Connectix

Connectix Corporation was a software and hardware company, noted for having released innovative products that were either made obsolete as Apple Computer incorporated the ideas into system software, or were sold to other companies once they become popular. It was formed in October 1988 by Jon Garber; dominant board members and co-founders were Garber, Bonnie Fought (the two were later married), and close friend Roy McDonald. McDonald was still Chief Executive Officer and president when Connectix finally closed in August 2003.

Connectix Corporation
IndustryComputer software and hardware
FateSold QuickCam to Logitech, sold Virtual Game Station to Sony, sold Virtual PC to Microsoft, discontinued other products
SuccessorDissolved
FoundedOctober 1988
DefunctAugust 2003
Key people
  • Jon Garber
  • Bonnie Fought
  • Roy McDonald
  • Eric Traut
  • Jorg Brown
Products

Products

Primary products included these:

  • Virtual: Its original flagship product, which introduced virtual memory to the Mac OS years before Apple's implementation in System 7.[1] Virtual also runs on a motley assortment of accelerator cards for the original Mac, Mac Plus, and Mac SE, which were not supported by Apple.
  • HandOff II: The file launcher developed by Fred Hollander of Utilitron, Inc. This INIT for Macintosh solved the "Application Not Found" problem by launching a substitute application for the one that created the file the user was trying to open. Apple would later build a similar functionality into System 7.
  • SuperMenu: The first commercial hierarchical Apple menu, developed by Fred Hollander of Utilitron, Inc. Again, Apple would make a hierarchal Apple menu standard in System 7, by buying one of the many shareware versions of the same concept.
  • MODE32: Software which allows 32-bit memory management on "32-bit dirty" Macintosh systems. Later bought by Apple and distributed for free, at least in part to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by customers who demanded to know why their 32-bit 68020 microprocessors could not access more than 8 megabytes of RAM.
  • Optima: Makes System 6 32-bit clean and puts a Macintosh IIsi into 32-bit mode. This makes all of the physical RAM addressable by System 6. It can have one application open at a time.[2]
  • MAXIMA: A RAM disk utility, better than the one that later came with the Mac OS as it saved its contents before and after reboots, while also allowing booting from the RAM disk.
  • Connectix Desktop Utilities (CDU): A collection of utilities for desktop systems, including utilities for power management (screen dimming and automatic power down), synchronizing files when multiple disks are used, and custom desktop background images.[3] A version of the CDU software received an Energy Star Compliant Controlling Device status from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the basis of the software's power management functionality.[4][5]
  • Connectix Powerbook Utilities (CPU): A collection of utilities designed to simplify common tasks for laptop users.
  • RAM Doubler: The first product to combine compression with virtual memory. A top selling Mac utility for many years which eventually was made obsolete as Apple improved their own virtual memory. There is also a RAM Doubler for Windows 3.1 which uses compression to increase system resources, allowing more applications to run. RAM Doubler was something of a case study for porting Macintosh products to the PowerPC processor, as CEO Roy McDonald presented a paper detailing the company's porting efforts at the Sumeria Technology and Issues Conference on June 30, 1994.[6]
  • Speed Doubler: Software that combines an enhanced disk cache, better Finder copy utility, and a dynamically recompiling 68K-to-PowerPC emulator, which is faster than both the interpretive emulator that shipped in the original PowerPCs and the dynamically recompiling emulator that Apple shipped in later machines. It was made obsolete as 68K applications became less common and OS code improved.
  • Surf Express: A local proxy server designed to accelerate the web browsing experience by caching and auto-refreshing frequently visited web sites. Offered for both Mac OS and Windows 95.
  • QuickCam: The first webcam. Originally the sole design of Jon Garber, he wanted to call it the "Mac-camera", but was vetoed by marketing, who saw the possibility of it one day becoming a cross-platform product. It became the first Connectix Windows product 14 months later, with RAM Doubler for Windows 3.1 being the next. The Mac QuickCam shipped in August 1994, RAM Doubler for Windows in April 1995, and QuickCam for Windows in October 1995. The line was later sold to Logitech. QuickCam is now considered one of the Top Gadgets of all time.[7]
  • DoubleTalk: Access Windows-Based Network Resources - Access Windows fileservers, transfer files to and from shared Windows workstations over the network and print to shared PC-based PostScript printers.[8][9]
  • Virtual Game Station: PlayStation emulation software. Sold to Sony, who bought it only after their lawsuit to stop it failed, and then dropped the product immediately.
  • Virtual PC and Virtual server: Emulation software of x86-based personal computers for the Macintosh, Windows and OS/2. Sold to Microsoft, the transaction was completed on February 18, 2003.[10]

With the sale of Virtual PC development and support, staff were transferred to Microsoft, including Connectix's Chief Technical Officer Eric Traut, but not including any of the Connectix board members or Technical Support. Its Macintosh products, including DoubleTalk, CopyAgent and RAM Doubler, were discontinued.

