Upon release of the Macintosh 512K, a slightly redesigned Macintosh with the specs as the original Macintosh was introduced as the Macintosh 128K. Thus, the Macintosh 512K was technically the third Macintosh to be released since the new 128K model differed from the original Macintosh.
The Macintosh 512K had the same 512×342 monochrome display as the original Macintosh, but its memory was quadrupled. The name Macintosh 512K refers to its 512 kilobytes (kB) of internal RAM. The computer was not designed to be upgraded with additional RAM or further expanded, although a few third-party add-ons made available (such as a $2,195 “HyperDrive” hard drive by General Computer Corporation).
The Macintosh 512K was bundled with software including MacPaint and MacWrite, but many additional titles were soon available, including MacDraw, MacProject, Macintosh Pascal, and Microsoft Excel (requiring 512 kB of RAM to run). The increased memory also allowed the Macintosh 512K to handle larger word processing files, file sharing using Apple’s AppleShare local file sharing abilities, and generally faster performance of the graphical user interface (GUI).
This original Macintosh Mouse, Model M0100, shipped with a Macintosh 512K. This mouse was compatible with the Apple Lisa and was the same mouse that shipped with the original Macintosh.
The original Macintosh Mouse used a DE-9 connector and remained unchanged until 1987 when its color was altered to Platinium (with Smoke accents) to match the Macintosh Plus. Like all early Macintosh mouse designs, it used only one button to control the famously easy-to-use Macintosh operating systems of the time.
The Macintosh Keyboard, Model M0110, was included with the original Macintosh. This keyboard was also shipped with the Macintosh 512K.
This keyboard may be the simplest of all Apple keyboards because it lacks arrow keys and a numeric keypad. It used a telephone-style connector (RJ-10) to connect to the Macintosh, but the cable was wired differently than a standard telephone cord (a telephone cord is not interchangeable and will result in device damage).
This keyboard also introduced the “Command” key and symbol to the world. Apple II computers were in wide use at the time and included the “open Apple” key (a key with the outline of the Apple logo) and a “closed Apple” key (a key with a solid Apple logo), both used for shortcut and other functions before the Macintosh. (The Open- and Closed-Apple keys were also used on the Apple Lisa.) The “Command” key and symbol were used on this original Macintosh Keyboard and functioned similarly to the “Open Apple” key on the IIe. The keyboard that replaced this original Macintosh Keyboard design, the Apple Desktop Bus Keyboard, continued the tradition of the “Open-Apple” symbol by printing the Open-Apple on the same key as the Command symbol.
For years, users (especially teachers, including me) referred to keyboard shortcuts using the “Open-Apple” terminology, such as “Open-Apple-C” (for Edit > Copy) or “Open-Apple-P” (for File > Print), instead of using the arguably more elegant, and now standard term, “Command.”
At the time the original Macintosh was released, the computer was considered portable, due to its relatively small size (compared to its competitors) and the fact that the laptop computer was not yet widely available. (Apple would not release their first laptop, the Macintosh Portable, until 1989—a machine that was barely portable and cost over $7,000 at the time.) The original Macintosh design included a built-in handle and similarly sized models were offered from 1984 until the Color Classic II was discontinued in 1995.
Apple captured this opportunity to release the Soft Carrying Case that would fit all the “classic” Macintosh computers. The Soft Carrying Case was dark beige with black straps. Internally, the Soft Carrying Case has a soft, beige, fleece-like lining with compartments for the mouse, keyboard, manual/disks/cables, and a large central space for the Macintosh. Since the original Macintosh models had no internal hard drives, 3.5-inch floppy disks were required to run the operating system and programs.
The case could be used as a carry-on for air travel, but contains a Warning tag: “This bag is designed for carry-on use only. Use an ATA Spec. 300, category 1 approved container for checking your computer as luggage or shipping it as cargo.”
My collection currently includes two Soft Carrying Cases. One was a gift, and this example was included with the purchase of my Macintosh 512K. Verifying the exact name of of this product required some research. I finally located an Apple-based source in a 19-page brochure released in 1983 before the original Macintosh release. The brochure touts, “At less than 20 pounds in weight, Macintosh is easily carried from here to there. But handles always help. This durable, water-resistant carrying case is thickly padded so the Macintosh main unit, keyboard, mouse, manual and disks fit snugly inside.”
