The Macintosh PowerBook 180c included a 33 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, either an 80 MB or 160 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive. The “c” in the name indicated that it had an 8.4-inch color active-matrix display capable of displaying 256 colors at 640×480 resolution. This was the first color PowerBook to display a full 640×480 display (previous models displayed 640×400). Due to the upgraded color, the case lid was redesigned (from the PowerBook 180) to accommodate the thicker display.
Aside from the display difference, the PowerBook 180c is nearly identical to the PowerBook 180. The 180c used a trackball and had two rotating feet in the back corners to elevate the keyboard to an angle.
An Apple Developer Note document indicates that the PowerBook 180c and 165c are closely related: “Because the Macintosh PowerBook 180c is identical in most respects to the PowerBook 165c computer, most hardware and software designed for that model will operate without modification on the PowerBook 180c.”
Due to its processing performance and because the PowerBook 180c (and 180) had an external color video port with similar specifications to desktop Macintosh models of the time (e.g., LC III+), it could be connected to an external monitor and replace a desktop computer.
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.
Beginning in 1995 with the PowerBook 190, 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 1995 is an early example. This module works with the PowerBook 190 and 5300-series PowerBooks. This example is from one of the PowerBook 5300-series laptops in my collection.
The Macintosh SE is similar to the original Macintosh models that came before it with a new front case design and the addition of either a second 3.5-inch floppy drive or Apple’s first offering of an internal hard drive. The floppy disk drive (or drives) read 800 k disks and the hard drive was available in 20 MB or 40 MB options. The internal RAM available was 1 MB or 2MB. Like the original Macintosh, the Macintosh SE had a 9-inch black and white (monochrome) display made by Sony.
This particular Macintosh SE originally shipped with two 800k floppy drives, but was later upgraded with a hard drive. To accomplish the upgrade, the upper floppy drive was removed and replaced with a Maxtor-brand hard drive.
Also like the original Macintosh, the signatures of the team that developed the original Macintosh were engraved inside the back case. New vents were added to the back of the Macintosh SE, but the signatures were not moved to reflect the placement. Thus, some signatures have been partially obscured. The signature of “Steven Jobs” is visible near the center.
This Macintosh SE was purchased from a family in the town where I live and it exhibited a curious rattle when I picked it up. During the restoration process, I opened the case and found several items inside, likely inserted through the slot left from the removed floppy drive. The rogue items included a comb, a custom metal printing plate, about 20 flash cards on the topic of electronics, a slide rule calculating concrete volume, a metal ruler, a protractor, a handwritten personal note, $1.02 in change (two fifty-cent pieces and 2 pennies), staples, a curtain hook, and a Polaroid photo of two children (perhaps depicting the perpetrator of this minor offense).
The original iMac was introduced on May 6, 1998, and shipped August 15, 1998. It featured a 233 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, 32 MB of RAM, a 4.0 GB EIDE hard drive, and a tray loading CD-ROM drive. Its screen was a 15-inch CRT display.
The original iMac was available in one color called “Bondi blue,” named for the blue-green color of the water at Bondi Beach near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. “Bondi” is an [Australian] Aboriginal word meaning “water breaking over rocks.”
This was the first consumer computer product released after Steve Jobs returned to Apple as interim CEO. The iMac was primarily credited with returning Apple to profitability and re-establishing Apple’s commitment to simplicity and design, but at the time was criticized for dropping the floppy disk drive and adopting the emerging USB standard.
The “i” in “iMac” has been described by Apple to represent “Internet,” but Steve Jobs also specified the “i” to mean internet, individual, instruct, inform, and inspire in a presentation in 1998.
Although the original iMac was not meant to be user-upgradable, it did contain what was referred to at the time as a “mysterious” slot behind the hinged side door called the “Mezzanine” slot. Inside the iMac was a Mezzanine connector soldered on to the motherboard. Officially, Apple never explained its purpose, but a few developers created expansion products that used the slot and/or port. I installed one such port in a few iMac computers in 1999, namely the Griffin iPort that added an Apple serial port and video-out port. Although the Griffin iPort didn’t use the Mezzanine internal connector, it did use the Mezzanine slot to make the ports available.
The Revision A iMac (M6709LL/A) and Revision B iMac (M6709LL/B) are identical with the exception of graphics systems. Revision A (August 15, 1998) had an ATI Rage IIc graphics with 2 MB of VRAM, and Revision B (October 26, 1998) had an ATI Rage Pro Turbo graphics with 6 MB of VRAM.
The original Macintosh was released in January 1984 as the “Apple Macintosh.” After November 1984 a 512K version was offered and the computers were referred to as the Macintosh 128K and Macintosh 512K. (Internally, the original Macintosh differed from the Macintosh 128K so they are technically two different computers.)
The original Macintosh had a distinctive beige case with a handle and a 9-inch monochrome screen. The selling price when released was $2,495.
