Last week, we told you a tale about the crazy lengths Apple went through to keep the iPad under wraps.
That’s nothing new.
David Gewirtz worked at Mac developer Living Videotext in the 1980s.
He emailed us a story about the security surrounding the release of the Macintosh II.
Up until this time, the Mac was a (if I recall correctly) 512×342 black and white (no grey) self-contained device. I think we were up to the Mac Plus, although it might have been the Mac SE. Steve Jobs had been sent out into the wilderness and John Scully was in charge. Apple had finally decided to make a colour machine, which was code-named “Paris” and which would eventually be the Macintosh II. It was a wonderful machine, and probably the closest Apple ever got to the standard PC form-factor. It was beige, boxy, and from an industrial design perspective, completely uninspired. But it ran colour Mac software.
We were one of the front-running Mac developers, so we had the opportunity to develop for it. But Apple had stringent requirements, even back in 1986. We had to have a locked room with no windows. We had to accept that Apple might send people in to inspect the space. We had to have only a certain number of people authorised into that room, and those people’s names had to be provided to Apple.
It seemed draconian at the time, but as we’ve seen, product and brand security has been important to the Apple. When I later left Symantec and started my own Apple company, the locked room with no windows became more of a problem for future Apple projects, especially when I worked from home. As I recall, I actually had a prototype Mac living in a spare inside bathroom in my apartment for a few months. This definitely amused the Apple people we worked with at the time, most of whom were generally pretty cool folk.
If you want another great story, Gewirtz has another one here.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.