Knit sweatshirt, North Central Region K12 Education (light heather gray, c. 1996)

This knit collared sweatshirt is branded as Gear for Sports, features an embroidered logo that reads “North Central Region K12 Education,” and includes the classic multicolor Apple logo. The back of the sweatshirt includes no Apple markings, but has a Gear for Sports label at top-center.

The sweatshirt is knit in light heather gray in size XXL. The collar is heather gray with a dark blue and white accent. The front of the sweatshirt has three tan buttons. The tag indicates the sweatshirt is 65% polyester, 35% cotton, and made in Taiwan.

This sweatshirt was a gift during my one-year position as a Media Center director in Cincinnati, Ohio. I received the gift in 1998, the year Apple made the transition to single-color logo to match the then-newly-released iMac.

American Girl of Today Mini Macintosh (Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC replica, 1996)

Please note: Although this is not an official Apple product, it is a faithful replica that was officially licensed by Apple.

According to the American Girl Dolls Wiki, this Power Macintosh 5200 replica was an American Girl of Today accessory that was sold from 1996 to 1999 and cost $32. This line of American Girl dolls and accessories has been available since 1995 and has been known by several names, including American Girl of Today (1995); American Girl Today (1996); Just Like You (2006); My American Girl (2010); and Truly Me (2015). This line is “intended to reflect a more modern time than that of the Historical Characters.”

This accessory is a surprisingly detailed replica of a Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC, a Macintosh sold from 1995–96. It has a working 3.25-inch monochrome LCD display, a keyboard, a mouse, and runs on 2 AAA batteries. Users can interact with this Macintosh by clicking the keyboard (a large single button) or the mouse, both attached with thin wires. The screen displays a simulated Mac OS Desktop running what appears to be a scaled-down version of AppleWorks.

The back of the replica includes an ON/OFF switch, simulated ports that match the ports on the Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC, and the words, “PLEASANT COMPANY® MADE IN CHINA.”

The interface depicted is monochromatic and uses a menu bar with the Apple menu, File, Edit, View, Label, Special, and the Finder menu. The Desktop also shows two icons labeled Hard Drive and Trash, and a toolbar with four tools (paint bucket, eraser, pencil, and paint brush). Each click of the keyboard button reveals a paragraph of text, and each click of the mouse reveals stars until the Big Dipper is fully displayed along with a caption that reads “The Big Dipper.”

The text on the screen includes the following (with no spaces after periods):

Field Trip [file name in the top bar of the window]

My Visit to the Planetarium

There was a nice man there that
talked to us and told us about the stars.

They had a cool machine in the
middle of the room that shined the
stars up on the ceiling.It had a big
round ball with holes cut in it and a
light bulb inside.

The seats leaned way back so you
could look up at the big curved
ceiling.We learned about lots of
constellations. The Big Dipper was
my favorite.I made a drawing of it
on my computer.

It was a long bus ride to the high
school planetarium but it was
worth it.

Finally, this replica also shipped with a computer desk, chair, and mousepad. I only own the Macintosh.

Sources: American Girl Wiki, Everymac, Wikipedia

Newton MessagePad 130 (1996)

The Newton MessagePad 130 was the fifth and final 100-series device in the MessagePad lineup. It featured a 20 MHz ARM 610 processor, 8 MB of ROM, and 2.5 MB of RAM. It had infrared-beaming capabilities for wireless file sharing. Its display was a 320×240 pressure-sensitive, backlit monochrome display that used an included telescoping stylus that was stored in the Newton’s case.

The Newton was among the world’s first Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), a term that was created to describe the Newton. The MessagePad 130 was similar to the MessagePad 120, but added a backlit textured display, more RAM, and it ran the Newton 2.0 operating system. The texture on the screen was meant to simulate paper, however, this well-used example reveals that the texture wore off with use.

The MessagePad 130 could be powered by 4 AA batteries or an AC adapter. The batteries were easily accessed on the lower-back side of the device.

Like other Newton models, the case color was dark greenish-gray. It weighed just under 1 pound (0.45 kg) and measured 8 inches high x 4 inches wide x 1.18 inches deep. This model used a built-in hinged cover to protect the screen when not in use. The stylus used a spring-loaded telescoping design and slid into the case in the upper-right corner.

