ChiatDay If Mad Men was set in California Don Draper’s company would be ChiatDay, Steve Jobs’ favourite advertising agency. Run by “bearded ad man in flip-flops” Lee Clow, ChiatDay created the ‘1984’ Super Bowl ad that launched the Macintosh, and the comeback ‘Think Different’ campaign (See Crazy Ones, below) and others since, such as the now mildly annoying ‘Get a Mac’ series.
CHRP Cheekily pronounced “chirp” but boringly short for Apple and IBM’s Common Hardware Reference Platform that enabled the building of multi-platform PCs that could run Mac OS, OS/2, Windows NT or Unix. Apple and IBM fell out, so IBM dumped CHRP for PReP, which didn’t run Mac OS. Then they made friends again and CHRP became PPCP. Confused? Don’t worry, it didn’t matter anyway.
Claris With its own software such as iLife included free with new Macs, Apple can be rather restricting to third-party developers who have paid-for products in the same areas. The same was true in the early days of Macintosh in the 1980s, when Apple shipped Macs complete with free word processor MacWrite and big-brush drawing/painting tool MacPaint. Apple spun off development of these programs into a new but wholly owned company called Claris.
Claris produced a jumbled competitor to Microsoft Office with its ClarisWorks suite, later released as AppleWorks – which some poor souls are still complaining hasn’t been updated in a decade. (If you typed on page 42 of an AppleWorks document all the text would disappear – a jokey reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which must have had its users rolling about with laughter.)
Claris was later renamed after its principal database software FileMaker, and still prospers today.
Classic mode In order to encourage people to upgrade to OS X Apple dreamed up Classic Mode, where ye olde programs that OS X shunned could run within what is known as a software abstraction layer or sandbox, based on Mac OS 9. The best thing about Classic was the bouncing orange 9 that cheerily allowed you to run Civilization III on an OS X Mac.
Clones Bill Gates derided Apple for not licensing the Mac OS, after imploring the company to do so in a 1985 memo that suggested Apple was too risky a bet for big business. Which dependable heavyweight manufacturers did Gates suggest had better long-term chances of survival than Apple? Wang, DEC, Olivetti, Bull, Philips and Texas Instruments.
Apple instead chose to sue Microsoft over Windows. It lost, and Windows became the global market-leading graphical user interface.
In a weird compromise Apple considered launching its own clones through software subsidiary Claris, but flip-flopped on licensing to anyone for several years.
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By the time Apple actually got round to licensing the Mac in 1995 the new strategy immediately backfired – losing Apple revenue but not expanding Mac market share. It was estimated that for every $50 Apple earned from its per-clone licence it lost $500 in hardware profit.
In 1997 Steve Jobs returned to Apple, called the cloners “leeches” and poured salt on them all.
Copland In 1987 Apple had three system-update projects underway: Blue (useful tweaks to the OS), Pink (big tweaks) and Red (crazy, way-out tweaks). The Blue guys (self-named the ‘Blue Meanies’ in that Apple Let’s-continually-name-bits-of-our-business-after-The-Beatles-just-to-annoy-them kind of way) were to update the existing Mac OS by 1991. The Pink team had to release an entirely new OS by 1993. Blue’s System 7 was on time in 1991, but Pink slipped behind schedule, eventually so late that the Red ideas weren’t so crazy any more and were merged into Pink – which made dark pink but it wasn’t renamed as such.
It didn’t take long for successor Copland to become as muddled as Pink, and release dates kept getting moved. After some disastrous demos at Apple’s 1996 Worldwide Developer Conference the crash-prone Copland was given a jokey release date of 2030 by its own developers.
Apple CEO Gil Amelio canned Copland altogether in late 1996, announcing that the company would look elsewhere for a nice new operating system to buy – which resulted in Apple’s Acquisition of NeXT, the return of founder Steve Jobs, and eventually Mac OS X.
Crazy Ones Despite playing a loon in films such as Jaws and Close Encounters bipolar actor Richard Dreyfuss was only the narrator in Apple’s ‘Think Different’ ads that praised life’s “crazy ones” (Einstein, Dylan, Ali, Edison, etc) for being rebels that thinked different.
Cupertino It sounds like a metal polisher and it reminds me a bit of Basildon, but Cupertino is actually one of several places claiming to be the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. It is principally known as the home of Apple Inc headquarters, which houses its Infinite Loop campus in the city. Despite its high-tech credentials, a major employer in the area is the local aggregate rock quarry and cement plant. In the year that Apple produced the iPod, PowerBook G4 and flat-panel iMac it was Lehigh Permanente Cement that was honoured as the Cupertino’s Large Business of the Year. Maybe it was Apple’s G4 Cube that swung it for the cement maker.
Cyberdog Named after Preston the robot dog in Wallace & Gromit, Apple’s Cyberdog Internet suite (launched in 1996) was killed off while still a puppy in early 1997. Cruel.