Apple Wiki
Apple Wiki

Ko Isono (c.1962 – December 12, 1992) was a software engineer at Apple Computer.

Personal life[]

Isono was born in Japan and was living in Fremont, California. Against his parents' wishes, he went to Japan to get married and returned in May 1992 with his new wife, to the surprise of his colleagues.[1][2]

Work at Apple Computer[]

At Apple Computer, Isono worked on the sensor code of Newton software along with how text and graphics were displayed. The pressure of delivering the new platform on time forced the development team to work very long hours. On December 12, 1992, Isono returned home and died of a self-inflicted gunshot in the bedroom, weeks before a demonstration that had been scheduled for January 8, 1993 at the upcoming winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.[1][2][3][4]


The following week, another programmer assaulted his roommate and was jailed. Some other engineers had quit.[1] Isono's funeral was held in the East Bay area.[4] Despite the setbacks, vice president Gaston Bastiaens bet his wine cellar that the remaining team could still ship the Newton MessagePad by the summer of 1993.[5]


Newton OS displays a message "In Memory of Ko Isono." in the About Newton info box. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Marketer's Dream, Engineer's Nightmare by John Markoff at The New York Times (1993-12-13, archived 2015-05-26)
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Fallen Apple by Owen W. Linzmayer, Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company p.193-194, No Starch Press. 2004.
  3. Making the Newton by Scott Willsey. 2020-02-12.
  4. 4.0 4.1 What Happens When One of Your Coworkers Dies by kabdib, Y Hacker News. 2013-12-20.
  5. Today in Apple history: Apple exec bets his wine cellar on Newton by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac. 2021-03-27.

See also[]

External links[]


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