SuperMac War Story 10: The Video Spigot

I was lucky to have been standing in the right place when video became part of the Macintosh.  And I got to experience a type of customer buying behavior I had never seen before –  the Novelty Effect.

Present at the Creation
It was early 1991 and Apple’s software development team was hard at work on QuickTime, the first multimedia framework for a computer.  At the time no one (including Apple) knew exactly what consumers were going to do with multimedia, it was still pre-Internet. But the team believed adding video as an integral part of an operating system and user experience (where there had only been text and still images) would be transformative

But Apple had planned to announce and demo QuickTime without a way to get video into the Mac. They had this great architecture, and Apple had figured out to get movies into their own computers for a demo, but for the rest of us there was no physical device that allowed an average consumer to plug a video camera or VCR into and get video into a Mac.

A month or two before the QuickTime public announcement in May, the SuperMac hardware engineers (who had a great relationship with the QuickTime team at Apple) started a “skunk works” project. In less than a month they designed a low-cost video-capture board that plugged into the Mac and allowed you to connect a video camera and VCR. But to get video to fit and playback on the computers of the era, they needed to compress it. So SuperMac engineering also developed video compression software, called Cinepak. The software was idiot proof.  There was nothing for the consumer to do. No settings, no buttons – plug your camera or VCR in and it just worked seamlessly. (The Cinepak codec was written by the engineer who would become my cofounder at Rocket Science Games.) It worked great on the slow CPUs at the time.

Something Profound
Engineering gave us a demo of the prototype board and software and asked, “Do you guys think we can sell a few of these boards?”  Remember, this is the first time anyone outside of Apple or the broadcast industry had seen moving images on a Macintosh computer. (A company called Avid had introduced a $50,000 Mac-based professional broadcast video editing for two years earlier. But here was a $499 product that could let everyone use video.) Our engineers connected a VCR, pushed a button and poured in the video of the Apple 1984 commercial.  We watched as it started playing video at 30 frames/second in a 320 x 240 window.

Up until that moment Quicktime had been an abstract software concept to me. But now, standing there, I realized how people felt when they saw the first flickering images in a movie theater. We must have made them play the demo twenty times. There were a few times in my career I knew at that moment I was watching something profound – (Holding the glass masks of the Z80 microprocessor. My first IPO at Convergent. First silicon of the MIPS RISC processor.) I stood there believing that video on computers was another – and equally as memorable.

Lets Sell it Like There’s No Tomorrow
When we all regained the power of speech, our reaction was unanimous, “What are you talking about – can we sell it?  This is the first way to get video into a computer, we’re going to sell and market this board like there’s no tomorrow. Even though we won’t make a ton of money, it will be an ambassador for the rest of our product family.  People who aren’t current customers of our graphics boards will get to know our company and brand.  If we’re smart we’ll cross-sell them one of our other products. We might even sell a few thousand of these.”

Everyone laughed at such an absurd number.

The Video Spigot
“What are we going to call it?” Lets see…, it’s video input, … how about we call it the Video Spigot?”

Now, in hindsight, with a spigot, you’re actually pouring stuff out, and, in fact, the ad actually shows you stuff pouring stuff out, but into your Mac. It made no logical sense (a fact engineering reminded us about several times.) But it made the point that this device could pour video into your Mac and consumers instinctually got it.

Our CEO and our VP of manufacturing were incredibly nervous about manufacturing more than a few hundred of these boards. “There’s nothing to do with this product once you get the video in. You can’t manipulate it, you can’t do anything other than playback the video in QuickTime.”  And they were right. (Remember there were no video applications available at all. None. This was day zero of consumer video on the Mac.)

Our answer was, “People will love this thing, as long as we don’t oversell the product.” We knew something our CEO didn’t. We had seen the reactions of people playing with the prototypes in our lab and when we demo’d it to our sales force. When we saw our salespeople actually trying to steal the early boards to take home and show their kids, we knew we had a winner. All we had to do was tell customers they could get video into their computer – and not promise anything else.

But the rest of the management team really skeptical. We kept saying, “Don’t worry, we’re going to sell thousands of these.”  Little did we know.

