Small turnout for Silicon Valley's engineering legends at Mac 30th event

Small turnout for Silicon Valley's engineering legends at Mac 30th event

Summary: A grassroots event celebrating the engineering and design teams behind the 30 year old Apple Macintosh was excellent but poorly attended. Does Silicon Valley respect engineering?

110 of the original 125 member development team.


Saturday evening at the Flint Center in Cupertino there was a marvelous celebration of the pioneering work of the engineering hardware and software teams that built the first Apple Macintosh launched 30 years ago.

This was most definitely not an official Apple event. Its purpose was to focus on the engineers that built a truly ground breaking computer, the first mainstream computer with a graphical user interface. 

I was surprised there wasn’t 10,000 people waiting to get in. Many will line up for three days to get an iPhone, and here in the flesh, are some of the legendary engineers of Silicon Valley. 

But I didn’t see Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page or Sergey Brin; or Jack Dorsey. Were there any heads of engineering there from some of the big tech companies? It would have been very humble of them to be in audience and pay their respects to these veteran engineers and show their respect for the enduring engineering culture of Silicon Valley.

So why weren’t they there, or at least some of their top engineering execs?  It would be great for recruitment to show that your engineering culture is so strong that it humbly recognizes the talent in others, and their elders. Great engineering transcends products and companies.

It was focused on an Apple product but it wasn’t an Apple event so there is no excuse that it’s supporting a competitor. It was a grass-roots organized evening celebrating extraordinary engineering talent so why was it so badly supported by the Silicon Valley royalty?

They constantly say how much they value their engineers. They feed them for free, and take care of their every cleaning and laundry needs, to show them they are very special.

I spoke to some people at the event and some said that it wasn’t well publicized. Well, they could have Googled it, and are they saying Zuckerberg is not in the right social circles to know about it?

I thought it showed a serious lack of respect for 30 years of Silicon Valley engineering talent. Silicon Valley is unsentimental and unaware of itself. 

Topic: Apple

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  • I guess it is because

    Zuck and the Google twins are too busy lobbying congress to annex mexico in the midst of 17+% real unemployment.
  • "New Apple Engineers Build Fake Products"

    yes, engineers in Apple aren't respected

    "New Apple Engineers Build Fake Products"
    Jiří Pavelec
  • IBM System/360

    Yes - and just consider the almost total lack of Interest in the 50th anniversary of the IBM System/360 from April 1964! This system pioneered so much - not the least the very development of the "software industry"! and the realisation of real problems with software development management ( Brook's "Mythical Man Month.") and "clones" ( remember the "Anhdahl" systems, FACOM, etc.) and much much more.
    • @ w.caelli@...

      Yes, you are right.

      It all began with IBM Stretch in 1961 and then IBM S/360 mainframe computers in 1964.

      Computer historians though will not forget the S/360 introduction. I hope ZDNET doesn't.

      Fred Brooks is still alive.

      I did not work on the S/360 machine. But I worked on a IBM 9370 in mid-1980s before moving onto S/370 machines. Today's servers pale in comparison to the S/360 and S/370 architectures though there is no comparison because of being different markets.
  • Credit

    What gets me is that Apple had nothing to do with the event. These are the people who made them the success they are. They should be kow-towing to them, but instead they ignore them completely. This is a brilliant group of people who TOGETHER changed the world. From the person who started the project to the people who launched it. If none of them had been there it never would have happened.
    • Brilliant Group of People ... giving themselves a party!

      Which is why we will be giving ourselves a party in San Jose on March 30! Wonder if ZDNet (or any of the other outlets) will notice or check us out. One of the San Jose Mercury News writers who used to cover our "doings" at the time has bought a ticket to the event and we'll be thrilled to see Mary A C Fallon again!

      Sunday March 30 - Downtown San Jose will be rocking with those from Apple: The First Ten Years!
  • p.s.

    Some of the original members are represented by their loved ones in that photo.

    For Brian Howard his wife Lynn Toribara
    For Jef Raskin his daughter Aviva Raskin

    if I missed any I apologize.
  • Mac@30 Team Celebration a Success or FAILURE

    Really, what is the big deal??
    After all, these Software and Hardware Engineers are no more important than the guys on the loading docks who put their innovations onto the trucks to be shipped.
    ... seems to be the current Silicon Valley Corporate mentality.
  • P.s.

