Have you heard of the Apple's "Jonathan" Computer?

frogdesignprototypes-jonathan-blackmodules Stories of Apple website has published the history of the Apple’s Jonathan computer. The idea was to design a simple hardware “backbone” carrying basic operations and I/O on which the user could add a series of modules, carrying hardware for running Apple II, Mac, UNIX and DOS software, plus other modules with disk drives or networking capabilities.

Apple could even license the modules specification allowing other manufacturers to build them and attach to the computer’s backbone. In 1985, a mockup was presented to executives, and concerns about cost and the risk of driving Apple users towards MS-DOS sealed the fate of the project.

When reading the whole story, I couldn’t compare the idea with Google’s project Ara, an initiative that aims to develop an open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. Maybe Apple’s project was way to much ahead of its time…

Link: Stories of Apple
Link: Project Ara

Author: Paulo Garcia

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