References

  1. ^ "Orchestrating applications". InfoWorld. September 24, 1990. p. 83.
  2. ^ "System 6: Maximum Addressable RAM (9/93)". apple.com. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  3. ^ Lee, Yvonne (1993-08-30). "Powerbook utilities move to desktop". InfoWorld. Vol. 15 no. 35. IDG. p. 18.
  4. ^ "Press Releases" (PDF). Mini′app′les Newsletter. Vol. 17 no. 7. The Minnesota Apple Computer Users' Group, Inc. July 1994. p. 8. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  5. ^ Engst, Tonya (1994-06-13). "Connectix". TidBITS. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  6. ^ McDonald, Roy (1994-07-25). "Transition to PowerPC: RAM Doubler 1.5". TidBITS. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  7. ^ Monday, Peter Ha (2010-10-25). "Connectix QuickCam - All-TIME 100 Gadgets". TIME. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
  8. ^ D'Addario, Kyle (8 Jan 2001). "Connectix Allows Mac's and PC's To Live In Harmony". macobserver.com. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Connectix Announces DoubleTalk: Accessing Windows Networks". mactech.com. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Microsoft Acquires Connectix Virtual Machine Technology: Move Eases Consolidation and Migration to New Operating Systems for Customers". Microsoft.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
Clean room design

Clean-room design (also known as the Chinese wall technique) is the method of copying a design by reverse engineering and then recreating it without infringing any of the copyrights associated with the original design. Clean-room design is useful as a defense against copyright infringement because it relies on independent invention. However, because independent invention is not a defense against patents, clean-room designs typically cannot be used to circumvent patent restrictions.

The term implies that the design team works in an environment that is "clean" or demonstrably uncontaminated by any knowledge of the proprietary techniques used by the competitor.

Typically, a clean-room design is done by having someone examine the system to be reimplemented and having this person write a specification. This specification is then reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that no copyrighted material is included. The specification is then implemented by a team with no connection to the original examiners.

Comparison of platform virtualization software

Platform virtualization software, specifically emulators and hypervisors, are software packages that emulate the whole physical computer machine, often providing multiple virtual machines on one physical platform. The table below compares basic information about platform virtualization hypervisors.

Connectix Virtual Game Station

The Virtual Game Station (VGS) was an emulator by Connectix that allows Sony PlayStation games to be played on a desktop computer. It was first released for the Macintosh, in 1999. VGS was created by Aaron Giles. The recompiling CPU emulator was written by Eric Traut.Released at a time when the Sony PlayStation was at its peak of popularity, Virtual Game Station was the first PlayStation emulator, for any platform, that enabled games to run at full speed on modest computer hardware, and the first that supported the vast majority of PlayStation games. It was advertised to run at full speed on the original iMac G3/233 MHz system (relying on its built-in ATi graphics hardware), and in some cases it was able to run on 200 MHz 604e systems reasonably well. The impact of this product was huge as it changed the available Macintosh game library from a very small, select group to nearly the entire collection of PlayStation games. Graphics could be run full screen, at full speed. Several PlayStation-type hand controllers became available with VGS in mind. The only lacking features were the ability to receive DualShock force-feedback or use light-guns.

VGS was initially released for NTSC based PlayStation games but later versions were made for PAL based games. Like the PS1, only games released for the selected VGS system could be run, copied games would not work either, although it didn't take too long for the hacker community to release a "Mod Chipped" version. Versions 1.1 and 1.2 of VGS attempted to make "modding" more difficult but were soon modded as well.

VGS proved to be extremely popular, as it cost less than half the price of a PlayStation and did not require any extra hardware. VGS was later ported to Microsoft Windows. It was slightly less popular there due to competition with other emulators such as bleem!, though it did have better compatibility.

Sony perceived VGS as a threat, and filed a lawsuit against Connectix for copyright infringement. The case was eventually closed in favour of Connectix, but Connectix was unable to sell the software in the meantime because Sony had been awarded a temporary injunction. Soon thereafter, Sony purchased VGS from Connectix and discontinued it. By then the PlayStation 2 was nearly out and the original PlayStation was at the end of its peak, with people looking toward the next-generation consoles.

Eric Traut

Eric Traut is an American software engineer and software emulation pioneer. Traut graduated from Stanford University in 1992. From 1993 to 1995 he worked for Apple Computer, creating a Mac 68K emulator to be used in PowerPC-based Macintoshes. His work on this project led to a patent on a form of dynamic recompilation.Traut went on to join Connectix, where he developed successful commercial emulators such as Virtual PC and Virtual Game Station. He became Connectix's Chief Technical Officer in 2001.