We launched the product with this ad that said “Video Spigot, now pour video into your computer,” and this just hit a nerve.

We sold 50,000 Video Spigots in six months.


(As an aside, we saved money by putting my daughter in the ad. (That’s every marketeers excuse for putting their kids in an ad.) She’s in the little car on the monitor, and she’s also, if you look very carefully, in the water. We had that little car around the house for a while.)

They’re All Coming Back
So, manufacturing ramped up our factory, and as we’re selling 10,000 Video Spigots a month, our CEO is now concerned that maybe all these boards were all going to be returned to us because they didn’t really do anything once you got video into your computer. (A rational fear, as the sum of all of our other graphics boards shipped was about 7,500/month.)

Marketing knew who the Spigot customers were; we had all the registration cards and all the data. So we turned to our customers, surveying a few hundred people who had bought the product and asked:

  • Question: Were you the person who bought the board? Answer: Yes.
  • Question Are you happy with the board? Answer: Oh, it’s great.
  • Question Are you using the board? Answer: No.
  • Question And … wait a minute, you’re not using it anymore? Answer: No.
  • Question So do you want a refund? Answer: No, no.
  • Question Why not? Answer: It did everything you said. We loved this product.

It didn’t do anything else. People loved it, they used it, and they put it in their desk drawer.

We accidently had a product with the Novelty Effect.

The Novelty effect
I didn’t recognize the behavior at the time, but anyone who loves technology and gadgets has at one time or another has bought a technology toy – USB memory sticks, iPod Shuffles, umbrellas with LED lights, alarm clocks that talked, Flip Video Cameras, etc. – used them for a while and then stuck them in the drawer. The product does what it said it would, and amuses you for a while. You don’t regret the purchase price because you got entertained and then you lose interest – the Novelty Effect

Unintended Consequences – Video Editing
As these boards are flying out the door, one of the software engineers at SuperMac got to thinking about what did you do with video once you did get it into a computer – so he wrote the first Quicktime-based video editor which we called ReelTime.

But you probably never heard of ReelTime.  You may know it by its final name.

Since we had gotten out of the software business when we came out of Chapter 11, and our sales channel didn’t know what to do with software, we licensed ReelTime to Adobe.  And, of course, Adobe said, “Oh, by the way, you don’t mind if the software engineer comes with us, do you?”

Adobe renamed ReelTime to Adobe Premiere.  And Randy Ubillos, its author, went on to author Mac-based video editing software for the next 18 years. His team wrote what became FinalCut Pro at Macromedia; it was bought by Apple, and now he’s at Apple doing new versions of iMovie.

So an unintended consequence of the VideoSpigot, and to the benefit of video editors everywhere, video editing for the masses was invented at SuperMac.

Thanks to Bruce Leak and the Apple QuickTime team, Peter Barrett for Cinepak and Randy Ubillos for giving us video editing on the Mac.  It was fun watching it happen.

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41 Responses

  1. I loved my Spigot. I used it to digitize the videos for VideoBeep, which won the 1991 “best hack” award at MacHack. People loved seeing clips from Blazing Saddles, Monty Python, and Caddyshack on their computers, even if only 160×120.

  2. Speaking of novelty, do you think Twitter could be the same?

    • No. I think of Twitter as a broadcast form of text messaging. It’s here to stay.

  3. Another nice story. I guess there was no need for Customer Validation prior to shipping the board! ; )

    Believe it or not, I was silly enough to buy IBM’s Actionmedia card and D/Vision’s Cineworks in order to do non-linear video editing in 92? 93? on the — wait for it — on the PC!

  4. Great story — reminds me of one I witnessed, very analogous but about 15 years later:

    I was working on a digital music startup around ’98, ( and pitched it to then CEO of Michael Robertson.

    He showed me a little Korean hard drive portable music player, not much more than the Compaq reference design it was based off of. At the time *very* few people knew how to find/encode, tag, and transfer an mp3 file. Ripping and transferring 100 songs was easily several hours of work, and this device with a 4GB hard drive could hold a thousand. So it made little practicle sense.

