for their clip art collections, threw its hat into the graphics ring with Wet-Paint.

Moving from 2-D to 3-D, Silicon Beach also showed Super3D, a real-time color animation program for the Mac II.


Aldus demonstrated Persuasion, a “Desktop Presentation Program” as the genre was then known. This may have been the first time the product name was announced — Macworld spoke of an “unnamed” competitor to Microsoft PowerPoint and Cricket Presents. . As Aldus president Brainerd noted:

Asked about the host of other recently announced Macintosh presentation packages, Aldus President Paul Brainerd acknowledged that the market would not support all of the products, but said he was confident that Persuasion would be one “of the few that will come to the forefront.”


A utility package which made a big impression at the show was “Screen Gems.” This $80 disk was published by Microseeds, and included four programs:

Switch-A-Roo by Billy Steinberg, an FKEY for changing monitor settings.

ColorDesk by Paul Mercer, which which promised to “Replace the boring desktop pattern with a full-color picture of whatever you like.”

Dimmer, a screen saver for the Mac II.

Olduvai showed MultiClip, which evolved from a Clipboard replacement to something more akin to a Scrapbook upgrade. Interestingly, this was complemented by ClipShare, which allowed clipboards to be shared across an AppleTalk network. (Intriguingly, ClipShare was listed as vaporware in a print volume as late as 1990…)


One of the first PostScript clones made its debut in the form of the Jasmine DirectPrint and QUME CrystalPrint (two printers based upon the same Casio engine with a liquid-crystal shutter.) A RISC-based processor and 3MB of memory meant it outperformed the LaserWriter by three to four times, but it wasn’t shipping till October. Cost was about $4,000, and observers from BMUG noted that it was “good looking.”

The TrueVision NuVista — a card I remember using well — turned heads on the show floor with its 32-bit color, an exotic feature in 1988. “Does everything you could imagine,” raved BMUG members, “including setting resolution from software. 32-frame virtual screens, way ahead of everything else.” One thing I didn’t remember about it was it’s high price: $6,000.

Mass Micro — an name I had always associated with hard drives — was apparently also showing off true-color and video capture cards as well at this MacWorld.

Jasmine was on the show floor with their BackPac for the SE or Plus. This device attached to the back of the compact Mac, and was available in sizes ranging from 20mb to 100mb.

Oddly, an accompanying 2400-baud modem plugged into the side. Have to try and dredge up a picture of this:

The company will also offer an optional 2,400-bps modem called TalkBac, which can be installed inside any BackPac drive.

FWB was also on-site with their Hammer series of drives, including the PocketHammer, at a mere 7x9x3 inches all around. Must be quite a big pocket.

Believe it or not, a Mac-controlled embroidery machine, which could generate patterns from MacPaint files, garnered a lot of attention.


Farallon, a spin-off of the Berkeley Macintosh User’s Group, showed off version 2.0 of Timbuktu. This screen-sharing software, which functioned as kind of a 1980s version of VNC, was described as an “innovative… AppleTalk-observe/participiate package.” Timbuktu Remote would extend these LAN-based services to the (slow) modem connections that were beginning to link workers to their offices while away from them. Macworld’s Jerry Borrell looked forward to companion products to Timbuktu that would involve distributed processing and advanced groupware. At least one of these actually shipped — “Katmandu”, to be known as ScreenRecorder. Paired with Farallon’s MacRecorder audio hardware, these were all the elements one would need to do what we now call screencasts. Regardless, Borrell exhorted his readers to “plan… to spend as much time as you can at Farallon’s booth at the expo.”

User Groups

BMUG introduced their PD-ROM, a CD-ROM full of public-domain software (what we might today call Shareware.) This represented all two hundred and eight floppies that BMUG had previously sold out of their office and through computer stores.

At $100, BMUG was charging for the cost of duplication and distribution, not the free software on the disc itself — a testimony to the costs of disc production in the 1980s.

BMUG also had their Newsletters on offer, volumes so thick that a visitor described them as “bibles…. the best book of MacWorld!”

System 6

774 words

8K on disk

April 1988

System 6

Wikipedia has a quite comprehensive article on System 6, including a matrix of hardware compatibility and a run-down of what each release brought. But from a more qualitative perspective, here are my notes on the versions:

Pre-Release System 6 – 1988

With the advent of larger hard disks, users began to hit the limits of the Desktop File. This invisible document, which stored icon positions and other metadata, had a size limit of 288K and its performance got worse the larger it grew. “It’s all one big glob the Resource Manager has to plow through,” as Raines Cohen put it [Morgenstern July 1988]. In beta versions of System 6, Apple experimented with including the Desktop Manager, a component of their AppleShare server package, as a way of re-structuring this information into separate files. But compatibility problems prevented 6 from shipping with the Desktop Manager. It would eventually see the light of day in System 7.

6.0.0 – April 1988

One of the big performance improvements of System 6 was “QuickerGraf,” a re-write of QuickDraw code by original author Andy Hertzfeld. QuickerGraf made screens redraw faster, even when managing 8-bit (256 hue) color. Hertzfeld originally made the software available separately, and System 6 marked the moment when it was integrated into an official release.

