Category: Macintosh

Apple Macintosh Quadra 700 and AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Monitor (Part I)

Sometime between 2003 and 2006 I found this Apple Macintosh Quadra 700 at the old State Road Goodwill in Cuyahoga Falls.  According to this Macintosh serial decoding site my Quadra (serial # F114628QC82) was the 7012th Mac built in the 14th week of 1991 in Apple’s Fremont, California factory.

It looks like I paid $15 for the Quadra and the massive Apple Multiple Scan 17 CRT monitor that came with it.

In fact, the Multiple Scan 17 is so large and hulking that I don’t feel like dragging it out of the closet to take a better photo.

After I started this blog I dragged over most of the vintage Mac stuff out of my parents’ attic to my apartment.   I decided that the Quadra 700 should get a semi-permanent place on my vintage computing desk.   The desk (which you’ve probably seen in the Macintosh SE and PowerBook G3 entries) has a credenza that limits how deep of a monitor I can use.   The Multiple Scan 17 doesn’t leave enough space for the keyboard and really restricts what else I can have on the desk.

Originally my plan was to use the Quadra with an HP 1740 LCD monitor I picked up at the Kent-Ravena Goodwill so I bought a DB-15 to HD-15 (VGA) converter.

However, while digging through the Mac stuff in my parents’ attic I made an interesting discovery.  Unbeknownst to me I owned AppleColor High-Resolution RGB 13″ monitor.

When I was still living with my parents there wasn’t really a lot of room in my bedroom for all of the vintage computing stuff I had accumulated.  Often, I would lose interest in something and it would go into the attic.

At some point my Dad must have brought home this monitor from a thrift store.  Unlike most CRT monitors where the monitor cable is attached to the monitor this one has a detachable cable which was lost when he bought it (I have since purchased a replacement on eBay).  With all of the Mac stuff put away and no monitor cable to test it with, it joined everything else in the attic and I forgot about it.

Years later when I stumbled upon it deep in the shadows of a poorly lit part of the room, I thought it was the cheaper Macintosh 12″ RGB monitor that went with the LC series.  But then, I saw the name plate on the back.

This was an amazing stroke of luck because that’s a damn fine monitor.  Back in the late 80s this was one of Apple’s high end Trinitron monitors.  Remember those Apple brochures my mother got in West Akron in 1989 from the Macintosh SE entry?

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I’m fairly sure that the monitor sitting on the IIx in that picture is the AppleColor Hi-Res 13″.  In fact, if you flip over that brochure, there it is, listed as the AppleColor RGB Monitor.

For reasons that will become obvious in a moment, the AppleColor RGB fits very nicely on the top of the Quadra 700 when it’s positioned as a desktop rather than a mini-tower.

There’s some scratches and scuffs on the monitor but for the most part it works and looks spectacular.

This monitor is a classic piece of Snow White era Apple design.  My favorite thing about this monitor are the large brightness and contrast dials it has on it’s side.

Apple also sold a rather attractive optional base for the AppleColor RGB monitor with great Snow White detailing, as seen in this drawing from Technical Introduction to the Macintosh Family: Second Edition.

Unfortunately I’ve never seen that base come up on eBay.

Oddly enough, when I ventured further into my parent’s attic I found a box of Macintosh stuff that a college roommate had recovered from being trashed at a college graphics lab that contained, among other things, the manual for this model of monitor.

The Quadra 700 is one of my all-time favorite thrift store finds.  It was the first extremely serious Macintosh I have owned from the expandable 680X0 era (roughly from 1987 to 1994 when Apple moved to PowerPC CPUs). Previously the most powerful Mac I had found was a Macintosh LC III with a color monitor. That machine introduced me to what the experience of using a color Macintosh had been like in the early 1990s but the Quadra was on another level entirely.

