This black t-shirt commemorates the 30th birthday of Apple’s Macintosh computer brand.
The front of the shirt features a stylized “30” logo in a thin version of Apple Myriad, but with the “0” replaced by an outline of the Apple logo. The “30” part of the logo is printed in a gradient version of Apple’s classic 6-color logo. Under the “30” is printed “Happy Birthday, Mac.”
The back of the shirt features the words “Celebrating 30 years of making computers people love” printed in Apple Myriad, centered at the top. Apple Myriad was Apple’s corporate font used approximately between 2003–2017.
The shirt is made by American Apparel, a brand “that stands for inclusiveness, equality and empowerment.” The shirt is a Women’s XL size.
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.
“In this catalog, you’ll read about a lot of tremendously useful products. Products that could change your life. You’ll also read about the way some people really did change their lives—and a lot of other peoples’ lives—in significant ways.”
The Table of Contents includes:
Color Classic—Introducing the Macintosh Color Classic computer
Color made easy—Scan it, display it, and print it—all in color
PowerBook computers—Macintosh power in a notebook size
PowerBook accessories—Carrying cases, batteries, rechargers, and more
Printers—StyleWriter and ImageWriter printers and accessories
Laser printers—Personal LaserWriter NTR and LS printers and accessories
Desktop publishing—New tools for the black-and-white publisher
Multimedia—Bring full-color video, sound, and animation to your Macintosh screen
Disability solutions—Tools for people with disabilities
Software—Word processing, drawing, page layout, presentations, and more
Learning and communicating—Self-paced training, technical support, and communications software
Networks—Networking software and cables
Compatibility—How Macintosh works with other systems: AUX, SNA•ps, and MacX
Macintosh security—Anti-glare filters, security kits, and system savers
Macintosh add-ons—Keyboards, mice, and disk holders
Desk accessories—Accents for the well-appointed office
Apple wear—Apple clothing and accessories
Apple II, too—Products and accessories for Apple II computers
The Apple II on Macintosh—Plus a library of useful manuals
The Apple Catalog from Spring 1993 measures 9.125 x 11 inches and is printed in full color on a matte finish paper.
With many thanks to the online records of Stanford University’s Green Library, I was able to locate an excellent description of this VHS tape in my collection that is also in their “Guide to the Apple Computer, Inc. Records M1007” collection in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Stanford describes the segments of this 60-minute video:
Segment 1: Introduction with Tricia Kellison and Jim Pyle
Segment 2: University of California at Berkeley – Human Powered Vehicle case study
Segment 3: Alabama School of Fine Arts/Math and Science Division
Segment 4: University of California at Berkeley – Physiology Lab
Segment 5: Boston Technical High School – Algebra/Advanced Math
Segment 6: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Engineering in the “real world”
Segment 7: Johns Hopkins University – Astrophysics
Segment 8: Math & Science Curriculum Integration demo / Michael Jay
One of my Apple collection entries includes a set of books I titled the “Macintosh Advantage Collection (1996)” that contains the following materials:
50 Macintosh Advantages book (1996)
Why do People Prefer Macintosh? brochure (1996)
Why Macintosh? brochure (1996)
I recently acquired a brown cardboard shipping box measuring 11.5 x 8.75 x 6.5 inches, complete with its original shipping label to its original recipient—a former Apple sales rep. Apparently, the three items I cataloged above are a part of a larger collection for potential Apple customers that was used in late 1990s.
The shipping label refers to this box as Apple part 52241, and based upon the part numbers that follow, this box contains all its original contents. I have listed the part numbers below and matched them to their items. At the end of each part number an asterisk is followed by a number, likely indicating the quantity of each item (all quantities are “1” in this box, except for the 5 Apple logo window clings).
Curiously, two of the VHS video tapes in the box include both the NTSC and PAL formats—an odd choice since, generally, only NTSC was used in the United States.
