Berkeley Systems was a San Francisco Bay Area software company co-founded in 1987 by Wes Boyd and Joan Blades. It made money early on by performing contract work for the National Institutes of Health, specifically in making modifications to the Macintosh so that it could be used by partially sighted or blind people. Several of these Access programs were licensed by Apple Computer and added to the operating system. Perhaps the most ambitious of these technologies was a program that could read the Macintosh screen, called outSPOKEN, which won a technology award from the Smithsonian in 1990.

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  • Berkeley Systems was a San Francisco Bay Area software company co-founded in 1987 by Wes Boyd and Joan Blades. It made money early on by performing contract work for the National Institutes of Health, specifically in making modifications to the Macintosh so that it could be used by partially sighted or blind people. Several of these Access programs were licensed by Apple Computer and added to the operating system. Perhaps the most ambitious of these technologies was a program that could read the Macintosh screen, called outSPOKEN, which won a technology award from the Smithsonian in 1990. The first commercial success for Berkeley Systems was a virtual desktop product for the Macintosh called Stepping Out. Given the small size of the first Macintosh screens, this product had some use and the idea was widely copied. The much bigger success was After Dark, a modular screen saver that included flying toasters, and the first of its kind to be sold. The idea was brought to Berkeley Systems by Jack Eastman and Patrick Beard. Eastman was later put in charge of software development at Berkeley Systems. Berkeley Systems' best-selling product, the trivia game You Don't Know Jack, was developed by Jellyvision, based on their award-winning children's educational film "The Mind's Treasure Chest". YDKJ brought that program's model of interactive learning, engaging structure and pacing, and host character into the commercial mainstream. It also brought graphics, sound editing, and marketing to Berkeley; production of the show continued at Jellyvision's Chicago studios. Based in the old Pacific Bell building on Rose Street at Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California, Berkeley Systems grew to 120 employees and US$30 million annual revenue before it was acquired by the Sierra On-Line division of CUC International in 1997 for $13.8 million. Vivendi Universal’s subsequent acquisition of Sierra, and a host of similar enterprises, enjoined diverse competing sales and marketing departments with one sole directive: sell Web banner advertisements. As a result, Berkeley Systems became the U.S. headquarters of French-owned Flipside.com. In early 2000, Berkeley Systems was folded into the fledgling Los Angeles-based gambling site iWin.com, per the terms of that site's acquisition by Vivendi. The toasters were the subject of two lawsuits, the first in 1993, Berkeley Systems vs Delrina Corporation, over a module of Delrina's Opus 'N Bill screen saver in which Opus the Penguin shoots down the toasters. Delrina later changed the wings of the toasters to propellers in order to avoid infringing the trademark. The second case was brought in 1994 by the 1960s rock group Jefferson Airplane who claimed that the toasters were a copy of the winged toasters featured on the cover of their 1973 album Thirty Seconds Over Winterland. The case was dismissed, because the cover art had not been registered as a trademark by the group prior to Berkeley Systems' release of the screen saver. Boyd and Blades went on to found the liberal political group MoveOn.org in 1998. Blades also later co-founded MomsRising.org with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner in 2006. (en)
  • Berkeley Systems was een softwarebedrijf uit San Francisco Bay Area en meer bepaald Berkely. Het bedrijf werd in 1987 opgericht door Wes Boyd en Joan Blades. Het bedrijf werkte oorspronkelijk als contractor voor het Amerikaanse National Institutes of Health. Een van hun eerste producten was een toepassing voor Macintosh zodat slechtzienden of zelfs blinden de computer konden gebruiken. Deze programma's werden vervolgens gelicentieerd aan Apple om toe te voegen aan hun besturingssysteem. Berkely Systems ontwikkelde ook outSPOKEN een programma dat kon voorlezen wat er op het scherm stond. Dit softwarepakket won in 1990 de technologieprijs van het Smithsonian. Berkely Systems ontwikkelde ook Stepping Out, een virtuele desktop voor Macintosh. Een traditionele Macintosh monitor was redelijk klein en het besturingssysteem toonde slechts 1 desktop, Stepping Out gaf de mogelijkheid te wisselen tussen meerdere desktops. Een van de meest bekende softwarepakketten is wellicht de schermbeveiliger After Dark uit 1989 waar de gebruiker uit diverse screensavers kon kiezen. Dit pakket bevatte onder andere een schermbeveiliger met broodroosters die vleugels hadden en zodoende konden vliegen. Dit was bijna aanleiding voor twee rechtszaken: Delrina bracht later ook een dergelijk pakket uit waar dezelfde broodroosters werden neergeschoten. Berkely Systems dreigde met een rechtszaak omdat zij het handelsmerk hadden op de afbeelding. Derlina paste hun software aan en verving de vleugels door propellers. Later claimde Jefferson Airplane dat zij eigenaar waren van de broodroosters omdat zij reeds in 1972 op de cover van hun album Thirty Seconds Over Winterland broodroosters met vleugels hadden gezet. De zaak werd geklasseerd aangezien de broodroosters visueel sterk afwijken (deze op de cover hadden trouwens ook een klok) en omdat dat de muziekgroep geen trademark had op de afbeelding. Berkeley Systems best verkochte product is de spelserie You Don't Know Jack. Hiervan was Berkely Systems enkel de uitgever, want het spel zelf werd ontwikkeld door Jellyvision In 1997 werd het bedrijf opgekocht door Sierra On-Line. (nl)
dbo:extinctionYear
  • 2000-01-01 (xsd:date)
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  • Acquired (en)
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  • 1987-01-01 (xsd:date)
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  • 120 (xsd:integer)
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  • 1355139 (xsd:integer)
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  • 733510443 (xsd:integer)
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  • Berkeley Systems logo.PNG
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  • Access Software
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  • Archived versions of official website
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  • http://www.berksys.com/
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http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
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rdfs:comment
  • Berkeley Systems was a San Francisco Bay Area software company co-founded in 1987 by Wes Boyd and Joan Blades. It made money early on by performing contract work for the National Institutes of Health, specifically in making modifications to the Macintosh so that it could be used by partially sighted or blind people. Several of these Access programs were licensed by Apple Computer and added to the operating system. Perhaps the most ambitious of these technologies was a program that could read the Macintosh screen, called outSPOKEN, which won a technology award from the Smithsonian in 1990. (en)
  • Berkeley Systems was een softwarebedrijf uit San Francisco Bay Area en meer bepaald Berkely. Het bedrijf werd in 1987 opgericht door Wes Boyd en Joan Blades. Het bedrijf werkte oorspronkelijk als contractor voor het Amerikaanse National Institutes of Health. Een van hun eerste producten was een toepassing voor Macintosh zodat slechtzienden of zelfs blinden de computer konden gebruiken. Deze programma's werden vervolgens gelicentieerd aan Apple om toe te voegen aan hun besturingssysteem. Berkely Systems ontwikkelde ook outSPOKEN een programma dat kon voorlezen wat er op het scherm stond. Dit softwarepakket won in 1990 de technologieprijs van het Smithsonian. (nl)
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  • Berkeley Systems (en)
  • Berkeley Systems (nl)
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  • Berkeley Systems (en)
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