To put this in perspective: Macintosh LC III was a lower-end machine from 1993 that gave you something like the performance of a high-end Macintosh from 1989. The Quadra 700 (along with the Quadra 900 which was basically the same guts in a larger, more expandable case) was Apple’s late 1991 high-end machine. When it was new, the Quadra 700 cost a staggering $5700, without a monitor. The monitor could easily add another $1500.

In order to talk about the importance of the Quadra I have to go back to the Macintosh II series, which I also discussed in the Macintosh SE entry.

Apple created a lot of machines in the Macintosh II series and it’s a bit difficult to keep track of them.  As you can see in the brochure, the original machine was the Macintosh II, built around Motorola’s 68020 processor and for the first time in the Macintosh, a fully 32-bit bus.  That machine was succeeded the following year by the Macintosh IIx, which, like all following Macintosh II models used the 68030 processor.  The II and the IIx both had six NuBus expansion slots, which is why their cases are so wide.

If you’re more familiar with the history of Intel processors don’t let the similar numbering schemes lead you into thinking the 68020 was equivalent to a 286 and the 68030 was equivalent to a 386.  In reality the original Macintosh’s 68000 CPU would be more comparable to the 286 while the 68020 and 68030 were comparable to the 386.  In the numbering scheme that Motorola was using at the time processors with even numbered digits in their second to last number like the 68000, 68020 and 68040 were new designs and processors with odd numbers like 68010 and 68030 were enhancements to the previous model.  The 68030 gained a memory mapping unit (MMU) which enabled virtual memory.  The jump from the 286 to the 386 was much greater than the jump from the 68020 to the 68030.

The next machine in the series was the Macintosh IIcx in 1989, which basically took the guts of the IIx and put them in a smaller case with only three expansion slots (hence, it’s a II-compact-x).  Like the II and the IIx, the IIcx had no on-board video and required a video card to be in one of the expansion slots.

Later that year Apple reused the same case for the Macintosh IIci, which added on-board video.

The case used in the Macintosh IIcx and IIci was designed to match in color, styling, and size the AppleColor High Resolution RGB monitor I have, as seen in this illustration from Technical Introduction to the Macintosh Family: Second Edition.

As you probably caught onto by now the Quadra 700 uses the same case as the Macintosh IIci but with the Snow White detail lines and the Apple badge turned 90 degrees, turning it into a mini-tower.  That’s why the monitor matches the Quadra so well.

The last Macintosh to use the full-sized six-slot Macintosh II case was the uber-expensive Macintosh IIfx in 1990.  It used a blistering 40MHz 68030 and started at $8970.

However, if you bought a IIfx, you may have felt very silly the next year when the Quadra series based on the new 68040 processor came out and succeeded the Macintosh II series.

The 68040, especially the full version of the chip with the FPU (floating point unit) that the Quadra 700 used, was a huge jump in processing power.

According to these benchmarks at Low End Mac, the 25MHz 68040 in the Quadra 700 scores 33% higher than the Macintosh IIfx’s 40MHz 68030 on an integer benchmark and five times as fast on a math benchmark.  Plus, it was just over half the price of the IIfx.

The interior of the Quadra 700 is extremely tidy. The question the hardware designers at Apple were clearly working with was: what is the most efficient case layout if you need to pack a power supply, a hard disk, 3.5″ floppy drive, and 2 full-length expansion slots in a case? In the Quadra 700 the two drives are at the front of the right side of the case, the PSU is at the back of the right side, and the two expansion slots take up the left side of the case.

You can tell how the arrival of CD-ROM drives threw a wrench in all of this serene order.  You’re never going to shoe-horn a 5.25″ optical drive in this case.  And when you do get a CD drive in the case you’re going to have an ugly looking gap for the drive door rather than just the understated slot for the floppy.  I think Apple’s designs lost a lot of their minimalist beauty when they started putting CD drives in Macintoshes soon after the Quadra 700.