Traut became a Microsoft employee after the company purchased Connectix in 2003. Traut left Microsoft in late 2012. Traut rejoined Microsoft in May 2014 and is now a Technical Fellow.

Guerrino De Luca

Guerrino De Luca is the chairman of Logitech's board of directors. He served as President and CEO from 1998 to 2008.

MODE32

MODE32 is a software product originally developed by Connectix for certain models of the Apple Macintosh. It was published in June 1991 and originally cost US$169; however, on September 5, 1991, the software was made available free to customers under licensing terms with Apple Computer.

Mac 68k emulator

The Mac 68k emulator is a software emulator built into all versions of the classic Mac OS for PowerPC. This emulator enabled running applications and system code that were originally written for the 680x0-based Macintosh models. With a few exceptions, notably Connectix's RAM Doubler, the emulator ran all software with no noticeable impact other than lower performance relative to the same program when compiled for PowerPC.

Mac OS memory management

Historically, the classic Mac OS used a form of memory management that has fallen out of favor in modern systems. Criticism of this approach was one of the key areas addressed by the change to Mac OS X.

The original problem for the engineers of the Macintosh was how to make optimum use of the 128 KB of RAM with which the machine was equipped, on Motorola 68000-based computer hardware that did not support virtual memory. Since at that time the machine could only run one application program at a time, and there was no fixed secondary storage, the engineers implemented a simple scheme which worked well with those particular constraints. That design choice did not scale well with the development of the machine, creating various difficulties for both programmers and users.

Microsoft Virtual Server

Microsoft Virtual Server was a virtualization solution that facilitated the creation of virtual machines on the Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. Originally developed by Connectix, it was acquired by Microsoft prior to release. Virtual PC is Microsoft's related desktop virtualization software package.

Virtual machines are created and managed through a Web-based interface that relies on Internet Information Services (IIS) or through a Windows client application tool called VMRCplus.

The last version using this name was Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. New features in R2 SP1 include Linux guest operating system support, Virtual Disk Precompactor, SMP (but not for the guest OS), x64 host operating system support, the ability to mount virtual hard drives on the host machine and additional operating systems support, including Windows Vista. It also provides a Volume Shadow Copy writer that enables live backups of the Guest OS on a Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 host. A utility to mount VHD images has also been included since SP1. Virtual Machine Additions for Linux are available as a free download. Officially supported Linux guest operating systems include Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 2.1-5.0, Red Hat Linux 9.0, SUSE Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server versions 9 and 10.Virtual Server has been discontinued and replaced by Hyper-V.

Motorola 68851

The Motorola 68851 is an external Memory Management Unit (MMU) which is designed to provide paged memory support for the 68020 using that processor's coprocessor interface. In theory it can be used with other processors such as the 68010 by simulating the coprocessor interface in software.

Later 68K family processors such as the 68030, 68040, and 68060 have an internal MMU, and will not operate with the 68851, except possibly by simulation of the coprocessor interface.

The 68851 was available as an option for the Apple Macintosh II, and was necessary to run Apple's A/UX operating system. On the Mac OS, Connectix Virtual was released in early 1989 and used the 68851 to provide virtual memory, which was later integrated into System 7.

Very few cards for the Amiga make use of the 68851 primarily because it can only be used with a small range of processors and most Amigas and accelerator cards use a processor which either has its own MMU or cannot support an MMU. One of the few cards which does use this is the Commodore A2620.

Pixo

Pixo was a company that developed infrastructure for hand-held devices. It was founded in 1994 when Paul Mercer, a software developer at Apple, left to form his own company. The company developed a system software toolkit in C++ for use on cell phones and other hand-held devices. They were acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2003.

Proprietary protocol

In telecommunications, a proprietary protocol is a communications protocol owned by a single organization or individual.

QuickCam

QuickCam is a line of webcam video camera products by Logitech.

The original QuickCam was developed by Connectix in 1994 for nationwide commercial sale and was the first widely marketed webcam-like device, although its original advertising did not use the term "webcam" or refer to the World Wide Web, then in its infancy. Video conferencing via computers already existed at the time, and client-server based video conferencing software such as CU-SeeMe was gaining popularity. Eventually, it evolved from an RS-422 connector to a parallel connector then eventually to a USB connection. It is now considered one of the top gadgets of all time.The initial model was available only for the Apple Macintosh, connecting to it via the serial port. It produced 16 shades of gray at a resolution of 320×240 pixels, and could record video at about 15 frames per second; it cost $100.

The software that originally shipped with the camera included QuickMovie for recording motion pictures and QuickPICT for capturing still images.

The QuickCam product line was acquired by Logitech in 1998. The company has gradually decreased support for the Macintosh platform, with only one current model officially supporting Mac or including Mac drivers. This could largely be the result of Apple building webcams into their laptop and desktop computers, negating the need for external third party devices. Many recent models implement the USB video device class standard and work under Mac OS without additional drivers.

