Special Tools and Fixtures (Mac Pro, Late 2013)

This set of “Special Tools and Fixtures” are Apple repair components custom-designed to fix the Mac Pro (Late 2013). The parts are named and described in an Apple repair document. According to the document, the parts are named:

  • Core Cradle (made from a large block of black foam)
  • Core End Caps (2 identical parts made from clear acrylic)
  • CPU Riser Cover (made from ITW Formex)
  • Roof Alignment Fixture (made from a ring of black foam)
  • I/O Wall Stand (made from a small block of black foam)
  • Foam block (a small square block of black foam)

The parts are used in the following ways:

The two Core End Caps are inserted into the Core Cradle to support the Mac Pro core assembly, the triangular core of the computer. For some repairs, the Core Cradle is used without the Core End Caps.

The CPU Riser Cover is used as a protective spacer when performing certain repairs (e.g., installation of the I/O and power supply assembly).

The guide specifies that the Roof Alignment Fixture is necessary when servicing the logic board, inlet, and the roof of the Mac Pro core.

When the outer case is removed, Apple recommends laying computer on its side while removing and inserting DIMMs. Using the I/O Wall Stand keeps the inside of the Mac Pro from rocking.

The Foam Block is used when tilting the core assembly into the exhaust assembly or removing other parts of the core assembly (e.g., I/O and power supply assembly) to allow the parts to rest and preventing strain on cables.

Coincidentally, the company that made the Formex material of the CPU Riser Cover is ITW, Illinois Tool Works, based in Glenview, Illinois—a Chicago suburb close to where I live.

Source: Apple

Apple sticker packs (die-cut backing, Motter Tektura logotype, c. 1984)

These sets of Apple stickers are in original packaging and feature large stickers on a white backing measuring 4.25 x 3.5 inches and small stickers on a white backing measuring 1.75 x 2.25 inches.

The stickers use the Motter Tekura font and feature the 6-color Apple logo. Between 1977 and approximately 1984, Apple used the font Motter Tekura in their logo in all lowercase type. Several sources verify that these stickers were included in the packaging of the original Macintosh, the Macintosh 128k, and the Macintosh 512k, despite the fact that the original Macintosh devices used the Apple Garamond font printed on the case.

The odd look of the stickers is due to the “bleed” of the ink off the outer edges. When peeled off the sticker, the logos have the typical logo shape and the extra color that “bleeds” off the edges is left on the backing.

The stickers also include the helpful direction in all caps to “BEND PACK AND PEEL” to release the sticker.

Sources: Wikipedia (Typography of Apple), packaging photos (Macworld, Cult of Mac 128K, Cult of Mac 512k)

30W USB-C Power Adapter (2019)

Apple’s 30W USB-C Power Adapter may be used to charge and/or power iPhone, iPad, and Mac models that use a USB-C port or Lighting cable with a USB-C plug. Apple describes the adapter:

“The Apple 30W USB‑C Power Adapter offers fast, efficient charging at home, in the office, or on the go. While the power adapter is compatible with any USB‑C–enabled device, Apple recommends pairing it with the 13-inch MacBook Air with Retina display for optimal charging performance. You can also pair it with select iPhone and iPad Pro models to take advantage of the fast-charging feature.”

The charging cables are sold separately.

Source: Apple

Apple Watch Sport Loop (44mm, Sunflower, Spring 2021)

The Apple Watch Sport Loop band was woven from nylon thread to create a hook-and-loop closure. These bands were available for the 40mm and 44mm Apple Watch models, and were offered in sizes to fit 130–200mm wrists (40mm) and 145–220mm wrists (44mm). The bands also fit older Apple Watch sizes of 38mm and 42mm.

This Sunflower band used a base color of yellow-gold and had edges in white and dark gray. The connector plastics were yellow-gold and the closure plastic was dark gray.

Apple described the Apple Watch Sport Loop band:

“Soft, breathable, and lightweight, the Sport Loop features a hook-and-loop fastener for quick and easy adjustment. The double-layer nylon weave has dense loops on the skin side that provide soft cushioning while allowing moisture to escape. On the reverse side, the attachment loops are securely anchored for superior durability.”

Source: Apple

iMac M1 packaging (pink, 2021)

Like all original M1 iMac models, the pink option ships with a color-matched Getting Started booklet and two stickers that match the exterior colors of the iMac. In this case, the stickers are pink and red. Both sticker colors have a slight metallic look.

Apple Pencil (Generation 2, 2018)

The second generation Apple Pencil was released along with the Generation 3 iPad Pro on October 30, 2018. The new Apple Pencil was described by Apple in a press release: 

“A second-generation Apple Pencil magnetically attaches to iPad Pro and wirelessly charges at the same time. A new touch sensor built onto Apple Pencil detects taps, introducing an entirely new way to interact within apps.”

