Released in 1988, the NeXT computer is a legendary workstation developed and manufactured by NeXT Inc. until 1993. The company was founded by Steve Jobs, after resigning from Apple. However, Apple purchased NeXT in 1996 for over $400 million, and a great number of their innovations, such as the OS, were incorporated in later Apple products.
- The original NeXT computer was released in October 1988 and it was sold for $6,500 ($15,900 in today’s money)
- The NeXTcube was released in 1990 and it was sold for $7,995 ($17,800 in today’s money)
- The NeXTstation was a cheaper version of NeXTcube, sold for $4,995 ($11,100 in today’s money)
- NeXT sold about 50,000 computers (not including units sold to government organizations)
AT A GLANCE
- Motorola 68030 CPU at 25 MHz (the later NeXTcube and NEXTStation models were based on a 68040)
- Floating-point unit (FPU) based on 68882
- Motorola 56001 digital signal processor (DSP)
- 17-inch CRT (4-grayscale)
- NeXTSTEP operating system based on UNIX (the ancestor of the modern MAC OS)
- Proprietary GUI (PostScript-based back end) with full multitasking
- Object-oriented programming and Display 'PostScript'
- A magneto-optical drive for data storage (the standard configuration didn’t include a hard drive)
- 4 expansion slots (mainboard uses one slot)
Graphics & Monitors
The original NEXT configuration included a monochrome 17" CRT monitor able to display 4 brightness levels (black, dark gray, light gray, and white). Later models, such as the NeXTstation Turbo Color, included a color 17" or 21" display.
- Fixed resolution of 1120 x 832 at 68 Hz
- MegaPixel (4-grayscale) 17-inch
- MegaPixel Color Display 17" or 21"
The system offers CD-quality stereo sound based on the built-in Motorola DSP chip.
- 16-bit, 44.1 kHz stereo
- Digital-to-analog converter
- Headphone & RCA line-out jacks (stereo)
- Integrated speaker (mono)
Related Models -The NeXTcube and NeXTstation
Released in 1990, the NeXTcube is an improved version of the original NeXT Computer. It offers a more powerful CPU (MC68040) and the new operating system NeXTSTEP 2.0.
- MC68040 CPU running at 25 MHz with an integrated floating-point unit (FPU) - Later, a 33 MHz NeXTcube Turbo was released
- Motorola DSP56001 processor running at 25 MHz
- Color or monochrome MegaPixel Display (17" or 21")
- 8 MB RAM, expandable to 64 MB
- 2.88 MB Floppy Drive
- Hard Disk Drive: between 105 MB and 8 GB
- 10BASE-T and 10BASE2 Network interface
- 4 NeXTbus slots (mainboard uses one slot)
The NeXTstation was a cheaper version of NeXTcube, sold for $4,995 ($11,100 in today’s money). There were several variations such as the NeXTstation Turbo (running at 33 MHz) and the NeXTstation Turbo Color (running also at 33 MHz).
- The NeXTdimension is a circuit board that includes the Intel i860 processor and offers video-sampling features
- The Pyro accelerator is replacing the standard 25 MHz MC68040 with a 50 MHz processor
- Note, that later the NeXTStep OS was modified to run on other computer architectures, and tuned into the OpenStep.
- PC ports such as Doom, Doom II, and Quake
- Other Doom-like games such as Heretic, Strife, and Hexen
The Development of the WorldWideWeb
Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau used a NeXT at CERN to develop the world's first web server (CERN HTTPd) and the world's first web browser (WorldWideWeb).
■ NeXT & NeXTCube