The Macintosh Server G3/300 Minitower was released in 1998 as the final beige tower design by Apple. This G3 Server used a 300 MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, a single 4.0 GB SCSI hard drive (with space for a second drive), and a 24x CD-ROM drive.
This minitower also contained a “Whisper personality card” that added audio input and output ports. According to LowEndMac, Apple had planned various “personality cards,” but only audio (“Whisper”), audio/video (“Wings”), and audio/video/DVD playback (“Bordeaux”) were ever produced.
The case design of this minitower includes a removable side panel and two internal tabs that, when released, allow the entire tower to tilt 90 degrees on a hinge allowing easy access to all internal components. Interestingly, the side door panel latch and internal tabs are made from translucent blue-green plastic, a design aesthetic that would soon become the Mac design norm that same year when the original iMac was released.
Ports on this computer include SCSI; ADB (Apple Desktop Bus); Ethernet (10-100); Mac serial and printer ports; Apple Video (DB-15), line-out and microphone 3.5 mm jacks. Three card slots are available: the first is empty, but ready for a high-speed SCSI port; the second slot has a second high-speed ethernet port; and the third slot adds two USB ports.
The exact factory configuration of the server is shown as: 1MB Cache/128MB/2x4GB UW/CD/10-100 ENET. The model is M4405, and the serial number area specifies a production date of May 27, 1998, at 3:30 PM.
The Macintosh Server G4/500 was designed similarly as its G3 blue and white predecessor, but used a translucent graphite and white case. Internally, it had a 500 MHz PowerPC 7400 G4 processor, 256 MB RAM (512 GB RAM maximum), an 18.0 GB (or 36.0 GB) hard drive, a 5X DVD-ROM drive, and a Rage 128 Pro graphics card. This server is identical to the Power Macintosh G4 series tower, but included faster hard drives, more RAM, and shipped with a server operating system. The two Apple server operating systems of the time included MacOS 8.6 with AppleShare IP 6.3.1 and MacOS X Server.
The front of the Macintosh Server G4 was translucent graphite (gray) with an underlying pinstripe pattern. The top included spaces for two optical drives. This example includes a DVD-ROM drive and no device in the lower available space. Below the optical 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 all ports: two FireWire (400) ports, one ethernet port, two USB ports, and stacked 3.5 mm microphone (audio-in) and audio-out jacks. 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 and a DVI port; slot 2 with a high-speed SCSI (LVD/SE) port; while slots 3 and 4 are unused.
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, memory, and wireless) were attached to the hinged side, while components such as drives and fans remained attached to the internal metal frame of the tower.
This Macintosh Server G4 includes three internal hard drives.
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.
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) was used to physically connect two computers to peripheral devices and transfer data between them. SCSI was used to connect hard disk drives, tape drives, scanners, CD drives, and other devices. SCSI is pronounced “scuzzy.”
The examples shown here include both an unopened cable in the 1992 packaging and an opened example that I found in an AppleCD 300e Plus (1995) box.
I remember using an Apple SCSI System Cable to connect external Apple CD-ROM drives, scanners, and hard drives. The thickness of the cable made it difficult to bend and contributed to a high failure rate.
The SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) was used to physically connect two computers to peripheral devices and transfer data between them. SCSI was used to connect hard disk drives, tape drives, scanners, CD drives, and other devices. SCSI is pronounced “scuzzy.”
The Apple SCSI Active Terminator was used to allow “active termination” in a chain of SCSI devices. Active Termination is defined as an advanced form of terminating SCSI cables that controls “the impedance at the end of the SCSI bus by using a voltage regulator, not just the power supplied by the interface card” (myoldmac.com).
Although different SCSI interfaces were available, this terminator uses the original parallel SCSI interface.