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Old 19 April 2021, 16:30   #1
drHirudo
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Apple Macintosh 68K - Was it considered a rival to the Amiga like the Atari ST?

I see many threads on this forum comparing the Amiga and the Atari ST, but we rarely see discussions about another mainstream 680x0 machine from the period - the Apple Macintosh.

According to Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh

Quote:
Early Macintosh models were expensive,[3] hindering competitiveness in a market dominated by the much cheaper Commodore 64 for consumers, as well as the IBM Personal Computer and its accompanying clone market for businesses,[4] although they were less expensive than the Xerox Alto and other computers with graphical user interfaces that predated the Mac. Macintosh systems were successful in education and desktop publishing, making Apple the second-largest PC manufacturer for the next decade. In the early 1990s, Apple introduced the Macintosh LC II and Color Classic which were price-competitive with Wintel machines at the time.
While the Macintosh was crap for gaming, it placed quite well in the schools. There are still people who remember the Mouse Practice software, which was installed in the late 1990-ies in the schools.

Programming wise - the Macintosh is nightmare to program with the C pointers to pointers (so called modificators), but compilers for high level languages existed since the beginning (Pascal). Later with the HyperCard, Apple placed quite well in the space where Scala would be fine and in Color. How come a Black and White computer sold more than the Jackintosh (The Atari ST, so called poor man's Macintosh).

While the Amiga rarely got updates and new models, the Apple Macintosh has so many models. For the years between 1984-1994 (The Amiga lifespan), Apple released more than 70 (seventy) models, including portables, workstations and even Macintosh TV.

Was it the ever expanding variety of models that prevented the Apple Macintosh from having the Atari ST and Amiga fate, or the early adoption of newest technology?

How comes that a machine with virtually no gaming or demo scene, survived the clones war?

If the Amiga released 7-8 new models each year (including portables), was it going to survive the wild PC market of the early 1990-ies?
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Old 19 April 2021, 18:06   #2
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they were too expensive and didn't have the game catalogue, with a emulator you could actually run a fare amount of Mac stuff on Amiga but in Hi-res.
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Old 19 April 2021, 18:17   #3
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The Apple Mac became the industry leader in the DTP space. It also had its fair share of 3D, animation and music applications. It also lead the way with adoption of Postscript. So while it has always been small compared to the rest of the industry, it managed to carve out a niche that kept it alive...well almost.

A lot of people forget Microsoft came to Apple's aid in the 90's with a huge cash injection that kept it afloat. Without that, we might be talking about Apple like we do Amiga and Atari.
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Old 19 April 2021, 20:03   #4
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For lovers of Black and White..... maybe.

I had a friend that was all into B&W Macs and spent a lot of money upgrading to new ones all the time. He said the Amiga was too distracting with all its colors and games you can play. I pop over one day and guess what he was doing. Playing B&W games, lol!
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Old 19 April 2021, 20:42   #5
Thomas Richter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drHirudo View Post
Programming wise - the Macintosh is nightmare to program with the C pointers to pointers (so called modificators),
No, so called "Handles". But you usually do not have to care about them. MacOs was organized around resources that could be brought into memory on demand, or removed from memory on low memory. It was a good choice to implement something close to "virtual memory" on an MMU-less machine on a 68000.


The Mac does not stand out hardware wise, it had a great software basis for professionals. It had a well-thought, well designed GUI. Just check the well-polished GUI apps delivered with a Mac, to those "GUI horrors" CBM delivered with Amiga. Like the Os 1.2 "Icon Edit" (shudder!). Apple understood that the actual hardware of the machine does not matter - but you need to solve the actual problems of its users.


Amiga was cool hardware, but without the software developers that had a vision how to put it in use. Essentially, it was a big toy.


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Originally Posted by drHirudo View Post

How comes that a machine with virtually no gaming or demo scene, survived the clones war?
Because it provided solutions for its users. Amiga was an invite to gaming and programming, coomputer freaks - and Mac was an invite to creatives that had no idea what a computer was. Thus, Mac opened a market. Amiga was only the next generation of a home computer. Once the same market could be addressed by the PC, it died.


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Originally Posted by drHirudo View Post
If the Amiga released 7-8 new models each year (including portables), was it going to survive the wild PC market of the early 1990-ies?



Hardly. The success of the Mac or the PC was not due to "releasing models", but providing applications to a much larger user group than just computer freaks. The latter market is not sustainable, it's too tiny, and does not have a user basis that allows to finance its development.


Or, to put it simple: The success of the Mac and the PC was exactly that they were so boring. It is all about software, not hardware.
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Old 19 April 2021, 23:04   #6
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As someone who has basically only used 68k Mac software thanks to ShapeShifter I have to say - there are quite a lot of decent games available for the Mac such as Civ 2, Alone in the Dark, Sim City 2000 (in a playable version), Warcraft 2, Dark Forces... So I wouldn't say the mac was bad for games, atleast not in the mid 90s when the Amiga didn't get many good games anymore.

