296 words

3K on disk

January 1985


Task Switcher


Andy left Apple in March 1984, even before Jobs, his mentor, was bounced out of the company. Working on his own, often without prospect of payment, Andy set about supporting the computer in which he had invested so much passion. Working as an independent programmer, he wrote Switcher, enabling Mac to handle more than one application at a time; besides licensing the program to Apple and others, he distributed it electronically, for free.

— Steven Levy, in Wired 2.04

Context and Uses

My own personal setup involves a Macintosh XL with 1 megabyte of memory. I’ve got two Switcher documents or sets that I use frequently. The first is my day-to-day set which includes MacWrite configured at 144K (so I can print to the LaserWriter), MacDraw, MacPaint, Multiplan, and Red Ryder, all at 128K, and the Finder at 128K. My second set is for creative work and I use it for preparing sales materials, manual mockups and intimidating memos. Try MacWrite at 144K, MacDraw at 128K, MacPaint at 128K and PageMaker at 256K. (Note these configurations are only for XL users or Macintosh owners with 1-megabype upgrades.) For manual production, create MacPaint readable screen dumps of the illustrations you want to include by typing the Command, Shift and 3 keys simultaneously. Touch up the screen dumps in MacPaint, copy them to the Clipboard, switch to MacWrite and paste them in the appropriate spot.

At home on my 512K Macintosh I use Switcher with the Finder, Dollars & Sense, and Red Ryder. When I’m doing my home accounting I can quickly access my electronic banking service and make certain that all my electronic transactions are included in my Dollars & Sense ledger accounts.

— Dan Cochran (Apple Marketing), in MacUser Dec 1985

Version History

To Come

Kind: Task Switcher
Size: 2960 bytes, accounts for 3K on disk
Where:Software, internal drive
Created:Thursday, January 24, 1985 at 5:42 PM
Modified:Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM