The Visual Almanac: An Interactive Multimedia Kit (January 1990)

The Visual Almanac is the earliest Apple Education multimedia product in my collection. According to the kit’s Laser Disc, pictured on the Domesday86 website:

The Visual Almanac is composed of 3 parts: the Visual Almanac Videodisc, the Visual Almanac software, and the Visual Almanac Companion (a book). This two-sided videodisc contains an Introduction, over 7000 images and 2 channels of sound organized into 12 collections. It is designed to be used under control of a Macintosh computer.”

The printed materials include a guide (First Steps in the Visual Almanac) and a spiral-bound book. Media includes three 3.5-inch disks: HyperCard 1.2.2; Visual Almanac Home (home HyperCard stack; Collections Directory (pre-made collections), and a CD-ROM. The kit also includes a cable.

The cable is described as a “LaserDisc Player Serial Lead,” designed to “connect a Pioneer player (with a 15 pin D-Sub connector) to the Apple Macintosh mini-DIN serial port.”

The box containing all the items in the kit measures 12.75 inches square and is 1.5 inches deep. The accompanying spiral-bound book is titled The Visual Almanac: An Interactive Multimedia Kit Companion, measures 11 x 8.5 inches, and contains 216 pages, printed in full color.

The Preface of the book contains a welcome message that states the resource’s intent:

“Welcome to The Visual Almanac! We designed the The Visual Almanac to give everyone a glimpse of potential computer-centered futures and have tried to show how current multimedia technologies might be used to do something new. We tried to make something that could be used now, but would also provoke the development of methodologies, technologies and pedagogies for the future. It is an interactive multimedia kit aimed at children and all their teachers—in schools, in homes and in various public environments—as well as business people, researchers and developers who make educational and other materials for our youth.”

Although the full package is dated January 1990, the accompanying CD-ROM is dated 1989 and the CD (as well as the Laser Disc) specifies that it was “Produced by the Apple Multimedia Lab.”

The box in my collection is missing the accompanying 2-sided LaserDisc that contains the primary content in 78 “collections” for the kit:

Side A Collections
Animals and Plants
Earth View
Everyday Physics
Solar System
Sounds Side A

Side B Collections
American History
Around the World
History of Daily Life
Everyday Objects
Historical Portraits
Sounds Side B
Studies in Time

Special thanks to the Domesday86 website for providing an excellent, detailed entry about this kit that allowed me to better describe this early educational multimedia example.

Source: Apple, Domesday86

Multimedia Learning Tools CD Library (1995)

This collection of CD-ROMs is part of the Apple Education Series and is titled “Multimedia Learning Tools CD Library.” The CD booklet measures 7.5 x 9.25 inches and is made of clear vinyl. It has a side attachment that allows the book to be bound in a 3-ring binder. The booklet’s front and back cover design use a beige-on-beige woodcut pattern design with a bold rectangle woodcut image in the center depicting stylized characters and multimedia icon images.

The interior front and back flap have internal pockets for paperwork. Three inside pages contain pockets that can hold 4 CDs each (2 in front and 2 in back).

The CD-ROMs in this collection include:

  • MediaClips 1: Animal Kingdom, Tropical Rain Forest & Deep Voyage (Softkey, 1993–1995)
  • Apple Education Series Multimedia Learning Tools (1995)
  • HyperStudio (Roger Wagner, 1993–1994)
  • Kid Pix (Brøderbund, 1994)
  • Claris Impact 1.0 (1995)
  • Avid VideoShop 3.0 (1995)
  • Microsoft Bookshelf (1995)
  • Famous Faces (Jasmine Multimedia, 1995)
  • MultiWare Multi-Media Collection (BeachWare)
  • 1995 TIme Almanac
  • MacGallery, Version 1.1 (1994–1995)
  • MediaClips 2: Space Odyssey, American View, & World View (Softkey, 1993–1995)

Source: Apple

Media Arts CD digital magazine (1999)

This Media Arts CD is presented as a digital magazine. The cardboard folder serves both as printed content overview and as packaging for the CD. The folder measures 5.5 x 7 inches and contains a CD-ROM. The interior and exterior of the folder and the CD use a matching design. The package is clearly branded using the Apple Garamond font and a translucent blue Apple logo.

The full title of the package is Apple Media Arts News for the Creative Community, and the interior text conveys:

Apple Media Arts presents news for the creative community. Profiles of innovators, iconoclasts, and industry leaders. The latest developments in design, publishing, and digital video. Apple tools and technologies that help you create your best work. With this edition, Apple Media Arts moves to the World Wide Web. Our focus: digital video production.”

Source: Apple

Mac OS X Public Beta CD folder (2000)

On September 13, 2000, Steve Jobs released the Mac OS X Public Beta at Apple Expo in Paris. During the unveiling, Jobs said:

“Mac OS X is the future of the Macintosh, and the most technically advanced personal computer operating system ever. We’re excited to have our users test drive this public beta version and provide us with their valuable feedback.”

Somewhat controversially, Apple charged $29.95 for the software—a Beta version that was known to be buggy and not quite finished. The issue was not that the operating system was buggy and unfinished—that is the definition of a software “Beta”—but that Apple was charging faithful users to get an early look at the future of their products while testing it for the purpose of improving the final release. In an article at the time, a writer at Ars Technica provided a balanced opinion:

“Taken all together, ‘Mac OS X Public Beta’…means that for $29.95 you get an unfinished, buggy version of Apple’s next generation operating system. Charging for public beta software is increasingly common among the big software companies… If you don’t want to pay for buggy software, don’t buy the beta.”

The Mac OS X public beta was a completely new operating system for the Mac and provided the foundation of the macOS we still use today—over 20 years later. Apple’s press release described some highlights of Mac OS X:

“Mac OS X features true memory protection, pre-emptive multi-tasking, and symmetric multiprocessing when running on the new dual-processor Power Mac G4 line. Mac OS X includes Apple’s new Quartz 2D graphics engine (based on the Internet-standard Portable Document Format) for stunning graphics and broad font support; OpenGL for spectacular 3D graphics and gaming, and QuickTime for streaming audio and video. In addition, Mac OS X features Apple’s new user interface named ‘Aqua,’ which combines superior ease-of-use with amazing new functionality such as the ‘Dock,’ a breakthrough for organizing applications, documents and miniaturized windows.”

This white cardboard folder measures 8 x 9.5 x 0.25 inches and opens to reveal a compartment for a single CD. Unfortunately, the original installer CD is not included in this folder. The welcome message in the folder reads:

“Dear Mac OS X Beta Tester,

You are holding the future of the Macintosh in your hands.

Mac OS X is a new, super-modern operating system that will usher in a new era for the Macintosh. New from the ground up, Mac OS X is specifically designed for the Internet and includes advanced technologies for incredible improvements in stability and performance. It also features a stunning new interface called Aqua.

This Public Beta will give you a chance to start using Mac OS X and give us a chance to hear what you think. Let us know by visiting our website at

Thanks for your help and for being a part of Apple history. We couldn’t do it without you.”

Sources: Ars Technica, Apple

Mac OS X Panther, Version 10.3, installer CDs and guides (2003)

Mac OS X Panther, Version 10.3, was the fourth major release of the Mac OS X [ten] operating system, and the second to be referred to by its codename, “Panther,” in its product marketing. Previous versions were codenamed “Cheetah” (Version 10.0) and “Puma” (Version 10.1), but they were referred to only by their version numbers. Version 10.2 was publicly announced as “Jaguar,” and this version, 10.3, continued the “big cat” codenames with “Panther.”

According to Apple, “Panther delivers more than 150 breakthrough new features including a completely new Finder that provides one-click access to a user’s favorite files and folders; Exposé, a revolutionary new way to instantly see all open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution for business, education and consumers.”

This set includes all installer CDs and a set of three 7.5 x 9-inch booklets, including installation directions, the software license, and a “Welcome to Panther” booklet describing the operating system’s main features. The set is packaged in a 8.25 x 9.25-inch clear plastic envelope.

When it was released on October 24, 2003, this Mac OS X upgrade cost US$129.

Source: Apple

Mac OS X Jaguar, Version 10.2, installer CDs and guides (Not for Resale, 2002)

Mac OS X Jaguar, Version 10.2, was the third major release of the Mac OS X [ten] operating system, and the first to be referred to by its codename, “Jaguar,” in its product marketing. The previous two versions were codenamed “Cheetah” (Version 10.0) and “Puma” (Version 10.1), but they were referred to only by their version numbers.

Among over 150 new features, Jaguar included Quartz Extreme, “which accelerates graphics performance by using the power of the Mac’s built-in graphics engine to make the desktop more responsive and deliver seamlessly blended 2D, 3D and QuickTime content directly onto the desktop.” This new graphics technology was used to render the Jaguar fur in high resolution on the “X” [Roman numeral 10] that was used in the image on the install CD and on other product marketing.

Other Jaguar features included:

“a new Mail application designed to eliminate junk mail, iChat AIM-compatible instant messenger, a system-wide Address Book, Inkwell handwriting recognition, QuickTime 6 with MPEG-4, improved Universal Access, an enhanced Finder, Sherlock 3 with Internet Services and Rendezvous, Apple’s revolutionary home networking technology.”

This is a “Not for Resale” set of all installer CDs and a 7.5 x 9-inch brochure with installation directions. The set is packaged in a 8.25 x 9.25-inch clear plastic envelope.

Sources: Apple, Wikipedia

Apple Educator Advantage CD booklet (1995)

Based upon my own recollection, Apple offered a program called the “Apple Educator Advantage” to educators around 1993–2004. I personally participated in the program between 1999–2003. I first recall the program as a low-interest buying program for teachers and school staff that was set up through a school district’s administration center and offered to school staff. Educators were able to make purchases at the same discounted pricing offered to school districts and then pay over time.

The Apple Educator Advantage program was started at a time before Apple Stores existed, before online purchasing was commonplace, and continued to be offered a few years after Apple Stores began opening around the United States.

This CD booklet was likely offered to school staff who participated in the Apple Educator Advantage program. This booklet is made from frosted vinyl and measures 7.5 x 9.25 inches. The front and back flap have internal pockets that hold paperwork such as software licenses, and the two inside pages can hold 2 CDs each.

This CD booklet contains the following software:

  • ClassMaster 2.0 (TECHBYTE Internation, 3.5-inch disk)
  • Apple Teacher Productivity (CD, 1994)
  • Claris Organizer (CD, 1995)
  • SuperPrint (1991)
  • Smithsonian’s America (1994)

Source: Apple

Apple Learning Series Secondary Multimedia CD collection (2001)

This Apple Learning Series Secondary Multimedia CD set contained 10 CD-ROM titles curated and sold by Apple Education as a bundle. The CDs were packaged in a 2-ring binder with vinyl pages that each held one CD-ROM.

The PDF spec sheet states that, “This product provides an outstanding collection of educator-evaluated software along with a comprehensive website that includes model student projects, step-by-step instructions, an online professional development course, and a tool that correlates the software and projects to select state and national standards.”

The set includes the following CDs:

  • Art Mania 12,000, Nova Development—A collection of clip art and quality photographic images on two CDs.
  • Cinema 4D XL, Maxon—A completely integrated 3D modeling, animation, and raytracing program.
  • Director 8 Academic, Macromedia—The standard for delivering powerful multimedia for the Internet, CD-ROMs, and DVD-ROMs.
  • Final Cut Pro 2, Apple—The all-in-one solution for professional digital video editing, compositing, and special effects. The set also included Boris Script LTD, Boris FX; Cinema 4D GO, Maxon; Commotion DV, Puffin Designs; Cleaner 5 EZ, Terran Interactive; EDL Access, Focal Point Systems; and QuickTime Pro, Apple.
  • Inspiration, Inspiration Software—A dynamic diagramming and outlining environments to help you organize ideas and information.
  • Painter Classic, Corel—An easy-to-use version of the world’s leading paint program.
  • Photoshop Elements, Adobe—An introduction to the world-standard image-editing solution.
  • SmartSound for Multimedia, Sonic Desktop—Tools to produce professional-quality soundtracks.
  • The Archives of History, MPI Multimedia—More than 100 QuickTime movies that can be used in presentations or viewed on their own.
  • The VR Worx, VR Toolbox—A complete suite of authoring tools for QuickTime VR (virtual reality).

Surprisingly, the PDF Spec Sheet for this product was still available on Apple’s website as a download as of January 2023.

Source: Apple

Macintosh Products Guide CD (Spring 1999)

This CD was packaged in an orange sleeve from the ADC (Apple Developer Connection). The packaging lists the contents:

Macintosh Products Guide

“Have you ever wondered if the right software or hardware existed to perform a specific task on your Mac? Or have you heard about some of the latest products for your Mac and wished you had a convenient resource to learn more about them?

On this CD you’ll find Apple’s Macintosh Products Guide, the only tool you need to help you locate information on over 12,000 software and hardware products for the Macintosh platform. Here you’ll learn about the hottest products available for your Mac, including games, productivity applications, printers, scanners, image editing applications, utilities, digital cameras, USB peripherals for the iMac, and much, much more. And many of the products listed in the Macintosh Products Guide have direct links for easy online purchase.

We’re sure you’ll find the Macintosh Products Guide on the web an invaluable resource for all your product information needs—one you’ll turn to again and again. With that in mind, be sure to visit the Macintosh Products Guide web site for the latest information on the wide range of products available for your Mac. Point your browser to”

Source: Apple

Resource Library CDs, set 2 (1999, 2000)

This collection of CDs include original cardboard packaging with each package containing 1–3 CD-ROM discs. Each CD package is titled “The Apple Sales and Marketing Resource Library” and features a color photo of an Apple product. Each package is also dated.

