NeXT & NeXTCube.. the MACOS Savior

Submitted by binaryvalue on Mon, 05/30/2022 - 10:56
NEXT

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)

glanceAT A GLANCE

  • NEXT-Lee
    The original NeXTCube used by Tim Berners-Lee to design the World Wide Web -Photo by the CERN Science Museum, London
    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 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"

sound Sound Capabilities

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)

variants Related Models -The NeXTcube and NeXTstation

 NextCube

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.

  • NEXT Debut
    Steve Jobs -NEXT release October 1988
    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)

NextStation

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).


upgrades Expansions

  • 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.

Gaming

  • 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

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