Funny Macintosh alert sounds

Adjusting alert sounds in the OS X System Preferences Window

If you do something stupid, or your Macintosh needs your attention, it will let you know through the use of the alert sound. Most seasoned Mac users will adjust the alert sound at some point by going into System Preferences.

Most of the available alert sounds have names that coincide with the sound coming out of the speakers. “Glass” sounds like somebody tapping a wine glass with a fork. “Pop” sounds like… well, a ‘popping’ sound. But there’s one sound in there that carries an unusual name.

The Macintosh alert sound called “Sosumi” is related to what?

Post a response in the comments if you think you know the answer. We’ll post the real answer tomorrow.

Revolutions are expensive

Apple Lisa. Image credit: Apple

Many factors need to be in place to make a new product truly revolutionary and successful. The Apple Lisa possessed many of these factors. It was the first personal computer sold that used a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and had other advanced features such as protected memory and a built-in screensaver. Targeted at primarily business customers, the computer came supplied with a comprehensive selection of business application programs.

But the Lisa was a commercial failure for Apple, mostly due to one critical factor: its incredibly high price (relative to competing IBM PCs).

How much did the very advanced but notoriously expensive Apple Lisa computer retail for when it was introduced in 1983?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments and we’ll post the answer later.

The biography of Steve Jobs

A coveted writing assignment

What makes a guy like Steve Jobs tick? His incredible vision, determination and insight into technology have made him the subject of many books, none of them authorized by the man himself. But it was recently reported in a New York Times article that Mr. Jobs will collaborate with author Walter Isaacson on an authorized biography.

Those readers interested in learning about the life Mr. Jobs will no doubt recall the hubbub surrounding his disapproval of some of the books about his life.

Which unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs infuriated the Apple CEO so much that all titles by the publisher of the book were pulled from Apple Stores?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments and we’ll post the answer later.

Call the fire department, honey!

Do I smell something burning in here?

In the mid-1990s, Apple’s reputation had begun to take a hit, in part due to the fact that the company failed to maintain its competitive lead in laptop computers. When Apple shipped the first batch of new PowerBooks containing the new PowerPC processor, things only got worse.

Two of the early production models caught fire. The new laptop model featured lithium-ion (LiIon) batteries that were manufactured by Sony, and the batteries could overheat and catch fire due to excess pressure inside the cells.

Nobody was hurt in the 2 incidents that occurred, but Apple’s reputation for quality was seriously hurt.

Which trouble-prone Apple laptop model had a habit of going up in smoke when it was first introduced?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments and we’ll post the answer later.

The fabulously implemented wrong concept Macintosh

Identify this Mac

If you’re an Apple fan and you happen to be visiting New York City, consider visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). It’s not only one of the most influential museums of modern art in the world, but a few of Apple’s products have been acquired by the museum for display in its design collection. Apple products in the MoMa design collection include an original Macintosh from 1984, and a Macintosh SE from 1987.

For today’s quiz, name the correct Apple Macintosh model based on the following clues:

– It was introduced in 2000
– It’s also part of the MoMa design collection
– It featured a revolutionary case design
– It was described by Steve Jobs as “a wrong concept — fabulously implemented”

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments — we’ll post the answer later.

The birth of iTunes, Apple’s killer app

Apple iTunes, version 1. Image credit: Apple

Talk about a killer app! Apple’s iTunes and the incredibly successful iTunes Music Store have formed the basis for a huge wave of iPod sales. The program literally helped transform Apple from a maker of computers and software into a household name in the consumer electronics market. So how did it all start?

The first version of iTunes was released by Apple in January 2001 but the underpinnings of the program were first created by someone else.

Which application was bought by Apple and formed the basis for iTunes?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments — we’ll post the answer tomorrow.

Layers in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop over the years

Originally written on a Macintosh Plus by a doctoral candidate named Thomas Knoll, the computer program that came to be known as Adobe Photoshop officially celebrates its 20th birthday this month. And what a 20 years its been!

The first versions of Photoshop were only available on the Macintosh. This was one of the things that cemented Apple’s reputation as the leader in the field of desktop publishing.

Often hailed as the single most important aspect of the program’s development, which version of Photoshop was the first to include support for layers?

Think you know the answer? Post a response in the comments — we’ll post the answer tomorrow.

The Macintosh SE name

The Macintosh SE

Trim levels on cars are frequently denoted by two or three letter abbreviations that used to mean something years ago, but now most of them mean nothing. Many cars carry badges on the back that say “GLX” or “SE”. What do those letters mean, anyway? I suppose that at one point “SE” actually stood for “Special Edition” or maybe “Sport Edition”. Of course, you can easily spot “SE” on the back of a minivan nowadays and there’s really nothing sporty about a minivan.

But when Apple introduced the Macintosh SE back in 1987, the “SE” designation actually stood for something.

What did the letters “SE” stand for in the Macintosh SE name?

Post a response in the comments if you think you know the answer. We’ll post the real answer tomorrow.

Naming the iPod

The first generation iPod. Image credit: Apple.

Branding. Apple is absolutely phenomenal at branding, and the iPod brand has become synonymous with the digital music player. When people think “mp3 player” or “media playback device” the iPod comes to mind.

But if you really think about it, “iPod” is a funny name for a little device that plays music (and videos and games). In fact, the name “iPod” was suggested by a consultant working with Apple on how to introduce and market the device to the public. But the name “iPod” was actually trademarked and already in use at the time.

Before Apple owned the trademark for “iPod”, the name was used by another company for what type of device?