    However, once the music was in there, is was so damn cool to have all of it in your pocket. *Everyone* responded to it, not just geeks. I knew the first company to make the process easy to do would have a hit on their hands. But no one from the traditional CE business would invest the money to build such a product, that is until apple did about 4 years later.

  5. […] who had designed several of our most successful products, culminating with the software for the Video Spigot.  Now he wanted to go off start his own company. I offered to introduce him to the firm whose […]

  6. Many many years ago I had a job in tech support at Creative Labs. Our main product was the popular “SoundBlaster” card, but we also had not one, but TWO video cards: the “Video Blaster” and the “Video Spigot”. They could both capture still images and video, but the Video Blaster was good at still images and terrible at video while the Video Spigot was okay at both. I always wondered where the Video Spigot came from, since it wasn’t a Blaster.

    I guess maybe SuperMac made a PC version of the product, decided they didn’t want to deal with PC users, and sold the product to Creative?

    • Chris,
      Could have been. We had a dedicated guy to help us make the transition to the PC. Unfortunately our corporate DNA was wedded to the fat Mac margins.


    • Hi, thanks for this great story! I remember Creative’s Video Spigot too, I saw a demo of it running on a PC at the SMAU computer fair in Milano, Italy, in 1992 (I think!). It let you watch some short clips in the 160×120 format (or similar) taken from various movies. My favourite was the one from Terminator 2, my favourite movie at that time, I must have watched that clip for 5-6 times, dreaming to have one day the entire movie in my computer… even in that resolution would have been fine 🙂 I wonder if that demo exists somewhere on the net.

  7. “Remember, this is the first time anyone outside of Apple or the broadcast industry had seen moving images on a Macintosh computer.”

    This actually is not entirely accurate. A company called Aapps, founded by Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari), make a product called the MicroTV, Digivideo, and Digivideo Color in the 1990 – 1991 timeframe that displayed live video in a window on the Mac. This company successfully received a patent for delivering video data over a computer bus, and at some point went after Supermac, Radius, and Rasterops. This company and their devices pre-dated Quicktime and what became the Quicktime team had several of these cards.

    Just as you talked about, the Aapps products lived a short life because nobody knew what to do with them. They were simply novelties, although interestingly enough their largest customer was the Department of Defense, as the DoD put them in all their Mac’s so that CNN could be watched live at all times on each persons desktop computer.

    I believe when the Video Spigot came out Aapps was already on the way out, and it was never optimized for recording, although they did develop the first “digital VCR” which recorded and played back QSIF images in real time in the 1991 timeframe. Where the Video Spigot had its advantage is that it was optimized for digitization and storage of SIF and QSIF video data, whereas the Aapps products were optimized for live display of video.

    • Michael, it’s been 6 years but I just found your post about Aapps. You’re right. Can you email me if you know more. velocite at live dot com John

    • Keep in mind that VideoSpigot was not the first video digitizer from Supermac. That was DigitalFilm. The difference was that DF had onboard hardware for video compression and delivered far better quality but was also far more expensive than VS.

      I had left Supermac around the time you say Aaaps came out and DF was developed before I left. Whether Aaaps came out before or after DF was announced II really can’t recall but the board was in development in parallel with QT but we were sworn to secrecy as part of our work with Apple.

      Not that it really matters. QT was a brilliant innovation. What Supermac contributed was a much improved codec and the idea that the codec should plugin. That allowed a range of options from high quality but expensive hardware assisted digitizers to low cost ones.

  8. This takes me back, I worked for a large industrial design firm in SF as a summer intern around the time the video spigot came out.

    I remember being blown away by the technology, that ad that you selected above stirred something in my memory – thank you for sharing –

  9. I am late to this post but remember all of this so well as part of your marketing team at that time. The story of the registration cards is legend – our entry ticket to the marketing team meeting. We learned so much about our customers by simply calling them, asking a few simple questions and then applying that learning in a team setting.
    ReelTime and Video Spigot make QuickTime real for so many people. Sure was fun being a part of that.