This Apple Pencil charged with a magnetic charger built into the iPad instead of the Lightning connector used to charge the original Apple Pencil.

Apple lists the capabilities of the Apple Pencil Generation 2 as including:

  • Wireless pairing and charging
  • Attaches magnetically
  • Double-tap to change tools
  • Pixel-perfect precision
  • Tilt and pressure sensitivity
  • Imperceptible lag
  • Free engraving

Although small design changes, the second generation Apple Pencil featured two flat edges and a matte-textured finish, making it feel more like a traditional pencil. It was also less prone to rolling off the table.

Sources: Apple (Newsroom, Apple Pencil)

AirTag Loop (Deep Navy, 2021)

The AirTag Loop was released in April 2021 along with the AirTag. Apple described the AirTag as “a small and elegantly designed accessory that helps keep track of and find the items that matter most with Apple’s Find My app.” 

Apple’s press release described this product as the Polyurethane Loop: “The Apple-designed Polyurethane Loop is both lightweight and durable, and fits securely around AirTag.” As of September 2021, the website simply referred to this product as the “AirTag Loop” (a similar product is called the “Apple Leather Loop”).

Apple described the AirTag Loop product:

“Both lightweight and durable, the loop is made from polyurethane and securely fastens your AirTag to your items. The enclosure fits tightly around your AirTag to ensure that it stays put, so you can keep track of whatever it’s attached to. AirTag is sold separately.”

This particular item was purchased from Amazon and, it did not include original packaging.

Sources: Apple (Newsroom, Apple Loop)

The Power to be Your Best mousepad (c. 1986)

This mousepad was likely released around the same time as Apple released the mid-1980s TV commercial with the tagline, “The Power to Be Your Best.” 

The commercial features a man standing behind a window pensively looking at office workers wondering which computer is most powerful. A co-worker suggests that the answer can be found in system specifications, but the man concludes, “I think the most powerful computer is the one that people actually use.” A voiceover ends with the multicolor Apple logo and the words, “Macintosh, the power to be your best.”

This white mousepad doesn’t quite deliver on the ideal of “the best” because the “T” in the tagline at the top is in a different font (a sans serif font) than the rest of the phrase, “The power to be your best.” (Although this may be an intentional design choice.) In addition, the tagline font is not Apple’s corporate font of the time, Apple Garamond, and clashes with the font below it.

The lower-left corner features a large multicolor Apple logo and the logotype Apple Computer, Inc. (Apple’s official company name from 1977 until 2007 when it dropped “Computer” from its moniker).

This mousepad is 9 inches wide, 7.75 inches tall, and 0.25 inches thick. The mousepad has rounded edges and uses a thick, black, textured rubber pad. The bottom is also printed with the manufacturing company, COMPUTER EXPRESSIONS, Philadelphia, PA. 

Source: YouTube

NeXT mousepad (c. 1990)

While not an official Apple item, the company NeXT was an important part of Apple’s history. NeXT was founded in 1985 by Steve Jobs after he was forced out of Apple. NeXT created computer workstations that were intended for use in higher education and business and ran an innovative operating system called NeXTSTEP.

The first Internet web server was a NeXTcube used by Tim Berners-Lee.

NeXT stopped making hardware in 1993 and focused on software such as the programming environments of NeXTSTEP and WebObjects.  

Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 and Steve Jobs returned to Apple as an advisor. Apple ported the NeXT operating system to the Macintosh platform and the implementation became the Mac OS X operating system. 

This NeXT mousepad is primarily black and features the NeXT logo on a six-sided design. It measures 8.125 x 8.125 inches with a shape that is stylized to appear as a black cube (matching the NeXT logo designed by Paul Rand). The mousepad has a rubber base with a textured bottom surface that is 0.125 inches thick. The back of the mousepad has two stickers, the manufacturer (Data Pad from Orem, Utah) and the product name (“SPEED PAD”).

Sources: Wikipedia, Logo Design Love

Leather ID/Card Holder with Key Ring (c. 1990)

This Leather ID/Card Holder with Key Ring features two pockets on one side, a clear plastic-covered window on the opposite side, and a zippered pocket in the center. The black holder is made from genuine leather and features an embossed Apple logo and the Apple logotype printed in the Apple Garamond font (used by Apple from 1984–2003).

The holder was made by Eisinger-Smith, Inc., a company that began in 1980 and as of now (2021) specializes in custom printed golf accessories. The Leather ID/Card Holder with Key Ring measures 3 x 4 inches.

Source: Eisinger-Smith