Best year NeXT

In 1992, sales adapt to IVF s slowly, but surely, growing. Rumors about the incredible power of the NeXT RISC Workststation (NRW) reached the ears of those who make decisions about the purchase of equipment, and if this project had to stop, the story could go the other way.

The sequel, start here.

In many publications devoted to the history of NeXT, the decision of Steve jobs to stop the development of computers and other hardware, to fire half of the employees (270 of 530!) and turn NeXT Computer, NeXT Software, competing with Microsoft, is due to two reasons: the computers from NeXT, very poorly sold and they didn’t have any prospects and jobs – an authoritarian tyrant.

It was a bit wrong.

In April 1992, NeXT released the “turbo” versions of their computers, in their place 68040 processor with a clock frequency of 25 MHz was the same 68040 with a frequency of 33 MHz.

Productivity growth was noticeable, but 68040 quickly outdated, the industry has developed a new technological breakthrough and lag was impossible. To keep up – to discredit the whole idea!

About NeXT RISC Workststation, despite the strict secrecy, knew in great detail, she was looking forward to. Serial production of the MC88110 processors was delayed.

And then it was abolished altogether. NeXT, the engineers had foreseen such an option, and was ready for it (Steve did not mention it), having considered and thought out in advance a dual-processor option. PPC 601 was much weaker than MC88110.

Steve contacted Motorola had to start the sale of NRW within a month or two or never. It turned out that any bulk supply PPC-601 will begin no sooner than a year.

So never. In 1992, NeXT sold, according to unofficial sources, at least 25 thousand ov adapt to IVF. No official data.

As a private company, NeXT was not obliged to publish reports on sales volumes, and didn’t do it. It is believed that only sold 50 thousand ov adapt to IVF, four years.

According to others – 70 thousand. Principle there is no difference.

Social consequences

In 1991-1992, when sales adapt to IVF s went for fun, in several countries, opened representative offices of the company. For example, in the Russian Federation that were acquired as many as 6 (six) copies NeXTstation, based on which one of the ministries has built some sort of system about which little is known.

In Japan mission NeXT studied the Canon, to sell NeXT-station on its own production. Canon bought the NeXT factory in Fremont, and hired some laid-off from NeXT personnel.

But in Canada, the NeXT mission was closed. Users of the platform have lost support (and the customers NeXT was the company Trimax using adapt to IVF 130 s, and a few companies with several tens adapt to IVF-s).

Users rare but striking and damaging the psyche (in a good sense) platforms – unusual people. Mutual aid, brotherhood…

Once in a similar situation have been rare users of Macs in Russia, it was a very special community of people. Who else in the world can spend a few days of his life on the computer a complete stranger, for free, and get the pleasure of communicating with… patients with the same disease?

In Moscow, in those same weeks and months, everywhere, their eyes met for a Pepsi ad, with the text “Generation NEXT”. Not “the NeXT”, alas. Somehow, this hurt.

In Canada, self-organized. Did the same in Australia and New Zealand. In Germany. Now it was an informal, hard soldered (and spoonie) of the organization that wrote the sometimes abusive (or approving) messages to Steve jobs, in which they argued that now NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP is more than a NeXT Software. Occasionally their advice was noted, but Steve now lived with the problems of Pixar.

NeXTstep on Intel

Clash with another reality was cruel. A small community of “black iron” was passionate about his identity, and understood that most of the masterpieces of software on their workstations written by people who did it the first time in my life.

On powerful workstations based on Intel they were opposed by a Windows NT system written by former employees of DEC, authors VAX/VMS. Programs for Windows NT, though not always elegant and original, have been a severe evolutionary filter, and at least was very professional.

It took a lot of time in order to force equal. About the development environment will talk about below.

System NeXT transferred to a variety of platforms – in collaboration with Sun was started great deals for which was developed by the open system specification, called OPENSTEP, but Sun lost interest in the project over Java.

By the way, in the development of Java was attended by former NeXT engineers, konstruirovanie NRW. Though they are considered experts in hardware, but in Objective-C programming professionally.

It is even considered that they had an impact on the Java language, which really has more in common with Objective-C than with C++ or Modula-3.

A beautiful tale, but not confirmed. The basic principles of language Oak (a name in early childhood wore Java), and a tributary of the former employees of NeXT, the Sun was already clearly defined and fixed in the specification.

One of the authors of Objective-C, Bradley Cox, participated in the creation of Java.


Collision with Windows NT was violent, the greater was the victory over her and all that creates a sense of superiority.

In 1997 or 1998, at the beginning of Apple’s Renaissance, a colleague and I stumbled on some Internet resource article French programmer (Windows NT), who is forced to work under OPENSTEP, the impressions of which he was… different – but somehow, in the hour of leisure, out of curiosity, he looked in ProjectBuilder.

It was a trap: a man was in trouble. Now it was late after work, read the documentation and tried it. He was amazed out how easy and easily solved in ProjectBuilder problems that require Visual C++ thousands of lines of code, which inevitably made dozens of errors on which the search and combat go hours of hellish labor.

But he wrote his article (blogging was not yet called blogs, in my opinion) not because of this. He decided to prove his theory in the well is familiar to most programmers in the NT example from a popular textbook on programming.

Those tens of thousands of lines of trivial code required to associate data from multiple programs into a coherent and meaningful complex. In Windows, OLE, OLE D in OPENSTEP. D OLE a little older and was able to work through the network.

Once, following the instructions in the tutorial, he brought the project to working condition, was very proud. Inviting the witness, he saw the time and…

After 3 hours, the minute, the app is written in Objective-C was ready. Witness, too, NT-shny a programmer, and also namayalis in his time with this project, found in the implementation of a dozen inaccuracies. Only 8-10 problems. In the implementation in Visual C++ in MFC this would be in times more.

The repair took another few hours.

Total: in C++/MFC — 30 thousand lines of code (not counting blank and comments) in Objective-C/Foundation — five hundred lines, on the same terms. 60 times less!

20 years ago I could show all this in the code, but alas… NT c OPENSTEP I have.

A Frenchman called Apple (which was now NeXT to Apple) to concentrate on the cash business that only you can provide: to promote ProjectBuilder as the development environment for Windows NT. A bit of advertising, some master classes and Visual C++ with MFC will be forgotten.

Well done: the ability to Project Builder (Mac OS X, the name will appear blank) to build a Windows program were blocked. Then it was all cut out.

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