This Apple-branded adapter allowed a powered microphone with RCA inputs (red and white plugs) to be plugged into a Macintosh with a 3.5mm microphone jack.
The adapter features an Apple logo (on the RCA plug end) and Apple’s microphone icon (used in the 1990s) on the 3.5mm plug. The adapter is made in the platinum color used by Apple throughout the 1990s until the release of the iMac in 1998.
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the first to include FireWire 400 ports, it also included the then-new USB standard, but curiously included one then-outdated ADB port.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.
The AppleCD 300e Plus was among a few nearly identical SCSI-connected external CD-ROM drives manufactured by Apple. All AppleCD models used a SCSI (Small Computer System Interface, pronounced “scuzzy”) connection. According to PC Magazine, SCSI was “used in mainframes, servers and storage arrays in the late 1980s and 1990s… The SCSI bus connects up to 15 devices in a daisy chain topology, and any two can communicate at one time: host-to-peripheral and peripheral-to-peripheral.”
The AppleCD had a 1x Read-Only CD-ROM that could read CDs with with up to 750 MB of data. Ports on the back of the device included two 50-pin Centronics SCSI connectors, red and white audio RCA connectors, and device power input. A front input included a mini-headphone audio jack. The AppleCD could read five CD formats: CD-Audio, CD-ROM, HFS, ProDOS, and High Sierra.
Several models of the AppleCD drive were made, including the SC, SC Plus, 150, 300, 300e, 300i plus, 600i, 600e plus, and 1200i. The “e” designates external devices using the same design as this AppleCD 300e Plus.
The Composite AV Cable allowed the connection of iPod, iPhone, or iPad to a television or stereo system. It allowed movies and videos to be viewed along with stereo sound from a device with a 30-pin connector. This cable did not allow the display to be mirrored.
According to Apple.com, “The Composite AV Cable connects to your device or Universal Dock via the 30-pin dock connector and to your TV, home cinema receiver or stereo receiver via the composite video and red/white analogue audio ports. The cable also features a USB connector that you can plug in to a power source.”
This cable is unopened in a white box. It was later repackaged in a black box.