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 Man Who Just Simply Kept Walking Out Of Prison

    A Texas prisoner by the name of Steven Jay Russell, in 1998, was given a very special parole due to health issues. He was allowed to go and rest in a hospice due to his medical records: he was suffering from HIV/AIDS and it was thought he would not survive much longer at all. And...

    Read More
  • During Medieval England Woman Dominated The Brewing Industry

    During the 18th century if you happened to travel around England, then you will have come across an Alewife, there were several notorious ones such as Mother Louse. In fact, during this era, woman dominated the whole of the brewing industry. Also known as a Brewer or a Brewster, this historical term Alewife was used...

    Read More
  • Is It Opposite Day Or Do I Have Situs Inversus

    If you happen to suffer from Situs Inversus then you may believe you are constantly looking in a mirror or that opposite day is actually a real and true reality. But that would of course not be true, your organs are simply placed in a mirror image of what is the norm. An extremely rare...

    Read More
  • Prehistoric Armadillo The Size Of A Car

    When it comes to prehistoric times it really is as if every animal was bigger than its modern counterpart. Mammoths were bigger than elephants and sloths were even taller than elephants! Some researchers have even found alligators and crocodiles that grew to the size of a city bus. And this holds true for the armadillo...

    Read More
  • People Turning Into Real Living Statues

    For most people if you fall down or have a minor injury it is not usually a big deal, maybe a little a painful and that's all but this is not the case for everyone. Some individuals live in real fear of a small injury, this is known as Stone Man Syndrome. Every little injury...

    Read More
  • The Tuna Fish Is So Strong It Can Cook Itself

    There is one fish in the ocean that you may not want to come across on a day of ocean fishing. If you happen to be out on a boating trip with some deep sea fishing in the Atlantic then you could come across the warm-blooded Atlantic bluefin tuna. This happens to be one of...

    Read More
  • Radium Girls The Terrible Time Of Using Radioactive Paint

    Just about a century ago the rage was, of course, to have a glow in the dark watch, nobody could resist them. It was a novelty that was being marketed heavily and making watch companies millions, it was like any of the hot social media trends of modern times. They did not need to charge...

    Read More
  • The Terrifying Titanoboa

    In the dusty outback of Northern Colombia, deep in the Cerrejon about just 60 miles from the Caribbean coast, you will find one of the largest coal operations in operation. It covers an area larger than Washington D.C. and estimates advise there are regularly over 10,000 workers employed. The company that operates the mining, Carbones...

    Read More