The Porsche Panamera

Porsche 928 influenced Steve Jobs Mac design

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An interesting fact about the first Macintosh computer was that Steve Jobs wanted it to look like a Porsche 928. While the designer, James Ferris, thought the Mac should look like a Ferrari.

Jobs owned a Porsche 928 at the time, most likely influencing his opinion. This caused much debate among the two of them, according to a report on Jalopnik via an account from Folklore.org. The website, Folklore.org, tells the development process of the Original Mac.

Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the original Apple development team, recalls the discussion in March 1981 during a late night at the office. "It's got to be different, different from everything else." said Jobs to James Ferris, Apple's director of Creative Services. “For some reason, they were talking about cars.” Hertzfeld recalls.

"We need it to have a classic look, that won't go out of style, like the Volkswagen Beetle", I heard Steve tell James.

"No, that's not right.", James replied. "The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari.”

"Not a Ferrari, that's not right either", Steve responded, apparently excited by the car comparison. "It should be more like a Porsche!" referring to his Porsche 928.

“I thought it was kind of pompous to compare computers with sports cars, even metaphorically. But I was impressed with Steve's passion for elegance in the industrial design and his powers of discrimination continually amazed me as the design took shape.” Hertzfeld said.

Jobs recruited Jerry Manock, who led the industrial design efforts developing the Apple II. Manock found a talented designer, Terry Oyama, who helped extensively with the actual design efforts and drafting process.

http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=More_Like_A_Porsche.txt&sortOrder=Sort%20by%20Date&detail=medium&search=porsche

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Comments

As I recall the initial MacIntosh Classic, it looked a lot more like a Scion xB than a Porshce or Ferrari....That is if one were to seriously compare computers to cars. Thinking of that little box as having design on the level of Porsche is, frankly, a metaphysical conceit.
Interesting story. Fascinating topic. Wish I had thought of it. Good job!!! Hawke Fracassa
Thanks Hawke! That means a lot coming from you! :)
Nice article but last sentence caught me. You don't miss someone's absence. Bad grammar Adam!
Thanks for catching that!
There's a little Apple history confusion going on here. The Apple II was not a Macintosh, it was based on Apple DOS. The first Macintosh was not introduced until 1984.

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