Xserve Enclosure Key (2003)

The Xserve Enclosure Key shipped with Apple’s Xserve line of racked mounted servers, beginning with the Xserve (Slot Load) model. (The “Slot Load” refers to the slot-loading optical drive built into the server.)

The purpose of the Xserve Enclosure Key was to unlock the physical enclosure (case) of the Xserve. The enclosure lock and status light were located in the upper-left corner of the Xserve over the far-left drive module and next to the power button/light.

According to page 11 of the Xserve User’s Guide: “The lock secures the enclosure and drive modules in the server. It can be locked and unlocked with the enclosure key supplied with the server.”

The Enclosure Key is also pictured on the page of the User’s Guide (page 16) that shows detailed drawings of the Mounting Hardware for the Xserve. This one-color illustration includes various braces, brackets, and screws necessary to mount the Xserve in a rack.

Later in the manual (page 49), the directions specify:

“To secure the drive modules in the server, use the enclosure key to lock them in place.”

Further, when the Security lock was engaged using the enclosure lock tool, further security measures were also in place, namely:

“When the enclosure lock is locked (the light is on), the server may not recognize peripheral devices such as a keyboard and mouse or a storage device. Unlock the lock to use those devices.”

The Xserve Enclosure Key measures 1.5 inches long and the cylinder has a diameter of 0.5 inch.

In my experience, Network Managers who worked in Mac environments in the early-2000s regularly carried an Xserve Enclosure Key with them on their keychain using the handy loop included on the tool. While certainly practical, I also felt like the tool was considered a “badge of honor” among a very specific subset of techies.

Sources: Apple (manuals)

Apple Gift Cards (2022)

This set of Apple Gift Cards each features a different design. According to Apple, gift cards can be used for:

“Products, accessories, apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, iCloud+, and more. This gift card does it all. And then some.”

Beginning in 2021, this style of Apple Gift Card was sold with an included “collectible sticker.” According to an Apple Support article:

“The front of your Apple Gift Card shows a colorful Apple logo on a white background. The gift card is inside a sleeve, and the Apple logo is a collectible sticker. The pattern might look different from the image that you see here, because Apple Gift Cards are available with a range of designs. Use your Apple Gift Card at an Apple Store to buy products and accessories. Or redeem it in the App Store and use it for apps, subscriptions like Apple Music or iCloud+, purchases from apple.com, and more.”

In the early 2020s, Apple Gift Card scams were somewhat common. In 2022, 9to5Mac described a common pattern for such a scam:

“A victim receives a phone call from someone claiming to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They are told that there is a problem with their tax filing, and that unless the matter is resolved immediately, they face arrest. When asked how to arrange payment, victims are asked to buy Apple gift cards…and then pass the details to the caller.”

As of March 2023, Apple’s Gift Card website includes multiple references to potential scams. Apple also had a page describing gift card scams: “Be aware of scams involving Apple Gift Cards, App Store & iTunes Gift Cards, and Apple Store Gift Cards.” Further, each printed gift card includes the warning: “Beware of gift card scams. Do not share your code.”

Source: Apple (gift cards, support, scams), 9to5Mac

MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)

On October 18, 2018, Apple introduced an all-new MacBook Air model:

“Apple today introduced an all-new MacBook Air, bringing a stunning 13-inch Retina display, Touch ID, the latest processors and an even more portable design to the world’s most loved notebook. Delivering the all-day battery life it’s known for, the new MacBook Air is available in three gorgeous finishes — gold, space gray and silver. The most affordable Retina-display Mac ever also includes an Apple-designed keyboard, a spacious Force Touch trackpad, faster SSDs, wide stereo sound, the Apple T2 Security Chip and Thunderbolt 3, making the new MacBook Air the perfect notebook to take with you everywhere you go.”

The 13.3-inch Retina display was 2560 x 1600 (at 227ppi)—a 16:10 aspect ratio. It used a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, and offered many storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1.5TB SSD. RAM options included 8GB or 16GB.

Like all previous MacBook Air models, this version used a tapered body design. It measured 0.16 inch in front to 0.61 inch in back (0.41–1.56 cm) thick, and was 11.97 inches (30.41 cm) wide and 8.36 inches (21.24 cm) deep. It weighed 2.75 pounds (1.25 kg).

The front camera was a 720p FaceTime HD camera. This was the first MacBook Air to ship with 2 USB-C connections, and it also had a 3.5mm headphone jack. Further, this was the first MacBook Air to include an Integrated Touch ID sensor.

The 2018 MacBook Air was released at a time when its features were potentially confusing to customers when compared to other Apple laptop offerings at the time. A reviewer at The Verge noted:

“Is this new Air like a 12-inch MacBook, just blown up to a slightly bigger size? Is it more like a 13-inch MacBook Pro (sans Touch Bar), just with cheaper parts?”

When released, this this MacBook Air only was offered in a 13-inch option, dropping the 11-inch version available in the previous design. This was also the final MacBook Air with an Intel chip—future versions included Apple Silicon, such as the M1.

Source: Apple (Newsroom, Tech Specs), The Verge

The Apple Catalog (Spring 1993)

The Apple Catalog opens with the description:

“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.

Source: Apple

At Ease box (1992)

Although the Mac has always been touted as the computer platform that’s easy to use, At Ease was Apple’s even more simplified version of an operating environment for users. At Ease removed the Desktop and Finder environment and replaced it with an all-graphical interface with two tabs and large icons.

At Ease used two Panels (tabs) as the primary interface. A brown tab displayed Applications, and a blue tab displayed a user’s documents. All Applications and Documents were shown as icons on a grid.

Although the early Macintosh in System 7 and before did not support multiple users, At Ease added the ability for multiple users to use the same computer and protect their files from other users. At Ease also allowed those files to be shared among users at that computer.

At Ease was controlled by the Administrator or Owner of the computer who set which Applications could be accessed by users. User security was accomplished through passwords set by the Administrator/Owner for each user.

At Ease was used extensively in the schools where I worked in the early- to mid-1990s. This example is a shrink-wrapped, never-opened At Ease box from 1992. The box also contains a Mouse Practice mouse skills tutorial application.

Sources: Wikipedia, Macintosh Garden

Apple Lockable Cable Fastener (unopened, 2001)

The Apple Lockable Cable Fastener is a metal clip with a hole meant to function as a security device. To use the fastener, several cables would be bundled in the clip and a padlock would be fed through the holes so the device cables and devices (mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc.) could not be easily removed and stolen.

One illustration on the manual shows an Apple Pro Keyboard, Apple Pro Mouse, and the speakers that shipped with the G4 Cube (2001). Thus, this Lockable Cable Fastener likely shipped with a G4 Cube.

Source: Apple