Town Square

Computer History Museum acquires MacPaint code

Original post made by Nick V, Mountain View Voice Staff Writer, on Jul 22, 2010

Beauty and poetry are terms very often applied to works of art or literature. However, for computer programmers, those two words can also be used to describe a few lines of great code.

Such is the case for collection words and numerals, which form the underlying structure of [Web Link MacPaint], the seminal Apple computer illustration program, released in 1984, which John Hollar, president and CEO of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, said changed the way people thought about personal computers.

That code -- all 5,822 lines of it, which, according to Hollar is actually quite compact in today's terms -- is now a part of the Computer History Museum's collection, and available to the public as a free download through their [Web Link website].

"We think it's a really important thing for the museum," John Hollar, president and CEO of the museum, said of having the code for the program that "caused everyone to re-imagine what a computer could really do."

Apparently Hollar isn't the only one who thinks the code is significant. It was downloaded more than 100,000 times in the first 48 hours after it was put online.

Look for a longer story on the museum's acquisition of the MacPaint code in a forthcoming issue of the Mountain View Voice.