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The Calculator Steve Jobs Designed

I remember reading a long time ago about how Steve Jobs ended up designing the calculator on the original Macintosh. Every time Steve saw the calculator, he would complain about the color of a button or the thickness of a line and demand changes. But the changes never satisfied Jobs, to absolutely no one’s surprise.

So a smart programmer named Chris Espinosa created a “Steve Jobs Roll Your Own Calculator Construction Set” that allowed our favorite perfectionist to have it his way. It took Jobs about ten minutes to come up with a design he liked, and the resulting calculator remained the standard on the Mac all the way up through OS 9.

I miss the old Macintosh calculator, so I recreated this bit of computing history for iOS. You can now enjoy the pixellated glory of Steve Jobs’ own design, which was used by millions, unchanged, for more than 18 years.

You can get 1984 Calculator on the App Store. As usual, I also made an RPN version. It’s a universal app that works on both iPad and iPhone. You can choose from the three different calculator window styles that were used throughout the various versions of Macintosh System Software / Mac OS.

On the iPad side, you also get to choose the desktop pattern, from a mix of classic Macintosh desktop patterns.

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