Macintosh SE (1987)

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).

Source: EveryMac

Macintosh 512K (1984)

Upon release of the Macintosh 512K, a slightly redesigned Macintosh with the specs as the original Macintosh was introduced as the Macintosh 128K. Thus, the Macintosh 512K was technically the third Macintosh to be released since the new 128K model differed from the original Macintosh. 

The Macintosh 512K had the same 512×342 monochrome display as the original Macintosh, but its memory was quadrupled. The name Macintosh 512K refers to its 512 kilobytes (kB) of internal RAM. The computer was not designed to be upgraded with additional RAM or further expanded, although a few third-party add-ons made available (such as a $2,195 “HyperDrive” hard drive by General Computer Corporation).

The Macintosh 512K was bundled with software including MacPaint and MacWrite, but many additional titles  were soon available, including MacDraw, MacProject, Macintosh Pascal, and Microsoft Excel (requiring 512 kB of RAM to run). The increased memory also allowed the Macintosh 512K to handle larger word processing files, file sharing using Apple’s AppleShare local file sharing abilities, and generally faster performance of the graphical user interface (GUI). 

Sources: Wikipedia (Macintosh 512K, GCC), EveryMac

Macintosh (1984)

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.

Source: EveryMac.com, and Wikipedia (Macintosh) (1984 commercial)

Macintosh Performa 200 (1992)

The Macintosh Performa 200 featured a 16 MHz 68030 processor, 2 MB of RAM, and either a 40 MB or an 80 MB hard drive. The case was designed in the classic Macintosh all-in-one design. The screen was a 9-inch monochrome CRT display.

The Performa family was sold from 1992 to 1997 and re-branded existing Macintosh computers from Apple’s Quadra, Centris, LC, and Power Macintosh families. Performa family computers were sold at “big-box” stores (e.g., Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears), while non-Performa computers were only sold at Apple Authorized Resellers. 

The Performa 200 was among the first Performa models (based upon the Macintosh Classic II), along with the Performa 400 (based upon the LC II), and Performa 600 (based upon the IIvi). Apple sold sixty-four different Performa models in five years—all based upon other models—thus creating brand confusion. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, the Performa family was one of the many cuts made to return the company to financial solvency.

I currently have two Performa models in my collection. 

Source: EveryMac.com and Wikipedia

Macintosh Classic (1990)

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).

Source: EveryMac.com


Macintosh SE/30 (1989)

The Macintosh SE/30 featured a 16 MHz 68030 processor, 1 MB or 4 MB of RAM, and an optional 40 MB or 80 MB hard drive. This Macintosh used the classic all-in-one design of the original Macintosh. The CRT screen was a 9-inch monochrome display.

According to the website EveryMac.com, “The SE/30 is the fastest and most expandable monochrome compact Mac and is considered by many fans of Apple hardware to be the best Mac of all time.”

I am particularly drawn to the Macintosh SE/30 because it’s the first Macintosh I used extensively. Part of my undergrad college experience required me to hold a “Work/Study” job as part of my scholarships. I was lucky to get a job in my music school creating publicity for all university student and faculty recitals. The computer I used was a Macintosh SE/30 running Aldus PageMaker, MacPaint, and an early version of Photoshop connected to a networked monochrome (black and white) laser printer. 

Source: EveryMac.com

PowerBook 140 (1991)

The PowerBook 140 was released along with the PowerBook 100, 140, and 170—three new Macintosh laptop models that were mobile in addition to being portable. The lineup replaced the Macintosh Portable, a very bulky device that weighed in at 16 pounds and was 4 inches thick.

The PowerBook 140 featured a 16 MHz 68030 processor, 2 MB or 4 MB of RAM, a 20 MB or a 40 MB hard drive, and an internal 1.44 MB floppy drive. The screen measured 9.8 inches in a monochrome passive-matrix display.

Unlike Macintosh computers at the time that were controlled by a mouse, the built-in input device on the PowerBook 100-family laptops was a trackball with an upper and lower button. Each button had the same function and two were provided for the benefit of ergonomics for the user to select which to use. 

The introductory price for this laptop was $3,199.

Source: EveryMac.com

iPod Generation 3 (40 GB, 2004)

The iPod Generation 3 was available in three sizes: 15 GB, 20 GB, or 40 GB on a 4200 RPM ATA-66 hard drive capable of storing 3700, 5000, or 10,000 songs. It used a 2-inch (diagonal) monochrome LCD display with blue-white LED backlight in a case with an “iBook white” front and a polished stainless steel back.

This iPod was thinner, lighter, had a more rounded case design, and introduced the idea of an iPod dock for easy connection to a computer or stereo. The buttons were changed to solid-state (instead of the earlier physical buttons) and moved from around the click wheel to a row above the click wheel.

Source: EveryMac.com