The Macintosh Server G3/300 Minitower was released in 1998 as the final beige tower design by Apple. This G3 Server used a 300 MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, a single 4.0 GB SCSI hard drive (with space for a second drive), and a 24x CD-ROM drive.
This minitower also contained a “Whisper personality card” that added audio input and output ports. According to LowEndMac, Apple had planned various “personality cards,” but only audio (“Whisper”), audio/video (“Wings”), and audio/video/DVD playback (“Bordeaux”) were ever produced.
The case design of this minitower includes a removable side panel and two internal tabs that, when released, allow the entire tower to tilt 90 degrees on a hinge allowing easy access to all internal components. Interestingly, the side door panel latch and internal tabs are made from translucent blue-green plastic, a design aesthetic that would soon become the Mac design norm that same year when the original iMac was released.
Ports on this computer include SCSI; ADB (Apple Desktop Bus); Ethernet (10-100); Mac serial and printer ports; Apple Video (DB-15), line-out and microphone 3.5 mm jacks. Three card slots are available: the first is empty, but ready for a high-speed SCSI port; the second slot has a second high-speed ethernet port; and the third slot adds two USB ports.
The exact factory configuration of the server is shown as: 1MB Cache/128MB/2x4GB UW/CD/10-100 ENET. The model is M4405, and the serial number area specifies a production date of May 27, 1998, at 3:30 PM.
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.”