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NeXTcube with original screen, keyboard and mouse
|Manufacturer||NeXT, Fremont, California|
|Release date||October 12, 1988|
|Introductory price||US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,163 in 2016)|
|Operating system||NeXTSTEP, OpenStep|
|CPU||Motorola 68030 @ 25 MHz, 68882 FPU @ 25 MHz, 56001 digital signal processor (DSP) @ 25 MHz|
|Memory||shipped with 8 MB, expandable to 16 MB using 1 MB Single Inline Memory Modules (SIMMs)|
|Storage||256 MB magneto-optical drive, optional hard disk|
|Display||MegaPixel 17" monitor|
|Graphics||1120×832 pixel resolution, four-level grayscale|
|Input||85-key keyboard, 2-button mouse|
|Power||300 Watts, 3 Amperes|
|Dimensions||1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped case|
The NeXT Computer (also called the NeXT Computer System) is a workstation computer developed, marketed, and sold by NeXT Inc. It runs the Mach- and BSD-derived, Unix-based NeXTSTEP operating system, with a proprietary GUI using a Display PostScript-based back end. The motherboard is square and fits into one of four identical slots in the enclosure. The NeXT Computer enclosure consists of a 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped, black case, which led to the machine being informally referred to as "The Cube". It was launched in 1988 at US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,200 in 2016).
The NeXT Computer was succeeded by the NeXTcube, an upgraded model, in 1990.
The NeXT Computer was revealed at a lavish, invitation only, gala launch event in October 1988 "NeXT Introduction – the Introduction to the NeXT Generation of Computers for Education" at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California. The following day, selected educators and software developers were invited (for $100 registration fee) to attend the first public technical overview of the NeXT computer at an event called "The NeXT Day" held at the San Francisco Hilton. This event gave developers interested in developing NeXT software an insight into the software architecture, object-oriented programming, and developing for the NeXT Computer. The luncheon speaker was Steve Jobs.
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BYTE in 1989 listed the NeXT Computer as among the "Excellence" winners of the BYTE Awards, stating that it "shows what can be done when a personal computer is designed as a system, and not a collection of hardware elements". Citing as "truly innovative" the optical drive, DSP, and object-oriented programming environment, the magazine concluded that "the NeXT Computer is worth every penny of its $6500 market price". It was, however, not a significant commercial success, failing to reach the level of high volume sales like the Apple II, Commodore 64, the Macintosh, or Microsoft Windows PCs. The workstations were sold to universities, financial institutions, and government agencies.
A NeXT Computer and its object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN to develop the world's first web server software, CERN httpd, and also used to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb.
The NeXT Computer and the same object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Jesse Tayler at Paget Press to develop the first electronic AppStore The Electronic AppWrapper in the early 1990s. Issue #3 was first demonstrated to Steve Jobs at NeXTWorld Expo 1993.
- "The BYTE Awards". BYTE. January 1989. p. 327.
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