In 1980, Tesler left Xerox PARC to join Apple, and he worked there
until 1997. During that time, he led the Newton Group, became
Apple’s Chief Scientist, and was the vice president of AppleNet,
which was tasked in part with developing and promoting Apple’s
Internet strategy. It was at the end of his tenure there that I
corresponded with him, since he and I were both on a private
Net-Thinkers mailing list that discussed issues relating to Apple
and the Internet.
It’s telling how much things have changed, I think, that an Apple
vice president would speak freely on even a private mailing list
that included a writer like me. (At that time, apart from
publishing TidBITS, my Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh book
had sold about 400,000 copies, and I had just penned a MacWEEK
column entitled “The Emperor Has No Strategy” that had ruffled
feathers with Apple executives.)
To give you a better sense of who Larry Tesler was, I’m going to
reprint an email conversation he and I had on the Net-Thinkers
list back in February of 1997. In retrospect, it must not have
been that long before he left Apple, although I have no record of
that in my email archive.
A different age.