This MacBook Air 11-inch featured a 22-nm Haswell 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. It included 4 GB or 8 GB of memory and 128 GB or 256 GB of flash storage. This was the smallest of Apple’s MacBook Air line of laptops measuring 0.11 to 0.68 inches and weighed 2.3 pounds. It included a 720p FaceTime HD webcam, a backlit full-size keyboard, and an 11.6-inch widescreen TFT LED backlit active-matrix glossy display (1366×768).
Wireless connectivity included 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, while ports included analog audio out, one Thunderbolt port, and two USB 3.0 ports.
A previous version of the MacBook Air 11-inch nearly identical except for a slower processor and less available RAM and flash storage.
In my role as Assistant Superintendent for Technology & Innovation, I led the teams that managed nearly 4,500 of these laptops over a five-year period (2014–19). At the time, all high school students in the school district were issued a MacBook Air 11-inch and students used the same model for their 4-year high school career. Apple stopped manufacturing this laptop in 2018 and the high school switched to the iPad Generation 6.
The iBook G3/500 featured a 500 MHz PowerPC 750cx (G3) processor; 64 MB or 128 MB of RAM; a 10.0 GB Ultra ATA hard drive; a tray-loading CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW, or DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive; and optional AirPort (802.11b) card. The screen was a 12.1-inch TFT XGA active matrix display (1024×768). The case of the laptop was translucent white (a similar later model used an opaque white case).
This iBook replaced the previous iBook models that were much larger and came in one of five colors (including blueberry, tangerine, graphite, indigo, and key lime).
EveryMac.com reports that four versions of this laptop were available: 64 MB RAM with CD-ROM drive ($1299); 128 MB RAM with DVD-ROM drive ($1499), 128 MB RAM with CD-RW drive ($1599); and 128 MB RAM with DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive (build-to-order direct from Apple, $1799).
Apple Pro Speakers were introduced with the Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio) and later shipped with the iMac G4. These speakers required a Mac with a built-in amplifier and a proprietary audio jack to connect.
Apple described these speakers as “designed by Harman/Kardon,” once a high-end audio company now owned by Samsung. Harman/Kardon also designed the popular iSub subwoofer and SoundSticks in partnership with Apple that were released in 2000. In both the Apple Pro Speakers and SoundSticks, Apple contributed the industrial design and mechanical engineering, while Harman/Kardon manufactured the audio components of the product.
The original Apple Wireless Keyboard was released on September 16, 2003. It was based on the design of the white Apple Keyboard with white keys in a clear plastic case. Unlike the wired version, it did not have USB ports to connect external devices.
The Wireless Keyboard connected using Bluetooth and operated on four AA batteries. The batteries were accessed on the bottom of the keyboard behind a cover secured by two plastic screws that could be opened by turning one-quarter turn using a coin.
This keyboard can be used with Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later.
This particular Wireless Keyboard has a French key layout.
The Apple USB Keyboard was released with the original Bondi blue iMac in 1998. This keyboard used translucent plastics to match the iMac models that shipped with them for the next two years and was available in Bondi blue, blueberry, strawberry, lime, tangerine, grape, and graphite.
The bottom of the keyboard included a support leg that allowed the keyboard to lay flat or tilt up. The keyboard included a full row of half-height function (fn) keys, a keypad, and a dedicated power key in the upper-right corner.
The iBook G4 (Mid-2005) featured a 1.33 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 512 MB of RAM, a 40 GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive, a slot-loading DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo drive, and standard AirPort Extreme (802.11g)/Bluetooth 2.0. The screen was a 12.1-inch TFT XGA active matrix display at 1024×768. The case was opaque white, rather than the translucent white used in earlier iBook models.
This iBook model added a Sudden Motion Sensor and scrolling trackpad. The Sudden Motion Sensor stopped the hard drive from spinning if the iBook was dropped, thus minimizing damage and potential data loss. This was the first consumer-level Apple laptop to gain scrolling trackpad features, allowing users to use two-finger scrolling and two-fingering panning (a feature first introduced in PowerBook G4 laptops).
This and other iBook models were used extensively in the schools where I served as Technology Director among teachers and students. At the time, 1:1 laptop programs had just been adopted in a few school districts (where every student is issued a laptop for learning throughout the school day). At the time of the iBook G4, only one public school district in Chicago’s North Shore had adopted a 1:1 program for students, while most school districts had begun to issue laptops to staff and administrators.