I worked at Apple Computer from 1988 to 1992.

I started in the Advanced Technology Group, Apple’s research department.

In 1990, I joined the QuickTime 1.0 team, and in 1991 I became the lead engineer on the new QuickTime Starter Kit project.

QuickTime Starter Kit and MoviePlayer 1.0

After QuickTime 1.0 shipped in 1991, I was asked to become the lead engineer on the QuickTime Starter Kit project.

The QuickTime Starter Kit was the first release of QuickTime technology to the general public.

Gary Woodcock, also formerly of the QuickTime team, and I quickly put together a strategy to produce a product suite of 4 applications in very short order:

  • Movie Player 1.0 and Movie Converter 1.0 — Written by me starting from developer sample code created by Rich Williams and myself, MoviePlayer was the first video-editing program for the general public and it is the program that over the last decade has changed names to “QuickTime Player” and is now at version 6.0.
  • Movie Recorder 1.0 — Written by Gary Woodcock, the QuickTime team’s video-capture expert.
  • Picture Compressor 1.0 — Written by a subcontractor and finished by Peter Hoddie of the QuickTime team.

I planned and executed every aspect of the project’s engineering work and coordinated all aspects of the product release with the other functional teams at Apple, including configuration management, QA, localization (the Kit was published in numerous languages), instructional design (help system), marketing, package design, etc.

In addition to being the first offering of QuickTime to the public, the Starter Kit also one of Apple’s first boxed retail software products. As such, I was privileged to work with the above-mentioned teams as the standards and directions for commercially-released Apple-branded software were being developed. For example, the integrated help system that I co-developed with the instructional media department and incorporated into all 4 Starter Kit applications became a model for subsequent built-in help in other Apple software.

The QuickTime Starter Kit shipped in April 1992.

QuickTime 1.0 team

On the QuickTime team, I was a junior-level engineer. I worked on several areas, including the developer sample code for several sample applications that demonstrated how to use the QuickTime library to manipulate images and videos.

I also helped with the preparation of the QuickTime 1.0 alpha, beta, and final CD-ROMs, which were among the first CD-ROMs to be published by Apple for developers.

Electronic Imaging in Publishing

One of my earliest areas of research interest at Apple was the emerging use Macintosh computers for electronic imaging. In 1989, Photoshop was being developed, the first Macs with enough memory and 24-bit video cards were finally available, and digital cameras were emerging.

I was one of the first people at Apple (or anywhere) to have a Mac with 32 MB of memory — at that time the RAM alone was worth nearly $4,000. I was lucky to be a user of the 1.0 Alpha 1 version of Photoshop.

I organized a number of events to bring together early adopters of electronic imaging technology. In 1989, I worked with a professional development committee of the National Press Photographers’ association (NPPA) to plan an experimental event in which 32 editors and photographers from around the country, plus myself representing Apple and representatives from Sony, Canon, Adobe, and other companies converged on the tiny island community of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. I brought 20 high-end Macs from Apple, printers, etc. Adobe brought pre-release copies of Photoshop 1.0 and Sony and Canon brought examples of the first-generation digital cameras. The assembled team produced, in one week, a newspaper about Martha’s Vineyard that was created 100% electronically -- the first of its kind. The event was such a great success that it was repeated in Summer 1990 in Tempe, Arizona.

Optical Storage and Publishing

At ATG I also researched and evaluated emerging high-capacity magneto-optical storage devices.

I submitted a research paper for publication titled “Optical Technologies and the Publishing Revolution” and gave a talk at the February 1990 Storage and Retrieval Systems and Applications conference of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE).

In those days, the engineers creating optical mass-storage devices (and attending the conference) really were wondering what possible need anyone could have for all that optical storage space. I had no trouble coming up with examples from the publishing industry.