Inside the case, the way everything is attached without screws is very impressive.  The sides of the case and the cage that hold the drives forms a channel that the PSU slides into. Assuming nothing is stuck you should be able to pull out the PSU, detach the drive cables, and then pull out the drive cage in a few short minutes without using a screwdriver (actually, there’s supposed to be a screw securing the drive cage to the logic board but it was missing in mine with no ill effects).

We tend to think of plastic in the pejorative.  But, plastic is only cheap and flimsy when it’s badly done.  This Quadra’s case is plastic done really, really well.  It doesn’t flex or bend.  It’s rock solid.  But, when you pick the machine up it’s much lighter than you expect it to be.

Recently, I needed to replace the Quadra 700’s PRAM battery, which apparently dated from 1991.

The battery is located under the drive cage so this was a nice opportunity to remove the power supply and drive cage to see the whole board.

The new battery is white, located in the bottom right hand corner.

Looking at the whole board there are two really interesting things to note here.

First the logic board itself is attached to the rest of the plastic case using plastic slats and hold-downs.  Had I wanted to remove the logic board and I knew what I was doing, I could probably do that in a few minutes.

Second, notice the six empty RAM slots.  Curiously enough, on the Quadra 700 the shorter memory slots just above the battery are the main RAM.  I believe this machine has four 4MB SIMMs in addition to 4MB RAM soldered onto the logic board (the neat horizontal row of chips labeled DRAM to the left of the SIMMs on the bottom of the picture)   The larger white empty slots are for VRAM expansion.

You can tell from this series of articles (that I assume were posted on newsgroups back in 1991) written by one of the Quadra 700’s designers how proud they were about the video capabilities of the Quadra 700 and 900.

He makes three major points:

  1. The way the video hardware talks to the CPU makes it really, really fast compared to previous Macintoshes with built-in video and even expensive video cards for the Macintosh II series.
  2. The Quadra’s video hardware supports a wide variety of common resolutions and refresh rates including VGA’s 640×480 and SVGA’s 800×600.  That’s why I can use the Quadra with that VGA adapter pictured above.  This was neat stuff in an era when Macintoshes tended to be very proprietary.
  3. If you fully populate the VRAM slots (which gives you a total of 2MB VRAM) you can use 32 bit color at 800×600.

Point 3 just blows me away.  To put that in perspective, the Matrox Mystique card that my family bought in 1997 or so had 2MB VRAM and did 800x600x32-bit color.  There’s a good reason the Quadra 700 was so outrageously expensive.  If you were a graphics professional and you needed true color graphics, Apple would gladly make that happen for the right price.

There is a person on eBay selling the VRAM SIMMs that the Quadra uses.  It would probably cost me about $50 to populate those RAM slots.  It’s very tempting.

I’m planning on doing another entry on the Quadra 700 sometime in the future to talk about what actually using this machine is like.

Apple Macintosh SE

This is my Macintosh SE, that I purchased sometime before mid-2003 at the old State Road Shopping Center Goodwill.  If we believe this Apple serial number decoder my Macintosh SE (serial # F9063FVM5011) was built in the 6th week of 1989 in Fremont, California.

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This Macintosh SE still works, outside of the fact that I’ve never seen the hard disk activity light blink.  It runs System 7.0 and seems to have been upgraded from the stock 1MB RAM to 4MB.  At the moment this is my oldest working Macintosh.

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In my post about the original Macintosh I said that machine held a lot of promise but was incomplete.  The Macintosh Plus vastly improved the situation in 1986 by adding 1MB of RAM standard and a SCSI port for adding a hard drive.  But considering how many pictures you see of Mac Pluses sitting atop an external hard drive you can’t really call that machine totally complete either.

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The Macintosh concept really lent itself to having an internal hard drive.

