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Monday, 03 February 2014 13:45

Apple wanted Clippy

Written by Nick Farrell



In the image of Steve Jobs

Jobs’ Mob had a cunning plan to release an early version of the software made infamous by Microsoft. According to 9to5 Mac Apple was about to release something akin Redmond's clippy when the original Mac debuted 30 years ago.

Under the bonnet was some “super cool” and “amazing software” which would assist the user and tell them what to do. Someone in Apple had worked out that Apple users were dumb enough to do, or buy anything that Steve Jobs told them. They thought they would make people’s life easier by having an image of Steve telling them what they had to do.

This was exactly the same idea that Microsoft had a few years later with its infamous “clippy” helper which has been much mocked. Fortunately for Apple fate stepped in which delayed the launch long enough for people to think twice about the idea.

Apple was troubled by an in-house 5.25? flimsy floppy-disk drive it relied on called the Twiggy which was pretty but flimsy. This was replaced by a more stable 3-inch Sony drive before shipping and during the interim Steve thought that this bit of hubris was a little too self absorbed even for him.

Nick Farrell

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