Set 1 of my collection includes:

  • November 1998 (1 CD)
  • January 1999 (3 CDs)
  • April 1999 (2 CDs)
  • August 1999 (1 CD)

My collection also contains the May 1999 Resource Library CDs without the packaging.

This collection includes:

March 1999 (2 CDs)
Pictured: G3 Blue & White tower and matching Blue & White display
CD 1
K-12 Seminar # 1
Education QuickFacts
New/Revised Data Sheets
Mac Products Guide 02.99
Studio Display QTVRs
FireWire Fact Sheet
iMac Photography
iMac Sales Pres
CD 2
“A Day in the Life of an SAP Order”
“Learn & Earn 1999”
“Part lI SAP”
Exec. Commentary: Wane Kozlow

May 1999 (2CDs)
Pictured: Strawberry iMac
CD 1
PowerSales May 1999
Apple Loan Ad Slicks
ColorSync White Paper
Final Cut DataSheet & FAQ
QuickTime 4.0 Data & Fact Sheets
Mac OS X Server Data Sheet & FAQ
Mac OS X Server Presentation
Mac Products Guide 04.99
Mac OS Promos
CD 2
Mac OS X Server Training

June 1999 (3 CDs)
Pictured: PowerBook G3
CD 1
PowerSales June 99
PowerBook G3 Series Photography
PowerBook G3 Series Data Sheet
PowerBook G3 Series Presentation
Final Cut Pro Data Sheet
Final Cut Pro White Paper
Final Cut Pro Overview Movie
Final Cut Pro Presentation
QuickTime 4.0 Pro Data Sheet
QuickTime 4.0 Pro Fact Sheet
WebObjects Success Stories
CD 2
Taped Kevnote Speeches:
Jon Rubenstein & Phil Schiller
Mitch Mandich
CD 3
Taped Sessions:
Mac OS 8 Overview
Mac OS X Overview
QuickTime-What’s New

July 1999 (1 CD)
Pictured: G3 Blue & White tower
CD 1
PowerSales July 99
QuickTime 4 Glossary
WebObjects Success Stories
Mac OS X Server Presentation
Macintosh Server G3 Presentation
QuickMail Pro Client Demo
Electrifier® Pro 1.0.1
Quickevs 4.0 Demo
Informed 2.6.2
4D v6.5

August 1999 (1 CD)
CD only (no cardboard insert)
CD 1
PowerSales August 99
iBook Sales Presentation
Macworld NY 99 Keynote Speech
iBook Data Sheets, Take One and FAQ
iBook and AirPort Product Photography
Design & Publishing Sales Presentations
AppleShare IP 6.2 Sales Presentation
AppleCare Data Sheets and FAQs
QuickTime 4 Sales Presentation
WebObjects Success Stories
AppleShare IP 6.2 (NFR)

October 1999 (2 CDs)
Pictured: Mac OS 9 retail box
CD 1

PowerSales October 1999
Mac OS 9 Sales Presentation
Macintosh and DV White Paper
Digital Moviemaking with iMac DV
Mac OS 9 Data Sheet, FAQ & Take One
iMac DV Data Sheets, FAQ & Take One
iMac DV Product Photography
WebObjects Success Stories
iMac DV Sales Presentation
iMovie Fact Sheet & FAQ
CD 2
Flint Center Event – Steve Jobs
Electrifier® Pro 1.0.2
Spell Catcher 8 Demo
Soundlam MP v1.1.1 Demo
Conflict Catcher 8.0.6 Demo
Informed Designer®v2.7 Demo
Informed Filler® v2.7 Demo
Version Master Mac 2.0.2
REALbasic 2.02 Demo
FMSync for JFile

November 1999 (2 CDs)
Pictured: Graphite iMac SE
CD 1

PowerSales November 1999
iBook Demo Fall ’99 V2
PowerBook G3 Demo Fall ’99
Power Mac G4 Demo Fall ’99 V2
iMac Demo Fall ’99 V2
AppleShare IP 6.3
CD 2
iBook First Impressions
AppleShare IP 6.3 Data Sheet
AppleCare Protection Plan Data Sheet
Design & Publishing Sales Presentations
AppleShare IP 6.3 Sales Presentation
Apple Corporate & Reseller Logos
Reseller Advertising Guidelines
Mac OS 9 Reseller Ad Kit
iMac Reseller Ad Kit

January 2000 (1 CD)
Pictured: 5 slot-loading iMacs (tangerine, strawberry, blueberry, grape, and lime)
PowerSales January 2000
AppleWorks 6 Data Sheet
Apple Internet Services FAQ
Apple Internet Services Sales Preso
Apple Studio Display 15″ Data Sheet
Mac OS X Server Data Sheet & FAQ
Apple Displays Sales Presentation
Adobe Web Collection Promo
AirPort FAQ

Source: Apple