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25 Years of MacTech: Mac Memories by Dave Mark

Volume Number: 25
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: editorial

25 Years of MacTech: Mac Memories

by Dave Mark

It's been 25 years already? Really? Wow! So many fond memories. My love affair with Apple started a few years before the Mac was born. I had a company that did Pascal and assembler development on the Apple II. Amazing what you can do in 48K with a bit of floppy swapping.

The moment the Mac was announced, I knew I had to have one. I was living in Colorado in 1984 and I managed to find a local computer shop that sold the Apple II and was willing to order a Mac 128K for me. I remember a sense of urgency, cause if you ordered during the first 30 days, you got a free copy of MacWrite and MacPaint. Seems to me, the folks who got their Macs later in the year also got free copies of MacWrite and MacPaint. But oh well, worth it nonetheless.

When my Mac arrived, my life ground to a standstill as I immersed myself in this amazing new environment. I had worked with the Alto at Xerox Parc (the Alto was a predecessor to the Mac/Lisa), so I had a sense of life with a mouse, but the Mac brought that experience to life in a completely different way. The square pixels, incredibly sharp display, and focus on design really brought the Mac to a whole new level. It was love at first sight.

After a honeymoon period as a user, I set my sights on building an app for the Mac. As an Apple Certified Developer (that's what us Apple II devs were called), I received regular mailings from Apple with loose leaf pages of Pascal-oriented development notes covering the Toolbox. These would eventually become Inside Macintosh.

Having cut my teeth on C, I eventually found Manx Software's Aztec C compiler for the Mac. Hugely fun. I eventually worked on a disassembler for Manx, though not sure if that ever shipped.

Over time, Aztec C yielded to Lightspeed Pascal, then Lightspeed C, then my favorite of all of these, Code Warrior from MetroWerks. I still have my first few Code Warrior disks. I think I started writing my Getting Started column for MacTech just about the time MetroWerks was forming. Those early days of Mac dev were incredibly exciting. Much like the iPhone dev universe is today, though the iPhone has much better documentation. Thanks goodness for that!

Good times, good times. Thanks MacTech for letting me share in these great memories...


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