Apple Collection

I began collecting Apple computers, accessories, and collectibles in the 1990s. When iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch devices were introduced, I began to collect those items as well. About twenty-five years later, I have an extensive collection of all things Apple.

Beginning in late 2018, I began to document and catalog my collection. I use a Nikon D3500 (with 18–35mm lens) and an inexpensive lighting setup. Each blog entry includes basic information, occasional personal commentary, and photos of the item(s).

AirPort Express Base Station (Generation 1, 2004)

The AirPort Express Base Station was part of Apple’s AirPort line of wireless products. Although its design was more compact and it had fewer features than the AirPort Extreme Base Station available at the time, the AirPort Express Base Station included the ability to receive streamed audio from a wirelessly connected computer that was running iTunes. The AirPort Express Base Station could play the streamed audio through speakers connected to its analog/digital audio output jack, a feature the AirPort Extreme lacked.

The original AirPort Express offered 802.11g wireless, contained an analog–optical audio mini-jack output, a USB port for remote printing, and one Ethernet port. The AirPort Express could only stream audio to a powered speaker or stereo system via iTunes—it could not stream video.

Source: Wikipedia

PowerBook G3 (original, 250 MHz, “Kanga,” 1997)

The PowerBook G3/250 is the first Apple laptop to use the G3 processor. It shipped with a 250 MHz G3 processor; contained 32 MB RAM and 2 MB VRAM; used a 5 GB hard drive; and had an internal 20X tray-loading CD-ROM drive. It included “hot-swappable” drive bays—drives could be swapped while the computer was running without restarting—and dual PC card slots. The display was a 12.1-inch color TFT active-matrix display at 800×600 resolution.

The design of the original PowerBook G3 is nearly identical to the PowerBook 3400 that proceeded it. The laptop included the 3400’s notable four-speaker sound system. It shipped with MacOS 8.0 and could be updated to a maximum of MacOS 9.1. Its average weight was 7.5 pounds.

Because of its G3 (third-generation) PowerPC 750 processor that included a backside level 2 cache, the laptop’s performance exceeded that of some desktop systems at the time. When released, its retail price was $5,700.

Source: EveryMac

PowerBook 20X CD-ROM Module (1997)

Beginning in 1995 with the PowerBook 190 and 5300 models, Apple laptops shipped with an expansion bay for both Apple and third-party drives. The drives were “hot-swappable,” meaning that the user could pull out one drive and replace it with another without restarting the laptop.

This PowerBook 20X CD-ROM Module from 1997 works with PowerBook 1400-series laptops.

PowerBook 180c (1993)

The Macintosh PowerBook 180c included a 33 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, either an 80 MB or 160 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive. The “c” in the name indicated that it had an 8.4-inch color active-matrix display capable of displaying 256 colors at 640×480 resolution. This was the first color PowerBook to display a full 640×480 display (previous models displayed 640×400). Due to the upgraded color, the case lid was redesigned (from the PowerBook 180) to accommodate the thicker display.

Aside from the display difference, the PowerBook 180c is nearly identical to the PowerBook 180. The 180c used a trackball and had two rotating feet in the back corners to elevate the keyboard to an angle.

An Apple Developer Note document indicates that the PowerBook 180c and 165c are closely related: “Because the Macintosh PowerBook 180c is identical in most respects to the PowerBook 165c computer, most hardware and software designed for that model will operate without modification on the PowerBook 180c.”

Due to its processing performance and because the PowerBook 180c (and 180) had an external color video port with similar specifications to desktop Macintosh models of the time (e.g., LC III+), it could be connected to an external monitor and replace a desktop computer.

Source: EveryMac, Wikipedia

PowerBook 5300cs (1995)

The Macintosh PowerBook 5300c/100 used a 100 MHz processor (PowerPC 603e), shipped with 8 MB or 16 MB of RAM, and included a 500 MB or 750 MB hard drive. The “cs” in the name indicated that its 10.4-inch color display displayed 8-bit color on its 640×480 display.

This was among the first Apple laptop series to use “hot swappable” drive bays (along with the PowerBook 190 from the same year), meaning that users could remove and replace the internal drives without restarting the computer.