It wasn’t until 1987 when the Macintosh SE was released with an option for a built-in hard drive and the Apple Desktop Bus for peripheral accessories that you could really say for the first time the original vision of the compact Macintosh was complete.  In addition there was an expansion slot crammed in the back of the machine (behind Torx screws), which is where Apple got the “System Expansion” moniker from.  The SE was based on the same Motorola MC68000 CPU running at 7.83Mhz as all previous compact Macintosh models but added a fan that probably led to increased reliability due to better cooling.

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It’s notable then that at the same time the Macintosh SE was released in March 1987 the Macintosh II was also released, which totally changed the conception of what the Macintosh was.

Some time in 1989 my mother visited a computer store in west Akron and picked up some Apple brochures that sat preserved in a drawer for years until I found them.  From one of those brochures, here is the state of the Macintosh lineup in early 1989.

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The Macintosh II was basically the Macintosh re-imagined as an open, expandable desktop personal computer in the vein of the IBM PC AT and was based on the more powerful Motorola MC68020 CPU.

The Macintosh II implicitly admitted the Mac platform was too expensive to be the “computer for everyone” and finally dispensed with the appliance pretenses of the compact Macs.  Instead, Apple positioned the Macintosh II as a business workstation priced at a cool $5500 (before you bought a video card and monitor…Ouch).  People were doing desktop publishing and graphics design on Macintoshes before the Macintosh II but I suspect that once you used a 13in 640×480 screen and enjoyed the benefits of what was then a fantastical amount of RAM and the 68020 CPU you were loathed to go back to a 68000-based compact Macintosh like my SE.

So there’s a certain disappointment to the historical fact that by the time Apple built a compact Macintosh that really paid off the original concept the future was pointing to expandable Macintoshes that resembled desktop PCs.

With that said, if you had purchased this machine at the time, I suspect that you were very happy with it.

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When you sit down with one of these machines at a desk you quickly understand how the subtle angle of the front of the machine puts the screen right in line with where you eyes want to look.  The lovely glow the 9″ black and white CRT focuses your attention despite it’s small size.  I think this would have been an enjoyable machine to own in 1987-1989, even considering that the price tag at the time for the model that included this 20MB hard drive would have been somewhere substantially north of $3000.  Plus, you could play Shufflepuck.

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The Macintosh SE is also the best example I own of Apple’s Snow White design language, which saw it’s heyday in the Macintosh line from 1987 to 1990.  Previously I’ve talked about how I love the angular, metallic look of many pieces of 80s electronics.  Snow White goes in the opposite direction by emphasizing ornamentation and subtle curves in injection molded off-white plastic.  The overall effect is stunning.  It’s somehow very 1980s but at the same time stands out among other designs.

You can learn more about the different components of Snow White from Ed Tracy’s excellent 1998 graduate school project about Apple’s industrial design.  You may have also seen these wild prototypes that came out of the studies that designer Hartmut Esslinger from Frog Design created for Apple while developing the Snow White look.  One of the first Snow White products was the memorable Apple IIc, which may be my favorite looking computer, period.

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The idea behind Snow White was to take full advantage of the fact that Apple used injection-molded plastic cases rather than the sheet metal other computers used.  If computers need air vents for cooling anyways, why not adorn plastic computer cases with horizontal and vertical lines that look like vents so they distract your attention from where the real vents are?

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On the front of the Macintosh SE this results in a “grill” that contains the floppy drive, the hard drive indicator light and an air vent.

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Adding the grill drastically changes the appearance of the front of the machine as compared to the original Macintosh case, even though both machines have basically the same dimensions.  The front of the original Macintosh is dominated by the large bevels that surround the floppy disk drive where on the SE the floppy disk is de-emphasized as a thin line that matches the rest of the grill.

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My favorite Snow White design element is the pedestal of vertical lines along the base of the Macintosh SE and the Macintosh II series cases.

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The lines on the pedestal help to conceal the air vents on the side of the machine that had been much more apparent on the previous compact Macintosh cases.

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Sadly, the pedestal feature is often hidden behind the keyboard sitting in front of the computer.