The OS though I find rather lacking, I never really liked anything about pre OS X MacOS.
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Old 20 April 2021, 14:41   #7
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In France the Macintosh was hugely popular among people working in publishing and education.


My father was a journalist and had a Mac. He was absolutely sure that is black and white basic Macintosh SE was much more professional and powerful than my Amiga 500. Indeed, the Mac was much more expensive so that must be a proof that it was better than an Amiga toy.


I have to admit that as a kid I didn't knew that in fact my Amiga was probably more powerful than my father serious computer.

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Mac was an invite to creatives that had no idea what a computer was.
That's a perfect description of my father at that time.
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Old 20 April 2021, 15:06   #8
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When my mother made the step from a mechanical typewriter to a computer for her scientific publishing work in the early 90s, I recommended buying a Mac. It was clearly the best choice for the usecase at the time. The word processors available for the Mac had good compatibility with the most popular Windows word processors and it was clear that nobody would have to waste time on resolving IRQ conflicts and similar BS that infested the DOS/Windows world. She also got an upright tube b/w monitor which was perfect for word processing and an Apple laser printer (also $$$). I never liked anything about the Mac other than the qualities mentioned above but they were decisive. The computer didn't exist for any other purpose than word processing. The very high price of the Mac system was worth it. I would say most Mac users cared about their computers just like most people care about the desk they put it on (or about just any other tools for getting office work done).
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Old 20 April 2021, 15:22   #9
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I would say most Mac users cared about their computers just like most people care about the desk they put it on (or about just any other tools for getting office work done).
This is still my feeling. They still are the computer hater's computer somewhat.

Yes, there were and are Mac enthusiasts who know them inside and out, but my gut feeling is, that the vast majority of Mac owners have them precisely because they only want the tool, not a new hobby.
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Old 20 April 2021, 15:26   #10
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I thought the Macintosh was a failure in Jobs' eyes?
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Old 20 April 2021, 16:52   #11
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Foebane: It was Jobs' baby, and a failure in the eyes of the other execs. That's how they were able to drum him out, and begin their own 40 years in the management desert (which, thanks to Microsoft and buying NeXT to get Jobs back, saved Apple's skin).
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Old 20 April 2021, 17:06   #12
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What gets me is: why save Apple? What did Microsoft have to gain from it? Competition? Make Apple Microsoft's bitch?
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Old 20 April 2021, 17:47   #13
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What gets me is: why save Apple? What did Microsoft have to gain from it? Competition? Make Apple Microsoft's bitch?
In this way they could avoid anti-monopoly measures. For some years it looked like authorities were going to split Microsoft into an OS company on the one hand and into an office software company on the other.
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Old 20 April 2021, 19:27   #14
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In this way they could avoid anti-monopoly measures. For some years it looked like authorities were going to split Microsoft into an OS company on the one hand and into an office software company on the other.
I heard about that back in the day. Didn't they call it "anti-trust"?

What would've been so bad about Microsoft being split in two?

I really wish they hadn't saved Apple, it's just become a horrible greedy corporation since.
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Old 20 April 2021, 19:40   #15
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What would've been so bad about Microsoft being split in two?

Value would fall for the shareholders, and in America that's Just Not Done(tm).
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Old 20 April 2021, 19:41   #16
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Value would fall for the shareholders, and in America that's Just Not Done(tm).
America is a fucked-up country, an experiment that has failed, to be honest.
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Old 20 April 2021, 21:02   #17
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It was ClassicMacintosh vs IBM-clones and we all know who lost completely that battle. Amiga was never even a contender on that level because:

1. Commodore didn't really care about computing, and didn't invest enough. They were into whatever could make a quick buck, furniture, calculators, home computers... Remember Commodore didn't create the Amiga.

2. After the success Commodore had with the C64 that was sold in toy stores, no one took any Commodore computing machine seriously, no matter how good. This was true both for US and Europe. I experienced this myself.
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Old 21 April 2021, 00:43   #18
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Thomas Richter is exactly right, though it took a long time for me to see that since I love games and hardware. A person who loves something else but thinks they might do it better with a computer found that IBM and Apple had all the answers back then while Amiga and Atari had fun toys for their kids.
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Old 21 April 2021, 00:46   #19
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2. After the success Commodore had with the C64 that was sold in toy stores, no one took any Commodore computing machine seriously, no matter how good. This was true both for US and Europe. I experienced this myself.
Not true for Germany - here Commodore was seen next to IBM and sold as many PCs as IBM did in the late 80s ... even the government did buy Commodore PCs.

Also more big box Amigas were sold in Germany than anywhere else in the world - despite Commodore not pushing the Amiga as a professional computer....

The (strange) good standing of CBM in Germany finally led to the Escom deal in 1995 ... which turned out to be just another disaster in the end.
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Old 21 April 2021, 04:11   #20
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in my opinion, Macintosh 68k was superior both in graphics and sounds. The same software on Amiga run bad, on Mac side much better. Yes there some games in black and white, but there are games and apps that Amiga never ported, never coverted, never developed.

Mac 68k maybe could be rival with PC 286/386.
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