This laptop shipped with Macintosh System 7.5.2 and could run operating systems up to Mac OS 9.1. The PowerBook 5300cs weighed 6.2 pounds.

Because this laptop was designed to be as small as possible at the time, it had insufficient internal space for an internal CD-ROM drive. Its design also replaced the rotating back feet of previous PowerBook models with spring-loaded feet that pop out to elevate the angle of the laptop. The case also used a darker shade of grey (almost black) than its predecessors.

PowerBook 5300 computers were infamous at the time for shipping with a few quality problems. Notably, the internal battery on two early models reportedly overheated and burst into flames, a design flaw that Apple corrected by switching from lithium ion to nickel metal hydride batteries. Apple reported that only a few hundred laptops shipped with the early battery and a free replacement was offered. Some users also experienced problems with the display hinges cracking over time and the internal connector ribbons wearing out, leading to screen failure (the screen would show vertical lines or go completely black).

The PowerBook 3400 replaced the 5300 and some of the 5300-series hot-swappable drive bay modules could be used with newer 3400 PowerBooks.

Source: EveryMac, Wikipedia

PowerBook 5300c/100 (1995)

The Macintosh PowerBook 5300c/100 shipped with a 100 MHz processor (PowerPC 603e), 8 MB or 16 MB of RAM, and included a 500 MB or 750 MB hard drive. The “c” in the name indicated its 10.4-inch color active-matrix display (640×480) that allowed 16-bit color on its display or an external monitor.

This was among the first Apple laptop series to use “hot swappable” drive bays (along with the PowerBook 190 that shipped the same year with a similar design), meaning that users could remove and replace the internal drives without restarting the computer.

This laptop shipped with Macintosh System 7.5.2 and could run operating systems up to Mac OS 9.1. The PowerBook 5300c weighed 6.2 pounds.

Because this laptop was designed to be as small as possible at the time, it had insufficient internal space for an internal CD-ROM drive. Its design also replaced the rotating back feet of previous PowerBook models with spring-loaded feet that pop out to elevate the angle of the laptop. The case also used a darker shade of grey than its predecessors (almost black).

PowerBook 5300 computers were infamous at the time for shipping with a few quality problems. Notably, the internal battery on two early models reportedly overheated and burst into flames, a design flaw that Apple corrected by switching from lithium ion to nickel metal hydride batteries. Apple reported that only a few hundred laptops shipped with the early battery and a free replacement was offered. Some users also experienced problems with the display hinges cracking over time and the internal connector ribbons wearing out leading to screen failure (the screen would show vertical lines or go completely black).

The PowerBook 3400 replaced the 5300 and some of the 5300-series hot-swappable drive bay modules could be used with newer 3400 PowerBooks.

Source: EveryMac, Wikipedia

MacBook Pro 15-inch (Core 2 Duo, 2.4 GHz, early 2008)

This MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop was released in early 2008 with an identical case design as its predecessor. It shipped with a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo (Penryn) processor and 2 GB of 667 MHz SDRAM. It contained a 200 GB hard drive and 8X DVD RW/CD-RW SuperDrive. The display was an LED-backlit 15.4-inch widescreen at 1440×900 resolution.

Although the external case did not change from the “Santa Rosa” processor version of the laptop that preceded it, the keyboard design removed the numeric keypad accessed using the fn (function) key and replaced the right-side enter key with an additional option key, the same laptop keyboard layout still in use now (as of February 2020). This MacBook Pro also used the same trackpad design as the MacBook Air of the time, adding multi-touch gestures.

Ports on this MacBook Pro included an ExpressCard slot, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 400, Firewire 800, two USB 2.0 ports, optical digital audio in/out, and DVI out. Wireless connections included AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1. It also included an iSight video camera and MagSafe power connector, both standard at the time.

When I acquired this laptop, its battery had burst while installed in the laptop. The battery failure caused the battery to bow in the center and it was lodged in the case. Using a few iFixIt spatula tools, I was able to extract it safely and then properly dispose of the ruptured battery.

Source: EveryMac

Apple logo laptop case (c. 1995)

I acquired this Apple logo laptop case with a PowerBook 1400 and all its accessories. Its perfect fit for this device and its accessories indicates that the laptop case may have been released at the same time as PowerBook 1400.

