NeXT Computer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
NeXT Computer
NEXT Cube-IMG 7154.jpg
NeXTcube with original screen, keyboard and mouse
Manufacturer NeXT, Fremont, California
Type Workstation
Release date October 12, 1988; 28 years ago (1988-10-12)
Introductory price US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,163 in 2016)
Discontinued 1990 (1990)
Operating system NeXTSTEP, OpenStep
CPU Motorola 68030 @ 25 MHz, 68882 FPU @ 25 MHz, 56001 digital signal processor (DSP) @ 25 MHz
Memory shipped with 8 MB, expandable to 16 MB using 1 MB Single Inline Memory Modules (SIMMs)
Storage 256 MB magneto-optical drive, optional hard disk
Display MegaPixel 17" monitor
Graphics 1120×832 pixel resolution, four-level grayscale
Sound built-in speakers
Input 85-key keyboard, 2-button mouse
Connectivity Ethernet
Power 300 Watts, 3 Amperes
Dimensions 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped case
Successor NeXTcube

The NeXT Computer (also called the NeXT Computer System) is a workstation computer developed, marketed, and sold by NeXT Inc. It runs the Mach- and BSD-derived, Unix-based NeXTSTEP operating system, with a proprietary GUI using a Display PostScript-based back end. The motherboard is square and fits into one of four identical slots in the enclosure, the NeXT Computer enclosure consists of a 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped, black case, which led to the machine being informally referred to as "The Cube". It was launched in 1988 at US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,200 in 2016).

The NeXT Computer was succeeded by the NeXTcube, an upgraded model, in 1990.

Launch[edit]

The NeXT Computer was launched in October 1988 at a lavish invitation-only event, "NeXT Introduction – the Introduction to the NeXT Generation of Computers for Education" at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California. The next day, selected educators and software developers were invited to attend—for a $100 registration fee—the first public technical overview of the NeXT computer at an event called "The NeXT Day" at the San Francisco Hilton, it gave those interested in developing NeXT software an insight into the system's software architecture and object-oriented programming. Steve Jobs was the luncheon's speaker.

Reception[edit]

In 1989, BYTE Magazine listed the NeXT Computer among the "Excellence" winners of the BYTE Awards, stating that it showed "what can be done when a personal computer is designed as a system, and not a collection of hardware elements". Citing as "truly innovative" the optical drive, DSP and object-oriented programming environment, it concluded that "the NeXT Computer is worth every penny of its $6500 market price",[1] it was, however, not a significant commercial success, failing to reach the level of high volume sales like the Apple II, Commodore 64, the Macintosh, or Microsoft Windows PCs. The workstations were sold to universities, financial institutions, and government agencies.[citation needed]

Legacy[edit]

This NeXT workstation (a NeXTcube) was used by Tim Berners-Lee as the first Web server on the World Wide Web

A NeXT Computer and its object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN to develop the world's first web server software, CERN httpd, and also used to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb.

The NeXT Computer and the same object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Jesse Tayler at Paget Press to develop the first electronic app store, the Electronic AppWrapper in the early 1990s. Issue #3 was first demonstrated to Steve Jobs at NeXTWorld Expo 1993.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The BYTE Awards". BYTE. January 1989. p. 327. 

External links[edit]

A fun fact and one of Steve Jobs' quirks. All the components in the cube including the PCB and connectors had to be black in color. PCBs were typically green from the solder mask that was applied. A process of "pad capping" was developed to allow the black oxide from the inner layers to be seen and a then clear solder mask was applied to the outer layers. Even the euro card connector (DIN91612)had to be specially molded in black which where typically grey, the mounting hardware had to be black oxide. etc..