NeXT, Inc. was founded in 1985 by a then-exiled-from-Apple Steve Jobs. The company introduced a "revolutionary" black cube-shaped computers in Oct. 1988, one of which is now enshrined in the museum.

The NeXT cubes featured an optical drive instead of a floppy drive, but the first models were not popular because they were thought to be overpriced.

Job's NeXT Cube was meant to transform the PC business. The machine also united Jobs with his then archrival, IBM, an enthusiastic supporter of NeXTSTEP software, the operating system powering the NeXT cubes.

Apple got NeXTSTEP software as part of a package deal when they rehired Jobs in 1998. The company has since quietly phased out support for many NeXTSTEP products.

For more on NeXTSTEP read Intro to NEXTSTEP.Written by Thomas McCarthy.


  • CPU: 25 MHz 68030
  • FPU: 25 MHz 68882
  • OS: requires NeXTstep 1.0 or later
  • performance: 15 MIPS, 2 MFLOPS
  • ROM: 128 KB
  • RAM: 12 MB, expandable to 64 MB
  • VRAM: 256 KB
  • video: 1120x832 at 2-bits
  • hard drive: 2 gig
  • floppy drive: none
  • optical drive: 256 MB
  • networking: Thinnet and 10Base-T ethernet
  • RS-423 serial ports: 2
  • NeXTbus slots: 3
  • size (HxWxD): 12" x 12" x 12"


  • Model no.: N4000
  • Part no.: 135
  • SDN manufactured: March 1990
  • SN: AAA5008548


  • Model no.: N1000
  • Part no.: 23.00
  • SN: AAK000217

Interesting to know: pressing command+tilde will restart the computer.

  • OS: NeXTSTEP 3.3
  • Workspace version: 374.6
  • Postscript version: 125
NeXT Cube back->

NeXT Display back->

This one use to belong to the Colgate University.

NeXTSTEP help on line->

Chronology of events for the Cube computer.

  • October 1988; Steve Jobs of NeXT Inc. unveils the first NeXT computer, at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. For US$6500, it features: 25 MHz Motorola 68030 processor and 68882 math coprocessor, 8 MB RAM, 17-inch monochrome monitor, 256 MB read/write magneto-optical drive, and object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system. It is dubbed the "Cube" because its system box measures 1 foot on all sides.
  • September, 1989; NeXT ships the first NeXT Computer systems. NeXT releases NextStep v1.0.
  • October, 1989; IBM signs a deal with NeXT to license the NextStep operating system.
  • September, 1990; NeXT announces the Nextstation.
  • March, 1991; NeXT announces availability of its Nextstation color computers for US$8000.
  • April, 1991; NeXT ships the Nextstation and the NextStep v2.0 operating system.
  • January, 1992; NeXT announces that a version of the NextStep OS will be made for Intel PCs.
  • September, 1992; NeXT ships NextStep v3.0.
  • February, 1993; NeXT announces that it will drop its hardware line, to focus on becoming a larger player in the object-oriented software industry.
  • May, 1993; NeXT ships NextStep v3.1 for Intel PCs.
  • January, 1996; NeXT ends development of the NextStep operating system.
  • March, 1997; Apple Computer (AAPL) acquire NEXT software a Steve Jobs company, for $430 millions.
  • June, 1997; Steve Jobs sells 1.5 million shares of Apple Computer stock, that he received in December as part of Apple Computer's purchase of his NeXT Software.
Tim Berners-Lee created the world wide web and http standard on a NeXT Cube computer.
Actual picture of Tim's NeXT computer.

In 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project, to be known as the World Wide Web. Based on the earlier "Enquire" work, it was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a web of hypertext documents. He wrote the first World Wide Web server, "httpd", and the first client, "WorldWideWeb" a what-you-see-is-what-you-get hypertext browser/editor which ran in the NeXTSTEP environment. This work was started in October 1990, and the program "WorldWideWeb" first made available within CERN in December, and on the Internet at large in the summer of 1991.
This is a screen shot of the browser, taken in 1993. The differences between this and the first edition (Christmas 1990) were: The whole thing would have been grey scale as NeXTs were at the time just grey scale. The inline images such as the world/book icon and the CERN icon, would have been displayed in separate windows, as it didn't at first do inline images.

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS: He was knighted by the British Empire in 1998. Alternative names he considered, before settling on the World Wide Web, included "The Information Mine" and "Information Mesh."

HOBBIES: Windsurfing.