What's NeXT? Software, Psychedelics and the Origins of OS X & iOS - Andrew C Stone @twittelator
I went to my first MacWorld in San Francisco, January 1987. They offered classes and someone tipped me off to this guy Bill Atkinson who was introducing a new Apple application HyperCard.

It was a pre-ship demo, but Bill was charged and showing how anyone could program a Mac with simple English commands but more importantly, a visual interface creator. Bill made it seem like anyone could program with HyperCard, and he wowed the audience.

I mention this, because I totally believed him, in fact, I wanted to write cool programs so I could one day get up and share my excitement like Bill. His demo inspired me to become a programmer on the spot.

In July '87 when HyperCard shipped, I ran out and bought the first copy that hit Albuquerque that summer and had a blast making the Mayan Icons and the Math Quiz stacks and even a Calculus III cheat sheet.

I got good enough to write a few chapters of The Tricks of the HyperTalk Masters and build a user-interface testing harness for Sandia National Labs. I ran the HyperCard Special Interest group for AppleQuerque - our Mac Users Group in Albuquerque.

In March 1989, two young men in black suits and narrow black ties - almost Mormonesque in their mission - brought the first prototype of Steve Job's NeXT Computer, the Cube, to demo to students and faculty at the University of New Mexico. I asked if they would come demo that night at AppleQuerque - and they invited me and the president, Kris Jensen, out for dinner. We took them to the most expensive restaurant in Albuquerque. By dessert they are busy recruiting Kris and me to become NeXT developers.

That was a critical juncture in my life's story - because we knew it wouldn't be successful if people like us didn't take up the challenge - but it was $10K! And $2K for the printer, and $2K more for the mandatory developer camp. $14K in '89 = $28K today - so this was a major career investment.

One of Ram Dass's favorite mystics, George Gurdjieff, was fond of saying that you must charge people for spiritual lessons, because only then will they value the lesson - they have invested so much already, they will stay and learn to get their money's worth!

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