The Macintosh TV – released in 1993 – was an ill-fated attempt to combine the increasingly popular home computer market with a traditional television. It came with a CD-drive and a TV tuner card, and was one of the only Macs ever produced in black. Ultimately, however, it did not prove popular, largely because users couldn’t switch easily between watching television and other programmes. Only 10,000 were made.
In 1984, on January 24th, Apple released the first Macintosh home computer.
It was a revelation – mainly for its incorporation of a graphical display when its rivals could only display text.
The following year, founder Steve Jobs left the company.
Apple continued to make progress with innovative machines, but only after his return in 1996, that Apple’s computers began to achieve the popularity and recognition with new, design-led strategy – Yahoo News.
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In 2005 Apple released the Mac Mini – spiritual successor to the Cube – as proof of how small, and simple, a computer design could. Well received by fans, it was soon superceded by later models. Photo by Sipa Press/REX (510478b)
The Mac Plus fixed a lot of the early glitches with the Macintosh – upping the RAM to 1MB and included a SCSI port, which would allow users to connect other devices such as a printer. It originally came in beige – pictured – but later was the first Mac to switch to the smarter ‘platinum’ grey.
The first Apple Mac – called simply the Macintosh – was released on January 24th, 1984. It had 128 kilobytes of RAM – a modern day iMac has 65536 times as much. It was the first computer in the world to feature a Graphical User Interface – displaying anything other than lines of text on a screen. It cost $2495, and was replaced within eight months by a version with 512Kb of RAM.
Following the success of the G3, Steve Jobs revitalised the company’s laptops, calling this 1999 offering the “iBook” – a naming trend we’re now quite familiar with. While modern – it was one of the first laptops to have WiFi – it didn’t enjoy the same praise as the iMac G3. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
The current flagship iMac – released in 2009 and updated last year. It is a whopping 27 inches across, comes with 8GB of RAM and a 3 terabyte hard drive. It’s also only 5mm thin at the edges – a long way from its ancestor the iMac G5, let alone the original Macs.
In 1989, Apple released the Mac Portable, its first ‘laptop’ computer. It weighed 7.16kg, measured 38cm by 37cm by 10cm, had a 40MB hard drive and a floppy disk drive. It also included a mono speaker. The active matrix screen made it hugely expensive: $6,500.
The Mac II was, as the name suggests, the next generation computer from Apple (although several iterations of the Mac I had been released). New out in 1987, it was the first Mac to come as a separate screen and desktop unit, and was the first to display colour, at a resolution of 640×480. The CPU speed was just 16Mhz, and the maximum RAM had risen to 20MB.
The first iMac of the modern generation, this saw Apple revert to an all-in-one configuration – the difference this time being that, unusually and impressively, the entire computer was housed within the flatscreen unit just two inches thick.
After a long absence from the company, Steve Jobs returned in 1996 as CEO. In 1998 he launched the iMac G3. It immediately transformed Apple’s fortunes, and was the first step on their design-led path to success. The multi-coloured, translucent body and all-in-one design was worlds apart from anything else on the market. Photo by Sipa Press/REX (289162b)
Another great design from Apple at a time when all other PCs were still just boxes. The G4 was billed as containing ‘a supercomputer on a chip’ for its ability to carry out a billion calculations in a single second.
The Mac Pro II, announced last year, is Apple’s current flagship computer. It may look like a wastepaper bin, but it is enormously powerful. 12GB of RAM is standard, with twin graphics cards, support for six displays and a quad-core 3.9GHz processor. It’s fair to say they’ve come a long way in three decades…
This is what operating the first Mac looked like. Revolutionary for its time, the basic design of the explorer windows hardly changed for years, and is still recognisable by today’s standards.
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