Some worried that the new features 6 brought were of use mainly to those using expensive color Mac II’s. David Morgenstern joked:

The new 6.0 System release addresses the needs of a auer iwth a Mac II with 5+ megs of memory, color monitor, and a 300+ meg hard-disk. Isn’t that what everyone is using?”

Due to the increased size of the System Folder, Apple now provided an Installer application which could create “minimal” system software installs for each supported machine (Plus, SE and II).

But the biggest issue with System 6.0.0 wasn’t its focus on high-end machines — it was its propensity to crash and bomb. 6.0.0, as the initial release, was quite buggy. BMUG documented incompatibilities with 4th Dimension, FullWrite, PixelPaint , Dollars and $ense, “and all Microsoft products.” MacUser warned of “higher than usual numbers of crashes and freeze-ups… This is the System Software Update that probably shouldn’t have been.” Ouch!

During the August 1988 Macworld Expo in Boston, people were talking about System 6.0.1A9 as the hot new version.

6.0.1 – September 1988

This emergency release fixed bugs in the Color Manager, Script Manager, and Sound Manager. Apple promised it would be out by August or earlier, but it slipped until September when it launched to support the Mac new IIx.


– This was the first version to see wide-scale release — many bugs were finally stomped out. Chances are, if you were running “System 6”, you were actually running 6.0.2. 6.0.2 was explicit, however, in not fixing one bug: the failure of styled text to display on QuickDraw-powered (non-PostScript) printers such as the ImageWriter LQ and the LaserWriter IISC.


Shipped alongside the new SE/30. MacWorld noted that it included a “revised (and improved) version of Apple File Exchange” to access DOS-formatted disks via the FDHD SuperDrive.


– Audio In perhaps?




– This was supposed to be the release of 6 that complemented System 7 — for older systems which lacked the hardware to run the newer OS, or markets such as Japan where localization would take a while. It was to include features which made working across the two Systems easier, such as support for TrueType fonts and the LaserWriter driver version 7. Unfortunately, bad bugs resulted in this release being pulled.


– This was the last version of System 6, serving the role of a complement to System 7. as described above.

Interestingly although System 6 was supposed to bring about a new era of version-number standardization — replacing the previous practice of separate version numbers for Finder and System files — some did not feel it went far enough. MacUser wrote:

Version numbering is still as screwy as always. The System version number jumped from 4.2 to 6.0, whereas the Finder went from 6.0 to 6.1. Most of the smaller files incremented their version numbers by 0.1 (the Control Panel cdev went from version 3.2 to version 3.3). However, the Font/DA Mover, the LaserWriter driver file, the Laser Prep, and some other files all jumped 0.2. This style of version numbering might be fine for internal use in a software company, but it’s ridiculous for releases to the general public. Every file in this package should have the same version number. More than ever, Apple needs a Version Number Czar to sort through the current chaos.

BMUG Meeting minutes 1/21/88

1,162 words

12K on disk

January 1988

BMUG Meeting minutes 1/21/88

Acta document

BMUG Meeting minutes 1/21/88

Unofficial minutes/notes for the regular weekly BMUG meeting held Thursday, January 21, 1988. Noted by Raines Cohen, in real time. The opinions in here are not necessarily mine or BMUG’s, and all the mistakes aren’t my fault. So there. Call (415) 849-9114 for more information on BMUG meetings.


Data Security (?)

MacWorld Expo / San Francisco

45,000 attendance at MacWorld Expo

Thursday (Industry day) – each booth got 10 tickets, but other people got in, too. Much less crowded. Herb Caen mentioned the gridlock caused by the computer show.

The BMUG “Newsletter”

Mailed Tuesday if you didn’t pick it up

“For a user group, you are the most organized…”

Getting there isn’t as easy as it looks…

Carolyn Sagami was the managing editor for this NL


Dove selling 120 ns RAM the last day of the show

A new company: – 100 ns SIMMS – “P.I.S.” in San Jose. $200. Call BMUG for the #

Ask for Toshiba or NEC 120 ns or better (less), surface-mount SIMMS.

Open Mac Systems (Concord, CA) – sold 150 ns RAM “guaranteed” to run in Mac II – didn’t. We’ve heard complaints about their GenLock system, too – some “experts” claim that their information is incorrect.


GenLock is difficult to do and work well.

7 companies at the show, 2 were shipping.

Comtrex – stuff ordered, not shipped?

TrueVision – AT&T people who bought themselves out. $6000, 90 days at least.

“Butterfly” boards that use your present memory (RAM upgrades like Dove MacSnap [some models]) WILL get in the way of SOME expansion or accelerator cards.

Job Opportunities

Someone to network an office with Macs & eventually VAX – SFO

957-9175 Ronya Robbinson.

BMUG looking for office & helpline help

General Parametrics wants QuickDraw & driver programmers. 524-3950 Mike.

LightGate looking for Mac programmer to write ADB drivers for Felix. Oakland, CA.

Apple announced a strategic alliance with DEC.

