Kim Scheinberg wrote an interesting post on quora.com about Apple’s Secrecy by telling a story on how her husband John Kullman ported the Mac OS to the Intel x86 platform.
To make a long story short, Around June of 2000 Apple Employee John Kullman and his wife had a child and wanted to move from California east to be near their parents so that their son would have grandparents in his life. To do this, John Kullman needed permission to telecommute. This means he couldn’t work on any team project he needed to find something to work on. So Apply finally gave him the ok.
Eventually his boss came to him and aked what he was working on to justify the budget. Kullman showed him the MacOS running on Intel machine. This caught the attention of upper management. They asked how fast can you get it working on a Sony laptop. John replied a few hours. Later that day John shows the OS running on a Sony Vaio that was bought that day from Frys. The next day Steve Jobs was on a flight to Japan to talk to Sony.
Apple then put John Kullman and his family on lock down. No one could talk about the project and the home office was reconfigured to meet “Apple security standards”. So for 18 months only 6 people knew about the project, code named “Project Marklar”.
When asked about where they got the name Project Marklar, she responded
“It was unintentional.
JK had three machines in his office for which IS&T required names. He came up with the first two pretty quickly (t3w and bob) but was stuck for a third. He tried several, but they were all taken by other Apple employees. In a fit of desperation, he asked me and I suggested Marklar.
Yes, it’s the South Park reference.”
You can read more about this from Kim-Scheinberg’s port on Quora.
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You can read more about the naming of the project here.
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