April 1st, 2007: Apple’s 31st Birthday

Happy Birthday AppleOn a more serious note, seeing as how we are all really into birthdays, don’t forget, Apple is celebrating their 31st birthday today – originally founded as Apple Computer, Inc, and now known (as of January 2007) as just Apple, Inc.

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, along with Mike Markkula (who co-signed on a $250,000 bank loan to help provide the startup funding) founded the company on April 1st, 1976. The Apple II was released in 1977 and the rest is history.

Wikipedia article:
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne (and later incorporated January 3, 1977) to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. They were hand-built in a garage of Jobs’ parents, and the Apple I was first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. Eventually 200 computers were built. The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips) — not what is today considered a complete personal computer. The user was required to provide two different AC input voltages (the manual recommended specific transformers), wire an ASCII keyboard (not provided with the computer) to a DIP connector (providing logic inverter and alpha lock chips in some cases), and to wire the video output pins to a monitor or to an RF modulator if a TV set was used.

Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop, which ordered fifty units and paid $500 for each unit after much persuasion from Jobs. Jobs then ordered components from Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor. Using a variety of methods, including borrowing space from friends and family and selling various items including a Volkswagen Type 2 bus, Jobs managed to secure the parts needed while Wozniak and Ronald Wayne assembled the Apple I.

The Apple II was introduced on April 16, 1977 at the first West Coast Computer Faire. Despite a price higher than competitors, it quickly pulled away from its two main rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, to become the market leader (and the symbol of the personal computing phenomenon) in the late 70s due to its color graphics, high build quality, and open architecture. While early models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, this was quickly superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface, the Disk II…

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Any Updates on iRoots, iRoots Pro?

It’s been a year since we heard about iRoots and iRoots Pro – has anybody heard about any updates since then?

This is a partial reprint of the article linked above:


Could Apple be getting into the genealogy software and DNA testing market?

Apparently there will be two versions of iRoots. “iRoots Express” will ship with iLife ’07. It’s limited to 2,000 people, 10 photos, 3 hours of audio, and one hour of video per person, .

The “iRoots Pro” version is limited only by your Mac’s memory and harddrive space, and adds full photo, audio, and video editing capabilities. It ships separately. Among other things, it can suggest who and what you should research, based on how interesting it thinks the people will be. It has the ability to fill in missing gaps in your genealogy as well as break through brickwalls. For example, If you don’t know your GGGG-Great Aunt Mary’s husband’s name, it can actually suggest what the name probably was, based on the popularity of names of men who lived in the area at the time. The “Pro” version also has the ability to fill in parts of the 1890 census that are relevant to your family, if you have the iDNA kit.

Sources also said that Apple was considering a hardware add-on, a “iDNA” kit that allows you to test yourself and your family members’ DNA, and then the results are developed right there on your Mac, using a USB or Firewire-powered device about the size of the iSight. The results are automatically uploaded into iRoots. You can buy family sample packs, where you get 200 swabs and test tubes to send out to family members, and they are pre-packaged/pre-postage paid, and with just a few minutes of their time, they take the sample, and send them back to you to process through the “iDNA” hardware.

If you have the “iDNA Express”, you can process around 10-15 samples an hour. If you upgrade to “iDNA Studio”, you can process around 200 samples an hour (depending on whether you are running a MacBook, Mac mini vs iMac, MacBook Pro, or Mac Pro). No word on a package discount for “iDNA Studio” and “iRoots Pro” being purchased together.

Reunion 9.03

Reunion 9Reunion 9.03 is available for download (download here (LeisterPro.com)). Version 9.03 of the genealogy application includes fixes when transferring files back and forth between PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, improvements in Citations, last name handling, fixes/changes in editing, as well as many other changes.

* Editing in Lists – added a button to disable editing in lists. This is a global preference and is located in the Index Preferences window.
* Cross Platform issues – fixed endian problems when moving files from PPC to Intel or vice versa.
* Citations – Citations in text of note fields are copied/pasted, and can be dragged/dropped.
* Clipboard – fixed problems removing and deleting people from the Clipboard.
* Index – single quote is ignored when determining prefix words (so a surname like O’Reilly will be considered one word.
* Last Name UPPERCASE button – McDee will be converted to McDEE.
* Initial Caps button – will ignore quotation marks in fields.
* GEDCOM Export window – the “GEDCOM character set” popup menu setting is remembered (this is not a global preference).
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ohmiGene 1.49.50

ohmiGeneohmiGene 1.49.50 has been released. ohmiGene is a cross-platform (Windows and Linux as well) genealogy application, that is designed to “respect a GEDCOM file at import (and export).” This consists mainly of bug fixes and improvements (User Interface, etc.). There has been one new feature added. There is a full list of changes in the Addendum (PDF file, French only for now).

It can be downloaded here (ohmi.celeonet.fr)

Changes through 1.49.50:
– Bug fixes
– Improvements (User Interface, saving, etc.)
– Added: You can now export lists to GeneaNet.

Mac OS X – 6th Birthday (March 24, 2001)

Mac OS X Birthday
MacDailyNews mentions that today, March 24, 2007, is Mac OS X’s 6th birthday. They’ve posted the original press release online.

“CUPERTINO, California—March 21, 2001—Apple® today announced that beginning this Saturday, March 24, customers can buy Mac® OS X in retail stores around the world. Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system, combining the power and openness of UNIX with the legendary ease of use and broad applications base of Macintosh®.

“Mac OS X is the most important software from Apple since the original Macintosh operating system in 1984 that revolutionized the entire industry,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for Mac users around the globe to experience its stability, power and elegance.”

Rest of press release at MacDailyNews