    • Lisa,
      Great to hear from you.
      Glad there’s someone other than me that remembers these stories!


  10. I tell all of my clients about the Supermac marketing meetings and suggest they do the same. It still shocks me that marketing people in general don’t want to talk to customers, at all.

  11. Steve!
    Great blog, just now found it. Please contact me with your email address. I was the Senior Technical Writer for SMac from 1988-1991. Remember my newsletter called “The Empty Desk?” Yah, bad career move, but it would be great to chat.

  12. […] efecto novedad se manifiesta en muchos campos de distinta forma. Por ejemplo, en marketing (lanzamiento de productos innovadores), medicina (interacción del efecto novedad y la hemiplejia), psicología (memoria y rendimiento) o […]

  13. Steve you left out part of the story but maybe that’s because this happened before you got there. I can’t remember.

    When Bruce was developing Quicktime the codec wasn’t a separate module but part of the code and with software based decoding could only support a postage stamp sized image. I wanted full frame video but when we asked them for hooks so we could run a hardware based codec they refused not wanting to delay the introduction date for a piece of hardware that didn’t exist.

    So over the course of a couple of weeks engineering cobbled up a board with dedicated silicon that could process the full bandwidth for NTSC and fill an entire window. Peter Barrett digitized some files and we delivered the board and computer to Bruce.

    Full color pictures had only recently come to the Mac so seeing this level of video was jaw dropping. They immediately agreed to change Quicktime and allow hooks for third party codecs. That hardware based JPEG board was the first one. Software based Cinepak and VideoSpigot followed.

    It was a scene that was to be repeated almost exactly with Adobe and Photoshop over hardware acceleration. Once again we were refused hooks and once again we dropped a board in their lap that was so much more powerful than what they thought was possible it changed their mind.

    What I learned is that its tough to ask people to take a risk for an uncertain return (delay your product and maybe we can make it better). You have to make it utterly compelling.

    • Steven,

      Great to hear from you.

      Thanks for adding the real facts to the story.


      • Steve and Steve,

        You may remember the kid who usually came to work in her school uniform (and was not far out of high school when Steve B joined SuperMac). This kid is now at a hot startup in Australia, and was thrilled to find Steve B’s site and all its terrific resources. Thanks to both of you for a supreme education!


        • Great to hear from you Jackie.

          Thanks for connecting!


        • Jackie,

          Very cool to hear from you. I’m know I’m getting old because i remember the photo shoot we did with you as model like it was yesterday. Amy Satran lent you a skirt so you would look more grown up and had to pin it because you were so thin (and Amy was pretty wispy herself).

          I bet somewhere in storage I still have a copy of the ad. I’m trying to get the storage building cleaned up at some point and I’ll send you a scan (or a hard copy).

          BTW what’s the startup?

          Steve Edelman

  14. Here’s my crazy, rambling SV story. I was working as a contractor with Apple and was introduced to SuperMac (it was called something else then) by Ron Schmidt (LaserWrite, Palo Alto) in the late ’80s and early ’90’s and even shared an office with one of the SM engineers who was quietly building his own hard drive business. Another guy was custom painting Macs and SuperMac hard drives – oh, remember MacChimney?

    Radius and SuperMac were in a race for the Apple color monitor market and I created one of the first brochures for the SuperMac monitor series for a guy named “Tom” – can’t remember his last name, who was a flamboyant gay guy who went from outside sales at places like ComputerWare to head of marketing for SuperMac.

    I created the first MMDirector demo of SuperPaint, having never even seen or used the software before. I readied the demo for MacWorld to be displayed on something they coined the Wall of Monitors. I never saw the demo live at the show because it may have been in Boston at the time. I think the pixelpaint software eventually became part of MMDirector, combining bitmap and vector tools brilliantly.

    The new marketing manager who I bummed cigarettes from, gave me a lot of freebies like early video cards and monitors and I remember one of the larger ones weighed over 60 pounds. I preferred the smaller (16″ or 19?) to the massive (24″?) tube. They used Sony TriniTron tubes as I recall. Sony came out with their own line, eventually, but the SuperMac and Radius lines were king for a few years.