Apple also produced monitors, CD drives, external hard drives, printers, scanners, and other accessories with Snow White designs from about 1986-1990.  A fellow could fall down a deep rabbit hole collecting all of them.

I’m somewhat enamored with the various Snow White computers and accessories.  In my opinion the Snow White designs have so much more personality than practically every other personal computer ever made, including Apple’s current product line.  Plastic might be out of vogue today, but Snow White showed us that plastic can be just as profound as brushed metal.

Before I really dug into learning about the Snow White look, I thought the Macintosh SE looked a bit funky.  The loss of the beveled edges the original Macintosh introduced gives the Macintosh SE a fat “chin” below the floppy drive.  If you sit a big keyboard in front of it so that the main Snow White feature you’re looking at is the grill below the screen, the machine loses at lot of it’s appeal.  However, as I have read more about Snow White I have come to appreciate the appearance of the Macintosh SE.

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Apple Macintosh

This is my original Apple Macintosh (aka the Macintosh 128K) from 1984.  I believe I bought it somewhere around 1998-2000 at the old State Road Shopping Center Goodwill in Cuyahoga Falls.  Unfortunately it only worked for a short time after I found it but in that time I had a lot of fun with it.  I keep it around today as a piece of history.

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This is it.  Model M0001.  The original Macintosh.  The machine with the Ridley Scott 1984 commercial.  More has probably been written, said, and filmed about this computer than any other in history.

You can identify an original 1984 Macintosh among other classic Macs by the way that the rear name badge just says “Macintosh” and the way that the front of the computer just has an Apple logo and no model name.

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The original Macintosh did not have a hard drive.  It ran from 400K 3.5in floppy disks.  I found this Macintosh with the mouse and keyboard (minus the letter Z) but with no disks, which created a problem.  I made some posts on the old RoadRunner newsgroups and found some local Mac nerds to help me out.  One of them a disk that had been formatted 400K with an significantly old System and copies of MacWrite and MacPaint, which is basically what you would have received in the box in 1984.  To my amazement, we found that the old Macintosh worked.  Compared to the Apple II, the crisp black and white image was a revelation.

Through some research I found sites like mac512.com that (at that time) had a lot of old software available to download, assuming you had a Mac that could write the 400K floppy format.  My mother and I made a trip to a local Kinkos that had late model Power Macinitosh towers (probably Power Macintosh 9500 or 9600s) that still had floppy drives.  We spent about an hour or so filling up a few floppies with old games like Shufflepuck, Kung Fu and Stunt Copter.

Later I came to realize that this Macintosh had been upgraded to about the specs of a Macintosh 512K with 0.5MB RAM, an option which Wikipedia says cost $995 back in the day.

This Macintosh was the first Macintosh of any type I owned and the first Apple product I had owned since my grandfather gave us his Apple IIe.  Oddly enough, the later Macs I found at thrift stores or acquired used I found in roughly the order they came out: a Macintosh Plus, a Macintosh SE, a Macintosh Classic II, a Macintosh LC III, a Quadra 700, a Quadra 605, a Performa 630CD, a PowerBook 190cs, the PowerBook G3, and most recently an eMac and a 2010 Mac Mini.

The Macintosh Plus (which in many ways was the machine the Macintosh 128K should have been) gave me a good education into what the Macintosh experience would have been in the mid-to-late 80s.

While I am fascinated in these machines as old computers I’m still a PC guy at heart.  It’s just that these are the opportunities that have presented themselves.  If the thrift stores had been full of Deskpros or PS/2s I would be writing about them here too.

Since this old Macintosh no longer works, it gives me a good opportunity to talk about the way it looks.

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You can see the visual similarity between the Apple IIe (introduced in 1983) and the Macintosh with the beige plastic and the beveled edges.  Growing up with an Apple IIe, I have a fondness for the beige style that Apple did so well in the mid 1980s.  I have said before that I like my 80s stereo equipment to have the angular silver appearance of a DeLorean.  Well, I want my 80s computer equipment to have the beige plastic look of the Apple Macintosh and the Apple IIe.

