July 23, 2010 AT 9:01 am

Source code… is art – MacPaint and QuickDraw source code donated by Apple to museum


Computer History Museum – MacPaint and QuickDraw source code

MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Code… this is rad –

The Apple Macintosh combined brilliant design in hardware and in software. The drawing program MacPaint, which was released with the computer in January of 1984, was an example of that brilliance both in what it did, and in how it was implemented.

For those who want to see how it worked “under the hood”, we are pleased, with the permission of Apple Inc., to make available the original program source code of MacPaint and the underlying QuickDraw graphics library.

Maybe we’ll see more of this…

  • SONY – how about donating the source and schematics of the (now discontinued) QRIO humanoid project to a museum? QRIO photos here.
  • IBM – how about donating the source and the hardware of DEEP BLUE the chess computer to a museum?

Post up in the comments if you can think of other worthy donations from the milestones of technology that should be shared and also in a museum.

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  1. Note that, without this donation, the source code for Macpaint would be under copyright until about 2100 (if any copies of it still exist by then).

    Encouraging companies to donate code is nice, but it would be better if we could reform copyright law.

  2. How about the plans and code of the Apollo space program?

  3. Shannon Severance

    @Steve: The code is still copyrighted. It was donated to a museum, not released to public domain. From the linked site: “Note: This material is Copyright ©1984 Apple Inc. and is made available only for non-commercial use.”

    Even if copyrights were shortened, in most cases companies would be the ones with physical possession of the source, since they sell the object code. And the could use that physical possession to block release. Another area for reform.

  4. Shannon Severance

    As to which program I’d like to see the source of, for nostalgia’s sake, Ultima IV, perferable for one of the platforms running a 6502.

  5. @Bernard: I assume you mean plans and code for the Apollo Guidance Computer? The AGC code has already been opened up (see post here). Schematics for the AGC can be found here.

  6. sorry…

    AGC code post: http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2009/07/20/apollo-11-command-module-code-goes-open-source/

    AGC schemos: http://klabs.org/history/ech/agc_schematics/index.htm

  7. @johngineer I think he meant the whole friggen Saturn V and Apollo Spacecraft.

  8. heh. i’m pretty sure a lot of that is still heavily classified.

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