Sculley was in Boston this week, working out details of DEC’s announcement.

DECNET connectivity & co-development seem to be the main areas of involvement.

University & corporations may “buy in” through this sort of connection


what do people think about the way they’ve lost certain capabilities with Apple’s upgrades – Color QuickDraw, no page flipping, etc.

Apple’s completely rewriting System from scratch.

Radius product (?): by Andy Hertzfeld: QuickerDraw

rewrote tight loops in the ROMs. Makes color QuickDraw(tm) almost as fast as B&W. Will Apple steal it after it’s released?

Examiner yesterday: “Cultural Clash at MacWorld Expo”. “Andy Hertzfeld meeting John Sculley”: does Apple want to distance itself from the Steve Jobs culture?

Apple to remove ROM code & system baggage to support microsoft products? Rumors on the nets say so.

Apple announced yesterday 1st quarter earnings of $1.042 billion. The stock dropped 3 points. 103% gain in quarterly profits. IBM dropped 9.



see Scott Kronick if you can program or if you think you can.

AMUG in Alaska had an editorial – listing all Apple trademarks

SE Silencer literature — where?

M.A.C. in Berkeley – 644-0516 has it.

MacWorld Expo

in Boston – in two places (August)

BaySide Expo & World Trade Center – 5 miles apart

in SFO – FOUR places – Moscone, Brooks, Civic Center, Galeria

HyperAge magazine

about HyperMedia

giving some out tonite

looking for writers & Stack & StackWare(tm) authors*

* StackWare is alleged to be a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., used to refer to stacks created by Apple.

While we’re at it, Macintosh Today(tm) and MacWorld(tm) are trademarks of Apple, too!

So how does Claris get away with it?

Words starting with “Full-” are claimed to be trademarks of Ann Arbor Software!!!!!


announced several products at Expo

uses transparent disks

lots of “former” Apple people who used to work in software.

new MacDraw, Paint, Write, Project, forms program (FastForms)

Great party at the Gift Center!

Slick booth

Dark blue suits predominant at booth

Mac II clones

anybody thinking about it?

benefit / detriment to public?

not in this country – who wants to fight Apple’s lawyers?

Read the BMUG NL for info on the patents on “Regions” in QuickDraw.

Get a Magic SAC+ from various stores in Berkeley, “find” Mac 128K ROMs somewhere, and run on an Atari ST.

There are benefits to one-company control of the OS for compatibility, consistency.

Rumors: Tandy, Phoenix working on Mac OS cloning for a while.

If someone could clone a hybrid of the II/SE ROMs…

lots of new HyperCard-related publications

Scott Kronick is writing ABOUT them

We’re working on putting BMUG minutes, disk indices, and BBS stuff in HyperCard stacks – but we need your help to make it happen. Call 549-BMUG.

FullWrite Pro

giving away 2 demo disks

when you print, it says “FullWrite Pro demo version” on each page. No SpellChecker or Thesaurus.

Walking Shadow Press

HyperCard Scripting book for sale tonite


by Jeff Stoddard


“more detailed than Danny Goodman’s book”

I Don’t recommend “HyperCard Quickly Summarized” (not the exact title)

Next month: UniForum, DEXPO

Sculley is keynote speaker at UniForum

will announce A/UX shipping

will demo Mac-type applications running under UNIX.

AT&T & SUN, IBM & ROLM, DEC & Apple, etc.

“Sort of a triad”

conflicts already – different paths & unstable competition ahead.

Display PostScript(R) – NEXT, DEC, NeWS(tm)…

Show news

yeah. (all but 3 people out of the 300 at tonight’s meeting were AT the show!)


Excel gone Hyper.

The booth really didn’t show much about it

lots of neat color graphs, even 3-D.

“HyperScripts” is the language – like HT.


Written on the board last week

Black is black.

Black is $.

$3000 for a non-PostScript low-end machine, all the way up to the IINTX.

Grappler – Orange Micro – Parallel interface

any experience?

for old parallel Dot-Matrix printers.

lets you connect the HP laser, whatnot.

24-pin version not ’til March?

make sure the printer can do reverse line feeds – the ImageWriter sometimes is sent the codes to do that.

Won MacUser’s “parallel printer interface of the year” award

Word and Excel support 3rd-party printers best.

Teaching alternatives besides manuals

videotapes for training –

BMUG’s beginners group – every tuesday, 5-7 PM

Enhanced Beginners group – tues, 7-9 PM

local laser parlors & some colleges & extension programs and computer stores offer for-$ courses

HyperTalk from SAMS – 350 pp., sold by APDA cheap

by Dan Shafer

looks pretty good, more useful than “the bible” for reference and programming

HyperCard 1.1 was announced

it is shipping now

free upgrades will be available at dealers

free upgrades WILL be available at USER GROUPS that license the system software – stay tuned for details.

the upgrades will be available ONLY if you have proof of HyperCard 1.0 ownership – master disk or receipt, probably.

CAD/CAM for digital logic design

Douglas Electronics in San Leandro

see Chad, 4 seats to your left.

analog simulation not yet available



RasterOps color video