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 1998 include:
Mac OS 8 (Version 8.1, 691-1912-A, U97073-121A, 1998)
FileMaker Home Page 3.0 (Web site design software, U98073-029C, 1997–1998)
WebObjects 4.0 Developer For Windows NT (1988–Version 4.0.1, Z691-2252-A, 1998)
Power Macintosh G3 For all-in-one computers (SSW 8.1, CD Version 1.0, 691-1802-A, 1998)
Power Macintosh G3 For all-in-one computers (SSW 8.1, CD Version 1.1, 691-2043-A, 1998)
Power Macintosh G3 Minitower and Desktop Computers (SSW 8.5, CD Version 1.0, 691-2121-A, 1998)
Mac OS 8.5 (Version 8.5, 691-2157-A, 1998)
Mac OS 8.5 (Version 8.5, 691-2017-A, 1998)
iMac bundle, including iMac Software Restore (SSW Version 8.1, CD Version 1.0, 691-2044-A, 1998)
When the original iMac was released in 1998, Apple changed the CD packaging to a book style. The CD book had cardboard front and back covers in bright yellow. The general software license was printed on the inside covers (in the Apple Garamond font), and the Apple CDs inside were bright orange in white CD sleeves with a clear vinyl front. In addition to the Apple CDs, various bundled software was also included such as a Willams-Sonoma cookbook and Quicken.
The Power Macintosh G3 was the first new tower desktop to be released after the original iMac in 1998. The iMac at the time was originally released in “Bondi” blue—a translucent blue-green hue reminiscent of the waters off Bondi beach in Australia—that was replaced in 1999 with a brighter translucent set of colors including a shade of blue called “blueberry.” The Power Macintosh G3 was closer in color to the blueberry iMac, but it was not an exact match.
The Power Macintosh G3 was known as the “blue and white” tower. The tower used a translucent white outer case on both sides and featured both a glossy, translucent blue Apple logo and the characters G3 boldy printed under the frosted white translucent plastic to achieve a blurred, shadowy effect.
The front of the Power Macintosh G3 was translucent blue with an underlying pinstripe pattern. The top of the front included spaces for two optical drives. This example includes a CD-ROM and a Zip drive (from the company Iomega). Below the media drives was a speaker, the power button, and two additional smaller buttons—reset and “interrupt” buttons—both used to recover from system-level issues.
The back of the tower included ports, including two FireWire (400) ports, one ADB port, one ethernet port, two USB ports, and side-by-side 3.5 mm microphone (audio-in) and audio-out ports. A space for a modem port is included, but unused in this example. Four slots were also available. This model includes slot 1 with a standard VGA port, slot 2 with AV ports including a DB-15 (“Mac Video”) port, two S-video, and one yellow video-in RCA port. Slots 3 and 4 are unused.
The port choices represent an interesting mix of legacy and brand new technology. While the desktop was the first to include FireWire 400 ports, it also included the then-new USB standard, but curiously included one then-outdated ADB port. The slots below show a similar mix of old and new: VGA and the old-style “Mac Video” DB-15 port. Thus, while the iMac was only looking forward, this tower allowed old and new peripherals to be used.
The right side of the tower included a latch with a circular rubberized grip that allowed the entire side of the tower to be opened on a hinge, revealing and providing relatively easy access to all internal components. Plug-in slots (such as video and memory) were attached to the hinged side, while components such as drives and fans remained attached to the internal metal frame of the tower.
Internally, this Power Macintosh G3 uses a 300 MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM, a 6 GB hard drive, a 32X CD-ROM drive, and an ATI Rage graphics card. The hard drive was a faster, server-grade Ultra ATA/33 model when iMac computers of the time included IDE/ATA hard drives.
A highly specious rumor of the time noted that the design of this tower included a Disney reference. When viewed sideways, a Mickey Mouse ears shape can be seen in the negative space between the “bite” in the Apple logo and the inside of the Helvetica Bold “3” in the “G3” logo on the sides of this tower. The conspiracy theory speculated that Disney was contemplating the purchase of Apple.
