What's NeXT? Software, Psychedelics and the Origins of OS X & iOS - Andrew C Stone @twittelator

Off to NeXT Camp in May for 4 days of non-stop coding lessons by Bruce Blumberg and Randy Nelson of the Flying Brothers Karamatzov fame - a chainsaw juggling team from Santa Cruz, and my classmates included future Apple VP of Graphics Peter Graffignino. Of course, I studied all the docs beforehand because I imagined my California counterparts would be so much smarter than me that I'd need a head start. Turns out, intelligence is not geographic!

I started coding on TextArt - a type manipulation program that lets you do fun things with text, for the first time in real time on a consumer computer using DisplayPostscript®, Adobe's proprietary "real time laser printer rastering engine". In fact, it was this proprietary nature that was no end of frustration for Steve and the NeXT Engineers like Leo Horvitz because an Adobe engineer had to be present onsite in a locked room for code inspection. Memory bugs weren't addressed and that meant unhappy customers, and the bad blood that ensued could be yet another reason you can't see Adobe Flash content on your iOS devices today, and definitely the reason Apple developed their own pro line of applications.

OK, perhaps an overstatement, but Steve vowed never to let a third party stand in his way again - thus Aqua, the display engine for Mac OS X, was home-rolled by Ralph Brunner and team.

Ralph and Stan Jirman - author of Aperture - had a NeXT software company, CaffeineSoft which made TIFFany, and like many independent NeXT developers, was folded into the mothership when Apple needed ObjectiveC talent after the reverse takeover by NeXT on December 20, 1996 - but all of that is yet to come, first we wander into the wilderness.

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