The Macintosh was introduced to the American public by the iconic “1984” television commercial directed by Ridley Scott. The commercial aired on CBS during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984. The voiceover stated: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.”
The Macintosh introduced several “firsts” in a relatively inexpensive consumer-level personal computer:
built-in 3.5-inch floppy disk drive
consistent user experience and user interface among applications
an all-in-one design (combining the CPU, monitor, and peripherals into a single unit)
graphical user interface controlled by the point-and-click features of an included mouse to access pull-down menus and click icons
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) printing
Overall, the Macintosh allowed a user to focus on the work they were doing, rather than struggling to make the computer function.
The original iMac included a Motorola 68000 microprocessor running at 7.8336 MHz, 128 KB RAM, a one-bit (black-and-white) 9-inch CRT with a resolution of 512×342, and a single 400 KB single-sided 3.5-inch floppy disk drive (with no internal storage).
The original Macintosh was floppy-disk-based. A “Startup Disk” on a single disk could be temporarily ejected as the computer was used to allow documents to be saved or to allow it to run another application stored on another disk. The computer’s operating system was named System 1.0 and consisted of System 0.97 and Finder 1.0. The highest-level OS that can be run on the original Macintosh was System 3.2 and Finder 5.3. The Macintosh shipped with the applications MacPaint and MacWrite.
The original Macintosh did not include a cooling fan, instead relying on convection cooling. The absence of the fan made the computer run quietly.
Inside the case, the original Macintosh was signed by the entire Macintosh Division at Apple (c. 1982). The signatures are molded on the internal plastic and include: Peggy Alexio, Colette Askeland, Bill Atkinson, Steve Balog, Bob Belleville, Mike Boich, Bill Bull, Matt Carter, Berry Cash, Debi Coleman, George Crow, Donn Denman, Christopher Espinosa, Bill Fernandez, Martin Haeberli, Andy Hertzfeld, Joanna Hoffman, Rod Holt, Bruce Horn, Hap Horn, Brian Howard, Steve Jobs, Larry Kenyon, Patti King, Daniel Kottke, Angeline Lo, Ivan Mach, Jerrold Manock, Mary Ellen McCammon, Vicki Milledge, Mike Murray, Ron Nicholson Jr., Terry Oyama, Benjamin Pang, Jef Raskin, Ed Riddle, Brian Robertson, Dave Roots, Patricia Sharp, Burrell Smith, Bryan Stearns, Lynn Takahashi, Guy “Bud” Tribble, Randy Wigginton, Linda Wilkin, Steve Wozniak, Pamela Wyman, and Laszlo Zidek.
The Macintosh Classic was a less expensive interpretation of the Macintosh Plus with an updated case design that still retained the classic Macintosh look. It featured an 8 MHz 68000 processor, 1 MB of 2 MB of RAM, and either a 1.44 MB disk drive or a 1.44 MB disk drive, and a 40 MB hard drive. the screen was a 9-inch monochrome CRT display.
The Macintosh Classic was the first Mac to sell for under $1,000 (at $999).
The Macintosh Color Classic was the last of the classic all-in-one Macintosh designs adding a color screen and fresh interpretation of the classic boxy design of its predecessors. At the same time, it shared similar design language as the Macintosh LC 520 and LC 575, but in a smaller form factor.
The Macintosh Color Classic featured a 10-inch Trinitron CRT display at 512×384 in 8-bit color. True to the classic design, it included a 1.44 MB auto-inject SuperDrive (floppy drive), but unlike the original Macintosh computers, the Color Classic housed an internal 40-160 MB hard drive.
The original price of the Macintosh Color Classic was $1,399.
The Apple Macintosh PowerBook 180 featured a 33 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, either an 80 MB or 120 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive. The screen was a 9.8-inch grayscale active-matrix display.
The PowerBook 180 supported 4-bit grayscale on the the built-in display, and it allowed 8-bit color when plugged into an external monitor.
Because the laptop supported an external color screen, included a fast processor for the time, and supported a 120 MB hard drive, this PowerBook was the first Macintosh laptop that could replace a desktop with no compromises. In fact, the PowerBook 180 was equivalent in performance to the Macintosh LC III+, also available at the time.
The PowerBook 165c was the third in a series of PowerBook 160 laptops (160, 165, and 165c). The laptop featured a 33 MHz 68030 processor, 4 MB of RAM, either an 80 MB or 160 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive.
The screen was an 8.9-inch color passive-matrix display. The “c” in the PowerBook 165c name referred to the color screen that supported 8-bit color on both the internal display and on an external monitor. The laptop could support a dual or mirrored display, the first PowerBook to offer this capability.
The PowerBook 165c was among the first, but not the first color Macintosh laptop. The PowerBook Duo 210 and 230 were the first color Macintosh laptops that were released four months before the PowerBook 165c.