Jay Little - Software Obsessionist
Rhapsody : A Visual Adventure - Part 1


Quick Question - What is Rhapsody?

Rhapsody as you may have guessed from the logo above - is an Operating System. The long and short of it is this: Rhapsody is Mac OS X before there was a Mac OS X. Back in 1998 and 1999 releases of Rhapsody from Apple made their way into the hands of developers everywhere. However unlike Mac OS X, there was something very special about these Apple OS releases.

Rhapsody was being cross developed for the PC (aka x86) platform and two of the developer releases had x86 counterparts. Needless to say after the second release (DR2) Apple decided against continuing this port and it was scrapped.

So why do you care?

I care because Rhapsody is extremely rare. I also happen to care because Rhapsody offers a unique opportunity to examine a product right smack in the middle of the software development process - not to mention that fact that it was in process of receiving a complete overhaul.

<Where does Rhapsody come from?>Rhapsody was once upon a time known as NextStep and OpenStep. These were operating systems developed by a company known as Next Inc back in the early to mid 90's. Next was actually founded, owned, and operated by none other than Steve Jobs himself. In 1985 Steve left Apple and the following year he began Next Inc.

Next Inc focused on creating a high powered Operating System to run on high powered Hardware. They ended up with Nextstep, a BSD *nix Mach derivative with a decent user interface to boot. NextStep was the first *nix Operating system that attempted and succeeded at placing a friendly face on Unix. Note:Next ran on 68k, Sparc, and x86 chipsets.

Funnily enough in 1996 Apple bought Next in an effort to revitalise its efforts in creating a modern operating system for the Macintosh. As a result of this Steve Jobs eventually became CEO of Apple once again in 1997. For all intensive purposes at this point - Apple has become Next Inc.

Enough of the History Lesson - I want some Graphics!

Note: All images were captured using Virtual PC 4.3 Build 223 (A bleeding edge release) using Windows XP Pro as the host operating system. Rhapsody plays very nice with the emulated hardware of Virtual PC and nearly everything works natively in the Operating System including networking.


Above: The Rhapsody DR2 Login Screen

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