- Posted April 1, 2011 by
Los Angeles, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Happy 35 years, Apple.
- jmsaba, CNN iReport producer
It may have happened on April Fool's Day, but it's not a joke. Apple Computer, now simply known as Apple, was founded 35 years ago. I have been an avid user since my youth in school, when Apple II and early Macintosh computers were a fixture in classrooms. From publishing to graphics to video editing to audio, the desktop revolution brought the ability do so much within the reach of the masses.
I took a quick trip to the garage to pull out some of my favorite units that I used over the years:
1: The 20th Anniversary Mac: I can't believe it's been nearly 15 years, but this system was a bellwether of technologies to come. A flat vertical design integrated an LCD color screen together with the computer itself, years before the present-day iMac. The keyboard also featured leather-wrapped palmrests with trackpad.
2: The 20th Anniversary Mac also incorporated Bose speakers, making for the ultimate MP3 player. Though this computer was a sales disappointment, designer Jonathan Ive would later go on to design Apple's mobile electronics blockbusters such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
3: Apple II nerds will argue that the diminutive Apple IIc, complete with handle, was the company's first portable computer, but the first battery-operated Mac came in 1989 with the simply-named Macintosh Portable (at right). The 1990 model (at left) was the first to introduce a backlit active-matrix display, now a fixture in present-day notebook computers. The iPod (at center) is for scale.
4: The Macintosh Portable ran on a lead-acid battery (typically used in automobiles) about the size and weight of a real-life brick. This contributed to the 17-pound weight of the unit (no joke).
5: This computer was also easily user-serviceable, with (left to right) the battery, expansion cards, memory, and whopping 40-megabyte hard disk within reach with very few tools. This stands in stark contrast with Apple's current units which are much more compactly designed, but need to be taken into a service center just to replace the battery.
6: By 1992, Apple was able to get the weight of its portables down to about 4 pounds with the PowerBook Duo (on top of a Macintosh Portable for comparison). One of the first subnotebooks, it was able to reduce its size by dropping a number of ports and eliminating reliance on built-in removable drives, something seen in the Macbook Air today. The Powerbook Duo could also be connected to a docking unit for power users who needed desktop capabilities at the office.
7: This PowerBook Duo 210 ran at 25MHz (1 MHz = 1/1000 GHz), considered somewhat fast for a portable computer nearly two decades ago.
8: By 1997, the PowerBook Duo 2300c (center-right) incorporated a color active-matrix display, dropped the trackball for the touch-based trackpad, and used a 100MHz PowerPC chip as part of Apple's first processor migration, about a decade before Apple would migrate again to the Intel processor. Interestingly, the diminutive iPod Touch at right runs faster and stores more memory than all the other portables in this photo combined.