Part number list and box contents:
52241—Part number for entire box
L02206A—6-color Apple logo sticker set
L02270A—Apple’s Operating System Strategy, March 1997, VHS tape (NTSC format) L02270APAL—Apple’s Operating System Strategy, March 1997, VHS tape (PAL format)
L02222A—Apple and NeXT: Combining unparalleled ease of use with industrial-strength performance, Information About Apple’s OS Strategy, January 1997, 8.5 x 11-inch whitepaper, 4 pages
L02181A—Apple Technology Update—Mac OS 7.6, January 1997 VHS tape (NTSC format)
L02177A—The 1997 Apple MacAdvocate CD-ROM. (Spring 1997)
L01760A—Macintosh or Windows? Spring 1996 VHS tape (NTSC format)
L01760APAL—Macintosh or Windows? Spring 1996 VHS tape (PAL format)
L01856A—Personal Computer Satisfaction: An Independent Study of People Who use Both Macintosh and Windows 95 Computers (Evans Research Associates) (1996)
L01973B—Go figure: A Quick Look at Some Important Apple Facts, 1.97 10-panel, full-color brochure (1997)
L01970A—Apple logo window clings (quantity 5)
L01667A—Why Macintosh? booklet (1996)
L00440C—50 Macintosh Advantages, Why Macintosh computers are better than PCs running Windows 95. 1996, 8.5 x 11-inch booklet
L01749A—Why do People Prefer Macintosh? (Why people think Macintosh computers are better than PCs running Windows, in their own words.) April 1996, 8.5 x 11-inch booklet
Not listed on box, likely sent with Mac OS 7.6 VHS tape: L02182A—Mac OS 7.6 At a glance tri-fold brochure (2-color)
While the above books are detailed in my previous post, a fascinating new addition to my collection is the seemingly innocuous Apple and NeXT whitepaper. The 4-page document is the first printed source I have seen that describes Apple’s plan to proceed after their acquisition of NeXT. The whitepaper describes the “Rhapsody” project—the operating system that eventually becomes Mac OS X—the basis for the macOS we use today, over 25 years later. The whitepaper includes this description:
“Rhapsody is the code name of the first system software effort planned from the prospective union of Apple and NeXT. Its intent is to extend the existing strengths of both companies to provide a computing environment that is both stronger and more flexible—and, ultimately, better able to meet the needs of our customers.”
This Why Macintosh? complete box set is a fascinating glimpse into Apple’s pre-Internet communications plan with customers at a pivotal time in their history—just after Steve Jobs returned to the company.
This Apple Resource Guide booklet focused upon K–12 Vocational Education. The book opens with Apple’s case for using “Technology to Change Vocational Education:”
“As the SCANS Report notes, the personal computer ‘has reconfigured the world of work as has perhaps no other invention since electricity or the assembly line.’ The nature of work is changing as is the ‘foundation needed to find and hold a good job.’ Technology holds a promise, not only of new kinds of work, but also of the means of attaining the skills and capabilities that will permit our work force to accomplish those tasks.”
Released in 1991, “The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) examined the demands of the workplace and whether young people were capable of meeting those demands. Specifically, SCANS determined the level of skills required to enter employment” (United States Department of Labor).
In the next section of Apple’s booklet, the section titled “Why use the Macintosh computer?” lays out a use case for Macintosh in Vocational Programs. Three reasons include: “The software is easy to learn,” “It’s idea for graphics,” and “It helps build the foundations—and more.”
The book is primarily comprised of six case studies about vocational education programs across the United States that use Macintosh. Schools that are profiled include:
Delta County School District—District Planning Provides Computers and Opportunitites at All Schools
Auburn High School—Industrial Technology Benefits from Computer Technology
Butler Middle School—Learning the Engineering Behind the Magic of Technology
Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences—Computer Links Agriculture and Business in Philadelphia School
Tulsa County Area Vocational-Technical School District #18—Educational Enhancement Center Serves All Students with Technology
Burkburnett High School—Business Class Keeps Curriculum and Technology Current
The booklet concludes with a series of Resources for Using Technology in Vocational Education.
The booklet measures 8.5 x 11 inches and is printed in black.
