Groundbreaking MacPaint Source Code Donated to Computer Museum

July 20, 2010

(ChattahBox)–The Apple Macintosh drawing program MacPaint; the granddaddy of modern-day graphic editing programs is being donated by Apple to a Computer History Museum. The original source code written by Bill Atkinson, a member of the Macintosh design team in the 80s, is now an official part of computer history. Over a quarter of a century later, every time you open up Adobe Photoshop or Corel PaintShop and use the handy features on the tool palette, such as the lasso and “marching ants” selection tools, and my personal favorites–the paint bucket and spray can tools, you can thank Bill Atkinson for his vision and genius.

Andy Hertzfeld, another member of the early Macintosh team, who had the idea to donate the source code to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, asked Atkinson for a copy of the original code. Atkinson actually had to search through his attic, before finding old discs holding the precious source code, according to the report by Bloomberg Business Week:

“Persuaded to dig through his attic, he found a set of original MacPaint floppy disks formatted not for the original Mac, but for the Lisa β€” a Pre-Macintosh machine β€” and on top of that in a developmental disk format for the Lisa that had never been released to the world. Eventually a Lisa machine with a network connection was found, suitable, as Hertzfeld put it, β€œfor getting the bits out of the box.”’

After finally receiving permission from Apple, the source code for both MacPaint and QuickDraw is available so you can check “under the hood” of the drawing program that has inspired many.


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