Today, Logitech QuickCam is one of the world's most recognized webcam brands.

StevesAntFarm.com is the longest continuously running webcam using a QuickCam. Started in January 1995 and continues to this day.

In October 2010, QuickCam was elected to Time Magazine's Top 100 Gadgets of all Time

SoftPC

SoftPC is a software emulator of x86 hardware. It was developed in the mid-1980s by Rod MacGregor, who founded Insignia Solutions. Available originally on UNIX workstations to run MS-DOS, the software was ported to the Macintosh in 1987, and later gained the ability to run Windows software. Besides Mac OS, supported platforms included SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, NeXT, Motorola 88000, DEC VAX/VMS, DEC ULTRIX, and others.

Bundles of SoftPC with Windows (3.x, 95, 98) were called SoftWindows, although it was possible to install Windows into the basic SoftPC environment along with some special utilities provided by Insignia to achieve the same effect.

Beginning in 1996, Insignia commanded the niche for this product area, but it soon faced heavy competition from Connectix with their Virtual PC product. Insignia sold the product line to FWB Software in October 1999 in order to focus on supplying implementations of Java for the mobile device market. FWB continued to sell SoftWindows until March 2001. FWB Software also marketed a separate version of the software that did not include a bundled copy of Windows, called RealPC, until 2003.

When Microsoft released Windows NT it included a subsystem ("WOW" - Windows on Windows, later NTVDM) for running virtualized 16-bit Windows (x86) programs. However, they had also made changes to Windows to allow it to run on alternative processors (Alpha, PowerPC), and for these an emulation layer was needed for programs compiled for Intel processors. Customized versions of Insignia's core emulation system were produced to this end, however the alternative NT architectures never became widely used.

Unlike most emulators, the SoftWindows product used recompiled Windows components to improve performance in most business applications, providing almost native performance (but this meant that, unlike SoftPC, SoftWindows was not upgradable)

Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. v. Connectix Corp.

Sony Computer Entertainment v. Connectix Corporation, 203 F.3d 596 (2000), is a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that the copying of a copyrighted BIOS software during the development of an emulator software does not constitute copyright infringement, but is covered by fair use. The court also ruled that Sony's PlayStation trademark had not been tarnished by Connectix Corp.'s sale of its emulator software, the Virtual Game Station.

VGS

VGS may refer to:

Education:

Videregående skole, upper secondary school in NorwayGaming:

Voice Game System, a communication tool used in many team based online-multiplayer games

Connectix Virtual Game Station, a PlayStation emulator.Military:

Escort Scouting Squadron, a U.S. Navy aviation unit designation used from 1942 to 1943

Volunteer Gliding SquadronMusic:

Voodoo Glow Skulls, skacore bandPlaces:

Arcot, Vellore District - 632503

Vince Genna Stadium, a baseball park in Bend, OregonSymbols:

VGS means gate to source voltage in field effect transistors (electronics)

VHD (file format)

VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a file format which represents a virtual hard disk drive (HDD). It may contain what is found on a physical HDD, such as disk partitions and a file system, which in turn can contain files and folders. It is typically used as the hard disk of a virtual machine.

The format was created by Connectix for their Virtual PC product, known as Microsoft Virtual PC since Microsoft acquired Connectix in 2003.

Since June 2005, Microsoft has made the VHD Image Format Specification available to third parties under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.

Webcam

A webcam is a video camera that feeds or streams its image in real time to or through a computer to a computer network.

The term "webcam" (a clipped compound) may also be used in its original sense of a video camera connected to the Web continuously for an indefinite time, rather than for a particular session, generally supplying a view for anyone who visits its web page over the Internet. Some of them, for example, those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, rugged professional video cameras.

Windows Virtual PC

Windows Virtual PC (successor to Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, and Connectix Virtual PC) is a virtualization program for Microsoft Windows. In July 2006 Microsoft released the Windows version as a free product. In August 2006, Microsoft announced the Macintosh version would not be ported to Intel-based Macintosh computers, effectively discontinuing the product as PowerPC-based Macintosh computers are no longer manufactured. The newest release, Windows Virtual PC, does not run on versions of Windows earlier than Windows 7, and does not officially support MS-DOS or operating systems earlier than Windows XP Professional SP3 as guests. The older versions, which support a wider range of host and guest operating systems, remain available. Starting with Windows 8, Hyper-V supersedes Windows Virtual PC.

Virtual PC virtualizes a standard IBM PC compatible device and its associated hardware. Supported Windows operating systems can run inside Virtual PC. Other operating systems such as Linux may run, but are not officially supported, and Microsoft does not provide the necessary "Virtual Machine Additions" (which include essential drivers) for Linux.

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