Since 1988, I've been working at Apple Computer, in Cupertino, California. My first 6 years at Apple I worked in the Developer Technical Support (DTS) group helping third party developers write software for Apple's Macintosh computer. In addition to providing day to day support, I made presentations to developers at Apple's annual World Wide Developer Conference, wrote articles for Apple's develop technical journal and served on develop magazine's review board.

The highlight of my time in DTS was assisting developers make the transition to Apple's current generation of PowerPC processor based computers. In addition to working with developers in the United States, I traveled to England, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore to assist developers worldwide.

In 1995, I joined Apple's fledgling Macintosh licensing program assisting licensees (clone makers) produce computers based on Apple licensed hardware designs. A key aspect of the licensing effort was the development of an independent hardware reference design known as the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP), co-developed by Apple with IBM and Motorola and I joined the CHRP team as a software engineer in 1997. Although CHRP hardware and software were fully realized (Motorola's CHRP design won best-of-show at Boston MacWorld in 1997), the return of Apple founder Steve Jobs and the critical situation Apple was in lead Apple to cancel the licensing program in September of that year.

This was the low point of my career at Apple as I felt it betrayed all of our work over the previous two years. But after returning from a soul-searching vacation I found out that the CHRP engineering team had been tasked with working on Steve Job's pet project. While I immediately realized this was a validation of all our CHRP work (from which this project directly descended), little did I imagine the impact on Apple and the world.

For the next 6 months, we toiled away in extreme secrecy . Few even with Apple knew of our work before it was finally revealed to the world on May 6, 1998 as the iMac computer. Then the real work began. Before being announced few knew of our work and so few demanded our time and we could work steadily with little interference. After the announcement not only did the project become "real", with an introduction date in just three months, but now everyone in the company wanted a piece of this exciting new product.

To be ready for product ramp and introduction on August 15, software had to be complete by the third week in July. Meeting that deadline meant 6 and 7 day weeks punctuated by late night pizza fests. Down to the wire software completion was delayed 24 hours by a last minute bug solved by an all night debugging session.


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