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On April Fools Day of 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the Apple Computer Company to sell the personal computers they were building in a garage. For nine years, Jobs served in various positions with the company, including president and chairman of the board, as it grew into a giant in the personal computer field. During this time, he was instrumental in developing both the extremely popular Apple II and Macintosh lines of computers, the latter being notable for its graphical user interface and easy-to-use operating system.

In 1985, Jobs left Apple to found a new company—NeXT, Inc. Three years later, on October 12, 1988, Jobs introduced a high-performance personal computer called the NeXT computer. It was originally aimed at the academic market but has since been modified for use in nonacademic situations. The NeXT is based on the Motorola 68040 chip—the same series of chip used in the Macintosh.

While the NeXT contains several technological innovations, including a 256-Mbyte erasable and removable optical disk, a 2.88-Mbyte microfloppy disk drive, and a new chip technology that gives "mainframe performance," possibly the greatest long-term contribution of the NeXT will be its operating system. The NeXT uses a variation of the UNIX operating system with a graphical user interface called NeXTStep. Although UNIX has long been known for its power, especially for multiple users and multitasking, it has also been criticized for being
difficult to use. The graphically oriented NeXTStep offers an easier way to use the power of UNIX. In fact, IBM thought so much of NeXTStep that it has licensed its use on its UNIX-based machines.

Major software applications have been modified to run on the NeXT computer using the NeXTStep operating system. These include packages from Lotus, WordPerfect, and Oracle. Possibly, the crucial new application that will attract new users to NeXT is the Improv spreadsheet from Lotus Development Corporation. Designed specifically for the NeXT, Improv is said to clear up some complications associated with using spreadsheets by using English commands rather than a numerical syntax.

Source: James Daly, "Job's NeXT Unveils Do-or-Die Systems Software," Computerworld


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Date: 2015-02-03; view: 751

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