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I adore the beveling around the floppy disk drive especially.  That’s the way a floppy drive should look.  It just looks important.

The way the mouse looks roughly like the Macintosh, with the mouse button mirroring the monitor and the Apple logo in roughly the same place is stunningly cute.

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I really dig the color Apple logos on the front and back of the Macintosh.  Bring back the color Apple!

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One of the things that puzzles me about this machine is: If you had paid $2495 for one of these things in 1984 would you have been happy with it?

We’ve all been told that this is the machine that like Prometheus bringing fire to man, brought the Graphical User Interface to the common person.

The reality is that this was a seriously compromised computer when it was launched.  The 400K floppies were too small.  The 128K RAM was way, way too small for the kind of graphical programs that were expected to be built for it.  The single built-in floppy drive and the limited amount of RAM led to horror stories where the simple action of copying a disk took multiple disk swaps.  It also lacked a dedicated port to add an external hard drive.

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The Macintosh Plus, introduced in 1986, corrected these flaws by coming with at least 1MB RAM, an 800K floppy drive, and a SCSI port for adding an external hard disk.  The Macintosh SE in 1987 added an option of an internal hard disk or a second floppy drive.  So, if you had bought this machine in 1984 you were probably looking longingly at the Plus and SE which had the same screen and same CPU, but corrected the glaring flaws in the original design.

Additionally, would you have been happy with the software selection?  The Mac would have come with the brilliant MacWrite and MacPaint, but after that was there other quality software to buy?  It seems like the first few years of Macintosh software were a bit tortured.  Meanwhile Apple II and IBM PC owners were cheerfully drowning in great software.

I’m sure the first two things people thought of when they saw a Macintosh back then was: This is amazing but 1) Can I have it with color? 2) Can I have a bigger screen.

Maybe this is just my “future” bias talking here but anytime I’ve tried to write anything on the 9in screen classic Macintoshes have I’ve felt visually cramped.

If you were the kind of computing enthusiast with a quick trigger finger for novel technology that was probably the kind of person who bought a Mac in 1984, what did you think of the Amiga in 1985?  Granted the Amiga had a less elegant GUI than the Macintosh but it came with an emphasis on color and multimedia while your Mac was staring back at you in crisp but dull black and white.  Apple would not add a Macintosh with color capability to the lineup until the stratospherically expensive (but eminently open) Macintosh II in 1987.

I think you have to keep in mind what the ownership experience was really like when you appreciate the historical importance of this machine.

The original Macintosh is a terrific monument to one of the best technological moments of the 1980s.  Seeing one with it’s crisp and cheery screen must have stunned people who were knew computers as boxes that spit out glowing green text in a black void.  This was the 1980s vision of the future.

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Apple PowerBook G3 (Wallstreet II/PDQ)

There was a period in the late 90s and early 2000s when finding old computers, especially Macintoshes was a regular occurrence at the local thrift stores.  I’ve basically been a Wintel guy since the mid 90s but the collectability of old Macs piqued my interest.  These were not generic beige boxes; Macs had well-documented stories.  I quickly accumulated a Mac 128K (that had been upgraded to Mac 512K specs), a Mac Plus, a Mac SE, a Quadra 700, and a Mac LC (I still have some of these machines and plan to do posts on them someday).  However, there came a point in the mid-2000s when these machines stopped showing up at thrift stores.

Today, it has become really difficult to find classic computers at thrift stores.  Partly I think this is because the larger stores such as Goodwill are concerned about the privacy and licensing issues of selling old PCs. They have to be concerned with with the previous owner’s data and would rather recycle the PCs than deal with wiping them properly and the license hassle of reinstalling software for resale.  I think it’s also because the smaller stores don’t understand there is a collector market for vintage PCs and they think that older computers are too difficult to sell.   People alo probably only keep one or two generations of old computers in their house so in many cases they’ve already trashed most of the really vintage stuff.  The good old days I experienced in the late 1990s and early 2000s have come and gone.  As a result, I have decided as a general policy that if I see an interesting computer at a thrift store I should pick it up because I never know when I’ll see one again.

