Summary of October 10

Source: Jef Raskin, "Summary of October 10" (10 October 1979)-- in "The Macintosh Project: Selected Papers from Jef Raskin (First Macintosh Designer), Circa 1979," document 11.0.
Location: M1007, Apple Computer Inc. Papers, Series 3, Box 10, Folder 1.

(Note: The table of contents of "The Macintosh Project" notes that this memo documented "A few of the main points of the project as of October 10, prepared for a meeting with Whitney, Carlson, Jobs, Markkula, Holt, Scott Roybal and Raskin.")

1. Applications

1.1 Text editing

Some form of text editing should be part of the firmware, and will form a major marketing feature. This editing ability should also be at the heart of the operating system, and will be available at all times.

1.2 Communication

It is agreed by nearly all authorities that the personal computer will not achieve a mass market until communications networks are available to them. To help make this project a success, Apple will have to provide software that will ease access to various services, and perhaps adopt some stronger strategies, for example:

1.2.1 Include Contracst with Service Vendors

The purchase price of Macintosh might include a limited time contract with some vendor of personal computer network and data base services. Vendors might wish to do this as a "come-on".

1.2.2 Establish Apple Nodes

There is the possibility of building "nodes" (See document M 3) that provide a uniform interface to a number of services, and which handle billing. This is a value added network.

1.2.3 Build an Apple Network

This would be a communications network, not a data base. It would have access for personal computers as well as ports to other networks and data base services.

1.3 Calculator

A simple calculator language should be provided. This will be explored in a separate document.

2.0 Manuals

Since this computer is going to a larger and more diverse audience than ever before, the quality of the manuals will have to be especially high. All applications programs should have self-teaching sections, and any languages should also have computer based tutorials.

The manuals should be well constructed physically, typeset, and either wire or hard bound. They should make use of color and graphics to a much greater extent than our present manuals.

3.0 Software

Macintosh software will have to be written to the highest levels of quality of human interaction. Updating programs in the field, considering the number of units we anticipate selling, will be nearly impossible. A "zero-defect" atmosphere will have to be maintained in software development.

3.1 Languages

3.1.1. Pascal

This is our standard language, and it should be provided, on disk, for Macintosh. Since system development is not one of the main application areas for Macintosh, Pacscal should be a purchasable item. In spite of the fact that Macintosh is not primarily a programming tool, it should be possible to generate the system software on the machine itself. This "desert island" philosophy assures that we will not build any essential weakness into the software.

3.1.2 BASIC

It is not yet possible to offer a personal computer without BASIC. We will use whatever BASIC is implemented in Pascal for Lisa and other Apple products, perhaps with the elimination of heavily business-oriented features.

3.1.3 Apple

The name "Apple" is proposed for a programmable calculator style language that will be the subject of a future report. This language, along with the editor, may be part of the applications.

4.0 Hardware

4.1 Input and Output

There will be a keyboard (upper/lower case, similar to Sara's and Lisa's but with embedded numeric pad), one RS-232 port, one telephone port with modem and daa (auto answer is important, dialing would be nice), a video output, a modulated video output, and some kind of extension bus. There will be no expansion slots per se. A few lines of LCD alphameric display should be an option. It would be advantageous to allow joystick input.

4.2 CPU and Memory

The CPU choice (at present) is a 6809. There seems to be little advantage to going to our own processor at this time. Memory is fixed at 64K, consisting of eight 64K dynamic RAMS.

4.3 Case

Since the requisite circuitry can fit onto a 48 sq in board, it is possible to have the computer not much larger than a keyboard alone. Figure 7 shows one possible case, and figure 6 shows how it might be arranged internally.

4.4 Power Supply

The power supply will be external via a wall-mounted transformer thus allowing the option of a battery supply.

4.5 Display

If a configuration such as figure 7 is used, a LCD panel should be mountable in the lid. A separate monitor, in a matching and perhaps attachable case should be provided, as in figure 5.

4.6 Disks

It is important to open a project to produce a low-cost, even if relatively low performance diskette drive. One way it could be integrated into the system is shown in figure 5. It is essential that some form of mass storage be made available to this system.

4.7 Printer

Again see figure 5. It is essential that a printer be made available to this system.

Document created on 4 April 2000;