“The memos appear to have at one point belonged to Jack MacDonald, who was the manager of systems software for the Apple II and Apple III,” Miller reports.
“The memos run from January 10th, 1979 through June 25th, 1980 and mention a handful of names that we recognize today, including co-founder Steve Wozniak,” Miller reports. “Another interesting tidbit relates to the suggestion that an encryption be implemented with a hardware accessory. A memo from Barry Yarkoni, who later went on to work at IBM, however, calls the idea of hardware anti-piracy tools ‘totally unacceptable.’ So yes, even in 1979, dongles were a thing and Apple still uses them, despite them being ‘a case of the cure being worse than the disease.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, encryption via hardware dongle would be totally unacceptable, even back in 1979. However, using a dongle as a temporary bridge to finally compel an entire industry* into the future kicking and screaming**, however, is not.
*that would still be using command line, green CRTs and floppy disks today, without Apple
**3.5mm to Lightning or USB-C to whatever, for two examples