This Apple Resource Guide booklet focused upon K–12 Business Education. The book opens with Apple’s case for using Macintosh in Business Education programs for “Meeting the Challenges with Technology.” It reads:
“In today’s competitive global economy, business education is more important than ever before. The need for trained, skilled workers is growing rapidly, but nearly half of all students who complete high school still do not continue on with their education. These students need—and want—preparation in the skills that will enable them to earn a living right out of high school.”
The next section, Why use the Macintosh computer?, lays out a use case for Macintosh in business education.
“A growing number of business education teachers have selected the Apple Macintosh as the standard microcomputer for their classrooms. For them, the choice was clear… The software is easy to learn… It’s powerful and easy to use.”
The book is primarily comprised of six case studies about business education programs across the United States that use Macintosh. Schools that are profiled include:
Abilene High School—New Technology Tools Transform a Business Department
Enterprise Village—The Enterprise Village Experience
Marcos De Niza High School—Student Entrepreneurs Develop Business Plans
Steel Valley Senior High School—Macintosh Moves Steel Valley High Into Office of the Future
Trinity High School—Making Connections in Business Law
Yarmouth High School—A Small Department Manages Big Innovations
The booklet concludes with a series of Resources for Using Technology in Business Education.
The booklet measures 8.5 x 11 inches and is printed in black.
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 www.apple.com/macosx.
Thanks for your help and for being a part of Apple history. We couldn’t do it without you.”
As a company, Apple has historically focused upon making hardware and software that is accessible to all people. As of this writing in January 2023, Apple’s Accessibility features are available in categories of Vision, Hearing, Mobility, and Cognitive.
Apple’s Developer site provides a comprehensive set of tools for developers to use their Accessibility guidelines to create software, stating, “Apple operating systems provide extraordinary opportunities to deliver high-quality experiences to everyone, including people with disabilities.”
This letter, packet, and disk—now over 30 years old—attests to Apple’s long-time commitment to accessibility. Back in 1992, Apple called this division “Worldwide Disability Solutions.” This mailing was sent to education customers with a welcome letter, an information packet, and a 3.5-inch disk with a database of “Macintosh Disability Resources.” The disk contains “up-to-date information on the entire range of assistive hardware products for Macintosh computers.”
The aspirational welcome letter reads:
At Apple Computer, we have always believed that with a good idea and a lot of determination, anyone can do just about anything. That’s the inspiration behind our company. It’s the inspiration behind the computers we make. And it’s the inspiration behind the people at Apple who are working to change the way the world understands disability. And what it means to be disabled. Apple’s Worldwide Disability Solutions Group was formed in 1985. Our principal focus then, as now, was the individual. Young and old. His needs. Her wants. His dreams. Her imagination. Technology, of course, was important to us, too. But our computers have always been secondary. People have always mattered most. Especially people who live with a label. These are the people who, every day, tell us how Macintosh computers are helping them to express themselves. In words. In letters. In music. In pictures. In numbers. In whatever ways that matter to them. These are the people who are now living their lives out loud. Or quietly. It’s their choice. And that, in the end, is the point. Our technology. Their choices. Just as it should be.
eWorld was a relatively short-lived online service operated by Apple from June 1994—March 1996. eWorld’s services included email, news, a bulletin board system, and access to Apple software. According to the website, Remember eWorld, “eWorld competed directly against AOL, CompuServe, and MSN, and finally lost this competition.”
The service was available for Apple IIGS, Macintosh, and offered limited support for the Newton. Although AOL (America Online) was, by far, the most popular service of the time, Cult of Mac author Rob LeFebvre wrote fondly about eWorld, remembering, “When eWorld went online…the combination of real time chat and a distinct graphical style really made it stand out.”
Several historical references to eWorld noted its relatively high price. A Business Insider article reported that eWorld cost “$8.95 per month, which included two hours of evening or weekend use, with each additional hour costing $4.95.”
This 3.5-inch disk contains the software (Version 1.1) that allowed a Macintosh to access eWorld. According to TechNotif, “Users accessed eWorld through Apple’s custom client software and connected by way of a dial-up modem. Once you connected, the eWorld software displayed a playfully illustrated aerial view of a small city.”