    I remember seeing guys like Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld creating some of the coolest hardware and software around. Remember the scanner that attached to the ImageWriter? I bought one of those.

    There were a couple of guys from SuperMac who left to form a data compression company and I remember everyone using this program that came way before Stuffit and all those. I was also a consultant at Apple where I worked with BBDO on the new color ImageWriter TV commercials.

    I was one of the few artists in the valley who understood enough about the hardware and software to be able to combine vector and bitmap color designs output on a dot matrix printer and make it look like Laser quality.

    The only thing I wasn’t smart at was business, so instead of becoming rich like others, I became poorer from buying every hardware and software toy out there. I remember shelling out 1200.00 for a 20GB hard drive (retail was 2500.00) by purchasing it at the Macworld tradeshow directly from Supermac. Such a deal.

    At 59, I am still bouncing around the valley after joining more startups than anyone I know. So far, no luck making it. I was just laid off for the first time after working in cubes now since 1995. Never did like the steady paycheck compared to the sporadic and unpredictable freelance world. It’s really been a long, strange trip, and I’m still pushing pixels and a latecomer to the mobile app world.

    After creating my very first iPhone app failures (like most of them in the App Store), I’ve gotten involved with 3 new start-ups. Who knows, maybe, if I can move my arms fast enough, I can try to catch that Next Big Wave – again.

  15. Great story. I remember this board well.

    I’d love to hear the story of the DigitalFilm card.

    • We went down to see a demonstration of Quicktime at Apple. The window was about the size of a postage stamp because there was only limited compute power and the software compression algorithm wasn’t very efficient. Unfortunately the compression code was pretty well embedded into the QT code so there wasn’t a way for third parties to easily substitute their own. Apple was anxious to get Quicktime out the door but we wanted the opportunity to build on top all the functionality that Quicktime provided so had to convince Apple that reworking Quicktime to allow plug-in compression and the associated delay was worth worth it. Whatever we did, it had to be dramatic.

      The answer was hardware compression/decompression. Using a dedicated chip rather than the Mac’s CPU we could provide full frame video. Where a postage stamp was neat, full video meant QT could be used to edit video. It could do real work. Work, that up until then had required either dedicated hardware costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      So one of the engineers worked up a prototype and we digitized a bunch of video (not using QT). It was mind blowing to see a Mac window with not text, not a still color picture (which was itself remarkable in those day) but television. It was so crisp, so clear plus you could manipulate it and it was all happening on a personal computer.

      All it took was one look and the engineers at Apple got it. The compression had to be open. Third parties if allowed to plug in their own software or hardware would build on a common base but provide a range of options from software compression to exotic hardware compression with the corresponding range of quality and price. QT would be open.

      Digital Film was the first card to provide studio quality video on a personal computer. The combination of that card, the speed of the Mac II’s bus and of course QT in providing a standardized set of well designed system level functionality began the move off of dedicated hardware for video editing. That, coupled with advances in silicon, in turn drove down the price of compression to where it became mainstream then commonplace then ubiquitous. I’m sure video would have happened regardless but the vision of Apple, not only in creating QT but their quick embrace of an open architecture surely made it happen years before it otherwise would have.

      I’m glad that Supermac’s efforts, not only with QT but the almost identical story of how we worked with Apple to open QuickDraw to hardware acceleration contributed to these advances.

      When I first started working with the Mac it was a marvel of efficiency able as it was to manipulate windows, pixels and fonts with nothing more than a 68000 processor. Not more than a handful of years later that same computer was handling color, then full color, then full video. What had started out feeling a bit like a toy (although a very, very nice toy) was now a powerful machine that would shortly become the premier platform for image and video editing.

      It is a testament to both the original architects of the Macintosh and to those who expanded upon it that it was able to grow so far so seamlessly and also to their openness to embrace those of us outside of Apple that brought them ideas and technology to make it even better.

      Whether it came from Supermac, Rasterops, Radius or Apple we revolutionized the personal computer during those years. Windowing which had started out as an alternative way to view text morphed into something that was entirely different and entirely more compelling.