However, for whatever reason I never saw Macintosh laptops at thrift stores, even in the good-old-days.

Imagine my surprise one day in 2011 when I saw this lovely Apple Powerbook G3 sitting on a pile of old furniture at the Abbey Anns off the Circle in Tallmadge.

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It was really dirty and covered in stickers but as far as I could tell it was complete.  There was no power supply included and the battery was clearly dead so I ended up buying it for about $15 without knowing if it worked.  After buying a knock-off power supply from eBay I was amazed to find that it indeed still worked!  With that said the hard drive now makes some awful sounds and sometimes takes several attempts to start so it could probably die at any time.

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Going from this badge I believe this Powerbook G3 to be the “Wallstreet II/PDQ” model as that’s the model that came with the 266MHz processor while still having the colored Apple badge.

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The Apple System Profiler says this machine has 128MB RAM, so someone probably upgraded it at some point.

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This machine because is clearly from a very transitional period for Apple shortly after Steve Jobs returned in 1997.  On the lid is the new transparent/white Apple logo and on the inside is the color striped Apple logo they had used since the late 1980s (also my favorite version of their logo).  The machine is powered by the Power PC G3 processor that would also power the first iMacs (the first stellar success that Jobs would have after returning to Apple) but the back of the machine reveals an Apple Desktop Bus port and a DIN-style serial port that would have been more familiar in older Macs from about 1986 onwards.  You can immediately tell from the dark gray exterior that this is a Powerbook descended from the first Powerbooks in the early 90s.  And yet, the generously large screen and the still-good-by-today’s-standards touchpad remind me off today’s Apple laptops.  This is a computer with its feet in two eras in Apple history.

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This Powerbook G3 is also a computer that feels like it represents the best of the era of Apple that was soon to be wiped away by brushed aluminum.  The Apple of today produces really well engineered computers but they have turned brushed metal into the new beige.  They want computers to look like fashionable Braun radios.  Today’s Apple would never put a processor badge on their computers or build a laptop with two docking bays and a removable battery.  We will surely never see a return to this philosophy, but this machine is a nice reminder of what once was.

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There was a wealth of old software on this Powerbook G3 including Mac OS 9.2.2, iTunes 2, Mozilla 1.0, Netscape, Internet Explorer 5 for Mac, and some Adobe software including Photoshop.

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Seeing this ancient version of iTunes was particularly interesting for me because I use iTunes today on Windows.

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It’s hilarious to see iTunes without AAC encoding.

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As a die-hard Firefox user since 2003, I was also curious to see what Mozilla 1.0 looked like.

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I also like silliness so here is the Goodtimes video from the Windows 95 CD being played on the Powerbook G3.

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I have quite a large collection of old software (which I will get to in future posts) but I was surprised to find that I had very little that will run on late model classic Mac OS.  I tried SimCity 1.4c, but that complained about requiring 256 color mode and I wasn’t too keen on entertaining that foolishness.

I did remember however, that one of my favorite games from the late 1990s, Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far, came with a Mac OS version on the same disc as the Windows version (surprising for a Microsoft published game).

Here is what the installer looks like.

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The game doesn’t run badly and is surprisingly playable with the trackpad.

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Looking at this Powerbook is kind of like looking at an Art Deco building and thinking about the 1930s.  The swooping curves of this machine remind me of the dynamism right before the Dot Com crash when the promise of all of that “multimedia” bunk from the early 90s was finally going to pay off with the Internet.  It also reminds me that the Apple of the 1990s that almost died also died with this machine and that the Apple of the 2000s that changed the world in some ways was born with this machine.

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