Sources: Everymac, Wikipedia

ClarisWorks 4.0 CD (1996)

In early days of personal computers, a series of “Works” applications were released with a few ideas in common. Software packages such as Microsoft Works, AppleWorks GS (for the Apple II GS), and ClarisWorks, all contained a package of simplified applications sold as a set and usually were accessed through a launcher application. For example, when launching AppleWorks, a user would launch the application and decide if they wanted to create a word processing file, a spreadsheet, a drawing document, or a database by clicking the appropriate icon.

ClarisWorks has a complicated history. In general, it began as AppleWorks (with earlier versions under different names), switched to ClarisWorks, switched back to AppleWorks, and was replaced by iWork.

This CD is an installer for ClarisWorks 4.0. Although undated, its version number places it in 1996.

A fascinating history of ClarisWorks/AppleWorks is available from Bob Hearn on a page published by MIT. I wholeheartedly agree with the author who writes, “RIP ClarisWorks, ‘the best-loved application for the Mac,’ 1991–2007.”

Interestingly, this history is somewhat preserved by Apple’s iWork concept. Currently, Apple’s three productivity apps—Keynote, Pages, and Numbers—are referred to collectively as iWork. Although the apps are separate, their user interfaces and behaviors make the apps function very much as a set. This may also be the reason so many users incorrectly refer to iWork as “iWorks.”

Sources: Wikipedia, Macintosh Garden, MIT

Apple CD media (1996)

My collection of Apple CD and DVD media includes operating systems, applications, software collections that shipped with devices, promotional media, diagnostic tools, and educational content. In general, Apple-branded CD or DVD examples in original packaging have been presented separately, while single discs or collections of discs are presented chronologically.

Apple CDs from 1996 include:

  • Macintosh System 7.5 Update 2.0 For system software versions 7.5, 7.5.1, and 7.5.2 (U95073-052B, 1996)
  • Apple LaserWriter CD-ROM Version 1.0 For Mac OS and Windows (CD Version 1.0, 691-1229-A, 1996)
  • Apple Color Printing CD (1996)
  • Apple Macintosh CD, Power Macintosh 5260/100 (SSW Version 7.5.3, CD Version 1.0, 691-0992-A, 1996)
  • Macintosh PowerBook 1400 series (SSW Version 7.5.3, CD Version 1.0, 691-0954-A, 1996)
  • Apple Macintosh CD, Macintosh PowerBook System Software for PowerBook 5300/2300/190 computers and PowerPC hardware upgrades (SSW Version 7.5.2, CD Version 1.2.1, 691-0911-A, 1996)
  • Apple Internet Connection Kit (Version 1.1.5, 691-1096-A, 1996)
  • Apple Network Administrator Toolkit (U96073-026A, 1996)

In 1996 Macintosh computer system software was able to fit on a single CD. Apple used a standard white CD envelope with a white cloth-like back and a clear plastic front for system CDs. When multiple CDs were required, each CD shipped in a separate standard envelope.

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

AppleDesign Keyboard (1996)

The AppleDesign Keyboard replaced the Apple Extended Keyboard II in 1994 and its design was meant to complement the design of Macintosh computers of the time. This keyboard included one additional ADB port (instead of two) that was somewhat hidden on the bottom of the keyboard. The ADB connector cable was permanently attached to the keyboard, while previous keyboard models used two ADB ports and shipped with an ADB cable that could be removed.

This keyboard was also released in black to match a black Performa 5420 (available in Europe), and a black Power Macintosh 5500 (available in Asia).

As of 2020 Apple has released approximately 20 external keyboard designs. In general, Apple Macintosh keyboards are different from standard keyboards because they include a Command key (⌘) for shortcuts; an Option key (⌥) for entering diacritical marks and special characters; and a Help or fn (function) key. Earlier Apple keyboards also included a power key (◁), while newer keyboards include eject (⏏).

Source: Wikipedia

PowerBook 1400c/117 (1996)

The PowerBook 1400c/117 featured a 117 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 16 MB of RAM, and a 750 MB or 1.0 GB hard drive. The color active-matrix display measured 11.3 inches. The PowerBook 1400c/117 display supported 16-bit color for the built-in display, but could also support up to 8-bit color on an external monitor with an optional video card.

The PowerBook 1400 series was the first PowerBook to use an internal CD-ROM drive and stackable memory modules. This PowerBook also offered a clear cover on the outer case and shipped with preprinted “BookCovers” to customize the look of each PowerBook.

I used a PowerBook 1400c for several years and regularly designed and printed my own BookCovers. At the time, I used this laptop for several music arranging and composition applications. Using the Passport Encore music notation software, I plugged my PowerBook 1400c into a MIDI interface and it controlled my ProteusFX sound module.