      You don’t hear much about this today. People act as though it just happened all by itself. It didn’t. Nor was it the obvious direction to go. In fact there were many who said these features would kill the Mac because they made the machine too costly compared to PC’s. They were wrong. These features saved the Mac and that saved Apple because they not only made the computer stand out they give it a virtual monopoly (and the profits that came with it) over market segments that were not price sensitive and were growing quickly. These changes, which happened during the dark days from 1986 to 1989 were critical to the resurgence that was to follow.

      If one looks its easy to see some of the great leaps forward that drove Apple during its days as a computer centric company. The Apple II (vs the S-100 machines that were then prevalent), the Macintosh (where they bet the company on a windowing environment but got the packaging all wrong), the shift to open standards in hardware and software (Mac II bus, QT, QD) that positioned the computer at the high end destroying the workstation segment and greatly expanding the market for pcs beyond their traditional roll as spreadsheet and word-processing engines.

      The world didn’t begin with the iPod, iPhone and such. The Mac OS didn’t leap forth fully formed. It was the result of a lot of hard work, much of it during the time that Steve Jobs was in exile. Those people are rarely celebrated and if nothing else I’d like to see that rectified.

      If any of you happen to read this I’d like to thank you for what you did not only for Apple, but the world and tell you what a great time I had
      being a very, very small part of it.

      Steve Edelman

      • Thank you Steven and Steve for making a BIG difference!! My Dad and I really enjoyed representing y’all in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas!

        Ben Hamilton

        • Ben,

          Good to hear from you. What are you doing these days?

        • You sent me to the archives to dig up a pic; Infomart circa 1989-91, Bob archer, some kid from Abilene (me) and Steve E at, I believe a presentation to the Apple Dallas User Group.

  16. I just came come across this site. I worked at SuperMac for a short time an ASE or Advanced Systems Engineer, a fancy title for demo specialist. I came from the traditional video world and joined the company in March of 93′. It has been amazing to see the transformation of desktop digital video from the Spigot to DigitalFilm to today’s many different file formats.

    When I started in the video world, the average cost of an A/B edit system was well over $100k on the low end. Today with less then $4k and one has as much power and creativity as what would have cost $500k or more.

    Having helped launch DVCAM, HDCAM, IMX, SX tape formats as a marketing specialist at Sony from the mid 90’s to the early 2000’s, I can tell you the intitial launch of the Spigot and Reel Time was just the begining of the decline of Sony and other tape deck manufactures.

    These were the bread and butter products for them and they have not yet recoverd from the loss of that revenue stream. Tape decks that ran $100k each are now end tables at a TV station in Salt Lake City.

    So to the engineers and the visionaries at SuperMac my thanks for making video affordable for all and while the time was short there it was instrumental in helping launch my career.

    • Actually DigitalFilm came before the Spigot.

      Because DF was 640×480 it was good enough to do real editing although mostly it was used to do a rough cut and develop an edit list for traditional multi deck system.

      What blew people away was that everything was instantaneous. While a few dedicated systems existed that could do this they were expensive and, well, dedicated. With DF you were editing on a Mac, something that you knew and understood.

      It was just like when word processing moved from a Wang and to a PC. Moving the functionality to a broadly accepted platform resulted in a consistent UI and dramatically lower cost. Unit sales skyrocketed at the high end resulting in pull for an even lower cost option and hence Spigot.

      • Now I have to go back to the archives, I had a setup in Abilene, 1985 or ;86 that allowed me to capture from a camera into a macpaint like workspace full frame (512×342) ‘art’ Surely a serial device eh?

  17. Oh my – here I am putting my original VideoSpigot poster up for sale on eBay and as I\’m verifying some information for the auction listing, I come across this blog post. I was at the first developer kitchen for Warhol (QuickTime) and I darn well remember the first time I saw the Spigot! Thanks for a great memory and I particular love the \”Novelty Effect\” description.

