(techno music) – Hey guy’s how you all doin’? Really, that’s just great. You know, I’m doin’ pretty great today too because you and I are
going to time travel. You know, of all of the history
videos people could make, I don’t think the history
of the Mac OS calculator ever appeared on anybodies
list, until today. If you thought a story
behind a calculator couldn’t be interesting well you’re probably right. For the most part, the Mac OS calculator stayed the same for many years, but let’s revisit that topic soon. First, let’s look at the
conception of the first Mac OS calculator, which
was released in 1984. Chris Espinosa, who
started working at Apple at just 14 years old, found
himself on the Mac team in 1981. He was working on
documentation for the Macintosh especially for the quick draw graphics. So, to understand it better, Chris wanted to write a demo program. Mr. Jobs, Chris said, I want
to write a calculator program. [AWKWARD SILENCE] Cool. When the first demo was ready,
he showed it to Steve Jobs. Long story short, Steve didn’t like it. The feedback went back and
forth until Chris had an idea. Chris modified the program
so the calculator’s appearance could be
changed by pulldown menus. He called it, the Steve Jobs roll your own calculator construction set. Patent pending. Steve sat down and fiddled
with the user interface settings for about ten
minutes and when he was done, he was happy with it. The plan was to run the
calculator as a desk accessory inside of the Macintosh system. Side note, desk accessories
were small programs which could run alongside host program. Since the Macintosh could only run one host program at a time, the
desk accessories offered a little bit of multi tasking
capability on top of that. So, with the design in
place, Andy Hertzfeld did the implementation into the system and Donn Denman did all the
mathematical semantic stuff. But that was just the first
version of the calculator. What changed throughout the years? Let’s take a look. Within a short timeframe
after the initial release the calculator received a small tweak. Honestly, I didn’t even
notice the tweak until I did the research for this episode. Some buttons got rearranged. The exponent of ten button got removed. And for some reason there’s
two equals buttons now. Not really sure why, never found out. Anyway, moving on. The calculator remained the same for multiple system releases. But, in System 7, although
the calculator was still labeled as a desk accessory, it ran like a typical application program thanks to the cooperative
multitasking in the new OS. Visually, the texture
looked a little different and I’ve seen some screenshots
of it in different colors. But I couldn’t figure out
how to do that myself. Sad face. I couldn’t find any design
changes or feature changes within OS eight or OS nine. So, for the most part, Steve Job’s design from the 1984 calculator
remained the same through OS 9. Which received its last update in 2002. It lasted for 18 freakin’ years! But then, in Mac OS X 10.0, the calculator was redesigned with the
Aqua user interface. But, the features and
buttons were the same. In Mac OS two the calculator
received the awesome brushed metal treatment, oh yeah. Along with that, it got
a paper tape feature. And more advanced
operations like factorials. Everybody likes factorials, right? Also, this new update included
a handy conversion feature. In Mac OS 10.3 the buttons were
redesigned with a gray look and it also featured a
floating paper tape window. You could also adjust how many
decimal places are displayed and you could display the
numbers in different formats such as binary. And in Mac OS X 10.4
something new happened. The calculator was available as a widget inside the Dashboard. New feature in OS X Tiger. In a way, the dashboard
widgets were kinda like the desk accessories from the
early days of the Macintosh. So that was pretty cool,
but the non widget version also received some updates. In addition to the basic
and scientific modes it not had a programmer mode. And reverse Polish notation which I just now learned is a thing. Math is pretty cool. In Mac OS 10.5, the
Spotlight search feature gained equation support. Truthfully, I type my
equations into Spotlight more than into the actual Calculator app. It’s pretty handy. Through the next several Mac OS X releases I couldn’t find any
visual or feature changes with the calculator, aside
from small things like the 64-bit update and the Hi-DPI update for the Retina display. But the Mac OS 10.10, the app was completely
redesigned along with the rest of the systems user interface. In addition, the Notification Center, which could now support Widgets, gained a calculator function. Thus, concluding the somewhat unnecessary, but still pretty cool history
of the Mac OS Calculator. And hey, you had fun and you
learned something too, right? Right? So, what do you think? The calculator didn’t
change for many years. Was that lazy, or was that just because the design was so perfect
it didn’t need to change? I’m not really sure, but
honestly it’s just a calculator. It’s not super earth shattering, but still pretty cool, right? Hey, if there’s any other super niche computer history topics like this that you want me to cover. Do let me know because I’m always curious and I always love to learn new things. Which, I hope you did today too. Thanks for sticking with me. Catch the crazy and pass it on. (techno music)

The Pointless, But Cool History of the Mac OS Calculator – Krazy Ken’s Tech Talk
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