I used versions of this blue and white tower in two of my educational technology leadership positions. In both cases, I used this tower to create videos and other multimedia using early versions of iMovie and other multimedia creation software.
This Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series Weight-Saving Device (model 825-4548-A) is the exact size of the battery inside a Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series laptop (333 MHz to 500 MHz “Lombard” and “Pismo” models with bronze keyboards). These PowerBook laptops had two bays, each capable of supporting a device module (i.e., floppy drive, CD-ROM drive) or a battery.
To make the laptop lighter, the device modules and/or batteries could be removed and replaced with this Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series Weight-Saving Device. One was included with each Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series laptop. According to the technical information, the laptop could weight nearly 8 pounds:
“Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series with a 14.1-inch display, battery, internal modem, and CD-ROM expansion bay module: 3.54 kg (7.8 lb.)”
The PowerBook G3/250 is the first Apple laptop to use the G3 processor. It shipped with a 250 MHz G3 processor; contained 32 MB RAM and 2 MB VRAM; used a 5 GB hard drive; and had an internal 20X tray-loading CD-ROM drive. It included “hot-swappable” drive bays—drives could be swapped while the computer was running without restarting—and dual PC card slots. The display was a 12.1-inch color TFT active-matrix display at 800×600 resolution.
The design of the original PowerBook G3 is nearly identical to the PowerBook 3400 that proceeded it. The laptop included the 3400’s notable four-speaker sound system. It shipped with MacOS 8.0 and could be updated to a maximum of MacOS 9.1. Its average weight was 7.5 pounds.
Because of its G3 (third-generation) PowerPC 750 processor that included a backside level 2 cache, the laptop’s performance exceeded that of some desktop systems at the time. When released, its retail price was $5,700.
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).
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 iMac G3/500 DV Special Edition (Summer 2000) featured a 500 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 30.0 GB Ultra ATA hard drive, a slot loading 4X DVD-ROM drive, a Harmon-Kardon designed sound system, and two FireWire 400 ports. The screen was a 15-inch CRT display.
The iMac G3/500 DV Special Edition (Summer 2000) is similar to the iMac G3/450 DV+ (Summer 2000) released at the same time, but was offered in graphite and snow rather than indigo, ruby, and sage. It was referred to as a “Special Edition” model because it had a faster processor, twice the RAM, and a larger hard drive (30.0 GB instead of 20.0 GB).
This iMac model also replaced the Apple USB Keyboard and round Apple USB Mouse with the Apple Pro Keyboard and Mouse.
The iMac G3/333 featured a 333 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, 32 MB of RAM, and a 6.0 GB EIDE hard drive. The screen was a 15-inch CRT display.
This iMac was offered in five different colors: lime (lime green), strawberry (pinkish-red), blueberry (bright blue), grape (purple), and tangerine (orange-yellow). The previous version of this iMac was offered in the exact same colors.
Apart from the faster 333 MHz processor, this iMac was identical to the iMac G3/266 before it.
The iMac G3/266 featured a 266 MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, 32 MB of RAM, and a 6.0 GB EIDE hard drive. Its screen was a 15-inch CRT display.
This iMac was offered in five different colors: lime (lime green), strawberry (pinkish-red), blueberry (bright blue), grape (purple), and tangerine (orange-yellow). Previously, the iMac was available only in Bondi blue (blue green).
This iMac is grape.
The iMac G3/266 models had similar specifications to the Revision B iMac line before, but shipped with a larger 6.0 GB hard drive and lacked the “Mezzanine” internal expansion slot and IrDA.
The iMac G3/600 (Summer 2001) featured a 600 MHz PowerPC 750cx (G3) processor, 256 MB of RAM, a 40.0 GB Ultra ATA hard drive, a slot loading 8X/4X/24X CD-RW drive, a Harmon-Kardon designed sound system, and two FireWire 400 ports. This model was available in graphite or snow. Its screen was a 15-inch CRT display.
This iMac model represented a major default operating system switch for Apple. As of January 7, 2002, this iMac shipped with MacOS X 10.2 as the default operating system along with MacOS 9 pre-installed.
The color of this iMac is “snow.” At the time, other iMac colors were transparent, but Apple’s version of “snow” is opaque white.