    This was a plate for the big screen at the event:
    † Steve Jobs

    † Jef Raskin - Aviva Raskin and family*** -

    † Brian Howard #32, Family -

    † Tom Whitney;

    † Carol Kaehler - (Ted Kaehler attended)
    and if we missed any, we apologize too.
  • Mac@30 Team Celebration a Success or FAILURE

    This event was conceived and organized only from the heart, and I understand an open letter is being drafted, as soon as the producer/creator gets some well deserved rest.
    That will only be about the 'Original Goals' of the event. Part of that goal was for the high-tech community to have a chance to recognize and express appreciation to the team of people who actually created the Macintosh - for 'The Rest of Us'. Those people given the task and who really succeeded in changing the world.
  • Mac@30 Team Celebration a Success or FAILURE

    Mac@30: It was also to enable a way for this community to build a bridge supporting children to be introduced to engineering craft and art, with organizations like Coder Dojo Silicon Valley, which was to have been the beneficiary of any and all profits. No one thought that would fail, and the Production Team and their leader would lose such a huge amount of time and money trying to do a worthwhile thing.
    But even in the face of financial disaster, for those of us on the team that put this together in not much more than 60 days (!?!) it was not a failure.
    Because of the smiles on the faces of the real heroes - the Mac Team in attendance. Although Apple and other companies completely ignored the event, practically boycotted it really, in our minds it was very much as Gabreal Franklin originally envisioned the event - successful appreciation for a remarkable group of men and women - who succeeded in changing the world with their creation.
    Mr. Franklin has always believed that our greatest resource is our children, that they are the future and he has remained true to that through the years. This event was (to have been) an extension of that belief, and a way for all those - who did not end up coming - to enable that vision. For the past successes to inspire a positive future by assisting the next generation of young programmers and engineers. He was hoping to reach even just one young Bill Atkinson, Burrell Smith or Randy Wigginton - who might not have otherwise have found the path to high tech.
    I now share that vision after working on this for hundreds of hours and many 'all nighters' with this Mac@30 dedicated team of professionals - who put their hearts and souls into making this a successful event - in spite of the complete lack of support from those... who made their fortunes from those trucks driving off into the marketplace, full of wonderful and innovative software and hardware that people like this create.

    That vision of the future is still alive.
    That goal is still there to be achieved, and it is our hope that this terrible financial loss for All Planet will still find a way to provide something positive towards the goals of recognition for the real heroes - the 'Propeller -head' folks who make it a reality, and to support the children who will be doing that job in the future - for 'the Rest of Us'.
    Shame on Silicon Valley, shame especially on Apple for shunning this heartwarming event about their own past, and (without realizing it) shunning their own future.
    But hurray for the Original Mac Team, and bravo for the message and original vision of the event.
    Therefore, this Mac@30 independent production was NOT a failure, it was a success.
    You only need to look at the team's faces during their Mac@30 2014 Team photo on stage with Mike Markkula. These people really ARE more important than the folks who load the trucks with boxes.
    These people, and those like them ARE the ones taking us into the future - and obviously not the big companies, who take all the credit.
    Thank you for an enlightened and appreciated viewpoint Tom.
    I know Gabreal will appreciate your article when he reads it, as will the rest of his crew and team.
    Robert with Mac@30
  • The Success of the Mac@30 Event

    Apple held its own event on Friday the 24th, the actual anniversary of the launch of Macintosh. Because of the number of employees in Cupertino, and around the bay area these days, no outside people were permitted on campus.
  • 30th anniversary effort was not a failure

    I hope that the 30th anniversary was not an actual financial failure for the event organizers. They certainly performed an important service for Mac fans and history. Unfortunately, I am sure that many people could not afford to fly across the country with no expense account for "only" a 6-hour event. I relished all the historic material that was made available coming up to the event. I have ordered one of the more expensive packages of souvenirs being offered now. I think the availability of these souvenirs should be widely publicized. Most dedicated Mac fans should be eager to have these. Good luck!