Category Archives: Macintosh History

Old Apple Design Meets New

Old Apple Design is Meeting New Apple Design

Old Apple Design Meets New

Notice some of the slight similarities in Apple’s early 80’s “Snow White” designs and today’s Macbook

I can’t help noticing that the very newest addition to the everlong Macbook family looks very familiar to me…It took me a few days to figure it out, but, this new model is taking cues from the old Frog Design “Snow White” prototype renderings from back in the early 80’s. I put these 2 models together to illustrate that Apple (finally) seems to be borrowing some cues from this design language a bit–and what a wonderful language it was. Bravo, Apple–there’s nothing wrong with going back to the roots and doing a bit of rebooting at the same time.

Ask the Mac Historian: Yes, Cyberdog was a real Apple product.

Apple's Doomed CyberdogIn this installment of “Ask the Mac Historian,” I cover a long-dead technology called “Cyberdog,” which was a real Apple product. In this case, it was a suite of Internet tools such as e-mail, bookmarks, web browser and a notebook. Apple described it this way in 1997:

“Cyberdog is the code name for a set of OpenDoc components that provides one-click access to Internet services. It provides a consistent interface, and brings Macintosh ease-of-use to the Internet. In Cyberdog, Internet address is an object that can be dropped into mail, your notebook, OpenDoc documents, or into the Finder. If you double-click on an Internet address, it opens the object, whether it’s a web page, a picture (Cyberdog will do any necessary translation or decompression), or a file. And Cyberdog provides you with powerful mail that’s integrated with the other Internet components.”

When you could finally get this software installed and configured, it was a pretty cool precursor to today’s integrated web browsers, or, even organizers such as Microsoft Outlook. The product was built on top of a dying technology called OpenDoc, which eventually all disappeared within the span of about a year. Why did Apple name it “Cyberdog”? From Wikipedia:

“Cyberdog derived its name from a cartoon in The New Yorker captioned, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”