The Sneaky Programmer Who Would Not Let Apple Cancel His Project

Samuel Reason | April 7th, 2018

In 1993, Ron Avitzur realized that his project was up to be thrown in the trash can. It was decided that the graphing calculator program he was working on for mobile devices was to be canceled – and his team was pretty relieved.

c.slashgear.com

His fellow programmers were reassigned to Apple’s various departments and projects, they even offered Avitzur a job too. Which he refused, he was just 27 at the time and budding with energy to work on the projects that really interested him. Freelancing for tech companies was what he loved to do and if he didn’t believe in the project then he did not want to do it.

He wanted to finish his graphing calculator, more than that: he wanted it installed on the PowerPC computer that Apple was shipping in early 1994. This was because everyone he told and showed his calculator too, reacted in the same way “I wish I had that at school!” Avitzur knew this was a way to revolutionize math class.

When his boss told him to submit his final invoice on his last day, he was hit by an idea. If he never submitted his invoice then, his badge and name would stay in the system. He just came in the next day and continued to work, not worried about payment as he lived very frugally anyways and had savings. He even found someone to join him on his cause, Greg Robbin whose contract with Apple was also up!

For the next few months, they sneaked around offices and talked to sympathetic colleagues so they could test the new machines. Their secret project spread and soon they even had quality assurance specialists and a 3-D graphics expert all working on the calculator during their spare time. But they got careless! A facilities manager found out about Avitzur and Robbins, the very next day she canceled their security badges.

Luckily by that time, they had a whole list of friendly employees to their cause and would be let in by side doors. A continued game of cat and mouse, finding empty offices to work in! Finally, they called in some managers and provided the perfect demo.

They loved it, and the graphing calculator program has been loaded on more than 20 million machines in the past decade.

Next Article
  • The Myth Of Sharks Curing Cancer

    One great myth that was making rounds across the scientific world and across all the internet was that sharks had suddenly become the cure for cancer. And they are indeed incredible animals, probably one of the world’s most famous creatures: everyone knows what a shark is. Some people are fascinated and some people shudder in...

    Read More
  • Surgery Saves Man’s Sight With Bionic Eyes

    One blind man has felt the miracle that is medical breakthroughs and modern science. John Jameson from Texas had been blind for over 40 years due to a terrible infection that resulted in the loss of his vision. Jameson eventually gave up on trying to restore his vision, deciding to accept his fate of being...

    Read More
  • President McKinley Gave Away His Lucky Charm And Was Assassinated

    Not everyone is into superstition, and even fewer people believe in lucky charms or voodoo spells. Definitely, in this modern day and age, society has a tendency to champion science over superstitious traditions that are seen as the old ways. But during 1887 when William Mckinley was a young man, lucky charms were all the...

    Read More
  • The Peruvian Hospital Ship In Operation Since 1862

    Yapura is a ship that was commissioned to be built in 1861 alongside its sister boat the Yavari, and she was built to be used on the Lake Titicaca. Aptly named after the Javary river that runs through the Loreto Region of Peru, this in itself is nothing special - until you learn the Yavari...

    Read More
  • 20 Timeless Ancient Beauty Secrets Still Used Today

    Have you ever wondered where beauty regimes came from? Ancient beauty regimes have been happening for thousands of years. From the Aztecs to the Egyptians and from the Greeks to Romans, ancient beauty secrets are all around us. Highlighting hair and facial masks have been circulating through the ages. These ancient beauty secrets have been...

    Read More
  • 20 Of The Most Amazing Things You Can Only Find In Japan

    Japan is an incredibly interesting country that should be on your bucket list to visit if you haven't already. They are ahead of the curve in technology compared to most of the world, and have a fascinating culture that is unique in many ways. So you're bound to find things in the Land of The...

    Read More
  • The World’s Rarest Pasta Are Known As The Threads Of God

    If you would like to eat what is known as the Threads of God then you will need to first embark and complete a 20-mile pilgrimage. Twice a year, pilgrims come to Sardinia to feast on the world’s rarest pasta. Trekking from the city of Nuoro to the village of Lula, all through the night...

    Read More
  • The Eerie Story Of The Phantom Barber

    When it comes to haunted lore, then the Southern States of America have their fair share of stories & tales. You can find cities in the Savannah that have a rich history of being haunted. And of course, we have all the unexplained ghost stories that come out of New Orleans and Charleston. For many...

    Read More