  18. Wow This is a mindblower, My name is Bryan Staddon I worked at SuperMac from 1986-1990 I was eventually called director of marketing communications, hired by steve edelman because i was best friends with Bill Richardson, The shipping guy,who may have been the first or second supermac employee, I think edelman liked his t-shirts.There were about twenty people total when i started and we were in some weird storage building pretty close to Shoreline amphitheatre. i started in shipping and somebody mentioned that i had a degree in journalism next thing i know im in a cube and amy is teaching me her job. I did the first supermac newsletter and then was coordinator on much of the early packaging and manuals working under Tom Reilly The incredibly cool and fabulous marketing guy. I hired Jim wolcott who has a posting up above, because he wrote for motorcycle magazines and had the coolest old Indian Motorcycle,and was just a fabulous tech writer. To Jackie Taylor also posting above I have the original photos of the shoot you mentioned above of you in a business suit. also to John forward who has posted above i was the guy who hired you to do those early brochures because you were friends with Ron Schmidt another of our tech writers I was also the guy you bummed cigarettes from when we worked all night to finish the brochure for macworld in boston,the wall of monitors was indeed impressive, i remember Dan Kohn and Brian McDonnel hooking it up. I was also the the guitar player in the all supermac band that played a few wild parties,it was a short strange trip, but i loved it and learned much about life love and work while i was there, I always loved the edelman and klein bad cop good cop routine, steve e. would wail on you in a relatively inspiring way,ie”its great! get them to do it for half the price” they always would. and unfortunately he was never,never wrong, and then stuart would soothe you and you would produce something amazing inspired by edelmans brilliance and his willingness to let smart people do things they didnt know and gain useful Knowledge, Then Stuart would give you a raise and it would start again.All the people… I really loved most of you and would love to hear from anyone, Im in western New york now playing music, grooving with my wife of twenty years and my two boys. Check out The Maniacs WNY’S Premiere Grateful Dead Tribute Band on The Book of Face and you will find me, if you’re ever in Buffalo or Niagara Falls look me up. Send me a message and where is everybody, Miriam Block, Brian McConnel, Dan Kohn, Peter Barret, Lisa Ferdinandsen,Amie Tinsley,Stuart Klein,

    • Bryan!

      How fun it was to read your post. You reminded me of some inspiring people and times – thank you for making me smile!

      I’m about to join the other partners for a lunch with our buyers and capital advisers.. And it’s a certainty that I would not be doing this today, if I’d not been at Supermac starting in high school. You never know where a part-time ‘gofer’ position might take you.

      Many thanks to you, Steve Edelman, Stuart Klein, Steve Blank, everyone mentioned in your post, and everyone else who made Supermac what it was – a top business education and many fun years. 🙂

  19. Loved mine! Ordered it with my first computer Power PC 81/80 AV. I remember building a separate start-up with limited extensions for best performance. Really enjoyed this page!!!

  20. […] wait… although SuperMac was well known for its Video Spigot board for Mac, that was a NuBus board, not ISA. SuperMac supposedly never sold a Video Spigot for […]

  21. I remember. I watched my first captured frame of video in Arlington, Texas at Micro Conversions, Inc. Made me think to look and sure enough, Cheney Coker, Steve Douglas, Henry Ransom, Me, Ben Hamilton, Steve Edelman and Bob Archer at the Infomart when Apple Computer, Inc was an anchor to the activities, pic on my

  22. In Oct 1991, SuperMac sponsored the first Quicktime production workshop we held at the new AFI-Apple Computer Center for Film and Videomakers, which had opened six months earlier on the Hollywood campus of the American Film Institute — using four Video Spigots. We had a dozen filmmakers in all areas pound away on these early products, months before the commercial availability of QuickTime. Results included an exact duplication of the trailer of Silence of the Lambs, the Oscar-winning Best Picture from that year, an elegiac video essay starring the big yellow Cristo umbrellas, which were arrayed in the central valley of California, an instructional video by a surgeon on how to slice an eyeball, and lots of “experiments.” I think there was one working Spigot at the end of the workshop, but it was an awesome ‘proof of concept.’ Months later I showed those little 120×180 QT movies to Robert Wise, multi-Oscar winner and editor of Citizen Kane. He said, “That’s just great. When I was starting out, sound was new.”

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