No other consumer electronics company has captured our fascination the way this giant has. Over Apple revolutionized the world and became a representation of a new culture, and a status symbol.
Curiosities: Fascinating Facts about Apple
- Apple folklore has it that the Sosumi sound effect was a cheeky response to the Apple Computer vs. Apple Corps (the corporation of the Beatles) legal conflict in the 1990s. Originally it was called Let It Beep, but when somebody told the musician Jim Reeks that it wouldn’t get through Apple’s legal department, he changed it to Sosumi (a homophone to So Sue Me) and told the legal department that it was Japanese (Source: Mac Secrets, by Mark Hattersley, Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2011).
- The very first Apple logo featured Newton sitting under a tree. An apple is about to hit his head. The Newton logo was designed by one of the Apple founders Ronald Wayne (the same guy who sold his stake to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak for $800 just a couple of weeks after the company had been created). This logo was used briefly in 1976. But the high level of detail didn’t show up that well when shrunk down and stuck on a product. Then the rainbow apple, designed by Rob Janoff, replaced the first logo. That version remained the symbol of the company for many years. A new monochromatic apple logo was introduced in 1998.
- In order to raise money to build the first orders of the Apple I, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Steven Wozniak sold his scientific calculator for $500 (back in 1976, a scientific calculator cost as much as a laptop does today).
- Dogcow: Clarus Dogcow, designed by Susan Kare, was included in the Cairo font as part of the original Macintosh. After the Cairo font was discontinued, Dogcow lived on with LaserWriter Driver 4.0. Later it became a sort of mascot for the Apple tech staff. It could be found on all version of the Mac OS until OS X. Clarus makes a “moof” sound. In the late 1980s, Clarus started to be used by other developer groups — even Microsoft once used Dogcow in an advertisement. Apple was not fond of this, and released a Technical Note to stop the misuse. Later on, this Technical Note #31 was included on the first Apple Developer CDs as an Easter egg. Apple even registered trademarks for both Clarus the Dogcow, and her “moof” sound.
- Macintosh: Where did this name come from? The story says that Apple employee Jef Raskin is responsible for coining the machine after his favorite variety of apple. Macintosh was just a code-name. It seems Steve Jobs tried to change the project’s name to “Bicycle” while the McIntosh-loving staffer was out of office. But Raskin clearly knew a good name when he coined it, so he insisted on that name and finally it stuck.
- First Mass-Market Color Digital Camera: Back in 1994, Apple launched the first mass-market color digital camera in the U.S. The Apple QuickTake 100 could snap eight photographs. It was connected to a Mac via a serial cable. The camera cost $749. Today the price seems really ridiculous for a camera boasting less than one megapixel resolution and no digital display. The QuickTake line expanded to two more models, but Steve Jobs shut it down in 1997 when he returned to the helm at Apple.
- Name of iPod and 2001: Space Odyssey: Copywriter Vinnie Chieco is credited with coming up with the iPod name when the team was looking for a consumer-friendly moniker for the new MP3 player. Steve Jobsed invented the player’s tag-line: “1,000 songs in your pocket”, and Vinnie Chieco proposed a name that didn’t refer to something music related. “As soon as I saw the white iPod, I thought 2001,” Chieco explained while talking to Wired in 2006, “Open the pod bay door, Hal! Then it was just a matter of adding the ‘i’ prefix, as in ‘iMac.'”
- Hal from 2001: Space Odyssey: Hal has another place in Apple history, in the sinister Y2K warning ad that Apple aired to advertise the fact that Macs would not implode with the whole 2000 switch-over, unlike all those PCs people insisted on using.
- iPod and Easter Egg: Apple’s first iPod came with a little secret. It had a nice Easter egg in the form of a game that could be accessed when the user knew the right combination of buttons to press. The way to use the combination and find the game as an Easter egg was described in detail in Nick Triano’s early 2002 Geek.com review of the iPod: “Go to the ‘About’ menu, hold down the center button for about three seconds, and you’ll get a Breakout (Pong) game to play while you listen.” The hidden name was called Breakout. It is notable in Apple’s history as it was a product that both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak worked on together at Atari.
- Jony Ive and Style: Much is made of Steve Jobs’ uniform outfit which consists of black St. Croix turtle neck, Levi 501 jeans and New Balance trainers. but turns out Jobs is not the only senior Apple staffer to stick to the same styling year in and year out, as Sir Jony Ive, as the senior designer, appears to have worn the same style of t-shirt in every single Apple intro product video to date.
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