The laptop case is black and features an embroidered six-color logo. The internal adjustable Velcro divider allows space for a laptop and power cord, while inside pockets allow space for 3.5-inch floppy disks, business cards, and other items. Although a perfect fit for a PowerBook 1400 and accessories, the thin canvas of the case does not offer much protection.

Macintosh PowerBook Floppy Drive Expansion Bay Module (for PowerBook 1400, 1996)

Beginning in 1995 with the PowerBook 190 and 5300 models, Apple laptops shipped with an expansion bay for both Apple and third-party drives. The drives were “hot-swappable,” meaning that the user could pull out one drive and replace it with another without restarting the laptop.

This PowerBook Floppy Drive Expansion Bay Module from 1996 works with PowerBook 1400-series laptops.

PowerBook 1400cs/117 (with BookCover collection, 1996)

The Macintosh PowerBook 1400cs/133 featured a 133 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 16 MB of RAM, a 1.3 GB hard drive and an 8X CD-ROM drive. The color dual-scan display measured 11.3 inches. The PowerBook 1400cs was similar to the PowerBook 1400c, but the “s” in “cs” indicated a higher quality active-matrix display.

The PowerBook 1400 series was the first PowerBook to use an internal CD-ROM drive and stackable memory modules (allowing more RAM to be installed in the limited space inside a laptop). This PowerBook also included a clear cover on the outer case and shipped with pre-printed “BookCovers” to customize the look of each PowerBook. (A matching dark gray cover was also included for those not wishing to customize.)

Although I have previously included other PowerBook 1400-series laptop examples on my blog, I acquired this model complete with its collection of BookCovers. I wanted to document this laptop along with this interesting design feature not used on an Apple laptop before or since.

PowerBook 1400-series laptops shipped with seven different BookCovers by six different designers. Although each BookCover is two-sided, one side of each BookCover includes a design from a featured designer, and the opposite side uses a pattern in one of seven different colors with a similar, but uncredited, design. The cardboard envelope containing the BookCovers provides a brief bio of each of the designers:

Jim Mitchell, Sydney
Jim Mitchell is a New Zealand artist currently living in Sydney. He is one of the main artists working for Mambo Graphics, Australia’s surf and streetwear company through which his style has become widely recognized. Jim also works for a variety of local and international agencies and magazines, and regularly exhibits his paintings and print work.

Brad Holland, New York
One of the best known and most highly acclaimed figures in American Illustration, Brad has led a very prolific and successful career, receiving more medals from the Society of Illustrators than any other artist in the organization’s history. His work includes covers for The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine. He continues to work, lecture and exhibit throughout the world.

Carlos Segura, Chicago
Carlos Segura was born in Cuba in 1956 and moved to Florida at the age of 9. He began his career in New Orleans, moving up to Chicago in 1980 where he worked for several advertising agencies before founding his own design company, Segura Inc., in 1991. This was followed in 1994 with the birth of T-26, (a new digital type foundry) helping Carlos to establish himself as a leading force in American graphic design.

Michael Bartalos, San Francisco
Michael Bartalos was born in West Germany in 1959 and is of Hungarian ancestry. Since graduating from the Pratt Institute in 1982, he has worked extensively in the graphic arts in the US and Japan. Recent projects include his children’s book, Shadowville, designs for Swatch watches, and the 32-cent Marathon commemorative stamp for the US Postal Service.

David Karam, San Francisco
David Karam is a partner of Post Tool Design, a design studio he established in 1993 with Gigi Biederman in San Francisco. Post Tool, specializing in print, interaction and multimedia design, quickly built up a client list including Warner Records, Colossal Pictures, Sony Music and Swatch Watch and have been featured in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Communication Arts and ID Magazine.

Keiji Ito, Tokyo
Born in Tokyo in 1958, Keiji Ito is one of Asia’s leading editorial and advertising illustrators, as well as an new and innovative stage and poster designer. His paintings have been exhibited in numerous shows internationally since 1989. He works out of his Tokyo studio, LopLop Design Inc. and is the author and illustrator of three books: Ninifuni, Datecraft 1994 Timescape and Klin Klan.

I remember using my own PowerBook 1400 for a few years while I was teaching and I designed my own custom BookCovers. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to locate any of my original BookCover designs.

Source: EveryMac