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Connectix Corporation
Fate Sold Quickcam to Logitech, Sold Virtual Game Station to Sony, sold Virtual PC to Microsoft, discontinued other products
Successor Dissolved
Founded October 1988
Defunct August 2003
Key people Jon Garber
Bonnie Fought
Roy McDonald
Eric Traut
Industry computer software and hardware
Products Virtual
MODE32
MAXIMA
RAM Doubler
Speed Doubler
Quickcam
Virtual Game Station
Virtual PC
Virtual Server

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 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.

Products

Primary products included:

  • Virtual, its original flagship product, which introduced virtual memory to the Mac OS years before Apple's implementation in System 7 (Virtual also ran on a motley assortment of accelerator cards for the original Mac / Mac Plus / Mac SE line, 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 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 as SuperMenu.
  • MODE32 software, which allowed 32-bit addressing 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);
  • 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 and also allowed booting from the RAM disk;
  • RAM Doubler, the first product to combine compression with virtual memory, a top selling Mac utility for many years (eventually made obsolete as Apple improved their own virtual memory); [There was also a RAM Doubler for Windows 3.1 which increased system resources - using a compression technique - therefore allowing more applications to run]
  • Speed Doubler, which combined an enhanced disk cache, better Finder copy utility, and a dynamically recompiling 68K-to-PowerPC emulator, which was faster than both the interpretive emulator that shipped in the original PowerPCs and the dynamically recompiling emulator that Apple shipped in later machines; (made obsolete as 68K applications went away and OS code improved);
  • Quickcam, the first webcam (the line was later sold to Logitech) - 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. Indeed, it was to become the first Connectix Windows product 14 months later, the first of many (RAM Doubler for Windows 3.1 being the next to take the leap; Note: the Mac QuickCam shipped in August 1994, RAM Doubler for Windows in April 1995, QuickCam for Windows in October 1995);
  • 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 Feb. 18. 2003 [1]

With the sale of Virtual PC development and support, staff were transferred to Microsoft, including 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








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